Go Back
+ servings
Print

Strawberry Crunch Cake

Inspired by a childhood favorite ice cream bar, this Strawberry Crunch Cake is made up of strawberry and vanilla cake layers, strawberry crunch filling, whipped vanilla buttercream, covered in a shortbread cookie strawberry crunch.

Servings 1 4-layer, 6-inch cake

Ingredients

FOR THE STRAWBERRY CAKE

  • 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1.5 ounces of strawberry flavored Jell-O
  • 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons (186.8 g) cake flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons (9 g) baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1.4 g) salt
  • 1/2 cup (113 g) unsalted butter at room temperature and cut into cubes
  • 3 large or extra large egg whites at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons (165 g) buttermilk divided, at room temperature
  • 1/2 tablespoon (2.1 g) pure vanilla extract 

FOR THE VANILLA CAKE

  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup (120 g) buttermilk room temperature
  • 1 teaspoons (4.2 g) clear vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons (186.8 g)cake flour
  • 1 cups (200) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon (16 g) baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.8 g) salt
  • 6 tablespoons (84.75 g) unsalted butter room temperature 

FOR THE STRAWBERRY FILLING

  • 1 cup (226 g) unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon (4.2 g) strawberry emulsion
  • 1 cup (125 g) freeze dried strawberries crushed and then measured
  • 4 cups (500 g) powdered sugar measured and then sifted
  • 2 tablespoons (28.87 g) heavy whipping cream

FOR THE BUTTERCREAM (adapted from Milk Bar)

  • 1 cup (226 g) unsalted butter slightly chilled
  • 1/2 cup (109 g) vegetable shortening
  • 3 ounces cream cheese slightly chilled
  • 5 cups (625 g) powdered sugar measured and then sifted
  • 2 teaspoons (8.4 g) clear vanilla extract
  • *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.

FOR THE COOKIE CRUNCH (adapted from Confessions of a Cookbook Queen)

  • 24 shortbread cookies I used Lorna Doone
  • 1/4 cup (56.5 g) unsalted butter melted
  • 1 cup (120 g) freeze dried strawberries crushed and then measured

Instructions

FOR THE STRAWBERRY CAKE

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare four 6-inch round cake pans by spraying each pan with non-stick spray, covering the bottom of the pan with parchment paper, and spraying the parchment paper with the non-stick spray as well. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the cake flour, sugar, Jell-O, baking powder, and salt. Stir to combine.
  3. Add the cubed butter, one piece at a time, and 1/2 cup of buttermilk to the dry ingredients. Beat on medium-low speed until light and fluffy. About 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  4. In a small mixing bowl, whisk the egg whites and remaining 3 tablespoons of buttermilk. Add the mixture to the mixing bowl in 2 separate additions, mixing for about 30 seconds and scraping down the sides of the bowl in between each addition. Mix in the vanilla.
  5. Divide the batter evenly between two of the four 6-inch pans (about 12 ounces of batter in each pan). Bake for about 15 minutes.
  6. Let cool in the pans for about 10 minutes and then invert onto wire cooling wraps to cool completely. Cakes can be individually wrapped in plastic wrapped and frozen for a week. If you'd like to freeze them longer than one week, wrap each cake layer in tin foil as well. Level the layers before freezing, if needed.

FOR THE VANILLA CAKE

  1. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the egg whites and clear vanilla extract. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the cake flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Mix on low speed for about 30 seconds.
  3. With the mixer on low speed, add the butter and buttermilk. Continue to mix on low until just combined and then increase to medium speed and mix for 1 to 2 minutes, until light and fluffy.
  4. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the egg mixture in two additions, beating on medium speed for about 20 seconds after each addition until just combined and all the ingredients are thoroughly incorporated.
  5. Divide the batter into the remaining two 6-inch pans, using a kitchen scale to measure equal parts in each pan. (About 12 ounces of batter).
  6. Bake for 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  7. Let the cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes and then invert onto wire racks until completely cool. 

FOR THE STRAWBERRY FILLING

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter for 2 minutes until light and fluffy. 
  2. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the powdered sugar, followed by the strawberry emulsion.
  3. Add the whipping cream and turn the mixer to medium-high and beat for another 2 to 3 minutes. 
  4. Fold in the freeze dried strawberries. 

FOR THE BUTTERCREAM

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the butter, shortening, and cream cheese and beat together on medium-high for 2 to 3 minutes, until the mixture is smooth and fluffy.
  2. With the mixer on its lowest speed, add the powdered sugar and vanilla. Increase the speed back up to medium-high and beat for 2 to 3 minutes, until you have a nearly white frosting. 
  3. Remove the bowl from the mixer and use a wooden spoon and mix by hand to stir out the air bubbles.

FOR THE COOKIE CRUNCH

  1. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a food processor or blender, pulse the shortbread cookies until they are crumbs. Add the melted butter and mix until combined.
  3. Bake the crumbs for 15 minutes. Let cool completely.
  4. In a medium sized bowl, combine the toasted shortbread cookie crumbs and freeze dried strawberries.

ASSEMBLY

  1. Level each cake layer, if needed, and then place one of the vanilla cake layers, crumb side up, on a cake board that has a little smear of frosting on it.
  2. Spread half 1/3 of the strawberry filling over the vanilla cake layer. Place a strawberry cake layer on top of the filling and spread another 1/3 of the filling over the strawberry cake layer. Repeat for the second vanilla cake layer, and then place the final strawberry cake layer, crumb side down, on top.
  3. Cover the entire cake with a thin layer of vanilla frosting. Freeze the cake for about 10 to 15 minutes to set the crumb coat and lock the crumbs into place. 
  4. Finish frosting the cake with the remaining vanilla frosting and the cover the entire cake in the shortbread cookie strawberry crunch.