Strawberries and Champagne Cake

The warm days and cool nights of Louisiana springtime are ideal for growing plump, juicy strawberries. Now that we’re in peak season, we’re always looking for new ways to take advantage of the crop. This light and fluffy Strawberries and Champagne Cake is not only studded with the beautiful berries, but its frosting is improved by the addition of a Strawberry-Champagne Jam.

Strawberries and Champagne Cake
 
Makes 1 (8-inch) cake
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2¼ cups granulated sugar
  • 6 large egg whites
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 cup whole milk, room temperature
  • ½ cup plus 1½ tablespoons Champagne, divided
  • ¾ cup finely diced fresh strawberries
  • 4 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1½ tablespoons Strawberry-Champagne Jam (recipe follows)
  • Garnish: fresh strawberries
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Spray 3 (8-inch) round tall-sided cake pans with baking spray with flour; line pans with parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and granulated sugar at medium speed until fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Add egg whites, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, and salt. In a small bowl, combine milk and ½ cup Champagne. With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with milk mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating just until combined after each addition. Divide batter among prepared pans. Stir ¼ cup strawberries into each pan, and smooth batter with an offset spatula.
  4. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks.
  5. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese at high speed until creamy, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Reduce mixer speed to low. Add confectioners’ sugar, ½ cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Add Strawberry-Champagne Jam and remaining 1½ tablespoons Champagne, and beat just until combined.
  6. Spread frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving. Garnish with strawberries, if desired. Serve with remaining Strawberry-Champagne Jam.

Strawberry-Champagne Jam
 
Makes about ½ cup
Ingredients
  • 1 cup diced fresh strawberries
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon liquid fruit pectin
  • 2 tablespoons Champagne
Instructions
  1. In a medium saucepan, heat strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice over medium heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Increase heat to medium-high, and bring mixture to a boil; whisk in pectin. Reduce heat, and simmer for 25 minutes, whisking occasionally.
  2. Transfer mixture to a shallow heatproof bowl, and let cool to room temperature. Once cooled, whisk in Champagne. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

 

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