Strawberry Birthday Cake

Strawberry birthdayCake.jpg

Strawberry Birthday Cake

Ingredients; Cake layers

1 cup butter, softened

2 cups granulated sugar

3 large eggs

2 ¾ cups all-purpose soft-wheat flour

2 tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. salt

1 cup milk

1 vanilla bean

Strawberry Compote

1 vanilla bean

1 ½ cups chopped strawberries

½ cup granulated sugar

1 Tbsp. dark rum

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 ½ cups butter, softened

½ (8oz) package cream cheese, softened

5 cups powdered sugar

2 tsp. vanilla extract

½ tsp. almond extract

Garnish: fresh strawberry halves

Method; Cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy.  Gradually add sugar, beating well.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating until blended after each addition.

Combine flour, baking powder, and salt: add to butter mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture.  Beat at low speed until blended after each addition, stopping to scrape bowl as needed.  Split vanilla bean lengthwise, and scrape out seeds.  Stir seeds into batter; reserve bean for another use.  Pour batter into 2 greased and floured 8-inch round cake pans with 2-inch sides.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 to 34 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in centre comes out clean.  Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes.  Remove from pans and place on wire racks to cool completely (about 1 hour)

Compote

Split vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape out seeds.  Stir together vanilla bean and seeds, strawberries, and sugar in a medium saucepan.  Cook over a medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes, or until strawberries are soft and mixture is slightly syrupy.  Remove from heat; discard vanilla bean.  Stir in rum.  Cool completely (about 30 min).

Frosting

Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer for about 3 minutes or until creamy.  Gradually add powdered sugar, beating at low speed until smooth.  Beat at medium speed for 1 minute, or until fluffy.  Stir in extract’s, garnish if desired.

Using a serrated knife, slice cake layers in half horizontally to make 4 layers.  Place 1 layer cut side up on a cake plate.  Spread with half of strawberry compote.  Top with another cake layer; spread with about ¾ cup cream cheese frosting.  Place another cake layer on top of frosting spread with strawberry compote.  Top with remaining cake layer.  Spread with 1 ½ cups frosting on top and sides of cake to make a thin layer of frosting.  Chill cake for 30minutes.  Spread cake with remaining cream cheese frosting.  Store in refrigerator.

Makes 16 servings

Hands on time; 53 min. Total time; 2 hr., 46min.

Tried and tested in the THASC kitchen

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