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2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
teaspoon baking soda
teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), softened at room temp
1 cup granulated sugar
5 eggs, room temp
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk, room temp
1.2 ounce bag freeze-dried strawberries, roughly chopped (optionalI bought mine at
Trader Joes)
Chambord Simple Syrup (recipe below)
Vanilla-Bean Whipped Cream (recipe below)
3-4 cups hulled and sliced, fresh strawberries (about 1 -1 lbs) , plus a couple of diced
strawberries for garnish

-Preheat the oven to 350; prepare two, 9 cake pans by lightly buttering them and lining them
with parchment rounds, and then lightly sprinkling in some flour on the bottom and on the sides,
and tapping the excess out.

-To prepare the cake batter, begin by sifting together the all-purpose flour, the cake flour, the
baking powder, baking soda and salt into a medium-large bowl; set aside these dry ingredients
for a moment.
-Next, add the softened butter and the sugar to the bowl of a electric mixer fitted with a paddle
attachment, and cream the two together on medium-low speed until very pale and light and fluffy

(for about 5-8 minutes), scraping down the sides about half-way through (be sure to take the time
to cream the two thoroughly, as it will help create a lighter, more airy cake).
-Once the butter/sugar is thoroughly creamed, begin adding the eggs in one at a time, allowing
each to be fully incorporated into the butter/sugar before adding in the next one; next, add in the
vanilla extract and allow it mix in.
-Next, reduce the mixer to low speed, and begin adding the dry ingredients and the buttermilk,
alternating the two, beginning and ending with the flour; mix only until all ingredients are
blended in, being careful not to over-mix the batter; finally, gently fold the chopped, freeze-dried
strawberries (if using) into the batter.
-Pour the batter in equal amounts into the buttered/lined cake pans, tapping the pans several
times on your counter to allow air bubbles to come up; place the pans into the oven on the
middle rack and bake for about 28-32 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centers
comes out clean; once baked, allow the cakes to cool in the pans for about 10 minutes, then turn
the cakes out and allow them to cool completely on wire racks before filling and frosting. (If
baking the cake a day or two in advance, wrap the completely cooled cakes in plastic wrap and
store them in the fridge until ready to assemble.)
-To finish and assemble the cake, cut any unevenness off of the tops of each cooled cake (a
dome for example, or the bubbly skin), and cut each cake in half horizontally through the
center to create 4 thinner layers (reserve the two layers that have the flat bottoms from the cake
pans to use as the top two layers of the cake for a prettier, more even finish); place one of the cut
layers (with its most even side up) in front of you on a cake stand or large plate, and with a
pastry brush or spoon, add a generous amount of the Chambord Simple Syrup to the cake layer to

moisten it well; next, add a generous amount of the Vanilla-Bean Whipped Cream and smooth it
out with a off-set spatula or knife, and then arrange about 1 1 cups worth of sliced
strawberries over the whipped cream; repeat the process with another layer; then for the third
layer, use one of the two flat-bottomed layers you set aside, flat side up, and repeat the process
with the simple syrup, whipped cream and strawberries; with the final layer, finish off by adding
only the simple syrup and then just frosting the outside of the entire cake generously with the
remaining Vanilla-Bean Whipped Cream; add a few sliced strawberries on top for garnish
(perhaps indicating where each slice is), and store in fridge to keep very cold. Serve fresh, and
Chambord Simple Syrup ingredients:

cup sugar
cup water
2 tablespoons Chambord liqueur

-In a small sauce pan, combine the sugar and the water, and bring to a simmer over medium heat;
once it has simmered, turn the heat off and stir to completely dissolve the sugar; cool the simple
syrup completely (you can place it into the fridge to expedite the process), and once cooled, add
in the Chambord liqueur, stir to combine; keep covered in fridge until youre ready to soak the
cake layers with it.
Vanilla-Bean Whipped Cream ingredients:

1 vanilla bean, split in half length-wise and the inside paste scraped out with a paring
knife and reserved (*see note)
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 quart whipping cream, very cold (4 cups)

1 cup powdered sugar

(*You can make your own vanilla sugar for future use by adding the scraped vanilla bean
directly into a bag of granulated sugar; it will infuse the sugar, over time, with an amazing
vanilla taste and fragrance.)
-Combine the vanilla bean paste and the vanilla extract in a small ramekin, and set aside for a
moment; add the cold whipping cream to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whip
attachment, and whip the cream until it begins to thicken; next, add in vanilla extract/paste and
the powdered sugar, and continue whipping until stiff peaks form; use immediately to frost the
cake with, or cover and place into the fridge to keep very cold until youre ready to frost the cake
with it. (Whipped cream is best when used almost immediately for optimal fluffiness; the
longer it sits, the more air is loses, so prepare this as closely to when youd like to frost the cake
as possible, for best results.)