Strawberry Dream Cake
From America's Test Kitchen
- FOR CAKE:
- 10 oz frozen whole strawberries (2 cups) (They do NOT need to be thawed for this recipe)
- 3/4 C whole milk, room temperature
- 6 large egg whites, room temperature
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2-1/4 C (9 oz) cake flour
- 1-3/4 C (12-1/4 oz) granulated sugar
- 4 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 12 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces and softened
- FOR FROSTING:
- 10 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
- 2-1/4 C (9 oz) confectioners' sugar
- 12 oz cream cheese, cut into 12 pieces and softened
- pinch salt
- 8 oz fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced thin
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 9-inch round cake pans, line bottoms with parchment paper, grease parchment, and flour.
2. Transfer frozen strawberries to bowl, cover, and microwave until strawberries are soft and have released their juice, about 5 minutes. Place in fine-mesh strainer set over small saucepan. Firmly press fruit dry (juice should measure at least 3/4 cup); reserve strawberry solids. Bring juice to boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until syrupy and reduced to 1/4 cup, 6 to 8 minutes. Whisk milk into juice until combined.
3. Whisk strawberry milk, egg whites, and vanilla together in bowl. Using stand mixer fitted with paddle, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together on low speed until combined. Add butter, 1 piece at a time, and mix until only pea-sized pieces remain, about 1 minute. Reduce speed to medium-low, add remaining milk mixture, and beat until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Give batter final stir by hand.
4. Scrape equal amounts of batter into prepared pans and bake until toothpick inserted into center of cakes comes out clean, 20 to 254 minutes, switching and rotating pans halfway through baking. Cool cakes in pans on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove cakes from pans, discarding parchment, and let cool completely, about 2 hours.
(Cooled cakes can be wrapped in plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 2 days.)
FOR THE FROSTING:
5. Using stand mixer fitted with paddle, mix butter and sugar together on low speed until combined, about 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add cream cheese, 1 piece at a time, and beat until incorporated, about 1 minute. Add reserved strawberry solids and salt and mix until combined, about 30 seconds. Refrigerate until ready to use.
6. Pat strawberries dry with paper towels. When cakes are cooled, spread 3/4 cup frosting over 1 cake round. Press 1-1/2 cups strawberries in even layer over frosting and cover with additional 3/4 cup frosting. Top with second cake round and spread remaining frosting evenly over top and sides of cake. Garnish with remaining strawberries. Serve.
(Cake can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.)