Growing up, Dominican cake was my favorite cake. My Mom is from the Dominican Republic and I remember she would bake Dominican cake for birthdays or special occasions. This cake brings me back to my childhood because I always loved watching Mom bake and the smell throughout our apartment was out of this world. There are different variations of Dominican cake but the outcome is to obtain a smooth and spongy cake. I followed ingredients from a cookbook my Mom loves, Mujer 2000 recetas de cocina by Silvia H. de Pou. Yesterday, we made this cake together and had a lot of fun.
2 sticks of Salted Butter - at room temperature
2 cups of Sugar
1 teaspoon of Pure Vanilla Extract
3 cups of All Purpose Flour
3 teaspoons of Baking Powder
1 cup of Whole Milk
1/8 teaspoon of Salt
Grease with butter 2 9" inch round baking pans and line with parchment paper. Sprinkle flour lightly over the greased parchment paper.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix baking powder and flour, and sift together. Put aside for now.
I used a stand mixer but you can use a hand held mixer as well. Mix butter until it is creamy and then add sugar little by little and continue mixing until it is light and creamy.
Add eggs one at a time, mixing well.
Add in some of the flour, mix well and then add some of the milk. Do this a few times ending with flour. Scrape sides of bowl to make sure you have incorporated all the ingredients.
Add vanilla and salt, and mix well.
Spread cake batter evenly between the 2 pans using a spatula.
Bake for 45-55 minutes. Cake is ready when toothpick comes out clean. Oven temps vary so keep an eye on the cake so you don't over brown it.
While cake is baking make the frosting.
Merengue (Frosting) Ingredients:
3 Egg Whites
1 1/2 cup of Sugar
1/2 cup of Water
1 teaspoon of freshly squeezed Lemon juice
Using a hand held mixer, mix egg whites for several minutes until nice stiff peaks form. Put aside for now.
In a small pan, stir sugar, water, and lemon juice on low heat until sugar dissolves and caramel forms a syrup-like texture. Keep an eye on it so it does not burn. This step is a little tricky and easy to screw up.
Take hot caramel and mix in little by little to the egg white/whipping cream mixture and keep mixing until it reaches a thick but soft consistency like whipped cream cheese. If you wish, you may add food coloring at this time.
Put the frosting aside and let it cool completely before frosting the cake.
Once cake and frosting have cooled completely, place bottom layer of cake on a flat serving plate, top side down and spread pineapple preserves generously. Place the second layer on top, top side up and decorate with frosting.
Let frosting set on cake for one hour at room temperature, and serve.