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Strawberries & Cream Layer Cake

We had another birthday roll around. Beatrice turned 4, and she has all kinds of 4 year old declarations and opinions now. She was 100% certain that she had to have a dramatic birthday cake that had different strawberries, chocolate, vanilla, and a mix of frosting flavors. Whew, it was a tall order! But wow, it sure ended up being everything she wanted and more! When brainstorming for Bea’s birthday dream cake, my mind immediately went in different directions. I was torn between a classic chocolate and strawberry combo or a strawberry shortcake. Then I thought, why not combine all the flavors into one show stopping cake? And thus, this gorgeous Strawberries & Cream Layer Cake with Chocolate Covered Strawberries was created.

Strawberries & Cream Layer Cake filling

Yellow cake serves as the base for fresh strawberry filling and a cream cheese and whipped cream topping. This Strawberries & Cream Layer Cake is fresh, light, and has an all time favorite flavor combination. This cake will fit any occasion, from birthdays to Valentine’s Day, or all Summer festivities. Adorned with homemade Chocolate Covered Strawberries, this cake is a strawberry lover’s dream come true! Make sure to check out my step-by-step video demonstration on How To Make Chocolate Covered Strawberries.

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

The Cake

This cake is a classic vanilla yellow cake. Get out that trusty stand mixer and let’s begin by creaming your softened butter and sugar.

Cream butter and sugar in KitchenAid stand mixer

Let this cream for at least 5 minutes. Then add in your vanilla extract and 3 whole eggs, beating after each addition.

Add 3 whole eggs and vanilla extract

While you let this cream for a few minutes, separate two more eggs. Reserve and refrigerate your egg yolks for a future use. Whip up your egg whites until stiff peaks form. You will be folding these into the batter later, so set aside when finished.

beat egg whites until stiff peaks form

Remember to scrape down the bowl of your stand mixer as you go along, and don’t forget that groove at the bottom. That tiny well holds on tight to whatever was first creamed! To your fluffy mixture, add some whole milk. The mixture will look curdled, and that is ok. The first time I started making cakes and my batter curdled I panicked and threw out the whole thing, only to learn later that this is normal!

Add milk. Batter will look curdled

Now get that sifter out! The rest of this process is all by hand, baby! You will get your cake flour, salt, and baking powder sifted into the batter.

add Sifted flour mixture

Gently fold the batter to incorporate before folding in your whipped egg whites.

Fold in egg whites

Then add even portions of your cake batter to two buttered cake pans.

spread batter into cake pan

While the cakes bake and cool, let’s move on!

Strawberry Filling

The next, and fresh fruit filled part of this Strawberries & Cream Layer Cake with Chocolate Covered Strawberries is the Strawberry Filling. The use of gelatin sets up this strawberry filling and adds to its beauty.

Cut up washed and dried strawberries to fill 3 cups. Add to a large bowl.

3 cups of cut strawberries

Sprinkle on some sugar.

sprinkle sugar onto strawberries

Then add your gelatin packet and boiling water. You can buy gelatin in pre-measured packets, like what I used below.

Toss this mixture to coat, and refrigerate until we are ready to assemble the cake. The gelatin will begin to thicken and form this filling over time. This will stop your fruit juices from leaving the berries and seeping into your cake and frosting. The addition of unflavored gelatin will also make create a filling type texture. So don’t skip the gelatin and water, ok?!

Strawberry Filling

The Whipped Cream Frosting

After your cakes have completely cooled we move on to the coolest frosting in town. Completely. I stress the importance of how cool these cakes need to be since we are using a heavy cream based frosting that will melt and ooze and be ruined if these cakes are warm!

Use the whisk attachment of your stand mixer to whisk up your cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla extract. This is where you get to make a boozy decision. If no kids are involved, feel free to add a little Grand Marnier in place of the vanilla extract at this stage. Then add heavy cream and whip, whip, whip! Since I forgot to take pictures of these steps, let’s move on to the assembly portion!

Assembling Strawberries & Cream Layer Cake With Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Invert your COOLED cake onto the serving plate of your choosing. To this layer, add a little less than half of your Frosting and top with half of the strawberry filling. As you can see from photo 2, Bea did the smell check of that Vanilla Yellow Cake. It got a “Wow, that’s so good, Mom!”.

Then carefully slide your second inverted cake layer on top. And do it all over again. You can absolutely leave this as a naked cake, and it will be gorgeous! I want mine all covered up on the sides, and that is why I used slightly less frosting in the middle layer. If you will be having a naked cake, use half of frosting in the middle and half on top.

Naked Strawberry Cake

If using Chocolate Covered Strawberries, you will arrange them first. No, Bea is not really injured. Kids just love band-aids! Longingly look at those strawberries and proceed with your strawberry filling to top the cake.

Arrange chocolate covered strawberries

Add strawberry topping to cake

And there you have it, the most gorgeous cake of all, a stunning Strawberries & Cream Layer Cake with Chocolate Covered Strawberries! The chocolate covered strawberries are a huge hit, so make sure to add this component!

Strawberries & Cream Layer Cake with Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Strawberries & Cream Layer Cake with Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Ingredients:

CAKE:

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 2 egg whites stiffly beaten
  • 1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups sifted cake flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole milk

FILLING

  • 3 cups chopped strawberries
  • 1/8 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons boiling water
  • 1 packet unflavored gelatin

FROSTING

  • 8 oz. softened full-fat cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1-2 tablespoons Grand Marnier OR 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  • For cake: Using paddle attachment of stand mixer, Cream butter and sugar for 5 minutes.
  • Add vanilla extract and egg yolks one at a time, beating after each addition.
  • While this is creaming, Beat egg whites until stiff with a hand mixer. Set aside.
  • Add milk to batter. It will look curdled.
  • In separate bowl, sift once-sifted cake flour with baking powder and salt.
  • By hand, add in sifted flour mixture.
  • Fold in egg whites.
  • Spread into 2 buttered pans and bake for approx 26-31 minutes, checking with a toothpick in center of cake to see if it is done.
  • Let cool COMPLETELY!!!
  • For Strawberry Filling: Mix chopped strawberries, sugar, gelatin, salt, and boiling water. Refrigerate until time to assemble.
  • For Frosting: With whisk attachment of stand mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar. Add heavy cream and grand Marnier or vanilla extract.
  • To assemble cake, invert cake onto plate. Spread 1/3 of frosting and half of strawberry filling. Slide on second layer. Repeat. Then use leftover 1/3 of frosting for the sides.
  • Top with Chocolate Covered Strawberries. How to Make Chocolate Covered Strawberries
  • Serve immediately OR Refrigerate until ready to serve!

Tools for This Strawberries & Cream Layer Cake with Chocolate Covered Strawberries:



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