My father in laws 80th birthday was this past fall and we wanted to make him a special cake.
This “Strawberry Cream Cake”, adapted from Williams-Sonoma TASTE Magazine, “Layers of Delight,” by Emily Luchetti (Spring 2002), worked out perfectly.
I will say that personally I’m not a huge fan of the crème fraîche frosting and would substitute it with just regular whipping cream or mascarpone cheese next time.
Strawberry Cream Cake
Serves 8 – 10
For the cake:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
5 eggs, separated
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
5 Tbs. boiling water
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Grated zest of 2 lemons
For the strawberry cream filling:
2 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and thinly sliced, plus more for garnish
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
4 to 6 Tbs. granulated sugar
2 cups crème fraîche
2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting
- Preheat an oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of a 9-inch spring form pan with parchment paper.
- To make the cake, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip together the egg yolks and sugar on high speed until thick; the mixture will still be grainy.
- Reduce the speed to medium-low and add the boiling water.
- Turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
- Increase the speed to high and whip again until thick.
- Stir in the vanilla extract and lemon zest.
- Reduce the speed to low and stir in the flour mixture.
- In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites on medium-low speed until frothy.
- Increase the speed to medium-high and whip until thick and smooth; the mixture should not look dry.
- Fold half of the whites into the batter, then fold in the remaining whites.
- Gently spread the batter in the prepared pan. Bake until a wooden skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 30 minutes.
- Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes.
- Run a knife around the inside edge of the pan and remove the ring.
- Invert the cake and remove the base of the pan.
- Carefully peel off the parchment.
- Transfer the cake to a wire rack and let cool completely.
- Using a serrated knife, cut the cake horizontally into 3 layers.
To make the filling:
- Place the 2 cups strawberries in a bowl.
- Stir in the lemon juice and 2 Tbs. of the granulated sugar.
- Taste for sweetness; depending on the berries’ ripeness, you may need to add an additional 1 to 2 Tbs. more sugar.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the crème fraîche, cream, vanilla and the remaining 2 Tbs. granulated sugar.
- Whip on medium-high speed until soft peaks form and the cream holds its shape.
Putting it all together:
- Place 1 cake layer on a cake stand or serving plate.
- Arrange one-third of the strawberries and their juices over the cake.
- Spread one-third of the cream over the berries.
- Repeat the layering process with the remaining 2 cake layers, berries and cream, ending with a layer of cream.
- Before serving, dust the top of the cake with confectioners’ sugar and garnish with additional berries.
- Cut with a serrated knife.