In the Garden of…Cake
Vanilla cake zested with orange with layers of Fresh Strawberry buttercream frosting and fresh pack Strawberry Preserves – this creation takes garden party "tea" cakes to new heights.
Frosting & Layers
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Prepare 3 Cake Pans (8"x8"x2"): use bottom of a cake pan to measure/trace 3 circles on parchment paper; cut out the circles and set aside. Spray the inside of the pans with canola oil. Place parchment circles in the pan bottoms and spray over top with canola oil. Set aside.
Prepare & Bake Cakes: in a large mixing bowl, combine eggs, melted butter, and milk. Add cake mix. Whisk together until batter is smooth; fold in orange zest. Divide batter evenly among the 3 cake pans. Place on center oven rack and bake; at 40 minutes, test cake centers with a toothpick; when toothpicks come out clean, remove cakes and let cool (in pans) for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, run a knife around the inside of each cake pan, flip pans upside down and ease cakes out onto a cooling rack to cool completely, about 40-50 minutes.
Prepare Frosting: while cakes are cooling, make buttercream frosting. Add butter to a stand mixer (a hand mixer will work too) fitted with a paddle; beat at medium speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add sugar, cream, and vanilla; mix at low speed until just combined. Increase the speed to high and mix until smooth and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes. If it becomes too thick, add a little more cream. If it’s too thin, add more powdered sugar.
Measure about 1 cup of plain buttercream frosting, set aside. Fold in diced strawberries into remaining frosting.
Assemble Cake: place dollop of frosting in center of cake stand or platter to anchor. Place first cake, top side down, over the frosting and center on the plate. Carefully apply strawberry buttercream along the edges, leaving bare a medium-sized circle in the center of the cake. Spoon 2 to 3 tablespoons of strawberry preserves into the frosting-less center; top preserves with fresh sliced strawberries. Place the next layer on top of the first and repeat strawberry buttercream, preserves and sliced strawberries steps.
Place the last cake layer on top and frost with strawberry buttercream; as lightly as you’d like, frost sides of the entire cake with plain buttercream. Decorate the top of the cake with whole strawberries and slices of orange.