I don’t know why it is but I associate strawberry desserts with Mother’s Day. Maybe it is the white-pink-red theme that just looks feminine? Maybe it is the fact that the berries come into season about the same time as Mother’s Day hits? I don’t know. It is one of those things that I think about in the middle of the night when I can’t sleep.
This cake is… FABULOUS. Perfect for Mother’s Day or any other celebration, including the fact that you got through the day without harming your teenager. If you don’t have a teenager that might sound appalling but if you do – well you certainly understand. I have 3 teens right now and a 12 and a half year old, so I know what I am talking about. The fact that I can put two words together in a clearly written sentence is nothing short of miraculous.
This cake is an intense vanilla flavor with cream cheese frosting. I added sliced strawberries between the layers and then chilled it for several hours. During that time the berries get a little juicy and the filling soaks it up a little. Let it warm up to room temperature before serving and the flavor is just incredible. Bright and fresh from the berries, tangy from the frosting, and rich and sweet from the cake. I really want to try a version of this with blackberries but the strawberries were on sale and absolutely perfect, as you can see.
There are sort of a lot of steps to this but it is easier than it looks. Set everything out about an hour ahead of time to bring it to room temperature. It will make the cake lighter and fluffier – don’t skip this step.
You will separate the eggs just before you are ready to use them. Again, have them at room temperature for the best results. See the yolks? That’s the benefit of having chickens right there… deep orangey yellow and it produces a rich crumb in your cake. Lucky me!
Another little trick I have is to rinse the clean mixer bowl and whips with vinegar. The acidity left in the bowl and on the whip helps the whites beat up much higher – and if there was any fat clinging to the whip it will be rinsed off by the acids.
Don’t start adding the sugar into the egg whites until they have come to soft peaks. You risk deflating them if you do. Deflating egg whites is not a good thing in this cake. Trust me. Perfectly beaten egg whites will cling to the beater and the bowl. You can literally turn it upside down over someone’s head without the egg whites splattering all over them. I really did this to one of my kids but the image didn’t come out. :/
Set the egg whites aside (put them in another bowl gently if you need to) and begin the butter mixture part. You are going to cream the butter, vanilla, sugar, and salt. Once they are well mixed you will be adding hte egg yolks one at a time and beating until the mixture is the consistency of a good whipped cream.
It isn’t difficult to fold egg whites into a batter but you have to be gentle. Put about a third of the egg whites on the batter and then gently pull the batter over the egg white. continue to do this until the first third is mixed in. Now, do the same thing with the rest of the egg whites. This will help keep them from deflating and it will keep your cake lighter and higher. Just remember to be gentle!
Have your pans buttered and floured and spoon the batter in lightly.
Bake at 325 F for 40 minutes or until done. Baking at this low temperature ensures that your cakes are moist. Let them stand for 5 minutes before turning out of the pan.
Let the cake cool completely before filling and frosting with the cream cheese and berries.
Be sure to reward any helpers that you may have had….
You will need to slice the berries so that they lie flat on the filling. Spread the bottom layer with frosting. Lay the berries on evenly and then add the next layer. Repeat.
You will be taking these out before you serve the cake but it is a real help when you want to keep your cake from sliding around.
This is so good, you just have to make it!
Recipe: Italian Cream Cake with Strawberries
Summary: Strawberries between the layers of a light Italian Cream Cake, frosted with Cream Cheese frosting
- 6 eggs, room temp
- 2 c of sugar, divided
- 1 c of butter
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tbs vanilla
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1 c buttermilk (not low fat)
- 2 c flour
- 2 quarts ripe strawberries
- 1 recipe cream cheese frosting
- Preheat oven to 325F
- Grease and flour 3 9-inch round cake pans
- Separate eggs
- Beat egg whites until soft peaks form
- Add 1/2 c sugar gradually, beating until egg whites form stiff peaks
- Set egg whites aside
- Cream butter, remaining sugar (1 1/2 c), vanilla, and salt together
- Add egg yolks one at a time beating well after each
- Beat until the mixture resembles whipped cream
- Stir baking soda into buttermilk
- Stir flour and baking powder together
- Add to the butter mixture alternately with the buttermilk mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture
- Fold in the egg whites carefully
- Spoon the batter into the baking pans evenly
- Bake for 40 minutes
- Remove from oven and cool in pans for 5-10 minutes
- Turn out and cool completely
- Place one cooled layer on a cake plate
- Spread with cream cheese frosting
- Place a layer of sliced strawberries on the cream cheese and top with another cake layer.
- Stabilize layers with straws or wood skewers and frost with remaining cream cheese frosting
- Place halved berries around the edge of cake and chill for three hours
- Bring to room temperature before serving
Cooking time (duration): 90
Number of servings (yield): 8
Meal type: dessert
Culinary tradition: USA (Southern)
Recipe: Cream Cheese Frosting
Summary: Tangy frosting rich with cream cheese
- 3/4 c butter
- 16 oz cream cheese
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1 1/2 to 2 lbs of powdered sugar
- A little buttermilk to thin if needed
- Beat the cream cheese and the butter
- Add the vanilla
- Add the powdered sugar until you have a creamy consistency
- Add a tablespoon of buttermilk if necessary to thin it down
Cooking time (duration): 5
Meal type: dessert
My rating: 5 stars: ★★★★★
|Nutrition Information:serving size 1/8th of the recipeCalories 1305 |
This recipe is part of two dessert link ups…check them out!
images (c) marye audet