For the CAKE: BASIC YELLOW CAKE
1 tablespoon solid vegetable shortening
2 1/2 cups(12 1/2 oz) bleached all-purpose flour, plus 2 tablespoons for flouring the pans
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup(2 sticks) unsalted butter,softened but still firm
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs at room temperature
1 cup milk at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Set oven rack in the middle position (if oven is too small to hold both layers, comfortably on a single rack, set racks in upper-middle and lower-middle positions). Heat oven to 350 degress F. Coat bottom and sides of two 9x1 1/2 inch or 2 inch round cake pans with 1/2 tablespoon shortening each. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon flour into each pan; roll pans in all directions to coat. Invert pans and rap sharply to remove excess flour.
2. Sift together remaining flour,baking powder, and salt. Set dry infredients aside.
3. Beat butter in bowl of electric mixer at medium speed until smooth, about 30 seconds. Add sugar and beat, scraping down sides of bowl as needed, until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 munites. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stop mixer and scrape down sides of bowl as needed.
4. combine milk and vanilla. With mixer on low, add some of dry ingredients followed by a little of milk mixture. Continue alternating dry with liquid ingredients, ending with dry ingredients. Scrape down sides of bowl as needed throughout mixing process.
5. Divide batter evenly between two pra[red cake pans; using rubber spatula, spread batter to pan walls and smooth tops. Arrange pans at least 3 inches from oven walls and 3 inches apart. (if oven is too small, place pans on separate racks in staggered fashion to allow for air circulation) Bake until firm in the center when lightly pressed and cake needle or toothpick inserted in center comes out clean or with just a crumb or two adhering, 30 to 35 minutes.
6. Cool cakes in pans set on rack for 5 minutes. loosen from sides of pan with knife, if necessary; invert onto greased cake racks. Reinvert onto additional greased racks. Let cool completely, avout 1 hour.
FOR THE STRAWBERRY LAYER:
1 recipe whipped cream frosting (recipe follows)
1 quart(19 oz) medium sized strawberries lightly rinsed, thoroughly dried and hulled
1. Prepare and cool cake layers. prepare frosting.
2. cut three-quarters strawberries in half through stem ends.
3. Place first cake layer on cardboard roud or cake plate. frost top with 1/4 inch thick layer of whipped cream. Lay halved strawberries, cut side down, over whipped cream in single layer. Fill in spaces between berries with a little more whipped cream.
4. Add second cake layer. Press down lightly to secure. frost top and sides of cake. arrange remaining whole strawberries, stem side down, in decorative fashion on top of cake.
WHIPPED CREAM FROSTING
2 1/2 cups heavy cream, chilled
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Beat cream in bowl of electric mixer at medium speed until thick, about 3 minutes.
2. Add sugar and vanilla and beat, scraping down sides of bowl as needed, until stiff, about 1 munite (frosting can be covered and refrigerated for several hours. briefly rewhip if necessary)
HAPPY BAKING !!!!!!!!