recipes barefoot contessa

Strawberry Country Cake (Makes two 8-inch cakes; Each cake serves 6 to 8)

Copyright 2001, Barefoot Contessa Parties! by Ina Garten, Clarkson Potter/Publishers, All Rights Reserved


Photo: James Merrell

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 extra-large eggs at room temperature
3/4 cup sour cream at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon kosher 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
1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two 8-inch cake pans. Butter the bottoms of the pan, line them with parchment paper and then butter and flour the pans.

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, one 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.

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 one cake, wrap the second well and freeze.

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.