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    Soft Strawberry Cake

    If you’re looking for a strawberry cake that is bursting with fresh strawberry flavour, then this recipe is it! Super soft strawberry cake layers are sandwiched between a strawberry cream cheese buttercream and fresh strawberry filling – YUM!

    strawberry cake

    Why This Strawberry Cake is Special

    So this might be an unpopular opinion, but I feel like there’s two problems with regular strawberry cake.

    Firstly, if it’s a recipe that uses only fresh strawberries, then it often lacks that strawberry flavour hit that you want, from well, a strawberry cake!

    Secondly, if it’s a recipe that uses strawberry essence or extract only, then it often has this overwhelmingly artificial taste which just isn’t my cup of tea.

    I really wanted to try and develop a recipe that had as much fresh strawberry as possible in the actual cake batter, but with the addition of strawberry extract/essence to really bump up the flavour. Hopefully in a way that simply amplified the natural strawberry flavour, but without it tasting artificial.

    Strawberry cake

    How did I achieve this? After MANY fails (the first version I made was SO BAD), I finally got the result I wanted by making a strawberry filling/reduction (which I adapted from my raspberry filling recipe), and that became the base of the entire cake.

    I used the strawberry filling in the cake layers, cream cheese frosting and as a filling in the centre of the cake. To then amplify the strawberry flavour, I added additional strawberry essence/extract into the cake layers (it took me a few trials to get the amount juuuust right!) and frosting, and it really took the cake to the next level!

    How to Make Strawberry Cake

    So this strawberry cake has three elements:

    1. Strawberry filling/reduction (this is the base of the entire recipe and is made first. It can also be made the day beforehand to save time)
    2. Strawberry cake
    3. Strawberry cream cheese frosting

    You can find the full quantities as well written directions in the recipe card at the end of this blog post 🙂

    Strawberry filling/reduction:

    Begin by placing strawberries, sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice in a large fry pan and place over a medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

    Once the strawberries are soft, using a potato masher, mash the strawberries well. Allow the mixture to reduce for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

    strawberry cake

    Combine cornstarch with the water and mix until the cornstarch is no longer lumpy. Add it into the strawberry mixture while continuously mixing to avoid lumps forming.

    Reduce for another few minutes and then take it off the heat. You should have about 2 cups. It’s okay if it’s not exact, but if you have a lot more than 2 cups, then you will need to reduce the mixture further.

    strawberry cake

    The filling needs to cool before you move onto the cake. To speed up the process, spread the filling out onto a wide dish and refrigerate for 30 minutes. You can also make this the day beforehand to save time.

    Strawberry Cake

    Begin by preheating oven to 160 °C (320°F) with the fan on (see note 4 on recipe card below if you don’t have a fan function) and grease and/or line two 8 inch cake tins (I use my homemade cake release).

    In a bowl, sift together your flour, cornflour, baking powder and salt. Using a whisk or fork, mix until well combined. Set aside.

    strawberry cake

    In a small bowl combine 3/4s of a cup (195g) of the strawberry filling, milk and gel food colour. Mix until well combined. Set aside for now.

    In another bowl, add in your butter, vegetable oil and sugar. Using an electric mixer (hand or stand mixer are both fine – see note 2), cream together for 3 minutes until light and creamy.

    strawberry cake

    Add in egg whites in 3 batches on a low-medium speed, mixing well in between each addition (about 10-15 seconds between each batch).

    Add in half of your strawberry/milk mixture from earlier, strawberry essence/extract, vanilla and white vinegar. Mix until well combined. Now set your mixer aside as the remainder of the batter will be finished by hand.

    Finish off by adding in half of your premixed dry ingredients to your wet mixture, and gently fold it in with a spatula until just combined. Then add in the remaining strawberry/milk mixture, and fold it in until just combined. Lastly, add in the remaining dry ingredients and gently fold it into the mixture until just combined. Do not overmix (see note 3). If your batter seems a little dull in colour, then you can add another drop of red gel food colouring.

    strawberry cake

    Distribute the batter evenly into the two 8 inch cake tins, and bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

    Once baked, allow the cake layers to cool in the cake tins for about 15-20 minutes, and then turn them out onto a wire rack to completely cool before frosting with the strawberry cream cheese buttercream recipe below.

    strawberry cake

     

    Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

    Begin by creaming your butter for a few minutes until it’s light and fluffy. Either use a hand mixer or stand mixer on a medium high speed. If using a stand mixer, use the paddle attachment.

    Add in the icing sugar in 3 batches while mixing on low. Ensure that each batch of icing sugar is mixed into the butter well before adding in the next batch.

    strawberry cake

    Next add in your cold cream cheese, strawberry essence/extract and vanilla. Mix just until the frosting is smooth. Avoid over-mixing (see note 3).

    Add in a 1/4 cup (65g) of the strawberry filling we made earlier, and mix that in until just combined. You can add additional colouring in at this point too if you prefer.

    strawberry cake

    Assembly

    OPTIONAL: Begin by trimming off all the caramelised edges on the top, bottom and sides of the cake layers. Also level the tops if the cake layers have a slight dome.

    Place your first cake layer onto your cake stand, and spread out a generous amount of the frosting on top.

    strawberry cake

    Place some of the frosting into a piping bag with a 1A round tip, and pipe a border/dam around the edges of the cake layer to hold in our strawberry filling. Fill the middle with the remaining strawberry filling we made earlier.

    Place the next cake layer on top and cover the top and sides with more frosting. If you have a cake scraper, you can use it to smooth out the sides. I like to do a little bit of piping on the top with the remaining buttercream in my piping bag (using the same 1A piping tip) and finish off with fresh strawberries on the top.

    strawberry cake

    strawberry cake

     

    strawberry cake

    Soft Strawberry Cake

    If you're looking for a strawberry cake that is bursting with fresh strawberry flavour, then this recipe is it! Super soft strawberry cake layers are sandwiched between a strawberry cream cheese buttercream and fresh strawberry filling - YUM!
    5 from 27 votes
    Print Pin Rate Watch Video
    Prep Time: 35 minutes
    Cook Time: 35 minutes
    Cool Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
    Total Time: 2 hours 40 minutes
    Servings: 12 people

    IMPORTANT: For accuracy, I would recommend using the gram measurements provided as those are the exact quantities I use. Cup measurements are given as estimates (based on US cup measurements) to make it easier for those who do not have a scale.

    Ingredients
     

    Strawberry Filling/Reduction

    • 3 cups (600 g) fresh strawberries - hulled and halved
    • ¾ cup (150 g) white granulated sugar - see note 5 if you have very sweet strawberries
    • 1 tbsp lemon zest - about the zest of 1 lemon
    • ¼ cup (60 g) fresh lemon juice
    • 3 tbsp (22 g) cornstarch - also known as cornflour
    • 2 tbsp water

    Strawberry Cake

    • 2⅓ cups (300 g) flour - regular all purpose (see note 1 if you want to use cake flour)
    • ¼ cup (25 g) cornstarch - also known as cornflour
    • tsp baking powder
    • ½ tsp salt - omit if using salted butter
    • ¼ cup (60 g) milk - room temperature
    • ¾ cup (195 g) strawberry filling/reduction - made in the first step of this recipe
    • 1 drop red gel food colouring - optional but recommended, see note 6
    • ½ cup (113 g) unsalted butter - room temperature
    • ½ cup (105 g) unflavoured vegetable oil - I use canola
    • cups (300 g) white granulated sugar
    • 6 large (225 g) egg whites - room temperature, size 7 eggs
    • 3 tsps strawberry essence/extract
    • tsp vanilla essence/extract
    • 1 tsp white vinegar

    Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

    • 1 cup (225 g) unsalted butter - room temperature
    • cups (570 g) icing sugar - also known as powdered sugar/confectioners sugar
    • cups (335 g) cream cheese - cold, firm type not spreadable
    • ¼ cup (65 g) strawberry filling/reduction - made in the first step of this recipe
    • 2 tsp strawberry essence/extract
    • 1 tsp vanilla essence/extract

    Instructions

    Strawberry Filling/Reduction

    • Place the strawberries, sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice in a large fry pan and place over a medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    • Once the strawberries are soft, using a potato masher, mash the strawberries well. Allow the mixture to reduce for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    • Combine the cornstarch with the water and mix until the cornstarch is no longer lumpy. Add it into the strawberry mixture while continuously mixing to avoid lumps forming.
    • Reduce for another few minutes and then take it off the heat. You should have about 2 cups. It's okay if it's not exact, but if you have a lot more than 2 cups, then you will need to reduce the mixture further.
    • The filling needs to cool before you move onto the cake. To speed up the process, spread the filling out onto a wide dish and refrigerate for 30 minutes. You can also make this the day beforehand to save time.

    Strawberry Cake

    • Preheat oven to 160 °C (320°F) with the fan on (see note 4 if you don't have a fan function) and grease and/or line two 8 inch cake tins (I use my homemade cake release).
    • In a bowl, sift together your flour, cornflour, baking powder and salt. Using a whisk or fork, mix until well combined. Set aside.
    • In a small bowl combine 3/4s of a cup (195g) of the strawberry filling, milk and gel food colour. Mix until well combined. Set aside for now.
    • In another bowl, add in your butter, vegetable oil and sugar. Using an electric mixer (hand or stand mixer are both fine - see note 2), cream together for 3 minutes until light and creamy.
    • Add in egg whites in 3 batches on a low-medium speed, mixing well in between each addition (about 10-15 seconds between each batch).
    • Add in half of your strawberry/milk mixture from earlier, strawberry essence/extract, vanilla and white vinegar. Mix until well combined. Now set your mixer aside as the remainder of the batter will be finished by hand.
    • Finish off by adding in half of your premixed dry ingredients to your wet mixture, and gently fold it in with a spatula until just combined. Then add in the remaining strawberry/milk mixture, and fold it in until just combined. Lastly, add in the remaining dry ingredients and gently fold it into the mixture until just combined. Do not overmix (see note 3). If your batter seems a little dull in colour, then you can add another drop of red gel food colouring.
    • Distribute the batter evenly into the two 8 inch cake tins, and bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
    • Once baked, allow the cake layers to cool in the cake tins for about 15-20 minutes, and then turn them out onto a wire rack to completely cool before frosting with the strawberry cream cheese buttercream recipe below.

    Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

    • Cream your butter for a few minutes until it's light and fluffy. Either use a hand mixer or stand mixer on a medium high speed. If using a stand mixer, use the paddle attachment.
    • Add in the icing sugar in 3 batches while mixing on low. Ensure that each batch of icing sugar is mixed into the butter well before adding in the next batch.
    • Next add in your cold cream cheese, strawberry essence/extract and vanilla. Mix just until the frosting is smooth. Avoid over-mixing (see note 3).
    • Add in a 1/4 cup (65g) of the strawberry filling we made earlier, and mix that in until just combined. You can add additional colouring in at this point too if you prefer.

    Assembly

    • OPTIONAL: Begin by trimming off all the caramelised edges on the top, bottom and sides of the cake layers. Also level the tops if the cake layers have a slight dome.
    • Place your first cake layer onto your cake stand, and spread out a generous amount of the frosting on top.
    • Place some of the frosting into a piping bag with a 1A round tip, and pipe a border/dam around the edges of the cake layer to hold in our strawberry filling. Fill the middle with the remaining strawberry filling we made earlier.
    • Place the next cake layer on top and cover the top and sides with more frosting. If you have a cake scraper, you can use it to smooth out the sides. I like to do a little bit of piping on the top with the remaining buttercream in my piping bag (using the same 1A piping tip) and finish off with fresh strawberries on the top.

    Video

    YouTube video

    Notes

    Note 1. You can use cake flour in replacement of the all purpose flour and cornstarch in this recipe (325g total required). 
    Note 2. If using a stand mixer, then use the paddle attachment for the initial mixing, but continue to do the last step by hand as stated in the recipe.
    Note 3. By gently folding in the ingredients, it prevents too much gluten from forming, thus giving us a softer cake. Only mix until the strands of flour have disappeared and the batter is uniform. 
    Note 4. In this recipe I use an oven with the fan function turned on. The fan forced function cooks cakes/cupcakes faster, so if your oven doesn't have a fan option, then you will need to increase the baking temperature to 175°C (347°F) so that the cake/cupcake bakes at the same rate as mine 🙂
    Note 5. If you have very sweet strawberries then you can reduce the sugar by about a quarter cup (50g). Once you've finished making the strawberry filling, then taste it and if it's a little too tart you can add additional sugar. 
    Note 6. Red gel food colouring is optional, but I would recommend it as the cake layers lose colour when they bake and end up with a dull colour. 

    Nutrition

    Calories: 612kcal | Carbohydrates: 116g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 69mg | Sodium: 432mg | Potassium: 161mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 42g | Vitamin A: 774IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 175mg | Iron: 1mg

    Nutritional information are estimates only as they are automatically calculated by a third party application. Actual values may differ based on brands and types of products used.

    Keyword: easy strawberry cake, fresh strawberry cake, moist strawberry cake, real strawberry cake, strawberry cake
    Tried this recipe?I love hearing from you! Tag me @cakesbymk.nz on instagram so I can see your amazing creations 🙂

     

     

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    59 Comments

    • Ana Aguirre

      What strawberry essence do you prefer?

      • Cakes by MK

        Hi Ana! 🙂 I use Hansells strawberry flavoring which works quite well, but any good quality brand should do the trick! Hope you enjoy the recipe 🙂

    • Wonderful

      5 stars
      Very tasty!

    • EP

      This cake was delicious! Me and my family loved it. I will be making this and more recipes from you! Thank you <3

      • Cakes by MK

        Awesome! So so happy to hear you loved the recipe and hope you love the others just as much 😀
        Thank you so much for your feedback 🙂

    • Rebecca

      5 stars
      hi, i’m using bluekey’s superfine superwhite flour. is it same as all purpose flour? do i need to add more cornstarch?

      • Cakes by MK

        Hi Rebecca 🙂 I haven’t tried or come across that flour myself so I’m really not too sure sorry! You could check the protein content – if its 10% or higher then it is more like a regular all purpose flour, but if its lower than 10% its more like a cake flour and you could use in replacement of the cornstarch. Hope that helps!

    • Aysha

      Salam! I want to make this recipe for an Eid party but I won’t have time to make the entire cake recipe in one day.

      If I make the strawberry reduction & bake the cake layers a day before and put them in the fridge to assemble the next day, would that be alright?

      • Cakes by MK

        Salaams Ayesha! 🙂 Yes you can totally make the reduction and cake layers a day before, though I would recommend wrapping the cake layers in cling wrap and placing them into an airtight container and leaving them at room temp if it’s not too hot as opposed to putting them in the fridge :). The reduction can go in the fridge. It’ll become a bit more firm but you can heat it a little if it’s too firm when you come to assembling the cake. Hope you enjoy the recipe and Eid Mubarak! 🙂

    • Breonna

      Hi, can I make this cake the day before it’s being served? Will it still taste the same

      • Cakes by MK

        Hi Breonna! 🙂 Yes you could do that, just make sure that when frosting the outer layer the cake layers are completely covered (this will prevent them from drying out), and when storing in the fridge, keep it away from any strong smelling foods. Allow it to come to room temp for a couple of hours before serving 🙂 enjoy!

    • Dianne

      5 stars
      I made this cake and it is absolutely delicious! Thank you for sharing the recipe.

      • Cakes by MK

        Awesome! So happy to hear you loved the recipe Dianne 😀

    • Clair999

      Hi, if I don’t have strawberry essence can I use strawberry flavor kool-aid ? I know that sounds weird but it might add the strawberry flavor and color

      • Cakes by MK

        Hi Claire! 🙂 Hmmm I am really not sure on that one sorry! Have never tried it before myself so not sure how it’ll affect the taste/texture, but I imagine if you’re only using a small amount it may work fine! Would love to hear how you go if you decide to try it 🙂

    • Annette

      Hello! I’m looking forward to making this – hopefully tomorrow evening – yum!!! I have 2 questions: can pasteurized carton egg whites be used? And could frozen strawberries be used? I have both on hand but won’t use if you think I shouldn’t.

      • Cakes by MK

        Hi Annette! 🙂 Yes you can totally use carton egg whites, and for the strawberries, you could get away with using frozen strawberries, you will just need to reduce the initial strawberry filling/reduction down further to get rid of the excess water in the frozen strawberries 🙂 hope that helps and hope you enjoy the recipe!

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    About me

    Welcome to my blog! My name is Maryam and I LOVE baking! :) I hope to provide you with the tools (i.e. simple, from-scratch, quality tested recipes), so that you can confidently bake up delicious treats to share with your family and friends!

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