Balsamic Strawberries and Cream Vanilla Cake

10 people
50 min

The base from this cake is a modification from  Sally’s Baking Addiction (aka, the Queen of baking). However, her method uses the reverse creaming method. I wanted to make this cake using the method we all know and love creaming butter and sugar, adding the eggs, then adding the dry ingredients.

I’m posting this recipe in winter, but this really is a summertime vibes recipe. Strawberries? Whipped cream? Naked cakes? Oh yes this just screams summer. But for some reason I was craving this recently, and life and grad school have been super busy. So you’re getting this recipe in late November.

Some Recipe Tips

I just love cakes that use milk and sour cream. The acidity is vital for the flavor, and the sour cream provides a more stable cake layer compared to just using buttermilk. Just make sure you alternate adding in the milk and sour cream mixture and the dry mixture so everything mixes in nice and smooth.

Be sure to cream your butter until light and fluffy. If you don’t, the cake will turn out dense with air bubbles. Creaming allows pockets of air to form in the batter, giving the baking powder and soda little pockets to create lift. If there aren’t enough pockets, the lift these chemicals are trying to create will force it’s way through the batter during baking, creating worm holes.

Smooth out the tops of your layers and raise the pan about 1 inch from the counter and drop it a few times. This gets rids of some big air bubbles. Don’t drop it too many times though – you don’t want your batter to deflate.

Create parchment paper rounds to line your cake pans. Don’t trust greasing it alone!  Here’s a good video to show you how to make a parchment round.

And finally, don’t dump that maceration liquid when you’re done with the strawberries! Use it to soak the cake layers to keep them nice and moist.

Balsamic Strawberries and Cream Vanilla Cake
Recipe details
  • 10  people
  • Prep time: 20 Minutes Cook time: 30 Minutes Total time: 50 min
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  • 3 cups (360g) cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup sour cream, at room temperature
Balsamic Strawberries
  • 1 pound strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Whipped Cream
  • 2 cups cold heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
For the cake
Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease 3 6" cake pans and line with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until combined.
In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. Switch the mixer to high and add the eggs one at a time, incorporating fully between each egg. Mix in the vanilla until combined.
Whisk together the milk and sour cream. Add about half of the dry mixture to the butter, sugar, and egg mixture. Mix on low speed until combined. Add all of the milk and sour cream mixture, mixing on low speed until combined. Then add the rest of the dry mixture, again mixing on low until just combined.
Pour mixture into the 3 cake pans. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out with just a few crumbs. Let layers cool for 10 minutes before turning out of pan. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
For the strawberries
Hull and half the strawberries (quarters if they're big strawberries).
Combine the strawberries with the sugar and balsamic vinegar. Let sit for 30 minutes.
For the whipped cream
With an electric mixer, begin whipping the heavy cream on medium speed until soft peaks form. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla. Mix on high speed until desired texture is achieved.
To Assemble
Level the cakes. Strain the strawberries from the liquid that has formed. With a pastry brush, wipe the liquid onto the cake layers. Spread a layer of whipped cream onto one layer and top with strawberries. Repeat for remaining layers.
  • Freezing: Individually baked cake layers can be frozen separately until assembly time. I do not recommend freezing the whipped cream or macerated strawberries.
  • Balsamic Vinegar: You can leave this out if you really think you won't like it. I was skeptical at first, but I highly recommend it. You can try cutting the amount in half to start.
Elle | SimpletoScratch
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