STRAWBERRY BIRTHDAY CAKE WITH ALMOND BUTTERCREAM

April 23, 2017

Fresh strawberry cake is hard to come by — most of the recipes I’ve seen use Jello which is kind of weird in my opinion. Sour cream and a fresh strawberry puree makes this cake so deliciously *moist*. I know that word has mixed reviews but like, why? How else can you describe a perfectly baked cake? *shrugs shoulders*I made this cakey for my sissy’s birthday. This is my second(!) homemade cake and I think I’m slowly turning into a cake lady. You know — the lady who always brings the cake. The cake lady.

Cake makin’ is like anything else — it takes practice. I read dozens of recipes and watched probably 100 YouTube videos and still — my cake lopsided and my kitch a hot mess. Thank goodness I have a personal dish washer. Haha. What I learned about cake making so far >> 1. Make cakes the night before. It’s less stressful (IMO) to let them cool overnight rather than anxiously wait for them to be ready to frost. 2. American buttercream is easy AF. Pretty much my go to frosting at this point in my cake makin’ career. 3. Get a bench scraper — doubles as a frosting-smoother. 4. Use *good* vanilla. No, seriously — use good vanilla. It matters.


STRAWBERRY CAKE WITH ALMOND BUTTERCREAM

Cake:
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
6 egg whites
2 tsp vanilla extrat
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 cups fresh strawberry puree
Few drops of red food dye
1/2 cup sour cream
3 cups cake flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Frosting:
3 cups powdered sugar
1 cup butter
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two eight-inch cake pans, line the bottoms with parchment and lightly grease the tops of the parchment. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, cream butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Slowly add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each one. Add extracts, strawberry puree, red food dye and sour cream, beat until just combined.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. On low speed, gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and beat until smooth. Pour evenly into cake pans and bake until toothpick tests clean, about 30-35 minutes. Cool cakes in pan for 10 minutes and then turn onto lightly greased cooling wrack.

Once the cakes are cooled, wrap in plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight. If you don’t have time for that, place cakes in the freezer for 10 minutes while you make your frosting — this will help minimize crumb happenings when frosting.

While the cakes cool — get started on the frosting. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, beat butter on medium until smooth and creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl using a silicone spatula and add extracts and salt. Beat again for about 1 minute. Turn the mixer to low and slowly add the powdered sugar, a little at a time, stopping to scrape down the sides as necessary, until fully combined. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat for 6-8 minutes until light and fluffy.

When your cakes are fully cooled do yourself a solid and level them (clearly I did not and have a lopsided cake). Lol. Place the first cake on your stand and spread a thick layer of frosting on top — I used about 1 cup. Place the second layer on top and use an offset spatula to frost all over. Use a bench scraper to smooth and decorate with strawberries. Happy cake-ing!

Makes one, two-layer, eight-inch cake

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