Baking Tuesday – White Cake with Cream Cheese and Fresh Strawberry filling
Occassionally I will get paid to make fancy cakes for friends. I was asked to make a birthday cake for a friends’ daughter. They give me a picture of what they want and I replicate, with my own spin, based on supplies I have available. This friend asked for fresh fruit filling, which I HATE to do unless the cake is being served right away, especially strawberries because they macerate. This particular design was not covered in fondant which is unfortunate because the fondant helps keep the fruit juice from seeping out through the frosting. I had to make the cake the night before since I work during the week so, I stuck it in the refrigerator when I was done, and it seemed to hold up until pick up. This is not my favorite cake design, by any means. But, it is what the “customer” wanted so I did it 🙂
When under a time crunch I will use a boxed cake (shhhhhh!) but I always add to it, like my grandma always did. Her preference was juice of an orange and rum. I didn’t go that route… this time…someone else’s kids! 🙂 I feel bad using a boxed cake when you can go down to WalMart and get a much bigger birthday cake for about half what I charge for cakes. But, noone has ever seemed to mind. For this cake I used a boxed white cake mix. I follow the box direction but I always use olive oil in my cakes. I added the zest of a lemon and 2t of pure vanilla extract. The filling was cream cheese icing in between the cake layers and sliced fresh strawberries. The cake is covered in Wilton’s buttercream recipe. I have made it with shortening and butter. The butter flavor is nicer but the icing isn’t PURE white when you do it that way. I also like to add vanilla AND almond extract. The fondant designs are made from Duff’s (I ❤ Ace of Cakes!), which I purchased rather than making from scratch because the colors are more consistant. If I have enough time, and because I don’t have a cake decorating supplier in my small town, I usually order Satin Ice online because as Buddy Valastro, “The Cake Boss” says, “Satin Ice is by far the best fondant in the industry”. It’s true, the flavor is nice and the texture is easy to work with. But, Duff comes through for me in a pinch.
Building cakes in layers will require dowels and cardboard flats, in order for the bottom layer to support the weight of the top tiers. A 2-tier cake doesn’t always need it, but the fresh fruit filling WILL start to make the cake weak, so I do it every time.
Cream Cheese icing
Modified from Martha Stewart
- 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, room temperature
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- zest of a lemon
Lets Make It!
- Place cream cheese in a medium mixing bowl. Using a rubber spatula, soften cream cheese. Gradually add butter, and continue beating until smooth and well blended. Sift in confectioners’ sugar, and continue beating until smooth. Add vanilla and lemon zest. Stir to combine.