Vicki’s Strawberry Birthday Cake
This Saturday was my dear friend and cubicle-mate, Vicki’s birthday. And while she may boast I “really didn’t have to,” of course she was very deserving of a spectacular (and hot pink, may I add) birthday cake! In all honesty, however, I have made this cake a few times before – the first being for another friend’s birthday a few years ago. But its always such a hit! Moreover, I must add that this recipe also won me first place at my office’s annual bake-off, although they were then in cupcake form and decorated to look like Hello Kitty.
When I first came across this recipe on AllRecipes.com, the thing that appealed to me was the sort of old school Susie Homemaker-style addition of a packet of Jell-O. Now I know these days its all about fresh, organic, local, top-notch ingredients (yadda yadda yadda… who’s got the money and resources, really? Has anyone been to the South Philly Acme lately?), but I love when I come across shortcuts like this; And in fact, the use of the Jell-O does give this cake an uber-moist and gooey texture, and ravishing pink coloring. What’s not to love? So on to this oh-so-pink and crowd-pleasing recipe!
- 2 cups white sugar
- 1 (3 ounce) package strawberry flavored gelatin
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 4 eggs (room temperature)
- 2 3/4 cups sifted cake flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 cup whole milk, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup strawberry puree made from frozen sweetened strawberries
- 1/2 Cup Butter, softened
- 1 – 8 ounce pack of Cream Cheese
- 1 – 1 pound box of Confectioners Sugar (or 4 cups)
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- Food Coloring (optional)
Note: I like to try using lighter ingredients when baking, such as light butter and fat free cream cheese. HOWEVER, you cannot use light ingredients when making frosting. This became obvious to me upon making one runny batch of this frosting, and having to run back out to the grocery store to buy the real, glorious, full fat butter and cream cheese. See, even foodies like me make mistakes!
In an electric mixer, beat the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add the confectioners sugar and vanilla and mix until well combined. Add food coloring (optional) until you reach your desired color. Spread between cooled cake layers and over assembled cake. I topped mine with darling little sugar flowers that my mom got me from Layer Cake Shop!