1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare three 9 inch cake pans.
2. Beat butter and sugar until light in color and fluffy, 2-3 minutes.
3. Add egg whites and beat until smooth.
4. Whisk together dry ingredients in another bowl. Add the vanilla extract to the buttermilk.
5. Add about 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until smooth.
6. Add half of the buttermilk and mix until well incorporated.
7. Repeat steps 5 and 6.
8. Add remaining dry ingredients and mix until smooth.
9. Pour batter into cake pans.
10. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs.
11. Remove cake from oven and allow to cool for 3-5 minutes, then remove from pans to finish cooling on a cooling rack.
1. Beat the butter until smooth.
2. Slowly add 3 cups of powdered sugar. Mix until combined.
3. Add the vanilla extract and mix until smooth.
4. Add remaining powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
5. Add milk to get a good, spreadable consistency.
TO ASSEMBLE THE CAKE:
1. Place the first layer of cake on a cake board or the cake plate it will stay on. Cut off the cake dome with a large serrated knife.
2. Pipe a thin layer of icing around the edge of the cake. It will act as a dam to keep the filling (dulce de leche and strawberries) from leaking out of the sides of the cake.
3. Add 3/4 a cup of dulce de leche and spread evenly.
4. Add a layer of strawberries. Make sure they are dry.
5. Add a thin, even layer of vanilla buttercream. It should fill in the gaps around the strawberries and give the next layer of cake something to stick to.
6. Cut the cake dome off of the second layer of cake and stack it on top of the vanilla buttercream layer.
7. Repeat layers 3, 4 and 5.
8. Cut the cake dome off of the last layer and stack it on top of the cake.
9. Ice the sides of the cake with a crumb coat (a thin layer of icing where you can still see the cake through the icing).
10. Place cake into refrigerator for and hour or so, if necessary, to firm up the icing and dulce de leche and keep it stable for icing.
11. Spread the remaining dulce de leche into an even layer on top of the cake.
12. Ice the sides of the cake with vanilla buttercream, then pipe around the edges to cover where the dulce de leche and buttercream meet at the edge. Store cake in refrigerator, if desired and if cake seems particularly juicy.
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