I’m in birthday party prep mode today. Yesterday was the last day of school and today we’re baking up cakes, making fondant, and getting goody bags and games ready for Max’s 6th birthday party tomorrow! This will be his first official “just friends” birthday party, and he is super pumped about it. I did a test run last week for Max’s birthday cake because I still hadn’t found that elusive perfect white cake. This year Max requested a cherry berry cake and I thought the easiest way to go about that would be to find the perfect white cake and sandwich some berries and cherries in the middle. I brought this cake to the end of one of Max’s field trips to share with the teachers and parents, and everyone concurred – the search is over. The perfect white party cake has been found.
For his birthday tomorrow I will be doing the filling and frosting a little differently, just for the sake of decorating. I will be sure to share the final product, but today let’s talk about this cake and this frosting.
This is probably one of the first times (besides this moist vanilla cake) that a white cake has been tender for me and not had a texture more like cornbread. The layers bake up nice and tall, the inside is a vibrant white colour, and the flavour is vanilla with a hint of almond extract. It is tender while still being firm enough to stack. To me this is the perfect white party cake and will be my go-to for birthdays parties, along with my perfect chocolate party cake. The other thing I love about this recipe is that it’s so easy. A lot of white cakes call for whipping eggs whites and folding them in but this is truly one of the easiest cakes you could possibly make, which makes it that much more party worthy, in my opinion.
Now about the frosting. For this particular cake I wanted a cream cheese frosting that was light as air to pair with the berries. Basically I was going for a sturdy whipped cream that could easily be sandwich between layers of cake and not melt at the first sign of heat. I took these pics at the heat of the day on the hottest day of the week. After a quick chill again in the fridge, I then transported them to the field trip in my sweltering hot van and they sat out again for a good long while, and the frosting did not show any signs of melting or separating. It looked just as good as when I first frosted it. Ding! Ding! We have a winner. It’s more stable than whipped cream but has a lighter taste and texture then straight up cream cheese frosting.
That frosting + this tender cake + fresh berries makes for a great centrepiece for any summer party. Enjoy!
To make this cake, divide one recipe of the cream cheese frosting between the two cake layers. Place 1 cup berries on the bottom layer and 1.5 cups berries on the top layer.
- 2¾ cups cake flour
- 1⅔ cups sugar (superfine sugar preferable)
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 4 large eggs whites
- 1 whole large egg
- 1 cup whole milk yogurt or Greek yogurt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- Prepare two 8" or 9" pans by greasing, lining with circles of parchment paper, and greasing again.
- Place flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Stir to mix together. Add butter and mix on low until evenly mixed, or the texture of fine damp sand. Add the egg whites one at a time, beating well and scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Repeat with whole egg.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, vanilla, and almond extract. Add to the batter, ⅓ at a time, beating on low 1 to 2 minutes and scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition.
- Once batter appears light and airy, divide evenly between the prepared pans. Tap pans on the counter gently to remove any air bubbles. Bake at 350°F for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Loosen the sides with a knife, if needed, and turn out carefully onto a cooling rack. Peel off parchment paper. Cool completely before frosting.
- To make a 9x13 sheet cake: grease and flour the pan or line with parchment, pour in all of the batter and bake for 23-26 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting. Serve straight from the pan.
- To make cupcakes: Line 2 regular sized muffin tins with cupcakes liners. Spoon ¼ cup amounts of batter into muffin tins. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Let cool 5 minutes before removing from pan to cool on a cooling rack. Cool completely before frosting.
- 1 (8oz) package cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- ¾ cup icing (powdered) sugar
- pinch salt
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup cold heavy whipping cream
- Beat the cream cheese, sugar, salt, and vanilla extract until smooth and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally. Add the cream (switch to the whisk attachment if using a stand mixer) and beat until stiff peeks form. Cover and refrigerate until ready to frost.