Pink Lady Cake

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As soon as I saw this cake many months ago, I knew exactly who was going to have one.  It had my niece’s name written all over it.  If there is anything she loves as much as pink, it is either cake or strawberries. Combine all three, and she’s in heaven.

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Unfortunately, strawberry season had come and gone, and I still hadn’t fabricated an excuse to bake this cake for the little princess who steals everyone’s heart.  Somehow, the stars aligned and I came across not only edible, but delicious fresh strawberries the week of her family birthday dinner.  (You can use frozen strawberries, in fact, the original recipe calls for them since they are reliable year-round, but I was thrilled to use fresh, and have some for decorating, too.)

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The cake was a hit.  She loved it.  Pink.  Strawberries. Cake.  Make it for a special lady in your life.  Oh, and perfect for a little girl baby shower.

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Pink Lady Cake Recipe

adapted from Smitten Kitchen’s adaptation of the Sky High recipe

Cake
4 1/2 cups cake flour
3 cups sugar
5 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups pureed strawberries
8 egg whites
2/3 cup milk
3 drops red food dye

Cream Cheese Frosting
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
1 1/2teaspoons vanilla extract

Make the cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter three 9-inch round or 8-inch square cake pans. Line with parchment or waxed paper and butter the paper.
  2. Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large mixer bowl. With the electric mixer on low speed, blend for 30 seconds. Add the butter and strawberry puree and mix to blend the ingredients. Raise the speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes; the batter will resemble strawberry ice cream at this point.
  3. In another large bowl, whisk together the egg whites, milk and red food dye to blend. Add the whites to the batter in two or three additions, scraping down the sides of the bowl well and mixing only to incorporate after each addition.
  4. Divide the batter among the three prepared pans.
  5. Bake the cakes for 30 to 34 minutes, or until a cake tester or wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  6. Allow the layers to cool in the pans for 10 to 15 minutes. Invert and turn out onto wire racks and peel off the paper liners. Let stand until completely cooled before assembling the cake, at least an hour.

Make the cream cheese frosting

  1. In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter until creamy.
  2. Mix in the vanilla, then gradually stir in the confectioners’ sugar.
  3. Store in the refrigerator after use.

Frost and assemble the cake

  1. Place one cake layer on a cake board or platter. Tucking scraps of waxed paper under the edges of the cake will protect the board or plate from any mess created while frosting the cake.
  2. Spread frosting over the layer, spreading it to the edge.
  3. Repeat with the second layer.
  4. Add the top layer and frost the top and sides of cake with remaining frosting, reserving a small amount if you wish to tint it and pipe a decoration on the cake.  Remove the waxed strips to reveal a neat, clean cake board.

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