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signs of spring

Recipe: strawberry chiffon and buttercream cake

My interview with the Times Online went live today. Go check it out, then come back for some strawberry chiffon and buttercream caaaaaaaake.

It’s official. The ski rack is off the car. We haven’t put the bike rack on yet because I have this fear of driving into the garage and killing my new ride.

We upgraded my mountain bike this weekend! I tend to think of it as a belated equivalent of the ten-year diamond anniversary ring, since my engagement mountain bike is 13 years old. Jeremy and I are pleased as punch that I never fell prey to the diamond industry’s marketing campaign: that somehow I *need* a diamond ring. Pshaw. The only thing I can think of using a diamond ring for is better served by a set of brass knuckles.

I accept that spring has come to the mountains and summer will be hot on her heels. Our pattern of afternoon thunderstorms is setting up. The slush on the trails will eventually give way to mud which will give way to wildflowers and endless miles of beautiful hikes, bikes, and runs. Kaweah has her inaugural spring eye infection right now, most likely from rubbing her face in all manner of melting junk on the trail. Hurrah!

checking on the pasque flower’s progress

Ever since I learned to make chiffon cake and swiss meringue buttercream frosting, I have made this ensemble each spring – before it’s too hot to even *think* about baking or Swiss meringue buttercreaming. For me, it is Eating Spring. I never blogged the recipe properly, so I decided to get off my bum and post it for dear Meeta’s Monthly Mingle at What’s For Lunch Honey.

it’s all about strawberries

If you can get your hands on some fragrant, juicy strawberries, do so. It is worth it and yes, you can taste the difference. The first thing to do is wash 2-3 cups of strawberries and lop the tops off. When I first attempted making this cake two years ago, I read somewhere (perhaps a tip from the amazing Rose Levy Beranbaum), to freeze the strawberries before puréeing because freezing pops the cell walls and releases better flavor. I do this. When the strawberries have frozen solid (i.e. it hurts to get hit with one), thaw them out completely and purée them in a food processor or blender. I love the deep red color of berry purées. Wear an apron.

freeze before the thaw

Now, you can strain the seeds out if you like. Just pass the slurry through a fine mesh sieve. I think of that when I get a strawberry seed caught in my teeth. However, I really like the texture of the seeds in the cake and frosting, and I also like the look of the seeds in the cake and frosting. I always leave them in (plus, I hate cleaning that damn sieve). I have a base chiffon cake recipe I use from my pastry course which I flavor accordingly. This cake works with vanilla chiffon cake, but I like the idea of a strawberry chiffon more, so that is what I stick with.

add some purée

fold whipped whites to lighten the cake batter

In the past, I’ve always baked my chiffon cakes in 9×2-inch round cake pans. I acquired some 9×3-inch cake pans last summer and decided to try them out on this recipe. *sigh* Anyone who follows me on Twitter knows that I had issues yesterday. The centers did not bake through (should have added 15 minutes to the baking time instead of just 5). Still, I managed to salvage some layers from the edges to make a couple of small cakes.

strawberry purée in the buttercream frosting

that is seriously good stuff

With the cake rounds and buttercream frosting at the ready, I began the assembly. Instead of a simple syrup flavored with booze, I went for straight booze because the Grand Marnier is a little too subtle when diluted in a simple syrup. Rather than brushing the Grand Marnier onto the cake, I prefer to fill a little squeeze bottle and squirt it directly onto the cake – less mess, more booze. Then I spooned some of the strawberry purée onto the cake layer. A lot of recipes call for jam, but honestly, the buttercream is sweet enough that unsweetened berries add flavor without making the ensemble overly sweet – something that makes my jaws hurt. [EDIT: I’ve since determined that the purée should go on top of the buttercream layer. Also, a quick heating on the stove with a little sugar and a bit of lemon helps to thicken the purée and deepen the color.]

don’t waste the booze, use a squeeze bottle

pipe buttercream between the layers

frost the cake

I find piping the buttercream onto the layer much easier than applying it with an icing spatula. [EDIT: Or if you spread the buttercream layer first and then the purée, it’s not a problem.] The buttercream is a slippery component that prefers to glide over the purée rather than adhere, so a pastry bag with plain tip can work wonders in that regard. I lay strips of wax paper down under the edges of the cake to keep the serving plate clean when I frost the sides. I’m including pictures of the large version from a previous bake too – but the little one sure is cute.

three-inch three-layer

in cross-section

This is one of my favorite cakes ever because I love strawberries, but cannot abide by *fake* strawberry flavors. It’s a fresh and light cake (just don’t tell them about the pound of butter) and never fails to wow guests. The mouthfeel is smooth and delicate. Strawberries are the first flavor to hit you, but the Grand Marnier steps in a few seconds later and lingers on the palate. Perfect for springtime.

the big kahuna

a generous slice of love

Strawberry Chiffon and Buttercream Cake
[print recipe]
parts of this recipe are scattered through the blog, so I’m compiling it all here for once

strawberry chiffon cake (2 9-inch rounds)
strawberry Swiss meringue buttercream frosting
2 cups strawberry purée
1/2 cup Grand Marnier (more as needed)

strawberry purée
1 lb. fresh ripe strawberries
2 tbsps sugar (or more to taste)
1/2 tsp lemon juice

Wash berries and trim the tops off. Freeze the berries solid. Completely thaw the berries and then purée in a blender or food processor. Place the purée in a medium saucepan with the sugar and lemon juice over medium heat. Stir occasionally until the purée comes to a boil. Stir while boiling until the purée thickens and darkens slightly (about 2 minutes or so). Remove from heat and let cool completely.

strawberry chiffon cake
makes two 9×3-inch rounds

14.5 oz. cake flour
8.75 oz. confectioner’s sugar
6.75 oz. whole milk
6 oz. canola oil
3.25 oz. eggs
0.5 oz. baking powder (omit at 8500 ft.)
13 oz. egg whites
9.5 oz. granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3-4 oz. strawberry purée or 2 tbsps powdered freeze-dried strawberries

Oven 375°F. Prep pans brushing melted butter on the bottoms and sides. Line the base of each pan with parchment rounds and butter the parchment. Sift cake flour, confectioner’s sugar, baking powder (if using), and powdered freeze-dried strawberries (if using) into a large bowl. Stir the milk, oil, eggs (except the 13 oz. of egg whites), vanilla extract, and if using, the strawberry purée into the dry ingredients until combined. In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites and granulated sugar to medium peaks. Gently fold the whipped meringue into the batter, a quarter at a time. If you add it all at once, the thick batter will deflate the meringue.

Divvy the batter between the two prepared pans. Bake until set. Start to check at 25 minutes by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cake. The cake is ready when the center comes out clean. For 9×3-inch pans, make sure the toothpick goes deep enough as the center takes much longer to bake through (probably closer to 40 minutes for me). Remove from oven and remove from pan. Let cool on a rack. Wrap the cakes in plastic and freeze (I don’t do this, I let them cool on the rack and then cut them). You will either be able to get 3 layers from one cake, or four layers from two cakes… it all depends on how tall you want your cake and how many layers of cake you want (I prefer 4 layers). After two hours, remove cake from freezer and cut into 3 layers with a sharp serrated knife – or if you used 9×2-inch pans, cut two layers from each cake.

strawberry swiss meringue buttercream
8 oz. egg whites
16 oz. sugar
1 lb. butter, room temperature
4 oz. strawberry purée or 2-3 tbsps of powdered freeze-dried strawberries

Combine egg whites and sugar in a Kitchenaid mixing bowl. Whisk constantly over a gently simmering hot water bath until 140°F is reached. Remove from heat. Set the bowl on the mixer and using the whisk attachment, whip until stiff. Turn down speed to 3rd and whip until cool to the touch (this takes a while – should be cooler than your hand). Change to a paddle and gradually add soft butter by tablespoon pieces. Mix to emulsify. Once desired consistency has been reached, add purée and mix well.

Assembly: Set first cake layer, cut-side up, on a serving plate with wax paper strips tucked partly under the edges of the cake. Drizzle or squeeze (if using squeeze bottle) Grand Marnier evenly over the cake. Spread a layer of buttercream over the cake, then spread a thin layer of purée on top. Repeat cake, Grand Marnier, buttercream, and purée again and then top with the last layer of cake – or go for four layers which is *awesome*. Crumb coat the sides of the cake with buttercream. Refrigerate for an hour. Remove cake from refrigerator and finish frosting the entire cake with remaining buttercream. Garnish with fresh strawberries. Serve at room temperature.

more goodness from the use real butter archives

strawberry buttercream macarons strawberry semifreddo strawberry brown butter tarts strawberry vanilla jam

94 nibbles at “signs of spring”

  1. Ciaochowlinda says:

    Could this be any more beautiful or delicious? I don’t think so.

  2. Phoo-D says:

    Oh this cake makes me wish I knew someone with a birthday this month! Maybe I’ll have to make one up. It looks wonderful and full of strawberry flavor. Yum.

  3. Kate says:

    Great article! I like the picture of you. We hardly ever get to see your face. :)

    I can’t wait to try this cake. I’ve only recently begun experimenting with baking. I’ve mastered angel food cake so (I’ve been afraid to try because beating the egg whites to the right consistency seemed intimidating) so now I can conquer the world! Plus strawberries are in season.

    Thanks, Jen! I love your blog.

  4. Tartelette says:

    That’s an All-Star Rock Star interview there miss! Yeah!!
    Love the cake! You did a great great job! Wish I had a slice. Put one in the freezer for June, pretty please?!!

  5. heather says:

    Maybe the title should be ‘signs of stardom’? This cake is a-one!!



  6. Kristen says:

    So the cake part of the cake is officially going to be the base and top to my mother’s day strawberry-lemonade ice cream cake. I also made your lemon curd recipe and it is to-die-for! I could eat it all with a spoon. *yum*

  7. Kathy says:

    You are awesome Jen! I love what you make, and how you describe your methods! Let us not forget your gorgeous photography. You’ve got it goin’ on girl!

  8. charlane says:

    I want that in my mouth….gorgeous

  9. Rosa says:

    Beautiful spring flowers and cake! A delicious treat, yummy!



  10. Jillian says:

    I am on day five with out sugar, by choice, and this looks like the cure for my madness. How could I even consider life without sugar when cakes so beautiful exist!

  11. jennywenny says:

    Perfect, this is exactly the recipe I need! You’re a mindreading genius!

  12. peabody says:

    Oh my, that looks super good.

  13. Valerie says:

    Your desserts always look so incredibly beautiful! I’d love to do it, but so many steps…. I’m lazy and chicken! One of these days.

  14. Kirsa says:

    This is a lovely post. and as well very surprising. I explain:

    Your recipe for the fourth layers lemon cake was appealing to me, but I did prefer to choose from your previous recipes. So there I went, and collected the chiffon cake (lemon), lemon curd, simple limoncello syrup, lemon mousse and lemon buttercream recipes.

    So it’s going to be about the same thing, but with a whole ass-ton of lemons in it. Sadly, strawberries are not in season yet in Quebec, but I am also looking forward to making this one too, as, like Kate, seem to have just mastered how to do the chiffon cake so it wont actually stay a big piece of dense gooey stuff.

    Also, just as was wondering how to do a good job with the icing, this tip ! Wonderful !
    P.S.: Gotta love also the half cup of grand marnier !

  15. Jamie says:

    Wow, an Interview with Times Online! Congrats! You must be so proud of your blog! I know I am.

    I envy you to be able to go moutain biking in CO. I wanna come. But alas, Now that I am over 5 months preggo, I cannot be so rough.

    My only wish now is to eat this cake. It looks blissful. :)

  16. sammyw says:

    looks so good, perfect for spring :) i made some very similar cupcakes on my blog recently

  17. Eat. Travel. Eat! says:

    Congratulations on the interview with Times Online!

    This is another great post. Love your photos, and the cake looks so delicious with all the fresh strawberries! I think it would be good even without the Grand Marnier.

  18. Fiona says:

    Of course you need a diamond ring! What else will you use to cut through the glass at the last minute, saving you (and probably a group of helpless civilians) from certain death? Everyone knows that’s what engagement rings are really *for*.

    In other news: that cake looks divine. I’m a blueberry/lemon freak myself, so I might use your lemon curd for filling and mess around with a blueberry flavor for the fruit. Mine will look like a drunken wombat made it, but I’ll close my eyes, pretend it looks like yours, and eat.

  19. Caitlin says:

    Dang. I want a generous slice of that kind of love.

    PS Diamond rings? Totally overrated. My favorite solution is from a friend who’s getting married this summer – he and his fiancee are casting their own wedding rings. The practice ones will be their engagement rings, how cool is that?

  20. Chocolate and Toast says:

    You are my hero. No, not just for your unbelievably awesome photos or ridiculously yummy recipes, but because you would salvage the edges of a failed cake and charge onward to the finish line. I would have made it only as far as the trash can, and then solace in the liquor cabinet. I will strive to do better!

  21. Debbie says:

    Looks so beautiful. Of all the food blogs I visit, your pictures are the best ones….

  22. cindy says:

    yum. all the photos are great…those strawberries and flowers! it is spring.

  23. helen says:

    Yum, I love the idea of strawberry cakes, and this is the best one I’ve seen so far.

  24. jo says:

    This looks absolutely gorgeous. Love the mini version and definitely have to try this out soon. We get a whole lot of strawberries here in Singapore which is about the cheapest of all the berry fruits. So this is just right!

  25. Pearl says:

    i love that photo of when the red is mixing with the white batter.

  26. Mollie says:

    LOVE the interview – and that is such a cute picture of you hon! So so happy you’re getting such great exposure. Love it.

    This cake looks great. I need to do a cake for a baby shower in a few weeks and this might be totally fantastic for that. But no booze for the mommy – any ideas on a substitute? This is a pretty ambitious cake for me, but if you say I can do it, I think it would be a hit!

  27. Kristin says:

    Congrats on the interview. The cake is gorgeous! I love love love strawberries & Grand Marnier together. Fortunately my kids like their strawberry shortcake “deconstructed” (nothing touching, plain berries) or I might be in trouble with the authorities for getting them drunk on shortcake.

  28. Mrs Ergül says:

    Great! I happen to need a reliable (non-chocolaty) cake recipe for my sweetheart’s birthday later this month! This definitely came at the right time! I always have a fear of splitting one cake into 2 layers or more! I am just not that balanced! While I know (and I know you will say) practise makes perfect, pleaseeee give me a couple of tips on splitting the cake layers. ;)

    take care ya?! xxoo

  29. Bria says:

    This looks amazing! I love strawberry cake and especially strawberry frosting (with real strawberries that is). I’m going to try your tip about freezing the first next time. Too bad strawberry season is over here in Australia :(

  30. Laura says:

    The cake is gorgeous. Your comments about straining made me laugh. I HATE straining stuff. I finally bought some fancy cone shaped thing (forget its name) and then decided it was crazy to strain so much anyway and have never used it.

  31. Karen B says:

    Oh, man. I just finished making strawberry jam and ate every last leftover berry. It’s a good thing the u-pick berry patch is just around the corner…I see a strawberry cake in my future. It looks wonderful.

    So you buttered the pan? I made a kumquat chiffon cake a few weeks ago and made the critical mistake of using non-stick spray. My beautiful chiffon cake turned into a dense pound cake as soon as it came out of the oven.

    I was laughing at how to tell if a berry is frozen solid…good test!

  32. Maja says:

    :) read the interview :), and i’m skeptical about freezing the strawberries, it has been my experience with frozen strawberries that they were also less flavorful and more watery … that being said, i never froze my own strawberries on purpose, i buy frozen strawberries when it’s not strawberry season … have you tried it both ways? i think i’m gonna try this recipe, i looove strawberries and it sounds absolutely delicious, but i think i’ll try making two and see what happens :D

  33. Meeta says:

    the thing i dislike about virtual events is that i can never grab the food and eat or taste it. this is just perfect! thanks for the entry and you rock in that interview!

  34. Happy Cook says:

    This looks so so yumm delicous.

  35. Pomme says:

    Gah, I’m so jalous you get strawberries already, we’ve got to wait at least another 6 weeks up here in Scotland… but then it’s going to be a strawberry fest, sorbet, jam, and now… cake!! Yum!!!

    Congrats on the interview…

  36. Pomme says:

    Damn, forgot to ask… what do you do with all the yolks? Most of the baking I do requires a lot more whites than yolk and I never quite know what to do with it….

  37. Jaslyn says:

    That looks amazing! I just recently made a strawberry chiffon cake as well for my sister’s birthday, it’s on my blog! But it’s only half as nice as this :(

  38. Glitzer says:

    Congrats!!! Your post at the Times is just simply amazing!!! Well deserved as you truly have great recipes and a great foody!!!

  39. Samantha says:

    Love the picture with the Times article…what a great smile! And you’re wielding a strawberry…even better!

    This recipe sounds amazing, I think I’m going to make it for my bible study monday for a birthday celebration!

  40. Wendy says:

    I LOVE the cute little cake! And I love your shots of frostings as well…always makes me want to lick the screen or stick my finger into your KitchenAid bowl :)
    After reading your review…how can you live without a TV?!? Maybe its because I’m a) from HK b) teenager, I cannot live without a tv.

  41. Emily says:

    This may seem like a stupid question but I’m in Australia and we use the metric system….
    In your swiss buttercream recipe you list 16oz of sugar & 1lb of butter. But isn’t there 16 ounces in a pound? So therefore 1 lb of sugar & 1 lb of butter?

  42. Amy says:

    Love the interview! And, I am totally making that cake. Yum.

  43. Rashmi says:

    Love the interview….your photos just make me to reach out and gobble up the cake :-)

  44. holly says:

    This may be the thing I have to make for graduation weekend. So lovely!

  45. Patricia Scarpin says:

    Oh, my dear and FAMOUS friend (love the interview! Did not know you did not have a TV!)), this is right up my alley – when I was little, mom spoiled me really bad with loads of strawberry. I deeply love this fruit and long for winter (when they are available here) so I can eat, and eat, and eat them. :)

    Jen, the cake looks beautiful and I’m all for the seeds.

  46. miss jane says:

    Congrats on the Times interview! I’m so glad that I found your blog. Love the photography and your commentary. I’m a recent convert to chiffon cakes having been a long time devotee of Genoise. I can’t wait to try this one and the lemon.

  47. Michelle says:

    Really beautiful cake.

  48. lisa (dandysugar) says:

    This is such a pretty and enticing cake. I love strawberry cakes, I can almost taste it right now. It’s such a great recipe!

  49. winfu says:

    Great interview and fabulous cake! I feel like I could just reach out and eat it thru my monitor!

  50. sandla says:

    Oh my God, that looks super good.

  51. joanne at frutto della passione says:

    That looks amazing (no suprpise there) and congrats on the interview/top 50! How exciting.

  52. Manggy says:

    Okay, compromise– can Jeremy get you an anniversary brass knuckle? Hee hee :) Hey, I thought you’d segue into using the food mill, but yeah, I do love the seeds in the frosting too– it just screams, “I’m REAL, beeyotch!” Okay, really it reminds me of the cute strawberry cakes from Japanese bakeries. Love this! :)

  53. Margie says:

    Over the top! AMAZING. Grand Marnier AND strawberries? … I’ve died and gone to heaven. ;)

  54. Ceity says:

    I just made this, absolutely delicious!!! you’re so fancy and awesome, i <3!

  55. Abby says:

    Can’t say I don’t love diamonds; because I totally do.

    That being said I like OTHER things, too. Bikes included.

    And what gorgeous little cakes. And a big one. And you are so darn talented.

  56. jenyu says:

    Ciaochowlinda – awww, thank you!

    Phoo-D – yes, it’s a good enough cake that it’s worth it even without an occasion :)

    Kate – ah well, that’s because my face is usually behind the camera :) If you can bake angel food, I think the chiffon should be very doable for you. Good luck!

    Tartelette – ha! Well rock star, I’ll be waiting for yours next :)

    Heather – thanks!

    Kristen – mmm, that sounds lovely.

    Kathy – you’re so sweet! thank you :)

    Charlane – ;)

    Rosa – thank you!

    Jillian – oh noes! This cake might be worth a teensy bite, you know… just so you’re not missing out ;)

    Jennywenny – it’s a total winner (if you don’t tank the cake like I did)

    Peabody – mmm mmm good!

    Valerie – it’s some work, but I think the end result is worth it :)

    Kirsa – great! The more people who make chiffon cakes, the better the world we live in, I say!

    Jamie – thank you, you’re really kind. Best wishes on your soon-to-be addition to the fam!

    Sammyw – Nice!

    ETE – thank you! It *is* good without the GM, but… it’s REALLY good with the GM :)

    Fiona – ha ha ha ;) I was thinking of industrial diamond drill bits, but those are different grade! ha ha. The beauty of chiffon cake and buttercream frosting is that they are very versatile – great base recipes for all manner of lovely flavors and desserts. Drunken wombat? I love that ;)

    Caitlin – that is a cool idea! I’m all for making stuff :)

    Chocolate and Toast – oh! sometimes I want to find solace in the liquor cabinet, but all we have are desserty boozes ;) Trust me, it wasn’t pretty salvaging the cake.

    Debbie – I’m flattered *blush*. Thank you!

    Cindy – yay spring!

    Helen – I love strawberry cakes too, which is why I love to make this one! So… strawberry-ee, you know? :)

    Jo – go for it!

    Pearl – :)

    Mollie – aww, I think you’re my biggest (only?) fan :) Of course, that makes complete sense since everyone knows I blog FOR YOU ;) Instead of booze, you can use a simple syrup (check out any of my chiffon cake recipes, most have a simple syrup in there) flavored with vanilla (isn’t that booze though?) or even mixed with some strawberry puree? You can also omit a soaking liquid altogether b/c the buttercream frosting is so creamy and dreamy.

    Kristin – ah ha ha! I can only imagine how happy those kids would be ;)

    Mrs. E – I think the key to good cake layers is a good sharp serrated knife. But… if you freeze the cakes (wrapped in plastic) for several hours and then slice them, they will be fairly solid (easier to cut). Also, I usually slice a line around the outside – allllll the way around so that I know the line is even (you can measure the height every 90 degrees and pop a toothpick in as guidance for your knife). Then I follow the pre-cut line with my knife and it usually comes out fine. Try that, I think it should work.

    Bria – oh bummer! Fresh and in season really makes a difference, but… you could always try it with frozen store-bought and see how it turns out.

    Laura – a chinois? I used to have one of those. Who in their right mind wants to clean something like that? I returned it (never having used it, I figured the idea of cleaning it was enough to send it back).

    Karen – I’m jealous of your u-pick. I need to find me one of those around here. Yup, I butter the pan. I have buttered all of the pans. Without butter, they just won’t release for me.

    Maja – If those strawberries were store-bought frozen, then I am not surprised that they suck because they were probably not ripe when frozen. Freeze your own ripe strawberries – huge difference. And yes, I’ve tried every way possible (store bought frozen, store bought fresh, farmer’s market fresh…)

    Meeta – ;) thanks for hosting the mingle, hon!

    Happy Cook – thanks.

    Pomme – Oooh, strawberry fest. I miss that about living in Southern California :( As for yolks… that’s what custard-based ice cream is for! If it weren’t for David Lebovitz’ ice cream book, I would be screwed and up to my armpits in egg yolks. You can also make creme brulee (yum).

    Jaslyn – aww, thank you!

    Glitzer – that’s sweet of you – thanks!

    Samantha – thank you :) hope they all enjoy the cake.

    Wendy – it’s easy living without a tv :) I have way too many other things I’d rather do than sit on a couch and let my brain rot ;)

    Emily – yes, 16 oz. of butter an 16 oz. of sugar. I apologize for the VERY STUPID imperial system that we use in the states because it really is ridiculous. I will try to standardize in the future.

    Amy – :)

    Rashmi – thanks!

    Holly – they’ll love it! I only know of one person who doesn’t like strawberries :)

    Patricia – you’re such a sweetie. Thank you :) I am jealous that you get strawberries in winter! How awesome is that?!

    Miss Jane – thank you! oh, I love the genoise too, just that chiffon seems to be more stable for me at high elevation, but I will conquer that too ;)

    Michelle – thank you :)

    Lisa – thanks!

    Winfu – awww, thank you.

    Sandia – :)

    Joanne – it was as surprising to me as it was exciting!

    Manggy – great idea! But I do like the bike much better ;) I was thinking of the food mill, but yeah, the seeds are quite nice in the strawberry cake and frosting.

    Margie – thanks hon.

    Ceity – woohoo! Good on ya! I’m always impressed when readers up and make some of the more complex recipes – way to go!

    Abby – thanks, sweetie. There is a lot to like in this world, and honestly, I love diamonds from a geological perspective! Just not on my person :) xxoo

  57. Mrs Ergül says:

    Thanks! I will keep that in mind Teacher Yu! :)

  58. Aran says:

    what a great interview. so good to see your face too!

  59. Macie says:


  60. jennywenny says:

    I made the recipe into cupcakes, I halved the cake recipe and it was very good. I used crappy strawberries so it was a bit bland. Its a lovely light cake though, I think with a little strawberry filling it will be just right.

    Unfortunately I was a bit foolhardy with the frosting and added too much strawberry puree and it broke, I managed to redeem it by mixing up more frosting and combining. I think if I do it again I’ll make a puree by boiling jam and strawberries which kicks up the flavor a little.

  61. The Food Hunter says:

    What a gorgeous cake.

  62. jenyu says:

    Mrs E – :)

    Aran – aww, thanks!

    Macie – thank you :)

    Jennywenny – those cupcakes sound wonderful. I’ll have to give that a try. Yes, I’ve broken my buttercream before too (overzealous!). It’s just so tempting to add as much as you can.

    The Food Hunter – thanks!

  63. Debbi says:

    I’ve made this cake twice now. My daughter is getting married in 2010 and wants this for her wedding cake!! I found it easy once I got the measurements down (in the US it’s cups & stuff, I used a diet scale for some stuff, and the ounces of eggs was easy…!!!) Awesome cake. Thank you!!!

  64. jenyu says:

    Debbie – Actually, I’m *in* the US, but more and more bakers are moving toward weight measurements rather than volume measurements b/c weights are accurate and volumes are not (especially when talking about flour or powdered sugar… varies by density). So in the future, I’d recommend sticking to weights and perhaps getting a good kitchen scale. This is how we measured everything in my pastry class too. Kudos on rocking the cake!

  65. Wendi says:

    For some reason I’ve make this cake twice and it has shrunk like the dickens. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong…HELP!

  66. jenyu says:

    Wendi – wow, I hate to say it, but I don’t know what you’re doing wrong either – you haven’t told me what you’ve done.

  67. Wendi says:

    For some reason I’ve make this cake twice and it has shrunk like the dickens. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong.HELP please

  68. jenyu says:

    Wendi – okay, well. If that’s all you can tell me I don’t think I can help much. And if you send the same comment again, you’re going in the SPAM filter.

  69. Wendi says:

    Dear Jenyu,
    I’m sorry, I wasn’t trying to be coy. I’m wondering about shrinkage.
    I’ve followed the directions buttered the pans and parchment. Made sure all ingredients are at room temperature. I’m having to use 3- 9×2″ pans. I was hoping someone would know why the cakes look great coming out of the oven and then shrink down to about 8″ in diameter. I checked with a toothpick and there was no “goop” on it. Just a few crumbs and the centers bounced back.
    The first time I beat the whites very stiff and the cake shrunk somewhat so I thought I had over mixed the wet ingredients and over beat the whites so I didn’t mix the wet ingredients as much the first time and only did medium peaks for the whites. Folded gently. (there seems to be a lot of controversy out there as to how stiff the whites should least in the cook books I have)
    The second time was when the cakes shrunk a lot more. So, now I’m wondering if I shouldn’t be buttering the sides of the pans(as per instructions) since when it is in a tube pan the pan is not greased.
    I love this cake…a friend of mine made it last weekend and I’d really like to get it right.
    Thank you in advance for your help.

  70. Wendi says:

    By the way, i just noticed my original post was posted twice and I have no idea why that happened. Sorry about that, bizarre

  71. jenyu says:

    Wendi – sure thing, just that we have zero tolerance for SPAM here, so I had to know you were a human commenter. I think there is always some shrinkage – this is what I encounter too. However, some folks don’t butter their pans. You might try that. Otherwise… I think because there is a lot of hot air in the cake, when it settles and cools, it will always shrink a little bit. Alternatively, you can ask your friend what they did when they baked it and compare notes. Good luck.

  72. Trinity says:

    Hi! I followed your cake recipe and it was delicious! I was slightly intimidated by the Swiss Meringue buttercream, so I made an easier icing. Your layers are much neater and prettier than mine, but the cake was delicious and all my friends loved it! Thank you so much. I posted a couple photos on my blog if you fancy a look ;)

  73. Erika says:

    OK..I am on attempt number 3 with this frosting, It always tastes great, but I can never get it stiff!! Hopefully it will come out today..

  74. Melanie says:

    I searched for hours and days to find a cake for one of my best friends. My requirements were it was made with real strawberries. All I could find was ones with jello in it. (Those wimps!) Thanks you so much! This is the last birthday I will spend with this friend in a very long while and wanted it to be perfect for her.

  75. Shannon says:

    This was amazing and loved by all!! thanks for sharing :)

  76. Strawberry Chocolate Cheesecake | Andrea Meyers says:

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  77. Holly says:

    This recipe looks great and i can’t wait to give it a try! :)
    I’m wondering if it’s possible to substitute the strawberries with blueberries?

  78. Nick says:

    I tried this cake and it came out wonderful! Instead of 4 layers I did six, apparently I had extra batter for another 9*2 pan!! the buttercream was devine!

  79. Melinda says:

    How many people can this cake serve and are strawberries in season in MAY?

  80. jenyu says:

    Melinda – probably 10-12 people. Depending where you live, strawberries can be very much in season in May! Like California :)

  81. Rita says:

    Hi there, I stumbles onto your blog and fell in love with this cake. I wanted to see if you could offer permission to copy this recipe so that I can save it to my files, so come Spring I can make this for my family? Please let me know. Thanks.

  82. jenyu says:

    Rita – oh absolutely, dear! The permission to reproduce is mostly for online or publication, but if you want to print it to make the recipe, that’s totally fine :) I hope you like it – it’s a lovely cake.

  83. Naomi says:

    This cake looks perfectly delicious… I skimmed through the comments and didn’t see my question answered; forgive me if I missed it…

    Can I make this cake ahead of time and freeze it? I’m sure the cake itself would be fine, but any ideas on how the filling and buttercream would hold up?


  84. jenyu says:

    Naomi – I don’t know about freezing as I haven’t tried it. I know you can refrigerate it for a few days… You CAN make the cake and the buttercream ahead of time and freeze the cake (wrap in plastic) and the buttercream. To get the buttercream back to a nice consistency, you’ll have to defrost it then whip it again before frosting. I hope that helps some… Maybe try making a small version and freeze it to see how it holds up – I can’t think of why it wouldn’t, but… I would hate for it to turn out badly.

  85. Naomi says:


    I think I’ll definitely try a smaller test version first. The real thing would be a wedding cake for 150… don’t really want to take my chances…. :)


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  87. Sandy says:

    Hi, I want to try making this awesome looking strawberry cake, but I’m serving it to children. Is there any alternatives to grand marnier? & if I don’t have grand marnier what other alcoholic drinks can I add? Is remy Martin okay?

  88. jenyu says:

    Sandy – yes, you can omit the booze and just use a simple syrup (sugar and water) or swap out for any booze you like or go for straight booze without the sugar syrup. I do suggest testing it with a scrap of cake though, to make sure it tastes good to you.

  89. Dorothy says:

    Is there anything you can use to replace the Booz? Thank you. Cake looks wonderful.

  90. jenyu says:

    Dorothy – You can omit the booze and just use simple syrup or simply syrup that is infused with strawberries?

  91. Paula says:

    This is a beautiful recipe! Thank you so much for sharing it with all of us! I’m planning on making individual small ones for my dad’s 80’s birthday party coming up. I noticed that there seems to be some people who are a bit weary of trying the Swiss Meringue Buttercream. I can totally understand their hesitation, as I felt the same way initially. I hope you don’t mind me saying so but there is another baker/blogger that has an entire section on her site that thoroughly covers Swiss Meringue Buttercream, and her blog completely eliminated all my fears of attempting it! Her website is And I believe she calls it “Demystifying Swiss Meringue Buttercream. If not for having come across this I know for a fact I would’ve thrown out my first couple attempts! Instead I just followed her instructions, and have yet to have a failed recipe by doing so! I hope this may help anyone who is too nervous to try the Swiss Meringue Buttercream, as I now use nothing but SMB! I just cannot go back to regular icing now, as the SMB is just so much better, and a step above all other recipes I’ve ever tried when it comes to icing! Thank you for all you do on your blog though, you’re just as amazing! :-)

  92. Lux says:

    This looks like such a lovely cake! I want to try making it for my mother’s birthday. I don’t bake a ton so I was wondering about how the ounces of eggs and such should be measured. I have the tool used to measure in ounces, so do I just keep measuring more egg yolks & whites until it reaches the right measurement?
    And sorry if this isn’t a good question, but I wondered if the buttercream tastes like butter because if so, I wondered if I might mix the strawberry puree with something lighter like cool whip.
    Thank you!

  93. jenyu says:

    Lux – Hi there! So the ounces are a measure of the weight and not the volume of the egg whites and eggs. I know it’s a little odd, but the recipe comes from my pastry school which measures by weight (it’s more accurate) since the weight of an egg varies significantly. I think the best way might be to set a bowl or measuring cup on a food scale (digital is best – I like the OXO kitchen scale that goes up to 11 lbs.) and adding an egg or egg white until you reach the specified weight. For some guideline, on average, an egg white from a large egg is about 1 ounce. The average weight of a large egg is about 1.75 ounces. Buttercream will taste like a sweet, buttery frosting and it is deceptively light and fluffy. You could use cool whip, but it lacks the structural strength to hold a cake together well (cool whip isn’t nearly as tasty as freshly whipped cream). Best of luck and I hope she likes it!

  94. Lux says:

    Just wanted to say thank you for the recipe and the helpful, timely reply! I successfully made the cake (although my buttercream was a lot more bumpy and less smooth haha) and it is impressive to behold in many ways.
    It was my first time making a cake with so many layers (I went for four) and my first time making buttercream of any kind so I had to get some help from my sisters. Baking the cake, making the buttercream and eating the cake were each marathons for me; altogether it must have taken me 6-8 hours or so. The only problem now is figuring out who to share the cake with, since there’s only two of us at home!

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