2 1/4cupsGluten Free Flour with xanthum gum addedI like Bob's Red Mill 1 to 1 Baking Flour
12Tbspbuttersoftened to room temp.
For the Buttercream
3/4cupplus 2 Tbsp. sugar
1tspcream of tartar
4sticks butter1 pound or 453 grams
1/4cupmacerated strawberriesleftover from strawberry puree
2-3cupspowdered sugarsifted (depending on how sweet you like it)
For the Strawberry Sauce Topping
Remaining strawberry pureeleftover from the cake and buttercream
cupToasted coconut chipsabout 1/2-3/4
cupAbout 1 of fresh strawberries
Recipe Adapted from Cook's Illustrated
For the Strawberry Puree
Place strawberries in a colander and sprinkle 2 tsp. sugar over them. Place the colander in another bowl to catch the drips. Macerate for about two hours until the strawberries have sweetened. Stir occasionally.
Puree the strawberries in a blender or food processor and set aside.
For the Cake
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl or standing mixer.
Add in the 12 Tbsp. softened butter and mix until the mixture resembles course sand.
Combine the coconut milk, 3/4 cup of the strawberry puree, and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the batter.
Add in the whites and mix until incorporated.
Butter two 9-inch cake pans and cut out a piece of parchment paper to the bottom of each one. Butter the top of the parchment paper too.
Add equal amounts of the cake batter into the pans.
Bake for about 22-25 minutes or until the cake just springs back to the touch and the edges of the cake are separating from the pan.
Remove from the oven and place on a rack to cool, about 20-30 minutes.
Skim a knife around the edges of the cake to release if from the pan. Invert the cakes on a rack to finish cooling.
For the Buttercream
Whip 8 egg whites in a standing mixer with the whisk attachment over medium- high speed. If the egg whites reach stiff peaks before the sugar and water mixture is ready, simply turn down the mixture to medium speed until it's ready.
Stir the sugar and water together in a small saucepan and turn on medium-high heat. Insert a thermometer into the sugar and water mixture and let it reach 240 degrees. Remove it from the heat immediately and slowly pour in the simple syrup in between the whisk and the side of the bowl so it doesn't stick to the bowl. You don't want the sugar/water mixture to go above 250 before adding it to the egg whites.
On medium-high speed and whip until the bottom of the outside of the bowl is cool to the touch, about 15 minutes. You can place ice packs around the bowl to cool the bowl down faster.
Now add in the 4 sticks of butter (in chunks) until they are incorporated. The mixture will deflate and almost curdle or look soupy, but DON'T WORRY, this is normal. Just keep whipping until it comes back together.
Add in 1/4 cup strawberry puree.
Add 2-3 cups of powdered sugar on low speed, depending on how sweet you want it.
For the Strawberry Sauce
Add the remaining strawberry puree to a small saucepan with 1 tsp. cornstarch and 2 tsp. sugar. Simmer for 3-4 minutes or until it starts to thicken. Let cool and place in a bowl and refrigerate.
Decorate the Cake
Place one of the cakes on a turntable and cover with buttercream. Place the other cake on top and check for unevenness. You may choose to level the cake. Add a crumb coat to the cake by frosting a thin layer all around it. This will seal in the crumbs. Place in the fridge for about 30 minutes to set the frosting. It doesn't need to be covered.
Now frost the cake with buttercream and smooth the edges as much as possible. Using a bench scraper is helpful.
Take a piping bag and place a Wilton rose tip (or whatever decorating tip you like) inside. Cut the tip of the bag and place more buttercream inside.
Pipe two rows of flowers all the way around the top of the cake.
Fill the center of the flowers with the strawberry sauce.
Coat the base of the cake in toasted coconut chips and top with fresh strawberries.
Keep the cake covered in the fridge until ready to serve. Let the cake sit at room temperature for about 15-30 minutes before serving. The cake will soften and have a better texture.