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Strawberry cake is so fresh and tasty! This from scratch strawberry cake with strawberry buttercream is moist, flavorful, and gorgeous! And it’s made without Jello!
Strawberry cake is tough to master because when strawberries are baked, they lose their flavor and their color turns grey. But you can avoid that by using a concentrated strawberry product such as jam or pie filling. These things have strawberries that are cooked down until there is more flavor and the redness deepens before it’s mixed in with the flour and other ingredients that wash it out.
Many strawberry cakes call for Jello. And while Jello is not awful, it’s used for concentrated color and flavor. So first, you’re getting artificial flavor instead of strawberry flavor from fruit. And secondly, gelatin is not the way to a light fluffy cake. It creates dense gummy texture in cake. Plus, who wants a cake that tastes like fake strawberry candy?
This cake makes a great Valentine treat to share with your sweetie. If you’re looking for more Valentine fun, check out these chewy heart shaped meringue cookies. And these Red Velvet Sandwich Cookie with Cream Cheese Filling would be fun too!
But if you just chop up fresh strawberries, you won’t get an appetizing look or texture in your cake. It will be dense and soggy. So there are several options for intensifying strawberry flavor. One way is to use freeze dried strawberries and grind them into a powder.
Another way is to use concentrated strawberry products like we are using. Either way, you’ll be happier with the outcome of your cake. You can even make your own strawberry compote with strawberries and sugar and cook them down until they are thick like the pie filling instead of buying pie filling. You do you!
Secrets to making a pretty layer cake
- Before you start to stack and frost, freeze or partially freeze your layers individually. Fresh cake is tough to frost neatly. So if you harden it up, you’ll have an easier time.
- Place a dab of frosting on your plate before adding the first layer to keep the cake in place and make a good foundation.
- Apply a thin “crumb coat” of frosting and then chill the cake and refrost. You won’t have crumbs showing.
- If you don’t have buttermilk, use 1-2 teaspoons of lemon juice or vinegar in your milk to make your own.
- Don’t overmix this batter. It’s tender like muffins, so mix until just incorporated.
- If your frosting isn’t smooth enough, add a tablespoon of heavy cream.
- When slicing cake, warm up your knife in hot water, then dry it off and it will cut smooth slices.
- Always serve cake at room temperature.
How to store buttercream icing
You can store your strawberry buttercream icing in the refrigerator for a week or so. If you’re using it that day, cover it with a moist towel and it can set out for an hour or so.
Once the cake is assembled, it’s best to store it in the fridge and bring it out an hour or two before serving so it comes back to room temperature.
Can I make cupcakes from this cake recipe?
You sure can make cupcakes. You’ll get about 24 from this recipe. Bake them at 350 for 18 to 20 minutes.
What about a 9 x 13 pan? Yes, that will work too, and the baking time is just about the same as for the rounds.
Can you freeze strawberry cake?
You can freeze this cake whole and defrost whole or freeze the individual layers wrapped in plastic wrap and then assemble them later.
Can you freeze buttercream frosting
Absolutely, it freezes great and lasts for 3-6 months in an airtight container.
To decorate: Place 1 of the cakes on a shallow plate. Using the angled spatula, add some of the buttercream on top of 1 of the cakes, in a back-and-forth motion, spread gently to cover the cake entire top of the cake. Place the 2nd cake on top of the cake with the buttercream (top side down). Press gently, this helps remove some of the air pockets that may develop. Place more buttercream on the cake and gently work back and forth. Spread over the sides. Use the angled spatula to smooth as much as possible or make slight ridges by turning the cake on the turn table.
Top the cake with fresh strawberries if desired.
For more strawberry ideas, check these out:
For more gorgeous delicious cakes, check these out:
- Pumpkin Spiced Coffee Cake with Streusel Topping
- Lemon Layer Cake
- Dark Chocolate Poke Cake with Marshmallow Frosting
- Coffee Ice Cream Cake
Strawberry buttercream cake
- Cake batter
- 2 cups all purpose flour (remove 2 tablespoons)
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- ¾ cups white cane sugar
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 6 drops of red gel food coloring
- 2 eggs (room temperature)
- 6 ounces strawberry pie filling
- ½ tablespoon strawberry extract
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- ¾ cups buttermilk (room temperature or as close as possible without it getting warm)
- 1 ½ cups salted butter
- 2 cups powder sugar
- 1 tsp strawberry extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Lightly grease cake pans.
In a bowl add the eggs, sugar, oil, red food coloring, and strawberry extract.
Begin mixing until combined scraping down the sides of the bowl.
Combine cornstarch, flour, salt, and baking powder in a bowl, whisk together, alternate the flour & pouring milk into the egg/sugar ingredients.
Mix until well combined scraping sides midway through.
Add the strawberry pie filling and mix no longer than 1 ½ minute.
Pour equal amounts into 2- 6 inch round cake pans.
Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 40 mins. Check with a toothpick. It should come out clean, if not, bake an additional 2 mins.
Allow to cool on wire rack for 10 minutes before removing and placing on the wire rack to cool completely.
While the cakes are baking, mix the salted butter, powdered sugar, and strawberry extract until creamy and smooth.
Cover and allow to rest while the cake cool completely.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 720Total Fat: 42gSaturated Fat: 20gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 116mgSodium: 481mgCarbohydrates: 83gFiber: 1gSugar: 61gProtein: 5g
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