Small amount of vegetable shortening and flour for preparing pans
3 cups sifted cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1¾ cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
2 cups pureed fresh strawberries
Strawberry Cream Frosting
3 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
¼ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ cup pureed fresh strawberries
4½ to 5 cups confectioners' (powdered) sugar
Tip: Use standard measuring cups and spoons or scales for accurate measuring.
Fresh strawberries, optional
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare three 9 inch round layer cake pans; lightly grease the pans with shortening and dust with flour. Tip: to make baked cake easier to remove from pan, lightly grease the pan, line the bottom with parchment paper, and then lightly grease the top of the parchment paper and dust the pan with flour.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; sift or whisk together to mix. Set aside.
- In a small mixing bowl, stir the buttermilk and vanilla together. Set aside.
- In a large bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Tip: To cream, start by placing the butter in the bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed begin by beating the butter about 1 minute until it is smooth and light in color.
With the mixer still on medium speed, slowly add the sugar to the butter, either one tablespoon at a time, or in a very slow steady stream, taking from 4 to 8 minutes to add all of the sugar, and beating until the butter and sugar are fully incorporated and the mixture is a light, or pale yellow color, with a fluffy texture. While adding the sugar, stop the mixer occasionally to scrape the mixture off the paddle and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula so the mixture blends evenly.
- Add eggs one at a time, beating until thoroughly mixed.
Tip: For each egg, crack the egg into a small bowl and whisk with a fork to thoroughly break up the egg before adding to the creamed mixture. Start with the mixer on low speed so the liquid from the egg doesn’t splatter, once the egg is partially mixed increase the speed to medium. Each egg should be fully incorporated into the mixture before adding the next egg, taking about one minute to blend in each egg.
- With the mixer on low speed, add about one third of the flour mixture, mix just until the flour is almost completely blended. Scrape the bowl down, and add about one half of the buttermilk mixture, blending just until mixed. Scrape the bowl down again and continue alternating with the flour mixture and buttermilk mixture, ending with the last portion of the flour, and stirring just until blended.
- Remove the bowl from the mixer. Using a balloon type whisk or large rubber spatula, gently fold the strawberries into the batter.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared pans and smooth the surface with the back of a large spoon. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until a long toothpick, wooden skewer, or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and place pans on a wire cooling rack to cool for 10 to 15 minutes then remove cake from the pans and place the cake on the wire cooling rack to finish cooling.
Strawberry Cream Frosting:
- In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, butter, and vanilla; use an electric hand mixer or wooden spoon and beat together until mixture is smooth. Stir in pureed strawberries. Add 4½ cups powdered sugar; beat until frosting is smooth and creamy. Add additional ½ cup powdered sugar if necessary to make frosting a good spreading consistency. Use an offset spatula to spread frosting between layers and over top and sides of cake.
- Optional: Garnish cake with fresh strawberries.
- Cover frosted cake and refrigerate until ready to serve. Refrigerate Leftovers.
Tip: Serve cake using a pretty cake plate and cake server for a delightful presentation.