Since my office is now clearly informed of my addition to baking, I get to bake for all fun events like baby showers! We’ve had quite a few babies born in the past couple years and now our last pregnant coworker is due at the end of the month. During the last baby shower we had in September she informed me that she wanted something strawberry for her baby shower, so obviously I am happy to oblige. She’s also having a girl, hence the pink checkerboard cake. I hope to soon have the equipment to be able to make video tutorials of these cakes since they can get so complex it’s hard to write instructions that are easy to follow, but bear with me on this one.
Makes: One four layer 6” cake Total time: 4 hours
4 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons flour
4 1/2 cup white sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
3 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cup egg whites (approx. 10-11 eggs)
1/6 cup vegetable oil
2 1/4 cup buttermilk
Whipped Cream Frosting
2 cups whipped cream (store bought or home whipped)
8 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup strawberries diced
3 tablespoons seedless strawberry jam
8 whole strawberries of various sizes
Pink food coloring
Red food coloring
Strawberry Macaroons (optional)
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease four 6” round springform pans. I use Wilton Cake Release to grease my pans, they always come out so easily and perfect. You can also use butter and flour to get the same effect.
Step 2: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
Step 3: Cube the butter and add into the flour mixture, beating with an electric mixer until crumbly and no large chunks of butter are left. This usually takes 5-6 minutes with an electric beater.
Step 4: Add in the vanilla and egg whites and beat until just combined.
Step 5: Slowly add in half of the buttermilk. Once combined, add in the oil and then the remaining buttermilk.
Step 6: Beat on high for 30 seconds to get rid of any air, then pour half of the batter into two of the pans (1/4 into each).
Step 7: Add 5-6 drops of pink food coloring to the remaining batter and beat for 5-10 seconds until the color is even.
Step 8: Evenly distribute the remaining batter among the other two prepared pans.
Step 9: Bake for 30-35 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Step 10: Remove from springform pans and place on cooling racks until completely cooled (you can speed up this process by placing the cakes in the fridge).
Step 1: Beat the butter on medium speed with an electric beater until smooth.
Step 2: On low speed, slowly add in the whipped cream.
Step 3: Add in the powdered sugar one cup at a time, beating until whipped and creamy. You can add in additional powdered sugar to reach the desired consistency if it is not stiff enough.
Step 1: Dice strawberries and set aside.
Step 1: Even out the tops of the cakes, by cutting off the rounded top. Try to keep the cakes around 1 inch thick. (I made mine too thick and had to get rid of the top layer which is why mine is 3 layers, not four). Cut cake layers for checkerboard. I don’t have the equipment for a video just yet, but PureWow has a great YouTube video for a checkerboard cake tutorial.
Step 2: Place one cake later on cake round, then frost with 1/3 cup frosting. Sprinkle 1/3 cup of the diced strawberries on the strawberries and top with 1 tablespoon of strawberry jam. Repeat with the next two layers, using all of the strawberries and jam.
Step 3: Remove 1/2 cup of frosting and set aside. Add the remaining frosting to the top of the cake, spreading it around and down the sides, to evenly coat the entire cake with a thick layer of frosting.
Step 4: Separate the remaining frosting into 4 small bowls, adding 1 drop of pink coloring to one, 3 to the next, 5 to the next and 5 drops of red to the last bowl. Mix together until fully colored.
Step 5: Starting from the bottom of the cake, add swipes of each color all around (see images). Then using a cake smoother, gently even out the frosting to get an ombre water color look, leaving the top couple inches white.'
Step 6: Take the full strawberries and cut them into roses (tutorial here) and place on top of the iced cake.
Step 7: Let cake sit in the fridge for 30 minutes - 1 hour to set before serving. Cake can be stored in an airtight container for up to one week in the fridge. Remove and let sit for 30 minutes before serving.