Amy Neunsinger
| February 14, 2017

When it comes to preparing great grub and cocktails, Ina Garten is a legend. Just ask Taylor Swift, who can't get enough of the Food Network star's whiskey sours.

RECIPE: How to Make the Whiskey Sours That Taylor Swift's Day-Drinking

And while we’ll probably never have the same cooking chops as the Barefoot Contessa, we can get some inspiration from her many scrumptious recipes. One person who can attest to that fact is actress Ali Larter, who was inspired by Garten to make one of her first pastries ever: the oh-so-pretty strawberry mint cake seen above.

“Ina has greatly influenced me and I consider her an OG (Original Gourmet)," says Larter, the cookbook author behind "Kitchen Revelry." "Her strawberry country cake was one of the first cakes I ever made."

"I’ve changed it up a little over the years by using yogurt instead of sour cream and adding mint to the batter," adds Larter. "It’s a juicy, messier version, and I craved it throughout my entire pregnancy."

RECIPE: Giada De Laurentiis' Lemon Ricotta Cookies

This strawberry mint cake is bursting with sweet, luscious berries, along with a creamy filling that’s both refreshing and certain to satisfy any sweet tooth. As for the cake itself? It’s a fluffy, buttery slice of baked heaven.

Make this strawberry mint cake at your next party, and Larter guarantees you'll stun your guests like Garten does with her beloved Jeffrey:

How to Make a Picture-Perfect Strawberry Mint Cake

Ingredients:

Cake

  • 4 large eggs
  • ¾ cup plain Greek yogurt (do not use nonfat or low-fat)
  • 1 ½ tsps. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. sea salt
  • ¼ tsp. cornstarch
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 12 Tbsps. (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ¼ cup fresh mint leaves, finely chopped

Filling

  • Two 16-ounce containers fresh strawberries, hulled, sliced, divided (save a few beauties to garnish top of cake)
  • Zest of ½ lemon (about 1 teaspoon)
  • 1 ½ cups chilled heavy whipping cream
  • 3 Tbsps. sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions:

To Make the Cake

  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and pre-heat to 325 degrees F. Butter two 8-inch round cake pans with 1½-inch-high sides. Dust the pans lightly with flour, tapping out any excess.
  2. Combine the eggs, yogurt and vanilla in a medium bowl. Whisk to blend well. Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and cornstarch in another medium bowl; whisk until blended.
  3. Combine the sugar and butter in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer,beat the sugar mixture on high speed until light and fluffy. Reduce the speed to medium and slowly add the egg mixture until well blended. Reduce the speed to low and gradually beat in the flower mixture until the batter is smooth. Stir in the fresh mint.
  4. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake pans; smooth the tops. Lightly tap the pans on the work surface to allow the batter to settle evenly in the pans and to prevent air bubbles from forming. Bake the cakes until a tester inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean, about 40 minutes.
  5. Remove the pans from the oven and transfer to a wire rack and allow for the cakes to cool for about 15 to 20 minutes. Run a small knife between the sides of the pans to help loosen the cakes. Invert a plate atop the pan of each cake. Hold the plate and cake pan firmly together and invert the cakes, allowing them to settle onto the plates. If necessary, tap the bottom of the pans to release the cakes. Remove the pans.

To Make the Filling

  1. Combine half of the strawberries and the lemon zest in a medium saucepan. Cook over low heat just until the berries are fragrant and slightly softened, about 2 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Transfer the berry mixture to a medium bowl and cool completely. Stir in the remaining strawberries.
  2. Using an electric mixer, beat the whipping cream, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl until medium-stiff peaks form. Do not overbeat.

To Assemble

  1. Place one cake on a serving platter. Arrange half of the strawberry mixture evenly atop the cake layer, allowing the strawberries to spill to the edges of the cake (the juices from the berries will soak into the cake). Spread half of the whipped cream evenly over the strawberry mixture. Top the second cake layer, then cover with the remaining strawberry mixture and whipped cream. Garnish with whole berries or sprigs of mint.