This wonderfully vintage strawberry cake recipe uses the best of all worlds : a cake mix to make it quick, fresh strawberries to enjoy the bounty of the season AND a strawberry buttercream frosting that will blow your mind!
Preheat your oven to 350°. Prepare the 2 cups of crushed strawberries,
Grease two 8 inch round baking pans, then line the bottoms with parchment paper. Butter the top of the parchment paper as well.
In a large bowl attached to a stand mixer, or using a hand mixer, add the cake mix and gelatin. Whisk together until combined.
Add in the milk, oil and eggs
Beat the mixture on low speed for 30 seconds, then beat on medium 2 minutes. ( just like regular cake mix instructions on the box)
Mix in one cup of crushed strawberries on low speed.
Divide the batter between the two pans evenly.
Tap the pans on the counter gently a few times to release the air bubbles.
Place the pans into the oven.
Bake the cakes until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, approximately 30-35 minutes.
Remove from the oven and cool the cakes in the pans for around 10 minutes. Remove to wire racks, flipping over gently, then remove the parchment paper.
Cool the cakes on the rack completely. IF baking on a hot day, freezing the cake layers helps when icing it! Simply place in your freezer (not stacked or they will stick!) for an hour or two to completely chill them.
In a large bowl attached to a stand mixer or using a hand mixer, beat the butter until creamy and smooth. Add in the cream cheese, and beat again until smooth.
Beat in a half cup of crushed strawberries and the vanilla extract.
Gradually beat in enough confectioners’ sugar to reach desired consistency and sweetness.
Assemble the cake by placing the first layer on the serving plate or platter you will use to serve. Spread some icing over the top, then place the remaining 1/2 cup of crushed strawberries on top in the very middle. (see photo)
Place the other cake layer on top, pushing down gently to spread out the crushed strawberries in the middle, but try not to let the filling leak out the sides. Spread the rest of the frosting over the top and sides of the cake to cover.
Place the iced cake in the refrigerator and refrigerate for 1-2 hours. The icing needs to get nice and cold to set for slicing.
When ready to serve, remove the cake from the refrigerator and slice.
I used 6 cups of icing sugar for my icing. How much you use will depend on how juicy your strawberries are, how much water content is in your butter and cream cheese , and your own personal tastes.
This needs to be refrigerated for a few hours before eating!
You don't need to use all of the icing. If desired, halve the recipe and make a thin glaze instead. It all depends on how much icing sugar you add.