If using a cake pan, you will need one with straight sides that are at least 2 inches high; otherwise, use a springform pan. The cake portion can be made ahead of time, wrapped in a double layer of plastic wrap, and frozen; thaw the frozen cake, unwrapped, at room temperature for about two hours before proceeding with the recipe.
- 1 1⁄4 cups cake flour
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1⁄4 teaspoon table salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 5 large eggs, room temperature (2 whole and 3 separated)
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 lbs fresh strawberries, washed, dried, and stemmed (medium or large, about 2 quarts)
- 4 -6 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons kirsch
- 1 pinch table salt
- 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 1⁄2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1⁄8 teaspoon table salt
- 2 cups heavy cream
- FOR THE CAKE: Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour round 9 by 2-inch cake pan or 9-inch springform pan and line with parchment paper. Whisk flour, baking powder, salt, and all but 3 tablespoons sugar in mixing bowl. Whisk in 2 whole eggs and 3 yolks (reserving whites), butter, water, and vanilla; whisk until smooth.
- In clean bowl of standing mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat remaining 3 egg whites at medium-low speed until frothy, 1 to 2 minutes. With machine running, gradually add remaining 3 tablespoons sugar, increase speed to medium-high, and beat until soft peaks form, 60 to 90 seconds. Stir one-third of whites into batter to lighten; add remaining whites and gently fold into batter until no white streaks remain. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake until toothpick or wooden skewer inserted into center of cake comes out clean, 30 to 40 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes, then invert cake onto greased wire rack; peel off and discard parchment. Invert cake again; cool completely, about 2 hours.
- FOR THE STRAWBERRY FILLING: Halve 24 of best-looking berries and reserve. Quarter remaining berries; toss with 4 to 6 tablespoons sugar (depending on sweetness of berries) in medium bowl and let sit 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Strain juices from berries and reserve (you should have about 1/2 cup). In workbowl of food processor fitted with metal blade, give macerated berries five 1-second pulses (you should have about 1 1/2 cups). In small saucepan over medium-high heat, simmer reserved juices and Kirsch until syrupy and reduced to about 3 tablespoons, 3 to 5 minutes. Pour reduced syrup over macerated berries, add pinch of salt, and toss to combine. Set aside until cake is cooled.
- FOR THE WHIPPED CREAM: When cake has cooled, place cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, and salt in bowl of standing mixer fitted with whisk attachment. Whisk at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes, scraping down bowl with rubber spatula as needed. Reduce speed to low and add heavy cream in slow, steady stream; when almost fully combined, increase speed to medium-high and beat until mixture holds stiff peaks, 2 to 2 1/2 minutes more, scraping bowl as needed (you should have about 4 1/2 cups).
- TO ASSEMBLE THE CAKE: Using large serrated knife, slice cake into three even layers. Place bottom layer on cardboard round or cake plate and arrange ring of 20 strawberry halves, cut sides down and stem ends facing out, around perimeter of cake layer. Pour one half of pureed berry mixture (about 3/4 cup) in center, then spread to cover any exposed cake. Gently spread about one-third of whipped cream (about 1 1/2 cups) over berry layer, leaving 1/2-inch border from edge. Place middle cake layer on top and press down gently (whipped cream layer should become flush with cake edge). Repeat with 20 additional strawberry halves, remaining berry mixture, and half of remaining whipped cream; gently press last cake layer on top. Spread remaining whipped cream over top; decorate with remaining cut strawberries. Serve, or chill for up to 4 hours.
This cake is amazing!! It's my favorite! Though, I leave out the Kirsch.
I entered it this past weekend for a bake-off and won the $100 prize!
I use the creamy frosting recipe for lots of other things as well.
It always gets comments and requests for the recipe.
Fantastic cake. Blew everyone away at the birthday party. And it was fun to make. In fact, a lady has posted step-by-step photos on the internet, which helped. We baked the cake the day before, wrapped it in plastic, and kept it in the fridge overnight. It isn't dry, but it is firm enough to cut in three layers without falling apart. I used toothpicks as a guide when slicing the cake in layers, and a large pancake flipper to transfer the layers. I didn't use the stand mixer for the cake part -- it is easy enough to do by hand. But I did use it for the cream. The cream is WONDERFUL -- a real revelation. The finished cake did stay in the fridge a few hours before serving, but it didn't get soggy. The layers separated a bit once cut, but the ensemble was so delicious that no one complained.
I've seen and heard about this cake, and it is spectacular!!! Can't wait to make. Thank you for posting. :D Becky