This cake is adapted from Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa Parties! cookbook. She makes two 8-inch cakes. I decided to get fancy and make a four-layer cake. It's all in the presentation, you know! The cake is a cross between a traditional biscuit-type shortcake and a fluffy cake. It's a dense cake with lots of flavor, due to the addition of lemon and orange zest in the batter. If you're only using one of the cakes, the second cake can be frozen and used on another occasion.
I can cook, bake, sew, garden, drive a race car, but my photography skills are minimal, at best. They were even worse on this occasion as I tried to take pictures before serving our dessert. My family wanted their cake and they were laughing as we joked about how we can't eat until I get a food pic! My little blog depicts my real life, nothing fancy, including my pictures!
Strawberry Country Cake
3/4 cup unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), at room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup sour cream, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
Filling for EACH cake:
1 cup (1/2 pint) heavy whipping cream, chilled
2 tablespoons sugar**
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract**
1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
1 tablespoon sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour (or use baking spray) two 8-inch cake pans.
Cream the butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. On medium speed, add the eggs, one at a time, then the sour cream, zests, and vanilla, scraping down the bowl as needed. Mix well. Sift together the flour, cornstarch, salt, and baking soda. On low speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and combine just until smooth.
Pour the batter evenly into the pans, smooth the tops with a spatula, and bake in the center of the oven for 40 to 45 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then remove to wire racks and let cool to room temperature.
To make the filling for one cake, whip the cream in a mixer until soft peaks form; add the sugar and vanilla and mix until firm. Combine strawberries with sugar, let sit about 10 minutes for juices to form.
Slice one of the cakes in half with a long serated knife. Place the bottom slice of the cake on a serving platter and spread with half the whipped cream. Using a slotted spoon, scatter the the sliced strawberries over the cream. Cover with the top slice of the cake and spread with the remaining cream. Decorate with strawberries.
I doubled the filling recipe and decorated the top with the sliced strawberries.
** I used vanilla sugar.