Summer is here! The sun is hot, the thunderstorms are wild, and we're all craving strawberries. And dessert. Right? Dessert happens year round? You just have to tailor your baking appropriately- heavy desserts don't sit well when you're picnicking in the sun! You need something refreshing and light. That's why fruit works so well. But sometimes when fruit just isn't enough of a dessert, you have to add some cake. But you can still feature the fruit. That's why this summer strawberry cake is so perfect- it's refreshing with the whipped cream, light with the cake, and fruity with the strawberries. Your perfect summer cake is here!

summer strawberry cake

4 eggs, separated
2 egg whites
2 cup sugar
6 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
2 t salt
1 t baking powder

7-8 strawberries to garnish

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Separate the eggs and beat the egg whites with the sugar on medium high for about a minute until light and fluffy. Then add the egg yolks and beat on medium to combine. Add the milk, vanilla, flour, salt, and baking powder one at a time to the egg mixture and beat on low to combine between each addition. Pour the batter into two prepared cake pans and bake for 25-30 minutes at 350 until the top springs back to the touch. While your cake is baking, prepare the simple syrup, strawberry filling, and gelatin for the whipped cream frosting. Recipes and assembly instructions to follow below!

simple syrup

1 strawberry sliced into eighths
1/8 cup sugar
1/8 cup water

Bring all ingredients to a boil, then allow to cool. Puree in blender to a smooth syrup and reserve for cake assembly. 

strawberry filling

7-8 strawberries, sliced into fourths
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon cornstarch

Place the sliced strawberries and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. The strawberries will begin to release their juices. Bring the strawberry juices to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and mash the strawberries as they begin to soften. After about 3 minutes of simmering, combine the water and cornstarch in a separate bowl until it is a nice, consistent paste, and then add this paste to the strawberries. Let this simmer for about 5-10 more minutes until the filling is thick, almost like jam.

whipped cream

2 teaspoons strawberry jello/gelatin (use flavorless if you prefer!)
8 teaspoons water
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup powdered sugar

Combine the jello/gelatin and water in another small saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely before continuing. I would wait until the cake has cooled and is assembled before making the whipped cream frosting because it's easier to work with and more aesthetically pleasing when it's cool. When ready to make the frosting, whip the heavy cream on high for about two minutes, then add the powdered sugar and cooled gelatin. Whip on high for about two more minutes to stiff peaks.

Cake assembly!

Finally! There's a lot to this recipe, sorry! But it's worth it! Think of it as a fun challenge:) And maybe a weekend morning or afternoon activity. Alright, so first you'll want to place one of the layers of the cake on your serving platter. Pour the cooled simple syrup over this layer- this will keep the cake nice and moist and make the strawberry filling start to seep into the cake. Full flavor equals great flavor! Next, spread your strawberry filling over the bottom layer. Then you'll want to spread about 1/3 of your whipped cream frosting over the strawberry filling before topping with the second cake layer. Then frost with the remaining 2/3 whipped cream frosting. Slice the 7-8 strawberries reserved for garnish into thin circles and place on top of the cake for decoration and some extra fruity fun. Enjoy!!

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