Strawberry Cake to Honor Red, White, and Blue

Ever need a pinch hitter?  My sister Rose was the best substitute and hit it out of the park by helping me make this berry delicious strawberry cake.  Strawberries + Cream Cheese = Homerun.  Usually the 4th of July is all Q-ing and summer loving, but this year we are moving.  Hence, the reason I needed a pinch hitter was because I overpacked and hurt my back.  Ouch.  But rather than spoil the fun, we turned lemons into lemonade (ahem, strawberries into cake) and she nailed this killer strawberry cake with me sitting on my laurels and gently giving sweet instruction.  It was pretty funny and Rose is such a sweet sis, she was all game!

YOU WILL NEED

  1. 3 Cake Rounds, 8″ (can be premade days ahead and frozen)
  2. Fresh Strawberries & Blueberries
  3. Simple Whipped Cream Filling & Easy Cream Cheese Frosting
  4. Decorate With Star Paper Pattern

Strawberries were practically dancing across, in, and atop the cake.  The bright pink came from pureed strawberries .  Genius right?  It was sooooo moist, fresh, and delish!

Honoring The Red, White, & Blue

 

LAYERING

  1. Cake + Cream & Fruit
  2. Cake Layer 2 + Cream & Fruit
  3. Final Cake Layer

 

If you start out with even cake layers, that makes the cake layering process so easy and professional looking. Annalise over at Completely Delicious is an expert at cake-cutting. Check out this easy instruction on How to Cut A Cake. I say if you can cut a tomato, you can cut a cake, so please don’t ever be intimidated as those sweet crumbs don’t want to scare ya, ever!

DECORATING

  1. Crumbcoat Layer, Seals in the Crumbs
  2. Rustic Frosting Layer

So this is where my pinch-hitter really got put to work.  After layering comes the crumbcoat. Yep, she asked the same thing… what is crumbcoat? Sounds like something Mr. Tumnus might say. Would I dare say the daughter of Eve loves a crumbcoat?  No really, this is a sloppy, first layer of frosting around the entire cake that seals in the crumbs.  I this layer ‘cuz there ain’t no way to mess it up!  My kind of gig.  And as it turns out, my sister’s too.

My pinch hitter was starting to lose confidence as she learned that she would be decorating the cake too.  Not to worry I told her, “We are doing a rustic look.”  You sort of just load on the frosting like this…

  1. Blob of Frosting on Top (check)
  2. Apply to Sides (check)
  3. Rustic Pattern, Swishing Offset Spatula in a Forward Motion (check)

I started her off with the blob and, well, we sort of tag teamed the rest. I loved coaching her along through this process.  Let’s just say she had a little trouble with the curve (sorry, just so excited with my baseball metaphor, although truly I don’t really know the game too well).

But girlfriend was back in the game after the 7th inning curveball and she loved ‘prettifying’ this 4th of July beauty.

DECORATING WITH STARBERRY FINISHES

  1. Cut out a simple star pattern.
  2. Applied it to the top of the cake and traced a faint outline with a knife
  3. Placed blueberries on top
  4. Finished with sliced strawberries

Star-spangled blueberries!  My sis, Rose, was about to celebrate the win, but I reminded her we still had to finish with strawberries.  Feeling very Captain Americaish in this moment.

Be sure to prep some sliced 1/4″ strawberries that are roughly the same size. Just a quick note about using fresh fruit atop of a cake.  It is best served fresh and the day of.  It will keep one night in the refrigerator fully decorated, but note the strawberries will begin to bleed once they are open.  Yeah, bleed, but the good kind of sweet, runny, red berry stuff. Usually this is not a problem as no once can resist this strawberry cake, but just wanted to make sure you know that about fresh-cut strawberries.

I layered the first strawberry base at the inside point of the 5-pointed star.  Then, layered the two on the outside, and lastly finished with the middle star.  Repeat this process until you have covered the entire cake.

Rose and I celebrated this strawberry cake by digging into it as soon as we could.  She is my BIGGER sister.  Just kidding.  She is older, I meant to say.  Hmmm, should I stop now?

I love this pinch hitter like a bestie and could not have delivered this sweet strawberry cream cheese child of God without her.

Liam dropped a sweet note for all of you, too!  So from my family, my pinch-hitter Rose, and the entire team at The Sweet Nerd, Happy 4th of July!  Now go win yourself some strawberry cake.

Recipe Credit: All Recipes, 2017

Photos by: Maria Hedrick Photography

Strawberry Cake

By TheSweetNerd  

June 29, 2017

Ingredients

Cake

2 3/4 cups cake flour

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

2 cups sugar

1 (3-ounce) package strawberry-flavored gelatin

2 sticks butter, softened

4 eggs

1 cup milk

1/2 cup whole strawberries, pureed

1 teaspoon vanilla

Filling

1 1/2 cups heavy cream, well chilled

2 tablespoons sugar

2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

1 1/2 cups halved strawberries

1 cup blueberries

Frosting

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened

1 stick butter, softened

4 cups sifted powdered sugar

Decorating

1 1/2 cups thinly sliced strawberries

1 1/2 cups blueberries

Directions

Cake

1Position racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and flour three 8-inch round pans.

2Whisk together flour and baking powder in a small bowl. Beat together sugar, gelatin and butter with an electric mixer in a large bowl until fluffy. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in flour mixture and milk in a few alternating batches until well combined. Fold in pureed berries and vanilla. Divide equally among prepared pans.

3Bake with 2 pans on upper rack and 1 pan on lower rack, until a toothpick inserted into center of cakes comes out clean, 20 to 25. Cool 10 minutes in pans, then turn out cakes and cool completely (45 minutes) on a wire rack.

Filling

1Beat cream in a bowl with an electric mixer on high until frothy. Add sugar and beat until firm peaks form. Fold in 1/2 teaspoon vanilla.

2Fill with halved strawberries and blueberries.

Frosting

1Beat cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, and remaining 2 teaspoons vanilla in another bowl with an electric mixer until creamy.

Assembly

1Set 1 cake layer on a serving plate. Spread with one half of filling and scatter with 3/4 cup sliced berries. Top with second cake layer, spread with the rest of the filling, and scatter with remaining 3/4 cup sliced berries. Top with third cake layer and crumbcoat with frosting. Put in refrigerator for 20 minutes. Remove and frost top and sides of cake, then decorate star berries on top of cake.

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15 Comments

  • Tessa
    8 months ago

    Super cute story about your sister coming through for you. I’m impressed that you could direct so well and she could take direction and end up making such a beautiful cake! I hope you’re feeling better!

    • Cindy "TheSweetNerd" Rodriguez
      8 months ago

      Thanks Tessa. Love my sis. And enjoying this cake made all the work worthwhile! Happy 4th of July.

  • Kendall
    8 months ago

    I think this might be my favorite recipe yet! It’s beautiful and seems soo doable even for a peasant baker like me 😂

    • Cindy "TheSweetNerd" Rodriguez
      8 months ago

      Awww, thanks Kendall. This cake is easier than you think! Give it a go.

  • 8 months ago

    I always love the ‘rustic look’. Though, this one is definitely a beauty! And how nice for you and your sis to work together on this! Have a wonderful weekend, my friend, and good luck with your move 🙂

    • Cindy "TheSweetNerd" Rodriguez
      8 months ago

      Shucks, thanks Dawn. Thanks so much for your sweet comments. Have an awesome 4th of July.

  • Beautiful! Would love a slice right now for breakfast (am I the only one who likes cake for breakfast? 🙂 Happy 4th to you!

    • Cindy "TheSweetNerd" Rodriguez
      8 months ago

      Hi Jennifer. I would love to have this for breakfast too! YUM. Happy 4th of July. Enjoy it!

  • Rose
    8 months ago

    I definitely will be able to impress my 4th of July guests with this festive, patriotic cake! ! I was so happy I was able to assist “The Sweet Nerd” with this rustic cake. Getting a behind the scenes peek at how you bring it all together was incredible. I am so inspired and encouraged….even a novice like me can make this beauty, with your easy to follow, step by step instructions and photos. Can’t wait to create!!

  • What a lovely cake! I especially love the shots of the inside… yum!! I would love a slice.

    • Cindy "TheSweetNerd" Rodriguez
      8 months ago

      Sending a slice your direction! HA. Thanks Natasha. Appreciate the love.

  • 8 months ago

    I wouldn’t trust my sister anywhere near my kitchen – she burns water. Literally. Thats so sweet she came through for you though. I hope your back starts feeling better. Maybe the mystical properties of cake will help it along 🙂 Happy 4th! Gorgeous cake x

  • Lorna Soonhee
    8 months ago

    Such a gorgeous cake with a special surprise inside! I love it.

  • Absolutely stunning cake and you make it look so easy. Love all those step by step photos!

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