A berry-topped country cake is the pinnacle of summer eating. It has all the simplicity and of-the-moment flavor of strawberry shortcake but comes together as an easy layer cake that’s perfect for summer relaxed gatherings.
Makes: 8 servings
For the cake:
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 eggs, room temperature
- 3/4 cup whole milk, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the toppings:
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 3 cups strawberries, divided
- 3 tablespoons sugar, divided
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1 cup raspberries
- 1 cup blackberries
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Move rack to the center of the oven. Line the bottom of 2 (8-inch) round cake pans with parchment and generously butter or spray.
- In a medium bowl, whisk to combine flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt.
- Cream the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, until light and fluffy, 4-5 minutes. With mixer on low, add eggs one at a time, scraping down sides as needed. Add vanilla and lemon zest.
- With mixer still on low, add half the flour mixture and half the milk, followed by the second half of each, mixing just until combined.
- Spoon batter into prepared cake pans. Bang pans on the counter 4 times to dislodge any bubbles. Bake cake 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few crumbs attached.
- Cool 10 minutes, then flip cakes out onto a wire rack to cool completely. When cakes are cool, use a serrated knife to carefully cut each layer in half horizontally.
- In a medium mixing bowl, mash half the strawberries with 2 tablespoons sugar. Set aside 10 minutes, then fold in the remaining fruit.
- Whip cream to soft peaks, add 1 tablespoon sugar, the whip to stiff peaks.
- To assemble cake, set first cake layer cut side up on a cake plate. Add 1/4 of the whipped cream and 1/3of the berries. Place the next layer cut side down, and add 1/4 of the whipped cream and 1/3 of the berries. Repeat for the next two layers. Top the cake with a big dollop of whipped cream and several fresh berries.Cake should be served within 2 hours – keep it in the fridge until ready.