This cake will never, ever get old. It’s a very simple cake to make and my goto white cake. Topping it with strawberries and whipped cream make it a great summer cake that can feed a crowd.
It’s also been Spane’s favorite birthday cake since he was a little one and everything he touched had to have Barney on it. Today, I made it for more kids celebrating birthdays at the Summer Kids Wellness Classes at HealWithin International.
I have been baking this care for many, many years, and it never disappoints. When I was working at Dean Witter (now Morgan Stanley) in Beverly Hills, one day I brought it for a friend’s birthday. Pretty soon, a VP came up to me and told me they would pay me to make this as the official monthly birthday cake. I’ve been making kids of all happy for a long time! I’ve written about this cake before and you’re more than welcome to read about 1-2-3-4 cake.
It’s important when you make this cake to presift the flour. Presifted flour does not weigh the same as unsifted flour and it adds air to the final product. Lately, videos have been showing people stirring dry ingredients with a whisk. This is NOT the same thing as using a sifter. See under the recipe for a recommended sifter.
Let’s Make Fresh Strawberry Sheet Cake
- 4 egg whites
- 8 ounces butter at room temperature
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 egg yolks, separated
- 1 cups Milk
- 2 2/3 cups sifted cake flour
- 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon real vanilla extract, not imitation
- 1 tablespoon almond extract
- 2 1/2 cups whipping cream
- 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 2 dozen fresh strawberries
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350°. Grease pan and line with wax or parchment paper. Grease the wax or parchment paper as well.
- It's important to sift the flour first before measuring it. This DOES NOT mean putting it in a bowl and slapping a whisk at it a few times. This means using a real sifter, a photo of which appears below.
- Separate the eggs, one bowl with the yolks, another with the whites.
- Put the whites in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until they are stiff but not dry. Put them in another bowl and wipe out your stand mixer bowl.
- Cream the butter well, then add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
- Add the egg yolks one at a time.
- Add the extracts.
- Alternate adding the milk and flour one third at a time, scraping the bowl as needed. Beat the batter until it comes together, don't overbeat it.
- Stir a third of the egg whites into the batter to loosen it. Fold in remaining egg whites carefully. Keep folding until you cannot see any large pieces of white.
- If you are making round cake layers, divide the batter between the prepared pans. Otherwise, pour into a 15 x 10 cake sheet pan.
- Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes on racks.
- Remove cake from pan and cool on a serving dish. Wash out the stand mixer bowl.
- While the cake is cooling, hull the strawberries and slice them in half. You probably won't use all the berries.
- When the cake is cooled, pour the whipping cream into the stand mixer bowl and add the powdered sugar and vanilla. Whip the cream until it comes to stiff peaks.
- Spread some of the whipped cream on the cooled cake, making sure to leave enough cream to pipe around the sides.
- Place the strawberries on top of the cream, cut side down.
- Put the remaining cream into a piping bag and pipe the whipped cream around the outside of the cake.
A Word About Sifters
There are two kinds of sifters, the crank variety, and squeeze. I have had both, and I prefer the crank kind. The squeeze variety can get very tiring if you have a lot of dry ingredients to sift. Pictured is the one I use: