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!
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
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease & line three 8-inch cake pans.
Whisk the cake flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda together. Set aside.
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!)
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.
Pour batter evenly into pans. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow cakes to cool.
Heavy Cream Frosting
In a cold mixing bowl, beat the whipping cream, cream cheese, vanilla extract. Add the confectioners' sugar on medium speed until fluffy.
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.