How fun is this cake? If you’ve been reading my blog, back in February I talked about my sister and her trouble making a decision for her birthday treat. She ended up choosing the Key Lime Cupcakes which turned out to be a fabulous decision because they were wonderful. This was the contender, the cake that made her decision so difficult that week. I knew I had to make this one, but needed the perfect excuse because it’s so time consuming. We celebrated Easter at my parent’s house this weekend and I couldn’t think of anything else I wanted to make, so I broke down and did it. Turns out it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be, you just have to make time to make and bake three different cake recipes.
While I used three from-scratch recipes, you could certainly use boxed mixes or your own favorite cakes, even your own flavor combinations. I do love these three recipes, though so I’d recommend them if you have the time. If you’ve never made Swiss Meringue Buttercream before, don’t be scared of it. It’s really very easy and the result is (in my opinion) WAY better than regular buttercream. It’s not quite as sweet and has a silky, rich texture that offsets the sweetness of pretty much any cake mixutre.
I have several tips for this recipe. First of all, take your time. USE PARCHMENT CIRCLES at the bottom of your cake pans. If you spend all that time making a cake and it sticks to the pan and won’t come out, you won’t be a happy camper. Make sure you carefully level each cake layer and take care when stacking them. Don’t allow the filling to run down the outside of the cake so it doesn’t mix with the frosting. After you stack and fill the cake, refrigerate it for 30 minutes or so so the levels can “gel” together. Consider a crumb coat when frosting (crumb coat = very thin layer of frosting to catch/trap any crumbs from seeping into your top layer of frosting). Store this cake in either the refrigerator or a VERY cool room because the frosting is very delicate. If you do refrigerate it, allow it to sit at room temperature for at least an hour before serving.
I hope you enjoy this one, it was lots of fun to make and lots of fun to eat! Oh – you’ll have an extra layer of cake, and probably some frosting left. I made cake pops with mine – it was enough to make 20 pops!
2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water
Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and place parchment paper rounds into two 9-inch round baking pans. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.
Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.
2 3/4 cups sifted cake flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
4 egg whites
1 1/2 cups white sugar
3/4 cup butter
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
Measure sifted flour, baking powder, and salt; sift together three times.
In a mixing bowl, beat egg whites until foamy. Add 1/2 cup sugar gradually, and continue beating only until meringue will hold up in soft peaks.
Cream butter or margarine. Gradually add remaining 1 cup sugar, and cream together until light and fluffy. Add sifted ingredients alternately with milk a small amount at a time, beating after each addition until smooth. Mix in flavorings. Add meringue, and beat thoroughly into batter. Spread batter in a 15 x 10 x 1 inch pan which has been lined on the bottom with parchment paper.
Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 to 35 minutes. Cool cake in pan 10 minutes, then remove from pan and transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling. This cake may also be baked in two 9 inch round pans for 30 to 35 minutes, or in three 8 inch round pans for 25 to 30 minutes.
2 cups white sugar
1 (3 ounce) package strawberry flavored gelatin
1 cup butter, softened
4 eggs (room temperature)
2 3/4 cups sifted cake flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup whole milk, room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup strawberry puree made from frozen sweetened strawberries
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare two 9 inch round cake pans with cooking spray and a parchment liner.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter, sugar and dry strawberry gelatin until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time, mixing well after each. Combine the flour and baking powder; stir into the batter alternately with the milk. Blend in vanilla and strawberry puree. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a small knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes, remove from pans to wire rack to cool completely.
1 large jar homemade strawberry jam or preserves (store-bought will work fine)
1 cup sugar
In a medium heavy body saucepan, heat jam and sugar, stirring with a whisk until jam is “melted” and fully combined with sugar. If your jam has large fruit pieces, you may elect to use an immersion blender (I did) to smooth the filling into a puree. You can also put it in a blender or food processor for the same effect.
Strawberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream:
4 egg whites at room temperature
1 and 1/4 cup bakers (superfine) sugar
1 and 1/2 cup chopped fresh strawberries
3 sticks room temperature, unsalted butter, cut into 1 tablespoon pieces
In a double boiler, whisk together egg whites and sugar over medium-high heat until mixture reaches 160 degrees and all of the sugar is dissolved. Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer, and using the whisk attachment, beat until stiff peaks have formed and the mixture has cooled to room temperature.
Reduce the speed of the mixer to medium, and add butter pieces, 2 tablespoons at a time, until all of the butter has been incorporated. Continue to mix until the frosting is smooth again, another 3 or 5 minutes. Your mixture may become soupy or curdled, but continue to beat through it until it comes together again. Once smooth, blend in your strawberry puree.
To assemble cake:
I would recommend a cake round, turntable and offset spatula for sanity’s sake. Using a long serrated knife, level each cake by cutting the domed top off each to flatten them. Layer as desired, spooning about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of filling between each layer. Try to avoid the filling from dripping down the side of the cake so it doesn’t mix with the frosting. After filling and layering cake, refrigerate for 30 minutes before continuing.
Frost cake using an offset spatula, and lots of patience!
Frosting and inspiration courtesy of Annie’s Eats. Cake recipes from AllRecipes.com