Strawberry Supreme Birthday Cake
It’s my niece’s 4th birthday tomorrow. I have no idea how this kid is four already. I swear it was just yesterday I was sitting in the hospital room when she was wheeled in from the delivery with her mom, swaddled in her little burrito blanket. Time really does fly when it comes to kids, even when you’re just helping raise them.
I know I’m biased, but she really is such a sweetheart. I love her to death and feel blessed to have been able to be a major part of her life.
I’ve been making her cakes for her day for the past two years. Last years was this Funfetti Cake. This year when I asked her what kind she wanted, she didn’t hesitate to reply: “Strawberry Cake, Auntie.”
I had my marching orders. A Strawberry Birthday Cake it was.
What first comes to y’all’s minds when you hear Strawberry Cake?
If you’re like me, maybe you thought about strawberry shortcake–which is delicious, but I also knew wasn’t what my niece was talking about. There’s strawberry shortcake; a fluffy biscuit-y cake that’s served with whipped cream and strawberries. Then, there’s the Strawberry Cake; a pink colored cake that usually comes from a box mix. I loved it myself as a kid, and what little kid wouldn’t? It’s pink. It’s EXTREMELY sweet. 9 times out of 10 it’s spread with pink frosting.
What’s the problem? Well, that cake is just so overly sweet and artificial tasting. The ‘strawberry’ flavor and color often comes from the addition of a packet of strawberry jello packet. While this may not make a huge difference to a four year old little girl, it sure makes a difference to her 27 year old foodie and baker auntie who doesn’t like to have anything to do with box cake mixes.
I still wanted to give my baby what she wanted though: a yummy, pretty strawberry birthday cake. Guess what? I think I did, even sans cake mix.
I won’t lie: layer cakes of any kind take patience and time. They can be a labor of love, and this cake is no exception. However, I’ve found that the work can be spread out over two days so that you’re not so rushed or in the kitchen for hours at a time by baking the cakes themselves on Day 1, refrigerating them overnight, then making the filling/frostings and assembling the whole thing on Day 2.
And I do have to say, the work is one hundred percent worth it. I don’t think this cake could be more of a Strawberry Cake if it tried: strawberries are literally in EVERY SINGLE part of it. There are pureed strawberries in the batter. The cake is filled with a fresh strawberry curd. The frosting is mixed with even more pureed strawberries.
Strawberry on strawberry on strawberry.
The cake bakes up very moist and fluffy. The only downside was that the pureed strawberries in the batter did sink to the bottom of the pans. But that turned out okay too because they just melded together more with the strawberry curd. I’ve made lemon curd before, but never strawberry. This one was extremely easy to do and the result is a tart, smooth curd which gives a real punch of strawberry freshness to the overall taste of the cake. I think it might be the best part, to be honest. The frosting isn’t overly sweet thanks to the addition of the cream cheese to the butter and powdered sugar. And the scoop of the fresh strawberry puree gave it that pretty in pink tint that I knew my niece would love.
Linking this post with Fiesta Friday #161, co-hosted this week by Laura @ Feast Wisely.
Strawberry Supreme Birthday Cake
Recipe Adapted from Taste of the South Magazine
- 2 cups fresh strawberries
- 2½ cups cake flour
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup ice water
- ½ cup whole milk
- ½ cup buttermilk
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup butter shortening, at room temp
- 1 ¾ cups granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 3 large egg whites, at room temp
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
For Strawberry Curd Filling
- 1 (16-ounce) package frozen sliced strawberries in syrup, thawed and drained
- 1⁄2 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 3 egg yolks, lightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1⁄4 cup butter, cut into pieces
- 1 teaspoon strawberry extract
For Strawberry Frosting
- 1⁄2 cup butter, softened
- 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
- 1⁄2 cup reserved strawberry purée (from Strawberry Curd)
- 1 teaspoon strawberry extract
- 6 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
Preheat oven to 325 °. Flour, grease and line three round 8 or 9 inch cake pans with wax paper or parchment paper. Set aside.
Pulse strawberries in a food processor or blender until well blended, but still with some chunks inside. Set aside in a small bowl. In a medium bowl, sift together the cake flour, all purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In a small bowl, combine the ice water, whole milk and buttermilk. In bowl of a standing mixer or using a handheld mixer, cream together the butter and shortening until creamy, about 3-4 minutes. Add the sugar and vanilla, mixing another 3 minutes. Add the egg and beat just until combined. Alternating adding the flour mixture and the milk mixture to the bowl, starting and ending with flour mixture, scraping down the sides of the bowl with spatula to ensure it’s well mixed. Remove this mixture to another bowl, & wipe out thoroughly. Using clean beaters, place the egg whites and cream of tartar together in the bowl at medium speed, beating until soft peaks form. Using a spatula, fold the egg whites into the cake batter. Fold in the strawberries. Divide the batter evenly between the three pans, smoothing the tops with spatula. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted inside cakes comes out clean. Let cool in pans for 20 minutes before removing from pans and letting cool completely on wire racks.
For Curd: Pour the drained strawberries into a food processor or blender and pulse until smooth. Remove and reserve 1/2 cup of t he puree for the Strawberry frosting. In a medium saucepan, add the strawberries, sugar, cornstarch, egg yolks and lemon juice over medium heat, whisking constantly until thickened; about 7-8 minutes., Remove from heat and add the butter in chunks, then the strawberry extract. Let mixture cool slightly, cover with a piece of plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours before using.
For Frosting: Cream together the butter and cream cheese in bowl of a standing mixer or using a handheld one until fluffy. Add the reserved strawberry puree and the extract and mix until just combined. Add the confectioner’s sugar one cup at a time and beat together until smooth and creamy.
To Assemble: Level the tops of each cake. Line the edges of a cake platter with strips of parchment paper to keep the platter clean while you assemble the cake. Place one cake layer on the platter. Pipe a border of frosting around the edges of the cake. Spread about half of the strawberry curd inside the border, smoothing with a spatula. Top with another cake layer and repeat process. Top with final cake layer. Spread entire cake with just frosting enough over the top and sides to make a crumb coat. (It should be thin). Refrigerate cake for one hour until the crumb coat is firm. Finish spreading the remainder of the frosting on the cake, decorating with sprinkles if desired. Remove the parchment strips from the platter before serving.
45 thoughts on “Strawberry Supreme Birthday Cake”
Your strawberry cake looks incredible! I love that you added real strawberries so many times! I used to work at a tea room that had an amazing strawberry cake kind of like this. I need to try your recipe! -Julia
Thank you Julia, I have to say that I think this cake would fit in very well at a tea room 😉
Very Pretty! And delicious😋
It is both! Thank you 😉
Wow, gorgeous cake Jess. I love that pink frosting, so pretty and sounds delicious!!
Thanks Suzanne, I’m quite proud of how this cake turned out 🙂
FABULOUS!! Great job. 🙂 I want some!
I would most definitely give you some if I could lol Thank you Josette 🙂
Yummy!! This is a BEAUTIFUL cake!!
Thank you, I appreciate that 🙂
What an amazing cake! So much strawberry goodness (:
Thank you, my goal was to cram as much strawberry goodness into the cake as I could get, and I think I pulled it off rather nicely lol
Taking that as a compliment lol Thank you Anuradha 😉
Oh! yes.That is a compliment. Pleasure is all mine Jess.
This is really a Supreme Birthday Cake 😍 looks fantastic!
Thank you so much, it got great reviews around here so I know it couldn’t have been too shabby lol 😉
Lucky girl! X
Lol thanks Elaine, she’s a great kid, she deserved a great cake 😉
That’s so lovely xx
Wow now this is impressive Jess – love the strawberry on strawberry and admire all the hard work that went into this cake….thanks for sharing as part of Fiesta Friday 161!
Thank you Laura, I’m proud to be able to share it 🙂
This cake sounds amazing! I love your use of fresh strawberries!
Thank you Cindy; the fresh strawberries really do make all the difference in the cake itself 🙂
This is one beautiful cake, Jess. Your niece is lucky to have such a talented baker and loving Aunt in the family! My comment went to another recipe for some reason? User error I am sure! LOL
Lol that’s odd Julie, but thank you very much for the compliment anyway 🙂
That’s the prettiest cake in the whole world, Aunt Jess! Lucky, lucky girl! I used to make my kids’ birthday cakes when they were smaller. Every time I finished it was like mission accomplished! The real mission accomplished! 😄
Aww, thanks Angie. I do try and I think this is my new favorite cake I’ve made for her 😉
So adorable! I want to make this for my daughter’s birthday next year! I love the way you post your recipe photography btw.
Awesome! I can personally vouch for it as kid approved lol Thanks so much 🙂
This cake looks fantastic, and I love the idea of strawberry curd filling! Great job!
You’re so kind to say so; thank you 🙂
You get the “Best Auntie” award! I’m so impressed! Looks amazing.
Thanks again, I was quite proud of how this cake turned out 🙂
Wow! I would love to try a piece of this cake. It looks succulent.
It went over very well; thank you!
Sounds really yummy!!
Thank you, it really is 🙂
This is gorgeous… your niece is very lucky 🙂
Thank you, I’m very proud of how the cake turned out. 🙂
Oh wow this must be a 4-year-old’s dream cake (and mine haha)! Looks stunning.
Thank you Siri, I’m 27 and I’d still love to have this cake for my birthday just as much as my niece loved it for hers 🙂
2 cups of strawberries before they are put in the blender or after….
2 cups of fresh strawberries before they are blended.
Thank you! I figured and just went with it! Cake was so good! Thank you!