Stand mixer, paddle attachment, rotating cake stand, piping bag/tips/coupler, two 8-inch cake pans
2 1/2cupscake flour
1 1/2tspaluminum-free baking powder
1/2cupunsalted butter; room temperature
2large eggs; room temperature
1cuplow-fat buttermilk; room temperature
1/2cupplain fat-free Greek yogurt; room temperature
1 1/2cupssliced fresh strawberries
2cupsunsalted butterat room temperature
1cupthinly sliced fresh strawberries
Preheat oven to 350°F and spray two 8-inch round cake pans with nonstick spray. Line the bottom of the cake pans with parchment paper.
Whisk together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.
Beat butter and sugar in a large mixer bowl at medium speed until light and fluffy; beat in vanilla. Add eggs one at a time and beat until combined.
Combine buttermilk and Greek yogurt in a small bowl. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with buttermilk mixture (begin and end with flour mixture).
Divide batter evenly between cake pans and smooth with an offset spatula. Tap pans sharply to reduce air bubbles.
Bake cake layers for 24 to 25 minutes, until the top and edges are golden, cakes spring back to the touch, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few crumbs attached.
Cool cakes for 15 minutes in pans on a wire rack before inverting onto wire racks to cool completely.
For the strawberry frosting, combine sliced strawberries and sugar in a saucepan.
Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly with a spatula and pressing firmly on berries to release juices.
Reduce heat to low and simmer for 8 to 9 minutes, stirring frequently, until reduced and thickened.
Transfer strawberry puree to a bowl and chill for 1 hour.
Beat butter and salt in a large mixing bowl on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla.
Add in powdered sugar on low speed 1 cup at a time until incorporated, scraping down bowl as needed. Gradually mix in 4 tablespoons of strawberry puree until combined.
Increase speed to medium-high and beat frosting for 1 minute, until light and airy.
To assemble the cake, place one cake layer on a rotating cake stand and use an offset spatula to swirl frosting over the cake.
Pipe a ring of frosting around the outer edge of the cake layer and chill the layer for 10 minutes.
Fill the center of the cake layer with 1 cup of thinly sliced strawberries.
Spread a thin layer of frosting on the second cake layer and place the layer (frosting side down) over the strawberries.
Chill the stacked cake for 20 minutes.
Use offset spatula to apply a layer of frosting to the top and sides of the cake while you rotate the cake stand, then use a bench scraper to gently smooth the edges of the cake and remove any excess frosting.
If desired, pipe remaining frosting decoratively on the top cake layer.
Chill the frosted cake for 30 minutes before serving. Top with fresh strawberries.
To ensure the color of the cake is vibrant, opt for an aluminum-free baking powder.