12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces and softened
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350℉. Grease two 9-inch round cake pans, line bottoms with parchment, grease parchment, and dust with flour.
2. Transfer strawberries to bowl, cover, and microwave until strawberries are soft and have released their juice, about 5 minutes. Place in fine-mesh strainer set over small saucepan. Firmly press fruit dry (juice should measure about 3/4 cup); reserve strawberry solids for frosting. In a small saucepan, bring juice to boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until syrupy and reduced to 1/4 cup, 8-10 minutes. Whisk milk into juice until combined. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
3. In a 2-cup measuring cup, whisk strawberry milk, egg whites, vanilla and red color gel (if using) until fully combined, set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix flour, malted milk powder, sugar, baking powder, and salt on low speed until combined. Add butter, 1 piece at a time, and mix until only pea-size pieces remain, about 1 minute. Add half of strawberry milk mixture, increase speed to medium-high, and beat until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Reduce speed to medium-low, add remaining strawberry milk mixture, and beat until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Give the batter a final stir with rubber spatula.
4. Divide batter equally into prepared pans and bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 18-22 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking. Cool cakes in pans on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove cakes from pans, discarding parchment, and cool completely, about 2 hours. (Cooled cakes can be wrapped with plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 2 days.)
16 ounces cream cheese, cut into 16 pieces and softened
Reserved strawberry solids from Strawberry Milkshake Cake recipe
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix butter, sugar, salt and malt milk powder on low speed until combined, about 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add cream cheese, one piece at a time, and beat until incorporated, about 1 minute. Add reserved strawberry solids and mix until combined, about 30 seconds. Refrigerate until ready to use, up to 2 days.
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350℉. Grease two 9-inch round cake pans, line bottoms with parchment, grease parchment. Whisk flour, malted milk powder, baking soda, and salt together in large bowl, set aside.
2. Place bananas in microwave-safe bowl; cover with 2 layers of plastic wrap and cut several steam vents in plastic with paring knife. Microwave on high power until bananas are soft and have released liquid, about 5 minutes. Transfer bananas to fine-mesh strainer placed over medium bowl and allow to drain, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes (about 1/2 cup).
3. Transfer liquid to medium saucepan and cook over medium-high heat until reduced to 1/4 cup, about 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat, stir reduced liquid into bananas, and mash with potato masher until fairly smooth. Whisk in butter, eggs, brown sugar, sour cream and vanilla.
4. Pour banana mixture into flour mixture and stir until just combined with some streaks of flour remaining. Divide batter evenly into prepared pans.
5. Bake until toothpick inserted in center of cakes come out clean, 18-22 minutes. Cool cakes in pan on wire rack 1o minutes, then remove cakes from pan and continue to cool on wire rack to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
Strawberry Cake layers
Banana Cake layers
Strawberry Milkshake Frosting
Strawberry Preserve (optional)
1 pint fresh strawberries, for garnish, washed and dried
1. Place one banana cake layer on the bottom of cake stand or serving platter. Spread a thin layer of strawberry preserve over cake layer; then with 1/2 cup strawberry frosting; top with one strawberry cake layer. Spread another thin layer of strawberry preserve, follow by 1/2 a cup of frosting. Repeat with the remaining cake layers.
2. Spread remaining frosting evenly over top and sides of cake. Garnish with strawberries. Serve. (Cake can be refrigerated for 2 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.)