Vanilla Cake n’ Strawberries

Here is another version of strawberry cake, this recipe is a scratch cake by Martha Stewart.  This is a versatile vanilla cake that can be turned in to lemon cake, chocolate cake.  I use this vanilla cake for the strawberry cake, and the icing is what I use for my blueberry cake.

 If you don’t want to make this cake scratch, I recommend using Duncan Hines French Vanilla cake mix. The strawberry sauce is made with fresh strawberries, but you can use frozen if fresh is out of season. I’ll post the icing recipe and the strawberry recipe after I post the cake recipe.  You can use this same recipe for cupcakes also.  I cut out the center of the cupcake and fill with the strawberry sauce or the blueberry sauce, and then top of with the icing.


Happy Cake Baking!


1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pans
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs plus 3 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup low-fat buttermilk


Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two 8-by-2-inch cake pans, tapping out excess flour. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. With mixer on low, beat in eggs and yolks, one at a time. Beat in vanilla. Alternately beat in flour mixture and buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture; mix just until combined.

Divide batter between pans; smooth tops. Bake until cakes pull away from sides of pans, 32 to 35 minutes. Let cool in pans 10 minutes. Run a knife around edges of pans and invert cakes onto a wire rack. Let cool completely.

Place one cake, bottom side up, on a cake stand. Tuck strips of parchment paper underneath. 

Strawberry Sauce: 

This icing recipe is from a cooking website I’m a member of called Tried and True Recipes and this is how she makes her strawberry sauce.  She does not have an exact recipe for her strawberry sauce so I’ll post how she makes her recipe.  Her recipe is on a WordPress blog called: Cooking With Serena.

4 to 6 cups fresh strawberries, more if needed.  If using frozen strawberries are used, let them thaw partially.  Place strawberries on a pot large enough to hold them with a little extra room.  Add approx 3/4 cup sugar, then add approx 1/2 cup light Karo Syrup.  Next in a separate small measuring cup, add 2 Tablespoons cornstarch mixed with about 2 to 3 Tablespoons water, just enough to make it wet and pourable.  Pour cornstarch mixture into the pan with the strawberries, sugar and Karo syrup. 

Mix all ingredients together and cook on low until sugar has dissolved and sauce begins to thicken.  If you need the sauce thicker, add more cornstarch in a cup the same was as before.  Once thickened, remove from heat and let cool throughly before putting on cake.  *you can make the sauce first, or the night before.

1 large container Cool Whip (thawed)
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese (softened)
1/2 cup sifted powdered sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
Mix all icing ingredients together and spread between each layer of cooled cake. Spread on top also. When you ice the layers, make sure you ice each layer before putting the blueberries on. You can make a ridge or ring around each layer, this helps hold the strawberries inside the layers. You can use a piping bag for this, or cut the corner of a zip lock bag, filling the bag with icing and then make a ring by squeezing out the icing all around the edge in a circle.
Once the cake has been iced spoon the strawberry sauce on the bottom layer, place top cake layer on top and then ice top layer. Ice the entire cake and decorate if you want to get a little fancy (not required). Spoon strawberries on top last, then decorate.
Tip: once you have the strawberry sauce on the bottom layer, place top layer on and then crumb coat (light icing layer) cake and refrigerate cake for 10 minutes, take out of fridge and continue icing.  Decorate the top edges with a fluted edge with a piping bag.  If you have no piping bag, use a large zip lock and cut a hole in the corner large enough to make an edge on the top of cake approx 1/2 inch high.  Once edge is on, spoon strawberry sauce in the middle of cake…then chill cake to let it set up.

Chocolate variation: In step 1, reduce flour to 2 cups and add ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder. Top frosted cake with shaved dark chocolate.

Lemon variation: In step 1, add 1 tablespoon lemon zest to flour mixture. In step 2, omit vanilla extract and beat in 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice with buttermilk.

While cakes are baking, bring ½ cup sugar and ½ cup water to a boil in a saucepan. Add 1 thinly sliced and seeded lemon and simmer 25 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer lemon slices to waxed-paper-lined plate. Stir ¼ cup fresh lemon juice into syrup.

Using a toothpick, poke holes in warm cakes on rack. Brush with lemon syrup. For frosting, substitute 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice for vanilla extract. Frost cooled cakes and top with candied lemon slices.

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