White Cake with Vanilla Buttercream and Strawberries

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White Cake with Vanilla Buttercream: A light, moist butter based white layer cake with a filling of sliced strawberries, vanilla buttercream frosting, and chocolate ganache.

White Cake with Vanilla Buttercream: A light, moist butter based white layer cake with a filling of sliced strawberries, vanilla buttercream frosting, and chocolate ganache.

Because it’s insanely hot and this post is about a white cake with a vanilla buttercream I thought I would write today’s post a little differently. Instead of giving you the science behind all of the ingredients, I’m going to give you some tips on frosting cakes and cupcakes with buttercream in hot weather. The other day I was trying to make cupcakes for my Aunt to bring into work. The heat and humidity was so bad (I don’t have air-conditioning in my house) that the buttercream wouldn’t even set in the bowl! Fortunately, I was able to use the fridge to set the buttercream and the freezer and fridge to stop it from melting on the cupcakes. Luckily she came over and took them directly to her air-conditioned workplace where they retained their beautifully frosted swirls. Have you ever had this problem? Or are you a new baker who is a little nervous about baking in the heat? See below for my troubleshooting guide to frosting cakes and cupcakes in hot weather! Please note, that this is not a science, so some of the temperatures are given in ranges. Obviously a dry heat is going to be less of a problem than when it’s hot and humid. Sometimes you just have to do a test on one cupcake or just put some frosting on a plate and see how well it holds its shape. I made this guide for American buttercream, Italian and Swiss Meringue buttercream frostings are entirely different. Cream cheese frosting and whipped cream should never be kept out regardless of the temperature. They should always be stored in the refrigerator.

White Cake with Vanilla Buttercream: A light, moist butter based white layer cake with a filling of sliced strawberries, vanilla buttercream frosting, and chocolate ganache.

How to use American buttercream frosting when the temperature is less than 80-85°?

You can use your buttercream frosting just as you normally would! I have used the buttercream from my white cake with vanilla buttercream frosting in temperatures in this range with no problem at all. Butter has a melting point of 90-95°, so with temperatures less than 80° it shouldn’t melt at all. Just make sure you don’t store your cake or cupcakes in direct sunlight. If you are displaying them inside, don’t put them on a table directly in front of a window. Outside, try placing your cake or cupcakes in the shade or under a tent. Direct sunlight regardless of the temperature is never a friend of buttercream!

White Cake with Vanilla Buttercream: A light, moist butter based white layer cake with a filling of sliced strawberries, vanilla buttercream frosting, and chocolate ganache.

How to use American buttercream frosting when the temperature is 85-95°?

Is the cake or are the cupcakes being displayed outside or inside in a small space with many people that will raise the temperature to 85-90/95°?

Do not display your cake or cupcakes in directly sunlight!! Shade is your best friend! Before you display your cake though, you need to frost it. I recommend doing this as close to the event as possible. Because you want to store it outdoors or in a room with a high temperature, you need to doctor your frosting a little. In the following vanilla buttercream recipe, you want to use the same recipe except, instead of 1 1/3 cup of butter, use 1 cup of butter and 1/3 cup of shortening. This will change the flavor slightly. It still has enough butter that it will taste like a buttercream. However, with this change, the frosting won’t melt because shortening has a melting point of 125°! Even without AC, it should set up in the bowl, but if it doesn’t simply place it in the fridge to set before using.If you put the frosting on your cake and it is starting to melt, it is too hot out! You need to quickly put your cake in the fridge (If you are only a few hours away from serving, this won’t dry your cake out). You may want to think about not putting it outside for the party. You can re-evaluate the temperature when you want to display the cake and decide then. If you were making it during the day and the party is at night, it may have cooled off enough that the cake will be fine outside. Just keep an eye on it and if you think it’s melting, take it back in to the fridge. If you’re preparing the cake in AC you should not have any issues with your frosting not setting. If you have to drive to the party turn the AC in your car on before you put the cake or cupcakes in it, so that it has time to cool down. Keep the AC cranked up high!

Is the cake or are the cupcakes being displayed inside in the air-conditioning where the temperature will remain below 85°?

This is the most ideal option! Because the temperature in the room where the cake or cupcakes will be displayed is less than the melting point of butter, you can use an all butter buttercream! This will make your frosting taste the best. If you are frosting the cake in AC, you can go ahead and frost like normal. You shouldn’t have any issues!

If you are frosting the cake or cupcakes in a room without AC, you are in the same predicament I was in trying to make my Aunt’s cupcakes. Frost your cake or cupcakes as close to the event as possible, . Simply make your buttercream, put it in your frosting bag and put it in the fridge for 15-20 minutes or until it is set. While it is setting, clear out some space in your freezer and fridge. I recommend frosting no more than 10-12 cupcakes at a time. Then return the frosting to the fridge. Put the cupcakes on a tray or in a bakery box and place directly into the freezer for 10 minutes. Repeat for the remaining cupcakes. Transfer the cupcakes into a bakery box before placing in the fridge. I recommend not keeping cupcakes in the fridge for any longer than 4 hours. Otherwise they will dry out. If you are frosting a cake, you may need to do it in stages. Put the cake in the fridge in between to harden the frosting. Some people say a frosted cake can be stored in the fridge for a couple days. I recommend less than 12 hours, but it’s up to you and very dependent on your recipe and filling.

White Cake with Vanilla Buttercream: A light, moist butter based white layer cake with a filling of sliced strawberries, vanilla buttercream frosting, and chocolate ganache.

What if the temperature is above 95°?

You need to frost your cake or cupcakes in an air-conditioned room and keep them in the AC. Your only other option is to make your frosting with shortening instead of butter, but this will not taste very good and I do not recommend it.

I hope this advice was helpful! Let me know if you have to use it when making this white cake on one of these hot summer days! This white cake and vanilla buttercream frosting recipe is perfect for cupcakes as well! It will make 24 cupcakes. Instead of using sliced strawberries, fill the cupcakes with a strawberry jam and top with a whole strawberry! For tips on filling cupcakes check out my s’mores cupcakes recipe. You can melt chocolate chips and drizzle over the vanilla buttercream if desired. Or use a chocolate covered strawberry!

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White Cake with Vanilla Buttercream and Strawberries
Prep Time
2 hr
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
2 hr 25 mins
 
A light, moist butter based white layer cake with a filling of sliced strawberries, vanilla buttercream frosting, and chocolate ganache.
Course: Cake
Servings: 6 -8 servings
Author: Carolyn
Ingredients
White Cake
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, soft
  • 1 1/2 cups (300 grams) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups (288 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 (approximately 120 grams) egg whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) sugar
Chocolate Ganache
  • 1/2 cup (3 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3 ounces heavy cream
Vanilla Buttercream
  • 1 1/3 cups butter, soft
  • 6 cups (750 grams) confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons heavy cream
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 12 ounces sliced strawberries
  • Optional: whole strawberries for decorating
Instructions
White Cake
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350°.
  2. Grease and flour 2 6-inch round cake pans. I use the 3-inch tall ones.
  3. In a large metal mixing bowl, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar on medium until it forms soft peaks.
  4. Add the sugar down the side so you don't flatten the peaks. Then beat on high until the mixture forms stiff glossy peaks.
  5. Set aside.
  6. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  7. In a large mixing bowl, whip the butter using a hand mixer.
  8. Add in the sugar and cream together.
  9. Mix in the vanilla.
  10. Add in the 1/3 of the flour mixture and mix just until combined!
  11. Scrape down the sides of the bowl after each addition.
  12. Then add in half of the milk mixture and mix just until combined.
  13. Repeat with the flour, then the milk, then with the rest of the flour.
  14. Gently fold in the egg whites using a rubber spatula. Do not add all of them at once! Be careful not to over-mix the batter or deflate the egg whites.
  15. Pour into prepared pans and bake for 24-25 minutes or until the cake begins to pull away from the sides of the pan and bounces back when you press it in the center.
  16. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack for 5 minutes to cool.
  17. Then turn the cakes out of the pans and flip right side up.
  18. Leave on the wire rack until completely cooled.
Chocolate Ganache
  1. In a microwave safe bowl, heat the chocolate chips and heavy cream.
  2. Stir every 20-30 seconds until the mixture is smooth.
  3. Set aside.
Vanilla Buttercream
  1. In a large mixing bowl, whip the butter.
  2. Add in the sugar, vanilla, and milk. Whip for at least 5 minutes until soft and fluffy and spreadable.
Assembly
  1. Cut the round tops off of each cake.
  2. Then torte each cake by cutting each round in half. You will end up with four layers.
  3. Place one layer bottom side down.
  4. Using a piping bag fitted with a round pipping tip, pipe a ring of frosting around the entire cake. Then spread a little frosting inside the ring. Place sliced strawberries over the top, trying to keep the layer level.
  5. Repeat for the remaining layers until you get to the top. Make sure to do the top cake upside down. You want one right side up cake and one upside down cake on top of it. This makes it easier to make the top level, because your frosting the bottom of the cake which is flatter than the top.
  6. Spread the frosting over the top in an even layer.
  7. Frost the sides of the cake. Use an icing spreader to even out the frosting.
  8. Top with the chocolate ganache. Make sure that it has thickened to the point where it will just slide over the side of the cake with a little help from your offset frosting spatula.
  9. Decorate with whole strawberries if desired.

 

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White Cake with Vanilla Buttercream: A light, moist butter based white layer cake with a filling of sliced strawberries, vanilla buttercream frosting, and chocolate ganache.

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9 comments

  1. Melissa says:

    Hey I think you missed something, it does not say when to put the milk in. I’m assuming you mix it in with the butter and sugar though so I’m going to try that.

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