This cake is easy enough for novice bakers and tastes as though it comes straight from a French pastry shop. Summer berries are the perfect complement to sweet almond and cream.
For the cake:
Preheat oven to 350°. Butter a 9-inch cake pan; line with parchment paper. Butter the paper, and set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer with paddle attachment (or using a handheld mixer), beat 2 sticks butter and almond paste on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add granulated sugar, and beat to combine. Add eggs and vanilla, and beat to combine, about 2 minutes.
In a separate small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Reduce mixer speed to low, and add dry ingredients to almond mixture until just combined. Pour batter into the prepared pan and spread with a rubber spatula until even. Tap the pan firmly on the counter to prevent bubbles. Transfer to the oven and bake until golden brown and fragrant, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan, remove parchment, and return the cake to the rack to cool, top side up.
For the strawberries:
While the cake is baking, stem and slice strawberries. Toss with granulated sugar and let macerate in the refrigerator or at room temperature at least 30 minutes.
For the whipped cream:
Meanwhile, place heavy cream, confectioners' sugar, and vanilla in a cold metal bowl, and whip until soft peaks form. To serve, slice cake into 8 to 10 pieces, spoon strawberries and syrup over cake, and top with dollops of whipped cream.