This was one of two cakes I made for my grandmas birthday, the other was a chocolate raspberry cake. I baked the cake in two 8-inch pans and then cut them in half and filled with swiss meringue buttercream. When I made this I didn't have access to a stand mixer so I had to make the buttercream with a hand mixer. Let me tell you, my hand was hurting after 15 minutes of whipping. If you use the buttercream recipe below I would recommend using a stand mixer to save you time and an arm ache. The other option would be a traditional buttercream with butter and powdered sugar.
What you need:
For the cake:
1 ¼ cup cake flour*
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
6 whole eggs
2 egg yolks (save whites for meringue)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoon lemon juice
¾ cup canola or vegetable oil
*You can make your own cake flour by adding cornstarch. For every cup of flour remove 2 tbs. of flour and 2 two tbs. of cornstarch
For the swiss meringue buttercream:
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
What to do:
Make the cake:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 8-inch cake pans and set aside.
2. Sift together the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
3. In the bowl on an electric mixer, combine the whole eggs, egg yolks, sugar, and vanilla. Using the whisk attachment, beat on high for about 5 minutes or until the batter resembles pale ribbons.
4. Stop the mixing and remove the mixing bowl form the stand. Sift the dry ingredients over the top of the batter. Whisk by hand until just barely combined.
5. Pour in the lemon juice and oil and whisk by hand until combined (taking care to not deflate the batter as much as possible).
6. Evenly distribute the batter between the two pans and bake for about 35 to 38 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
7. Let cool on a wire rack before removing the cakes from their pans
Make the buttercream:
1. Wipe the bowl of an electric mixer with paper towel and lemon juice or vinegar to remove any trace of grease. Make a double boiler by placing the mixer bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, making sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water.
2. 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. *
3. 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.
4. 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. Add the vanilla and salt, continuing to beat on low speed until well combined.
Add additional flavors, purees, or mix-ins as desired.
*I normally touch the sugar and egg white mixture and rub it between my fingers to see if the sugar is dissolved.
Cut the two sponge cakes in half. Start frosting. Place a little bit of icing on the bottom of your surface to keep the cake from moving. Place one cake layer down and spread icing with a piping bag. Continue with the other 3 layers. Pipe frosting all around the cake making sure to fill in any large gaps due to uneven cake shapes. Using a bench scraper smooth the sides of the cake. Arrange fruit on the top or put a mound of fruit on the top.
Alternately you can put the fruit inside the cake, adding them on top of the frosting.
Cake recipe from: The Cake Blog
Buttercream recipe from: Handle the Heat