Many times when I've asked someone what their favorite flavor of cake is they reply ...
I've never been one to make that choice as I naturally lean more toward the chocolate varieties but I must say that this fresh strawberry cake could make me a convert.
I found the origin of this recipe several years ago and over time have tweaked and changed it up a bit until I have it just like I like it. It starts very simply with a cake mix and becomes an incredibly moist and flavor-full dessert. I have tried several types of frosting but find that it's hard to beat a good basic buttercream.
1 box (18.25 ounce) white cake mix
1 3-ounce package strawberry jello
1 cup pureed fresh strawberries, including juice
1 cup canola oil
1/2 cup milk
4 large eggs
1 cup unsweetened coconut
3/4 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup seedless strawberry jam
4-5 strawberries, thinly sliced
Combine cake mix and dry jello in a large mixing bowl. Add pureed strawberries with juice, oil and milk. Beat on medium speed until blended. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Stir in coconut and pecans. Pour batter into three 9-inch cake pans that are greased and either floured or lined with wax paper. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes until lightly browned. Set on wire rack to cool for about 10 minutes. Remove each layer from pans onto wire rack and let cool completely.
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 pound confectioner's sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Beat butter on medium speed until creamy. Reduce speed and gradually add sugar, then vanilla, mixing until well blended. Add more sugar if needed if frosting appears too thin.
Place a small dollop of frosting in center of cake plate to anchor the first cake layer. Spread half of strawberry jam over first layer to within 1/2-inch of the edge. Top with a spread of buttercream and place sliced strawberries around outer edge. Place second layer on top and repeat jam, frosting and sliced strawberry topping.
Put third layer in place and spread top and sides with a thin layer of frosting to seal the crumbs. Refrigerate a few minutes then cover cake with remaining buttercream.
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