Time is a gift.
I know this because everyday feels like no one has time for anything ever. I’m not complaining. I’m not above it. I’m all up in it. No time? Guilty as ever.
Sometimes the best gift you can give someone is your time. Time at a new restaurant for one of those extra long lunches with pink wine and comfortable eye contact. Time at the dog park with a friend… when you’re mostly scared of large groups of dogs. Time on the phone when it’s late and your phone is over-heating on your face. Time in the kitchen making a very (very) special cake for the woman that took the dang time to carry you around in her body for nine dang months.
Time. Gosh it’s such a gift.
Let’s find some and share it with each other.
It’s time for cake!
No time for intimidation.
Ingredients can smell your fear. An awesome cooking teacher once told me that, and it’s totally true.
If you can whip together a batch of Chocolate Chip Cookies, you can tackle a triple layer cake too. I believe in you (and so does yo’ mama)!
Softened butter is creamed with sugar then beaten with eggs The mixture will look a bit curdled. Don’t fret. It’ll come together with the help of cake flour.
We’re kicking this yellow cake up a notch with white chocolate chips. They melt while baking, but once the cake is cooled and frosted, they lend a nice sweet crunch to the cake insides.
I’ve been known to eat white chocolate chips by the handful. Help.
While the cakes bake I made the frosting and filling. The frosting: simple whipped cream, lightly sweetened, with a hint of rose water.
Rose water smells as good as you’d hope it might. It is, afterall, a distillation of rose petals.
In the whipped cream frosting, rose water lends more of a fragrance than taste. It’s subtle, delicate, and just… pretty!
Finely chopped white chocolate chunks and sliced strawberries fill this cake. Such goodness.
Also… if you look too closely into the tablespoon, you can see me taking this photo in my green pants. I’m glad you can’t see my hair.
Cakes are baked and cooled completely before frosting.
If you’ve ever tried to fudge it and frost a slightly warm cake, you know what a disaster this can be. Learn from me. Cool the cake.
I lined the edges of my cake plate with three thin sheets of parchment paper. Lining the area around the cake will keep the cake plate clean after the cake is frosted. Just shimmy the parchment from underneath the cake and you’re good to go! Mmm hmm. Easy.
Each layer of cake is topped generously with whipped cream, studded with fresh strawberry slices, and sprinkled with white chocolate.
I want a piece exactly right now.
I understand that frosting a cake can seem daunting. I totally get it.
Back in the Stone Ages when I started this blog, I wrote a little tutorial about How To Frost a Cake. Check it out if frosting a cake is a stressy prospect for you.
Tremendously helpful cake frosting tool: a warm glass of water. Cleaning the frosting knife with warm water makes smoothing the frosting easier. You don’t want to fight frosting with frosting. That never ends well.
Find the prettiest roses you can get your hands on. Put them up to your nose for a deep inhale. Then… rip their petal heads off. Cruel world, I know.
I placed the center of the rose petals in the center of the cake. Then generously arrange petals circling around the cake.
Your inspiration should be a show-stopping amount of petals. Get in the spirit!
Everyone should have a go-to, fail-safe yellow cake recipe. This is that! Deb from Smitten Kitchen knows her way around a cake. It’s moist and tender, but still solid enough to withstand a bit of manhandling, stacking, filling, and frosting. Cake flour is an important part of this cake recipe. It keeps the cake light. If you don’t have any on hand, you can make your own cake flour too!
Rose-scented whipped cream is totally divine and mom-friendly. If you aren’t able to find rose water, you could also add a splash of pure almond extract, just a touch will do. Strawberries are in season, but maybe you’re more of a raspberry person. Feel free to switch it up.
Do you eat the rose petals? Well…. no. I used the rose petals for decorative purposes only. Once the cake was sliced and plated, I removed the rose petals and got down with the cake. Also, cake will last, frosted and decorated in the refrigerator for several days. Just on the FYI.
White Chocolate Rose Cake with Strawberries
yellow cake adapted slightly from Smitten Kitchen
makes 1 three layer 9-inch cake
For the Cake:
4 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup white chocolate chunks
For the Frosting:
3 cups heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
3 tablespoons rose water
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
For the Filling:
1/2 cup finely chopped white chocolate chunks
1 1/2 cups sliced strawberries
fresh rose petals, for topping the cake
Place racks in the center and upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour two 9-inch round cake pans. This is a triple layer cake, so butter and flour three 9-inch cake pans if you have them. I only have two pans, so I baked two cakes, then baked the last cake after the first two were out of the oven.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar at medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well and scraping down the bowl after each addition. Beat in vanilla extract.
Turn the mixer speed to low and add half of the dry ingredients. Add half of the buttermilk and beat until just combined. Add the remaining flour and buttermilk and beat until just combined. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and finish incorporating the batter with a spatula. Scrape the bottom of the bowl to make sure there is no butter or flour hiding down there. Fold in the chocolate chips.
Divide the batter among the two cake pans, making sure that you save enough batter for the last cake to bake off. If you have three pans, divide the batter in three. Spread batter evenly in each pan then rap each pan on the counter top to help the batter settle and eliminate any air bubbles. Bake until bubbled and golden brown, about 20-25 minutes. Insert a skewer into the center of the cake. If it comes out dry with just a few crumbs, it’s done! Cool cakes in the pan for 10 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely.
If you’re baking off your last cake round, be sure to re-grease and flour the pan before adding the last of the cake batter.
To make the frosting, combine heavy cream, powdered sugar, and rose water in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Beat on medium speed until soft peaks form. Once soft peaks form in the whipped cream, keep an eye on it. Continue beating just past the soft peak stage. You don’t want to over-beat the whipped cream. It should hold it’s shape but still be smooth and spreadable. Also.. you can always beat the whipped cream into more shape, but you can’t unwhip it to a smoother consistency once it’s firm.
To assemble the cake, place three strips of parchment paper onto a cake plate or cake stand. Place one cooled cake round atop the parchment paper. The paper will help keep the cake plate clean while you frost the cake. Spread a generous amount of whipped cream atop the first layer. Arrange half of the sliced strawberries atop the whipped cream and sprinkle with half of the finely chopped white chocolate.
Place another cake layer atop the frosted layer. Top with more whipped cream, the remaining sliced strawberries, and sprinkle with the remaining white chocolate. Top with the last cake later. Spread whipped cream across the top of the cake and smooth along the sides. Keep a tall glass of warm water nearby. Rinsing the knife clean will help smooth with whipped cream more easily.
To finish the cake, top with fresh rose petals. I removed the petals from the rose stem and bud. I took the center cluster of flowers and adorned the center of the cake then arranged petals from the center outward.
Store cake in the fridge until ready to serve. I’ve found that the petals will be pretty on the cake for at least a day in the refrigerator.
To serve, remove a few of the petals and slice through the cake. I removed my petals before eating the cake. I want to eat cake, but not really eat rose petals. Petals can be appreciated, adored, and then discarded.