My daughter's birthday was on Saturday and it was so much fun. I tend to keep her birthdays just family because birthday party planning just takes too much out of me, plus that means we can play things by ear and also go on more trips.
I may have gone a little overboard with the presents though. The excited look on her face as she opened everything was so worth it. And call me crazy (or a mom who spoils her kid rotten), but I was almost tempted to let her go to the store and pick up one more gift of her choosing. But I didn't. I managed to show some restraint. Geez... I just don't know what I did with my money before I had a baby.
For weeks, N begged me for a cake with lots of frosting that had sugar and strawberries in it. Of course, I had to oblige. Strawberry frosting is her favorite (as shown in last year's birthday cupcakes). This year, I did a regular buttercream frosting and added a hint of mint. The frosting is freaking addictive, people. As in, you will want to put it on ev'rythang. I might have licked the bowl clean after making the frosting. Maybe.
The butter cake itself is really easy to make and incredibly moist and of course, buttery. It's basically the perfect birthday cake in my opinion. Since butter is such an important competent to this cake, I recommend using a good brand of butter, but you don't have to go all out and search for an imported European butter!
P.S. I've been experimenting with my photo editing, what do you think of the more processed photos vs the natural photos? Would you want to see more of that or no?
Butter Cake with Strawberry Mint Buttercream
For the Butter Cake
- 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour spooned and leveled
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground vanilla bean or 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 14 tablespoons unsalted butter room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
- 3 large eggs room temperature
- ⅓ cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk
For the Strawberry Mint Buttercream
- 15 strawberries divided
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 cup 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
- 5 cups powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoons mint extract
- pinch of salt
For the Cake
- Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt together, set aside.
- In another bowl, mix together the sugar and ground vanilla bean (if you are just using vanilla extract, skip this step and add the extract when you add the vanilla bean paste).
- Beat the vanilla sugar and butter together until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add in the vanilla bean paste and beat for an addition 2 minutes.
- Beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well for about 2 - 3 minutes before adding another egg.
- Slowly add in half the flour mixture and slowly mix until just incorporated. Add int he buttermilk and beat just until it is absorbed by the batter. Add in the remaining flour and beat on medium for about 2 minutes.
- Evenly divide the batter between the cake pans. Drop each pan twice on a table to release any air bubbles.
- Bake for 25 - 30 minutes, or until the sides begin to pull away and the top of the cake springs back when you push down.
- Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes in the pan before removing and allowing to cool completely on a wire rack.
For the Strawberry Mint Buttercream
- Put 10 strawberries and the sugar into a small saucepan and heat on medium-high. Muddle the strawberries to help break them down and allow the juices to escape. The sugar should melt into the juices and the mixture should begin to boil. Mash the strawberries more as needed. Allow the mixture to boil for about 5 - 10 minutes, or until it thickens. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely to room temperature. I placed my saucepan in a bowl of ice water to help speed the process.
- Beat the butter in a large mixing bowl until completely smooth and creamy. Slowly add the powdered sugar half a cup at a time, mixing well between each addition until the mixture becomes creamy again. Add in the mint extract and beat the buttercream for a full minute.
- Stir the salt into the strawberry syrup and pour the syrup into the buttercream and beat until it is fully incorporated.
- Chop the remaining strawberries into small pieces. Pat them dry slightly and toss into the buttercream and mix until fully incorporated.
- Frost as usual (I put almost half the buttercream on the very center of the bottom layer (do not spread out) and placed the top layer on before adding more buttercream. You can use and offset spatula to remove any "overhanging" frosting, but I found that wasn't an issue for us.