2-3pintsstrawberriesfinely chopped (= about 2 cups chopped strawberries)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Prepare 3, 9-inch round cake pans by spraying liberally with non-stick cooking spray.
Sift together cake flour, baking powder and salt in a medium mixing bowl and set aside.
In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar together until smooth and fluffy. Slowly add the eggs and mix well until combined.
Stir in sour cream, vanilla and optional orange extract, and mix well until combined.
Scrape the sides of the bowl and add half of the flour mixture. Stir until fully incorporated. Scrape the sides of the bowl again and stir in the milk.
Add the remaining flour, and stir until the flour is fully incorporated. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and give it one last stir.
Divide the batter into 3 prepared, round baking pans.
Bake in 325 degree oven for about 35 minutes. Cakes are done when tops spring back with a light touch, or a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before turning over onto a plate or baking rack.
In your stand mixer with the whisk attachment, (or with a hand held mixer) beat the heavy cream until stiff peaks are formed. Set aside, preferably in the fridge. (If you have two bowls for your stand mixer, leave it in the bowl, if not, transfer to another bowl before placing in the fridge). *NOTE - use a chilled bowl and paddle to help keep the cream cool.
Fit the paddle attachment on your mixer and beat cream cheese on high until light and fluffy, scraping the sides a couple of times. Add the vanilla and sugar and beat on medium until fully incorporated.
Stir in chopped strawberries on low speed. Remove the bowl from the mixer. Gently fold in the whipped cream with a spatula until well combined.
Place the first cake layer on your serving platter and frost just the top with the strawberry frosting (about 1/2" or so thick). Repeat with the next two layers, then frost the sides with an offset spatula (the long and skinny kind). Smooth top and sides until even, then top with sliced strawberries for garnish, if desired.
This cake should be refrigerated until ready to serve.