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Vanilla Bean Layer Cake with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

This fluffy 6-inch vanilla bean layer cake with fresh strawberry cream cheese frosting is the perfect Valentine's Day dessert for two!
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Cooling and Frosting Time2 hrs 30 mins
Total Time3 hrs 20 mins
Course: Dessert
Keyword: Cakes, Valentine's Day
Servings: 8 slices

Ingredients

For the Vanilla Bean Layer Cake

  • 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour (you can also use cake flour if you wish)
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (softened to room temperature)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large egg whites (room temperature)
  • 3 tsp Rodelle vanilla bean paste (link to product below)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (full fat, room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup milk (I used whole milk, room temperature)

For the Fresh Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 oz cream cheese (full fat, room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup pureed, fresh strawberries (I used about 15 medium sized strawberries)

Instructions

For the Vanilla Bean Layer Cake

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease three 6x2 inch cake pans and line with parchment paper rounds. To make parchment paper rounds, trace the bottom of one of the cake pans on a piece of parchment paper and then cut out the circle. Place at the bottom of the cake pan. Grease the top of the parchment paper using cooking spray and set aside.
  • Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  • Using a handheld mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter for about 1 minute on high until light and fluffy.
  • Add the sugar and beat on high for 2 minutes until the butter and sugar are well incorporated and creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed.
  • Add the egg whites and vanilla extract. Beat on medium high until well combined and then beat in the sour cream on medium high.
  • Slow the speed of the mixer to low speed. With the mixer still running, slowly pour in the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Continue to run the mixer on low and slowly pour in the milk. Mix until just combined. If you need to, turn the mixer off and finish mixing the ingredients by hand to ensure they are well combined. Do not over mix.
  • Pour the batter evenly into the cake pans. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the cakes are baked through. The cakes are done when a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  • Remove cakes from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack in the pans completely before frosting.
  • If you live at high altitude (above 3,000 feet), please follow the instructions in the "Notes" section below!

To Make the Fresh Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Clean the strawberries and cut them in half. Place your strawberries into a food processor or blender and blend for a few seconds. Continue to pulse the strawberries until a puree is formed. It's ok if there are a few chunks left! You will still want to see some of the strawberry bits through the frosting. I used around 15 medium strawberries to get 1/4 cup of puree.
  • Using a hand mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter on high for about 2 minutes, or until light and fluffy.
  • Mix in 2 cups of the powdered sugar, one at a time. Add the strawberry puree and mix until well combined.
  • Continue to add cups of powdered sugar, one at a time until desired consistency is reached. I like for the frosting to be a bit thicker for layer cakes so I used 4 cups of powdered sugar!
  • Spread the frosting onto your cooled cakes with an offset frosting spatula (linked below).
  • Store cake covered in the refrigerator for up to 7 days!

Notes

For High Altitude Baking (at 5,000-7,000 feet):
  • Baking Temp - 365°F 
  • Baking Time - 16 - 19 minutes
  • Use normal, unbleached all purpose flour instead of cake flour
  • Use 3/8 tsp. baking powder 
  • Use 1/8 tsp. baking soda 
  • Decrease sugar by 1 tbsp.
  • Use 4 egg whites 
Tools/Products Used:
Rodelle Vanilla Bean Paste | Kitchen Aid Mixer | Cuisinart Mini Food Processor | 6x2 Inch Cake Pans | Angled Frosting Spatula | Pam for Baking