NORWEGIAN BLØTKAKE (CREAM CAKE WITH FRESH STRAWBERRIES)

| Category: Food & Wine

Bløtkake, with its layers of vanilla sponge cake, fresh berries, and piles of whipped cream, is the Scandinavian version of strawberry shortcake. It is a Norwegian birthday favorite, beloved by people of all ages, and is what my family always eats for dessert on Syttende Mai (Norway’s national holiday) and Midsummer.

MAKES 10 TO 12 SERVINGS

 

1 ¼ cups sugar

½ cup butter

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

3 eggs

2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon table salt 1 cup buttermilk

 

For the filling and topping:

 

1 ½ pounds fresh strawberries

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1 pint whipping cream

¾ cup confectioners’ sugar

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

 

Special equipment:

 

2 (8-inch) round cake pans

 

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour the bottom and sides of two 8-inch round cake pans, shaking out any excess flour.

 

  1. In a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer fixed with the paddle attachment, beat the sugar and butter on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add the vanilla and 1 egg, and beat until smooth, then add the remaining eggs one at a time, beating between each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed.

 

  1. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

 

  1. With the mixer on low, add one-third of the flour mixture, then half of the buttermilk, beating each addition just until combined. Repeat until all of the cake ingredients have been added. Turn the mixer to high speed and beat 30 seconds more.

 

  1. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake pans. Bake for 20 to 23 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean.

 

  1. While the cakes are baking, make the filling and topping. Finely chop the berries (reserving a few whole berries for garnishing the finished cake), then put them in a bowl with the granulated sugar, and refrigerate until you are ready to assemble the cake. To make the topping, in a medium bowl, whip the cream until stiff peaks form. Add the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla, beating until combined.

 

  1. Remove the cakes from the oven. Allow them to cool for 10 minutes in the pans. While the cakes are cooling, lightly spray a cooling rack with nonstick cooking spray, then flip the cakes out onto the cooling rack and allow them to cool completely.

 

  1. To assemble the cream cake, place one 8-inch cake on a serving plate flat side up. Top with half of the berries and half of any juice that has accumulated in the bowl, then half of the whipped cream. Repeat with the remaining cake layer, berries, and whipped cream. Refrigerate the cake for several hours before serving to allow the berry juice to soak into the cake layers. Garnish with fresh, whole strawberries before serving.

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