Vanilla layered Berry Cake

Unlike most food holidays, the Fourth of July is a day that tends to sneak up on us. People usually resort to their usual BBQ selection with classic potato salads, and ice cream for dessert. This year, on the other hand, I will not let the day go by without preparation; which begins now with some prideful recipes like this Vanilla layered Berry Cake!

Dessert is especially overlooked at BBQ's because it is hot and let's face it, who wants to be indoors when the fun's outside. Over the years I have come to realize that if you go the extra mile to prepare a wonderfully delicious dessert in advance, 9/10 people will eat it and appreciate you for turning on those ovens in 80° weather!

This layered cake is spongy, light, and the perfect canvas for the whipped cream cheese frosting and berries!

 
My Portuguese Mother - Vanilla layered Berry Cake
My Portuguese Mother - Vanilla layered Berry Cake
My Portuguese Mother - Vanilla layered Berry Cake

Ingredients 

Vanilla Cake 

  • 3 and 2/3 cups cake flour

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 and 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

  • 2 cups granulated sugar

  • 3 large eggs, room temperature

  • 2 egg whites, room temperature

  • 1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract 

  • 1 and 1/2 cups buttermilk, at room temperature

Heavy Cream Frosting 

  • 1 cup powdered sugar

  • 4 oz. cream cheese

  • 2 3/4 cups heavy cream, cold

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)

  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract

  • 2 cups variety berries, sliced and halved ( such as strawberries, blueberries, blackberries)

  • 1 cup sliced pineapple, save the juice for soaking cake

Recipe

Vanilla Cake 

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease & line three 8-inch cake pans.

  2. Whisk the cake flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda together. Set aside.

  3. Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides, beat in the 3 eggs, 2 egg whites, and vanilla extract until combined. (Mixture will look curdled, don’t worry!)

  4. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients until just combined. With the mixer running on low speed, pour in the buttermilk, and mix just until combined. Using a whisk or rubber spatula, fold the batter, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl, ensuring there are no lumps. 

  5. Pour batter evenly into pans. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow cakes to cool.

Heavy Cream Frosting 

  1. In a cold mixing bowl, beat the whipping cream, cream cheese, vanilla extract. Add the confectioners' sugar on medium speed until fluffy. 

  2. To assemble, place one of the cooled layers on a cake plate. Using a pastry brush, soak the layer with the pineapple juice. Add a ½ cup of the frosting, roughly spread and top with a ½ cup of the berries and pineapples. Repeat until the last layer. For the top, add the remaining frosting and decorate with berries. 



Strawberry Mint Scones

We are a week into Spring and although the weather may have not gotten the memo yet, my kitchen sure has! Spring cooking makes me happy!

The slightly warmer weather and sunshine gives me so much inspiration and motivation to bake with light and bright ingredients.

My favorite ingredients around this time are fruit! From citrus fruit to berries, I love to incorporate them in any way I can. And for my first bake of Spring 2019, I chose scones! To tell you the truth, scones always looked very heavy and dense and I have never had the desire to eat one, not until I tried this recipe. With one bite, I was hooked! From the light and buttery dough to the strawberry and mint filling, they scream spring!

This recipe was taken and adapted from one of my absolute favorite magazines, Bake from Scratch where they use basil instead of mint. What's great about this recipe is how versatile it is, so if mint or basil aren't your favorite herbs, you can easily substitute with thyme, or rosemary, or leave it out entirely.

Bake up a batch and enjoy them with a lovely cup of coffee or tea.

my Portuguese Mother // Strawberry Mint Scones
my Portuguese Mother // Strawberry Mint Scones
my Portuguese Mother // Strawberry Mint Scones
My Portuguese Mother // Strawberry Mint Scones

Ingredients

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour

  • ½ cup granulated sugar

  • 1 tablespoon baking powder

  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt

  • ¾ cup cold unsalted butter, grated

  • 1 cup diced fresh strawberries

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

  • ¾ cup whole milk

  • 2 large eggs, divided

  • 1 tablespoon heavy whipping cream

  • Garnish: sanding sugar

Recipe

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add cold butter, tossing to coat. Cover and freeze for 15 minutes. Stir in strawberries and mint.

  3. In a small bowl, whisk together milk and 1 egg. Add milk mixture to flour mixture, stirring and folding just until moistened. Turn out dough onto a heavily floured surface. Using well-floured hands, knead dough 5 to 10 times, about 1 minute. Roll dough to ¾- to 1-inch thickness. Using a bench scraper, cut the dough into triangles or use 2¾-inch round cutter, cut dough, rerolling scraps only once. Place on prepared pan.

  4. In a small bowl, whisk together cream and remaining 1 egg. Brush egg wash onto scones. Sprinkle with sanding sugar, if desired.

  5. Bake until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes.

  6. Let cool slightly; serve warm.

    Recipe by Bake from Scratch