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Elizabeth Poett's Strawberry Cake with Strawberry Frosting

Strawberry Cake with Strawberry Frosting

byElizabeth Poett
Total 2 hours and 30 minutes
Active 60 mins
Makes 8 to 10 servings
This is fresh, light cake highlights the color and natural flavor of strawberries. The cake itself is bright white, a beautiful contrast to the red berries and pink frosting. I love making frosting using the fruit itself to capture the natural color of strawberries. There is no better way to celebrate peak strawberry season than to make this cake and enjoy it with those you love!
TIP: Cream of tartar helps keep the egg whites from becoming overbeaten and dry. Frosting the cake with a crumb layer seals in all of the crumbs and moisture. Chill the cake for a little while, then ice with a thick layer for a nice, clean frosting layer with no crumbs in it. If the cake is tall and needs some stability, push a bamboo skewer or a straw into the center of the cake before finishing frosting the cake.
Special Equipment
three 8-inch round cake pans; a piping bag fitted with a large open tip
Special Equipment
three 8-inch round cake pans; a piping bag fitted with a large open tip
For the cake
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, plus 1 tablespoon for greasing the pans
  • 3 1/2 cups cake flour, sifted, plus 1 tablespoon for dusting the pans
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 10 large egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 3/4 pound fresh strawberries, rinsed, dried, hulled, and cut into 1/4-inch dice (about 2 cups diced)
For the frosting
  • 3/4 pound strawberries, hulled
  • 9 3/4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 pint hulled and thinly sliced strawberries
    1. For the cake: Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease three 8-inch-round cake pans with butter and line the bottom of each pan with parchment. Grease the top of the parchment and dust the pans with flour.
    2. In a medium bowl, combine the cake flour, baking powder, and salt and whisk to combine. Set aside. In a liquid measuring cup, combine the milk and vanilla and set aside.
    3. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the 2 sticks butter and sugar. On low speed, add half of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, then add half of the milk mixture. Repeat, adding the second half of the flour mixture followed by the remaining milk. Beat until the batter is smooth, 2 to 3 minutes.
    4. Combine the egg whites and cream of tartar in a large clean bowl. Beat the whites with clean beaters or a whisk until they hold stiff peaks but are not dry.
    5. Use a rubber spatula to fold the egg whites into the cake batter, folding until the mixture is smooth and uniform in texture. Fold in the strawberries, folding until the strawberry pieces are distributed evenly throughout the batter. Pour the batter into the prepared pans, making sure to split the batter evenly between the 3 pans.
    6. Bake the cakes until light golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of each comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and set on racks to cool in the pans for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, turn the cakes out onto cooling racks to cool completely.
    7. For the frosting: In a food processor, purée the 3/4 pound hulled strawberries with 3/4 cup of the powdered sugar. Place a fine-mesh sieve over a bowl. Pour the fruit purée through the sieve and use a rubber spatula to push the purée through the sieve to strain out the seeds. You should end up with 3/4 cup strained purée.
    8. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter. With the mixing speed on low, add half of the remaining powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time. When the mixture is fully combined, add the strawberry purée and continue to mix. Add the rest of the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, and mix on low until the frosting is smooth, light pink, and holds its shape. Add the lemon juice and mix on low for 1 more minute. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix until fully combined. Transfer about a quarter of the frosting to a piping bag fitted with a large open tip.
    9. Once the cake is fully cooled and the frosting is made, use a sharp serrated knife to level the top of each cake layer. Spread a small amount of frosting onto a cake plate, then place the first layer of the cake onto the plate.
    10. Frost the top of the cake layer with a generous layer of frosting, then use a piping bag to pipe a circle of frosting onto the edge of the top of the cake to act like a dam. Arrange a layer of the sliced strawberries within the piped circle. Place the second cake layer on top of the frosting and strawberries and repeat the process of frosting, piping, and adding the sliced strawberries. Add the third cake layer and frost the top with a generous amount of frosting. Frost the sides of the cake with a generous layer of frosting and refrigerate the cake for 20 minutes. Use the remaining frosting to cover the sides of the cake.