Here’s a cake recipe for Valentine’s Day. But, it’s good for other special occasions, too. I wish we had smell-o-vision so all of you could enjoy the aroma wafting through my house as this Strawberry Cake baked in the oven. It’s a cross between a faint, sweet strawberry smell, a stronger vanilla aroma and of course, the smell of cake batter baking! And it smells delicious!
However, I had a wee bit of a problem with this rendition of my Strawberry Cake. I think the Valentine’s Day cupids (or maybe it’s early mischievous Leprechauns) messed with my head. You see, I like to experiment. I like to experiment and try to make a recipe better. And, I’m not yet far enough ahead in our blog posting schedule to “re-do” any of my experiments gone awry! And, unfortunately, this was one of them!
Trust me, you can make a beautiful and delicious strawberry cake. I’ve done it several times before and here are some pictures as proof!
I made this very first cake 10 to 12 years ago for my niece’s, Nicole’s, birthday. I watched a Food Network show on international chefs (it had voice-overs because the chefs didn’t speak English) and one of the episodes was a chef who made a similar Strawberry Cake. It looked so beautiful that I had to try it and Nicole’s birthday was coming up, so I made it for her.
This picture was taken in our old house before the fire (see the 20-part series about the loss of our home in a wildfire starting with Any Way the Wind Blows). That’s part of me on the left and my Dad’s glorious red painting behind Nicole (see earlier post, HeART and Soul). Anyway, Nicole loved it and started making versions of her own! Here’s a picture of one made by Nicole for her sister’s (my other niece, Melissa) baby shower about 5 years ago.
So, what went awry? Well just follow along to see the newest hair-brain thing I tried to do and failed at miserably!
First, you make a Strawberry Cake according to the instructions on the Strawberry Cake box (no brainer). Let it cool completely and remove it carefully from the cake pans. Place one layer of the cake upside-down on a cake platter that has been lined with wax paper or parchment paper. Cover this first layer with Strawberry Jam. Place the second layer on top. Mix your frosting – I used Strawberry Shortcake flavor made by Duncan Hines – and frost your cake (so far, so good).
Clean and slice about a pound of strawberries and set aside. Now here’s where the experimenting went awry. I decided I would use Strawberry Glaze on top of the Strawberry Frosting. I put some in a squeeze bottle and attempted to make stripes run down the side. Then, when I didn’t like the looks of that (didn’t look very Valentine-y; looked more Halloweeny!), I covered the top completely with the glaze. BIG MISTAKE!
And, finally, I started layering the strawberries around the top of the cake to create a flower. Well, the strawberries slid off the cake! I don’t know WHY I thought they would adhere to the glaze like they do to the frosting!!! Silly me – NOT a rocket scientist for sure!
After taking multiple pictures, I took off the wayward strawberries, smeared the glaze over the frosting and covered the top with semi-sweet chocolate and strawberry chips! And, I ate the strawberries cuz they were saturated in strawberry glaze and, oh, they were soooo goooood!
Anyway, make this Strawberry Cake – if you skip the glaze you’ll end up with a beautiful, impressive and delicious cake! Just do as I say and not as I do and you’ll be fine!
Here’s the recipe:
- 1 box of Strawberry Cake Mix (plus the ingredients to make the cake, i.e., eggs, water and oil)
- 1 small jar of Strawberry Jam
- 1 can of Strawberry Frosting
- 1 pound fresh strawberries, cleaned, trimmed and sliced (reserve one whole strawberry with greenery for final decoration)
- Make the cake according to package instructions, bake and cool completely.
- Remove cooled cake layers from cake pan and place first layer on a cake stand or plate that has been covered with strips of wax paper (to catch messy drippings).
- Cover first cake layer with strawberry jam and add second cake layer on top.
- Frost cake with prepared frosting.
- Starting from outside rim of cake, layer strawberries until they cover top of cake completely in a circular pattern and cake top looks like a red flower.
- Place whole strawberry in the center of cake so that it looks like the center of a flower.
(other Valentine’s Day posts)
- 42 Shades of Red
- 42 Ways to Say I Love You on Valentine’s Day
- 42 Valentine’s Day Decorations in Your Home
- All You Need is Love
- Chocolate-covered Strawberries
- DIY Valentine Bookmarks
- DIY Valentine Heart Plaque and FREE Printables
- Easy Valentine Candy and Cookie Buffet
- Fresh Strawberry Pie
- Heart in the Hole
- Love is Our True Destiny
- Sweetheart Cream Cheese Spread
- Sweetheart Maple and Sage Sausage Patties
- Sweetheart Pie Crust Cookies
- Sweetheart Toasted Sausage Sammies
- Sweetheart Watermelon and Arugula Salad