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Vanilla Sandcastle Cake

Vanilla Sandcastle Cake
To decorate the cake, place 3 hulled strawberries in the center, then fill the center with alternating layers of pastry cream and sliced strawberries. Pipe whipped cream on top of each turret and top with a strawberry. Or, scoop ice cream onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze for 1 to 4 hours, then place the ice cream in the center of the cake.

Ingredients:

For the cake:

  • 2 2/3 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 16 Tbs. (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup milk

For the glaze:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions:

Have all the ingredients at room temperature.

Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 325°F. Grease and flour a sandcastle Bundt pan; tap out excess flour.

To make the cake, over a sheet of waxed paper, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy and smooth, about 30 seconds. Add the sugar and continue beating until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs a little at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla just until incorporated, about 1 minute.

Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the milk and beginning and ending with the flour. Beat each addition just until incorporated, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, spreading the batter so the sides are higher than the center. Bake until the cake begins to pull away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 55 to 60 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the cake cool upright in the pan for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the glaze: In a small saucepan over medium heat, stir together the sugar, water and lemon juice and heat until the sugar is dissolved, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.

Tap the cake pan gently on a work surface to loosen the cake. Set the rack over a sheet of waxed paper, invert the pan onto the rack and lift off the pan. Using a pastry brush, brush the warm cake with the glaze. Let the cake cool completely, at least 2 hours, before serving. Serves 16.
Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.