Happy Day Cake with Strawberry Whipped Cream Frosting
This Happy Day Cake is adapted from a vintage recipe which I believe would have been used for special celebrations, hence the name! I've updated it to include a light fresh Strawberry Whipped Cream frosting and filling making it light and perfectly flavored to brighten any day!Each the filling and frosting contain the same ingredients however the filling has a more dense amount of strawberry puree which is why they are made in separate batches. Due to variations in berry sweetness, taste and adjust for sweetness to your own preference. There is an ample amount of frosting to create billowy, whimsically decorated cake! If you have some remaining you can surely find other uses: on ice cream, in coffee, pancakes…
Ingredients for the Happy Day Cake:
- 2 ¼ cups cake flour (I used regular gluten free flour)
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- ½ cup shortening (I used organic Spectrum brand shortening)*
- 1 cup half and half (the original recipe calls for milk)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 eggs
Ingredients for Simple Strawberry Puree:
- 16 ounces frozen hulled strawberries , thawed** (save any liquid from thawing!)
- Sugar or honey
Ingredients for the Strawberry Whipped Cream Frosting and cake filling (ingredients broken out in instructions):
- 2 ½ cups heavy whipping cream
- 2 ½ tablespoons sugar
- 1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla
- Simple Strawberry Puree
Instructions for the Happy Day Cake:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cut parchment to fit in the bottom of two 9 inch cake pans. Spray with non stick spray (note: the original recipe indicated to put the parchment in the pan and then to grease them. I opted for spray which may not be necessary but it released the cakes easily when done).
Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar into a medium mixing bowl. Set aside.
In the bowl of a standing mixer with paddle attachment (or large mixing bowl with hand mixer) mix shortening on low speed to soften. Spoon in sifted ingredients, a little at a time while mixing on low to fully combine.
Slowly add ¾ cup of the half and half until fully mixed. Mix on medium for 2 minutes.
Add the eggs and remaining ¼ cup half and half. Mix on medium speed for a minute until smooth.
Divide batter between the two prepared cake pans. Bake for 25 minutes until cakes are beginning to brown on the top and spring up to the touch.
Remove and let pans cool on cooling racks for 5 minutes. Remove cakes from pans, remove parchment paper and allow to cool fully on cooling racks. While cakes are cooling prepare the strawberry puree and the frosting.
Instructions for Simple Strawberry Puree:
Place strawberries and liquid in a blender and select the ‘puree’ setting. Pulse until berries are liquefied.
Add sweetener by the teaspoon until desired flavor. The berries will be mixed with sweetened whip cream so they don’t need to be overly sweet.
Instructions for cake filling:
In the chilled bowl of a standing mixer (or a chilled metal bowl with a handheld mixer), combine 1 cup heavy whipping cream, 1 tablespoon sugar and ½ teaspoon vanilla.
Begin to mix with the whisk attachment at low speed to combine ingredients. Increase speed to high. As mixture begins to thicken (a few minutes) add 5 tablespoons Strawberry Puree.
Beat until mixture until peaks form.
Instructions for Strawberry Whipped Cream Frosting:
In the chilled bowl of a standing mixer (or a chilled metal bowl with a handheld mixer), combine: 1 ½ cup heavy whipping cream, 1 ½ tablespoon sugar and ¾ teaspoon vanilla.
Begin to mix with the whisk attachment at low speed to combine ingredients. Increase speed to high. As mixture begins to thicken (a few minutes) add 6-7 tablespoons Strawberry Puree.
Beat until mixture until peaks form.
Assembling the cake:
When cake layers are fully cooed, place one layer flat side down on a serving plate. Frost the top of the layer with the Cake Filling. Place second layer of cake, flat side down, on the filling. Frost top and outside of cake with the Cake Frosting.
*the original recipe has a substitution option to use butter instead of shortening. If substituting butter, margarine or lard for shortening reduce the milk or half and half to 7/8 cup. I cannot comment on making the recipe with this substitution but wanted to include the option.* You can use fresh strawberries and if they don’t have enough liquid add water by the tablespoon until the strawberries liquefy in the blender. This recipe makes a bit more than you’ll use but you can drizzle it on the cake or use it for other things like pancakes.