Strawberry Layer Cake

I’d been meaning to make a strawberry cake for the past two years — ever since I saw a really good looking one at a gas station/bakery in La Grange, TX. It was baked in a giant sheet pan and was very tall, soft and pink. At first I thought it was a box-based strawberry cake, but that particular gas station bakery is known for scratch. Maybe I would have figure it out had I tried it, but instead I decided to make my own.

Strawberry Layer Cake

Since then I’ve had strawberry cake in the back of my mind, but the recipes I found were either too artificial tasting or too “scratch-y”. And by scratch-y, I mean they just didn’t have the borderline garish pink hue I needed — the one little girls are drawn to even if they know deep down they’d rather eat something chocolate. I’d almost given up until I found this recipe from Domino Sugar, which ended up being a moist, flavorful and delicious cake. Todd liked eating it, I liked looking at it, and Fuzz wanted to like it but didn’t. She was never really into pink, anyway.

Strawberry Layer Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A scratch strawberry layer cake with cream cheese icing.
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 12
  • 6 ounces unsalted butter, softened (1 1/2 sticks)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 3 cups cake flour, sifted after measuring
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt (omit 1/2 tsp if using salted butter)
  • 2 tablespoons strawberry gelatin
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries, thawed and pureed (measure first)
  • 1/4 cup room temperature milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 teaspoon red food coloring or red gel as needed
  • 1 1/2 - packages (12 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 6 ounces unsalted butter, softened plus a pinch of salt (or use salted)
  • 6 cups (24 oz) confectioners' sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray three 9-inch round layer pans with flour-added cooking spray and line bottoms with rounds of parchment paper (the cake is sticky!).
  2. In a large mixing bowl using an electric mixer, beat butter until creamy. Gradually add oil and mix well, then gradually add sugar, beating until very light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  3. Sift flour, baking soda, salt and gelatin powder. Set aside.
  4. Combine pureed strawberries, milk, vanilla extract and red food coloring.
  5. Reduce speed on mixer to a low setting and stir flour mixture and milk mixture alternately into the batter, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Divide batter evenly among pans and bake 30-35 minutes or until tops spring back if lightly pressed in their centers. Cool layers in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto racks to completely cool before frosting.
  6. Frosting: Beat cream cheese with butter until smooth. Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar on a medium speed setting until light and fluffy. Blend in vanilla extract and continue beating until frosting has a satiny appearance. Spread generously between layers and over the sides and top of the cake.
This recipe is based on a recipe from Domino sugar.


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  1. says

    KAnn, the reviews were interesting. A lot of people made major changes, but most people gave the cake high marks. Sounds like it’s a good strawberry cake, just not pink and princess-y.

    It’s interesting how many people wanted to avoid the old white cake mix/Jello/mashed strawberry cake.

    Let me know how yours turns out.

  2. says

    Wow – that looks positively drool-worthy! I checked out the recipe but it calls for strawberry gelatin. Dunno why that just turns me off 🙁 But yanno, considering how great your cake looks I might just have to try this recipe!!

  3. KAnn says

    I am going to make a cream cheese icing and use a 9″ pan and I will let you know…AllRecipes reviews are always interesting!

  4. says

    Looks Delicious! I was thinking after all these cookies that a “light” strawberry cake sounded really good, then I looked at the recipe. Nothing really light about it. Oh well. Great photo!

  5. Heidi says

    My mom always made a jello strawberry cake in a bundt, then drizzled with a strawberry glaze.

    The similar one, with lemon jello and a lemon juice/powd sugar glaze was even better! yum.

    For birthdays sometimes she would make the strawberry one in reg cake pans with a whipped cream frosting. man I remember those cakes…

  6. Lisa says

    How funny, I recently made a very similar strawberry cake (found online) that is justa bout identical for dh’s b-day last week. I was a bit leery of anything with jello in it, but heh, it was for just me and the 3 1/2 yr old. I also put some strawberry puree in the frosting so it was quite pink. My son insisted that it be made in the shape of a kitty cat (found a diy Hello Kitty cake), so I can only imagine what the coworkers thought when they recieved the leftovers — all pink and feline. Adding pureed fruit to the frosting was kinda good.

  7. Sue says

    That is so pretty! I can see why Fuzz wanted to like it!

    This is off topic but I was searching through my recipe box I stumbled upon a recipe for “Flame Cake”, which sounds an awful lot like red velvet cake. The recipe is from the mother of my best friend from high school. Their family was a good farm family with all kinds of wonderful recipes.

    After graduation is over next weekend and the company clears out I can get back to baking what I want, and I might make this for old times sake, but I’m wondering if there is a good substitute for Crisco in a cake recipe? I’m pretty brave when making substitutions in cookies, but more cowardly when it comes to cakes. I’d like to sub butter or oil if I can. What do you suggest?

    I haven’t had this cake in almost 30 years. I wonder if I’ll still be impressed by it?

    Here is the recipe:

    1) Mix 2 T. cocoa with 2 oz. red cake coloring.
    2) Mix together 1 t. vinegar and 1 t. soda and set aside.
    3) Cream together 1 1/2 c. sugar, 1 t. salt, 2 eggs, 1/2 c. crisco, 1 t. vanilla.
    Add 1&2 to the creamed mixture.
    Add 2 1/4 c. flour, and 1 c. buttermilk, alternately.
    Bake in 9″ layer pans at 350 for 40 minutes.

    Mix 2/3 c. milk, 3 t. flour, and cook until it coats spoon. (15 min.) Cool in refrigerator.
    Cream 1 c. butter, 1 c. sugar, 1 t. vanilla. Add milk mixture to this 1 T. at a time. Beating constantly with electric mixture.

  8. Janet says

    That looks wonderful! I just made the one from the Paula Deen magazine May/June 2008 issue. It was a very good cake with cream cheese frosting. I’ll try your recipe next! There is something about summer and strawberry cake…refreshing? Thanks, Anna!

  9. Sue says

    Hi Anna!

    Have you ever heard of this place?

    Texas Pie Company
    202 West Center Street
    Kyle, TX

    I accidentally clicked on The Splendid Table
    which I have bookmarked, but I don’t remember why. As long as I was there I thought I’d scroll down and see what they’re talking about. They mentioned the Texas Pie Company, and moist strawberry cake with strawberry frosting. It’s funny how things like that come up at the same time isn’t it!?

  10. says

    Janet, I didn’t know Paula Deen had one. I’ll have to look for it.

    Sue, there are a lot of small food companies. I’m sure I’ve seen Texas Pie Company goodies around, but I’ve never tried them. Kyle is pretty close to us.

  11. danielle says

    Looks delicious! Has anyone tried the strawberry cake and icing recipe by Sprinkles-it was on Martha’s show. ?????

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