Who doesn't love a homemade cake? When I was a little, my version of a homemade cake was the ever-so classic funfetti. For a few years those funfetti cakes made their appearance at almost every family celebration or holiday; I basically made a that cake whenever I could. I still (secretly) love making that cake, but I haven't made it in a while. As I have gotten older I have found such joy in making a cake from scratch. I admit this can sometime be quite a lengthy endeavor, but I find that making a cake can from scratch is a such a relaxing process for me. I open all the windows in my kitchen, turn on my music (sometimes guilty pleasure music), organize all my ingredients, and dive right in. I like to zone out, get lost in the process, you know? In my day-to-day life I deal with stress, anxiety, bills, and all that other fun grown up stuff. But, oh, when I'm making a cake, that's all I am doing, I'm just making a cake, and nothing else. I shut out the world and everything that is bothering me and I focus on the here and now.
I saw this cake a while back, and I have been wanting to make it ever since. It only took a quick glance at the ingredients to know that this cake was going to be amazing. I had to make a few changes to this cake since my husband is allergic to almonds. I love almonds, but I would have felt so guilty if I had made a cake my husband couldn't eat. Maybe I'll make a mini almond version for myself sometime soon.
In an attempt to make this cake truly spring worthy, I filled the first two layers with roasted rhubarb and strawberries, which was a very, very good decision. Each bite of this cake is incredibly flavorful, with little bursts of tartness from all that roasted goodness. Like I said, funfetti cakes will always hold a sweet spot in my heart, but nothing will ever compare to the joy I have when I get to spend a day baking a cake that tastes as good as this one.
Roasted Rhubarb & Strawberries
2 cups sliced rhubarb, 1/2 inch pieces
1 1/2 cup hulled and quartered strawberries
3 tablespoons melted coconut oil
1/4 teaspoon course salt
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon rose water (optional)
Equipment: Small bowl, whisk, parchment paper, spatula, baking sheet or other baking dish
Pre-heat oven to 375 F°(190 C°). Add strawberries and rhubarb to a medium bowl; set aside. Whisk together the coconut oil, sugar, salt, and rose water( if using), and pour over the prepared fruist. Use your hands or a spatula to evenly coat all of the strawberries.
Pour the strawberries and rhubarb onto a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper, and place in the oven. Roast for 35-45 minutes, or until the strawberries ann rhubarb are soft and their juices begin to thicken. Once removed from oven, and set aside to cool.
For the cake
adapted slightly from Adventures in cooking
2 1/2 cups white flour
1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoon spelt flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons orange zest
2 egg whites
3 whole eggs
1/2 cup orange juice (fresh squeezed if possible)
1 1/2 cups full fat plain yogurt
powdered sugar, optional garnish
Equipment: Standing, or handheld mixer, three 8 inch cake pans, microplane zester, cooling rack
Turn the oven down to 350°F. Lightly grease and flour thee 8-inch cake pans; set aside.
In a large bowl whisk together both flours, baking powder and salt, and set aside.
In the bowl of a standing mixer (handheld mixer works too) and the butter, sugar, and coconut oil, and beat on medium low speed until the mixture becomes smooth. The original recipe suggested about 2-3 minutes, which worked for me. Add in the vanilla extract, orange zest, eggs and egg whites, and mix until incorporated. Now, add the orange juice, mixing until the batter becomes smooth.
In three separate additions, add the flour mixture to the mixing bowl, alternating with the plain yogurt, beginning and ending with the flour. Once the last addition of flour has been added, allow the batter to mix until it just comes together. Do not over mix the batter at this point.
Divide the batter evenly between the three prepared cake pans and place in the over for 35-40 minutes, or until the a tester inserted into the center of the cakes come out clean. Once fully baked, remove the pans from the oven and allow to cool for 10-15 minutes, then remove from pan and allow to cool completely on a cooling rack.
Cream cheese frosting
12 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons softened butter, room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar, or more if a sweeter frosting is desired.
equipment: Standing or handheld electric mixer
In the bowl of a standing mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth, about 1 minute.
Add vanilla extract, beating to combine. Turn of mixer and add the powdered sugar and mix on low until combined. Once all of the powdered sugar has been added set mixer to high and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy 1-2 minutes.
Once cake has cooled, place 1 cake, domed side down, and spread about half of the frosting over the top. Scatter about half of the roasted rhubarb and strawberries over the frosting. Repeat this process on more time, using the remaining frosting and fruit. Place last cake, dome side face up, top with a bit of powdered sugar and garnish with flowers if desired.