Yesterday was the hubby's birthday! He turned the big 2- ;) I cannot tell you his real age, can I? Because then of course, you would know my age (or at least a ball park). He is the love of my life (call it newlywed bliss :) and I wish him nothing but another year of health, happiness, love, sweet memories and lots and lots of laughter! Oh and of course....lots of time with Ninja and I :) I took the hubby to dinner at a really nice restaurant nearby that I've been to and really liked but that the hubby had not been too. We both had seafood- the hubby had Ahi Tuna and I had Red Snapper ...mmm....mmmm...good! And I found this adorable card that was meant to be--with cute little shar pei on it! Of course I had to get it! Though i wish the puppies had a black coat.
I realized I have not made too many cakes, because they are just too hard for me! And I have the awful trait, where I only like to do things that I am good at-- and making cakes is not one of them :/ They end up taking me forever and I create a huge mess! And the whole time, I am frustrated! Hahah...aren't I so convincing in why you should make a cake ;) Last year, the hubby's birthday cake, was the first cake that I ever made, and then I made a cake for Angie's birthday late that month-- both of which I did not feel came out that great, aesthetically. But I did really like how my Chocolate Fudge Cake, that I made for my Blog's first birthday, turned out. Granted it was chocolate- so I am sure I was biased. So, I was long overdue on more cake making practice.
Of course the hubby requested a cake that was not chocolate. And I joke, that whenever I make a cake that is not chocolate, you know it's true love :) This year, instead of Lemon Cake, he wanted a strawberry inspired cake-- that was the only hint he gave me. I know! So annoying! I searched and searched for a perfect recipe. I could not just settle on one recipe-- so this cake is a mix of different recipes I found. I wanted to try a creative recipe, especially for the frosting, because the hubby loves trying different things and I wanted to surprise him with something he was not expecting...and it worked! He really enjoyed it and then took some to work for his co-workers to enjoy as well.
He still has quite a bit of cake left and has made the very adult decision to eat cake for breakfast until he finishes :) That is why I married him- a man that appreciates cake for breakfast is a keeper!
This is definitely a more complicated recipe, but well worth it :)
Preheat Oven to 325F Degrees
FOR THE CAKE
1 box of white cake mix, sifted
1 c. cake flour, sifted
1 c. sugar
1 1/3 c. whole milk
1 c. sour cream
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract
4 egg whites
FOR THE FILLING
1 1/2 c. heavy whipping cream
2 cartons of strawberries (or 1 large carton)
FOR THE FROSTING
12 oz. of mascarpone cheese (1 1/2 containers)
2 tsp. vanilla
1 c. powdered sugar, sifted
2 c. heavy whipping cream
Optional: Graham Cracker Crumbs
For the Cake:
In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with paddle attachment, whisk together cake mix, flour and sugar. Then add in milk, sour cream, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract. Scrape down sides and mix again until well incorporated. Finally add in egg whites.
Grease 2-8 inch round pans. Divide batter equally among 2 pans. Bake for 30-40 minutes until the top of the cakes are slightly golden brown and inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow the cake to slightly cool. Then turn them out and let cool completely.
If cake is not completely flat, use either a cake leveler or knife, to make cake completely even.
For the Filling:
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, whip heavy whipping cream, on high speed until stiff peaks form. Set aside in refrigerator.
Using half a carton- hull strawberries and slice lengthwise. Set aside.
Keep in refrigerator until assembling cake. Reserve 1/2 carton of strawberries for decorating.
For the Frosting:
In a medium bowl, whisk together mascarpone cheese, vanilla and powdered sugar with a spatula until well blended and smooth. Then, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, whip heavy whipping cream, on high speed until stiff peaks form. Gently fold in whipped cream into the cheese mixture.
Assembling the Cake:
Place one 8-inch round cake on serving plate (on a cake turn table, preferred). Then using a large (1M) circle tip, pipe a border around the top (edge) of the cake (i.e., creating a wall). Make another border on top of the already piped border. You want a tall border to prevent the filling from spilling out. Within this border, place a large, heaping scoop of strawberry filling (you may not use all of the filling). Using a spatula, spread the strawberry filling over the top of the cake.
Gently place the second 8-inch round cake directly on top of filling, slightly pressing down and making sure the second layer of cake is perfectly aligned with the second. Cover cake with mascarpone frosting. Decorate as desired using the remaining frosting and strawberries.
Optional: After frosting the cake, but before decorating-- I chose to cover the side of the cake with graham cracker crumbs. I accomplished this by having a handful of graham cracker crumbs and pushing them against the side of the cake, very gently.