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.
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
- 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
- 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!).
- 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.
- Sift flour, baking soda, salt and gelatin powder. Set aside.
- Combine pureed strawberries, milk, vanilla extract and red food coloring.
- 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.
- 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.