This sweet and tender Strawberry Cake is a fresher, yummier version of your favorite box mix! The rose-colored cake is beautiful, and it’s full of natural strawberry flavor. Layered with a simple cream cheese frosting, this is the cake of my childhood dreams!
For the Strawberry Cake Layers
- 2 1/2 cups (330g) quartered strawberries
- 2 1/2 cups (325g) all purpose flour
- 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup (168g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups (310g) sugar
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 4 tsp strawberry extract
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs
- 3/4 cup (180ml) milk
- 8–10 drops pink food color
For the Cream Cheese Frosting
- 16 oz (452g) cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups (280g) butter, room temperature
- 12 cups (1380g) powdered sugar
- 2 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- To make the strawberry reduction for the cake layers, add the strawberries to a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. You should have about 1 1/4 cups of puree. Strain it through a fine mesh sieve and you should end up with about 1 cup of puree.
- Add the puree to a medium sized saucepan and cook over medium heat. Allow the mixture to come to a slow boil, stirring consistently to keep it from burning, until it has thickened and reduced by half to 1/2 cup, about 15-20 minutes. To measure, pour the puree into a measuring cup. If it’s more than 1/2 cup, add it back to the pan and continue cooking.
- When the puree has thickened and reduced, pour into a measuring cup or bowl and allow to cool to at least room temperature. This strawberry mixture can be made ahead, if you like, and stored in the fridge.
- To make the cake layers, preheat oven to 350°F (176°C) and prepare three 8 inch cake pans with parchment paper in the bottom and baking spray on the sides.
- Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium sized bowl and set aside.
- Add the butter, sugar, oil, strawberry extract and vanilla extract to a large mixer bowl and beat together on medium speed until light in color and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Do not skimp on the creaming time.
- Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until mostly combined after each. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to be sure all ingredients are well incorporated.
- Add half of the dry ingredients to the batter and mix until mostly combined.
- Slowly add the milk, strawberry reduction and 8 drops of food color and mix until well combined.
- Add the remaining dry ingredients and mix until well combined and smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to be sure all ingredients are well incorporated. Do not over mix the batter.
- Gently fold in additional food color until you have your desired shade of pink.
- Divide the batter evenly between the cakes pans and bake for 22-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs.
- Remove the cakes from the oven and allow to cool for about 2-3 minutes, then remove to cooling racks to cool completely.
- To make the frosting, add the cream cheese and butter to a large mixer bowl and beat until well combined and smooth.
- Add about half of the powdered sugar and mix until well combined and smooth.
- Add the vanilla extract and mix until well combined.
- Add the remaining powdered sugar and mix until well combined and smooth. Add more or less powdered sugar, as desired for consistency purposes.
- To put the cake together, use a large serrated knife to remove the domes from the top of the cakes so that they’re flat, if needed.
- Place the first cake on a serving plate or a cardboard cake round.
- Spread about 1 cup of frosting evenly on top of the cake,
- Add the second layer of cake and another cup of frosting.
- Top the cake with the remaining layer and frost the outside of the cake. Refer to my tutorial for frosting a smooth cake, if needed. To make the line pattern in the side of the cake, run a 9 inch offset spatula around the outside of the cake while turning your turntable. Start with the line at the bottom and work your way to the top.
- Pipe shells of frosting on the top edge of the cake and the bottom, then decorate with strawberries, if desired.
Makes 12-14 slices.
Keywords: strawberry cake, homemade strawberry cake, strawberry cake mix, best cream cheese frosting, strawberry layer cake, strawberries and cream cake, easy strawberry cake