Fresh Strawberries and Cream Cake

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Have you guys been following the 31 Days of Summer fun series at Girl Loves Glam? Here's the link to the post with all of the info: http://www.girllovesglam.com/2013/04/31-days-of-summer-fun.html. It's so fun to see all of the bloggers participating! Almost everyone has done crafts, but I thought it would be fun to do something food/dessert related for my post!


I love it when strawberries come in season! I buy all that I can and gobble them up. My kids love them just as much as I do. And I have to admit, there has been a time or two that I've hidden the container of strawberries in the back of the fridge at ate them all after the kids were asleep.

I don't just love strawberries, I love a good fresh strawberry dessert. Okay, love is maybe a little bit of an understatement. Let's just say that fresh strawberry desserts don't last very long at our house.

This dessert is really light - definitely not rich or heavy. And, as far as desserts go, it's light on the sugar, which is always nice, right?

You start by baking a strawberry pound cake.  Then, split it in half. Layer it with strawberries and freshly whipped cream. I dare you not to eat more than one piece. Extra large pieces count as two, by the way.

Fresh Strawberries and Cream Cake

Ingredients for the cake:
3/4 cup butter (at room temperature)
2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar plus 2 tablespoons of sugar
2 large eggs plus 2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup milk
12 large strawberries

Ingredients for the strawberry filling:
1 pound of strawberries, hulled and thinly sliced
1/4 c sugar

Ingredients for freshly whipped cream:
1 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup sugar 
1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin 
2 tablespoons hot water



Directions for the cake:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350.  
  2. Wash, hull and chop up the strawberries. Put them in a bowl and sprinkle the 2 tablespoons of sugar on top. Let that sit. The sugar helps the strawberries release the juices. After they've been sitting 10 minutes or so, use a potato masher and mash those strawberries up!
  3. Meanwhile, beat the butter and sugar together until they are light and fluffy. I recommend and good five minutes of beating. Trust me, it's worth it!
  4. Add the eggs and yolks one at a time. Be sure that you mix really well in between. Then mix in the vanilla and mashed up strawberries.
  5. Combine the flour, salt and baking powder together in a bowl.
  6. Slowly add the flour mixture and the milk. First add a little bit of flour. Mix until just combined. Then add a little bit of milk. Mix again until just combined. Then a little more flour....you get the idea. Just a little at a time until it's all mixed in.
  7. Bake the cake in a 9-inch springform pan for 40-50 minutes. I'm at a high altitude and it took about 50 minutes. Just check ever few minutes at the end until a tooth pick comes out clean. After the cake is baked, let it completely coo 

 
Directions for the strawberry filling:
  1. Divide the sliced strawberries into a 2/3 to 1/3 portions. The 2/3 portion will go inside and the 1/3 portion will go on top.
  2. Take the 2/3 portion of strawberries and sprinkle with the sugar. Let that sit and release the juices.

  Directions for the freshly whipped cream:
  1. It the hot water, dissolve the unflavored gelatin. Let it cool completely. (This is the secret to being able to make this dessert a day in advance. It helps stabilize the whipped cream! If you're planning to assemble this dessert and eat it immediately, you can skip this part!)
  2. In a stand mixer, with the paddle attachment, add the sugar and heavy whipping cream.  Whip until soft peaks form.
  3. Slowly add the gelatin/water mixture and mix in again until soft peaks form. 


Now it's time for the assembly of the cake!

With a long serrated knife, slice the cake in half.


 On the bottom half, add the strawberries and sugar (the 2/3 portion).


 Top that with about half of the whipped cream.


Put the top half of the cake back on and spread the other half of the whipped cream.


Finish off with the remaining 1/3 of fresh strawberries.


In my opinion, the most impressive thing about this cake is that it hold up really well. I thought that when I sliced into it, it would fall right apart. But it stays together just as well as any two layer cake I've tried. 

I also love that you can make this a day (or even the morning) ahead. If you're making this for company, you can present a beautiful dessert that you didn't have to assemble while they are all waiting. 

But the best thing about this cake is it's incredibly delicious flavor. It is to die for!! You'll definitely fall head over heels in love! 

Here's more from the summer fun series!

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