I had never made an Italian Crème Cake before, in fact, I am not even sure I have ever eaten one before I made this cake. Since there were so many guests at the dinner party, I knew I wanted a sizable cake to serve. This is the first time I have ever made a cake that needed skewers for stability. I must admit that I forgot to pull them before slicing the cake, so apologies to my guests who got a special surprise in their cake slice. This cake is the perfect way to use summer strawberries. I finally have a second bowl for my KitchenAid mixer, so that made things even easier. Thanks to Restless Chipotle for the amazing recipe.
6 eggs, room temp
2 cups of sugar, divided
1 cup (2 sticks) of unsalted butter, room temperature
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups flour
¼ teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
16 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
1 ½ to 2 pounds of powdered sugar
A little buttermilk to thin if needed
2 quarts ripe strawberries, hulled and sliced
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour three 9-inch round cake pans. Separate the eggs, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Add ½ cup sugar gradually, beat until stiff peaks form. Set aside. Cream the butter, remaining sugar, vanilla and salt. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat until the mixture resembles whipped cream. Stir the baking soda into the buttermilk. Sift together the flour and baking powder. Add the buttermilk and flour mixture to the butter mixture in half cup additions, ending with the flour mixture. Gently fold in the egg whites. Spoon the batter into prepared pans, bake for 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool in pans for 5-10 minutes. Turn out onto wire racks and cool completely.
Beat the cream cheese and the butter together, add the vanilla. Add the powdered sugar, a little at a time, beating until it reaches a creamy consistency. Add a tablespoon of buttermilk to thin, if needed.
Place one cooled layer on a cake plate, spread a layer of cream cheese frosting over top. Top with a layer of strawberry slices. Top with the second cake layer, cream cheese frosting and another layer of strawberry slices. Top with the final cake layer and stabilized with wooden skewers. Frost the cake with the remaining cream cheese frosting. Stabilize layers with straws or wood skewers and frost with remaining cream cheese frosting. Arrange sliced strawberries on top of the cake. Chill for three hours, bring to room temperature before serving.
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