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Strawberry Cake

Growing up in Los Angeles, the only strawberry cakes around were those found at a Chinese bakery.  It was really a sponge cake with non-dairy whipped cream frosting and strawberries between the layers.  Blech.  Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised to find two strawberry cake recipes – one using box cake mix and one from scratch – that are sweet and moist and so very strawberry, the cakes are actually pink!

Paula Deen’s Simply Delicious Strawberry Cake uses box cake mix so it is very easy to make.  And since it calls for strawberry Jell-O and almost two cups of strawberry puree, it is strawberry through and through.  Even though the Paula Deen cake is really good, I wanted to find a recipe from scratch.  This Strawberry Cake from Scratch recipe from had a lot of good reviews so I gave it a try.  It also calls for strawberry Jell-O and strawberry puree and is just as delicious as the box version.  I use Paula Deen‘s strawberry frosting recipe to finish the cake.

Special equipment:

  • A food processor or blender is needed to puree the thawed strawberries.

Things I’ve tried:

  • In Paula Deen’s recipe, instead of defrosting and pureeing a second bag of strawberries for the frosting, reserve 1/8 cup of strawberry puree from the cake recipe and use it in the frosting.
  • In the scratch cake recipe, substitute the vanilla extract with strawberry extract. 

Things I’ve learned:

  • Too much strawberry puree in the frosting will make it a bit goopy.  It tastes good but is a bit challenging to spread. 
  • Strawberry extract can be found on
  • When frosting a moist cake, it helps to first apply a crumb coat so the finished cake doesn’t have crumbs in the frosting. 

Ingredients for Simply Delicious Strawberry Cake: 

  • 1 (18.25-ounce) box white cake mix
  • 1 (3-ounce) box strawberry-flavored instant gelatin
  • 1 (15-ounce) package frozen strawberries in syrup, thawed and pureed
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup water


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease 2 (9-inch) round cake pans. In a large bowl, combine cake mix and gelatin. Add pureed strawberries, eggs, oil, and water; beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Pour into prepared pans, and bake for 20 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks.

Ingredients for Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen strawberries in syrup, thawed and pureed
  • 1/2 teaspoon strawberry extract
  • 7 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • Freshly sliced strawberries, for garnish, optional


In a large bowl, beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Beat in 1/4 cup of the strawberry puree and the strawberry extract. (The rest of the puree is leftover but can be used in smoothies or on ice cream for a delicious treat.) Gradually add confectioners’ sugar, beating until smooth.

Makes eight servings.

Ingredients for Strawberry Cake from Scratch: 

  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 (3 ounce) package strawberry flavored gelatin
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 4 eggs (room temperature)
  • 2-3/4 cups sifted cake flour
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup whole milk, room temperature
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup strawberry puree made from frozen sweetened strawberries


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, and dry strawberry gelatin until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time, mixing well after each. Combine the flour and baking powder; stir into the batter alternately with the milk. Blend in vanilla and strawberry puree. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a small knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow cakes to cool in their pans over a wire rack for at least 10 minutes, before tapping out to cool completely.

Makes eight servings. 



5 responses »

  1. Pingback: Strawberry Buttermilk Baked Doughnuts « Red Spatula Diaries

  2. This looks really good too! I love strawberry stuff. I wonder if there’s something you could substitute for the gelatin?

  3. Hi – did you use sugar-free strawberry jello or sweetened jello? I can’t find the specific details anywhere and am worried it will be too sweet if I used sweetened jello. Thanks!

    • Hi sekg – I’ve only used regular strawberry jello (not sugar-free) and the cake wasn’t too sweet for my taste. I would suggest dialing back the sugar in the frosting if the cake turns out too sweet.


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