I would say this is a girly cake. Strawberry, pink, spongy cake layers…But I am pretty sure guys would love this cake too.
I’ve been using this sponge cake recipe to make vanilla cake layers. This recipe guarantees no toughness of the cake, yet it is not too fragile to hold the buttercream in-between.
Ingredients (one 8-inch 3-layer cake):Vanilla Sponge Cake 2 cups cake flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 cup milk, room temperature 1 stick unsalted butter, melted 1 tablespoon vanilla extract 4 large eggs, room temperature 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar Strawberry Compote 1/2 cup fresh chopped strawberries 1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries 1 tablespoon cornstarch 1/2 cup granulated sugar 2 tablespoons water Strawberry Whipped Buttercream Frosting 4 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature 4 cups powdered sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 tablespoons heavy cream 2 tablespoons strawberry puree Pink food coloring paste Others 5 to 6 fresh strawberries
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease three 8-inch cake pans, and line bottoms with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, sift the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
Mix milk, melted butter and vanilla in another bowl. Set aside.
Whip the eggs and sugar on medium-high speed in a bowl of a standing mixer until pale, thick and ribbony. About 5 minutes.
Reduce the speed to low and beat in the flour mixture until just incorporated.
Scoop 2 cups of cake batter and add it into the milk and butter mixture. Whisk until well combined. Then pour the mixture back into the remaining cake batter. Fold until well mixed.
Evenly distribute the batter into the prepared cake pans and spread evenly.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in cake comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack for about 10 minutes before inverting on rack. Let cool completely before frosting.
To prepare strawberry compote, cook 1 1/2 cups strawberries, cornstarch, sugar and water in a small saucepan until the berries start to break down, about 10 minutes.
Lower the heat and simmer until the compote is thick, about 5 minutes. Let cool slightly before pushing the compote through a fine sieve to remove the seeded pulp. Let compote cool completely.
To prepare buttercream, beat butter for a few minutes in a standing mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed. Add powdered sugar and turn your mixer on low, beat until the sugar incorporates with the butter. Add vanilla, heavy cream and strawberry puree, beat on medium speed for another 3 minutes, or until buttercream becomes light and fluffy. Add 1 or 2 drops of coloring paste and mix until you get to the preferred color.
To assemble the cake, fill a pastry bag attached to a 1/2″ round tip with about 2 cups of buttercream. Place one cake layer on your serving plate, pipe a dam around the edge of the cake layer. Spoon 4 tablespoons of the compote inside the dam, along with a few fresh chopped strawberries and 2 tablespoons of the buttercream. Gently spread the buttercream to seal the compote. Place another cake layer on top and repeat the same process. Place the last layer of cake on top. Smear a light coating of frosting on the top and sides of the cake.
Transfer the remaining buttercream to a large piping bag fitted with a large petal tip. Holding the piping bag straight with tip pointing at the cake plate and the smaller part of the tip facing outward, pipe from the bottom in a back and forth motion until you reach the top of the cake. Pipe rows of ruffles along the cake edges.
Garnish cake top with fresh strawberries.
Cover and refrigerate. Remove from refrigerator an hour before serving.