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5 from 2 votes

Fresh Strawberry Cake

A moist yellow cake infused with fresh strawberries, filled with a strawberry-lemon jam, and covered with a strawberry cream cheese frosting.
Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time1 hr 25 mins
Servings: 20 servings
Calories: 756kcal
Author: Lucy Brewer

Ingredients

Strawberry-Lemon Filling

  • 2 1/2 cups coarsely chopped fresh strawberries
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch

Cake

  • 3 1/2 cups cake flour spooned and leveled (do not use anything other than cake flour)
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter diced into cubes
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup chopped fresh strawberries
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter slightly softened
  • 16 ounces cream cheese slightly softened
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 5 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup chopped fresh strawberries

Instructions

Strawberry-Lemon Filling

  • Puree strawberries in a blender until smooth. Press through a wire mesh strainer into a large saucepan and discard any pulp. Stir in sugar.
  • Whisk cornstarch and lemon juice together and gently whisk into strawberries. Bring to a boil over medium-heat and cook, stirring constantly for one minute.
  • Remove from heat and allow to rest about ten minutes. Pour into bowl and press plastic wrap directly on top of filling. Chill until no longer warm.
  • Filling can be made up to one week ahead.

Cake

  • Butter and flour three 9-inch cake pans. You will also have enough leftover batter to make almost a dozen cupcakes so prepare a cupcake pan as well.
  • Line the pans with parchment paper and lightly grease the parchment paper.
  • Place a large bowl, beaters, and whipping cream in freezer for five minutes. (I use my hand mixer for this step.)
  • Using stand mixer, beat flour and baking powder for 30 seconds at medium speed. Transfer flour to a large bowl and set aside. Add sugar to the mixing bowl. Heat water to a simmer and add to sugar.
  • Beat to dissolve sugar. Beat in butter, vanilla, and salt. Add canola oil and beat on medium.
  • Add about one-third of flour and blend on low. Add the remaining flour and mix until just blended. Stir in egg yolks one at a time by hand. Stir in eggs one at a time by hand.
  • Remove bowl, beaters, and cream from freezer. Whip cream just beyond soft peaks. Stir in 1/3 of whipped cream and then gently fold in the rest.
  • Stir the tablespoon of flour into the chopped strawberries. Gently stir the strawberries into the cake batter.
  • Pour batter into the cake pans about halfway, no more than 2/3 of the pan. Pour remaining batter into prepared cupcake pans. Drop pans on counter from about 5 inches in the air to release air bubbles.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes, until cake springs back in the middle and toothpick comes out clean.
  • Place parchment paper on wire racks. Cool cake in pans on wire rack for 10 minutes, then turn out onto parchment paper covered wire rack and cool completely.

Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Cream butter, cream cheese, shortening, salt, and vanilla. Add lemon juice. Gradually add confectioner's sugar, starting with just 4 cups.
  • You may add additional sugar in 1/2 cup increments until you get the taste and consistency that you want. I tend to like a stiffer frosting that's a little less sweet so I usually use about 6 cups.
  • When frosting is the consistency you want, gently stir in the chopped strawberries. If you get the frosting too loose then stick it in the refrigerator for half an hour.

Putting it together

  • Place bottom layer on cake plate.
  • If your layers are mounded, use a long bread knife to cut off the mound and make them flat.
  • Spread about one cup of strawberry lemon filling on bottom layer. (You may want to use less, but we like a lot so I'm generous.)
  • Spread about 1/2 cup of strawberry cream cheese frosting on top of jam. (See note above--may want to use a little less.)
  • Place second layer next and repeat with jam and frosting.
  • Place third layer on top.
  • I use dowels to hold the layers in place. If you don't have dowels, you can use drinking straws and cut them the height of the cake. It's a good idea to use something to hold them because the frosting and jam will make them slide.
  • Finish frosting top and sides of cake and place cake in refrigerator until half an hour before serving. You should have plenty of frosting leftover for the cupcakes.