Got fresh strawberries? Then make this fresh strawberry cake – there are berries in the cake and in the pink buttercream!
My skating bestie had a birthday a few weeks ago, and I baked her this lemon cake. She told me a few days later that she and another one of our skating friends were interested in doing a belated birthday celebration for the two of them at a local restaurant. Well, I couldn’t show up empty handed, so I made the decision to bake another cake. Lucky girl got two cakes from me this year!
I didn’t want to bake another lemon cake, so I chose to make a strawberry one instead. Sadly, I didn’t have fresh strawberries, so I bought a container from my local grocery store. I pureed them and then continued to cook them down and used the strawberry liquid in both the cake and the buttercream.
My skating friends oohed and ahhed over the cake after we finished our meals. They all exclaimed how soft and fluffy the cake was and how it contained just the right amount of strawberry flavor. I didn’t use any food gel to color the cake or frosting, but I guess you could if you decided it wasn’t pink enough (especially if you’re trying to go for Barbie pink!).
Skating bestie shared that this cake earned a 5 out of 5 star rating from her. In her mind, it was up there with her favorite whole lemon bars. My pairs partner said that this was a 4.5 out of 5 because his top dessert was the lemon cake I made for his birthday a few years ago. I was still happy that this cake was highly rated, and my family enjoyed it too!
Husband’s rating: 4 out of 5
Addie’s rating: 4.5 out of 5
My rating: 4.5 out of 5
Fresh strawberry cake
- 1 pound fresh strawberries rinsed and hulled
- 2 and ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 and ½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks or 16 Tablespoons) unsalted butter softened
- 4 large egg whites room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ cup whole milk I used 1%
- ½ cup fresh strawberry puree
- 1 8 ounce package cream cheese softened
- 1 cup (2 sticks or 16 Tablespoons) unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch salt
- 6-7 cups powdered sugar
- ¼ cup fresh strawberry puree
Make the strawberry puree
- Place the rinsed and hulled strawberries in a high speed blender or food processor and process until you get a puree. There should be very minimal bits of strawberry remaining.
- Transfer the puree to a small saucepan placed over medium heat. Allow the puree to cook down while you constantly stir. The liquid should be reduced to about half and yield approximately 1 cup of puree. Set aside and allow it to cool while you work on the cake (you can set this in the refrigerator after it cools down some).
Make the strawberry cake
- Preheat your oven to 350℉. Generously grease and line three 8-inch round baking pans with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl if using a handheld mixer, cream the butter on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 1-2 minutes. Add the sugar and mix for another 3-4 minutes.
- Add the egg whites and vanilla and mix well. Your batter will appear fluffy.
- Turn the mixer to low and alternatively add in the flour mixture, milk, and strawberry puree. Do not over mix.
- Evenly distribute the batter into your prepared baking pans, making sure to smooth the tops with a spatula.
- Bake in your preheated oven for about 30 minutes or until the sides start to pull away from the pan and top feels bouncy/springy to the touch.
- Let the cakes cool completely before assembling.
Make the strawberry buttercream
- In the bowl of a clean stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl if using a handheld mixer, mix the cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and salt together on medium speed until smooth, about 5 minutes.
- Turn the mixer to low and alternatively add in the powdered sugar and strawberry puree. Your buttercream should be smooth and spreadable. If it feels too watery, add more powdered sugar. If it feels too stiff, add more powdered sugar. Set aside.
Assemble the cake
- Place one cake layer, flat side down, on a cake plate or platter. If your cake has domed, shave off the bumpy part with a serrated knife.
- Add about ½ cup of frosting on top and spread evenly with a spatula.
- Add another cake layer, flat side up, and repeat with the frosting.
- Add the final cake layer on top, flat side up, and gently push down on the stacked cake.
- Using an offset spatula, add a thin layer of frosting on the sides and on top of the cake. This is your crumb coat. It is meant to look unfinished and will have lots of crumbs sticking to your frosting. Place your lightly frosted cake in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes to allow the frosting to set.
- Once your crumb coat has set, frost the top and sides of your cake. Decorate with additional strawberries if desired.