This cake is the perfect addition to your Easter spread. And for all of you obsessed with the color pink (like me), this cake will make you so giddy with delight you may not even want to eat it. But you will… 😉
The Strawberry Cake is light, fluffy and ultra moist. The cream cheese frosting off sets the sweetness of the cake and compliments it perfectly. I used stabilized whipped cream between the layers to add another texture to the cake. It’s absolutely delicious and so very pretty, so give it a try!
Strawberry Ombre Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
(Makes 1 four layer, 6″ cake)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon strawberry extract (sub: raspberry extract)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups cake flour
1 3 oz. package Strawberry Jello
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 large egg whites
Stabilized Whipped Cream:
1/4 cup cold water
1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 Tablespoon white sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray four 6″ cake pans with cooking spray, next line the bottom and sides of pan with parchment or wax paper (this makes the cakes pop out of the pans so easily – no torn edges, yay!) 2. For Strawberry Cake: Mix butter and sugar together with a hand mixer, beat at medium speed for a full 3 minutes, until the butter and sugar are very light. Beat in the extracts.
3. Sift together the flour, Jello, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl.
4. Whisk together the milk, oil and egg whites in a medium bowl. Alternately add the milk mixture and the flour mixture to the butter/sugar mixture, mixing thoroughly after each addition, and ending with the flour.
5. Divide batter evenly into four separate bowls and tint each one with red food coloring (start with a couple drops in the first bowl and tint each bowl darker pink).
6. Pour into prepared cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 18-24 minutes, or until cake is golden brown on top and springs back when touched.
7. Cool in pan for 20 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. **Important – cake must be completely cooled before its frosted. If you’re in a hurry, stick the cakes in a fridge for 1 hour to rush the process.
8. While waiting for cake to cool, prepare frosting. For Cream Cheese Frosting: 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.
9. For Stabilized Whipped Cream: Chill mixing bowl and beaters for at least 15 minutes before using. Place water in a small microwave-safe bowl. Sprinkle gelatin over water and allow to soften 5 minutes.
10. Dissolve gelatin by microwaving for 3 minutes, stirring after every minute. Remove from microwave and let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes; gelatin must be liquid but not warm when added to cream.
11. Remove bowl and beaters from refrigerator and pour in cream, sugar, and vanilla extract. Beat together just until beater marks begin to show distinctly.
12. Add gelatin mixture to cream, pouring in a steady stream while beating constantly. Beat until stiff peaks form. Use immediately.
13. Now it’s time to frost! Start with the darkest pink layer on the bottom. Spread the top of that layer with some whipped cream. Repeat with remaining cake layers. Next frost the outside and top of the cake with cream cheese frosting. I like to do a “dirty icing” layer, then refrigerate the cake for 1 hour, then frost with the remaining frosting. This will give the cake a clean, crumb-less look.
14. Dig in!