Vanilla Cake with Fresh Strawberry Frosting
Soft, moist vanilla sheet cake topped with strawberry buttercream – you’ll love the flavor combo and pretty pink color of this vanilla cake with fresh strawberry frosting.
Hi there! It’s Fiona stopping in from Just So Tasty, and today I wanted to share a dessert that’s perfect for spring and summer.
I don’t know about you, but very spring I get so excited as fresh berries come into season. The change in season rejuvenates me, and the new fresh produce always makes me so excited to get into the kitchen and bake.
So when I was grocery shopping and saw ripe, juicy, bright red strawberries coming back in season – it was the perfect reason to make this vanilla cake with fresh strawberry frosting.
The cake is a simple vanilla sheet cake that’s made in a 9×13 inch pan. It’s fluffy and moist with a soft cake crumb and delicious buttery, vanilla flavor. But it’s the strawberry buttercream made from fresh berries that really makes this cake special.
The buttercream frosting is fluffy and creamy with a delicious strawberry flavor that comes from fresh berries, so there’s nothing artificial or unnatural tasting. I love how the subtle strawberry flavor of the frosting compliments the vanilla cake, without overpowering.
Now making strawberry frosting using fresh berries takes a few extra steps, but it’s definitely worth the process. So I’m going into a little extra detail here on the process, and the full instructions and ingredients are listed in the recipe.
- First we process the fresh berries in the blender. Then the puree is pushed through a sieve to remove the seeds.
- The strawberry puree is then boiled in a saucepan to remove the water/excess liquid. The mixture will boil as you gently stir, and after the mixture boils down it will be thick in consistency and about 1/4 to 1/3 of the original volume. It’s so important to really boil down the puree and remove the excess liquid. Otherwise your frosting will be watery.
- Then the puree needs to cool fully. I recommend putting it in the freezer or fridge.
- From there, making the strawberry buttercream is straight forward. We’ll beat the butter with an electric mixer, then powdered sugar and the reduced strawberry puree are mixed in.
Note that if the reduced strawberry puree is still warm when it’s added to the butter, the mixture will separate. So be sure that it’s completely cooled.
While there’s a few more steps involved than traditional vanilla buttercream, the delicious flavor of fresh strawberry frosting paired with the fluffy, moist vanilla cake is so worth it. I love this vanilla cake with fresh strawberry frosting if you’re looking for something simple that’s a little extra special. The strawberry frosting makes this cake so pretty, and the strawberries and moist vanilla cake is such a delicious combo.
Vanilla Cake with Fresh Strawberry Frosting
- 2 and ½ cups cake flour, sifted (not self rising)
- 1 and ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 and ½ cups granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs* (whole)
- 2 egg whites* (discard the yolks)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¼ cup sour cream*
- ¾ cup milk*
- 12 oz fresh strawberries
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 4-5 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon whipping cream, as needed
- Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Grease and flour a 9x13 inch baking pan. Or line the bottom with parchment paper, and grease the sides.
- In a medium-sized bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Then set aside.
- Then in a second large bowl using a hand-held mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and sugar together until fluffy (about 2 minutes). Add in the 2 large eggs, 2 egg whites and vanilla extract and continue beating until combined (about 30-60 more seconds). Turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Then beat in the sour cream, followed by about ½ of the flour mixture. Finally, beat in the milk followed by the remaining flour mixture. Be careful not to over mix.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool fully before frosting.
- Core the strawberries to remove the white centers, then pulse in a food processor or blender until smooth. Then put the strawberry puree through a sieve to remove the seeds. You'll likely need to press the mixture through using a spatula or spoon. You should end up with about 1 and ½ to 1 and ¼ cups of strawberry puree
- Pour the strawberry puree into a medium-sized saucepan over low-medium heat. Heat the puree until it gently boils while stirring occasionally. Allow the mixture to boil gently for 10-15 minutes until it's thick in consistency and dark red-ish pink in color. When the mixture is down boiling, You should have about ⅓ cup left. Put the reduced strawberry puree in the fridge or freezer to cool fully.
- To make the frosting, in a large bowl using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter until fluffy. Then turn the mixer down to low speed and beat in 2 cups of the powdered sugar. Then turn off the mixer and add in ¼ cup of the reduced strawberry puree (it must be cold when added), the vanilla and salt. Beat together on low speed. Then beat in an additional 2 cups of powdered sugar. Once combined, turn the mixer up to medium speed and beat for an additional 30 seconds. Beat in a little extra powdered sugar, and up to 1 tablespoon of cream as needed to get the desired consistency and sweetness level.
- Frost the cooled cake with the strawberry frosting, and optionally decorate each piece with half a strawberry.
**Leftovers can be stored in the fridge in an air-tight container for up to 3 days.
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This strawberry fluff fruit dip is one of the first recipes I fell in love with as a kid and I still can’t get enough of it.