Friday, 18 April 2014

A Springalicious Cake

Spring is finally here! I’ve been waiting in my cold dark apartment for you for the last billion months. (I might be exaggerating). I can tolerate rain here and there when I know it won’t be weeks of straight up misery and that sunny days are around the corner. You know the saying “April showers bring May flowers”. (I actually say this to myself every time it rains in April).

Here’s a fun cake that seems to explode springtime! I bought these cute pastel egg sprinkles that I had to try on a cake. Add a vanilla cake, white chocolate, and strawberries and you’ve got gold. If it’s raining where you are, look at this cake and it might make you happier. Better yet, go bake it and then you can look at it in real life! REAL LIFE!

Springalicious Cake

Adapted slightly from Baked (Whiteout Cake).


2 ½ cups cake flour

¾ cups all purpose flour

1 Tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

¾ teaspoon salt

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1 1/3 cup sugar

1 Tablespoon vanilla (I added ¼ teaspoon ground vanilla bean)

1 egg, room temperature

1 ½ cups ice water

3 egg whites, room temperature (be sure to separate them while cold)

¼ teaspoon cream of tartar


1.  Line 3 8-inch round cake pans with parchment and grease and flour the sides. I used 6-inch pans. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2.  Into a large bowl, sift both flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

3.  In a stand mixer with the beater attachment, beat butter on high until softened, about 2 min. Add sugar and vanilla until fluffy, about 3 min.

4.  Scrape down bowl, add egg, and beat until combined. Scrape down sides and bottom.

5.  Add 1/3 of flour mixture and mix on low. Add ½ of ice water and mix on low until just combined. And another 1/3 of flour and mix on low. Add the remaining ice water and mix. Add the rest of the flour and mix until just combined.

6.  In a clean bowl and with a clean whisk, beat egg whites until foamy. Add cream of tartar and beat on high until soft peaks form.

7.  Fold the egg whites into the batter, making sure you scrape the bottom of the bowl.

8.  Divide into the three pans and bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pans for 20 minutes before turning out and cooling completely.

Before and after folding in egg whites.

Before and after baking.

Fluffy White Chocolate and Strawberry Frosting (see notes below)


6 oz white chocolate roughly chopped

1 ½ cups sugar

1/3 cups flour

1 ½ cups milk

1/3 cup heavy cream

1 ½ cups butter, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup strawberries, blended into a puree


1.  Melt white chocolate in a double boiler, then set aside to cool (but not harden).

2.  In a medium pot, combine sugar, flour, milk, and cream and mix and whisk over medium heat until thick and bubbly. If the bottom gets burned, strain the mixture so you don’t get any of the burned bits.

3.  Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until cool (alternatively, cool in the fridge over night).

4.  Gradually add bits of butter and beat on high until combined. This may take up to 20 minutes (hopefully not, but it happened to me once. True story.)

5.  Add melted chocolate and vanilla and beat until fluffy.

6.  Divide half of frosting to a bowl. With the remaining frosting, add strawberry puree gradually. You may not need to use all of the puree, observe the consistency as you go along – you don’t want it too soft.

Too tall on the left; more appropriate on the right.


1.  If you baked the cakes in smaller than 8-inch tins like I did, you may want to slice the cakes and only use 2 layers (4 layers after slicing) otherwise it might be too tall (check out photo). I made a mini-cake out of the third layer.

2.  Smear a small amount of frosting on the cake plate. Place first cake layer on the plate. Top with strawberry frosting and place another layer on top. Repeat with remaining layers.

3.  Crumb coat entire cake with white frosting and place in freezer for 15 minutes to set.

4.  Coat bottom half of cake with strawberry frosting and upper half and top with white frosting. Use a hard spatula to smooth it out. Pipe designs as desired with remaining frosting.

Notes: The frosting super failed on me. I’ve made cooked flour frostings before, but for some reason it didn’t work this time around and I have no idea why. Turned into a soupy mess. But I managed so salvage it by making a basic buttercream (1 cup butter, 4 cups icing sugar) and slowly beating in the majority of the soupy mess and white chocolate. I hope you have better luck, but be warned!

Verdict: This cake was awesome! Despite the failed frosting (which I managed to salvage, thank you very much) I really liked it, and so did my colleagues it seems. It was fluffy and moist and had good texture – everything I want in a cake. The salvaged frosting turned out really fluffy and melt-y in the mouth. A perfect match.