It is officially strawberry season! All our local farms are harvesting their berries this week and I was able to get an entire flat (8 quarts) of the most perfectly ripe and delicious strawberries. These berries tasted just like strawberries tasted way back in the day. Total perfection! I happily spent the better part of my Saturday prepping all the strawberries and making this cake. I love a good kitchen project like that!
I've been wanting to make this cake ever since I got my copy of Tessa Kiros' Falling Cloudberries about 10 years ago. I could tell from looking at the picture of the cake in the book that this would be a cake the whole family would love! If you are a Strawberry Shortcake fan, then you would love this cake.
The cake itself is very dense and holds up well to the whipped cream and strawberries. The middle of the cake is layered with a heavenly combo of diced strawberries, confectioners' sugar, lemon juice, and whipped cream. I love how the mixture turns pink when you combine it together. It makes for a very pretty filling!
Mounds of fluffy whipped cream top the cake, along with a combination of sliced strawberries and fresh berries with their green tops (for color). And...there you have it, a simple summer dessert that pretty much everyone will love!
Sipi's Strawberry Cake
Adapted from Falling Cloudberries
by Tessa Kiros
1-/34 cups all purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
3/4 cups sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 sticks butter, melted
3/4 cup warm milk
4 eggs, separated
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-3/4 pounds (5 cups) whole strawberries
1 teaspoon lemon juice
4 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
3 cups heavy whipping cream
NOTE: I added a touch of vanilla to the whipped cream the second time I made this and everyone liked that version better. You can't go wrong either way.
Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease and flour an 8-1/2 inch springform cake pan, or a Bundt pan, or any pan you like. (Note: I used an 8" rectangle pan and this cake is very high. An 8x11 pan would thin the cake out some, which I think would be nice).
Put the flour and sugar in a bowl with 1 teaspoon of the baking powder. Mix in the butter and then stir in the milk. Add the egg yolks and vanilla and beat in well. Whisk the egg whites to soft peaks, incorporating the rest of the baking powder when the eggs have started fluffing up. Fold the whites into the cake mixture.
Pour the batter into the cake pan and bake for about 1 hour (mine was done in 35 minutes), or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean and the top is deep golden and crispy. Remove from the oven and let cool a bit before turning out onto a rack. When cool, slice the cake in half horizontally and put the bottom half on a large serving plate.
Clean the strawberries and hull them (leave a few with their green tops on, if you wish). Dice about half the strawberries and sprinkle with a little lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of the confectioners' sugar. Whip the cream into stiff peaks with the remaining confectioners' sugar. (Note: I made this cake twice and the first time around my whipped cream was loose and didn't set up as nice on the cake, so my advice would be to make your whipped cream on the thick side). Mix the diced strawberries with about a third of the whipped cream and spoon over the bottom of the cake. Put the other half of the cake on top and thickly spoon the remaining cream over the top and side, then decorate with the rest of the strawberries. This is best eaten immediately. Any leftovers will keep for a day in the refrigerator.
Note: Tessa indicates in her recipe above that this is best eaten immediately. I usually agree with statements like that, but this cake is very thick and dense and it holds up well the next day (and in my opinion is even better)!
Berry Sweet @ IHCC