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When it comes to sweets and desert, some people always prefer chocolate. I would gladly take a fruit-based desert a majority of the time. I know, blasphemous!
My mom happens to feel the same way. This was the recipe I came up with for her birthday this year. Her 39th birthday. Yeah. What?
Many of my creations are the compilation of more than one recipe. This cake is no different. The original idea came from a recipe which I found in this Scandinavian cookbook. The sponge portion is adapted from allrecipes.com Fruit-Filled White Cake.
This recipe is the perfect mix of sweet, gooey, fluffy, delicate goodness. The custard oozes out of the layers with the natural strawberry syrup and the whipped cream is a perfectly light topping. Sort of like a strawberry shortcake. But with custard. And in cake form. Cakes are always better.
Fluffy White Cake with Strawberries, Custard, and Whipped Cream
This makes a (thin) 9-inch triple-layer fluffy white cake with strawberries, custard, and whipped cream.
- ½ cup butter, at room temperature
- 1 ½ cups white sugar
- 4 egg whites (reserve 2 yolks, for custard)
- 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 2 ¼ cups cake flour (for all-purpose flour, sub in 2 cups)
- 3 tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 cup milk
- 2 egg yolks (from reserved), slightly beaten
- 1 ½ tbsp. butter
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 cup half-and-half
- 2 tbsp. White sugar
- 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 1 pint – 1 quart fresh strawberries
- 1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream.
- 2 tbsp. powdered sugar
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Preparing the cake
- Preheat oven to 350°; grease and flour three 9-inch baking pans. Tap out any excess flour.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg whites, two at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla.
- In a different bowl, whisk together cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to creamed mixture alternately with milk. Tip: When adding the flour and liquid parts to a cake batter, it helps to start and end with the dry ingredients (e.g.: add 1/3 the dry ingredients, then ½ the liquid, then 1/3 dry, then ½ liquid, finishing with 1/3 dry.).
- Evenly pour batter between the prepared pans.
- Bake at 350° for 14-18 minutes. A toothpick inserted in the center will come out clean when the cakes are done.
- Remove pans to wire racks to cool for 10 minutes.
- To remove from pan, invert a dinner plate over the top of the pan. Carefully flip the pan upside down on to the plate. Set a cooling rack on top of the inverted cake (the bottom of the cake as it sits upside down) and flip over again. Let cool completely before assembling.
Make the custard filling
- In a small saucepan, blend the egg yolks, butter, cornstarch, half-and- half, and sugar over medium heat. Stirring constantly, cook until smooth and thickened. Stir frequently to prevent the custard from sticking or burning.
- Cover pan and set aside to cool. Stir vanilla into cooled custard.
Prepare the whipped cream frosting
- In a medium bowl, beat cream until stiff peaks form. Beat in powdered sugar and vanilla. Voila! You have whipped cream.
Assembling the cake
Make sure the cakes have cooled completely. Place your bottom layer on a cake plate or serving platter; spread half of the custard filling onto this layer and one-third of the sliced strawberries. Place second cake layer on top of this; spoon and spread remaining custard and additional third of the strawberries. Place remaining cake layer on top. Spoon whipped cream topping over top of cake and down the sides. You’ll put approximately half of the whipped cream on the top and the other half on the sides of the cake.
Decorate the top with remaining strawberries in a single layer.
Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to devour.
Makes 8-12 servings, depending on how much cake you’d like. And how much you like cake.
This cake is not a lie. I promise.
Also, the original recipe called for three 8-inch pans. So these layers are a little thinner but I find it to be less overwhelming than a regular triple-layer cake. Or so I tell myself because all I own are 9-inch pans? What?