Easter Basket Cake with Fresh Strawberries
- 2 2/3 cup cake flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 2/3 cups C&H® Granulated Sugar
- 3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
- 3 eggs
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup milk
- Strawberry Glaze (recipe follows)
- 5 cups (2 batches) Buttercream Frosting (see Related Recipes links)
- 2 pints fresh strawberries, washed and hulled
- 1 cup strawberry preserves
- 2 tablespoons water
Preheat oven to 375° F. Generously grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans. Line bottoms with waxed or parchment paper. Grease paper for extra insurance! In small bowl, stir together flour, baking powder and salt. Beat sugar and butter in large bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla. Add flour mixture and milk alternately, beginning and ending with flour mixture, mixing on low speed.
Bake in prepared pans for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes; invert onto cooling rack. Remove paper and cool completely. Using long serrated knife, cut each layer in half horizontally, forming 4 equal layers.
Prepare 2 batches of Buttercream Frosting. Frost each cake layer, on top of Strawberry Glaze. Stack cake layers on serving platter, and frost top and sides of cake.
To Make Basket Weave: Draw vertical lines at 1-inch intervals on sides of frosted cake. Fit a pastry bag with plain round tip and fill with frosting. Pipe a vertical cord of frosting from top to bottom of cake over marked lines. Using another pastry bag fitted with a basket weave tip, pipe a short horizontal ribbon across cord. Repeat, piping horizontal ribbons down the length of the cord, leaving a space between ribbons that is the same width as the ribbons. Repeat, alternating between piping ribbons and cords to finish basket weave.
Fill another pastry bag with a star tip and pipe frosting around top edge of cake. Mound whole berries in center of cake.
In small saucepan, combine strawberry preserves and water. Bring to boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and strain. Using pastry brush, brush each cake layer with Strawberry Glaze, before frosting.