Strawberry Champagne Layer Cake

This is a beautiful and very delicious cake. But I've nicknamed it Trainwreck Cake. Not because it's a particularly difficult recipe but because I was just having one of those mornings, and my own clumsiness was a disaster. Everything turned out great though, and it tasted as good as it looked.

Ingredients:

Cake:
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • cups all-purpose flour
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup Champagne or sparkling wine, room temperature
  • 5 large egg whites, room temperature
Frosting:
  • cups chopped fresh strawberries
  • cups heavy whipping cream, divided
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • ¼ cup Champagne or sparkling wine
  • Garnish: fresh strawberries

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray 2 (9-inch) round cake pans with baking spray with flour. Line the bottom of pans with parchment paper, and spray again.
  2. For the cake: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar at medium speed until fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of the bowl. Beat in vanilla.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with Champagne, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating just until combined after each addition. Transfer to a large bowl.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites at high speed until stiff peaks form. Gently fold egg whites into the batter, one-third at a time. Divide batter between prepared pans, smoothing tops with an offset spatula.
  5. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 22 to 28 minutes. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks.

For the frosting:
  1. In the work bowl of a food processor, pulse strawberries and ¼ cup cream. Pour mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Add remaining 2¼ cups cream, and beat strawberry purée, confectioners’ sugar, and Champagne with a mixer at high speed until stiff peaks form (do not overbeat).
  2. Using a serrated knife, cut each cake layer in half horizontally. Spread frosting between layers and on top and sides of the cake. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. Garnish with strawberries, if desired.

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