Strawberry Basket Cake
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- 3 cup(s) cake flour (not self-rising)
- 1 tablespoon(s) baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon(s) salt
- 1 cup(s) milk
- 2 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon(s) vanilla extract
- 2 cup(s) sugar
- 1 cup(s) margarine, softened, substitute 2 sticks butter
- 4 large eggs
- 1 quart(s) heavy cream, substitute whipping cream
- 1 envelope(s) unflavored gelatin
- 2/3 cup(s) confectioners' sugar
- 1/2 cup(s) strawberry preserves
- 2 pint(s) strawberries
- Position 2 oven racks in center of oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease three 8-inch round cake pans. Line bottoms with waxed paper; grease paper. Dust pans with flour.
- In medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. Combine milk with 2 teaspoons vanilla.
- In large bowl, with mixer at low speed, beat sugar and margarine or butter until blended. Increase speed to high; beat 2 minutes. Reduce speed to medium-low; add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Alternately add flour mixture and milk mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture, and beat until batter is smooth, occasionally scraping bowl with rubber spatula.
- Divide batter evenly among cake pans. Stagger cake pans on 2 oven racks, placing 2 on upper rack and 1 on lower rack, so that layers are not directly on top of one another. Bake layers 23 to 28 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out almost clean. Cool layers in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Run small knife around edge of pans to loosen and invert layers onto wire racks to cool completely.
- Prepare the frosting. In large bowl, place heavy cream and 1 tablespoon vanilla. In small saucepan, evenly sprinkle gelatin over 3 tablespoons cold water; let stand 1 minute to soften. Cook over medium-low heat until gelatin completely dissolves, stirring frequently, about 3 minutes.
- Remove saucepan from heat and immediately begin beating cream mixture at medium-high speed. After cream mixture has been beaten 2 minutes, add confectioners' sugar, then dissolved gelatin in a thin, steady stream. Continue beating cream mixture until stiff peaks form but mixture is still soft and smooth looking; do not overbeat.
- Place 1 cake layer on cake plate; spread with half the strawberry preserves, then spread with 1 cup whipped cream. Top with second cake layer, remaining strawberry preserves, and 1 cup whipped cream. Place remaining cake layer on top. Frost top and side of cake with a thin layer (about 1/8 inch thick) of whipped cream.
- Spoon about 1 1/4 cups whipped cream into decorating bag fitted with medium star tip (1/2-inch opening); set aside. Spoon about 2 cups of remaining whipped cream into decorating bag fitted with medium basket-weave tip (3/4-inch opening). Add more cream to decorating bag to complete basket weave.
- Using basket-weave tip with serrated side of tip facing up, and beginning at top edge of cake, pipe vertical strip down side of cake. Next, beginning at top edge of cake and about 3/4 inch to left of vertical strip, pipe horizontal bar across vertical strip extending 3/4 inch to right of vertical strip. Repeat piping 2 more horizontal bars, each about a tip-width apart, across vertical strip.
- Pipe another vertical strip of whipped cream to right of first one, just slightly overlapping ends of horizontal bars. Starting at right edge of first vertical strip, pipe horizontal bars across second vertical strip in spaces between bars in first row, extending 3/4 inch to right of second vertical strip. Repeat pattern of alternating vertical strips and horizontal bars all around cake to create a woven effect.
- Use whipped cream in bag with star tip to pipe decorative border around top edge of cake. Refrigerate cake until ready to serve. Just before serving, pile whole strawberries with their leaves on top of cake. Remove berries before slicing cake; serve on the side.