Strawberry layer cake with whipped strawberry filling between moist layers of vanilla cake and an outside edge of crunchy Pirouette cookies. This is what Valentine's Day love is made of.
When I first saw this strawberry layer cake recipe in Rachael Ray magazine, I printed it out right away (come on, I'm not the only one who instantly forgets what volume of what magazine it was that I saw that recipe in that I had to try). I am not a fan of strawberries or dry cookies, but the vertical layers blew my mind for a minute. The line was drawn and I had to cross it.
Don't get any expectations people - this isn't a thirty minute strawberry layer cake.
You will get dirty and you will have fun making it, which sounds to me like the perfect kind of Valentine's dessert. 😉
Strawberry Spiral Cake
Every Day Rachael Ray magazine - December 2010
For the cake:
- 2 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 10 eggs, separated
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups granulated sugar, divided
- 4 tablespoons butter, melted
- ¼ cup fresh orange juice
For the Filling/Frosting:
- 1 ½ pounds (6 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 2 ¼ cups confectioners’ sugar, plus more for dusting
- One and a half 10-ounce bags frozen strawberries, thawed and pureed (about 2 cups)
- 6 egg yolks
- Ice water
- 2 teaspoons fresh orange juice
- Red food coloring (optional)
- Pirouette cookies, for decorating
Position a rack in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 350°. Lightly butter two 12-by-18-inch rimmed baking sheets, line with parchment and butter the parchment. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and ½ teaspoon salt.
Using an electric mixer with a whip attachment, beat 10 egg yolks, the vanilla and 1 cup granulated sugar at high speed until pale and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the flour mixture just until incorporated. Gently fold in the melted butter and ¼ cup orange juice.
In a clean mixer bowl with clean beaters, beat the egg whites at medium speed until frothy, 1 to 2 minutes. With the machine on, gradually sprinkle in the remaining 1 cup granulated sugar a tablespoon at a time. Once all the sugar has been added, increase the speed to high and beat until the egg whites are still moist but hold stiff peaks, 2 to 3 minutes. Fold one-quarter of the whites into the cake batter with a rubber spatula, then fold in the remaining egg whites just until no streaks remain, taking care to get the batter at the bottom of the bowl. Divide the batter between the prepared pans, smoothing evenly.
Bake the cakes, switching and rotating the pans after 10 minutes, until springy to the touch in the center and lightly golden, 16 to 18 minutes. Lay 2 non-terry kitchen towels out on the counter and dust lightly with confectioners’ sugar. With a serrated knife, trim around the edges of the cakes and invert onto the towels. Cover the layers with 2 other towels and let cool completely while you prepare the frosting.
Make the frosting. Using an electric mixer, beat the remaining 6 egg yolks and 2 ¼ cups confectioners’ sugar at medium-high speed until smooth and pale, about 2 minutes. Place the strawberries in a medium saucepan, cover and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until simmering, about 3 minutes. Gradually whisk the hot strawberry puree into the yolk mixture. Transfer the mixture into the saucepan, stir in the remaining ½ teaspoon salt and cook, stirring, until the temperature reaches 170° on an instant-read thermometer, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer the saucepan to an ice-water bath, stirring occasionally until cold (alternatively, let cool, then cover and refrigerate overnight).
Using the electric mixer, beat the remaining 6 sticks butter at high speed until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the chilled strawberry mixture ½ cup at a time at low speed. Beat in the remaining 2 teaspoons orange juice until fluffy. Add 1 or 2 drops red food coloring, if using.
Assemble the cake. With a serrated knife, cut each cake layer lengthwise into 4 even strips, keeping the strips close together. Spread 1 ½ cups of the strawberry buttercream onto each strip. Roll up 1 of the strips lengthwise into a snug spiral like a jelly roll. Place the roll on the end of another strip and roll up the second strip around the roll—this will be the center of the cake. Place the roll cut side down in the middle of a 10-inch round cake board. Pick up another frosted strip and place one of its ends at the end of the rolled strips on the board, frosting side in toward the roll; wrap it around to enlarge the cake. Continue with the remaining frosted cake strips, taking care to make the ends meet and rolling snugly.
Frost the top and sides of the cake (reserving some frosting for piping). Decorate the cake perimeter with the pirouette cookies and pipe a fluted edge of frosting on the top edge of the cake.
What I did/would do differently with the strawberry layer cake recipe:
The 8 strips you get when you cut the layers will make one huge cake once it is all rolled up. I only used 5 (and I even went out and purchased a new bigger cake plate).
The strawberry filling is just that; a filling. If I were to make this again I would make a strawberry cream cheese frosting to replace this and spread it very thinly over the layers (so that your teeth just don't fall out when eating this from the sugar overload).
I used fresh strawberries because its what the BF brought home from the store. Just add a tablespoon of water when pureeing.
My local store only had a mint flavored pirouettes. So I used Oreo Fun Straws that I found while trying to figure out if mint would mesh with strawberry. I decided that fake chocolate was better. Remind me not to buy those mint pirouettes next December when they seem like they are a great price.
Don't let the length of the instructions intimidate you. This strawberry layer cake was easy and fun to make. So get get messy in the kitchen with someone else or just for the hell of it. 😉
What do you think? Will you be trying this strawberry layer cake recipe?