Naked vanilla cake with berries
I wanted to make a simple dessert for Mothers Day but I didn't want to just make cookies or brownies. I decided to make a naked cake because it still has that special event appeal that a birthday cake would have, yet it has less frosting. Seeing the layers of the cake is something different from most of my cakes, but I think it looks a little cleaner. I had a vase of flowers on my table and decided to snip some flowers off and arrange them on the top of the cake... and bam, one very beautiful mothers day cake.
What you need:
For the cake:
1 cup unsalted butter softened
1 and 1/2 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs or 6 egg whites*
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 and 3/4 cups cake flour **
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk
For the swiss meringue frosting:*
5 large (150 grams) egg whites
1 1/4 cups (250 grams) granulated sugar
3 sticks (340 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
* I made about 3/4 a batch of frosting, but more would have been better
What to do:
For the cake:
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and lightly flour 2 9-inch round cake pans; set aside.
2. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Beat in the extract.
3. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir with a whisk and add it to the butter mixture alternately with the milk, beating well after each addition.
4. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake for 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely on a wire rack.
For the frosting:
1. Wipe the bowl of an electric mixer with paper towel and lemon juice or vinegar to remove any trace of grease.
2. Make a double boiler by placing the mixer bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, making sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water.
3. Add the egg whites and sugar to the bowl, whisking constantly but gently, until temperature reaches 140°F, or until the sugar has completely dissolved and the egg whites are hot
4. Attach the bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and begin to whip until the meringue is thick, glossy, and the bottom of the bowl no longer feels warm, about 7 to 10 minutes.
5. Switch over to paddle attachment and, with mixer on low speed, add the butter cubes, one at a time, until incorporated. Continue beating until it has reached a silky smooth texture. If the buttercream curdles simply keep mixing and it will come back to smooth. If the buttercream is too thin and runny, refrigerate for about 15 minutes before continuing mixing with paddle attachment until it comes together.
6. Add the vanilla and salt, continuing to beat on low speed until well combined.
Start assembling the cake. Add a layer of frosting (I skimped a little here, since it's a naked cake I would add more in the filling). Add a layer of blueberries and thinly sliced strawberries. Add second cake layer and repeat.
Make your cake nice and pretty and throw some flowers on there. Just remember not to eat them! Unless you buy edible flowers...
Cake recipe from: Baked by an Introvert
Frosting recipe from: Handle the Heat