This strawberry cake is delicate, moist, and bursting with flavor! A family recipe that's been around over 35 years, this cake is a crowd pleaser. It's perfect for a birthday cake or for Easter dessert!
I celebrated my birthday a few weeks ago! My favorite birthday tradition revolves around eating the most delicious strawberry cake you will ever taste. It’s a ritual I’ve had ever since I can remember. When I was younger, my mom always baked this cake for my birthday. I even remember her making it for my roommates when we were in college. It’s a recipe that’s been passed around between friends and family for years and has become one of my favorite cakes to bake… and eat.
Remember that picture of me frosting a cake as a little kid? Yep, that’s me making this strawberry cake.
Let's Make a Strawberry Cake!
This strawberry cake takes a simple box of white cake mix and elevates it to something dazzling. As shown in the steps below, all you need to do is mix your wet and dry ingredients together in a large bowl. I like to beat my eggs together with the water and oil and then slowly add the mixture to the dry ingredients. You want the final batter to be well combined but NOT over-mixed. There might still be a few lumps of flour and that's okay.
What is Swiss Meringue Buttercream?
Are you one of those people who feel like buttercream is too rich and heavy? If so, you’ll love the Swiss-style meringue buttercream that I used for this recipe which is light and delicate. Swiss meringue is prepared by cooking egg whites and sugar together in a bowl placed over a pot of boiling water. The mixture is then removed from the heat and whipped at high speed until it forms stiff peaks and has cooled. After this, room-temperature butter is slowly added to the mixture. Meringue-based buttercreams are light and creamy in texture, which I love. They also don’t ‘crust-over’ as with simple buttercream.
How do I Frost My Cake?
Frosting the perfect cake is a labor of love. That's why I never focus on frosting the "perfect" cake. If you take a look at this cake, you'll notice I spread the frosting using short offset strokes. I love the way this looks and it saves me the time and heartache of striving for perfection. Also, "naked" cakes are all the rage these days. I'm a big fan of the minimalist and rustic look they impart.
How to Perfectly Slice a Cake
Okay, this might sound like a silly tutorial to give, but I find that there is an art to cutting the perfect piece of cake. You want those layers you worked hard to create to be on display, right! I find that allowing my cake to cool in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours before slicing works wonderfully. I also like to use a really sharp knife when cutting.
Heather's Helpful Hints
- Working with meringue buttercream frosting can be tricky. If your frosting is “broken” the fat and liquid won’t emulsify, and you’ll be left with a bowl of fat globules that look like cottage cheese. If this happens to you, first try mixing the frosting a little longer to see if it comes together on its own. If it doesn’t come together with additional mixing, place your bowl over a steaming water bath. Let the water heat up your frosting ever-so-slightly, then remove the bowl to your mixer and try mixing it again. This works every time!
- You can use a cake-leveler to remove the domes from your cake before frosting. This will ensure your cake is straight and level when complete.
- 1 box white cake mix
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 box strawberry jello 3 ounces
- 4 eggs large
- ½ cup canola oil
- ¼ cup water
Swiss Meringue Buttercream Ingredients
- 5 egg whites large
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 pound unsalted butter cut into tablespoons, room temperature
- ¾ cups strawberry preserves
- red food coloring optional
- Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease and line two (9-inch) round pans with parchment paper.
- Combine cake mix, flour, and jello together in a large bowl and set aside. In a medium bowl, mix eggs, oil, and water together. Slowly stir wet ingredients in with the dry being careful not to over mix the batter. Pour batter into cake pans and bake in the oven for approximately 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of cake comes out clean. Allow cakes to cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then remove to a baking rack to cool completely before frosting.
- For frosting, combine egg whites, sugar, and salt in the heatproof bowl of a standing mixer set over a pan of simmering water. Whisk constantly by hand until mixture is warm to the touch and sugar has dissolved (the mixture should feel completely smooth when rubbed between your fingertips).
- Attach the bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Starting on low and gradually increasing to medium-high speed, whisk until stiff peaks form. Continue mixing until the mixture is fluffy and glossy, and completely cool (test by touching the bottom of the bowl), about 10 minutes.
- Switch to the paddle attachment. With mixer on medium-low speed, add the butter a few tablespoons at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down sides of bowl with a flexible spatula, and add strawberry preserves. Continue beating until the frosting is completely smooth. Add red food coloring, if desired.
- Frost cake layers and pipe decorations if desired.
Notes and Tips
Tell me how the recipe worked for you
Did you make this recipe? First, let me say THANK YOU for giving it a try! Please leave us a rating and leave any feedback in the comments section at the bottom of this post. I always love to hear your thoughts and ideas on what went well — and what didn’t — with a recipe! Be sure to check out some of our other recipes linked below!