Dry ingredients – in a bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt - set aside
In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment whip the whole eggs on medium for two minutes
Gradually start adding sugar one tablespoon at a time whipping constantly on medium speed.
Once all the sugar is in; turn the mixer to medium-high and whip until light and fluffy – ribbon stage.
Next, gradually, add the cooking oil. Followed by the strawberry puree and pink food color
Next, add in the flour mixture making sure you have no lumps. Continue to use the whisk but do not over whip at this time. Or you will lose all the volume in the eggs.
Divide batter equally between the prepared baking pans.Tip - I like to use cake strips to ensure my layer cakes bake flat.
Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool in the pan for 5 minutes then invert on a cooling rack and cool completely before you store or decorate. Tip - Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the freezer for an hour. This will make fewer crumbs when torting and leveling the cake.
In a bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment cream the butter until smooth.
Add meringue powder, liquid creamer, and approximately two cups of the powdered sugar.
Mix on medium-low for a minute – scrap the bowl. Add the vanilla and the salt.
Continue to mix for two minutes more until you have a light and sticky consistency. Tip - the meringue powder will add a bit of stickiness to the buttercream.
Now, add the remaining powdered sugar one cup at a time. Followed by the butter one cube at a time.
Once all the butter is in – run the mixer on medium-high for about 3 minutes until you have a light and fluffy buttercream that resembles the consistency of whipped cream.
The cream in the mixture will whip and give you almost stiff peaks.Tip- If the buttercream is too soft, you haven't whipped enough. However, If the butter is melting chill the bowl for 10 minutes then whip again. (this can happen in warmer temperatures)
Prepare simple syrup - cool completely before using.Tip- Simple syrup is just sugar water that has been boiled and cooled. Used to keep cake layers moist.
Using a bread knife or cake leveler cut the domes off the cake layers
Then top the second cake layer on top followed by more buttercream and the last layer.
Add more frosting on top and sides, use a bench scraper to smooth the sides and an off-set spatula for the top.
Place the cake in the fridge to chill for 10 to 15 minutes.Tip - Chilling the cake at this point will ensure the layers don't move when you frost the outside. Though, if you leave the cake uncovered in the fridge for too long it can dry out. So, 10 minutes is all you need.
The cake will stay fresh for up to three days at cool room temperature, longer if kept in the fridge.
It can be frozen for a month or more.
Freezing instructions - Freeze it on a tray for an hour or two then wrap well in cling/plastic wrap, followed by a parchment paper and then aluminum foil. Thaw wrapped in the fridge for 24 hours so the condensation will stay on the papers, not the cake.
If you don’t want to make a layer cake like this,
You can pour this batter into a 9 x 13 pan to make a classic chocolate sheet cake.
Pour the batter into a well-greased and dusted 9 cup bundt pan for a chocolate fudge bundt cake’.
This recipe can also be baked into 26 beautiful chocolate cupcakes