Jun 29 10
by cara
at 8:16 PM
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Strawberry Layer Cake

Pink Princess.  Barbie.  Pretty in Pink.  Pinkalicious.  These are all names I’ve seen describing strawberry cakes or cupcakes.  Which is fine and dandy if you’re using the cake for a five year old little girl who loves all things pink and princess-y.  But that wasn’t exactly my target audience here.  This was a birthday cake for my husband, who LOVES strawberry cake, and is not afraid to embrace the pink.  I think I’ve at long last found a from-scratch recipe for strawberry cake and strawberry buttercream that I like!

A quick note about cake baking: I don’t make layer cakes very frequently (see photos below), and this was my first time lining my cake pans with parchment paper.  Not sure why I didn’t try this sooner!  It made getting the cakes out of the pans a breeze!  No more cakes falling apart as you flip them over to release them from the pan.  Definitely try this next time you bake a cake, if you haven’t already!

Strawberry Layer Cake

recipe from Smitten Kitchen


  • 4 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 5 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups pureed frozen strawberries
  • 8 egg whites
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 to 2 drops red food dye, if using

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter three 9-inch round or 8-inch square cake pans. Line with parchment or waxed paper and butter the paper.

Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large mixer bowl. With the electric mixer on low speed, blend for 30 seconds. Add the butter and strawberry puree and mix to blend the ingredients. Raise the speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes; the batter will resemble strawberry ice cream at this point.

In another large bowl, whisk together the egg whites, milk and red food dye, if using, to blend. Add the whites to the batter in two or three additions, scraping down the sides of the bowl well and mixing only to incorporate after each addition. Divide the batter among the three prepared pans.

Bake the cakes for 30 to 34 minutes, or until a cake tester or wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the layers to cool in the pans for 10 to 15 minutes. Invert and turn out onto wire racks and peel off the paper liners. Let stand until completely cooled before assembling the cake, at least an hour.

Strawberry Buttercream

recipe by me!

  • 8 ounces unsalted softened butter
  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons strawberry preserves

In a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter & salt for about 30 seconds and then add half of the powdered sugar and the milk to the butter and beat again until combined. Scrape down the bowl.  Add the rest of the powdered sugar, the vanilla, the lemon juice, and the strawberry preserves and beat until combined.  Scrape down the bowl again.  Beat on high speed for 5-6 minutes or until the frosting is fluffy.

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