For an end of the summer BBQ bash, I had to come up with a delicious, new, summery, and festive dessert. I thought long and hard about what could fit this extensive list of criteria, and finally came up with the ultimate treat, strawberry cake with strawberry cream cheese frosting.
While boxed cake mix and jello powder are against almost everything I stand for when it comes to baking, it seemed that every recipe for this perfectly pink cake included these items. However, I figured as long as the frosting was homemade, the shortcuts in the cake would pass undetected.
The cake came out moist with a vibrant orangey pink hue due to the strawberry jello powder in the mix. While the jello gave it a slightly artificial sugary strawberry taste, the fresh strawberries added a nice tart and sweet berry flavor. The cake was good, but not as outstanding as I had hoped for, but the frosting totally made up for it. Tangy cream cheese with a hint of strawberry sweetness and pink color, the frosting was so delicious I would have been happy tossing the cake and eating just the frosting with a big spoon. This strawberry cream cheese frosting will definitely hold a permanent place in my recipe folder, but next time rather than using it with the strawberry cake, I might try it on a homemade lemon or white cake with fresh fruit slices.
Strawberry Cake with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting
adapted from a food.com recipe
original strawberry cake and frosting recipe
for the cake
1 (18.25 oz) boxed white cake mix
3 oz package strawberry gelatin powder
1 c mashed fresh strawberries with juice (about 1 1/2 c whole berries)
1 c vegetable oil
1/2 c milk
4 large eggs
for the frosting
12 oz cream cheese, room temp
8 tbsp unsalted butter, room temp
2 c powdered sugar, sifted
3/4 c strawberries, mashed to 1/2 c, then drained well
**I like my cream cheese frosting more tangy than sweet, so add in more sugar if you prefer a sweeter frosting
Preheat oven 350 deg F. Grease two or three 9 inch cake pans, depending on how thick you want your cake layers.
Beat cake mix, jello, mashed strawberries with juice, oil, milk and eggs in a large bowl.
Bake 28-30 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean. Place pans to cool on wire rack for 10 minutes, then invert cakes onto rack and cool 30 minutes.
Frosting- combine cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl. Add in sugar and strawberries, mixing until lightened. Place frosted cake in refrigerator for 20 minutes to let frosting set before serving.