The occasion? Final girls weekend before two of four college roommates' weddings in July.
The idea? Cake. Layer cake. Festive, girly layer cake.
The recipe? Smitten Kitchen's Pink Lady Cake + Swiss Buttercream.
The cake is an all-natural step-up from strawberry cake made with jello and cake mix. The strawberry flavor comes from fresh strawberries and only fresh strawberries, who combine forces with plenty of butter and sugar and eggs for a batter that resembled strawberry ice cream in looks and taste.
The result? Velvety, buttery cake that doesn't even need icing. But a little white on pink looks purty. It was quite perfect served along with our special edition Mad Libs and fruity drinks as well as to nibble off of all weekend. Mmmm.
The Swiss Buttercream was way complicated; it was tasty but not tasty enough to be worth the effort. I think next time I would go with a cream cheese or plain buttercream frosting.
Strawberry Butter Cake
4 1/2 cups cake flour
3 cups sugar
5 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups pureed frozen strawberries*
8 egg whites
2/3 cup milk
1 to 2 drops red food dye, if using (to make the pink color pop more)
1. Preheat the oven to 350. Butter three 9-inch round or 8-inch square cake pans. Line with parchment or waxed paper and butter the paper.
2. Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large mixer bowl. With the electric mixer on low speed, blend for 30 seconds. Add the butter and strawberry puree and mix to blend the ingredients. Raise the speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes; the batter will resemble strawberry ice cream at this point.
3. In another large bowl, whisk together the egg whites, milk and red food dye, if using, to blend. Add the whites to the batter in two or three additions, scraping down the sides of the bowl well and mixing only to incorporate after each addition. Divide the batter among the three prepared pans.
4. Bake the cakes for 30 to 34 minutes, or until a cake tester or wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the layers to cool in the pans for 10 to 15 minutes. Invert and turn out onto wire racks and peel off the paper liners. Let stand until completely cooled before assembling the cake, at least an hour.