3 pints fresh strawberries, hulled, and cut into ½-inch lengthwise slices
1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled
Confectioners’ sugar, to garnish, optional
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
2. Grease and lightly flour two 9-inch by 2-inch deep round or square cake pans and set aside.
3. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and stir to mix. Set aside.
4. Cream together the butter and 2¼ cups of the sugar in a separate bowl with an electric mixer.
5. Add the eggs, one at a time, to the butter mixture and beat several minutes until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and stir by hand to mix.
6. Add the buttermilk to the flour mixture, alternating with the egg mixture, and stir until well combined.
7. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans and bake 45 to 50 minutes, until the cakes are firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean.
8. Remove from the oven and cool the cakes 10 to 15 minutes in the pans. Remove from the pans and continue to cool on a baking rack.
9. Once the cakes have cooled completely, use a serrated knife to slice off the rounded top part of each layer to make a flat, even surface. Cut each layer in half horizontally through the center to make 4 layers. Discard the trimmings.
10. Meanwhile, whip the cream in a bowl with the remaining one-quarter cup sugar until soft peaks form.
11. Place one of the layers, cut side down, on a cake plate. Top with about one-third of the whipped cream and one-third of the sliced berries. Repeat the process with the next 2 layers and the remaining cream and sliced berries. Place the fourth layer on top, cut side down. Top with the whole hulled berries and sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar just before serving. (Note: If you are going to refrigerate the cake, add the confectioners’ sugar just before serving. The cake can be refrigerated up to 1 day ahead.)
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