Nothing evokes the beginning of summer more than strawberries and cream. Here I made a Strawberry Cream Cake. Soft delicate vanilla cakes sandwich a layer of strawberry cake, while vanilla laden cream cheese frosting seals the layers together. Adding a sweet drippy layer of pink white chocolate ganache and pink macarons makes this Strawberry Cream Cake extra fancy!
I had such a great weekend! I went to the Country Living fair this past Sunday and I had the lovely experience of meeting Mrs. Nancy Fuller of the Food Network and author of her recently published cookbook Farmhouse Rules. I wish I had time between Sunday and this post to make one of her many delicious recipes. Between the maple and mustard glazed turkey breast and the enticing fisherman’s stew there’s so many to choose from.
The seasonality based chapters feel homey. It’s like you’d find these recipes in a spiral bound community cookbook or written on a worn laminated recipe card. Dare I mention a classic peanut butter cookie recipe? Those cookies are screaming to be made, they’d make a wonderful base for ice cream sandwiches!
Going with the seasonality, may I introduce this Strawberry Cream Cake. Here upstate, community centers and churches alike put up banners advertising strawberry festivals. Strawberry shortcake is the quintessential strawberry dessert, but it’d be boring of me to make a shortcake cake. Strawberry Cream Cake is a lighter yet extravagant 5-layer cake to represent a traditional flavor combination.
A single biscuit-sized shortcake is dense enough. Layers of shortcake would be coma-inducing. This cake has a super fine crumb and is packed with vanilla flavor. To me, vanilla is a perfect partner in with berry flavors. I know fresh strawberries would be the logical answer to this strawberry cake, but strawberries are prone to being wet and messy. These berries also throw off the moisture ratios of the cake batter. If the strawberries aren’t ripe, the flavor won’t even be detected. The jam has a concentrated fruity strawberry flavor and maintains its strawberry flavor both pre- and post- baking. For the macarons, I used this recipe for the base macaron and used a simple cream cheese frosting as the filling.
Despite this being a very tall cake, the cake did not last long! The Strawberry Cream Cake is delicate from the use of the reverse creaming method and cake flour. It is fruity from the concentrated jam flavor, and tangy from the creamy cream cheese frosting. This is the perfect cake to dive into the summer season!
- 3 cups cake flour
- 2 ½ cups granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon fine salt
- ¾ cup (1 ½ sticks, 6 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 ¼ cup buttermilk, room temperature and divided
- 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
- 5 large eggs, room temperature
- ⅓ cup buttermilk, room temperature
- ½ cup strawberry jam
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1⅓ cup cake flour
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon fine salt
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature and cut into cubes
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- Red or pink food coloring
- ½ cup (1 stick, 4 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 16 ounces (2 8-ounce packages) cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 ½ tablespoons vanilla bean paste
- 2 pounds powdered sugar, sifted
- ½ cup strawberry jam
- 8 ounces mascarpone
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup heavy cream
- 10 ounces white chocolate chips
- ¼ plus 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- pink food coloring
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat three 8-inch cake pans with baking spray, set aside.
- Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer. Fit the mixer with a paddle attachment and mix the ingredients together on the stir setting. Still on the lowest setting, add the cold butter, a few pieces at a time, until a crumbly mixture begins to form. Add the vegetable oil and mix until blended. The mixture should look like a fine crumble. Add 1 CUP of the buttermilk and beat on a medium speed for 4 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
- In the meantime, whisk together the remaining ¼ cup of buttermilk with the vanilla bean paste and eggs. Reduce the mixer's speed to low and add in this egg mixture. Raise the speed to medium and beat for a final 1 minute. Stir the batter a few times by hand ensure the ingredients are incorporated.
- Divide the batter between the 3 pans and bake for about 19 to 23 minutes, turning halfway. A toothpick inserted in the middle should come out mostly clean with a few moist (not wet) crumbs. Do not over bake these cakes. Let the cakes cool in the pans for 5 to 10 minutes, before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat one 8-inch cake pan with baking spray, set aside.
- In a medium bowl whisk together the buttermilk, jam, eggs, and vanilla extract. Set aside.
- Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer. Fit the mixer with a paddle attachment and mix the ingredients together on the stir setting. Still on the lowest setting, add the butter, a few pieces at a time, until a crumbly mixture begins to form. Add the vegetable oil and mix until blended.
- Add ⅔rd of the wet mixture to the crumbly mixture and beat on a medium speed for 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. On the low speed add the final ⅓rd of the wet mixture and beat for a final 30 seconds on a high speed. Reduce the speed to low and add the food coloring.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake, rotating halfway, for 27 to 35 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment beat cream cheese and butter on a medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 4 to 5 minutes. Scrape the bowl, add the vanilla bean paste.
- With the mixer speed on low, slowly add the 2 lbs of powdered sugar. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and beat on medium for a final 20 to 30 seconds.
- In a medium sized bowl, use a rubber spatula to mix the jam, mascarpone, and vanilla, set aside.
- Whip the heavy cream in a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone-jam mixture. Refrigerate until you're ready to assemble.
- In a microwave safe bowl heat the white chocolate and heavy cream in 20 second intervals, stirring between each 20 seconds. Once melted add the food coloring. Set aside until you're ready to assemble.
- If any of the layers have domes, use a serrated knife to level off the layers. Take one of the Delicate Vanilla Buttermilk Cake layers and cut in half. Place one of the full vanilla cakes as the base.
- Frost each layer with a perimeter ring of frosting to create a 'moat' which will hold the filling in between the layers of the cake. Spoon in the mascarpone filling. Add the divided layer top this one just with cream cheese frosting. Place the strawberry layer next with cream cheese frosting. Layer on the other thin vanilla layer and frost it with a ring of cream cheese frosting and spoon in the remaining mascarpone filling. Top with the final vanilla cake layer.
- Frosting the cake with an initial crumb coating. Place the cake in the freezer to set for 15 to 20 minutes. Frost with a final layer of cream cheese frosting. Chill in the freezer for a final 15 minutes.
- Put some of the white chocolate ganache in a pastry bag and create drips all around the top of the cake. Pour the most (not all) of the ganache in the center of the cake. Use an off set spatula to push to the edge of the cake. Let the ganache set up. Use the remaining ganache to glue the macarons around the top of the cake, garnish with sprinkles.