Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The 13 Year Old's Cake - Danish Layer Cream Cake

How to please your daughter on her 13th birthday!

Start with Wisconsin fresh market strawberries...

End up with a cake that is truly to die for....

  1. Make her the cake she loves.... strawberry cream layer cake
  2. Clean house like a mad woman... hide things in closets.
  3. Arrange and rearrange back porch furniture and plants as if the Dalai Lama was arriving.
  4. Purchase crazy colored nail polish at Walgreens for party favors.
  5. Can't forget the balloons and special napkins. What would a birthday be without balloons.
  6. Cool stripey candles to boot...
  7. Chauffeur around 6 teen girls for giggles and supper to local pizzeria.
  8. Let them run wild until a bit too late.
  9. Put in girl movie... Romeo and Juliet with Leonardo DiCaprio (who else)
  10. Rouse yourself out of bed at 1:00 a.m. to stop them from cooking pizza rolls at such an ungodly hour....
  11. Wish her happy birthday and get some shut-eye.
  12. Note to self: Remember ear plugs for the next slumber party... you will get to sleep faster.
Danish Layer Strawberry Cream Cake

I grew up in a town where we were blessed with really good Danish bakeries. One of these bakeries made the best Danish Layer Cream Cake ever. It was what you always wanted your birthday cake to taste like... So delicious, a spongy cake with this amazing filling and cream... sometimes raspberry, sometimes lemon custard and always whipped cream. I think I have finally found the cake that pleases my senses enough that I would make it every week if I had the time. Unfortunately I am on a gluten free diet,,, the no fun diet... so I end up taking a bite to make sure it is palatable and then...I go to bed dreaming about eating it, breathing it and eating it again. Thank goodness for hungry and appreciative mouths.

The cake:
What makes this cake special are the egg whites...oohh how they make this cake a big giant sponge, able to soak up the flavor of the ripe June strawberries. The cake recipe comes from a 1957 cookbook put out by the Journal Times in Racine Wisconsin.
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tbs cold water
  • 1 and 1/2 tbs cornstarch - place into measuring cup and fill the balance of cup with cake flour (heaping)
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tbs lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 6 tbs unsalted butter melted
Beat egg yolks well, add sugar, cold water and vanilla. Add melted butter. Sift dry ingredients and fold into egg mixture. Add lemon juice. Fold in stiffly beaten egg whites (you want nice soft peaks when whipping your whites.) Pour batter into 2, 9" cake pans, buttered & floured, and lined with parchment paper. Split your batter 1/3 in one and 2/3 in another. Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes. The cake with the The cake with the 1/3 batter will be done in 15 minutes.... the pan with 2/3 batter will take a bit longer....around 20-25 depending on oven. You will start to smell cake and it should be pulling away from side of pan and a bit golden /brown. Let cool for 10 minutes, tip upside down and let cool on wire rack. Split the larger cake with long serrated knife.

The Filling:

  • 2 quarts of strawberries, washed and dried 
  • sugar to taste
  • 1 pint organic whipping cream
  • vanilla
  • 4 bamboo skewers - 10 inches
Take about 1/3 of  berries, top them and place into food processor. Turn on until you have a puree. Pour puree of berries into a heavy-bottomed sauce pan, add about 1/4 cup sugar and let simmer for quite some time, 30 minutes with continous stirring. You want the  puree to reduce down to a thick, sweet berry sauce... you do not want this runny as this will be the layer for you cake. (not quite as thick as jam consistency) Taste for sweetness add more sugar if needed or desired. Cool. Take another 1/3 of berries, top them and place in the food processor, pulse until just diced up into small pieces. Place in bowl. Whip the cream with added sugar and 1 tsp. of vanilla. Add sugar sparingly as good organic whip cream is so satisfyingly sweet you often do not need to add sugar. Get layers ready. Lay first layer down and cover cake with the puree. Spoon it on and watch it soak into your lovely cake. Next add a layer of your strawberry pieces. Carefully add whip cream and then another cake layer. Repeat process with the rest of strawberries and cream. Place final cake layer on top. Place bamboo skewers into cake so it will not slide and cover the rest of cake top with whipping cream. This part is essential!!! You can easily lose a layer.. Use remaining strawberries to top the cake. Cover and put into fridge to set. You could frost the sides... as this would cover up any of the filling squeezing out of the cake, however, part of the appeal of this cake is the juiciness of it. It cries... chin dripping berries...taste me! Let the cake sit in fridge for a few hours or serve immediately. 

Here she is the beautiful birthday girl! Thinking about what she is going to wish for!


    1. now that is a beautiful cake for a beautiful young lady!
      thanks for sharing the recipe and your daughters BD!

    2. Thank you Chef D... the girls ate it with fervor, as if they hadn't eaten in years... in fact they ate everything with fervor that night! gotta love them!

    3. Happy birthday! Ooo - it must have been tempting to eat the whole thing. You have a will of steel. Thanks for the skewer tip.

    4. Just lovely, the spread of strawberries, I almost fainted. Great work!

    5. Belinda! Thank you for responding.. the skewers saved me... we almost lost the top two layers when going into the fridge. some choice words were let out....luckily we had a stash of skewers that I could quick plunge into the cake.

    6. My son is turning 16 today and he wanted a Danish layer...I'm making this...as I happened to google this recipe and I grew up in Racine, WI. Thanks.

    7. To anonymous.. I love that you are making this cake! I grew up in Racine too... nothing like those O&H Layer cakes! Enjoy and happy b-day to your son!

    8. OMG... Oh Meagan... mmmm... ah...
      (Quotes from our table this morning as we breakfasted on Danish Layer Cream Cake.)

      It was summer; swing sets, sheets on the line, whipped cream, strawberry goodness one bite at a time. Delicious!

    9. Thank you Jackie... it was summer.... loved being with you all!

    10. Oh, I hope she had a wonderful Birth Day...Cake looks yummy!

    11. Hi Mom! Thanks for that wonderful Birthday Cake! It was delicious! It was a big hit with my friends! I love lots and lots and I love that you are able to make WONDERFUL-AWESOME-DELICIOUS-FOOD!!

    12. That looks absolutely delicious!

    13. What a gorgeous recipe for such a special occasion - nothing says tween to teen like the greatest slumber party ever complete with such a delicious cake (I should know I am 16 :P)
      Awesome blog!

      Choc Chip Uru
      Latest: Chocolate Malted Malteser Cookies


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