Whenever I see "country" or "rustic" cake recipes, my eyes will immediately light up. For me, those 2 words spell "messy", which means I have plenty of room for decorating error :)
This cake is so easy to bake and assemble. It is supposed to be a 2-layer cake, with berries and cream in between ... but I didn't bother doing the sandwich. Instead I made 2 single-layer cakes - one for my family, the other I gave to my lovely neighbour. Just plonk cream and berries straight onto the top!
Nothing is more rustic than fresh berries over squishy cream :) Check out the HUGE strawberries, which made the cake look so small. Messy = Quaint = Country.
(adapted from here)
- 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks or 170g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 cups (450g) sugar
- 4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup (about 175ml) sour cream, at room temperature (which I replaced with buttermilk)
- 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest (I omitted this and used only lemon zest)
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (I replaced with cake flour)
- 1/4 cup cornstarch (which I omitted since I was using cake flour)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
For the filling for each cake:
- 1 cup (1/2 pint) heavy cream, chilled
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (I only used a couple of drops)
- 1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
- Sliced almonds, lightly toasted (depends how much you want on your cake)
1. Preheat the oven to 350 F / 175 C.
2. Butter the bottom of two 8-inch cake pans. Then line them with parchment paper and butter and flour the lined pans.
3. Cream the butter and sugar on high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy. On medium speed, add the eggs, 1 at a time, then the sour cream, zests, and vanilla, scraping down the bowl as needed. Mix well. Sift together the flour, cornstarch, salt, and baking soda. On low speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and combine just until smooth.
4. Pour the batter evenly into the pans, smooth the tops, and bake in the center of the oven for 40 to 45 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then remove to wire racks and let cool to room temperature. If using 1 cake, wrap the second well and freeze.
5. To make the filling for one cake, whip the cream, sugar, and vanilla in a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until firm. Slice one of the cakes in half with a long, sharp knife. Place the bottom slice of the cake on a serving platter, spread with 1/2 the whipped cream and scatter with sliced strawberries. Cover with the top slice of the cake and spread with the remaining cream. Decorate with strawberries.
* Or like me, you can simply decorate the cake without the sandwich layer - the quick, easy, lazy way ;) I added almonds for some crunch.