Our Strawberry Dream Cake definitely lives up to its name – it is soooo dreamy! This strawberry cake paired with pink buttercream strawberry frosting was created by Jennifer Farley at Savory Simple. There are a few extra steps to make this beautiful strawberry layer cake so it takes a bit more time to prepare, but if you’re looking for that special dessert that makes a statement, it is so worth it!
Strawberry Dream Cake
- ¼ cup strawberry puree room temperature (made from frozen strawberries, see below)
- 1 cup half and half room temperature
- 1½ Tbsp vanilla extract
- 2 Tbsp fresh orange juice
- 10 oz all purpose flour
- 3 oz potato starch
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- ¾ tsp salt
- Zest of 2 oranges about 2 Tbsp
- 12 oz sugar
- 8 oz 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
- 4 large eggs room temperature
- 3-4 drops red food coloring
Strawberry Buttercream Meringue Frosting
- 16 oz sugar
- ½ cup water
- 1 tsp light corn syrup
- 6 large egg whites
- 20 oz 5 sticks butter, cubed at room temperature
- ½ cup strawberry puree
- 1½ Tbsp fresh squeezed orange juice
- Optional: 1-2 drops red food coloring
To make Puree:
- Place a handful frozen strawberries in a blender and puree on high speed until smooth. Divide the mixture into 1/4 cup for the cake and 1/2 cup for the buttercream.
To make Strawberry Cake:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare 3, 8-in. cake pans. One way to ensure that the cake never sticks is to spray the pans well with baking spray, then line each pan with a parchment round, and then again lightly spray the parchment. Butter or shortening and flour are an alternative to the baking spray. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine the puree, half and half, vanilla, and orange juice. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, potato starch, baking powder, salt and zest.
- In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium-high until light and fluffy, approximately 7-8 minutes. Slow down the speed and add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the side of the bowl after each egg.
- Alternate between adding the wet and dry ingredients, beginning and ending with the dry. Scrape down the bowl as needed and don’t over-mix.
- Divide the mixture in half. In one bowl, add a few drops of red food coloring and mix well (gel food coloring works best). Next, divide the 2 mixtures between the 3 cake pans, adding large dollops of each color without mixing. Use a teaspoon to draw swirls in the batter (a figure 8 motion works well). Be careful not to over-swirl or the result will be a pale pink cake. Give the pans a gentle shake to help disperse the batter evenly.
- Bake for 22-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Allow the cakes to cool for several minutes in the pan. Carefully invert them onto a cooling rack or onto cardboard cake rounds lined with parchment.
- Allow the cakes to cool completely. Once cool, they can be wrapped in plastic and stored at room temperature for two days, the refrigerator for five days, or the freezer for several months.
To make Strawberry Buttercream Meringue Frosting:
- Add the sugar, water and corn syrup to a medium sauce pot. Cover and turn the heat to high. Once the liquid begins to simmer and some steam has developed, remove the cover (this step helps prevent crystallization).
- While the sugar is coming to a simmer, whisk the eggs on high in a stand mixer with the whisk attachment until a soft peak has formed.
- Using a candy thermometer, cook the sugar to the soft boil stage, 235-240 degrees F.
- Turn the mixer speed down to medium and very slowly pour the syrup down the side of the bowl into the meringue. Don’t pour the hot syrup directly into the meringue or the egg whites will scramble.
- Once the syrup is incorporated, turn the speed up to high and allow the meringue to continue to form a stiff peak. Mix on high until the mixture has reached room temperature. To speed up this 10-15 minute process, ice packs or cold towels can be placed around the bowl.
- Once the meringue is room temperature, slowly begin incorporating the soft butter on medium speed. Once all of the butter has been incorporated, turn the mixer speed up to high and very slowly add the strawberry puree, orange juice and food coloring, a few tablespoons at a time.
To assemble cake:
- Place the first layer of cake on a revolving cake stand. Remove the parchment paper.
- Spread approximately one cup of frosting on the cake and spread it around evenly with an offset spatula. Add more frosting as needed to reached the desired thickness.
- Repeat with the second layer.
- Place the 3rd layer on top. Top with a thin layer of frosting. Use an offset spatula to apply a thin layer of frosting to the sides, taking care to make sure the top and sides are even. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to set this first layer of frosting.
- Cover the entire cake with a final layer of frosting in a decorative pattern.