This loosely stacked yet highly photogenic dessert is refreshingly different from any regular layer cake.
by Bakery Boy
“What I love about stack cakes is that they are so commanding and grand,” says Sonya Jones in introducing this recipe, a tempting photo of which graces the cover of her newly published cookbook, Sweet Auburn Desserts from Pelican Publishing Company. (Click here for the Bakery Boy Blog’s book review, or here for a profile of Sonya and her Sweet Auburn Bread Company in Atlanta). “Traditionally, the bigger the stack cake and the more layers it has, the more important the occasion,” she adds. So I guess technically, the sky is the limit!
For this recipe, prepare the jam filling ahead of time so it’s well cooled and ready to spread between cake layers on cake-baking day.
Strawberry Jam Stack Cake
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 ounce shortening
1 ¼ cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups cake flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 cup milk
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Grease 7 (8-inch) round cake pans and line with parchment or wax paper.
In a mixer, cream together the butter, shortening, and sugar until fluffy. With the mixer on medium speed, beat in the eggs one at a time until the eggs are fully incorporated. Stir in the vanilla.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. With the mixer on low, alternately add the flour mixture and the milk to the butter mixture, starting and ending with the flour. Beat on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl.
Spread ¾ cup of the batter into each pan. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the cake springs back when lightly touched. Turn the cakes out of the pans onto a wire rack while still warm. Repeat until all 7 layers are baked. Each cake layer will be ¼- to 3/8-inch thick.
Place the first layer on a cake stand and spread ½ cup Strawberry Jam (see below) over the top. Place the second layer on top of the jam and spread another ½ cup jam over the top. Repeat this process until all 7 layers are stacked and layered with jam. Wrap the cake with plastic wrap or foil and allow it to stand for 24 hours before serving.
2 pounds fresh strawberries
4 cups sugar
¼ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 cinnamon stick
Wash and hull the strawberries. In a saucepan, crush the strawberries and stir in the sugar and lemon juice. Add the cinnamon stick and stir over low head until the sugar is dissolved.
Increase the heat to high and bring the mixture to a rolling boil. Using a large spoon, skim off any foam that forms on the surface. Continue to boil, stirring often, until the mixture is thickened and a candy thermometer reads 220 degrees F., about 30 to 40 minutes. Remove the cinnamon stick.
Transfer the jam to a covered container and refrigerate until ready to use. The jam will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
If you wish to store the jam for a longer period of time, spoon the jam into hot, sterile jars and seal. Place the jars in a water bath for 10 minutes and transfer them to the counter to cool before storing them in a cool, dry, dark place.
[From Sweet Auburn Desserts by Chef Sonya Jones, (c) Sonya Jones, used by permission of the publisher, Pelican Publishing Company, Inc.]
To order a copy of Sweet Auburn Desserts by Sonya Jones, contact Pelican Publishing Company at www.pelicanpub.com or 1-800-843-1724. The list price is $24.95, but ask about a 20 percent discount (which you learned about here on the Bakery Boy Blog!) that drops the price to $19.96.
Click here for the Sweet Potato Custard Pie recipe
Click here for the Cinnamon Raisin Bread Pudding recipe
Click here for a book review of Sweet Auburn Desserts by Sonya Jones
Click here for a profile of Sonya Jones and her Sweet Auburn Bread Company in Atlanta