My cakes were to be for the reception being held in Los Angeles. So, a little less stress than making the actual day-of-the-wedding cake, but still, I have high standards. I wanted these cakes to be great. Better than great. It's the least I can do for good friends.
So I baked. And I baked. And I baked. Because we weren't sure what kind of cake to make, so we had to taste test. Then it was decided there would be more than one cake; there would be three.
We decided on the Sour Cream Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting & Chocolate Peanut Butter Glaze, Grandma Merrow's Chocolate cake with Grandma Merrow's Chocolate Icing, and this one: Strawberry Butter cake with Strawberry Filling and Cream Cheese Frosting.
Because I suppose you can't live on chocolate cake alone.
Strawberry Butter Cake
From Sky High: Irresistible Triple-Layer Cakes, by Alisa Huntsman & Peter Wynne
(Strawberry filling from Wilton)
For the cake:
4-1/2 cups cake flour
3 cups sugar
5-1/4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1-1/4 cups strawberry puree (I buy frozen strawberries, thaw, then puree)
8 egg whites
2/3 cup milk
1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter three 8-inch round cake pans. Line with a round of waxed paper and butter the paper too.
2) Put the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. With an electric mixer on low speed, blend for 30-seconds. Add the butter and strawberry puree and mix to blend the ingredients (*note, the batter is very thick). Raise the speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. The batter will resemble strawberry ice cream at this point.
3) In another large bowl, whisk together the egg whites and milk to blend. Add the whites to the batter in 2 or 3 additions, scraping down the sides of the bowl well and mixing only to incorporate after each addition. Divide the batter between the 3 prepared pans.
4) Bake the cakes for 30 to 34 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the layers to cool in the pans for 10 to 15 minutes. Invert and turn out onto wire racks. Peel off waxed paper and cool completely.
*Note, I highly recommend wrapping the layers in plastic wrap and freezing for a minimum of 30 minutes prior to assembling and decorating; it makes life a lot easier if you do this.
For the Strawberry Filling:
1 package (16 ounces) frozen sliced strawberries packed in sugar, thawed
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1) Drain strawberries, reserving liquid. Add enough water to liquid to equal 1-1/4 cups.
2) In a large saucepan, combine strawberry liquid, sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice; mix well. Heat and stir until mixture boils and thickens. Cool completely.
3) Stir strawberries into the cooled mixture. Refrigerate until ready to use. (Makes 2 cups of filling)
For the cream cheese frosting:
3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3 cups confectioners' sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1) In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter until creamy. Mix in the vanilla, then gradually mix in the confectioners' sugar.
Frost & Assemble the cake:
1) Line edges of a platter or cake stand with strips of waxed paper. Place one cake layer on top. Spread with 1 cup of strawberry filling. Repeat with the second layer and remaining strawberry filling. Add the top layer and frost the top and sides of cake with the frosting. Remove the strips of waxed paper.