Strawberry Cake with Strawberry Meringue Buttercream
This weekend was a busy one. One of my best friend’s sister was in town and it was her birthday. She loves strawberries and even though it’s the middle of winter, I decided to make her this strawberry cake with strawberry meringue buttercream. But with only two hours to bake in between lunch dates and shopping with the hubby, I whipped this cake up.
The cake was inspired by Martha Stewart’s strawberry cupcakes. I used the roses I made in my Wilton class this previous week. I used my favorite buttercream, Swiss Meringue buttercream! The Whisk Kid has a great step-by-step tutorial on how to make swiss meringue buttercream. It is daunting at first, but once you get the hang of it, it is a versatile frosting to work with. It pipes great on cupcakes and very easy to ice a cake with.
In the end, I was not very pleased with the rushed job, it could have looked prettier but the birthday girl was very happy and loved it!
FOR STRAWBERRY CAKE
- 2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup cake flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 11/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 large egg white
- 2-3 drops red food coloring (optional)
- 2 cups finely diced strawberries (mince these for better incorporation)
FOR THE STRAWBERRY SWISS MERINGUE BUTTERCREAM:
- 5 large egg whites
- 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup strawberry puree or preserve (to make puree, cook down 1/2 cup fresh strawberries with 2 tablespoons of sugar.
FOR THE CAKE:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 9-inch round cake pans (or 3 8-inch round cake pans) with baking spray and line with parchment paper. Grease parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, sift (please do!) together with the flours, baking powder, and salt. In a large mixing cup, whisk together the whole milk and vanilla extract.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together over medium speed until light and creamy, about 3-5 minutes.
- Beat in the eggs and egg white, one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition.
- If you are using food coloring, add in 3-4 drops of food coloring.
- Reduce speed to low. Alternately add in the flour and milk mixture, starting and ending with the flour. Mix well after each addition.
- Gently fold in the diced strawberries into the batter.
- Divide batter into the prepared pans.
- Bake cakes until a toothpick inserted into the center come out clean, about 25 minutes.
- Let cakes cool in the pan for 10 minutes before turning onto a wire rack. Cool completely.
FOR THE SWISS MERINGUE BUTTERCREAM
- Whisk together sugar and egg whites in a heatproof mixing bowl set over (not in) a pan of simmering water. Whisk until warm and sugar is dissolved (mixture should feel completely smooth when rubbed between your fingers), 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
- With an electric mixer on medium speed, whisk egg white mixture for about 5 minutes (using the whisk attachment). Increase speed to medium-high, and whisk until stiff, glossy peaks form and meringue has cooled (test by feeling bottom of the bowl), about 6 minutes.
- Reduce speed to medium and switch to the paddle attachment. Add butter, one piece at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Keep beating until the buttercream comes together (IT WILL COME TOGETHER). Once it does, beat in vanilla extract and strawberry puree until smooth and silky.
- Use immediately or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
- Level the cakes if needed.
- Onto a cake stand, place the first layer of cake. Evenly spread about 1/2 cup buttercream on top. Top with the rest of the strawberry compote. Add the top layer of cake with the top of the cake down. Crumb coat the cake with a thin layer of buttercream.
- Then spread the icing evenly and frost the cake. Decorate as desired with fresh strawberries.
- The cake will store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or refrigerated.
Cake adapted from Bon Appetit.