Katie Stew

A rich, simmering blend of my favorite things

Strawberry Birthday Cake


Last month was my birthday! I love birthdays. My darling boyfriend and some of my friends planned my special day for me. I’ve had a lot of stressful, life changing stuff on my plate the last few months and wasn’t really in the right mindset to plan a birthday. But the people who love me took excellent care of me. I’m a lucky lady.

My fun crew took me down to the racetrack. We bet on the horses all afternoon. I won at least one ticket on every race. I ended up about $20 down for the day, which I consider a great win at the races. Then we went back to my house and played board games all night. We ordered Indian food, ate birthday cake, and one of my amazing friends taught us all how to cut the top of a bottle of champagne off with a knife. It was very exciting and really, a pretty perfect day. Just about all a girl can ask for.

Now let’s talk about cake.

It occurred to me about a week before my birthday that I couldn’t remember the last time I baked a cake. Years. Cake is just not something that is high on my dessert list. But, it was my birthday and I had a craving. I went back and forth for a few days about whether to make a lemon cake with strawberry frosting, or a strawberry cake with lemon frosting. I was torn. I love lemon cake and I love strawberry cake. Either way I love cream cheese frosting. Settled on strawberry with lemon frosting and it was AWESOME.

I wish I’d taken a photo once I cut the cake, but we were too busy eating it. It was a layer cake with fresh strawberries in the middle (along with more frosting of course). IMG_2176This is some of the celebration birthday crew at the racetrack. We were ready to play! Don’t I look like I’m having fun? I’m the one on the left. 

Next time someone has a birthday, or a party of any kind, this cake might get busted out. It was a huge hit. I kind of want another right now. The cake was sweet without being too sweet and was a fabulous shade of pink. The frosting was tangy and creamy. Delightful really. This recipe is a keeper. You’ll see.

Strawberry cake

  • 1 (18.25-ounce) box white cake mix
  • 4 TB flour
  • 1 (3-ounce) box strawberry-flavored instant gelatin
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped fresh strawberries
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup sliced strawberries

Mix together cake mix, flour, gelatin, chopped strawberries, eggs, olive oil, and milk. Divide between two 9 inch round pans. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when you stick it in the middle of one of the cakes. Let cool before frosting.

Lemon cream cheese frosting

  • 8 oz cream cheese frosting
  • 3 TB lemon juice
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/4 c butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4.5 cups powdered sugar

Beat butter and cream cheese until smooth and fluffy. Add lemon juice, zest, and vanilla. Slowly add in powdered sugar until well combined.


Put one of the cooled cakes on a cake stand. Cover the top with a healthy layer of frosting. Array half of the sliced strawberries on top of frosting. Add second cake. Use remaining frosting to cover the top and sides of the cake. Use remaining strawberries to decorate.

If you have a rotating cake stand, that is the best way to frost a cake evenly. If you don’t, but perhaps you have a really sweet and helpful friend around, you can ask them to turn the stand for you while you frost. I am lucky to have such a friend.

Eat and enjoy!

Happy birthday to me and thanks to my boyfriend, friends, and family for making it a special day.

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