Vanilla Layer Cake with Strawberries
Makes 2 (8 to 9-inch) round cakes.
For the cake:
- 1 cup Land O Lakes® Butter with Canola Oil
- 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs at room temperature
- 1 cup sour cream at room temperature
- 1/2 cup milk at room temperature
- 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt or any coarse salt
For the Vanilla Buttercream
- 1 cup Land O Lakes® Unsalted Butter (2 sticks) at room temperature
- 4 to 5 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- Strawberries sliced and whole or halved
For the cake
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, with rack in the center position. Spray and line the bottoms of your cake pans with parchment paper and spray again, generously, with non-stick baking spray.
Using your stand mixer fitted with the flat beater (or paddle) attachment, beat together the Land O Lakes® Butter with Canola Oil and sugar on medium high speed until pale and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, for about 2 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium-low and add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the sour cream, milk and vanilla extract. Pour this into the bowl with the Land O Lakes® Butter with Canola Oil and sugar mixture. In a separate bowl, whisk together your dry ingredients: the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add your dry ingredients into the mixing bowl and mix on medium speed until smooth and incorporated.
Evenly divide the cake batter between the two cake pans and bake, rotating halfway through, until the tops spring back when gently touched and a cake tester inserted in the centers comes out clean, for about 30 minutes. Transfer to wire racks and let cool in pans for about 20 minutes.
For the Buttercream
Using your stand mixer fitted with the flat beater attachment, beat the Land O Lakes® Unsalted Butter on medium speed until creamy and smooth, for about 2 minutes.
Add in 4 and 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, the heavy cream, vanilla extract and the salt. Beat on low speed for about 30 seconds, then increase to high and beat for 3 full minutes. Taste and adjust as needed: Add up to 1/2 cup more confectioners’ sugar if buttercream is too thin or another tablespoon of heavy cream if it’s too thick.
To Assemble and frost:
Run a knife around the edges of the cakes, and invert onto racks. Remove the parchment paper and discard. *If you want to level your cakes, I highly recommend chilling the cakes in the refrigerator for at least an hour, or you can bake these cakes a day ahead and place into the freezer. This will make leveling the cakes much easier.
To level your cakes: Place cake on level surface, and then, use a large serrated knife to slowly trim off the tops of the cakes to make them level.
Place first cake on plate, cake stand, or a rotating cake turntable, (make sure this can fit into your refrigerator if you are going to do a crumb coat) and frost the top of the cake. Add sliced strawberries over the top. Place second cake on top and repeat: frost the top part of the cake.
At this point you can do one of two things: 1) A crumb coat: using a thin layer of frosting, frost the entire cake and then set in your refrigerator for about 15 to 20 minutes and then frost again. This method helps you to achieve a cleaner frosted cake. 2) Simply frost the entire cake and use your offset spatula to create a fun design around the outside of the cake. Top with strawberries and enjoy! You can also decorate the outside of the cake with thinly sliced strawberries in a design and line them up around the bottom of the cake.