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Strawberry Cake – Tender strawberry cake layers with fresh strawberries and cream cheese frosting.
A couple years ago, I was in Dallas for my consulting job and had some time to grab lunch with my older brother. I travel to Dallas quite a bit for work and Chris always takes me to the yummiest restaurants (Porch, Smoke, Savor… to name a few). We usually don’t get a lot of time together, so we often skip dessert (insert sad face emoji here). This time around, however, we had just enough time to make a stop at the Cake Bar.
Of course, I wanted to order a slice of everything, but narrowed it down to two flavors: chocolate and strawberry (a customer favorite, I was told). I’m typically a chocolate lover, but this time (to my surprise) I was blown away by the strawberry cake. It was perfection; so flavorful and moist. I just couldn’t stop shoveling it into my mouth. I knew immediately that I had to recreate this cake when I got home.
As soon as I got returned from my trip, I started looking at strawberry cake recipes. Based on my research, I knew I wanted to use flavored gelatin because it would give the cake an added punch of strawberry flavor that strawberry puree on its own didn’t seem to achieve in most recipes. The Cake Bar cake had such a great strawberry flavor. I’m convinced they used the flavored gelatin too. I’d love to find out someday!
The cake turned out super moist and fluffy, not dense like so many other strawberry cakes do. The sifted cake flour also helps to create a light cake.
So, as far as the cake goes, I’m giving it two thumbs up. I’m super happy with how it turned out and will be putting it in my arsenal of cake recipes.
When I originally made this strawberry cake, I paired it with a strawberry puree filling. I’ve since changed the filling and now fill the cake with more cream cheese frosting and fresh strawberries. It helps to make the cake a little less sweet actually.
I used to not love cream cheese frosting until I learned to make my own. This one is SO good! It’s my go-to cream cheese frosting. I’ve used it in so many cakes (you can see the list HERE). I use less cream cheese than most people do, I think. Just enough to give it a tart flavor, but not too much where the flavor steals the show.
I hope you love this cake as much as I do. And if you’ve ever had the Cake Bar version, I’d love to know how you think it compares!
Strawberry Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Strawberry cake layers with cream cheese frosting and fresh strawberries
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 25 mins
FOR THE STRAWBERRY CAKE
- 1 1/2 cups (300 g) granulated sugar
- 1 3 oz. package of strawberry flavored Jell-O
- 1 cup (226 g) unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup (120 g) sour cream, at room temperature
- 5 large egg whites room temperature
- 3 cups plus 3 tablespoons (366.5 g) cake flour
- 2 teaspoons (8 g) baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon (2.8 g) salt
- 1 cup (240 g buttermilk) room temperature
- 1 tablespoon (12g) pure vanilla extract
FOR THE CREAM CHEESE BUTTERCREAM
- 1 1/2 cups (339 g) unsalted butter, slightly chilled
- 4 oz. cream cheese slightly chilled
- 6 cups (750 g) powdered sugar, measured and then sifted
- 3 tablespoons (43.3 g) heavy whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon (4.2 g) pure vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- *This buttercream recipe makes enough to fill and cover your cake. If you want to add additional piping you’ll want to make an extra 1/2 batch.
- Fresh strawberries
- For the Strawberry Cake
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Spray three 8-inch or four 6-inch round cake pans with cooking spray, then place parchment rounds on the bottom and spray again. Set aside.
- In a medium size bowl, whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, Jell-O, and sugar for about 2 to 3 minutes, until light and fluffy.
- With the mixer on medium speed, gradually add the egg whites, making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl between each addition.
- Add the sour cream and vanilla. Mix for another 2 minutes on medium speed. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl.
- With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and the buttermilk, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Mix until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix again on low for another 20 seconds.
- Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans (about 16 ounces of batter in each pan). I used three 8-inch pans and my cooking time was 22 minutes. Baking time should be between 22-25 minutes for the 8-inch, but make sure to check on your cakes around 22 minutes, inserting a toothpick into the top of the cake (should come out with just a few crumbs) or gently tapping the top of your cake (shouldn't jiggle, but instead, bounce back up when done).
- Let cool in your pans for 10 minutes and then invert onto wire cooling racks until completely cooled.
- For the Cream Cheese Frosting
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and cream cheese and beat on medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute.
- With the mixer on low, gradually add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, until incorporated.
- Keeping the mixer on low, add the cream, vanilla and salt.
- Turn the mixer to medium and beat the frosting for 3-5 minutes, or until it is light in color (almost white) and texture.
- To remove air bubbles from the frosting, use a wooden spoon to stir and push out the air bubbles.
Strawberry Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Strawberry Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting. Strawberry cake layers with cream cheese frosting and fresh strawberries