Strawberry Chiffon Cake

Strawberries start coming into the market in late May, fragrant and juicy.

The timing is perfect for a May baby like me, whose favorite cake is one loaded with strawberries.

This year, Brooke and I set out to make my birthday cake together.

Martha Stewart Living’s June issue has been hanging around our house for weeks with a most luscious strawberry cake on the cover. We considered making one from one of our many cookbooks, but Martha’s cover shot was speaking to us. It was time to find out if it was more than a pretty picture.

The batter is loaded with eggs and beaten egg whites flecked with seeds from vanilla beans. If the cake tastes half as good as the fluffy glorious batter looks, we’ll be rock stars at dinner tonight.

I’m very picky about eggs. I’ve been longing for my own chickens, but my little Lily is a wicked huntress. The chickens would be nervous wrecks with her pacing around their coop, and they probably couldn’t relax and produce eggs.

So…I buy organic eggs with the yellowest yolks because I think they taste best. Seven eggs and nine yolks go into this cake, so their quality is really important.

While the cake was in the oven, we cut the strawberries, sprinkled them with sugar, and set them aside to exude their juices.

The last step was to whip the cream and assemble the cake.

Uh-oh! The cake collapsed a little on one side… there are a billion reasons why this happened according to the web… too much jumping and leaping through the kitchen, uneven oven temperature, improper measuring of ingredients, undercooking; every excuse you can think of.

I’m blaming it on jumping for joy. A holiday weekend, gorgeous weather, family, the beginning of summer… so many reasons for joy.

Ok, we’re not Martha, but…

Oh my Lord! The cake was delectable!

It was superb!

But… to make it even better, we all agreed we’d use three pounds of strawberries next time and whip the cream less, leaving it more easily spreadable.

If you use all the strawberries and cream between the layers, you will be a bigger rock star than Brooke and I.

From Martha’s Kitchen:

Bake this cake in a tube pan that is 9 1/2 inches in diameter by 4 1/2 inches deep.
Martha Stewart Living, June 2012
Prep Time
30 minutes
Total Time
3 hours
Serves 12
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For The Cake
2 1/4 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup safflower oil
7 large egg yolks plus 9 large egg whites
3/4 cup whole milk
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 whole vanilla bean, split and scraped, or 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
For The Berries And Cream
2 pounds strawberries, hulled and halved or quartered (about 5 cups), plus more for serving
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Pinch of salt
2 cups cold heavy cream
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, plus more for sprinkling

Make the cake: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Whisk together flour, 3/4 cup granulated sugar, the baking powder, and salt. Whisk together oil, egg yolks, and milk in a large bowl. Whisk flour mixture into egg-yolk mixture.

Beat egg whites with a mixer on high speed until frothy. Add cream of tartar and vanilla seeds or extract, and beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining 3/4 cup granulated sugar, beating until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 5 minutes. Whisk one-third of the egg-white mixture into batter. Gently but thoroughly fold in remaining egg-white mixture with a rubber spatula.

Transfer batter to tube pan. Bake until top of cake springs back when touched, 52 to 55 minutes. Let cool upside down (over a bottle or on tube-pan feet) 1 hour.

Make the berries and cream: While cake is baking and cooling, combine strawberries, granulated sugar, lemon juice, and salt, and let sit, stirring occasionally, 1 hour. Just before assembling, beat cream and confectioners’ sugar until medium peaks form.

Slide a paring knife around edges of tube and side of pan; release cake. Cut cake horizontally into 3 layers with a serrated knife. Transfer bottom layer to a cake plate or platter. Spread with half the berries, and drizzle with juices. Spread half the whipped cream over berries, then top with middle cake layer. Spread with remaining berries and whipped cream. Top with remaining cake layer. Refrigerate cake 1 hour. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar, and serve with berries.

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One Response to Strawberry Chiffon Cake

  1. Stasia says:

    Did this cake for my daughter’s birthday today. I’m NOT a baker, so I have to say it looked a mess- my tube pan and I had a difference of opinion about setting atop a bottle, so it was a bit crushed in on one side, and I have NO finesse with the layering – but omigoodness, it was delicious!! Very light and fluffy (my first Chiffon cake) and sooo good where the strawberries soaked in. I used vanilla bean in the whipped cream as well, which was lovely! The half that didn’t get eaten yet is going to end up in a bowl trifle-style, but I don’t think it will last long.

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