This past weekend we celebrated one of my closest girlfriend’s 30th birthday. She invited us all over for dinner (because that’s what we do when we get old … we throw ourselves dinner parties) and I convinced her to let me bake her birthday cake. She requested a Strawberry Shortcake but not with shortcake (shortbread) but with cake cake … So, a Strawberry Shortcake Cake? I was happy to invent something new—always up for a good challenge.
I baked a four layer white cake and layered strawberries in between the layers. I toped it with cream cheese frosting and more fresh strawberries for decoration including some wild strawberries from the yard (which Jacobs tried to convince me were poisonous—no one ate them in fear of finding out but they sure looked beautiful on top of the cake).
I love how tall it ended up—I love an old-fashioned round 9 inch cake with layers and layers of icing pilled high. It tasted incredible too … like a summer birthday cake should.
Strawberry Shortcake Cake
4 1/2 cups cake flour
1 1/2 Tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks of butter (room temperature)
2 1/2 cups of sugar (plus more to sweeten strawberries)
2 1/4 cups of milk
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 large egg whites
1 pound strawberries
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease and flour four 9 x 2 inch round cake pans. Line bottoms with parchment paper and grease and flour again.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, on a medium speed, cream butter and sugar until fluffy, about 3 minutes. In a separate bowl, mix the milk and vanilla extract together. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture in three parts, alternating with the milk and vanilla mixture, beating will after each addition, starting and ending with the dry ingredients.
In a separate bowl, on the high speed of an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gently fold into batter, making sure no streaks of white are showing.
Divide batter evenly between prepared pans. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cake cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely on wire rack.
Stem strawberries and slice them in half from bottom to top. Place in a bowl and sprinkle with 3 tablespoons sugar. Stir together and let sit for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, mash strawberries with a fork or potato masher. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons sugar and allow to sit for another 30 minutes.
When cake has cooled, level the top of each layer with a serrated knife. Spread 1/3 of the strawberries evenly over first layer (cut side up), pouring strawberries and juices. Ice the bottom of the next cake layer with cream cheese frosting (recipe below) and then flip so the icing is touching the strawberries on top of the layer below. Repeat until all layers are assembled and ice top and side of cake with remaining frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting
3 (8 ounces) bricks of cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup (1 1/2 stick) of butter, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
7 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
Beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the confections’ sugar, beating until smooth.
I also put together what I thought turned out to be an adorable gift:
I grabbed this great basket and Turkish T towel from Ash Blue and filled it with Joseph Perrier Champagne from The Bottle Shop and peonies from my yard. Who wouldn’t love a beach bag full of fresh flowers and champagne topped with a card quoting Julia Childs, “a party without cake is just a meeting”? Totally agree.
Abi truly was the hostess with with mostest, even for her own birthday. With fajitas, homemade guacamole, summer sangria and stylingmyeveryday.com’s Skinny Margaritas, we all went home fat and happy.
Happiest of birthdays to you Abi! You can have us over for dinner anytime! 😉
Check out Abi’s adorable calligraphy business at abigailtcalligraphy.com.