Berry Birthday Cake

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When I turned 13, I had a joint birthday party with my then and now best friend, Nicole.  Of course, way back then bowling parties were the thing to do, so of course we had to have a big bowling party!  And if we were having a big party, we needed a big delicious cake- let’s just say this is the moment when my obsession with berry cakes began.  We had an amazing sheet cake from Hansen’s bakery- a white angel food cake with fresh strawberries and whipped cream frosting!  One might call it heaven on earth.

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When it came time to decide what kind of cake I wanted to make for my actual birthday, I could think of no other option but a delicious berry cake!  I searched far and wide for the perfect recipe and ended up melding the Martha Stewart Perfect White Cake recipe with a Classic Whipped Cream Frosting recipe and topped it off with some fresh berries!

cake ingredients:

2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans

4 1/2 cups cake flour (not self-rising) plus more for pans

1 1/2 cups whole milk

9 large egg whites, lightly beaten

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

2 tablespoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

2 1/4 cups sugar

directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour three 9-by-2-inch round cake pans, tapping out excess flour; set aside.

In a medium bowl, stir together, milk, egg whites, and extracts. Into a second medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed for 30 seconds. With machine running, gradually add the sugar. Continue beating until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl as necessary.

Add one-third of the flour mixture and one-third of the milk mixture, and beat on low speed until just incorporated. Add remaining flour and milk mixtures in 2 separate batches beating between additions to mix thoroughly. Scrape down sides of bowl, and stir by hand to finish.

Divide batter evenly between prepared pans. Smooth surface with a rubber spatula. Bake until top of cake springs back when lightly pressed and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes.

Let cakes cool in pans on wire racks for 5 minutes. Run a small metal spatula around the sides of the pan, and invert cakes onto greased racks. Reinvert cakes onto cooling rack. Let cool completely before filling.

Frosting ingredients:

3 cups heavy cream

3 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar

3 teaspoons vanilla extract

directions:

In a large bowl, whip cream until stiff peaks are just about to form. Beat in vanilla and sugar until peaks form. Make sure not to over-beat, cream will then become lumpy and butter-like.

filling ingredients:

your choice of fresh berries

orange liqueur, optional

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cake assembly:

Place one cake layer on a cake stand. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of orange liqueur over the cake, then spread 1/4 of the whipped cream frosting evenly over top of cake. Sprinkle with a few strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and/or raspberries.

Top with a second layer. Repeat with a second layer. Top with third cake layer.  Spread remaining whipped cream evenly over surface of cake. Decorate cake with desired berries.

Below is a peak to see what the cake looked like sliced.  Looking back, I definitely could have used more frosting in between the layers!

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