This cake has been my FAVORITE birthday cake for years. It is light and fluffy and just all around SCRUMPTIOUS. Given that I am an August baby (can you tell I'm a leo?), when fruits are aplenty, it makes sense that this cake is all about the fresh fruit you get to load into it and enjoy.
Clearly, it is not summer. Actually, considering it is April first and we have a fresh foot of snow on the ground, I am questioning whether or not it is even spring. Nevertheless my sweet bestie doodle Katie is turning 30 and she wants a woodland wonderland paganfest for her party so this is the cake I am making. I truly believe nothing says woodland fairy cake like this fruitastic one sooooo - ENJOY the fruit and DELIGHT of this summertime cake. Let it, at least, make us hopeful for summertime BBQss when this will actually be appropriate.
DAY 1 - TASK 1: BAKE THE CAKE!!!
I usually do this the night before the party so that it has plenty of time to cool before the whipped cream/fruit decoration part that is mostly about snacking, let's be honest. I usually double this recipe for height effect and that MORE than covers it. If you, of course being the rockstar that you are, want MORE of a leaning tower of piza effect, you could triple it. But, given that this baby is a solid foot high, I would say a doubling of the recipe should suffice. Again, totally up to you.
CAKE RECIPE: (this is the "single serving" version I have modified from King Arthur Flour - for those playing it safe. For you who go that route, I respect you. I am just not you. )
What you will need - I like to lay this all out ahead of time. Yup, I do have OCD and control issues so that make sense.
- 2 cups white sugar
- 3 1/4 All-Purpose Flour.
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder.
- 1 teaspoon salt.
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, soft.
- 1 1/2 cups milk, at room temperature.
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract.
- 4 large eggs.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease (but don't flour) the bottom two 9" round cake pans. Or, if you are me, four of them.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Add the butter and beat with an electric mixer at low speed, until the mixture looks sandy.
- Combine the milk and vanilla and add, all at once. Mix at low speed for 30 seconds, then increase the speed to medium and beat for 30 seconds.
- Scrape the bottom and sides of the mixing bowl.
- With the mixer running at low speed, add 1 egg. Increase the speed to medium and beat for 30 seconds.
- Repeat this procedure with the second egg. Continue adding the eggs, scraping after each addition, until all 4 are added.
- After the last egg is added, scrape the bowl once more, then beat at medium-high speed for 30 more seconds.
- Transfer the batter to the pans (wooohoooo tower cake) of your choice. For layers, divide the batter among the pans. Smooth out the tops with an offset spatula or the back of a tablespoon.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes for your 9" layers.
- The cake is done when it's golden brown around the edges and just beginning to pull away from the edge of the pan. A toothpick inserted in the center will come out clean.
- Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool for 5 minutes, then turn it out onto a rack to cool completely.
- Put it in a place where you WILL NOT EAT IT. This is hard. Sometimes this involves me locking it in my car and giving dave the keys but for you, well, that might just be your fridge. Again, just make sure it is where your self control can preserve it until tomorrow.
DAY 2- WHIP WHIP WHIP UP THE GOODNESSSSSSSS
What you will need - I like to lay this all out ahead of time. Did I mention I have OCD?
- 1 Quart Heavy or Whipping Cream
- 4 tablespoons white sugar
- 3 tablespoons vanilla
- 2 Quarts Strawberries
- 1 Quart Raspberries
- In a large mixing bowl, pour 1 quart of cream, vanilla and sugar. Stir repeatedly for 30 seconds.
- Beat cream mixture continually on high with an electric mixer until soft peaks have formed. Soft peaks are solid peaks but not jagged. Think of animation mountains not real ones. Chill in fridge.
- Slice Strawberries into slices or chunks (depending on aesthetic desired) and place in a bowl and chill. I prefer slices so that you get the whole profile of the fruit. I'm just a profile kind of gal.
- Begin the FUN PARTTTTTTT....the decorating!!!!!! as shown in directions/corresponding pictures below.
5. Find a sturdy display surface. I love Farmhouse Pottery's cheese stone but a cookie sheet will suffice. On the cheese stone, lay one chilled 9" cake round. Put a thin, one centimeter layer of vanilla whipped cream onto that cake surface.
6. Spread a layer of Raspberries on top of this layer of whipped cream. Don't be shy. Raspberries are DELISH and you've got plenty. Sometimes, I throw in blueberries too if they are in season but this round, I just stuck with raspberries.
7. Repeat these steps for your remaining 3 layers.
Think: cake, whipped cream, fruit. cake, whipped cream, fruit. cake, whipped cream. STOP.
8. Take the remaining whipped cream and SLATHER yes SLATHER it on the sides. I like to dollop it on the outside edge of the top layer and work it down. If you can imagine a waterfall of whipped cream going all over the edges of the cake - that is what helps me visualize the process and make it into a reality. Again, You do you, though. You do you. Truthfully, I forgot to take a pic on this step. I'm sorry peeps. I'm new to blogging so bare with me. Basically just get whipped cream ALL OVER that gorgeous cake of yours. Then smooth it a bit.
9. Use your cut strawberries(either profiles or chunks) and decorate the top of the cake. I like creating a round star flower, as seen in my images. Sometimes, others like to just throw chunks on there in a voluptuous heap. Again, I fully celebrate your creative spirit. The best part is, no matter how it looks, it will taste FABBBB.
10. Sit back and be GD proud. You just baked a cake!!! WOOOOHOOOOO!!!!!!
11. Fight EVERY FIBER OF YOUR BEING and instead of shoving your work of art into your face, eat a strawberry with the remaining whipped cream. If you have a furry friend, this is their moment. Give them a lick - they are supporting you in this and baking is hard. Now, be wary, only a lick because welllllll, dairy makes pups a wee bit tummy loose, shall we say.
12. Give your furry friend another lick because they are the GD cutest.
13. Decorate with candles and SERVE. But only with a serenade. Birthdays are for singing. Please note, if there is a long period(longer than an hour) between making and eating of the cake, keep chilled. This is especially important if it is hot out. Whipped cream MELTS and it is your foundation so just keep that in mind and act accordingly.
TA DAAAA!!!! Thanks for following along episode 1 of Wafflenugget's Test Kitchen!!!!! WOOOHOOOOO!!!! More next week.
With love and dork,