I know what you’re thinking: another dessert, Deb? Are you trying to kill us? But let me explain; you see, when your house guests fill your fridge and freezer with sausage and cheese and bread and you buy some wonderful Satur Farms arugula (now available at Whole Foods! Oh, how happy this makes me.) and make daily vinaigrettes with your new French Dijon, it turns out you don’t have to cook dinner at all. For days. And that’s pretty much where we’re at with things that do not involve sugar.
Alas, they left us with no dessert, and more poignantly, no pretty pink princess birthday cakes (the nerve!), and so when the call arose on Monday to make one for Liz’s (of spaghetti and meatball photography fame) birthday, I jumped in with two feet.
Because everyone has a pretty pink princess in their life, be she four or 34, and when that pretty pink princess has a birthday, you need a cake that is appropriate. And there is nothing more darling and swell, more coquettish and eyelash-batting, than a pink lady cake. Simply nothing.
Of course, the process of getting from “my favorite cake growing up was called a Pink Lady Cake” to the recipe you see below, was surprisingly difficult. You see, the Pink Lady Cake my friend knew and loved, as outlined by AllRecipes and a dozen other sites, is a white cake mix with a box of strawberry Jell-O and bag of frozen strawberries mixed in. And while I do not judge you if you wish to put such things (oh, there I go being all passive-aggressive again) in your birthday cakes, I was bent on finding a more natural way to approach things.
I looked in The Joy of Cooking. I checked out Martha. I Googled until the letters “P” and “L” on my laptop were worn down to nubs. I begged some of my Monday lunch dates for leads. And then? Then I opened my favorite cake book in the entire world (yes, I know I sound like a broken record but if you like to bake birthday and celebration cakes, step to it, get this book) and le voila! A white cake with pureed strawberries.
Like every recipe I have tried in the book, the cake was surprisingly easy to make and tasted better than every white cake I’d tried previously–richer, and more buttery. It also has a tremendous “ta-da!” effect, clocking in at easily six inches tall, knocking into the lid of the cake box, so eager to make its entrance, so like a princess.
Oh, and it tasted so very darling, and pink, if such a thing is possible.
Not the Celebration Cake you were looking for? You’re in luck! We have a whole index of other ones over here.
One year ago: Pumpkin Butter and Pepita Granola
Two years ago: Spinach Quiche
Thanks: Be to Ms. Pixxiestails.com for letting us hijack her camera when we forgot ours!
Pink Lady Cake [Strawberry Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and Filling]
The cake recipe is adapted from Sky High, and the only thing I would change next time would be to add a drop or two of red food coloring because when cake is called Pink Lady, well, it should really be pink.
The cream cheese frosting is not from the book (which has a Swiss buttercream-based one I am eager to try when I am not rushing to finish) but a classic, standard recipe. I have upped the amount of cream cheese frosting from what I used, which you can see is spread a tad thin. Pretty pink princesses should never be deprived of fluffy vanilla cream cheese frosting on their birthdays, you know?
For the cake
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 (to make the pink color pop more)
For the cream cheese frosting
3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks; 6 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
3 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Make the cake
1. Preheat the oven to 350»F. Butter three 9-inch round or 8-inch square cake pans. Line with parchment or waxed paper and butter the paper.
2. 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. (Deb note: I must warn you not to try the batter at this point. Not even a smear of it. How unbearably good it is will shock you, and lead to more dipping. Only you can stop this from coming to pass.)
3. 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.
4. 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.
Make the cream cheese frosting
5. In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter until creamy. Mix in the vanilla, then gradually stir in the confectioners’ sugar. Store in the refrigerator after use.
Frost and assemble the cake
6. Place one cake layer on a cake board or platter. Tucking scraps of waxed paper under the edges of the cake will protect the board or plate from any mess created while frosting the cake. (I forgot, as can be clearly seen above.) Spread about 2/3 cup frosting over the layer, spreading it to the edge. Repeat with the second layer. Add the top layer and frost the top and sides of cake with remaining frosting, reserving a small amount if you wish to tint it and pipe a decoration on the cake. If not, you can decorate the cake top with thinly-sliced strawberries. Remove the waxed strips to reveal and neat, clean cake board.
7. Serve with pink candles on pink plates to the sort of person who dreams in pink. I suspect you know at least one.
* Huntsman notes that it may seem surprising that frozen strawberries are used here, but they’re always available and their quality is consistent. I suspect you could swap fresh ones, but given that the ones in the store in October are so lackluster, and cruelly unlike the astounding ones we had in Paris last week, I went with her suggestion. This will be from about half a one-pound bag.
673 comments on pink lady cake
Gorgeous! One of the reasons I check your site everyday is to look at the pretty pictures of food – they say so much more sometimes than just the recipe. And I haven’t had pink cake in years – looks yummy!!
Question about the strawberries – do I measure1.5 cups of strawberry and then purée them? Or is the 1.5 cup measurement for the purée?
I got Sky High for my birthday after seeing all your beautiful cakes here on SK. I wonder how many copies have sold thanks to you? :)
I can’t wait to dig in–unfortunately there aren’t many celebration cake-worthy events coming up for us. My birthday’s the last one in our family until February! I think I’ll have to make one for Thanksgiving in lieu of pumpkin pie… Hmmm….
I am filing this one away for when *fingers crossed* I get to have a girl. I’m already fantasizing about how I’ll serve it at a princess birthday party someday…
Just today i was thinking to myself that i really want a pink, girly, tiered cake for my thirtieth birthday! Perfect timing, can’t wait to try it out.
We’ve never even gone near boxed cake mix in my family. Even the mention of it and jello is painful to me. This though, sounds lovely.
Pink makes everything taste better!
I need to make more friends, if only to have more people for which to bake cakes. This is LOVELY.
Did you use the couple drops of food coloring in that cake? It looks so natural, light, and delicious! I know just the girly girl I want to bake this for!
I love the tip to use parchment paper on the bottom of the cake pans. I tried that method on a cake last weekend (just so happens it was the chocolate peanut butter cake!) and it worked wonders!
I’ve definitely got to pick up a copy of that book. :)
Wondering how this might fare as an icecream cake?
I love this girly cake! The combination of flavors sounds perfect, and I love the addition of pureed strawberries.
“5 1/4 teaspoons baking power”
A little touch of magic to match the princess, huh? ;)
I didn’t use the red food dye but I would next time. It’s pink, but I wanted it to be pinker.
I also grew up eating this wonderful cake, and it was also the box version that you described. My great, great aunt always made the cake for us, and it was so wonderful! However, instead of making a cream cheese frosting, she made regular vanilla cake icing and poured in the extra juice from the frozen strawberries to make an absolutely delicious strawberry frosting. Next time I make this cake, I think I might try making your homemade cake with her version of the icing. YUM!
Since I have those same dessert plates from Rosanna, I guess I’ll just have to make this cake!
Deb, I must know. Does it TASTE like strawberries? I have searched high and low for a strawberry cupcake recipes (complete with strawberry cream cheese frosting) that doesn’t taste like cooked jammy nastiness. Love at First Bite Cupcakery in Berkeley, CA has one that I heart (and was my wedding cupcake) but I can’t figure out how to reproduce it. Could this pink lady be it??????
What a beautiful cake! It looks like the perfect cake for a celebration! After seeing several cakes on blogs from this book, I decided that I just have to buy it!
Oh, yay! When I saw your Tweet looking for a pink-lady recipe, I searched all my old cookbooks from my aunt. When I came up with nothing I thought “oh man, I’m kinda sad to think that pink lady cake won’t be posted on smitten kitchen.” I guess I figured you’d give up or make it with the boxed stuff (and of course not post it) But you are a more persistent girl than I, Deb!! :D
Looks so pretty!
What a beautiful cake. I’ve never come across a cake with pureed strawberries in the batter, but it sounds absolutely delicious!
Instead of (expensive) parchment to line your cake pans, try 2 layers of (free)newspaper, cut to fit fairly close (but not necessary to be perfect). I’ve done it at least 5000 times in my decorating career, and never once had a problem removing the cooled cakes. (The inner, unused sections of the paper are virtually sterile, at least as clean as any parchment, and besides never touch the baked cake since a thin skim of crumb is removed with either type of paper.)
I love this, it is so pretty in pink :)
gorgeous. i bet it’s delicious too.
When I was young I always wanted a pink cake for my birthday. I think my mom just made it from a box. That book looks awesome. I’ll have to get it. Beautiful cake for princess.
Your photos make me want to eat my computer! LOVE it!
What a gorgeous cake. There’s always room for something pink in everyone’s lives :)
Oh dear this looks dangerous. Cake and it’s pink! I need to leave your website now.
Wow, this looks so good!! I can’t resist anything with strawberries. I bet the recipe would make some adorable cupcakes too. I might need to experiment over the weekend…
Hey Deb, firstly thanks for several years of delicious entertainment, I lurk and drool, and lurk and drool some more.
Secondly a question for you, one I’ve been meaning to ask for ages. You strike me as a lady who likes precision. How do you cope with the rather imprecise nature of the cup measuring system used for baking in the US? I’m of the British persuasion, and as you know we weigh baking ingredients using the metric system, so the quantities are always pretty much spot on (bar variations in scales’ accuracy). This consistency isn’t the case with cups and spoons, where you can get quite wide variations caused by all sorts of factors, and I find that when I do bake using the US system, results can be variable in quality. Do you find this? And if so how do you deal with this?Is it a case of practise making for more consistency? Apologies for long and nerd like question, but I am curious about this.
Pretty!!! It reminds me of the movie “A little princess” when Sara says, “All girls are princesses.” Indeed, we are.
Tomorrow is my birthday and I want this for my birthday cake.
How beautiful!! I love it – “Because everyone has a pretty pink princess in their life, be she four or 34.” Hate to think where the world would be if there weren’t pretty pink princesses to brighten our days!
I loved the chocolate peanut butter cake but i was still debating on whether or not to buy the Sky High cookbook, but now i’m completely sold..
this cake looks super cute and really delicious, but what if your (my) favorite color is purple? pureed bluberries, perhaps? i think my next birthday cake will be Crazy Purple Lady Cake! :}
This is gorgeous and sounds wonderful!
It really is precious. And looks so sweetly delicious.
i have the book now and have baked a baby shower cake and two birthday cakes using the recipes and the results were fantastic. thanks for the recommend and the pink lady cake is beautiful!
While I completely DISagree about and thus question your statement about the ubiquitous existence of “pretty pink princesses” (ugh! can we say stereotypes about females?!), I do think this cake looks delicious. I, however, would make it look a little less pink. I never did like that color nor the idea of being a stereotypical princess, but that is just me hehe.
I don’t think the concept of pretty pink princesses reinforces stereotypes about women; I have plenty of gay male friends that would be utterly delighted to have pink princess cakes on their birthdays!
Deb, I salute you for transforming the jello cake into something quite spectacular.
Okay, I can dig the newsprint-in-place of parchment, but for artists out there with pads of tracing paper, hear me: tracing paper is parchment paper! You can use it!
This cake is the girliest. Next girly birthday I bake for I will make this!
Your timing could not be more perfect. My best best best friend in the whole world is celebrating her 21st birthday this weekend, and she is the only 20-something girl I know who still lives and dreams in various shades of pink, haha. I pretty much have to make this now. =)
Kudos for persevering! This cake is adorable! I had never heard of a Pink Lady cake before. Now, I want one too!
Ahhh that’s really lovely. And I don’t even like the color pink! Usually.
ohmigod ohmigod!!!! pink cake is the only cake I’ll accept for my birthday! How fantastic. I just have to figure who is going to make to make it for me (cause it’s MY birthday and I’ll force people to make cakes for me if I want to).
AND ps Cmoore, I don’t like pink either, except in cakes!
Samphire: THANK YOU for the question! I’ve been wondering the same thing for a long time. I did research awhile ago and came up with a variety of answers. I use a weight of 140 grams per cup of all-purpose flour and 130 grams per cup of cake flour.
Yay you did it! We knew you would. It looks perfect.
Hurray, perfect timing! My daughter turns five on Halloween and asked for a pink cake, but I didn’t want to just drop in food coloring; I wanted that real strawberry flavor, too. Thanks, Deb.
Goodness, this cake is lovely! I am a lover of all things pink, especially sweets. Yum!
Gorgeous! That cake looks fantastic! Perfect, as always!
Does it have a nice strawberry flavor or is it just pink? I bet one teaspoon of strawberry (or cherry or raspberry) jello would give you enough pink color if you don’t have any food coloring. I never seem to have it anymore.
The cake looks luscious. I know ‘they’ say box cake mixes are so easy, but what is so hard about measuring out some butter, sugar,eggs, flour and milk? You have to measure oil and water for a cake mix..what’s a few more ingredients for a scratch cake! They are SO much better.
I’ve never heard of a Pink Lady cake….but, ohhhhhh, methinks I might have to make it now…seeing as how I, too, own the same book! Thanks so much for sharing as always and I’m so glad you had a wonderful vacation in Paris!!!!!
Deb, I would NEVER think such a thing – have you seen all the sweets that I feature on MY blog???? I think I may have you beat, haha ;-)
LOOOVE that cake!! So lovely!!
What a lovely girly sweet!! The only pink ladies that I’ve ever had were the kind made with gin ;)
Re, the strawberry flavor: It is present, but not very, very strong. The contrast with the cream cheese frosting brings it out even more.
Samphire — Ack! I find it so annoying actually; your hunch is correct. Not only is measuring by weight more accurate (especially with these little digital scales–so precise! so quick!) it is so much easier than shoving flour into measuring cups (five different scoops for this recipe!), hoping you don’t pack it harder or less hard than the person who wrote the recipe. Not everyone measures the same, too; most use the “fluff, scoop and level” technique, but I’ve also had cooking teachers that use a “fluff and delicated drop spoonfuls of flour in” method which leads to a lighter cup. American cups can range from 4.5 ounces to almost 7 ounces of flour in weight, depending on the way they were filled. It is not wonder that between this–and the fact that most people don’t have their ovens calibrated (I sure don’t!)–that people can have wildly different results when using the same recipe.
I do wish that more U.S. cookbook publishers would let the authors put in weight measurements as well. I cannot imagine that someone like Huntsman–the person who wrote the Sky High book featured here–doesn’t herself prefer using weights in the kitchen.
What a fun cake! Just looking at it makes me smile.
Hmmmm…. My God… Wonderfull!!! :)
anyone have any good ideas to make this cake when you have (people like me) who are allergic to strawberries…sad. I know.
Thanks for the great response to Samphire. Following that thread (and maybe a really dumb question): I looked at your “cooking tools” page. If I want to begin measuring my flours out rather than using untrustworthy scoops: do I use the volume equivalents you’ve listed? Is 1 Cup of Flour 8 oz of flour; or is that only in the case of liquids?
Thanks so much!! I love your site- LOVE IT- always recommending it to friends. Sometimes I think we might have the exact same taste buds. Seriously. I think there was a brussel sprout post that actually made me yell: “Get out of my mouth!” at the screen. But you know, don’t get out. :) Just keep doing what you do- you have such a gift!
@Kelly S. – raspberries? cherry jam? use the strawberry jell-o, which I doubt has any relationship whatsoever with actual strawberries.
Hi redengine — No, that would just be liquids. I know, Americans have to make everything so confusing. A cup of white flour is usually about 4.5 ounces, but other flours vary in weight. Believe me, I think this system is as whack as you do!
Kelly — I don’t see why it would work with another pureed fruit, either tropical or berry. Of course, the caveat is that I haven’t tried it with that, but again, I don’t see why in theory it couldn’t work just as deliciously.
I’ve noticed lately that more and more recipes from professional kitchens are giving the flour measuring technique that was used in the test kitchen, in the recipe. Current recipes are also designating where to place the oven racks for baking as well.
My GE electric oven has an adjustable temperature knob. Many ovens have this feature. If you pull the temp knob off the oven, on the underside of the knob, there is a little notched thingy that can be reset so that when you set the temp for baking, it will be accurate. You have to use an oven thermometer to get an accurate heat reading, compare it to where you set the temp knob, then reset the notch in the proper position so that the temp knob, when placed back on the oven, reads the same as your oven thermometer. Check your oven manual or online for instructions, if you can’t figure out how to use the adjusting feature. Or go to any appliance store, and get the sales guy to show you.
sweet! I LOVE strawberry cake, but I’ve only had the mix variety and not tried to make my own, mostly because my mother and sister both say all the strawberry cake recipes suck. Now that can’t be true, because why else would strawberry cake exist in the first place (someone had to make it first to be a cake mix, after all!) so maybe I will try this version. Also, just for clarification’s sake, were the frozen strawberries thawed before they were pureed? I didn’t see any mention of thawing in the recipe so I am guessing “not” here.
I am in awe, Deb. On the extremely rare occasions I bake, it’s usually some kind of loaf thing, and icing [if I bother] is something you drizzle over the cake—most likely lemon juice and powdered sugar. This is architectural and stunning.
Hi Jill — So, the strawberries are supposed to be thawed. In baking cakes, the best results always come from room-temperature ingredients. But I am a renegade, no wait, I mean that I was totally rushed when I was making this and had the strawberries in the food processors just minutes after returning from the store. Thus, my pink batter not only looked like ice cream, it had the temperature of it. [Hangs cake-baker head in shame.] Fortunately, it still worked (albeit with some extra baking time). But do as I say, not as I do! Defrosted berries are best.
Why does it have to be for a girl? My son loves strawberry cake, and asks for it almost every year. But what to do if you’re trying to get rid of artificial colors from your diet, and every recipe you see has jello in it? In short, thanks for the recipe! I will file it away for next year. I might play with it to give it a stronger strawberry flavor, or at least put strawberry filling between the layers. It looks wonderful!
I am going to have to make this for my mother-in-law’s B’day next month AND order that book! I am a cake freak and always trying new recipes. Thank you thank you thank you!!!!!!!!
Okay, I had just sworn off Amazon due to excessive kitchenware purchases, and then I had to go and visit your site today. I’m powerless before your photos, and now the book is on its way. Hope you get some kind of commission from the sale. :)
The “pretty pretty princess” references, I hope everyone knows, are quite tongue-in-cheek. That said, I probably know more boys than girls who would enjoy this cake, though that is really neither here nor there…
what fun! this would make me very happy on my birthday
My cakes came out quite flat and dense. I can’t figure out where I went wrong. Otherwise this cake is gorgeous! I used beet juice instead of red food coloring.
Wow, this cake looks amazing and delicious and suddenly my tastebuds are screaming “sugar, I need sugar”! So, I will be making cake today! Thanks for the recipes( all of them) and the gorgeous pictures.
Wow! This was good. I especially liked the cream cheese frosting. I could have ate a whole bowl of it.
really, people would make a cake with a box mix and jell-o? just the thought of it, gross!
I will have to give this a try for the next princess i know.
THANK YOU! Finally. I have been hunting for a strawberry cake for ages. I have only found two options. 1) Cake mix and Jello-O. Um. Okay. But no thanks. I mean, why wouldn’t I just buy strawberry cake mix? Same thing, right? 2) White cake with strawberry jam between the layers. Well, that’s not right either.
It’s settled. I HAVE to buy this cake book. It’s worth it for the chocolate peanut butter cake and this cake alone. I think I’ll try some pureed strawberries in the frosting for a little extra pink strawberry goodness kick. Mmm…
Oh Hallelujah! I only wish that you’d posted this two weeks ago. My son insisted on a strawberry cake for his birthday (I do ALLLL from scratch), and I’d never heard of them before. I searched and searched until I finally gave up and bought some white cake mix (my first ever) and Jell-O and fresh strawberries and a lemon. Yes, I still doctored it. I HATED making a white cake but I had only one shot and time slot to make it and couldn’t risk the ratio of liquids and solids and burning, etc. I have been told this is the new standard birthday cake for just about everyone in my family now, so I’ll be holding on to this one (thanks Debbie for passing me this link!). I will say, also hugely yummy with a baked fudge frosting. Think chocolate covered strawberries!
I love that book, too – have been making cakes from it for everyone’s birthdays. :)
That cake is so pretty I’m saving it for my sister’s birthday, next year.
LOVE the gathering of pumpkin and soup recipes together. Brilliant! A great gift to your readers. (P.S. can’t say enough about how great that pumpkin bread pudding is. Easy and delicious.)
You talked me into buying the book. I saw this post last night and bought it on ebay. Birthday present for myself!
Dumb question – Is it 1 1/2 caup of berries, pureed? Or 1 1/2 cups of puree? I want to try this with either cherries or rasberries. Looks amazing
Oh – I cannot wait to make this for my daughter’s birthday – she is a pink princess. Love your site!
Not only super yummy lookin’ but BEAUTIFUL!!
Oh my! So pretty! I think this will be making an appearance at my Christmas party this year. I’m thinking some red and green sprinkles would be quite festive on this. In reference to the parchment/newspaper issue… does anyone but me use wax paper? Mom learned to use that from an old baker friend of her parents and I’ve always used it in my own cake baking with great results.
This cake is absolutely adorable!! Such a feminine little cake. :)
They’re in the oven right now — my 3yo daughter & I were perusing birthday cakes online and when she saw this one she said, “We need to buy dat one. I want dat.” Princess party at 1!
Who knew there was a cake out there that shared my namesake? As a representative of the Boston Chapter of Ladies United for the Preservation of Endangered Cocktails, I recommend digging into that cake with one of these:
1-1/2 oz gin
1/2 oz applejack
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
1/2 oz grenadine (homemade)
1 egg white
Combine ingredients in a shaker and shake vigorously without ice.
Add ice; shake continue vigorous shaking.
Strain into your favorite vintage cocktail glass.
Combine equal parts pomegranate juice (Pom, par example) and sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer for 7 minutes. Remove from heat and add 1 tsp orange flower water for every 1/2 cup pomegranate juice used. Cool.
Thanks for a fabulous cake recipe! Made it yesterday for mom’s birthday. Took it down to two layers and used the rest for cupcakes! I’ve been passing them around town as I run my errands today. My hair stylist loved em! Cupcakes make great random acts of kindness gifts! :-P
I must say, Deb is not only an immensely talented woman, but an incredibly generous friend! Thank you Deb for making my birthday so special! Please make this cake for anyone who loves amazing cake, and who is totally girly of course. xo EB.
I’m glad to hear your thoughts on the messed up measuring habits of this here country. And this could be a stupid question (I just memorized in math class and didn’t really learn), but is there an easy way to determine what the weight should be of a particular dry ingredient? So many recipes don’t list that. You said that a cup of flour weighs about 4.5 ounces, but what about other things? Is there any easy way to calculate that, or are we just at the mercy of recipe writers who don’t like scales? Bummer. And the cake looks divine. I might make it for my own birthday this year. Wow, that sounds extremely depressing.
This. cake. looks. amazing.
I can’t tell if I like the pretty pink or the tall layers or the gorgeous frosting most, but WOW all around.
I love this recipe but do agree on a few drops of colour … perhaps Wilton’s rose pink. Thank you
i think i love you.
i always thought that i might.. but now i’m almost certain..
pink lady cake..
This cake is absolutely fabulous. I love it! :)
this is perfect timing. it is pink ribbon day tomorrow in Australia, and everyone is supposed to wear/eat/do pink things to raise money for breast cancer awareness/research. this cake looks like a beautiful and delicious way of doing so…if only it wasn’t 12.40 on the day of!
It looks absolutely delicious. I am so afraid of baking!
This cake looks absolutely scrumptious! I’m looking forward to making it :)
Strawberry cake was my favorite when I was little. I’ll have to check my recipe and see if it’s like this. If not, I’ll try this sometime soon. Mmmm!
I made this cake today and had enough cake batter left over for 2 jumbo cupcakes. It was a bit sweeter than I was expecting. I then took the sweetness over the top when I filled it with strawberry preserves and used a swiss buttercream to frost it (I don’t much like cream cheese).
My coworkers are going to fall over when they see it tomorrow.
My daughter requested a strawberry cake for her birthday and I found the same Jello recipes. Whole Foods had posted a recipe which I used but was disappointed in. One tip I did use though was to substitute some of the strawberries with strawberry jam. It definitely had a strawberry-E flavor. I am going to try this one this year for sure!
I’m a huge fan of smitten kitchen, but had to share that this cake didn’t work for me. I was a bit concerned about mixing the puree into the dry ingredients, and perhaps I did something wrong because the mixture got so thick it almost burned the motor out of my kitchenaid! I found the cake to be dense, and dry- kind of a like a scone? Thank you so much for sharing, and I’ll hit the archives to try another.
Fabulous looking! Must try…
I was planning on making this lovely cake tomorrow but something is bothering me.. is it 1 1/2 cups of strawberries which are pureed or 1 1/2 cups of strawberry puree? Sorry if its a dumb question.
It is 1.5 cups of frozen strawberry puree. About half a one-pound bag of strawberries which you can whirl in the blender or food processor.
this cake looks like heaven! i’m wondering if i can do a “blue gentleman” for my husband’s birthday with blueberries? hmm…
I am a huge fan of your site, but a first-time comment-poster. I just made this cake and had the exact same experience as Kristen (comment #96). I don’t know if they’re dry, but I did nearly burn out the motor of not one, but two handblenders! Any ideas what we might have done wrong? This cake sounds so wonderful, and I’m making it for my Aunt’s 60th Birthday on Saturday. I would even be willing to try again tomorrow, if you have any ideas what I did differently from you… Thanks!
Hi Kristen and cacaye — My batter, before I added the egg/milk mixture was crazy thick, too, almost like chocolate chip cookie dough thickness. As I added the liquids, it became more of a batter. It certainly didn’t burn out my KitchenAid motor (!) but it was thick. Is that what you experienced?
Yes, that was my experience. I was concerned that I overmixed the batter once the egg whites/milk were in, though … I was trying to compensate for not doing a good job mixing before I added them.
The cakes are now cooled and I think they will turn out! Thanks for your help!
Oh my God, you are a LIFESAVER. My daughter is turning 3 this weekend and has informed me that she wants a pink strawberry cake and the only thing I could find was the one with the Jell-o and box mix. Thank you thank you thank you. What timing!
wow! lovely cake, faschionable, so white and irresistable.. i have to translate cups in grams and then.. start it! waiting to taste it.. have a nice day!
I really loved this cake! I did a double-take on the part of the recipe that said to blend the puree into the flour, so I just did it the other way around — I whipped the butter and strawberries together, THEN added the dry ingredients, and it worked perfectly. I didn’t have round cake pans, so I just halved the recipe and made it into one sheet cake. It turned out moist and fluffy and so deliciously pink, and some strawberry cream cheese frosting (with the leftover puree) made a perfect first birthday dessert for my daughter!
I had the same experience as Kristen & Cacaye–the batter was so thick it practically burned out the kitchenaid mixer. When the baking time was up, it was nowhere near ready (the toothpick I inserted was far from clean) so I gave it another few minutes. After cooling, it is soooo dense and too chewy. Tastes more like a scone.
Huummm!!! wow yum…triple layer cake just my lucky …so beautifully decorated.
Just found ‘Sky High’ in perfect condition at Half Price Books for $15! Who could be crazy enough to sell this book? It’s gorgeous.
Thanks for the recommendation. I can’t wait to gluten free/veganize it:)
I like that you are willing to just slather on the frosting and up the recipe for it! Cake and frosting are a must.
#96, 101 and 107 – I did blow up my hand mixer. I talked to the cake lady at my work and she agreed with Bethany #106. I will try it again, once I buy a new mixer, with these adjusted instructions.
if you want a naturally brighter pink color, try frozen raspberries instead of frozen strawberries. i just made this cake yesterday and it was AMAZING! my only disappointment was that, upon opening the bag of frozen strawberries, i saw their color was in the pale pink/grey family, which i had forgotten is standard for frozen strawberries. frozen raspberries, which i am much more familiar with, are always stunningly ruby red plus, in my opinion, retain more of their fresh berry taste. so i havent tried the cake with raspberries yet, but this is my hunch and also the way i will bake the cake next time around.
I made an 8″ triple layer cake for a dinner party and had enough left over batter to make the most adorable 3″ triple layer cake for another party. I cooked up the leftover berries with some lemon juice, sugar and cornstarch and put it on top. I could not physically add the butter to the flour/sugar mixture, all my insticts went against it. Instead I creamed the butter and added the dry mixture and strawberry puree in batches. My mixer is fine and happy and the cakes came out beautifully.
I did some crazy kitchen math to make this cake even bigger for a baby shower for 40. I wanted to make this in 12″ layers, so I got out three 9″ pans, filled them each about half full of water and measured that volume, then figured if I 3/4’ed the entire recipe, I’d get enough for one 12″ cake round. And it worked (after having to bake each round for over an hour and later trimming off all the brown bits)! I did 2 – 12″ rounds sliced in half for 4 layers.
I too would add more food coloring for even more pinkness. I really had to double and triple check the way the ingredients were added to the batter and I think next time I try this cake (delish, by the way), I’m gonna whip the egg whites before adding. Just think this could use a bit more air and lightness.
reminds me of when i was little
oh… were you not meant to whip the egg whites? i assumed you were but that the direction had been mistakenly left out. maybe THAT’S why it was so light and fluffy?
I made this for my daughter’s 10th birthday which, this year, is on Thanksgiving! It was the highlight of the Thanksgiving Dinner! Believe it or not, it needed more frosting (to do the decoration), so I made 1/3 of the original recipe to do the decoration (with a bit leftover). I have just made it for the second time in two days because she wanted it for her sleepover party tomorrow night. We made it into cupcakes (it makes 36), and I think the girls will love it.
I’ve made this twice now, and both times it was a hit. The first time, I made cupcakes with it for a baby shower. Oh so good! I made the cake again this weekend for Christmas party. I dropped about 3/4 cup of the sugar, since I found it a bit sweet – I think the fresh strawberries I used were sweet enough to compensate. I used the cream cheese frosting between the layers but made a light, fluffy frosting from one of my mom’s old recipes for the outside. It was a nice contrast to the richness of the cake and cream cheese filling and I think it really worked well. I had no problems with the batter being too thick, but then again, my brother bought me the honkin’ big Kitchenaid Pro last Christmas and I haven’t yet met anything it couldn’t handle (though it did choke a little on the pasta dough I made last week).
I just made this last weekend and it was a hit! My suggestion, is to strain the pureed strawberries before mixing into the butter – that way there wont be any seeds i the batter. Also instead of the cream cheese frosting I made 7-minute frosting and I think it complemented the cake very well!
Does this recipe double, or triple well? I would love to make this for my daughter’s request of a pink princess cake for her third birthday but I am making a tier cake with a base of a 14×2 inch round cake .
There is no reason not to scale the recipe to whatever size you want to make it. However, a common concern from home cooks when doing so is that their bowls/mixers aren’t big enough to handle the extra batter. If space is a limitation for you, you might want to make the batter in batches. Good luck.
I made this pink beauty today in 3 – 8″ round pans with no problem. It has great strawberry flavor and is a lovely pink. I debated but decided to add one drop of the red coloring, I don’t know if it did much to deepen the color. I like it a lighter pink. I drained the juices from the strawberrys before I pureed them and used it in the frosting. I also added 4oz of mascarpone cheese to my buttercream. It is delicious and also a lovely pastel pink. What a pretty cake..and so tasty too. My batter was also cookie dough thick before adding the milk and puree, but my good old KA plowed right through it, no sweat. Thanks for this, Deb.
Hi Deb – I’m making this pinkalicous cake for my upcoming 4 year old daughter’s birthday next week – can’t wait! I think I may substitute rasb for strawberries for color – but we’ll see. Because it is for a bunch of young kids, I’m tempted to switch out the heavier cream cheese frosting for a lighter one -maybe something closer to a whipped cream frosting or the swiss buttercream one — what do you think? I’m also making a few of your yummy party appetizers for the parents (Flat Bread, Feta Salad & the White Bean dip) so it will be a SmittenKitchen party!
I just made this cake in a three tier barbie version for my daughter’s 3rd birthday party. it was a hit. by far the most delicious birthday cake i’ve had. i took the idea of putting some strawberry puree in the cream cheese frosting and it added just the right touch. i also covered the cake in marshmallow fondant icing. that was so easy (HA HA). it was my first time, but persistence paid off and the end result was amazing. thank you so much for this recipe, i have been using your site for 6 months now and it is truly inspiring.
I am planning on finally making this cake this weekend (after returning a countless number of times to this particular page to see the pictures one more time) and I have a small question. Since the recipe calls for the cakes to be baked in three pans, do you rotate the pans in your oven during the baking? I know that this is what you are supposed to do for multiple cookie sheets. I’ve never baked a layer cake before so I am a little bit nervous.
It is always a good idea to rotate pans, as most ovens bake unevenly — back to front and switching racks halfway through.
I am going to make this for my sweet Valentine’s (hubby & daughters) Can’t wait to try it. I have had a similar version. My friend made one for my birthday with coconut and nuts added to the batter.
Oh, y’all, do not use newspaper as a substitute for parchment! The ink has all kinds of nasty chemicals in it. And I am no crunchy granola girl.
How many people will this cake feed? I’m tempted to make it for my friend’s birthday party tonight, but we will only be seven people and from the amounts of butter, flour and cheese in the recipe I imagine this cake to be… enormous?
I’m having trouble finding cake flour at my usual stores, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, and my local farmer’s market. Do you have a recommended substitution?
You can make your own cake flour by swapping each cup of it with 3/4 cup all-purpose flour + 2 tablespoons cornstarch, sifted together.
Btw, cake flour is easier to find in a generic grocery store. In NYC, I use Gristedes or whatever is nearby. I find that the nicer and specialty stores are less likely to carry it.
Hello Deb. I want to make this cake for my friend’s birthday, but I’m not sure about the egg white part. In some white cake recipes, you have to beat the egg whites til its thick and foamy. Do you do this for this recipe?
It is not neccessary in this cake.
I made this cake this weekend with raspberries instead of strawberries, because frozen raspberries were what I had. The raspberries gave it the most beautiful pale purple color, and the cake tasted heavenly. It’s the first triple-layer cake I’ve ever made, too. Your site is great. Any suggestions for recipes that will use up the eight egg yolks now languishing in my fridge?
Yay! What a wonderful cake! I made this for Easter yesterday and it was a hit. I did what Bethany in 106 suggested, beat butter and puree then add dry ingredients. I also added one tsp of almond extract to the frosting and layered sliced almonds on the outside. I added fresh strawberry slices between the layers which helped add more strawberry flavor to the whole cake. It was delicious!
cake flour= wad kind? Self raising or..??
1 1/2 cups pureed frozen strawberries* you but a star(*) to it, means Must or not necessary?
Just cake flour. If self-rising was needed, I’d have indicated it. You can always make your own cake flour at home: For every cup of flour, add a 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of baking powder, whisk together very well and sift the mixture. Measure your self-rising flour from there.
The asterik goes to a note at the bottom of the recipe, explaining why frozen were indicated.
How long do you think this cake, in cupcake form, will last? I have been tasked to make pink cupcakes for a very special birthday party- the guest of honor is turning 2! She likes all things pink and sweet- so this is the perfect cake. Unfortunately, the party is going to be on a Monday, and I can only get cupcakes to her mother on Friday. Will the three days totally ruin the cupcakes? I was considering baking them, wrapping well, and delivering them with the icing in a separate container. But then again, that still amounts to some work for an overworked mom. So frosted cupcakes it is.
And what frosting do you think would last the longest on these cupcakes? Mom suggested cream cheese frosting, but I was thinking that 7-minute frosting, tinted pink would just be over-the-top cute. Will the 7-min icing last well?
You should check out my cake tips in this post. I don’t like to make cakes in advance unless I am going to freeze them — even the most moist ones begin to dry out quickly. You can make the cupcakes weeks in advance, if you wrap them well in the freezer. Seven-minute frosting, in my opinion, is more of a last minute thing because it crusts. I wouldn’t do it more than 12 hours in advance.
Deb, everything turned out perfectly and just the way you described it prior to baking the cake. For some reason, it’s taken over 1 hour and a half to cook the cake at 350 F and it is still not done. I’m not exactly sure what’s wrong with it. Any ideas why it’s taking so long? :/
Sounds like an oven issue! No reason the cake (at the thickness I showed) wouldn’t be baked in way less.
Hey Deb, I upped the oven at 375-400F and baked it for 30 minutes and turned out perfectly. :) I think my oven is just slightly cooler than others. But, phew, thank goodness it baked. It’s my birthday today and yes, I’m making my own cake. I figured I’d rather have a cake that I slaved over than get a cake I don’t want to take home and have secret rendezvous with in the kitchen. :P
I love this recipe and plan on using it for a breast cancer fundraiser in July for 100 cupcakes! However I am a little nervous about burning them. Any advice on how long you would bake this recipe in cupcake form? I am notorious for cooking cakes to perfection and burning the heck out of cupcakes. Jessica
Wow! I have a cake-of-the month calendar, and get together with a friend to make each cake. April’s cake was a strawberry cake from a box! We decided to find a homemade strawberry cake, and I found this one at the last minute. What a great decision! I used all purpose flour because this poor college student can’t afford cake flour. I simply reduced the flour to 4 cups and ended up with a dense, moist, biscuit-y cake-delicious! I just made the cake again for my sister’s birthday. I put it in a 9×13 pan (had plenty of leftover batter for cupcakes). I made a few alterations to the recipe this time, eliminating the lemon, adding a bit of vanilla, and beating 4 of the egg whites until stiff. I folded these beaten egg whites into the batter at the very end. I also added nearly 10 drops of red food coloring. I ended up with a light, fluffy, moist, lightly pink cake with a subtle strawberry flavor. Perfect! Thanks Deb!
I made this cake for our Memorial Day BBQ this weekend (the coloring was appropriate because it was also our friends’ one year wedding anniversary, and hot pink was their wedding color) and it was fantastic! Next time I think I want to try adding even more strawberry puree, as the flavor was there but not super-pronounced. Or maybe using the puree as a jam-like layer between cakes. But the cake was moist and delicious and everyone loved it. Thanks!!
I’m making this right now. They’re puffing up a bit. Did you have to trim them to get them to lie flat. I’m hoping they’ll deflate as they cool.
You are right about the batter. Absolutely fantastic. I got batter on my nose like a kid licking the beater!
My plan is to freeze them today and frost tomorrow using one to cut up and look like a butterfly like this http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes.aspx/butterfly-cake and then saving the other two to frost as a standard cake. I didn’t feel up to a multiple layer butterfly!
I level cakes when necessary, definitely a good idea or the layers on top will crack if resting on a curve. You might want to check out some of my other layer cake tips in this post.
I just made this cake yesterday for my 3yr old daughter’s birthday. It turned out WONDERFUL. Everyone raved. Thanks for the great recipe. I’m holding on to this one. I want to share with your readers, however, that lightening traditional cream cheese frosting with whipped cream and marscapone makes it even better. I find regular cream cheese frosting too goopey and cheesy…but if you whip up about a cup of heavy cream (in a separate bowl, with a little sugar and vanilla of course) and gently fold it into the cream cheese mixture along with one 8-oz tub of marscapone cheese, you will get a lighter, fluffier, fabulous frosting. I got the idea from The Joy of Baking (http://www.joyofbaking.com/RedVelvetCake.html) – this recipe makes a great red velvet, by the way.
I just bought THE book, and I noticed Sky High’s version of this cake uses a White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting. Any particular reason you didn’t go with that, I mean other than personal preference of course? I’ll soon be trying my hand at this recipe, and wondered which way I should go.
I’ll be making this cake for my best friend’s sweet sixteen! =]
do you defrost the strawberries even before pureeing, or just defrost the puree?
and do the egg whites need to be at room temperature?
the cake looks nice – i like the way you decorated it! I just made your peanut butter chocolate cake with great success -wow that cake is rich. will leave a comment on that post too. thanks for the great recipes
They can be pureed still frozen. That said, most bakers will tell you that everything should always be at room temperature when you bake, eggs included. I didn’t bother. I never do.
I have been testing strawberry cka recipes for my sisters’ wedding cake with no success!!
My recipe looks similiar to yours (an offshot of martha stewart’s yellow butter cake).
For some reason, it is just not rising properly.
The only thing I can think of is that I am using egg yolks in mine (which doesn’t seem like it would be an issue) or that I skimped on the sugar and that it why is it not turning out. I am loosing my mind (and confidence).
I made this cake for my birthday. Since strawberries are in season and are quite delicious here in California, I knew I had to use as many strawberries as I could. Instead of cream cheese frosting in the layers, I spread sliced strawberries! I sliced 2 pints of strawberries, threw them in a bowl with a few T of lemon juice and a 1/3 cup of sugar, let it marinate for a few hours, drained the berries and put them between the layers. They were the perfect consistency. I then iced the cake with the cream cheese frosting (I made a tiny batch of swiss buttercream from the wedding cake entries, but it was too buttery for me, especially since the cake was so buttery. I don’t like American buttercream, and had hoped the Swiss one would be better, but alas it was not the case. I did save it and tint it pink for decoration, tho). It was delicious. There’s a pic on my blog: lazycrafter.com
My mom made this cake for my birthday. I have to say it was soooo good. We ate it with a little lemon sorbet on the side. I wish there was more…
Just made this for my son’s second birthday. “Cake” is one of those words, apparently, that he can learn after hearing (and tasting) once! This was a hit–thanks!
Just baked the cake with Farmer’s Market bought strawberries from today. It is out of control awesome! I’m going to add a layer of chocolate ganache to the cake just to make it over the top. That’s how I roll… thanks for the recipe!
I’m new to layer cakes but I really want to try this cake. I was wondering, would using 8″ round cake pans instead of 9″ make a huge difference? Also, if I separated the batter into 2 pans instead of 3, would that work? Thanks!
I am sure 8-inch round will be fine. Haven’t done it in two layers instead of three, but I’d be wary of the bigger height if you’re only using 2-inch side pans and pans with a smaller circumference.
gained 5 pounds just looking at the photos
This cake looks fabulous :)
And I agree about needing tons of creamy sweet frosting to make someone feel like a princess.. However.. while I have an abundance of strawberries.. not so much w/ cream cheese. Do you think this cake would be just as awesome if I whipped up some of your strawberry coulis and used that between the layers instead of making twice as much frosting?
It might work, but the coulis is definitely on the thin side, and might absorb more than sit on top. You could set it with a little gelatin or trying to cook a little cornstarch into it to thicken it. Or use a strained strawberry jam.
I made this for my niece’s birthday last week and it was fabulous. Everyone raved.
Mine was particularly spectacular because I only have two 9″ round cake pans – so I was forced to use my 8″ rounds, of which I have three. It took a bit longer to bake and boy-howdy was that a tall cake. Leveling was called for, but I didn’t, so the frosting was a bit thick on the sides…
We decided it tasted like a strawberry shortcake.
I made this for my Mom’s 50th birthday party last night. It’s especially special because she has breast cancer and we wanted something pretty & pink! It was delicious- I just wish I had put more frosting in between the layers. Thanks!
Deb – any idea how long to bake these as cupcakes?
I have not made these as cupcakes but most cupcakes bake for about 20 minutes. You should start checking at least 5 minutes before then.
Would your recommend Sky High or Rose B’s Cake Bible for a cake recipe book?
I like to make pretty cakes but they must be delicious as well. A few difficult recipes would be fine, but I don’t want the entire book to be difficult.
Hi Beth — I use Sky High a lot more, but it might just be more to my taste. I’d peek at both of them in a bookstore, see which one makes you want to run home and bake immediately more.
Would it be okay if I omitted the strawberry in the cake batter, and used it as a white cake instead? Maybe adding a vanilla bean…I am topping it with chocolate covered strawberries but my friend is not a fan of pink (what kind of friend is that?!). I’m using a whipped what-your-mom-says-is-buttercream-but-really-isn’t-but-still-tastes-fabulous kinda frosting.
I would recommend using an actual white cake recipe, and not taking out a key ingredient. You might Google around for Dorie Greenspan’s Perfect Party Cake for a solid white cake recipe, or use one of the yellow ones on this site.
Beautiful! I can almost taste it, thank you for sharing!
Hey Deb –
Love your stuff – and am going to make this cake for my daughter’s 6th bday. Wondering if you have a good recipe for whipped cream frosting? How do you think this would work with whipped cream frosting and actual strawberries between the layers? Also, can I make the cakes on Friday night and freeze them to frost on Saturday morning? Thanks!
Whipped cream frostings are generally not stable enough for overnight or longer storage, and certainly not for freezing. You can try to add a stabilizer however. I don’t usually use a recipe — I just make a lot of whipped cream, maybe one and half times this amount.
Hey Deb, re post 171: I decided to make it with the strawberries anyways, and the cake was probably the tastiest cake I have ever made. In true Deb fashion, I couldn’t leave my moms frosting recipe well enough alone, and I actually made it even better (!)! Thanks for all the tips, and I hope you’re doing something to cool off in all this heat!
Hi Deb –
I was just thinking about freezing the cakes overnight – not frosted. I was hoping to make the cake Friday night and then frost it with whipped cream frosting in the morning…so that it’s fresh for the party. Thanks! Lyla
Hi Deb! I am a new reader to this site, and happened to stumble across this recipe on my lunch break – I am so excited! Iam hosting my sister’s baby shower soon, and all she has requested is a strawberry cake (I have no idea why…mom did not make one growing up or anything!) I just want to ask, will this cake work well in different-shaped pans? I am making a 2 layer cake, the first is a large rectangle, the second a ladybug shaped cake (like a ladybug in the grass…can you tell the baby is a girl?!) Thanks…I am sort of new to baking…and nervous about making a cake for 40 people!!
oh, i should note, i was planning on making a double batch..
I made this cake for my husband’s birthday this week. It was a huge hit! Great recipe. Thanks so much Smitten Kitchen. I did swap in a strawberry buttercream frosting for the cream cheese frosting at his request. Very delish!
Is it possible to substitute the milk required with half and half? I have some left over from another recipe and would like to use it up.
hi! i just made this for my daughter’s 6th birthday. with part of the batter i made mini cupcakes which were delicious. with the rest i made a two-layer cake using 9″ round pans. at 30 mins i checked the cakes. they had risen nicely and were getting brown around the edges and the cake tester came out clean. however, after cooling in the pans, the cakes flopped. not sure what i did wrong. any ideas? thank you. it was so yummy, everyone ate it anyway, but i felt terrible that it didn’t come out right.
I would like to try this recipe in mini bundt pans- is there a different frosting that you could recommend? I just made the lemon cake in mini bundt form (which were amazing), and am now obsessed with little bundt cakes.
Just made this with blackberries instead of strawberries and it was a big hit with my guests – and very purple! I found the cream cheese frosting a little runny – not firm enough to pipe. Might be a problem with me translating quantities into grams though.
Oh, and I used an extra four egg whites for the cake since I had them on hand, and they definitely didn’t flop!
Yummo! We just made this cake. A 10 oz bag of strawberries was perfect with a little amaretto to help those frozen berries blend. The frosting was made with cream cheese, marscapone, and a little lemon juice and zest. It really played off well with the fresh strawberries we served with the cake.
thanks a bunch for this recipe. Made this for my daughters birthday and it rurned out so yummy and congragulations on the birth of baby Jacob. He is such a cutie pie
Hi, did anyone try these celebration cakes without egg? Perhaps, by using No Egg or other sustitutes as a replacement? Does that matter a lot? I plan to make this cake soon for a b’day and have some vegan guests including one who is allergic to egg. Any suggestion would be appreciated.
I don’t think I’ve made a cake since I was a kid, with my mom. I’m a pie girl. So when I was asked to make the birthday cake for a relative, I decided on this one because I like the idea of the CAKE tasting like strawberries. (I went with a simple swiss buttercream frosting instead, and added fresh strawberries in the layers and on top.)
I followed the cake recipe to the T, but I found the cake to be just a bit too dense and thick. It was definitely moist though. I would have preferred the cake to be about 20% lighter and fluffier. What could I do next time make it that way? I’m not a baker…could I whisk the egg mixture rather than simply blending it? Also, I found that when I added the two mixtures, the resulting batter seemed to have a slight curdle to it. Not chunky, just if I looked closely it had that curdled effect.
I really loved the flavor of the cake and would make it again, once I figure out how to make it lighter. :)
This recipe was obviously meant for my soon to be three princess. With 3 older brothers, she is as girly as they come and has demanded a pink cake and pink presents. :-) She is not concerned with what is in the presents, so long as they are pink! This is the first year she is letting us know what she wants & it is so fun to be able to do it for her! Thanks so much! Your site is always my go-to site ~ I always know I can trust anything here!!
I’ve made this 3 times now and am about to head out to pick up strawberries for a 4th (baby shower tomorrow afternoon). I LOVE this cake. Thanks for sharing the recipe! Your blog has yet to lead me astray.
So excited – I am hosting a baby shower on Saturday and the mama has requested a strawberry cake. I’ll let you know how it goes!
anyone out there, just wondering, what can i do with the 8 egg yolks? any clever ideas on how to use them on another recipe? I don’t want to be wasteful…
Thanks so much for posting this. I made this cake forever-and-a-day ago, but with fresh raspberries. It was delicious and addicting. I’ve made this cake with raspberries a thousand times over and my family never gets tired of it. <3
My first “home made” cake! I made this last night! Thank you Deb! Your pictures were especially useful when I had to figure out the consistency of the batter (ice cream-like indeed). When I was leveling the cake, I tasted it and it was so moist. I followed all of your layer cake tips and the frosting turned out nicely. It is for my friend’s daughters’ 1st birthday today. Wish my cake carrier some luck. =)
Loved this recipe! I made cupcakes (pink little heavens) for the little girls but the big girls loved them more I think… Your recipes are outstanding and have heard nothing but rave reviews each time I make something. Thanks!
My sister sent me this link last year for my daughter’s birthday. I ran out of time and instead ended up making a cake that had jello in it. Gaaaak. She didn’t mind, she was 4, but this year as she has asked for another Strawberry cake, I’m going with this one. Can’t wait!
I just found your recipe, but had already tried the Sprinkles Strawberry Cupcake recipe off Martha’s website last summer. They are quite similar. From prior baking experience, I measure out the milk, butter, and eggs the night before to warm up. I soften the butter and warm the milk if that doesn’t happen. That produces a much fluffier cake, for those who had problems with dense and dry. Due to it being a “cupcake” recipe, they also suggested not to overmix the batter, to avoid tough little cakes. Your recipe uses all egg whites, which makes for a softer crumb (per Cake Bible), while Sprinkles called for 6 whites and 3 whole eggs. Sky High’s also has more baking powder, 1/2c. more puree, and cake flour vs ap flour. Yours wins! Can’t wait to try it with some of the other berries written about, also! Thanks so much:)
Very good recipe, thanks for sharing. I chose to frost my 3 layer 8in cake with the whipped cream cheese frosting. It’s great!
Just made this cake for my daughter’s 10th irthday — big hit with a houseful of very girly girls. My cake batter was also very thick and the cakes took a very long time to bake (as some other commenters mentioned). The end result was delicious but quite dense (as opposed to light). I did not thaw the berries though and mixed everything by hand… I suspect that had something to do with it! Anyway, thanks again for a great cake.
This cake is incredible! My brother-in-law made it this weekend and it was a smash hit. The strawberry flavor was subtle, but right on target. Thanks for sharing the recipe!
Okay, this cake is perfect but if you read this I need help! I found out the birthday gathering has gone from 5 to 15+ so I really will need to make a sheet cake. She wants a strawberry cake so I would still like to stick to the basic recipe. I am thinking it should work, I just need to figure out how high up the batter should reach in the pan I’m thinking… If I fill it half way and have batter left over should I stop, 1/3, 2/3? Any help figuring this out will be greatly appreciated! I read my How to Cook Everything book, googled, and still can find nothing that will tell me this. Thanks!
I have an interesting question. Say you don’t like… fruity cakes. If I were to omit the berries, would the cake end up tasting like flour? I’ve tried so many cake recipes, and I want to make the perfect white cake. Not yellow cake, not really angel food cake, but a plain, somewhat simple white cake. And I came across this, and thought maybe this was the one.
Hey Deb, made this cake for my 4 yr old niece’s family birthday today – great cake. I whizzed in a few rasps with my strawbs and got a lovely flavour, but I would probably decorate the cake with a lot more strawbs next time as it goes so well with the cake, and might even try slightly reducing the amount of milk and increasing the fruit to one cup (I halved the recipe and did it in 2 8″ pans, still needed almost 30 min to bake). I loved the pink colour! I also sieved the fruit which was a total PITA but worth it because I didn’t like the idea of seeds in the cake.
I did cream cheese frosting which came out way too soft to properly ice the cake, I just sort of spread it on and let it ooze down the sides a bit. THis always happens. Any idea how to rectify whilst keeping that lovely rich cream cheese flavour?
My first 3-layer cake. Delicious! Everyone loved it and it looked beautiful. Was a bit tough for a few moments with my stand mixer working harder than ever before, but once I added the wet ingredients mixing returned to normal. Thanks.
I made this for dessert yesterday (because, really, what’s more valentiney than a pink cake?), and it was absolutely delicious. Thanks for sharing.
Quick question – do you think, if I cut this recipe down to a third of its original size, it would bake properly in two 6-inch round pans? Thanks!
I made this for Valentine’s Day, so I wanted to make it more… pink. I mixed fresh, pureed strawberries and shredded coconut into the icing and it was fabulous! I also topped with sliced almonds for an added crunch. I took it to work the next day, and although I work in an office filled with dieters, it was gone by noon and received rave reviews!
i wanted to make a guava chiffon cake for my sisters bday but saw this cake recipe and LOVE baked goods with real strawberries. can i half this recipe to make some cupcakes? i dont know so much about the chemistry of it all. let me know! thanks!! stella
There’s no reason you can’t make this as cupcakes (if you can through or do a word search in the comments, you’ll see that many people have). I haven’t worked with guava a whole lot, so I can’t be totally sure, but it seems you could also swap it for the strawberry to get the cake you want.
I made this cake into the shape of a teacup for a 2-year-old’s birthday party this weekend. It was a huge hit! After I download the photos, I’ll email you one :-) Very tasty, wonderful recipe!
Well I for one DID burn out the motor on my (hand) mixer, which I sort of saw coming but decided to ignore, even as the little guy pleaded for me to stop. Luckily they’re like 30 bucks I guess. (I wish we still had appliances like that repaired instead of just dropping them in the garbage)
I think had I defrosted the strawberries first, the butter wouldn’t have seized up so much, although it is crazy thick before you add the whites. I still baked the cake of course, although with some disparate globs of unmixed butter–so much the better, really. It tastes quite a bit like a muffin, which I love. Great recipe–next time I might cut back on the sugar a notch, especially if this wasn’t for a little kid. I used the chocolate fudge frosting on this site to ice it and also brushed the cakes with some amaretto. REAL GOOD THANKS
Just finished using this recipe for Pink Lady cupcakes. I halved the recipe and it made perfectly 2 dozen. I added a few drops of coconut extract and baked for 22 minutes – excellent. I used coconut icing with a few tsp of leftover strawberry puree for a slightly pink icing. LOVE this recipe. Thanks!
thank you so very much for this post. I too will buy this book. I have searched for years for the perfect strawberry cake recipe. and cringe at the thought of boxed cake and jell-o for that matter just buy the strawberry cake box….lol I am making this cake tonight it is for a princess castle cake and I will let you know what the princess says about the cake!!!
Great recipe…. I tried the cake today, except I didn’t have frozen strawberries so I used blueberries and it came out great. :)
I made this with raspberries and mascarpone cheese frosting for my daughter’s first birthday party.
Huge hit! This was probably the most delicious cake I’ve ever made, thanks for posting it.
I made this for my 3 yr. old’s birthday. It turned out wonderful! I don’t have the best luck with cakes, so that’s saying a lot. I really wanted a strawberry cake that didn’t use Jello, and this fit the bill. I live in high altitude and made the following modifications: 4 1/2 tsp. baking powder, 375 degrees, baked for 25 minutes. Thanks for a great recipe!
Holy Moly…you are right about the batter at one point tasting like strawberry ice cream (but totally better). I made this for a very special occasion, and everyone loved it.
Thanks yet again!
Hey Deb, I know you’re a busy lady, but do you think you could possibly give me the recipe for the swiss buttercream included in the book for this cake? I would like to make this cake with swiss buttercream, but I don’t want to end up with too little frosting. Thanks! Squeeze Jacob’s little cheeks for me. :)
PS: Elissajane, I’ve always had great results with this white cake. It’s wonderfully moist and tender.
I have a Swiss Buttercream recipe on this site.
I’m planning to make this in cupcake form for my daughter’s first birthday party. Could I make them a day ahead OR could I at least make the batter a day ahead and keep in the refrigerator? Thanks!
I made this cake today (for my husband! pink lady cake is for everybody!), and I frosted it with a simple strawberry buttercream (butter, powdered sugar, strawberries – no meringue) and it is awesome. Tastes like pure strawberries & cream. Why does nobody else seem to want strawberry frosting with their strawberry cake?
PS Had to bake it for a good 25 min over the outsided suggested time. Pretty sure I don’t have a cool oven, think it was just due to 8″ round pans rather than 9″. And it’s super tall. And I stood strawberries on top so it’s way taller than it is wide :-)
I made this cake today (for my husband! pink lady cake is for everybody!), and I frosted it with a simple strawberry buttercream (butter, powdered sugar, strawberries – no meringue) and it is awesome. Tastes like pure strawberries & cream. Why does nobody else seem to want strawberry frosting with their strawberry cake?
PS Had to bake it for a good 25 min over the outsided suggested time. Pretty sure I don’t have a cool oven, think it was just due to 8″ round pans rather than 9″. And it’s super tall. And I stood strawberries on top so it’s way taller than it is wide :-)
I halved the recipe and made it as cupcakes (it made 20). Fantastic. I added some amaretto to the strawberry puree. I also was terrified to put the flour in first (apparently I fear change) so I beat the butter and strawberries together before adding the dry ingredients (warning if you do it this way – turn the mixer on SLOWLY or beware of flying strawberry puree!).
I also added some melted white chocolate to the frosting. This cake is really great. It’s on the dense side rather than light and fluffy – but that’s not a bad thing. It’s definitely not muffiny or sconelike and has a great crumb. These will become a staple!
Made this tonight because my parents were coming over and I am on Spring break (as a teacher not a student) and I never have any other time bake fancy, wonderful things. We all loved it, as I knew we would because everything I try from your blog works as it should. I did add two drops of food coloring, but it was still barely pink, if I really wanted it pink it would need more. Also for those who have asked, fresh strawberries work as well as frozen.
I love the pics of your son in your blog, enjoy those sweet cheek days.
without a stand mixer, i’ve wrestled mightily with three-layer cakes, and this one was no exception (the head of my spatula disappeared while i was scraping the bowl). having cake flour on hand and hulled, frozen strawberries would have cut out a lot of the work, but when i tasted that rosy, spongy batter, i knew i had a winner. stacked with cream cheese frosting (less cream cheese, more vanilla extract), it was not only gorgeous, but deemed “the best cake i’ve ever eaten” by half the partygoers. jaws were dropped.
other notes – it seemed like an awful lot of sugar and butter, but then again, it’s a HUGE cake. if i had sweeter strawberries in season, i’d definitely cut down on the sugar. a few drops of food coloring didn’t make much of a difference, and i hate using fake dye, ick. next time i’d use beet juice, naturally.
Okay, I have made this cake three times, tweaking the process a little each round. I had the crazy-thick-batter-to-the-point-of-almost-blowing-out-my-hand-mixer issue the first time. And not really enough strawberries. I had to beat the hell out if it to get the butter and the puree to integrate and my cake turned out a little tough. For my second attempt, I combined the butter and puree before adding it to the flour. This was a little better, but the liquids were kind of lumpy, but it made adding the wet to dry way easier. This last time, I creamed the butter and sugar, added the puree and then combined. Best variation yet. The crumb was tender, but the weight was a bit heavier than I would have liked. I used a few drops of coloring and had really sweet strawberries, so next time I might reduce the sugar by a 1/4 C. If I make this again, I will keep the creaming method and maybe put in half of the milk. I was also thinking about whipping the egg whites a bit and folding them into the lightened batter. Whew. Turned out well, though, the birthday girl really loved it.
When I made this cake, it was perfect–moist and tender. Mixing the flour with the butter was kind of freaky; the flour started to stretch like bread dough. I use a Kitchen Aid stand mixer, and the batter didn’t tax it at all. However, I did thaw the frozen strawberries and also had to throw in a few fresh berries. It baked in a half hour. I filled it with lemon curd and iced it with Swiss buttercream. My whole family loved it, especially the little chunks of strawberries the food processor didn’t get, and the seeds gave it a natural touch.
So I am planning on making this cake for my best friend’s birthday. (I saw this way back and thought OMG shes getting this cake! She’s a definitely a pretty pink princess kinda girl.) I want to use fresh strawberries since we’ve been getting a lot in recently (weird for April right?) and they were actually cheaper than the frozen ones. What I’m concerned about however is that they wont have enough juice to puree well… should I add water in that case? If I do wont the strawberry flavor be diluted? I know frozen berries once thawed release a lot of liquid and I’m not sure how to proceed. Any advice would be great!
I just made this recipe-in cupcake, mini cupcake, and mini bundt form. I used the suggested cream cheese frosting on the cupcakes but used a meyer lemon glaze on the mini bundts-both varieties were awesome, but I can trick myself into calling the bundts breakfast, since I was planning on eating some tomorrow morning anyway. Thanks Deb!
This looks incredible. Possibly dumb question: since its strawberry season, I want to use fresh ones. Do I need to add sugar to the puree? I’m assuming the frozen berries you used were natural, not sweetened, but wanted to check.
Not a dumb question. Honestly, I haven’t tried it with fresh because I made this cake very far from strawberry season and the original recipe calls for frozen. However, it looks like a handful of people have successfully (#224, #221), so you’re probably good to go. Do report back! It’s such a wonderful springy cake, it is made for fresh berries.
Do you think that I could add some pulverized freeze dried strawberries to get more strawberry kick and color? How much would you suggest?
Finally made this… it was great! The birthday girl LOVED it. Thanks!
A heaping pint of fresh strawberries netted out 1-1/2 c. puree.
I doubled the red dye, and they are still (beautifully) pale.
I made these as cupcakes and baked ~20-25 minutes.
This recipe would yield 36 cupcakes – I reduced the recipe 2/3 to make 24 cupcakes because I can only fit 2 trays in my oven and wasn’t sure how the waiting batter would react since this cake does not follow a method I recognize.
Very light but with a true and lovely strawberry taste.
Unfrosted they would make a delightful muffin for a shower brunch…mother’s day awaits!?!
I hope my little niece is as excited about these as I am, and now I am buying that cookbook, the source of her chocolate cupcakes as well (from here http://smittenkitchen.com/2008/08/chocolate-peanut-butter-cake/ )
Okay I just made this cake and it was delicious. However I recommend having a kitchen aide and not an off brand mixer. I only say this because this recipes batter overloaded my mixer and I would like it if other people could avoid the issue. This was totally worth it though because it is a positivly astounding cake. And do not even get me started on the frosting.
Thanks for yet another delish recipe.
Ok, this looks amazing! I’ve been trying to find a good cake recipe for my daughter’s 4th birthday party coming up. She wants Ariel (of course!) so I will have the Wilton cake pan and plan to put a layer of filling in the middle. Love the look of the cream cheese icing, but was wondering how it would work for decorating purposes? How stiff is it? Or am I better off with standard buttercream and using a layer of the cream cheese icing in the middle? Any advice GREATLY appreciated!
Your cake is so pretty! I made this cake for a birthday, and it was a hit. Nothing is more perfect than a fresh strawberry cake with cream cheese frosting. Here is the link to the one I made.
I have been searching and searching for the perfect cake for my daughters first b/day. This cake looks amazing and delicious. I was wondering what would be the best way to store it if I make it the day before? Also, I don’t want to add the food coloring (we try to avoid it) so could I add whole strawberries on top with slices on the side? I just want to make sure her 1st b/day turns out perfect!
PErfect cake.. sounds yummy already
can u share ur fav. book for making cakes.. i couldnt find the name.. i would love to buy it and try baking cakes from it please
I can’t thank you enough for sharing this recipe. My boyfriend’s grandmother turned 92 this week, and I made this cake for her party. She loved it! I was really pleased with the way it turned out, too. I think it may be the best thing I’ve ever put in my mouth. But most of all, I was glad I could do something to make her feel like the princess she is. Thanks!
Made this for my daughter’s birthday with fresh farm-stand organic strawberries and it was DIVINE. Thank you for sharing your good taste with the world.
This cake is absolutely amazing! I started it at 2 in the afternoon and had it done and decorated by 4 – that includes have to bake the third layer separately as I only had 2 round pans. (Definitely used the freezer to cool them down :) I used fresh strawberries and got my boyfriend to mash them up, worked very well. I think it’s the most delicious cake I’ve ever had – and everyone at the birthday party agreed. I love the icing too, but the cake is so delicious it could almost stand on its own. Thank you so much for this cake, I’ll be sure to make it whenever strawberries are in season (and even if they’re not). (p.s I only used a hand mixer and it was fine, came together beautifully.)
Do you think I could sub raspberries for strawberries? The pink lady in question has a strawberry allergy! Boo!
Looks like commenters 143, 192 and 213 tried it successfully.
Deb, I halved the recipe, tweaked a few of the measurements and it made two dozen cupcakes exactly. They were amazing! And the batter was ridiculous. I should’ve never tried it, like you said–but I couldn’t help myself. I also made it with fresh strawberries and it turned out fantastic. The egg white/milk mixture with a drop of food coloring looked like strawberry milk. I was pretty tempted to drink it. Gross.
Thanks for the recipe.
I was looking for a strawberry cupcake recipe to make for my dad on Father’s Day. He loves anything red , I thought your pink lady cake sounded delicious and decided that it would be perfect. I decorated the cupcakes with slices of fresh strawberries. I shared them with my grandparents, neighbors and co-workers. They were a huge success. My mom wanted to copy the recipe and was thrilled to see that it came from you. Thanks for sharing your great recipe!
P.S. My dad says” Hello” . Love, Your Cincinnati cousins.
Lori — What a delight! I am glad you all enjoyed the cake. :)
So I’m decorating this tonight. I have the layers frozen and ready to go. The function is tomorrow. It will need to go in the fridge overnight – uncovered presumably given the size. Is this wise? Should I wake extra early and get busy with it then? Maybe make the frosting tonight…..Decisions! Your wisdom is sought please Deb!
I made this cake for my friend’s birthday, though she doesn’t like cream cheese frosting (I know, right?) so I used a cointreau whipped cream frosting instead. At any rate, I have never received so many compliments for a cake before… someone even thought it was a professional product! So, thank you so much for this recipe; it is now in my permanent collection.
My daughter loves to help me make recipes I find on smitten kitchen. We looked through your cake recipes together and this is what she chose for her 6th birthday on Friday. She is all excited to help make it and is loving the whole pink theme, though I think the recipe had her at cake with strawberries and cream cheese frosting. There is no way I am going to be able to keep her from licking the spoon! I am definitely raising a foodie with a sweet tooth. Thanks as always Deb for providing yet another recipe that will be a hit. You’re famous in my family now.
Tasted great, but the texture was off… it was so dense it was embarrassingly hard to slice. Next time I think I will whip the egg whites. I don’t have a mixer and stirred everything by hand, so perhaps I didn’t get enough air in there? In any case, I will definitely make this again.
Also, I added 3 tsp of Grenadine because I was out of food color. I think this helped the flavor a little and will add more next time.
deb thank you so much for this recipe! I was put in charge of making my grandmothers 86th birthday cake and it was a hit! thank you for all of your beautiful pictures and fun posts! cant wait for the cookbook!
This recipe made the most delicious cupcakes!! I used fresh strawberries instead of frozen because they are in season.
thank you so much!
Just wanted to say thanks for the recipe!
I converted your measurements into UK weights, and adjusted the quantities to make 12 cupcakes. They were lovely!
If anyone wants the UK measurements I have posted all on my blog (and linked back to you, of course!)
How might baking times change if you turned this into a cupcake recipe?
i am making this cake for my birthday this year!!!! i am in love with this recipe just from reading it and now i can hardly wait till aug. 22!!! happy birthday to me!
It’s my daughter’s 4th birthday (tomorrow!) and I would like to use this recipe for a 2-layer sheet cake. Do you know if I need to adjust the measurements to fit two 9x13x2″ pans? Thanks!
I made this cake for my bf’s birthday but my frosting was really soft and slightly transparent, it didn’t cover very well and was super tough to use. I tried refridgerating it because it is summer time here in NY and it was quite warm but I was wondering if it’s supposed to be that way or not. It was also sort of hard piping it out because it was so goopy.I tried my best! Oh well!
Just made this with raspberries and it turned out beautifully; it was a massive amount of batter, but it’s made a massive amount of cake, so I’m happy with that! I only had 7 egg whites (I’ll say it again: MASSIVE) so I beat them up until they were pretty frothy and added an egg yolk, and I didn’t have any trouble with texture or it being too dense, or anything like that. This is one impressive cake!
I just made this cake and it is just as delicious as the over 200 people before me have said.
However, I do have a one question concerning the density of the cake. I baked mine as cupcakes, and they came out almost like a moist banana bread (albeit strawberry). I was wondering what I could have done wrong to get the texture so un-cupcake-like. I think I may have mixed the batter for too long when adding the eggs and milk, is this possible? I kind of like the cake as it is, so maybe it is just a dense cake in general? But your photographs seem to indicate that it is definitely lighter than mine came out.
Hey there…I just came across this cake and it looks amazing…question: Are the strawberries measured before or after they are pureed?
Kim — After. (It would otherwise say “1 1/2 cups strawberries, pureed”)
I am in the middle of making a wedding cake for a friend and she sent me the link as a starting point for her strawberry wedding cake, and I, in turn, proceeded to explore a fairly wide set of variations. Some of them address some of the questions in the comments, especially those looking for a lighter version, so I thought I would report the results.
First, the ingredients (and method) of the original recipe reminded me of the velvet butter cake in the Cake Bible, with the addition of course of the strawberries, and they are indeed close to each other. I like that cake, but I usually find it a little dense and (I, know, sacrilege) almost too buttery, so I almost always do something half way between that and a chiffon cake and I figured that would be a good starting point. So, I made one batch of batter of pink lady cake more or less as given here, and one batch of batter following the orange chiffon cake recipe from Rosie’s bakery cookbook, substituting strawberries for the orange. I then made 8 different combinations, varying the ratio of chiffon to butter cakes, and adding back some extra yolks to some of the combinations to see what that does.
Let me start by saying that all of the cakes were delicious, and quite different from each other, so it is just a question of what you like. The angel-food light-as- a-feather cake lovers went for the 100% chiffon. It was indeed lovely and light and moist and what I would have wanted, especially when it was fresh out of the oven. The bride and groom (who were not there but were represented by the bride’s mom) however were looking for “medium dense.” We decided the 2 chiffon to 1 butter cake ratio test cake was the one best meeting that criterion. We also all agreed that the pure butter was just a bit too heavy. The two big differences, I think, are that the egg whites in the chiffon batter are beaten and folded in, and oil is used instead of butter. The oil gives it that moistness (but having some butter of course keeps that nice flavor and texture) and the folded whites makes it nice and fluffy. The cakes with extra yolks (ie closer to having whole eggs than just whites) were richer than those with fewer yolks, which again was nice but not what we were looking for. If any of you want to experiment further, I would suggest taking a pound cake recipe and seeing how it works with strawberries. Or raspberries – out of curiosity I did make one more sample cake with raspberries and that was my husband’s favorite, but we’re sticking with strawberry.
We also experimented with frostings. We tried a butter cream, cream cheese frosting, whipped cream, mascarpone frosting, and combinations of these. We thought the lightness of the whipped cream and mascarpone complemented the cake best and kept things a little lighter than the cream cheese or buttercream. So, I am filling the cake with stabilized whipped cream and fresh strawberries and frosting with a mascarpone frosting on the outside, with strawberry curd on the top of each tier and fresh flowers and berries for decoration.
I made this cake twice in the past 2 days…the first I followed the recipe exactly. The second time I made a few small changes. The first change was I took 1/2 cup of sugar from the dry ingredients and pureed them with strawberries, and let them sit for about 10 minutes. I also creamed the butter and strawberries together and then added in the dry ingredients. It made the cake a lot less dense, with a stronger strawberry flavor. DELICIOUS!
Addition to my previous comment – DO NOT use the cream cheese frosting recipe given here. For me, at least, it was way way too loose; not stiff enough to fill a fairly hefty triple layer cake. I’ve been battling this all morning, and there are streaks of frosting all over my kitchen surfaces. In the end I had to scrape most of the mess off the cake and begin again with a much stiffer frosting; beating a lot more butter and just adding in ladlefuls of the original recipe until I had a thick enough frosting (alternatively you could add like, another box of icing/confectioner’s sugar, but I hate a painfully sweet frosting). It would be a lovely frosting for a lighter, one-or-two layer cake, but it just can’t hold up to this.
My Pink Cake Lover is a Prince, he even wanted it for his Grooms cake.
The Pink Cake of our dreams is a Peppermint Cake/ and PINK it is! I’m not a piping decorator So your cake designs are only surpassed by your photography.My first on your site and I am SMITTEN.
P.S. I don’t get the Hoopla over the Red Velvet cake either.
Queen of Red Velvet,
The cakes are cooling right now and im sorry but I had to, I HAD TO TASTE THE BATTER and I have a stomachache now I licked the whole kitchen aid bowl clean haha
My pink princess is my big sister, she turns 30 today so this is going to be just perfect! I think i’ll tuck some strawberry slices between the layers along with the frosting C:
I’m freaking out, this frosting is too soft and the cake is all jiggly, I had to put it in the fridge and now im hoping for the best tastes yummy though!
I made a strawberry cake for my daughter two years ago, and I am still reminded how horrible it was. The cake was dry, and dense, with very little flavor. So tonight to prove that I am, in fact, a baker I tried this recipe.
Everyone LOVED it! I wasn’t sure about the baking powder amount, it seemed like too much, but it really turned out great. My mixer didn’t seem to mind the thick batter, although I am glad you mentioned it would be like ice cream, as I am like you and did not have the time or patience to wait for the strawberries to thaw, and I would have thought there was something wrong. I will add more food coloring, and the recipe makes a large amount of frosting, so I will add more to the middle next time, since I had quite a bit left over.
Also, it is a really large cake, what do I do to keep it fresh for the next couple of days?
I’m hoping to bake this for my birthday next week, but I’d like to scale it to a 6-inch 3-layer cake. I’ve been Googling around and noticed that batter volune varies sizably when using a a 9-inch pan with a 2-inch height or a 1-1/2-inch height. This might be a dumb question (I’ve never baked a layer cake before), but which did you use? I want to make sure I do the math right.
I’m a first-time poster but a long-time fan of the site — thanks so much for sharing your wonderful recipes!
Made this for my mother’s birthday this weekend (along with the Neapolitan cake from this site, we had quite a crowd), and it was widely appreciated in spite of the many pitfalls I encountered:
1. I had no problem with the cake recipe, and mixed the ingredients just as stated. It had a wonderful strawberry flavor (I used very fragrant and sweet strawberries, the last of the summer from local farmers in Normandy), though I would scale down the sugar next time (but that may be because my strawberries were really sweet!). It was a beautiful pale pink, but if you’re making this for a pretty pink princess, you might want to add the food coloring as deb says. And the texture was light but not airy. Definitely not angel-food but not muffin-like either. Was fine with me anyway.
2. However, my layers were not as tall as in the picture. Two things: I did not whip up the egg whites (but then again, that’s not stated in the recipe), and since i have a tiny mini-oven, I could only bake one layer at a time. But even my first layer was not as tall. I did notice that i did not have enough batter to fill my pan 3 times properly. Maybe it wasn’t quite a 9-inch?
3. I wanted to do a strawberry and fig pairing (kind of melding the last of the summer with the beginning of fall), so I used fig jam as a filling. It was good but too sweet. I should have used something else to offset the cake’s sweetness.
4. the icing was a disaster: it was the texture of “creme anglaise” for those who know what that is. Basically very watery and un-spreadable. I left it in the fridge hoping it would firm up, but no success. I live in France, and we don’t get tubs of Philadelphia cream cheese here so I tried to use the closest equivalent (a 681-gram or 24-oz mix of mascarpone and “fromage frais” or “petit suisse”). It is entirely possible that the water and fat contents of these cheeses were different enough to prevent the icing from firming up as it should. Also, it remained quite grainy, with globs of unincorporated butter and/or sugar, that no amount of beating/whipping/other form of torture seemed to fix.
Any hints on how to make a successful cream cheese frosting in France with no product labeled as “cream cheese”? Any luck with other types of cheese?
I just started reading your blog two weeks ago and am now hooked! Thank you for all the fantastic recipes.
I baked the pink lady cake for my niece’s first birthday today. Since I had all these egg yolks left over, I decided to make a lemon curd and turn the pink lady into a strawberry lemon cake. It was decadent!
I made this cake today and used the fudge frosting from the espresso cake. I decorated it with chocolate covered strawberries. It was awesome!
Your recipes never let me down and Sky High is on my Christmas wish list.
Do you think that I could easily make these into cupcakes? Any changes that would be required? I made this cake last year for my daughter’s 4th bday and it was heavenly…now it’s my younger daughter’s 2nd bday coming up and she is a cupcake lover so I was thinking of adapting this. Any tips would be appreciated. And I love your baby’s hair and smile! And your website!
Many folks throughout the comment section have made them as cupcakes successfully (see 117, 118, 194, 210, 220, 231, 242, 243, 251, etc.). I suggest baking times in comment 166.
Wow! Your ENTIRE website and recipes are amazing!! I have taken note of this and am headed to the grocery store for strawberries now. I’m ready to make this cake! Thank you for everything!
I made this with raspberries for my husband’s birthday, and everyone LOVED it. THe Raspberry taste really comes through, and it was perfect with the cream cheese frosting. I doubled the frosting, and did have leftover, but one recipe would not have been enough.
A note on the colour – the raspberries gave it a purplish colour – a very, very noticeable colour. So since it was my husband’s cake, we called it a “Lavendar Manly Cake.”
I made this cake last year for my daughter’s first birthday. I made a trial one & it was okay. Batter did not taste like strawberry ice cream – it wasn’t very sweet and didn’t have much of a strawberry flavor. I wasn’t sure if I added all the sugar though. The second cake turned out fabulous, receiving the compliment of being one of the best cakes ever. I had requests to make it every year for her birthday. Well, we divided up her party between the different families this year & are celebrating it 4 times. I am on cake #3. Cake #1 turned out like Cake #1 from last year. Cake #2 was much better, but not amazing. Cake #3 is in the oven. The batter is very bland again. I did not completely thaw the strawberries in Cake #1 and thought maybe that was the problem. I thawed & drained the strawberries from Cake #2 thinking maybe that made the improvement. However, I thawed & drained them for Cake #3 and it seems the cake will not turn out good. Am I losing strawberry flavor by draining the liquid or are the strawberries just bland ones? I am bound & determined to make “the best cake ever” once again, but I don’t know what my problem is. Also, although Cake #2 tastes better than Cake #1, the texture was denser & drier. Maybe because I drained the liquid? Last question, promise! After adding the milk/egg white mixture, should the batter look grainy/curdled (the “strawberry ice cream” fat part, separating from the liquid) or should it be smooth? Thanks! (I haven’t had a problem with any of your other cake recipes. All turn out incredible!!)
I think you’d probably lose strawberry flavor by draining them — remember, those juices were inside the strawberries when they were frozen. Curdly appearance is normal, if I remember correctly. Just a butter/fruit/egg whites thing.
I just made this, and all I can say is WOW! It is a HUGE hit with the husband. I have to say though, I have made no less than 10 of your recipes, and all of them are 5 stars. You are the best!
Hi Deb. I love your site. I love your recipes. I adore your stories. However, I have to say, I did not love this cake. That’s not the worse part, however. Sadly, I made this cake for my daughter’s 6th birthday party and she did not like this cake at all. The look on her face held so much disappointment. She ate the frosting (I made a vanilla buttercream for the kids), but did not touch the rest of the cake. None of the other children ate it either. I don’t know what happened — I cannot think of anything I did wrong. The cake was very dry and tasted only vaguely of strawberry. My husband tells me that it was not that bad — that it had a texture that many would enjoy. It is quite possible that my feelings about the cake were tinged by my daughter’s disappointment.
Deb! I just started reading your webpage and I love it! You are so funny.
I just made this cake tonight and I put a little in one cupcake so I could try it and all I can say is WOW! It is great. I took some of the comments advice… I sifted all of the dry ingredients together about three times. Then I added the purée and butter together and added the dry ingredients to the wet. No problem with it being too thick for the mixer. When I had all the ingredients put together, the batter seemed a little thick so I added some milk until it seemed like it was cake batter consistency.
I love your tips too. I had to make my own cake flour as the store i went to did not carry it. I also used your tip about cooking the cakes at a lower temp (300 instead of 350) until they were done and the came out flat! I am so impressed. It is so light and fluffy. I have frozen the layers as I don’t need the cake for two days and I don’t want it to dry out.
I am thinking about doing a strawberry buttercream frosting and putting strawberries on the top as I am not very good at writing on cakes… What do you think? The cake is for a lady who is turning 87. If anyone deserves a Princess cake that is over the top, I think she does!
Yes, I know JUST the bestie I want to make this for! Finally got all-purpose flour today too!
Thank you, thank you, THANK you for your marvelous blog! -wonders if she’s one of the youngest readers- Ah well.
Yeah, she’ll want it pinker… yeuck. Don’t get me wrong, it’s just that I’m more-much more-partially inclined towards your red velvet cake, since that’s my adoration colour.^_^
Wow I just found your blog and I LOVE IT!! I am fairly new to cooking and BRAND new to baking. Your recipes and writing style are ADDICTING to say the least. For my very first from scratch cake I made your pink lady cake- for my daughters 2nd birthday! Thank you for a wonderful site, with wonderful pics and recipes!
So I read comments 131 and 137 but I’m a little confused. If I only have self-rising cake flour, can I use it, and do I have to do anything to it? Or am I better off with the regular flour/cornstarch combo? Thank you!!
This recipe is not for self-rising cake flour. You’d be better off with the flour/cornstarch combo. Enjoy!
I made this cake and ended up putting a chocolate buttercream frosting on it. It was fabulous!
Thanks again Deb!
My mother and I made this today for my 22nd birthday, and honestly this was one of the most magical batters I have ever tasted. The cake was delicious, but incredibly rich and reminded me of why I don’t eat cake more than once a year. It wasn’t really pink, but I expected that, but it had the subtlest strawberry flavor and was incredibly delicious. I do believe though that it would be most helpful for others to thaw the strawberries as said in the other comments before you puree them. I also made a slight change and creamed the butter and puree before adding the flour and dry ingredients, which yielded a smoother batter.
Made this for a pink loving co-worker’s birthday. It was quite a hit, everyone loved it.
I made cupcakes out of this for my daughter’s Valentine’s party at school. The batter made 45 cupcakes and they are delicious. I also baked them for 22 minutes as recommended and iced with buttercream frosting with some of the strawberry puree mixed in. Again they were delicious and so pretty!
I’m making these for my son’s valentines day party with his home school group :) they are baking and the first batch was amazing, and sooo pretty ^^
This cake was great! I have three girls and they loved it. I gave it to them for their 7th birthday.
So glad to hear this came out well for people! I have one important question. How many people do you think this would serve? I am planning on making this cake tomorrow for my daughter’s “fairy party” on Saturday and there will be 25 people there! Eek! (Everyone said yes – oops!). I am wondering if I should make some extra cupcakes to have on hand – just wanted to make sure there’s enough cake for all. Thank you! I’m so excited to make this cake.
I feel like any cake book would tell you you’d need more cake than this, but I think you’d be okay if you have other desserts on hand. The cake is very tall (3 layers) and thin slices are best.
Making a two-layer version now–will have to reuse my single springform pan for the second layer. I was so sure I had layer cake pans, but when I looked I had everything else: square, 9×13, and four pie plates. In my cold, March New England kitchen, the butter never really gets soft even when left on top of the stove with the oven on warm, and I don’t think I thawed the berries enough before pureeing them…so we’ll see! I plan to ice with a mixture of mascarpone and whipped cream, a trick I learned from a cookbook called COOKWISE, and decorate with edible flowers for a baby shower.
Oh, and I am using King Arthur flour cake flour for the first time. Now, how to use up those egg yolks!
I made these delicious cakes for a baby shower (yay for girls!) and the strangest thing happened. I made them the night before as mini cupcakes and left them loosely covered in plastic wrap after they had cooled. When I came into the kitchen in the morning the paper had pretty much fallen off on a lot of them! It was the weirdest thing. I ended up taking the cupcake wrappers off and serving them without. Any ideas why??
And yes….the batter is unbelievably delicious.
I made this yesterday for a friends birthday, but used fresh raspberries instead of strawberries, and it turned an amazing purple color! It was so soft and airy and DELICIOUSLY perfect. Thanks for this, and your amazing blog! :)
I’m on the hunt for the perfect cake for my 26th birthday party. This will be the third birthday party that I have ever had, and my first party had a strawberry cake with strawberry icing, strawberry ice cream and strawberry soda. I still remember the artificial deliciousness! Thank you for posting this more natural version I cannot wait to test it out. I’m thinking of frosting it with the swiss buttercream you used for the wedding cake in your other post. What is your (or anyone’s) view of tinting that frosting pink as well? I’m really into pink lately. Would this cake, made pink, be more striking with white icing or vibrant magenta?
Deb, I can’t wait to make this cake! I will be bringing it to an afternoon, outdoors potluck. Do you (or any other folks out there) have thoughts about whether the buttercream or cream cheese frosting would be safer to sit out for a few hours? I don’t want to give anyone food poisoning…
I just saw in your Cake Tips that your swiss buttercream recipe can stay out all day, so I’ll plan to go with that! I guess I did a search of the comments on this page for advice but hadn’t initially thought to look there as well. Thanks!
wow, this looks great…i’m lusting over this cake right now!
I made this cake over the weekend for my friend’s birthday. I made strawberry Swiss butter-cream frosting for it – which was out of this world awesome – I used the recipe you have on your wedding cake page and just added 8 ounces of fresh, chopped strawberries at the end and whipped it for a long time – the frosting turned pink and tasted like a buttery, strawberry dream.
The cake on the other hand was not at all what I expected. I did taste the cake at its batter stage (I had to!) and it tasted very floury. After baked, the cake was very dense, pasty and didn’t have a very strong strawberry flavor at all. I followed all the directions exactly. I wouldn’t make this cake again. I will be on the hunt for another strawberry cake though because I need something to go with the amazing frosting!
these were UNREAL as cupcakes! made about 25 regular sized and i made 6 jumbo just because i had the pan to do so. i added a 2 drops of red food coloring to the cream cheese frosting and topped with fresh strawberries. perfection!
Made this cake for a coworker’s surprise wedding shower and it was a resounding success. I used raspberry puree instead of strawberry, which is probably why my cake came out a delicate shade of purple. I frosted with the swiss buttercream recipe from this site and it was really beautiful and tasty.
The raspberry flavor came through really well, but I thought the cake was a touch too dense. No one else who ate the cake thought so though, so it might be my nitpickiness coming through. Thanks for the great recipe, Deb!
Deb, you always come to my rescue when I need an awesome cake recipe! This morning I was struck by a fanciful idea: making a blueberry cake with pureed berries instead of whole ones in the cake batter. (This is purely out of curiosity, but the way. Oh, and also because I love the color purple. Pink… not so much.) Obviously it was impossible to find a recipe for that, but I figured a strawberry cake recipe would adapt nicely. Ha – not so obvious – all I could find online were recipes requiring cake mixes and strawberry jello. Ew! I didn’t look on SK at first, because having perused your collection of cake recipes several times, I didn’t recall a “strawberry cake” in the index. “Pink Lady”, though, that did the trick :)
Anyway, I’m going to try this out tonight. I’m hoping that ever-so-slightly increasing the puree proportions, and adding some nutmeg (which seems to complement blueberries awesomely), will bring out the blueberry flavor sufficiently.
Thanks for such a great site – can’t wait for your book!
Hi so I have mostly admired the beautiful cakes you make, and I bookmarked the layer tip post you made for reference. I am however a vegan baker so I will be veganizing this recipe (not the difficult part). I am going to cut this recipe down to two layers because it will be easier to veganize the egg whites then, will this mess with the integrity of the recipe? Also are the egg whites whipped to peaks with the milk added or just till they’re frothy?
This cake looks beautiful and I think after a few trials it’ll be perfect for part of my sisters wedding cake! I want to do two layers strawberry and two layers “angel torte.” I tried a strawberry cake recently that was super dense and would be to heavy for a summer cake.
Just made this last night. It was nice :) I’ll have to imagine it with cream cheese frosting, though, ’cause I only had cream on hand. Whipped cream with sprinkles was perfect for the little girl who was here with her parents for dinner though! Or “spinkles” as she called them ;-)
Made the cake last weekend and very pleased with the results. I pureed fresh strawberries rather than using the frozen and made a coulis and drizzled that when plating it — that sure finished it off well and balanced the richness of the cream cheese. Thanks, I really enjoy your blog!
I came home tonight w/ fresh berries thinking I wanted to make a strawberry cake. I came to SK first ( as I usually do) and found this post. It’s baking now and I can’t wait! I thought you were crazy with the mixing the flour/sugar first, but I stuck with ya-lol. Thanks for all your great recipes!
I just used this recipe for cupcakes and used (frozen) raspberries instead of strawberries … and it was really good! It turned out more purple than pink but was delicious (I topped it with a lemon cream cheese frosting)…thank you for sharing the recipe!
Malcdi please advise how your blueberry version worked out?
1. “which has a Swiss buttercream-based one I am eager to try when I am not rushing to finish)”
as far as I can tell from what I see online, the icing the book recommends is white chocolate cream-cheese, w/ optional fondant. here’s a link to a blog w/ the white choc. creamcheese icing
or see here (p. 209)
I thought the white chocolate added flavor – if you have it on-hand, I’d say go for it. (I was not ambitious enough for the fondant, however)
2. Deb, what did you use for the pink dots/lettering on top of the cake? (I tried tinting some of the white chocolate cream-cheese icing pink, but it wasn’t stiff enough for piping)
ah…i see you now that you wrote “frost the top and sides of cake with remaining frosting, reserving a small amount if you wish to tint it and pipe a decoration on the cake” …..
was your icing really thick enough for the piping decoration?
It is thick enough for piping. Almost anything that you can spread is. If it feels like it has gotten too soft, you can always chill it for a few minutes and it will begin to firm up.
I’ve been reading your blog for just over a year (ever since I made your “perfect birthday cake” for my friend the January before last). Since then, you have inspired me to greater heights of either ambition or insanity. Take your pick.
I purchased “Sky High” on your suggestion, and then I actually doubled this recipe, baked it in three sheet-pan layers, and carved it into the shape of lungs for the anniversary of another friend’s lung transplant: http://twitpic.com/54gzmn The pink color was great for, um, “authenticity.”
It was a huge hit – so thanks so much for the inspiration!
Hi Deb! I made this cake for my friend, Laura’s birthday/Preakness Party, and it was such a hit! Thank you for all of the wonderful advice while guiding me through the process! I decided to cover the top and the middle layers with strawberries (like your strawberry chiffon cake) as I iced/assembled the cake. The balance of the strawberries with the sweet icing that you recommended was perfection! Thanks again and I can’t wait for your cookbook!
Blasphemous question comin’ up, but: if one were not so worried about the pinkness of the layers, would it be acceptable to just use 4 whole eggs? :/ i just have this terrible issue with tossing out the yolks (and do not have the time/ambition/resources to find and implement yolk-using recipes). i am curious because when i made this for a friend a few months ago, it was such delicious batter but the cake came out unbelievably dense. Everything was at room temp, but maybe the problem was that i only had a hand mixer? Been reading the comments and would like to have a go at it again: it’s my eleven-year anniversary with the bf tomorrow and i even got heart-shaped cake pans! Loved the taste of this cake (might even go with half raspberries, to see that purplish hue!), though, so i just need advice on the eggs front! Thanks, Deb :)
I am now a 2 time Pink Lady veteran. The first time I made the cake precisely according to the recipe and it was delicious. My only concern was that it was more like a Grey Lady cake. Yes, my cake was not pink but a light grey. Could it have been the fresh strawberries? It certainly tasted like strawberry, so no real worries. The second time, I decided to take the plunge and use whole eggs and food coloring along with my fresh strawberries. Viola! Pink cake and still just as tasty. I also gilded the lily by adding sliced berries between the layers and for decorating the top.
A tip for Aisha #270: I live in France too. Here’s what I do for cream cheese frosting recipes. Simply use St Moret/fromage a tartiner (even better are the knock-off generic brands). Since it is not as thick as Philadelphia, do not add any other liquid. Just add powdered sugar. Bon chance.
Made this as the middle layer of a “Neopolitan” engagement cake… 5 layers total- from bottom to top the layers were chocolate-vanilla-strawberry-vanilla-chocolate… this really did well with the others!! Now going to make it on it’s own… will report back :)
Jana- how many whole eggs did you use??
Tori, I used 4 whole eggs instead of 8 whites. Love your idea for a Neopolitan cake – I’ll try that too.
Just a note to those who are afraid to mix the butter into the flour: This method is called “reverse creaming.” It was popularized not long ago by Rose Levy Beranbaum (author of “The Cake Bible”) after she apparently did a bunch of scientific research on the (scientifically speaking) best way to bake cakes. This method, like some of her other methods, was sort of controversial in the baking community. But it does work. I was very skeptical at first, too, but now I do almost all of my cakes with the reverse creaming method.
Is this recipe really from Sky High? I don’t see it in there and I definitely don’t see a swiss buttercream recipe. Which one is it? Thanks!
I made this last night, and made the mistake of talking to my kids as I was counting flour scoops…oops! Too much flour, but it still tastes amazing.
The cream cheese frosting that has a Swiss buttercream vibe is not for this cake, if I remember correctly, but for another. Just look for the cream cheese frosting in the index.
I love this site so much and am anxiously awaiting the cookbook!
I have now made this cake twice – once as a cake and once as cupcakes. It is so lovely and so yummy! Light and fluffy. Fun and flirty.Totally worth the extra effort. I vow to never make a boxed cake again. I am making it today for my own bridal shower because I couldn’t stand having anything but this cake.
Thank you for the fantastically edited set of recipes and the witty commentary, Deb!
Hey Deb – do you think this could be done with blueberries as well? I’m thinking about doing a baby shower cake where it’s both pink and blue to keep people guessing. Since I’m scaling it up for a larger crowd, thought it might be fun to do 2 pink layers and one blue, or maybe just putting in some blueberry filling. Would the mix of berries be too much?
Looks like commenters 212 and 305 tried it. I see no reason it wouldn’t work, but would love to hear feedback if you try it. I think Little Jacob would love a blueberry cake for his birthday!
Thanks Deb! I just received my copy of Sky High on your recommendation and am now super inspired by the idea of doing a preserve swirled into the batter the way the Lemon-Blueberry cake worked in the book. I’ll definitely report back!
I made this cake today and while it looked wonderful I was not so keen on the taste. It is hard to put my finger on it but it was a bit doughy. It did seem quite odd that the butter and sugar are not creamed first as is usually the case with most cake recipes but I assume that must be right. Still you can’t really get the flour, butter and sugar light and fluffy because it is so thick so maybe I should go back to creaming butter and sugar first. What do you think?
so if you already answered this, sorry I scanned. I want tomake this for my godson’s third birthday. His current favorite colr is pink. I was thinking about adding to strawberry puree into the frosting to make it pink, but wasn’t sure what this would do to the texture/ longevity of the cake? Thoughts? Otherwise I’ll just go for food coloring. Thx
I made this cake 2 nights ago for my friends birthday. It was awesome!! The cake was moist and flavorful; not too sweet. The cream cheese icing was perfect. Decorated the outside with pink sugar pearls and it was certainly fit for a princess. Just fabulous!! This is the 3rd recipe I’ve tried from your site and I’m hooked!!
I made the cake today with a combo of strawberry and blueberry layers – it was a huge hit with the baby shower crowd! The cake tasted great and looked terrific, especially with the multi-color insides. My one note is that the blueberry layer was not as light and fluffy as the strawberry layers – the blueberries don’t puree as light and liquidy as the strawberries do so the cake was denser, which certainly wasn’t bad but not as amazing compared to the texture of the strawberry layers. However, everyone was really amazed that the flavor of the berries really does come out. Great success!
i made this yesterday and it was delicious. The cake was moist and the strawberry flavor was very pronounced. i frosted it with strawberry flavored swiss meringue buttercream from your blog. Thanks for sharing!
I have tried this cake twice and both times it has turned out more like strawberry bread…what is going on?! It looks like it should be so awesome, but I can’t figure out what I’m doing wrong! :(
I just made this for my husband’s birthday this past weekend and it was delicious! Super moist! It’s my new favorite strawberry cake recipe.
Before anything else, I thought you should know that SK is my new addiction – you’ve helped me rekindle my love for baking :-)
Regarding the pink lady cake – is it ok to freeze? Also, have you tried it with any other icings? I’m not sure if I’m keen for a cream-cheese one and I’m curious if there is another one that could be nice. Otherwise I’ll go for the Swiss one that has been mentioned a few times in the comments…
So excited to make this cake!!
Eloise — I haven’t frozen it before, and not with frosting either. But I don’t see why the cake layers can’t freeze, wrapped well, until you need them.
I just made this cake in anticipation of our first daughter being born ANY DAY NOW! She’s almost a week past her due date, so I’m hoping the pink deliciousness will prove sufficiently tempting for her to decide to make her grand appearance.
Is it okay to use buttermilk instead of regular milk in this recipe? I’ve found that it works better in most cakes than regular, but I’m not sure with this one. Thanks!
It’s a bit more complicated to swap buttermilk because it usually reacts a little differently with leaveners. Often recipes that swap buttermilk for milk would have you reduce the baking powder and add some baking soda but I can’t provide exact adjustments you’ll need without testing it.
We are celebrating my mother-in-law’s birthday tomorrow and I want to make this cake as she is an absolute princess and wonderful! This will be perfect if I can get it right. I just made the peanut butter chocolate for my son last month and it was outta this world. re. the egg whites here – you only blend them and them mix them into the batter in three batches? They are not whipped until stiff and then added? Do you mind clarifying this step for me – thank you! I absolutely love this site!
Do you think I could do this with peaches?
By the by, I made this cake for my daughter’s birthday in June and froze the layers. Icing the cake was so much easier. I recommend freezing to anyone.
As far as substituting news paper for parchment paper, wouldn’t the ink from the news paper get into the cake batter?
I just made this cake for my husband’s birthday. I frosted it with buttercream and marshmallow fondant. It was delicious.
YOU WERE RIGHT ABOUT THE BATTER. WHY DON’T I EVER LISTEN. It tasted Exactly like strawberry ice cream.
I made this for my daughter’s first birthday with the white chocolate buttercream icing from “Baked.” Fantastic! Thanks for the inspiration.
I have my very own pretty pink princess turning 5 next week who has requested nothing less than a pretty pink cake. Who am I to refuse? I have to ask, though, if anyone has had any luck making this in a 9×13 pan? I don’t have enough cake pans and I’d really rather frost a single sheet cake. Do you think that would work, or maybe a 9×13 plus an 8×8 to handle the volume of batter? Let me know what you think. Thanks!
Ok, so, I made this cake using a 9×13 + 8×8, only after 30 mins of baking it was still runny in the middle and I had to leave to take my husband to work and then go to a birthday party. So I turned the oven off and when I got home 5 hrs later, the cake was perfectly baked, neither under/over cooked. That makes this recipe a keeper in my book! Also, the cake was delicious, which helps, and I’m not usually a fan of anything not chocolate. Only change I would make is maybe using a white chocolate frosting next time, but still, I’m just thrilled it turned out!
Ok, so I just made this recipe for a little cake decorating party I’m having with a few friends tomorrow. Because other people are bringing cake, too, I didn’t need to make that much, so I actually just third-ed it. (Is that a word?) Instead of the 2.6 or whatever egg whites I just used two whole eggs. Everything else goes into thirds pretty nicely. It made 12 cupcakes plus maybe 1/2 cupcake worth of extra batter, which I may have eaten straight up since the batter is delicious. Now I’m going to make a batch of frosting to take with me. I’m thinking a strawberry flavored cream cheese….
FYI – I also made the double chocolate layer cake in thirds, and ended up with one fairly thick 6? inch layer. Perfect to practice my piping skills.
Anyway…I’m slowly making my way through all your various cake recipes. Thanks for the great work. I’m getting excited about the cookbook.
Oh, and have you ever made the coconut cake recipe that Alton Brown does on Good Eats? If you like coconut, that cake is to DIE for.
My husband made this cake for me for my 30th and it was fantastic! I watched him struggle with the very thick batter and I had my doubts (as did he), but, wow, all that hard work paid off. He even decorated it for me, which I didn’t expect. We both agreed the texture and sweetness level of the cake were just right, especially when paired with the cream cheese frosting.
Thanks for the recipe and helping to make my 30th memorable.
This cake looks delicious! But it uses so many egg whites! What should I do with all the rest of the yolks? I would love to make this but egg yolks don’t keep very well. And Deb, did you add dye to some of the cream cheese frosting to decorate with? It looks very nice!
I did tint some to write on the cake. Egg yolks are the backbone of custards, ice cream, mayo… basically, everything delicious.
I just made this recipe and it smells delicious coming out of the oven. I recommend pureeing the strawberries in a blender ONLY if they are kinda thawed, otherwise it was quite difficult to do without adding additional liquid. I added ~5-6 drops of food coloring to the batter and it turned a nice pink color. I haven’t cut into the cake yet but I will soon. When I put the cake on a cooling rack to cool though the cake started cracking in the middle, not sure why…I left it in the pan to cool for ten minutes. But cream cheese frosting should hide it all. I can’t wait to eat this~in spite of the 5 total sticks of butter used, haha.
Please could you advise if you make a stiff egg white mixture or do you simple whisk the egg whites and milk together. It is just that when you mention incorporating slowly into the cake mixure, this is what would usually be done with stiffly beaten egg whites.
The egg whites are not beaten. This isn’t a sponge-style cake where they’d be whipped for lift.
What a beautiful looking cake! I’m attempting to make this cake into a 3 layer 12″ round cake for my baby girl’s first birthday..very ambitious for a first timer! Any suggestions on how to adjust the recipe, would doubling the recipe work? Would a 12″ – 3 layer cake be enough for 40 people?
Like Jana @318, I ended up with a Grey Lady cake that tasted good but needed a lot of frosting to cover up the color.
I really suspect this might be due to the use of fresh instead of frozen strawberries.
If your cake took on a grayish tint, my guess (although I haven’t tested it out on this recipe) is that you were using a baking powder with aluminum in it, which can react and cause discoloration in baked good with acidic berries, such as this one.
I made this cake for my birthday and it turned out wonderfully. Very tender cake and the icing was just the right amount.
For anyone looking to make it pinker, hibiscus tea is very good for a natural tint.
I was wondering if I could make this in 2 10 inch pans? I’m trying to find a good cake for my daughters upcoming birthday. Thanks.
I made this for the first time for my daughter’s 1st birthday in 2008. Absolutely phenomenal – rave reviews, requests to make it a birthday tradition, etc. – so I made it for her other party (other side of family) and it was not too good. I thought the cause could be losing count & forgetting some sugar. Last year I made it again for both parties. I was so disappointed. No strawberry flavor, rather dense in texture, not moist & sort of doughy/pastey tasting. Not giving up, I made another this year. Bleck – still the same. I just couldn’t get myself to serve it, despite the time, money & energy I put into it, so I made another. Although it got lots of compliments at the party, I personally thought it was still too dense & pastey tasting, and I could barely taste strawberry. I give up & am not making it for her 2nd party this year. I’m looking for that fabulous, light, moist cake, but not finding it. Why is it dense, not moist & lacking in flavor? Am I not mixing it enough, or over mixing, or what???
I have recently read your blog, beginning to end, like a book. Thank you so much for such a lovely persona, entertaining reading, and delicious, well-executed recipes. I made this for my daughter’s first birthday party with swiss buttercream. Delicious and beautiful! I did not grow up in a house that cooks so every foray into the kitchen is fraught with angst. Thank you for helping me become the mommy I want to be.
Do you think I could cut the cake recipe in half and make a smaller cake?
I made this yesterday and added the food coloring as you suggested. It didn’t seem to make a difference. I added two drops and my cake turned out like your picture. So there you have it. I suppose if you added more than 2 drops you’d get something darker but that might make the cake look weird.
I made this recipe today for my 7 year old’s birthday today and I have to say it was not good. I don’t know what I did, but it had a very heavy, flat tasting quality. I did not do any substitutions, and I did re-read the recipe and I did follow it to the letter. It was pretty though, but I’m sorry to say that most of it will be thrown away.
I have made this cake twice, for each of my daughters on a special day for them. I will have to say a huge THANK YOU for sharing this recipe, every bite that was taken was thoroughly enjoyed. My mother in-law got so disturbingly mad because i gave so much of the cake away to our guests that there was not enough to satisfy her needs. I will keep this around FOREVER!
I just made this cake following the recipe exactly and it turned out really well. Thanks Deb!
I was desperate to make this cake as soon as I stumbled across the recipy, and I’m glad I didn’t wait long because it is soooo yummy!! Even though im not used to using cups as measurements and I’ve never even hear of cake flour before, I followed the recipy exactly (although i used fresh strawberries as i
Cannot find frozen anywhere!) and what a yummy cake! First time making cream cheese frosting too and i was not disappointed! I also used the left over strawberries on top of the cake which was lovely! I’ll be making this cake any more times!! Thankyou for the recipy!
have you tried using beets or cranberries or pomegranate juice? Or rhubarb? I read about these somewhere but wasn’t sure if the results were any good.
I made this cake this weekend for my daughter’s birthday (made a princess castle!) – I decided to try using gluten free flour (rice flour with potato starch, tapioca) and it turned out great! I ended up using slightly more strawberry puree and needed additional milk because the batter seemed too thick. It was absolutely delicious (a little heavier than normal cake but it was still soft and moist) and it was the hit of the party! Thanks for the recipe – I’ll be making this again and again!
Thank you for sharing! I made a trial cake for my daughter’s birthday last weekend. I was low on eggs, so I used four whole eggs and I accidentally omitted the milk (pregnancy brain). It still turned out delicious. It made a great sized sheet cake but I’ll be making the fancier layer cake this weekend.
This recipe has become quite a hit at my house…thank you for sharing!
@saloni (#371) i made a half recipe as cupcakes and added a 1/4 inch slice of roasted beet to the strawberries for color and they came out beautiful and delicious
Thank you for a wonderful recipe! I didn’t think I would like strawberry cake (I’ve never had it) but my preschooler requested it for her valentine’s day party. I had enough batter to make one 9×13 cake for cake pops for her class, 24 mini heart-shaped cupcakes to take to work and 12 more regular sized cupcakes for my family. We loved it! :)
I made this cake for my daughter’s birthday yesterday. IT IS AMAZING!! I added 1/4 C cornstarch to make up for the fact that I didn’t have cake flour, and it worked fantastically.(I should not that it was in place of a 1/4 C of flour). The thing I loved most about this cake was the texture and taste, It was so easy to work with and to maintain it’s structure while I frosted it. I didn’t add the food coloring, as I find the taste to be more important than if it is pink or not:) I then covered the outside with thin strawberry slices. So pretty and everyone had rave reviews.. My oven may be off but it baked up in around 30 minutes.
This was a fantastic cake. My 15 year old daughter made it for her friend’s birthday. It was sturdy enough for her and another friend to frost without tearing it to pieces, but it wasn’t tough or dry at all. She actually said that she was glad she made a cake without using a box and that it was not that much more effort than a box cake. Thanks for helping my daughter learn that baking is worth the effort.
Hello, this looks lovely. I’m more of a cupcake girl (tiny or large) do you have any idea how this would work as cupcakes? Specifically bake time. And do you think halving it would be fine?
Hi Sarah — Check comments #289, 303, 326, 375, 376 for people who have made these into cupcakes recently. In comment #274, I note 10 other commenters (including myself) who have made these as cupcakes and offer advice.
Oh, thank you!
Going to make this Monday for my Aunts birthday! I’m excited to try it!!!
I made these as cupcakes for my two-year-old’s birthday party yesterday and they were beautiful–pink and light and perfectly domed (even though I lost track of how much cake flour I’d added and had to do complicated weight conversions and subtraction based on what was left in the box!) I had to use a whole 12-oz bag of frozen strawberries to get 1 1/2 cups of puree. Baking time was about 22 minutes total for standard size cupcakes, but I lost track of time for the mini cupcakes–maybe around 12? I cut the frosting by a third since I prefer more like a smear of frosting on my cupcakes and had exactly enough. Too bad I forgot to buy fresh strawberries to slice for garnish.
If you don’t want to have eight egg yolks sitting in your fridge and waiting for custard/ice cream/adding to tomorrow’s omelet, you can buy a carton of egg whites in many grocery stores. 8 whites is about 1.5 cups for the brand we had and then I’ll make the remainder into meringues or use them in our waffle recipe.
I was wondering if you could tell me where you purchased those great pink candles (I like collecting candles).
Also, I will be experimenting this week with strawberry cake recipes as I have an order for one coming up and appreciate the time you put into testing out recipes that, in my experience, have worked out wonderfully.
Alicia — I think they were from a drugstore or grocery store — in the sprinkles area.
I’ve made this recipe twice now as cupcakes, and they turn out very, very well. Half the recipe made 15 cupcakes (though I filled the cups rather *ahem* full). As suggested in previous comments, I baked them at 350 and checked after 15 minutes — they were close to done, but 2 more minutes made them perfect. This second time, I substituted the swiss buttercream from this site for the cream cheese frosting, whipped in some leftover strawberry puree into it, and they were TO DIE FOR!!
I made this cake for my 3-yr old neice’s birthday. I put some (about 1/4 c.)strawberry puree (I used fresh) in the frosting as well as the cake, and the frosting was delish. I also used pure fruit jam in between the layers. This cake was a huge hit, and my neice called it her “ballerina cake.” It matched her tutu. I followed the directions as written and had no problems at all. The cake itself is perfection – light but firm, very moist, great crumb.
I’ve been following your blog for ages now- all those pictures make my mouth water! killed my diet too, as right after i saw your double layered chocolate cake i had to go and try it out! as predicted, it was AWESOME. i’m going to try to bake this beaut of a cake for my baby girl’s birthday this saturday! its perfect for her princess theme. thankyou so much, deb!
Deb, What should I do if I have only two pans? Can the batter sit in the mixer-bowl or in the fridge while the two layers bake?
In addition to my 2 inch high pans, I do have a 3 inch high pan. Can I bake the third layer in this pan together with the other layers? because of the high sides, I’m afraid the heat will disperse differently than in the 2 inch high pans,
Hi Bunny — I only have two pans and I always let it sit. I usually take one layer out as soon as it seems safe, wash it then rinse it with cold water so it’s cool when the batter goes in.
Huh, I only now see that only half the comment was sent. Weird, and by now L have totally forgot what the rest of the comment said.
But that doesn’t matter anyway– Thanks!
I’ve made this cake three times now. The first time I used Deb’s mixing method and got muffin-like cake, which tasted better after sitting in the fridge for a few days. It would be perfect for breakfast. The other two times I mixed the fresh strawberry puree with the butter, alternated dry and wet ingredients, then folded in whipped egg whites. The texture was light and airy, and delicious to boot. I found the cream cheese icing too sweet even after reducing the sugar in the cake, and found that a whipped egg white folded into the frosting helped tone it down.
I made this for a going away party at work and it was a huge hit!! I have a hand mixer so it was tested a little bit in trying to mix this huge amount of batter together, but it worked out just fine! I would advise thawing out the strawberries a bit before pureeing, it took me a long time to get them the right consistency and I ended up adding the smallest touch of hot water to loosen them up more. The amount of icing was perfect and I added a bit of jelly in between my 1st and 2nd layer and that was extra yummy! This is a huge cake and easily served my 20+ co-workers! I will definitely be making this in the future!!
I don’t ever comment, but I’m an avid reader of your site and have tried several of your recipes and they were fantastic. However, I am finally prompted to comment because I was making this cake, and while mixing together the dry ingredients, butter, and strawberry puree, my mixer broke! There was a smell of burning plastic, I turned it off, and it wouldn’t start again.
Technically, it’s my mother’s mixer. And she got it as a five year anniversary gift, which makes it nearly twenty-six years old. It was probably the poor Sunbeam’s time; it had a good run. Considering I’ve been dying for a KitchenAid for ages, it’s hard to be to upset, and of course not at you.
But I have two questions: most recipes I use involve creaming together butter, eggs, etc, then mixing in the dry ingredients. Is there a particular reason for this method? The batter was extremely thick, which seems to have done my poor, geriatric mixer in.
Secondly: if I refrigerate the unfinished batter for a day or so, will it still be good if I get a new mixer tomorrow? It’s a lot of butter, sugar, and flour to go to waste, and the beaters for my hand mixer, unused for so long, have disappeared. Since I hadn’t incorporated the eggs yet, it might be all right to leave covered outside the fridge, but it’s 90 degrees where I live at the moment so I’m not sure. I imagine that I’ll have to bring it back to room temperature if I do this, but I’m concerned about what it would do to the texture of the cake.
Meg — I am so sorry about your mixer! Do you have a hand mixer? I really think one can get away with hand mixers for years and years, and cheap (I bought a more expensive one a few years ago and haaate it; my cheapo $16 one purchased in 1999 was a dream I should have never retired) without having to go all out for the KitchenAid. However, when and if you do, you’ll love it and they’re wonderful. Especially if you like cake.
The general all-purpose cake method is: creamed butter with sugar, eggs added one at at time, then adding the dry and wet ingredients from their separate bowls in the Dry, Wet, Dry, Wet, Dry order. Until just barely mixed. The goal is to keep cakes as light and tender as possible. The butter holds air and volume; flour, if mixed too long, will start activating its gluten and make for a tougher cake. The book this cake is from often turns this cake roadmap on its head because Huntsman didn’t always find it necessary to create extra dishes to get the same effect. Hope that helps.
I’m making this and its even more perfect when one happens to live in the strawberry capital of the world.:)
A real quick question. I have never used cake flour….so just to be clear I am assuming this recipe calls for cake flour and not self-rising cake flour?
Not self-rising. I would definitely note it if that’s what people needed (or the cake would be a disaster for everyone).
can i substitute whole eggs for the whites? i don’t really eat eggs and don’t want to just throw out 8 yolks. thanks
In some cases, you can replace every two egg whites with a whole egg, but I haven’t tested it in this cake. If you’re willing to experiment, however, it’s worth trying. Good luck!
First of all, I love love your site! When I grow up and have my own place I dream of having a kitchen as fun and lovely as yours seems to be :)
I just wanted to ask if you had any tips for icing cakes? Mine never come out as smooth and perfect as yours (perhaps a potential post if you have time??)
I made this cake recently following the directions and it turn out dry. Do you have any tips to keep that from happening in the future.
Just made a 1/2 batch of this as a trial birthday cake for my almost-three-year-old daughter. I added 1/4 tsp of strawberry essence, which seemed to work quite well, and used a 23cm square tin, as this won’t be a layer cake. I may have neglected to measure the strawberries (oops!) but it has turned out lovely – I like the dense but soft texture, and it goes fabulously with the frosting (in which I used 20ml lemon juice instead of vanilla, for a little freshness).
I will wait with bated breath to see how it is tomorrow, and if it would cope with being cut out into the shape of Dora the Explorer….sigh.
Thanks for this recipe: I looked long and hard for a strawberry cake that actually involved fruit, and although I have admired your site for some time, it’s the first recipe I’ve actually made. Having also ogled that incredible chocolate peanut butter cake that so many commenters referred to, it definitely won’t be the last!
Hi Deb — I know this recipe is from ages ago, but I’m wondering if adding some rosewater to a regular vanilla buttercream frosting (or even the cream cheese frosting you used) would go well with the strawberry flavor? I want to bake this cake for a friend’s birthday and was wondering! Thanks.
I don’t much care for rosewater so I can’t say if it would go. But if you’ve liked it in other strawberry desserts, you’ll probably like it here.
Made this cake for my birthday. It is Wonderful!!! We made it with fresh strawberries. Not sure if it taste different from one made with frozen but it did not hinder it in anyway. I CANNOT stop eating it! Ah the calories!!
Will this work out in a ceramic baking dish? Like the ones you’d make pot pie in? I ask because it would only be 2 people eating this and I thought a small cake would be enough.
How many strawberries would you say to puree? A whole pack?
I made this to celebrate our middle daughter’s third birthday and it was a huge hit! She loved that it was pink-ish (and that her name was written on top in pink frosting). My oldest daughter has already requested that she also get a pink cake for her birthday. Next time I think I’ll make a special trip to the store for cake flour as my substitution of AP flour + corn starch seemed too corn starch-y (I went by weight, not volume, and there seemed to be a LOT of corn starch in the sifter and I noticed a slightly starchy aftertaste…. though no one else did). Regardless, the cake was yummy and the birthday girl was thrilled. Thanks for another fabulous recipe SK!
Just made this, and it came out perfect. The only problem was that I didn’t have enough strawberries to puree, so it was a little less than what the recipe called for…. If there is anything I would change next time is definitely using the recommended amount or more, still delicious but wish there was a stronger strawberry flavor. I also used 4 egg whites instead of 8 and it came out this beautiful light airy fluffy cake. I put jelly between the layers, and frosted it with a banana/fruit frosting. I was rushing it a bit and stacked the cakes only to have the top half slide off a half hour later. Not the best presentation, but overall I love it and it is delicious. If you are thinking about making this, trust me its worth it……and also unlike me (i.e. lazy to go the store to get more strawberries, or stack the cakes too early) hopefully you’ll have more patience. haha
I made this cake for my husbands birthday by his request for strawberry cake. I used your recipe for swiss buttercream frosting. The cake was super moist and wonderful, although it could use a stronger strawberry flavor. Any suggestions besides adding strawberry geletan?
I love this cake! I actually used this recipe to make a full sheet cake sized ocean with a fish as a second layer for 100 people at a work event. I wish I could show you the picture. Everyone said it was the best cake they had ever had. Thanks for your blog! I going on 2 months of only cooking recipes from your blog :)
I am going to make this cake for my best girlfriends birthday as a surprise (and what a surprise it will be as I tend to buy more than I cook)!
I am unclear on two things:
The icing: do I need to refrigerate it prior to applying the icing to the individual layers and sides of the cake?
Tinting: when you say tint the remaining icing to decorate, do you mean add extra color or..?
Fingers crossed for my attempt, it could very well (uh, most likely) go drastically wrong.
SWDC — No, no need to refrigerate the icing. It will get firm and hard to spread. If you wish to write on the cake, you can reserve a small amount of icing and tint it with food coloring, as I did for the birthday cake shown.
Love your recipes. First, I made this today for my daughter’s birthday on Sunday.
But it does not look like it rose as high as yours ? I cut a tiny slice out to see if okay as worried I overbeat the batter and that it is too dense. Tastes okay but not super light and fluffy as other readers indicate. There was a huge amount of batter so mixed strawberries with part of butter then mixed a bit of dry at a time in cusinart to get to ice cream stage. What I am wondering is was I supposed to beat the egg whites ? I did a double take when I read your instructions bec. usually beat and fold them in. I did not. Mixed with milk and added play doh like mixture to it a bit at at time using my beaters. Any hints ? I think I will try again half recipe tomorrow — out of butter and having some wine so no going out tonight. Oops forgot also tried your brownies, and you will flip — I added fleur de sel instead of salt — not too much — and I love the choc and salt flavor. Have you tried that ? (The ones that you whip up in no time brownies !!)
Well, tonight I made cupcakes using half the recipe. Did this all in my food processor and it worked out really well — just the right amount and I did not overmix this time. These will be the cakes for my daughters birthday party — I hope she will like — they are not too sweet which is what she requested.
I already ate 2 — one without icing and one with. Delish !!
Hi, I am nor sure about posting this question because I see how many answers you have patiently given since you posted this recipe! But I will go ahead and understand if you don’t respond. My daughter asked for a pink strawberry cake for her birthday (a common trend I see) and I found this. It looks wonderful! But after reading ALL 416! comments, I am at a loss on what to do. What I am pondering is, do I make this as written, or do I go with some of the tips from other bakers (such as beating the whites and folding them in)? I wish I had time to do a trial run but I don’t. Are the people ending up with a dense cake doing something wrong? Or is it supposed to be like that? Thanks in advance, I will be making this anways, one way or the other!:)
Hi Willow — If you’re super-nervous, it cannot hurt to make a test layer or mini-batch of cupcakes to see if the cake is right for you. I think it is wonderful as written. Egg white only cakes, also called “white cakes” but of course this one is pink, tend to be a bit sturdier than ones made with whole eggs.
Hi Deb, thanks for your reply!! I’ve decided to try it as written. I researched the “reverse creaming” method and now it’s not so scary to me. I will do my best and I will try to remember to report back!
Just wondering if this cake can be made the day before it’s served. Can I make it and then refrigerate it until the next day???
I just made this cake for a friend’s birthday and it seemed to be a success! There are a few things I would modify about the recipe next time:
1) Add a little more strawberry puree than what is called for. Friends thought it tasted great, but most of them didn’t realize it was a strawberry cake because the flavor was very faint.
2) Add a couple of drops of red food dye to the batter. This would amp up the “pretty pink princess” factor and also signify that there’s some sort of berry flavor. Without the dye, the cakes end up a pale pink/beige color (I dare say flesh-toned).
3) Cut smaller slices when serving people. HOLY MOLY this cake is dense!
Should I measure the strawberries and then purée them, or purée the strawberries and measure the purée?
Hi Deb. when I saw the title, I thought this was going to be a cake made with Pink Lady apples! I am not too disappointed though, as it sounds great, and perfect for a girly party.
My cake came out a little dense as well, and in the future I’ll try tips others suggested (as well as beating the butter with strawberries because the flavor was so faint!), but I baked it for quite awhile at 300 degrees as your cake tips suggest for a flatter cake. Could that make the cake more dense?
Just made this for my roommate for her birthday! Used frozen raspberries because the store was out of strawberries. The flavor is really strong and delicious, and the cake actually turned out purple.
I really need to know how long to bake these as mini cupcakes? I see some people have made regular size cupcakes with this recipe, but not mini’s (unless I missed someone’s post saying they’ve done mini’s). How long would you say to bake these?
I just made this cake for my niece’s 4th birthday, she’s deep in the fairy princess pink phase and asked for a strawberry cake. I halved it and made a 5″ two layer cake and had enough for 5 cupcakes as well. So of course I tasted a cupcake, delicious! I did use 1 1/2 T. of strawberry Quik in the milk, it made the cake a beautiful pink and added another layer of strawberry flavor.
I was excited about making this for my daughter’s second birthday but disappointed in the results – it’s dense and crumbly (in fact the third layer split into three pieces, and because the icing was quite thin I couldn’t get it to stay on the cake and had to discard it), icing was almost too thin to use despite adding extra sugar and chilling it, the color is more nude than pink despite using two drops of food coloring in the batter, and the flavor is kind of pasty. if I had time I’d make another cake before the party but I’m going to have to serve it. I usually like recipes on this site but I should have paid attention to the mixed reviews on this one.
Here’s a picture of my cake, I didn’t use any food coloring (just some strawberry quik as noted above), I used the Sprinkles’ Strawberry Frosting recipe on MS.
I made this cake for my daughter’s 4th birthday today and it turned out beautifully. We couldn’t find cake flour so after consulting Joy of Baking, I discovered that it’s ok to substitute 3/4 cup of all purpose bleached flour plus 2 tablespoons of cornstarch for one cup of cake flour. Also, I juiced a beet and used a few drops of this instead of food colouring for both the cake and the frosting. Worked perfectly! Thanks for this great (and delicious) idea.
I love your website! I am looking forward to making this cake for my very girly daughter’s Our Little Sunshine themed birthday party. I hoped to make the icing yellow to fit the party’s theme with a very girly pink middle. Is there any lemon-flavored icing you might recommend to compliment or does the cream cheese really just take the cake? Thanks so much :)
Hi Sarah — You could add a few drops of lemon oil to a frosting for flavoring.
I have been looking for this exact recipe. I wanted to make a strawberry cake with cream cheese frosting for my daughter’s 2nd birthday. Like you, I am not a fan of cake mixes and much prefer to make things from scratch. I cannot wait to try this. I will be back to let you know how mine turned out!
Deb-I read several comments that said this had a faint strawberry flavor. Is there anything I can do to make that flavor stronger? Boil the puree or roast the strawberries or add jam?
For the frosting, could I add puree to your swiss buttercream frosting?
Love the book! So excited to read all the articles about it!
I made the cake and added extra puree but it was still almost impossible to taste strawberry. It had a nice flavor but wasn’t worth the trouble given the lack of strawberry flavor. Is there any way to help that?
Hi Deb! Your’e cakes always turn out amazing and I’m a regular visitor. I just noticed that the cream cheese recipes for this cake versus the Spices Apple Cake (subway cake) have different proportions! Do you prefer one over the other? Is there a reason why you went with different recipes? I hope to hear from you.
Thanks and Congratulations on the book!
OMG do NOT try to make this cake unless you have a seriously powerful mixer. I cut this recipe by a third because three 23 inch cake tins can’t fit in my oven but still my poor vintage Sunbeam wasn’t up to the dense strawberry icecream stage of the recipe anyway. The cakes are cooling now but they seem dense and flat and I’m wondering whether I can be bothered icing them or just cut my losses and call it a disaster. I’ve wanted to make this cake since I first read this post but it seems a bit tricky as a batter. I find the Sky Cake recipes a bit complex for me. What’s wrong with creaming the butter and sugar and folding in the flour.
oops I meant 23cm or 9 inch cake tins. I have to covert all the cake recipes for metric.
Hi Deb – I have been looking for a birthday cake recipe for my daughters 3rd birthday party and this looks perfect. How do you think the recipe would convert into two 12 inch rounds (40 people in attendance – yikes!)? Would you make any changes? Thanks!!
So delicious. It is almost crippling how good this is. I made it for my kids’ Valentine party. I sent the link to all the moms. This recipe makes 3 dozen generously sized cupcakes. Thanks for the excellent recipe!
I would just like to say that I’m pretty much addicted to your blog and cookbook. So many great recipes, so little time! I’m wondering if I can make this cake (iced and all) 2 or 3 days in advance, since you said it’s super moist. Thanks!
Abby — Yes, but I’d a) brush it with a syrup, b) probably freeze the layers wrapped tightly in plastic instead, if three days.
I just wanted to let you know that I made this cake for my little princess’s 4th birthday and it turned out brilliant. Everyone was floored with the cake. I did a three tier one and made a rice crispy treat rapunzel tower on top (she is a big fan of Tangled). The cream cheese frosting really did make the strawberry taste sing. Thank you for a wonderful recipe. Thank you ever so much!! A big hurray to you all the way from Bangladesh!! :)
I’ve been an avid gawker of your food blog, but I’ve only attempted a few things unfortunately! I’m thinking of giving this cake a crack – it looks absolutely delicious and would be brilliant for an upcoming birthday. You wrote that you upped the amount of cream cheese frosting in the recipe from what you actually made, but my family’s not too keen on loads of frosting and the amount in the photos seems about right. Did you only increase the amount slightly? If not, could you please post up the proportions you used? It would be much appreciated!
Veronica — I have posted what I used to create the cake you see. It’s thin, though. Even if you don’t like your frosting loaded on, a touch more wouldn’t be overkill.
I’m making this cake right now, but I need a little help. Sorry if this is a naive question, but I don’t know how much baking powder to use. Is it 5 tsp and 1/4 tsp, or is it 1/4 tsp measured in 5 times? I know the recipe says 5 1/4, but that just seems like a lot to me. I’m mixing the cake right now, so I might just have to guess. Thank you if you answer soon!! :) Best wishes!
Hi Raelyn — It is 5 teaspoons plus 1/4 teaspoon. It’s not a lot for a three-layer cake. In general, a minimum of one teaspoon of baking powder is used per cup of flour in cakes.
So, I just made this cake. It is tasty and pretty (i put halved strawberries on top and almond slivers on the side). But, as other reviewers have said, it is quite dense, and yes, it is enormous, and no, it’s not very strawberry-ey. And also, the dough is so thick before you add the milk/egg whites that I burnt though two hand-held mixers!! So here’s what I’ll do differently if I make this cake again:
1. The order of mixing ingredients in this cake is different from how I was taught. I think if it used the normal cake protocol the dough would have been less thick and more airy. So next time, I will cream sugar with butter first, and then add the strawberries (maybe more strawberry?), then milk, then mix in the dry ingredients, then fold in the egg whites.
2. I’d beat the egg whites on their own, rather than with the milk, as called for. I’m not sure why we were beating them with the milk, as they won’t get very frothy that way. That might help with the density of the cake, but then again, it has the consistency of an applesauce cake almost, so maybe that’s the nature of a fruit puree cake?
3. I’m not sure if the frosting was thin b/c it got hot, or because I was mixing it without an electric mixer (which had died), or b/c of the recipe. I found it a bit bland so added some grapefruit zest, b/c that falls under the category of “foods that taste like pink.”
Maybe if you make this cake with a kitchenaid the order doesn’t matter–maybe I should try this recipe again with better tools.
Hi! Loved the flavor of this cake. LOVED! One ‘but’…knew that was coming, huh? It was so thick and dense, much like a pound cake. Is this how it’s suppose to be, or did I overmix? I set timers and mixed as directed with my Kitchen Aid. Either way, I plan to make this again and cut it into small squares then dip in white chocolate. Perfect pink party favor! Thanks for the recipe!
Diane — This is a white cake (i.e. egg yolk-free) and it is on the firm side. I wouldn’t say dense and pound cake-like, because it’s light, but firmer than a traditional, plush yellow layer birthday cake. The reason a white cake is used as a base is so the pink hue comes through. With a cake with egg yolks, it’d be orangish/peach colored. ;)
I cooked down some fresh strawberries, and made a 1/3 recipe to test for a baby shower for my son’s teacher later this week. I used 2 whole eggs out of laziness, and 1/4 cup of milk, along with 1/2 cup of reduced puree.
I have used this “reverse” method before, for the cake that used to be my standard layer cake, but I always had a little trouble with cupcakes from that recipe, as they shrank a great deal. I made 12 cupcakes today, and though they were very full, after cooling they have shrunk to the point of the papers being empty around the bottom. I will try them again tomorrow with only egg whites, perhaps that will help them be more sturdy.
The flavor is lovely, and even with the shrinkage they are very tender. Not fluffy and light and dry, but certainly not dense either.
I’ll be making a strawberry butter frosting, because it needs to be pink! though I’m not as concerned that the cake itself is a delicate pink.
Deb, I do appreciate your patience and graciousness with all of us who make changes to your recipes. I like to fiddle with recipes, but I would never imply that _your_ recipe is to blame if it didn’t turn out as I expected if I didn’t follow it in the first place!
A dear friend has a favorite pound cake that she takes to a big family Thanksgiving for many years now. She is not stingy with her recipes, and has given this one out several times. She has gotten complaints that the recipe doesn’t work and been very concerned, especially since on occasion it doesn’t work for her either! Only to find out that the person had used fat free cream cheese instead of full, reduced the sugar, used margarine instead of butter, maybe used Egg Beaters?…and wondered why it wasn’t as good as what they had at Thanksgiving…
D’oh! of course they shrank. I just realized I almost certainly shorted the flour significantly. I’m amazed they did as well as they did! Next batch, full flour amount.
OK, still a leetle bit of shrinking around the bottom, but waaaay better with the proper amount of flour.
1.5 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1.75 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
8 T butter
1 egg white
1/2 cup strawberry puree
1/4 c milk
made 12 cupcakes, baked for 22 minutes.
Hi Deb, I have a friend who is requesting a “Barbie Cake” for her kid (I had no idea these even existed!). I love this recipe, but I’m wondering if it would work if I baked one cake in a Bundt pan, one in a Pyrex Bowl and one in a tiny little 5 inch cake pan? That’s what you need to stack to create Barbie’s “skirt”. I did a test run with a store-bought mix and it worked, but not sure if all from-scratch recipes are adaptable to other size pans? HUGE THANKS IN ADVANCE! Stacey
I haven’t tried this in a bundt but it looks like commenter #226 did so successfully.
fourth batch, followed the recipe most closely, though I used reduced puree and the more “usual” creaming method, as my “reversed” creaming always leads to shrinking in cupcakes, though I love it for layers. This may be the first real white cake I’ve ever made, and it worked fine, not dry and dense at all. I will certainly not hesitate to make a white cake again if I want the very white color. I’m looking forward to making lemon curd of ice cream or something with the extra yolks!
I made 44 cupcakes, and they are nicely domed but not high, I think 36 might have let them flow over the edge a bit much and stick to the pan. I baked them for 20 minutes and have made a strawberry frosting(baby shower, girl baby) with reduced puree, butter and powdered sugar, a little vanilla extract. The frosting is a bit soft so I’ve put in the fridge to firm up a little so I can pipe it. May add a bit more powdered sugar, I doubt the kids will complain about its being too sweet. It didn’t need any food coloring, it’s quite pink.
Deb, I just wanted to say Thank you so much for this recipe. I found your site when I was looking for a strawberry cake from scratch. I made this cake for my son’s birthday whish was on Mother’s Day. Your recipe was the 2nd I tried the 1st one from another site came out terrible, it was way toooo dense and spongy but my kids said it taste great. But yours rose up beautifully like a cake should. I did take some of the suggestions from others and did the reverse creaming method, folded the egg whites in at the end after mixing, added another 2/3 cup of milk, 3 teaspoons of McCormick imitation strawberry extract, 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla ext. The cake came out great but we haven’t tasted it yet as I am extremely tired today. LOL…………………………………………… But here is a link to the finish product and Thanks again!
Deb, I just wanted to update that we tasted the cake it is great taste like strawberry ice cream. Even though the cake rose of beautiful like a cake it still has a different texture of a regular cake. But I believe I would have to contribute that to the strawberries. Because the 1st cake I made has the same taste. Also I wanted to clarify I’m not sure what reverse creaming method is but I did it the old fashion way just like commenter #448 said t0 do it. I also sifted the flour once after measuring as another recipe stated. The cake is light more like cake but still kind of remind me of a sponge. I hate to say that I just don’t know another way to describe it. But it is a delicious cake and the icing I made is the BOMB! Here are some additional pictures of the inside of the cake.
I just wanted to say Thanks Again for a Great Cake !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I’ve made a lot of cakes and this one is really fantastic. I was true to the cake recipe and loved the easy creaming method and not having to whip egg whites separately with the mixer. I have an older KitchenAid and would only caution that the bowl was about maxed out so I had to be careful ingredients didn’t slosh out. The strawberry flavor was wonderful (local NW strawberries I had in the freezer) and the cake was moist and perfect. My idea of what a layer cake should be! I made a vanilla buttercream frosting (my daughter has a singular hatred for cream cheese) and we all loved it. This cake is now in my permanent recipe file. Thanks so much for creating such a great recipe, Deb!
I made this for my daughter’s 1st birthday. And her second. And tonight, I am making it again for her 3rd. This is a fabulous cake and I love baking it as part of a new family tradition. Thank you for the inspiration!
I hate to ask questions of a recipe you posted so long ago, but…I want to make this cake for my husband’s impending birthday, and I only have ungraded farm eggs. I always weigh my eggs and try to match them to the recipe according to Cook’s Illustrated stated weights for graded eggs. Were these large eggs that you used in the recipe? I want to make sure I use the right amount of egg white.
BTW, my husband will always say “yes!” when I ask about trying out a new recipe on him if I say it came from “the boy bait lady’s blog”. He thinks you’re a genius!
Hi Maggie — I always use large eggs.
Kiersten — I’m sorry the cake wasn’t a hit. I originally used much less cream cheese frosting (as shown) but so many people wanted more, it seemed safer to have too much than too little. I agree that the pistachio petit-four cake is the bees knees. :)
I am going to make this birthday cake this weekend and was wondering if it’s okay to use liquid egg whites (like eggbeaters) rather than separating all of those eggs. If not, I guess I’ll just make lemon curd to fill it with :-)
I had a terrible experience with this cake, but maybe I’ll try again based on the other comments. First of all, pureeing frozen berries is no trivial task. I added water but my blender kept stalling and it turned into a massive chore which included cleaning up raspberry juice from my cabinets and backsplash (I used raspberries, I suspect strawberries would have been worse). Secondly, my kitchenAid was maxed out by this recipe though it handles other 3 tier cake batter recipes. The ingredients weren’t mixing and some came out the top. I had to do it in batches finally. Lastly, this is a terrible frosting recipe: there was way too much cream cheese and I saw most of my guests pushed the frosting aside as it indeed tastes like greasy cream cheese (just enough butter to spoil the cream cheese taste but not complement it). Next time, I’ll stick with the fabulous pistachio petit four cake which seemed like a lot less trouble and a lot more bang!
I can’t wait to try making this cake for my daughter’s first birthday! I have a couple of questions about making celebration cakes — I haven’t really done it before and I can’t find answers anywhere, so I’m hoping you can help.
Why freeze the layers? Should I freeze cupcakes too? Do I need to wait for the layers/cupcakes to thaw before frosting?
Should frosting happen the day of of the celebration if using frozen cake? Is there any way it could happen the day before? If I put the cake in the refrigerator after frosting the frozen layers, is that a bad idea?
Hello! I have been randomly happening upon this delightful site for a year or so. I am so excite to comment!
We are throwing a surprise happy unbirthday party for my sister-in-law (her birthday is Dec. 26th so she always gets the rub for her birthday) and I want to make her this cake!
I have one or two tiny complications.
1. I have never made a cake from scratch (Don’t hate me!) and
2. I am allergic to eggs. (Which is why I volunteered to make the cake- so I can eat some!)
When I google “egg free cakes,” I usually end up with a list of vegan recipes. I’m not going to lie, I really like butter, and heavy whipping cream and cream cheese etc. Vegan recipes that I’ve tried seem to turn out not so tasty and disappointingly dry. My goal is to have a tasty, moist and not too dense cake… that also happens to be eggless.
I am not well versed in the science of gastronomy and wonder if you (or any readers) have any advice on cooking cakes from scratch without eggs? I’d just be so grateful for any tips and tricks.
So, I really, really, really wanted to like this cake. I have made so many wonderful recipes and I have loved all of them. I have made the Chocolate peanut butter cake endless amounts of times. When I make the carrot cake with the maple cream cheese frosting, I tend to love it so much I could eat a whole cake myself. However this cake somehow never comes out right for me. I have tried it 3 times now. Once with a friend helping me make it, and I convinced myself it didn’t turn out right because there were to many hands in the pot, the second time I tried it, it came out very floury and dense, now this time I made sure to measure as accurately as cups and spoons can measure and it has no buttery or strawberry flavor to be found. It turned out so bad it made its way down the garbage disposal. I really would like any pointers on this cake if you have any Deb. I am willing to try it once more because I truly believe I am doing something wrong somewhere. I don’t understand how I could be so off, and a pink lady cake is just a perfect thing for a little girl named Rosie whom is on the verge of turning 1.
Can you tell me how to alter the instructions for 3 5 inch cake pans?
If you 1/3 the recipe, you can make a smaller cake of similar height.
I made this cake exactly one year ago for my dtr’s 1st bday and it was the first(& only time) I did a cake from scratch! I had a very dense cake the first time around and was determined to fix it before her big party! so i researched my butt off and did three things different: 1 replaced my baking powder which i did not remember how old it was and should be fresh, 2 left the butter out so it was really soft (usually I leave it out 20min) but this time it was REALLY soft like at least an hour! 3 I did look up how to whisk eggs properly and followed what she said slowly adding it to the batter. I loved how it came out second time and my dtr loved her smash cake so I was happy! i didnt add food dye either i loved the natural pink color! I am looking up recipe might do it again this year, took me a long time to find this pink lady cake and glad I found it! Not surprised that every PLcake posted on Pinterest is from this site!
Hi Deb, I have 2 9-inch round pans, do you think I can use 2/3 of the measures to create a 2-layer cake instead of 3? Thanks for the awesome recipes! You are truly an inspiration :)
Amrita — Definitely.
I made this cake and it was SO DELICIOUS. The cake tasted like strawberry cheesecake ice cream! I made the cream cheese frosting and it was perfect. Things I did differently: covered the top and sides with sliced strawberries, added pureed strawberry to the cream cheese layers in between the cakes only, and mixed the wet ingredients, then added the dry.
Also, I tried adding pomegranate sauce as a natural dye, but it didn’t work – made no difference to the color of the batter. The cake turned out looking a very very pale shade of pink with a faint strawberry flavor, but not super dense or heavy as others describe. The texture was fine, especially with the strawvberry cream cheese layers smothering it. This cake was a huge hit and was requested by multiple people for their birthday cakes, and it was only the second time I’ve ever made a cake. The first was your New York Cheesecake recipe, which I also loved!
Like. Few other commenters, the icing was a disaster for me, it was horribly runny and although I tried putting it in th fridge for up to an hour, it stayed runny. I also tried freezing the cake with the icing on, it stayed runny there too. S I scraped off as much as I cold and subbed with a Swiss buttercream which was a great texture but I could not get it smooth.
Anyway, any ideas why several of us struggled with the texture of the cream cheese frosting?
Hi Thalia — I cannot think of one reason that the frosting would be runny unless the ingredients got warm and melted or … what kind of cream cheese did you use? I mean, butter + cream cheese + powdered sugar = a very thick mixture. There’s just not enough liquid to make it any other way unless something caused it to melt, such as a hot cake. Or, if maybe what I call cream cheese (the Philadelphia stuff for bagels) isn’t what others are thinking of/buying. Hope to help.
I dipped my finger!!!! I can’t stop dipping!!
I’m attempting to make this cake for my daughter’s 5th birthday in two weeks. However I need to make a 12 inch cake with 3 layers. Would you recommend that I just double the recipe? Or what should I do?
I love your blog by the way!! I’ve set out to buy your book by the end of this year :-)
Ornella — Thank you. Double it.
I’ve made this cake twice and it’s now one of my absolute favorites! The strawberry flavor is so delicious and the texture is fabulous. I also love the easy mixing process – I love how the butter is incorporated and I LOVE not whipping egg whites. Can you tell that I love this cake? I do a basic vanilla buttercream instead of cream cheese frosting – just a preference thing. Thank you for this recipe!
I made this for my son’s fourth birthday and it was good and pretty, but not amazing because it was a bit heavy and the cake part slightly bland. I used blueberries at my son’s request, and after reading the other comments added the ingredients in the more traditional-for-cakes order with whipped egg whites folded in at the end. I’m glad I did so as the cake was on the denser side as it was. I frosted it with a blueberry buttercream made with pulverized freeze dried wild blueberries and as much of the purée as was left in the bowl of the food processor from making the cake. The frosting was delicious. However, I made the mistake of putting jam between the layers which made the whole a bit too sweet. The best thing about the cake was the lovely purple color. I baked some as mini cupcakes for my son’s preschool class (15 min) and the rest in two layers (about 30 min)
I really enjoy and appreciate your blog. .
So I am about to make this for the 4th time, and its always a hit! I’ve done strawberry twice, and blueberry once for the top layer of my wedding cake. It was frozen before icing and then part was frozen again for the traditional 1-year-later slice, and it held up perfectly to freezing. The one thing I’ve done every time is to swap a bit of the milk for purée. I use about 1/2 cup of milk instead of the 2/3, and usually add about 1/4 cup extra of purée. It really makes the color and flavor pop without food coloring. I think the addition of a little extra purée also helps in the blending, since I’ve never had a problem with my mixer following the directions as written.
Now I get to make it another time for my little girl’s first birthday! Thanks for all the wonderful recipes and inspiration, I love reading this site!
I am pretty new to baking, so apologies if this is a (very) stupid question, but can I make this recipe into cupcakes? And if so, how many cupcakes would this yield and should I adjust the cooking time? Thanks so much!
Most cakes, especially layer cakes, can be baked off as cupcakes. I haven’t made these as cupcakes, but several commenters have and offer advice/feedback, see my response in Comment #274.
I am planning on making some tests first, but I was wondering how you think this will pair with you swiss buttercream frosting? I was hoping to do a layer cake with 2 layers of the vanilla buttermilk (wedding) sandwiching this cake, and using the SBC frosting. (Also making cupcakes layered with the 2 cakes and frosted with the buttercream)
Also, should I be worried it might not freeze well since its an egg white cake?
Egg white cakes are sturdier, but freezing shouldn’t change much. If you’re nervous, just brush the cake with a simple syrup (flavored or not) after it is defrosted, before you frost it. Haven’t made it with swiss buttercream, but I think it could be good — it’s so rich, it could contrast well with the cake.
I have made this cake quite a few times and I really like it. I think the natural color is pretty, but a few shades more of pink is nice too. I will say this though! This was just my experience…I used frozen strawberries and if I don’t let my strawberries thaw COMPLETELY to room temp the cake bakes horrible!
This was my first experiment at baking with my four-year-old daughter helping at every stage. I thought this was a really easy-to-follow recipe, and very forgiving. I forgot to thaw strawberries completely & also to bring the butter up to room temperature, so our first cake mix looked more like strawberry muesli than ice cream, but we put it in the sun for half an hour and re-tried and it came out perfectly. We added pink colouring to both cake and frosting, plus pink writing on the top and pink edible daisies round the sides (did I mention she’s a four year old girl? Could you have guessed?) and the result was lovely. Thanks for sharing!
Can i make this cake in one pan and than after baking but it with a knife for 3 pieces?i want tchem to be thiner then on your pics…
Ps great recipe!
Adabellqa — That would be the hardest way to do it, and you’d need a very tall cake pan. To make the layers thinner, maybe divide the batter into 4 round pans (or bake it 1/4 at a time if you, understandably, do not have 4 cake pans).
Any tips for converting this to a sheet cake recipe ?
kate — What sized sheet?
Making this for my birthday tomorrow, where it will also serve as a gender reveal cake to surprise the new grandparents, aunts & uncles. Can’t wait to see how it turns out! I made sure not to be stingy with the red food coloring so there’d be no confusion once we slice it!
Hi Deb – I’d like to make a larger version of this cake to serve 40 people generously at a baby shower. Above, you suggested doubling this recipe to get three 12-inch layers. But if this recipe fills the Kitchenaid already, it seems like it would be necessary to make 2/3 of a recipe 3 times to get three 12-inch square layers. Any suggestions about that? (I did look at the cake equivalence table but it doesn’t have a lot to say about 12-inch pans.) I notice that you use 12 inch square layers for your giant chocolate butter cake, with two layers rather than three. I’m wondering if that’s the way to go instead – double the Pink Lady and make two large layers. Help! I was a math major in college, but I’m in a complete dither about this.
Hi! I see I am almost the 500th comment here, but I wanted to thank you. I had a cake emergency last weekend, concerning pink layer cake for my daughter’s 9th birthday. The cake I finished at midnight the night before her party flopped, as in completely sunk in on itself, which would never do for a pink layer cake with a tiara on top. So, searching, I found this recipe (googled delicious pink layer cake – desperation!), went shopping the next morning at 7 for the ingredients, and had a delicious, tall, pink layer cake, covered in roses with a tiara on top, ready just in time for her skate party. I didn’t even have to trim the layers, as they came out plenty level! So, thanks for posting this recipe. You saved the day!!
Deb – I baked this cake for mother’s day and I think it is the best thing I’ve made from your site. I’m eating it for breakfast as I type this.
I just made this cake for a new baby girl who we are celebrating tomorrow. It was so much fun to make!! Licking the beater sticks was so delicious – I can’t wait to try a piece tomorrow.
I’m making this for my daughter’s first birthday and would like to make the full 9 inch 3 layers for the adults, but also a mini 4 inch version (probably 2 layers?) for her. Deb, do you (or anyone else reading) have a recommendation on how to alter the recipe to make this second cake? I’m nervous if I fraction it too much it will mess up the recipe! Thanks!
I did 2/3 the recipe to have 2 layers instead of 3, as I was only trying to feed about 6-8 people. I messed up the directions, and tried to beat the “batter” with the dry ingredients plus just the butter…and mixed the strawberry puree with the egg whites and milk. I was so confused about why it was dry and crumbly like the process for biscuits instead of coming together as a batter! I also used egg whites from a carton rather than separating 6 eggs and dealing with 6 yolks. And I had to bake it an extra 5 minutes or so.
On the other hand, my junky hand mixer had absolutely no problems mixing it, and everyone loved the cake. So, in the end, a great success despite my problems reading directions. My 15-month-old loved it…may try a blackberry version when his second birthday rolls around!
I was stressing out, trying to find a strawberry cake recipe for my niece’s 1st birthday (which is tomorrow). Of course everything either had jammy clumps of strawberry and were basically muffins, or they had jello or boxed cake mix. I spent HOURS look – I should’ve known better and just checked here!
I didn’t realize this is such a huge recipe! I made 1 1/2 cause I needed a6″ smash cake plus 24 cupcakes. I’m getting 3-6″ cakes, 24 mini cupcakes, 24 REGULAR cupcakes, and I still have a half bowl of better left. Enough for more full size cakes and 12 cupcakes.Holy god what am I going to do with all this cake! I already have 24 chocolate cupcakes!
Well anyway, they smell incredible. I followed the recipe exactly, except I had about 1/4″ extra puree, so I used a bit less milk and added the extra puree. I also did put pink dye in it, since these needed to be PINK.
The first batch just came out of the oven and they’re gorgeous, but are a little small. I hope they’re not too dense. I likely overworked the whites, but as long as they taste good – no one will complain!
This cake looks amazing!! Just wondering when you are whisking the egg whites, how long do you whisk for? Just long enough to mix the ingredients together, or do you whisk until they are stiff?
Lauren — Nope, the eggs do not need to be whipped until stiff in this cake. You just mix them until they’re combined.
I’ve made this recipe as cupcakes several times and LOVE it! I’m hosting my BFF’s bridal shower this weekend and was thinking of making pink champagne cupcakes- could I sub something in this recipe for champagne? What do you think?
This cake is lovely. Mine turned out moist, and has a delicate strawberry taste. Perfect for my grandmother’s 80th birthday cake (this was just a test run). The only change I made was to add the dry to the wet (butter and strawberries). I was too afraid to do the reverse cream method after reading the comments about fried mixers. I dyed some of my icing with beet juice (bright pink!) and added a little beet juice to my batter as well instead of dye. I will definitely make this again! Oh I also thawed (mostly) the strawberries first to make it easier to purée, and leftover purée added to my icing also gave it a delicate pink hue with strawberry flavour.
Hi Deb, first let me say that you have inspired me to bake more! Thank you. Just some questions. I baked this the other night for a friend. Three nine nice round pans were used and I baked at a lower temp for slightly longer as you suggest in your layer tips in order to try and get them level. They not as tall as yours appear to be. Any thoughts or suggestions? As well, the cake was quite dense, tasty, but not airy in any way. I whisked the egg whites as the recipe called for, but not to the consistency such as in Valerie’s chocolate cake. Could that have been the problem? Is that what one is supposed to do? In any vent, I will continue to enjoy your blog as I continue with my baking endeavours!
Evie — It’s hard for me to say what happened height-wise because I never measured the thickness of these layers. The texture, however, may be correct. This is a “white” cake, without egg yolks, as you know. They tend to be more firm, not all soft and souffle-ish like Valerie’s cake. They go very well with frosting, which is why they’re used often for wedding and birthday cakes. You can add more moisture to the cake by making a simple syrup and brushing it over the layers. Hope that helps.
Thanks for the information. I look forward to trying more of your recipes and will continue to refer friends to your site so they may enjoy as well.
Zowie! My son asked for a chocolate cake for his birthday day and a strawberry cake of his party. I doubled your recipe and got 24 cupcakes, a dozen minis, and four layers (my husband told me three was high enough and we’d never get it to the party place). I used every drop of the frosting (I added a third extra because it was all the cream cheese I had) — half cream cheese/half neufchâtel. I added a couple of drops of food coloring (gasps heard round the whole foods world) which made the cake brighter. Gone. The whole thing, gone. I’m ready to make another one!
Nice recipe and very pretty pictures. I have a question! I am thinking of making this cake for my daughter’s birthday soon and am wondering if the icing would lend itself to piping flowers etc
Please let me know
Kiran — Yes, I think this frosting is pipe-able. And, if it seems a little soft, you can always firm it up in the fridge until you can get clean shapes.
I just made this cake and the batter came out so thick it looks like frosting. Is that normal?
Ronna — Yes, that shouldn’t be a problem.
Hi Deb! I had this cake at a birthday party – yesterday – and I am already planning on making it for Valentines Day in a few days! It was delicious! I am wondering if you could make it with (parts) whole wheat flour, and if so, how much to substitute and how much more milk would be needed in that case? Thank you in advance!
Pia — I would use white whole wheat flour, if you went in that direction, and limit it to a 1/3 portion swap. It will take away from the delicate texture to use more. Good luck!
Thank you, Deb. I appreciate it.
I would like to suggest something: why not switch the order of the comments around. This way we could read first how the recipe actually turned out instead of reading how everybody thinks it looks awesome.
This beeing said, it’s the first time one of your recipe turned out to be a disaster (for all the reasons listed above). I love you and your book, which I offered to many but right now, my kitchen if full of unmixable pink cake batter, I have what promise to be 3 very dense cakes in my oven and my sweet-pink-princess 5 years old daughter’s birthday is tomorow : (
Hi Elyse — I’m sorry the recipe didn’t work out for you. The batter is indeed very thick but should bake up wonderfully. Did yours make it to the oven?
Well, 2 out of 3 kinda burned and then collaspsed when I tried to trim them..I’m the only one to blame for this. I was to busy beeing cranky. This was the worst baking day of my life. Anyway, I baked a standard white cake, staked the salvaged one in between and covered the mess in strawberry buttercream, And everyone is going to be happy tonight.
I’m sorry to hear. I know the stress of baking for birthdays; it’s always last minute and something always goes wrong. I’m sure your cake will be a huge hit!
It was actually very good. My daughter thought it was very pretty. But then she is such a sweet girl. Anyway, thank you for your concern. I’m pretty embarassed about leaving a comment in the first place, which was my first time ever because I’m not like that and because english is not my first language. (I’m saying that to justify weird spelling and phrasing. ) You’re still my favorite blogger and congratulations on your great news!
My sister-in-law requested a strawberry cake for her birthday dinner and this looks PERFECT. Because I can never leave good enough alone, I’m wondering – would there be any reason that putting leftover strawberry puree on top of icing in between the layers *wouldn’t* work? My main concern would be the top layer getting a little soggy on the bottom, but if it’s not too much, it might be worth the extra flavor. My first thought was slicing up some strawberries, but… February.
I have made this recipe twice now. It turned out very nicely the first time. It makes A LOT of cake! It was plenty for our huge family!
The second time I wanted a more pronounced strawberry flavor so I roasted fresh strawberries and made the puree with that. It seems to give it a nice boost. I made 2 – 8″ layers for my daughter’s birthday cake and used the remaining batter to make 18 cupcakes to send for preschool treats.
The cream cheese frosting complements it perfectly.
I made this cake with half the ingredients in a single 9 inch springform tin. the final height of the cake was just over an inch. Can you think of any reason why the cake didnt rise as much as yours? the egg whites were just supposed to be blended with milk right? The cake tasted very nice though.
I just finished eating a piece of this cake..II read some of the comments and was worried about it being too dense…instead of following the method as outlined, I used the ingredients and made the cake as I usually would make a cake. I followed the tip for making cake flour from regular flour from comment 131. It didn’t turn out dense…it was moist, tender and had a nice crumb. But, it didnt taste like a strawberry cake, not at all, but I am blaming the berries, which were frozen, thawed and drained of excess water (but maybe we’re still watery?) I am making this for a strawberry fiend, and planned on making strawberry icing, and strawberry ice cream to serve, so I will make sure they are extra strawberry-y. I also added 3 drops of red colouring, but if I make again, I would put 5. The cake was pinkish, with grey undertone, not that pretty.
In short, I think that this recipe is worth keeping around- I will try again when berries are fresh and more flavourful, which was probably the problem. I will also use strawberry almond milk instead of regular milk to increase the berry flavour and add more colouring.
Thank you, Deb. Your recipes are always inspiring, delicious and fun to read.
Just a note: I think this cake actually tastes better with frozen stawrberries. I’ve made it once with frozen and once with beautiful fresh summer strawberries, but for some reason the fresh version wasn’t nearly as moist. Other things could have caused this I suppose, but I think it was the strawberries.
Hi Deb. I am planning on making this into mini cupcakes for a friend’s wedding with your swiss buttercream recipe. I’ve had problems with cupcakes shrinking and coming apart from the liners in the past. Why does that happen and is there something that can be done to prevent it? Also– is there really any point to the cupcake liner? Can you just butter and flour your cupcake tins as you would a cake? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
danielle — Cupcakes can pull away from liners for a couple reasons, either the recipe (cakes with whipped egg whites for lift are more prone to shrinkage) or because of the liners themselves (I find this is more likely to happen with parchment/nonstick liners, but people also like them because they cleanly release). Regardless, there’s no reason one has to use liners. They just make removal easier and some find them neater to eat.
Thanks so much for the reply! I’m feeling lots of pressure to get these damn cupcakes perfect, since it’s for a wedding and I don’t have enough time to make practice batches. =)
I made this yesterday (with my 5 and 7 year olds) for my 41st birthday and it was one of the best cakes I’ve ever had! The color was amazing (I did add 2 drops of red food coloring to the batter); a lovely blush. I was stunned that it tasted as good as it looks! Just a thought for those getting a dense dough: maybe you are using 1.5 cups of frozen strawberries, pureed, rather than 1.5 cups of frozen strawberry puree? The former is actually quite a bit less liquid than the latter. I had to stare at “1 1/2 cups pureed frozen strawberries” for a minute (and then saw your comment, Deb) to understand exactly what this was calling for. Anyway, thanks for a beautiful, delicious recipe, it made my “now-I-am-solidly-40” birthday such a joy!
In step #2, is the mixing done with a paddle or whisk?
mrz — I use the paddle (for this, and almost exclusively when baking, with the rare exception of whipped egg whites).
This cake was delicious. It tasted like I what I imagine strawberry ice cream in cake form would taste like. I used fresh strawberries and 2 drops of red food coloring. My mixer (an Ankarsrum) had no difficultIes with the batter. Made 3 8-inch round cake pans plus one pan of cupcakes. Baked cupcakes for 20 minutes. Thanks for the recipe!
i made this for the 4th, as the base for a flag cake. i followed the recipe exactly, except used fresh ripe strawberries and 1/2ed the recipe for a sheet cake. batter was delicious, color was great, everything came together easily. i have to agree with several others though, my cake turned out very dense and gummy. the frosting was PERFECT, and we still ate the cake, but totally disappointing results.
After a futile search for a raspberry or pink lemonade cake that didn’t involve juice concentrate, I ended up sandwiching one layer of my favourite lemon cake between two layers of this, with raspberries instead of strawberries. Lemon curd filling and lemon cream cheese frosting, and it was both gorgeous and delicious. So happy to have this base for all my fruit-flavoured cakes!
Hi Deb, I was really excited to find this recipe and want to make it for my daughter’s first birthday. Now I have skimmed the comments and reread the ingredients, I am a bit spooked! I live in Australia, so we use metric. I was wondering if you could include metric conversions for all the measurements on your tips page (mLs, grams etc)? I read something the other day that made me think a US cup is 235mL, in Australia a cup is 250mL – all very confusing. Also, what is the difference between cake flour and all purpose (we don’t have cake flour in Oz). Much appreciated!
That cake looks great. I wish my birthday were today.
Second time I’ve made this cake for my daughter’s birthday and had forgotten about the icing problem…. I use Philadelphia cream cheese (UK) and it never gets tick enough, even after adding the double amount of icing sugar and putting it in the fridge. Perhaps Philadelphia makes a different cream cheese for baking/icing in the US?
this cake has been on my to-make list literally for years. i finally did a half recipe as cupcakes for a co-worker who requested strawberry for her birthday. i got 13 cupcakes (regular dozen plus one for my neighbor) and a 8-inch (thin) round by filling the cupcake tin no more than 2/3. they are not super pink, but pink enough and the strawberry flavor really comes through for me. i adapted the vanilla buttercream from the monkey cake, halving the smaller recipe and adding more strawberry puree. the puree unfortunately made the frosting way too liquidy. google to the rescue… i added another pat of butter, maybe 1/4 cup more of confectioner’s sugar (all i had left) and a couple small spoonfuls of arrowroot powder. thickened and smoothed beautifully and i am really proud of these!
I made this for my moms birthday a couple of weeks ago. I used fresh local strawberries. It turned out wonderfully! A little big for our small gathering, but my husband and kids didn’t complain about bringing home the leftovers :). I did find the icing a touch sweet and rich, so may explore other options if I have an occasion to make it again.
Chiming in from 2015–This cake is amazing. I only made 1/4 of the recipe as a test cake. I, too, switched up the order of ingredients. Since I was making a small amount, I didn’t want to break out my stand mixer and I didn’t think my hand mixer could handle reverse creaming. I creamed the butter and sugar, added the strawberries, and alternated dry and wet (mixed the milk and eggs). I also added a few drops of red gel coloring with the milk.
It turned out light and fluffy and very pink and very delicious. It seems a little sweet, but maybe I had good quality frozen strawberries? By the way, the seeds aren’t noticeable at all, so I wouldn’t worry about straining them. I plan on making a double batch of this for a double-layer quarter sheet cake soon. I suspect I could make a 1.5x batch and that would be just fine, but go big or go home, right?
FYI, 1.5x is perfect for a 2-layer quarter sheet cake of this. If I had doubled the recipe, I suspect it would have ended up with two 2-inch+ layers. The layers came out at around 1.5 inches, and baked pretty flat, even without a heating nail.The corners ended up rather crusty, even at 300-325 (I’d been baking all day, so by the tenth hour, my oven was having trouble staying regulated. All in all, this is a great recipe when baking for a crowd. It seems sturdy and my mini test cake did well in the freezer.
Count me in with Frances (538) for having this on my To Bake list for years but only just getting around to it recently. The catalyst? Post-Thanksgiving and a glut of egg whites after all those custard-based pies sent me on a search through my recipes for a new egg-white-heavy recipe to try. I even had one jar that was precisely 8 egg whites! I used the whipped style Philly cream cheese rather than the denser block style…I always have the giant tub from the warehouse store during the holidays but I measured it by weight and that worked fine.
This is a really fantastic cake and if a novice is looking to tackle a 3 layer cake I would recommend it (unless you have a funky unreliable oven because that’s too much stress when juggling 3 pans.) Do go to the general cake tips link first.
I would suggest if you are intending to eat it as an everyday cake rather than a fancy celebration cake you just give up the 3rd layer to your family to eat sans frosting when it comes out of the pan. Otherwise it’s just cruel to make them suffer the delicious smells. You’ll be a hero and they won’t pester you. Win win!
I can also report this works well with olallieberries (a cross between blackberry and loganberry). We have a local farm in our area where my family usually picks berries for jam-making but when we missed the short olallieberry season last time I purchased a quart of already puréed and strained berries from the farm freezer. Failing to make jam with it turned into a fortuitous cake opportunity and the result is a beautiful, naturally purple cake.
Great recipe, better instructions and even better pictures. Thanks for all!
This looks delicious and I plan on making it for my 2 yr old daughter’s birthday today! But of course, I do have questions…do you think I could use a little less sugar and if so how much? Do you think it would be good with a strawberry cream cheese frosting or would that be strawberry overkill? How would you adapt this frosting Into a strawberry cc frosting?
I love your site and it’s my go to when looking for recipes. Everything I have made of yours has been delicious! I made the artichoke and potato gratin for Christmas dinner and it was amazing, thanks!
Hi beediddley — I haven’t tried dialing back the sugar much because I didn’t find the cake excessively sweet. (I mean, sweet, but not over-the-top.) Curious what frosting you ended up with! Hope it all turned out well.
Deb, I just wanted to share — I was delighted to find this recipe for my son’s upcoming fifth birthday. He requested a strawberry-flavored “planet cake.” I’m in the middle of doing a test run, but so far, the cake part has turned out beautifully. I did have to bake each half-sphere for about an hour. This is one of the best cakes I’ve tasted in a long time. Every summer, we freeze a ton of local Oregon Hood strawberries — very sweet, flavorful berries that don’t travel at all well. And I’m so glad we did! They go wonderfully in this cake.
Deb, I love your blog, your recipes, your tolerance and graciousness as everyone tells you how they disregarded you recipe and got artsy with it. I would be grinning, then get to teeth gnashing and back to wonderment that 546 people took the time to make it, comment and many making it again. Imagine how many thousands didn’t comment!
Anyway, I’ve had a taste for gorgeous strawberry cake since the 7th grade, a few decades ago and have tried Everything; never had one I wanted a second bite of. I can’t imagine breaking down and eating box mix aka chemical crap.
Last summer, organic strawberries went on a tremendous sale and I dehydrated 7 quarts, which yielded one loosely filled mason jar of strawberry slivers. My dream was to find the perfect recipe, reconstitute them in the juice of frozen strawberries and give the cake a POW of flavor. (Who cares if it’s pink enough-I want it to taste Amazing!)
How many of the strawberries would you use? They’re as thin as saran wrap and have a full, not watery flavor.
And may I say, reading the comments is better than going to the movies; I laugh, I grimace in camaraderie when disasters strike; love the stories and laugh out loud and often. Sometimes I imagine your reactions with great character and joi de verve, because we all feel like you’re our fiesty and wonderful friend.
Thanks for giving me an anonymous, global tribe of kindred spirits. Love ya chickie!
Ann — Thank you. Can you reconstitute the strawberries until you have about 1 1/2 cups worth? I haven’t otherwise experimented much with dehydrated strawberries, except the 100% dry/crisp ones, and that was just for fun.
I have this baking in the oven right now. The batter was so good!!! I added 2 T of roasted and pureed beets to the batter instead of the red dye- It looked super pink and no note of beet taste.
Thank you, Deb! You have saved me! I have been searching for a strawberry cake recipe that does not have Jell-O in it for my daughter’s 3rd birthday. I make your recipes all the time and I should have just checked you first. She wants everything PINK and this will be perfect.
I’ve been dying to make this cake for years now. Initially, I wanted to make it for my daughter’s birthday but she’s picky and frankly happiest with a Carvel ice cream cake so I let that dream go since it’s a waste. Instead, I am finally going to make this cake *for myself* for my upcoming 36th birthday. I’m going to try fresh berries and probably a Swiss buttercream, possibly strawberry flavored. Wish me luck! Really looking forward to this :)
Word to the wise: don’t attempt this with unbleached cake flour. Shopping for ingredients at my local [fancy organic grocery store], which only stocks King Arthur unbleached cake flour, I decided to forgo my usual Swans Down rather two make two grocery stops. An hour after the cake came out of the oven, I read Serious Eats’ blog entry on the different chemical properties and behaviors of bleached v. unbleached cake flours. In another application, it may not matter as much, but this cake has a lot in common with “high-ratio” cakes (almost equal flour and sugar and lots of egg whites), and in this case it produced a gummy, dense texture totally unlike the delicate crumb I usually get from cake flour. I’ll definitely be re-doing this with my good ol’ Swans Down next time!
I did it. To resist was futile. I tasted the batter…more than once. I currently have 3 rounds cooling on the counter for my Grandmother’s 88th birthday. I just may make this again next week….for my birthday!
Victory! After reading through the hundreds(!) of comments, I followed the recommendations of several folks to first cream the butter with the sugar, then mix in the pureed strawberries (FYI, as I was making just two layers, I got exactly one cup from an entire 8 oz frozen bag which I let come to room temperature before blending, and I didn’t strain them), then mix in the egg whites, then mix in the dry mix, alternating with the milk. It was done at exactly 30 minutes. The cake came out moist, tender, and, while dense, certainly not scone or biscuit-like. It definitely still feels/tastes like a cake, and I even used unbleached cake flour.
Like others, this has been on my “to bake” list for some time, and I am grateful for the years of bakers who shared their wisdom!
A disaster today at high altitude. The outside of the layers cooked fine, the innards never did, so I’ve a bunch of strawberry cake rings which are a bit ridiculous. Alas.
Ahhhh, I revisited this cake today, and it came out beautifully, what the heck living at altitude. I also cut the recipe by 1/3, to keep it in two pans, so maybe that helped, too. It’s beautiful! <3
I just made this for my roommate’s birthday! I used raspberries as per her tastes, and the cake is shockingly purple. No cakepans here, but I have nesting pirex containers and there’s only two of us. Half of this recipe filled a 6-, 5-, and 4- inch container with enough extra for five cupcakes, and the cupcakes ended up being so perfectly proportional to the pirex layers that I decided to use the prettiest one as a fourth layer. (The rest have been sacrificed for quality control.)
Her actual birthday is the day I start grad school, so I made it early, wrapped the layers with plastic wrap then put them back in the pirex, then stuffed them all in the freezer. My plan is to use marshmallow frosting and fresh raspberries to decorate.
No blender or food processor, so I microwaved the raspberries and butter together then used a hand mixer to get a pretty even consistency. I didn’t bother to measure it out; the whole bag didn’t seem like a ridiculous amount to me, so I used it all :) I went ahead and added dry to wet because the wet was in the big bowl already and it worked fine.
With raspberries, the seeds definitely survive the baking process. We don’t mind (the seeds are her favorite part, the weirdo) but something to keep in mind.
I’ve made this the past four years for my daughter’s birthday. It is a huge hit! This year I followed the advice of another commenter and added leftover puréed strawberries to the frosting. I also put thinly sliced strawberries between the cake layers. These additions really amped up the strawberry flavor! You have to add the strawberry purée to the frosting in small doses and watch the consistency bc the frosting does get thinned out but it was definitely a step worth taking!
I’ve made this cake twice, and after the first time felt (like other commenters) that the strawberry flavor was a bit lacking. I had a eureka moment, having recently made a America’s Test Kitchen strawberry ice ream recipe which used freeze dried strawberries (in addition to fresh) to up the strawberry flavor. On my second attempt, I added an ounce of freeze dried strawberries to the thawed strawberries before pureeing in my food processor. I noticed no major change in the chemistry of the recipe, the cakes still baked up beautifully. The end result was a more pronounced, though still very much balanced and nuanced, strawberry flavor in the cake. It wasn’t like you ate a spoonful of strawberry jam, but you could legitimately taste the wonderful natural strawberry flavor. I purchased my freeze dried strawberries from Trader Joe’s, so they should be widely available. Cheers!
I’ve made this cake a half dozen times now. Obviously I love it and am always (always!) asked for the recipe. I’ve thought about trying the recipe with other pureed fruit and finally made it yesterday with passion fruit puree from a local Latino grocery store (Goya brand frozen puree). It was amazing and I highly recommend trying this (but only after you’ve had it with strawberry – it’s still #1) if you love passion fruit. Goya also makes a frozen mango puree that I want to try. The only change I would make next time is using a stabilized whipped cream frosting instead of my usual buttercream – the passion fruit flavor is intense and needs a less sweet frosting IMO. Thanks again, Deb, for my favorite cake recipe.
Could I easily change this to 2 9″ cake pans? Thanks.
I’d 2/3 the recipe or I suppose you could make 2 thicker layers instead.
How do you do 2/3 of ingredients like eggs or the 2/3 c. milk? Won’t the ratios be off? Or do you just estimate it. I’d also like to do two 9” cakes. Thanks!
For the egg, you can pour a little off, or just add it whole, i.e. rounding up. I use my calculator on my phone a lot for the rest!
My resolution for 2017 is to learn how to make delicious birthday cakes from scratch; this recipe was at the top of my list! Successfully made it with frozen mixed berries (raspberries, blackberries, & blueberries) that I defrosted, pureed, and then strained to remove the seeds. My cake is a gorgeous purple and tastes mostly like blueberries. Heeding some previous comments, I creamed the butter with sugar, added the fruit puree, then alternating dry and wet ingredients (starting & ending with the dry). I can’t wait to try this again with strawberries!
Hello, can this recipe be made into cupcakes instead of the large layered cake? Thanks!
I have made this cake several times (cupcakes and in layers) with almond butter cream (per request of a friend), and it has always been delicious. However this week I made it for different friends, and decided to amp-up the strawberry flavor a bit. I followed the recipes for cake and cream cheese frosting as written (thanks, Deb!), but on the filling layers, added red slurry made of good quality strawberry preserves and fresh lime juice to taste. I slathered it directly on the cake, and it was a great offset to the yummy cream cheese frosting!
For everyone asking about cupcakes – yes it can be done! Just like in *most* cake recipes that you want to convert to cupcakes, it may take a little less time to bake, so set the timer to earlier and just keep an eye on it.
OR – do Control + F (PC) or Command + F (Mac) and use the Find function by typing in the word cupcake. Lots of people have made cupcakes from this recipe, and you can use Find to see results on each one! :)
I have made this cake several times and it is delicious! It has a true strawberry flavor. However, the last two times I made it, the cake came out incredibly dense. The taste was good, but it was too heavy. Any idea what I can do differently?
Absolutely scrumptious. Made it for my sister’s 18th birthday party and did 2 layers one night and kept the 3rd for the following night. The cake was super moist and tasted amazing. The pink added a special touch. Thanks for another great cake!
I have a Wilton Cake form that is bowl-shaped to form the skirt of a princess (with a metal tube down the center to dispense heat. Would this cake perform well for that?
I think so; this seems to hold shapes pretty well.
I was so proud of myself as I have not made a layer cake in forever. My family really liked it. My only complaint would be that I used all-purpose flour and I wish I had used cake flour. It was a little dense and had a flour-y flavor. But it was pink! And the frosting was amazing!
And I have to add that it was even better the second and third day outta the fridge.
This might sound naive, but how do you make the strawberry puree? Do I thaw the frozen strawberries, then put them in the food processor? I’m also hoping to make cupcake for my strawberry-loving 4yo’s birthday next weekend.
The book notes that she actually prefers the consistency of frozen strawberries here, you can blend them still frozen in a food processor or blender. You should need about half of a 1-pound bag for this recipe.
My daughter used the blender, but I think she avoided excess liquid. Whole frozen strawberries are best.
I’m making these into cupcakes for a kids’ (girl and boy) birthday party. I would advise everyone to thaw the strawberries before adding them to the batter or else you’ll end up with a unmixable dough! I pureed mine frozen in the blender and added them. It turned into a frozen chunk. I had to thaw my bowl in a hot water bath in the sink for 15 minutes before I could proceed. They’re coming out well now, though!
My wife’s birthday was last week, and she requested a cake with fruity flavors, and I had a vision of a pink lemonade cake.
So I Googled “pink lemonade cake” and found horrible things that involved adding cans of frozen pink lemonade to cake mixes. And then – duh – I turned to Smitten Kitchen.
I used the Pink Lady Cake as a base, filled it with Meyer lemon curd, and frosted it with lemon buttercream. In a happy coincidence, the yolks for the curd left exactly enough whites for the cake. I also brushed each layer with strawberry syrup – water, frozen strawberries, strawberry jelly, simmered together and strained – to keep it moist and up the strawberry flavor. And since I was using red food coloring anyway, I thought I’d go all Pinterest-y and ombre it – each layer was a darker shade of pink.
There *may* have also been tiny little pink flamingos and pink sprinkles and curly -cue pink candles involved in decorating it. I can neither confirm nor deny.
Oh! I also meant to say that I referenced the “10 Tips for Layer Cakes” post and the wedding cake posts a lot, and they were SUPER helpful. The only thing that I still had to learn on the fly was the dangers of stacking cakes on curd. It suddenly seemed pretty obvious when I was catching cakes as they slid off of each other, but, curd is, uh… slippery when warm.
Will I like this cake If I am a wavering dairy free, i.e. withoight the frosting?
Another blogger had a recipe adapted from this and they noted that the egg whites should not be from a carton, but I use carton egg whites for my cakes all the time and was curious if it was OK to use in this recipe as well. I have been hunting for a strawberry cake recipe and I also prefer the reverse creaming method so this is perfect. Thank you.
I’m not sure why they noted that (I haven’t) or why it wouldn’t work. I’d think egg whites are egg whites. I’ve even used egg white powder before (reconstituted) in baked goods before without much trouble.
Thanks so much! I can’t wait to try this recipe.
Could you use a different fruit for the puree, like peaches?
Hi! I was just wondering if you use frozen strawberries with sugar added or no sugar? I made these in cupcake form and they tasted a lot like flour and little strawberry taste. Maybe I added too much of the cake flour… Anyways, let me know about the frozen strawberries :)
No added sugar — I wasn’t aware of any other kind, to be honest.
Oh my lord. I just made this for my favorite pink lady for her birthday and it is AMAZING. Everyone loved how dense the cake is – it’s like eating delicious strawberry velvet. I wish I had added more red food coloring because the cake was hardly pink – luckily I made the frosting pink too. This is definitely part of my cake repertoire from now on!!
I am about to attempt this cake and would love to see it updated with weights. Yes, I am a friend of my scale.
I too desired weights so to be honest, I just went ahead and did my own converting via google – “1 cup of sugar in grams” type style. A bit longer but worked out lovely!
Ok, 5th time making this recipe! This time in a time crunch I made a half recipe as cupcakes. Exactly 1/2 recipe perfectly filled 18 cupcakes. I add puréed strawberries to frosting and per nick’s advice will try freeze dried strawberries in purée next time!
I think I would add more strawberries next time. The flavor is subtle and the flour flavor comes through more. Also be aware this is almost too much battery for a kitchenaid stand mixer! I had to use the splash guard and cover the opening with a plate to keep bits from coming out.
This was already kind of asked but if I want to make a rectangular 2 layer cake 9X13 do I still 2/3 the recipe or should I use the full recipe since the cake is now increasing in diameter? I also want to do buttercream frosting. How would I do this. Should I use one of your butter cream recipes? Maybe this one https://smittenkitchen.com/2008/07/project-wedding-cake-swiss-buttercream/ but then I am between 9″ cake and a wedding cake. Help:-)
2 9-inch round cake layers = 1 9×13 layer of the same thickness, to help get you started. For a 2-layer 9×13-inch cake 2/3 the height of this one, you’d want to increase it by 1/3, so basically make 133% the recipe. If you want it the same thickness as this but just poured over 2 layers instead of 3, you’ll want to double the whole thing. That buttercream is great; it’s less sweet, more butter, and smooth than many.
Thank you very much! I hope my math is up to speed for this. One more thing. How long do I bake the 2-layer 9X13 and how many degrees?
Same temperature, not sure about time but it’s probably not that different. Check in earlier rather than later.
Sorry to bother you yet again. I need to make a picture with the frosting. Which is the best type of frosting to use? Should I use swiss butter cream like I planed? Can I food color that, or should I use American Frosting which is what you used for the Monkey cake.
Wonderful! Made this for my 5-year old’s birthday party. My layers were quite lopsided, though, but it gave the cake some real homemade character, ha. I didn’t make the icing you suggest here, but I did a buttercream instead since it was going to sit out for awhile. Thanks for another home run recipe!
Would this cake (or any other of your cakes) hold up well to carving into a dome shape? My toddler is really into basketballs at the moment!
Just want to make sure the strawberries are measured after they are puréed?
Yes, they are.
Sorry, Deb. I hadn’t seen this. My question is answered. Thanks!
Sorry for a silly question here. Am I right in thinking the egg whites aren’t whipped for this recipe? Presumably because there’s baking powder you don’t need the whites for rise but to keep the cake pale in colour. Just wanted to check before I make this for my daughter’s 3rd birthday next week. Thanks!
Has anyone tried these as cupcakes? I’m going to a Galentines Party next week and I think this would be perfect. It’s one of my favorite cakes to make, hands down, but I’m thinking of halving the recipe and making cupcakes instead. (Images of pink cream cheese frosting and adorable sprinkles are already swimming in my head!)
I don’t have cake flour can I use all purpose flour?
Hey Deb! Just wondering if you could add weights to the recipe? Thank you!
If I make this the day before my daughter’s birthday, can it sit out overnight or do I put it in the fridge? I’m worried about the cream cheese frosting. Thanks!
is this a good cake to make in advance and freeze?
Alright, I made the cake yesterday but I just went through ALL of the comments today. I followed the recipe but I did some things incorrectly. I pureed frozen strawberries and added them to the batter. My mixer had trouble but I just let it go for a long time. I’m not sure if this would end up making the cake tougher. I also was unsure about whipping the egg whites. I actually whipped them with the milk but only until it I ran out of room in my bowl (it was very soft and watery and not stiff peaks). I did add 2 drops of food coloring and it didn’t make a difference. My cake definitely took longer to bake (I’m guessing b/c of the frozen strawberries) and it was on the denser side (but definitely not scone/bread-like). After reading ALL of the comments, I’ve learned that it is a denser cake. I definitely tasted the strawberries but I did think the cake was a little too sweet. We ate it plain so I’m not sure if it would taste sweeter or better with the cream cheese frosting.
This was a trial run for my daughter’s birthday and I froze one of the layers. I will make this again with defrosted strawberries, less sugar, and more food coloring. I am tempted to try this the normal way instead of reverse creaming to see if it will be a lighter cake.
I’ve made this cake at least a dozen times and it always turns out great. You definitely need to thaw the strawberries before pureeing them and adding them. Did you use frozen sweetened strawberries? I have never found the cake to be too sweet but using already sweetened strawberries would likely make it so. Changing the amount of sugar will change the texture so be aware of that if that’s what you decide to do. Also, it doesn’t say to whip the egg whites and milk – only to whisk them together to combine. Super easy cake to make.
Deb, I am going to try this for my daughter’s first birthday. Could I make the cake 4-5 days in advance and freeze the cake layers? How soon before the party would I need to remove the frozen cake to frost it? Thank you!
What’s the recommended frosting for those who have tried the cream cheese and buttercream–swiss buttercream? I’m tempted to try a strawberry Swiss buttercream, which I’ve never made before…
Myra— Strawberry swiss buttercream is totally possible, and I think it would be perfect on this cake (I’m doing that, myself)! If you’ve never made SMB before, go with the standard recipe on your first try. Adding purees can make things tricky, but it’s totally doable.
A tip from a chef friend says to add the puree + a crapload of lemon juice to bring out the fruity, strawberry flavor. The buttercream will likely “break,” due to the addition of the acid, but you really can’t ruin SMB, which is what I love about it, even though it’s extra work.
Chill, add more butter, set the Kitchenaid on a slow whip with a paddle, not a whisk…. step away and watch the magic happen. LOVE.
Gonna try it!
Could you add puréed strawberries to the cream cheese frosting? Would add the pink color, plus amp up the strawberry flavor!
Hmmmm….. thinking about adding a tablespoon or two of beet juice to darken the pink, instead of food dye! Thank you so much! Strawberry cake recipes are SO hard to find. What on earth?!
P.S. I’m making a half sheet. Deb, if you’re even still following these comments over the course of literally 10 years, how many cups of batter would guesstimate this recipe makes?
I can’t wait to make my sweet 3-year old’s utterly pink birthday party complete with this lovely cake!
Update: Single recipe as written is the perfect quantity for a half sheet pan. Sweet.
Hi Deb…. would it work if I use liquid egg whites instead of fresh egg whites? Thanks :)
I made this cake recently for my son’s 4th birthday. I did a half sheet cake, and based on other comments, increased the recipe by 1/3. (My half sheet pan had 2” sides so I thought I needed a little extra height on the cake.) I added a whole package of freeze-dried strawberries (Trader Joe’s brand), pulsed to a powder in the food processor and mixed in with the strawberry purée. I also used fresh strawberries since they were in season. Other than that, I followed the recipe. I have a Kitchen Aid Pro 5 quart (the bowl-lift model), and the batter came pretty close to filling the bowl. I had a few moments where I held my breath, but thankfully my mixer kept up and didn’t bump off the counter.
It took a little over an hour to bake (I started checking at 45min I think). But it baked up beautifully. And it was definitely worth the effort. It was dense but not heavy, with a tender crumb and a pleasant tang. I used buttercream frosting and I thought it went really well with it. It was a total hit with preschoolers and adults alike. I’m honestly looking for an excuse to make it again, it was so delicious!
I just want to know if I can replace regular flour with almond flour?
You might try a little but I’m not sure I would do a full swap without testing it on a smaller scale first to be safe (like maybe scale it down to one cake layer).
Could this be done as cupcakes?
some tips and experiences with this recipe:
i found it easier to make this using the “creaming” method of cake-making.
4 eggs works great, and the differences are so minimal i usually don’t mess with the whites-only.
it’s way better w soured milk or buttermilk. (can use lemon juice or any kind of vinegar to sour the milk, best if it sits for at least 30 min). also it’s lovely if you use heavy cream mixed in with the milk. i’ve also used sour cream/creme fraiche/yogurt to thicken/sour the milk, all with great results.
careful – this cake goes from gooey to burnt more quickly than others (in my experience). best to undercook it than to burn it. i tend to bake it at a slightly lower temp in order to prevent dark bottom (esp. for cupcakes).
makes about 36 full sized cupcakes. also makes a 3-layer 6 inch cake + 18 full sized cupcakes. it’s a large recipe so halving it might make sense…tho i stopped doing that, and just making an extra cake or cupcakes and freezing it for some future cake emergency.
it’s best with cream cheese frosting. it’s amazing if you add a little sour cream or creme fraiche to the cream cheese frosting. and/or add some lemon zest to the frosting, you won’t regret it.
this is a little bit denser than other cakes, which is a texture i prefer. it also makes it great for building tall tiers and/or lots of layers.
Hi! I practiced this cake over the weekend and it was amazing! I’d like to make it for my daughter’s first birthday. Do you have thoughts on how to make a smash cake to go with it? I was thinking about making a 4the layer and shaping that for her. What do you think?
That’s exactly how I’d do it. 1 9-inch cake = the volume of 2 6-inch cakes, so you can even make a mini-layer cake.
I made this cake and it broke two of our hand-mixers beating the batter. Any idea what went wrong? It was delicious though!
No, I have no idea why it would break two hand-mixers, that’s bonkers. Was the batter too thick for them?
Hi! I had the same experience today while making this cake. I followed the recipe but I think where I erred was to not completely thaw out my berries before adding to the batter. The combination of a lot of flour, cold berries and the butter hardening from the cold made the batter extremely thick and while trying to carefully cream it, my hand blender blew a fuse and went kaput. I saved it though! I put the milk and egg mixture in my stand mixer and added the thick batter gradually. Came out beautifully. Deb, I would maybe add a note in the recipe stating “make sure strawberries are fully thawed out before adding to mix” I thought after I did it “maybe this isn’t such a good idea?” But luckily it turned out.
How long would you suggest baking 6-inch layers of this cake? Thanks for a lovely recipe!
Halve the recipe. The baking time will be a little less, but not half.
I made this today for my baby girl’s 2nd birthday. But I made it with blackberries (because I’m not ready for pink) and made a bunny (as in your design from the peaches and cream cake) out of the top layer. I made peaches and cream cupcakes for her 1st because I’m a true devotee… but was daunted by the bunny last year.
The layers baked up tall and a bit dense (I did not use cake flour bc I just didn’t want to go to the store again) but flavorful and lavenderish. It served a large crowd with quite a bit left over.
I just have to comment (although I know no one is likely reading this!) and say that I have made this cake about 100 times in the three years since I discovered it. It’s the best baby shower/bridal shower/30th birthday/3 year old boy’s fire truck party/4 year old boy’s policeman party/2 year old girls Minnie Mouse party/etc cake! It comes out perfectly every time and gets rave reviews. Have strawberries thawing and egg whites coming to room temperature now (way ahead of my game today) and we can’t wait! Thanks, Deb.
Do you have a weight measurement for the egg whites?
I’m going to make it for my 12-guest wedding dinner and want to have a middle chocolate layer, hence wondering how to make 2/3 of the recipe.
Worst case, I can crack in 8 egg whites and weigh out 2/3 of that..
I made this for my daughters 3rd birthday but with the chocolate fudge frosting from the monkey cake. Everybody loved it!
Pink Lady cake happens to be my favorite. When our club threw a breast cancer awareness “Pink Party” this October, I knew exactly what to make! This recipe is incredible.
I ended up making cupcakes for the event. I baked them at 350 for 23 minutes, and they turned out perfectly!
I’m trying to make a 12″ version of this. How would I calculate how to scale it up?
Hi. I made this for my friend’s birthday and it tasted amazing. Thank you for the recipe!