This lovely and decadent strawberry layer cake with cream cheese frosting is made easy by using cake mix + frozen strawberries!!!
The Perfect Cake for Valentine’s Day (or any day)!
I love this pretty, pink, festive & yummy strawberry layer cake. Its lovely pink palette makes it the perfect dessert to serve for Valentine’s Day, for a baby girl shower, or for a ladies’ lunch. You have pink layers and pink frosting, both bedecked with tiny bits of red berries. To showcase the color, I love using simple white dessert plates. So pretty!
Strawberry Cake Made with Cake Mix
This recipe starts with a cake mix, which no one will ever know (if that kind of thing bothers you). Since many of my favorite cakes start with a cake mix, I never try to pretend they are from scratch. Two of my other favorite doctored cake mix cakes are the Glazed Triple Chocolate Bundt Cake and THE BEST White Cake with Buttercream Frosting. They are outstanding!
This strawberry layer cake calls for frozen berries, but you could certainly macerate fresh berries in sugar and get a lovely result. I just default to the frozen berries (in syrup) found in most freezer cases. Whether you use fresh or frozen, you’ll want to make sure to drain the juice from either one and just use the berries (with the small amount of juice that naturally comes with them).
My Favorite Cake Making Tools
From my favorite party bundt pan to 8″ cake pans to cake lifting spatula and more, I list most of my favorite cake making tools here on my amazon page. Making and frosting a cake with ease is so dependent upon having the right kitchen gadgets and baking tools.
Make and freeze cake layers ahead of time.
I usually make the cake layers ahead of time, freeze them, and frost them when ready to serve the cake. This makes it so much easier. To freeze unfrosted cake layers, simply freeze the layers individually for an hour or so to get a slight “glaze” on the surface. This prevents layers from sticking to the freezer bag or to other cake layers (if frozen two or more to a bag). I freeze each layer in a heavy duty ziploc with as much air removed as possible. In the video below, I show how I make the cake layers.
Frost the cake a day or two before serving.
When I have a party or event where I will be serving this cake, I frost it a day or two before, as the cake gets a bit more moist on day 2. First, I remove the cake layers from the freezer, leveling any layers that are uneven. Then, I make my frosting. This is not something that I like to do ahead, as refrigerated frosting is hard to spread. Freshly made frosting is perfect. Thankfully, the frosting takes only a few minutes to make. The easiest way to spread a cake is using a turntable and cake spatula. You can find the ones that I recommend here.
Tips for Making this Strawberry Layer Cake
I’ve made this cake so many times that I have a few helpful tips to share on how to make it easily and fool proof. Here goes!
- Bring dairy products to room temperature before mixing cake batter or making frosting. This includes butter, eggs, cream cheese and milk. This is a rule of thumb that applies to baking most any cake.
- Thaw frozen strawberries in a bowl of cold water for about 40 mnutes (still icy but thawed enough to break apart and chop). DRAIN ALL JUICE before chopping the strawberries.
- Spray cake pans LIBERALLY with Baker’s Joy so they will release from the pan.
- Let cake layers cool at least 30 minutes before releasing from pan.
- Run a knife around pan edges to make sure the sides are not sticking to pan.
- Freeze layers for several hours; place in freezer bags with all air removed.
Tips for making the strawberry cake cream cheese frosting.
- Bring butter and cream cheese to room temp before mxing.
- Cream butter and cream cheese together FIRST (before adding any other ingredients). They should be mixed until smooth and spreadable.
- Add berries if desired, or simply add a small amount of strawberry juice to make the frosting pink.
- Leave frosting at room temperature before spreading onto cake layers.
I hope you enjoy this cake if you decide to try it for yourself. If you make it, please let me hear how it turns out, and share any tips or secrets you might have from your experience. As always, thanks so much for stopping by. Be blessed, and stay savvy!!!
- 1 box white cake mix
- 1/2 cup frozen strawberries, thawed, chopped and drained
- 3/4 cup milk (2% or whole is best)
- 1 small (3 oz) package strawberry gelatin
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 3 large eggs
- 1 stick butter, softened to room temp
- 12 oz cream cheese (regular~not reduced fat)
- 1/4 cup frozen strawberries, crushed & drained
- 1-2 boxes (7-8 cups) powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Place baking rack in center of oven.
- Place parchment round in bottom of each cake pan.
- Spray cake pans liberally with Baker's Joy; set aside.
- Combine cake mix and jello in mixing bowl.
- Add milk, oil, eggs & strawberries.
- Mix with mixer until well blended~2-3 minutes.
- Pour into 3 (9-inch) or 4 (8-inch) cake pans sprayed with Baker's Joy.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until just set.
- Remove; allow to cool in cake pans for 30 minutes.
- Turn cake onto parchment paper to cool before freezing.
- Freeze layers until ready to frost.
- Mix butter and cream cheese until creamy.
- Add powdered sugar, starting with 1 box.
- Add berries; mix until frosting is pink.
- Mix, adding more sugar as needed, until desired consistency.
- Spread over cake while layers are frozen.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 345Total Fat: 33gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 97mgSodium: 197mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 0gSugar: 5gProtein: 5g