lemon zucchini cake with strawberry buttercream
lemon zucchini cake
1 cup vegetable oil
1 tbsp vanilla
2 1/4 cups (450g) sugar
1 cup buttermilk
zest of 3 lemons
2 cups shredded zucchini, squeezed and drained
3 cups (375g) AP flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
Oven 325 degrees F. Butter and flour two 6 x 3 inch cake pans. Set aside.
Beat together the eggs, oil, vanilla and sugar for 1-2 minutes. Add buttermilk. Fold in the shredded zucchini and zest.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Add to the wet mix and stir gently to combine. Do not over mix. Pour into prepared pans and bake for approximately 1 hour, until lightly browned on top and center springs back when gently pressed.
Release from pans and let cool on a wire rack until completely cool.
strawberry swiss meringue buttercream
5 large egg whites
1 cup + 2 tbsp (228g) sugar
Pinch of salt
4 sticks (453g) butter, cut into tablespoons, room temperature
2 tbsp strawberry powder (freeze dried strawberries, crushed into a powder)
Combine egg whites, sugar, and salt in the heatproof bowl of a standing mixer set over a pan of simmering water. Whisk constantly by hand until mixture is warm to the touch and sugar has dissolved (the mixture should feel completely smooth when rubbed between your fingertips).
Attach the bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Starting on low and gradually increasing to medium-high speed, whisk until stiff (but not dry) peaks form. Continue mixing until the mixture is fluffy and glossy, and completely cool (test by touching the bottom of the bowl), about 10 minutes.
With mixer on medium-low speed, add the butter a few tablespoons at a time, mixing well after each addition. Once all butter has been added, whisk in the strawberry powder. Switch to the paddle attachment, and continue beating on low speed until all air bubbles are eliminated, about 2 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl with a flexible spatula, and continue beating until the frosting is completely smooth. Keep buttercream at room temperature.
6 fresh strawberries, thinly sliced
Cut both of the cakes in half horizontally so you now have 4 cake rounds. Place on of the cake rounds on a large flat plate, securing to the bottom with a dot of buttercream. Then spread 1/4 of the buttercream onto the cake, in an even layer on the top, not on the sides. The top with another cake layer, spread with 1/4 of the buttercream the layer the slices of strawberries on top. Finish with remaining cake layers and buttercream. Scrape the outside of the cake once assembled to scrap away any buttercream that might have seeped out.