- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled, plus 2 teaspoons, softened
- 6 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons milk, at room temperature
- 3 1/3 cups granulated sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 pounds strawberries, rinsed, hulled, and sliced
- 1/2 cup orange-flavored liqueur, plus a little more for drizzling (recommended: Grand Marnier)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons orange zest
- 2 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 5 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and grease a 9 by 13-inch glass casserole with the 2 teaspoons of butter and set aside.
Combine the eggs and milk in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until frothy. Add 1 1/3 cups of the sugar and continue to beat at high speed until the mixture is quite thick and pale yellow, about 7 to 10 minutes.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Fold this mixture gently into the egg mixture. Gently stir in the melted butter and then transfer the batter to the prepared baking pan and bake in the center of the oven until risen and golden brown, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack before proceeding.
Make the strawberry topping by combining the strawberries, remaining 2 cups sugar, 1/2 cup orange liqueur, and orange zest in a large bowl and tossing to combine. Let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until all sugar is dissolved. Refrigerate, covered, until ready to assemble the dessert.
Make the whipped cream by combining the heavy cream with the confectioners' sugar in a large bowl and beating with an electric mixer or whisk until slightly thickened. Add the vanilla and continue to beat until the mixture nearly forms stiff peaks.
When ready to assemble the dessert, poke holes all over the cake using a cake tester or toothpick. Drizzle cake with a little orange liqueur. Cut the cake into 1 1/2-inch cubes and place half of the cake cubes on the bottom of a deep-sided dessert bowl. Add half of the strawberry mixture over the top of the cake cubes, juices and all, spreading strawberries evenly with a spatula and allowing the juices to absorb into the cake. Top with the remaining cake cubes and then the remaining strawberries. Top with the whipped cream and serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 1 hour in advance before serving.