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Fresh Strawberry Triple Layer Cake Recipe (from scratch)

Updated on March 17, 2016

How to Make Vanilla Extract

Scratch Strawberry Cake

This particular beautiful pink bombshell really should be made no earlier than June - wait for the real, homegrown strawberries to make their appearance before making this. You can certainly do it at other times of the year, using hothouse berries, or even frozen ones, and the result will be perfectly acceptable.

But when strawberries are fresh and in season, bursting with intense flavor and natural sugars, this cake becomes far more than acceptable. It becomes something akin to divine. It's a little difficult to find strawberry cake recipes that are truly scratch - that use the subtle sweet/tart thing of a fresh strawberry instead of flavored gelatins or pudding mixes for the flavor. Perhaps if you're making this in January it wouldn't be a bad idea to cheat with a mix. But if you have a batch of fabulous strawberries, then this is the cake for you.

In this case I use a strawberry buttercream frosting with just a hint of lemon zest. I made it for my oldest - who is a strawberry fiend, but who also doesn't like cakes or frostings that are so sweet they overwhelm natural flavors (yeah, I know. I've raised food nerds). A hint for success with this cake: make sure the cake layers are absoltuely cool before frosting. Going a bit further and chilling them is a better idea. The cakes are moist and have a delicate crumb, and can split from the weight of frosting if even a little bit warm. As soon as you've frosted the layers, pop them back in the fridge to chill and set.

Feel free to garnish with fresh berries of course! But keep in mind that very ripe strawberries, which taste the best, will also have a tendency to 'weep' a bit once they are in contact with the frosting. So garnish at the last possible minute to preserve the appearance of the cake. Or use bueberries and flaked, sweetened coconut for the contrast or to celebrate 4th of July. Or beautiful edible flowers for a baby shower or birthday... you get the picture. So pop this one out next summer - and ach bite will burst with the sweetest taste of summer.

Ingredients

You'll Need:

  • butter and flour - for the cake pans
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoom salt
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cup strawberry puree
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • red food coloring (optional)

For strawberry puree - simple run two to three cups of strawberries through the blender or food processor until very smooth. You can strain the puree to remove seeds if you wish, but I usually don't bother.

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325F. Butter and flour three 8 inch cake pans, and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, vegetable oil, baking powder, salt, strawberry puree, vanilla, lemon zest and eggs.
  3. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared cake pans. Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes. The tops of the cakes should be springy to the touch, and a cake tester (aka wooden toothpick or skewer) inserted into the center of each cake should come out clean.
  4. Allow cakes to cool in their pans for 10 minutes, then turn cakes out onto wire cooling racks to cool completley. You can frost them once they reach room temperature, but it is better to chill the cakes for at least an hour before assembling and frosting.
  5. Frost cakes with either vanilla buttercream, cream cheese frosting, or with Strawberry Buttercream (recipe below). Garnish with fresh strawberries or blueberries or with sweeteened flaked coconut. Store finished cake in the refridgerator.

Strawberry Buttercream

 You'll Need:

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup strawberry puree
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 4-6 cups powdered sugar
  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and stir well. Stir in strawberry puree and lemon zest.
  2. Working in one cup batches and keeping the mixer on low, scraping down the sides of the bowl as you work, slowly add the powdered sugar. You may need more or less powdered sugar - depending on what consistency you desire, and how sweet the berries were that you used in the puree. I recently used a full 7 cups of powdered sugar - but I broke my own rule and used frozen wintertime berries that weren't the least bit sweet. I've used as little as four cups in the middle of July.

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    • profile image

      Eve 2 months ago

      Glad I'm not the reason this cake failed. Horrible. I feel cheated out of good strawberries, eggs and other valuable ingredients. The frosting was like liquid even after seven cups of powdered sugar and the cake is dense. My husband ate one bite and threw the entire cake in the trash. He told me not to trust recipes on the internet but I should have known better. Don't make this cake!!

    • profile image

      Mk 4 months ago

      I've never had a cake fail on me until this one and at Easter dinner. What a complete disappointment! It was so dense with the strangest texture and taste. Just terrrible.

    • profile image

      Jo from Columbiana 4 months ago

      I made this cake,the frosting was a big mess the reason when you mix strawberries with powdered sugar it reacts turns to liquid .

    • profile image

      Marty Marsh 16 months ago

      I just made this cake & it was very dense

      Maybe because of the baking powder .

      I'm sorry but I didn't care for it.

    • profile image

      Klparker 16 months ago

      Tried the cake and icing recipe. I'm an experienced baker and this cake turned out awful! First off there is no true directions for mixing the cake, you can't just dump everything in a mixing bowl and go...there are steps for a reason. That however was not an issue as I know typical mixing steps. Secondly the cake turned out thick and like a sponge. Even my family red velvet cake recipe that calls for a good bit of oil is not even as dense as this cake. The icing was runny, even after adding extra powdered sugar! I had high hopes, as the picture looks nice but obviously the picture is not this recipe. Please find a better strawberry cake recipe if you are looking to make one!

    • profile image

      Carol 18 months ago

      I only have two tins, could I bake the third one after the others have baked.

    • profile image

      Jan 21 months ago

      Tried this. It is awful.

    • Candle Reviews profile image

      Candle Reviews 2 years ago

      Wow, this sounds so good! I would love to try this sometime. Thank you for sharing it.

    • Iulia Boariu profile image

      Iulia Boariu 2 years ago from London

      Brilliant! I am definitely trying this soon.

    • profile image

      sheretha edwards 5 years ago

      I have been looking for this type of recipe for years

    • dallaswriter profile image

      dallaswriter 6 years ago from North Carolina

      Ok, I will need my elastic pants for these great recipes! Thanks for sharing!