Strawberries, anyone?

Published 7:30 am Sunday, April 10, 2022

By Jennie Guido

It’s strawberry season, and I’m not mad about it one bit. We’ve gone through two flats from the Farmer’s Market so far this year, and I like them just about any way you can use them. Sliced and sugared? Definitely. In a cake or cupcake? Why not. Over the sink and fresh from the market? Yep.

Here’s one way to use them that is one of the best strawberry cakes I’ve ever had. Luckily, we have a birthday coming up in the Guido house (Happy Birthday, Mom!); so maybe I should get to baking this one for the occasion.

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Strawberries and Cream Sheet Cake

For cake:

1 cup butter, softened

2 cups sugar

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups cake flour

2 tablespoons strawberry-flavored gelatin

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon table salt

1 cup buttermilk

2/3 cup chopped fresh strawberries


For frosting:

1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened

2/3 cup sugar, divided

2/3 cup chopped fresh strawberries

1 drop pink food coloring gel (optional)

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add sugar, beating 4 to 5 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Beat in lemon juice and vanilla.

Stir together flour and next 3 ingredients; add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended. Stir in strawberries.

Grease (with shortening) and flour a 13-inch by 9-inch pan; line with parchment paper, allowing 2 to 3 inches to extend over long sides. Lightly grease paper with cooking spray. Spread batter in prepared pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 30 minutes. Lift cake from pan, using parchment paper sides as handles. Invert cake onto wire rack; gently remove parchment paper. Cool completely (about 1 hour).

For frosting, beat cream cheese and 1/3 cup sugar with an electric mixer until smooth; add strawberries and food coloring (if desired); beat until blended. Beat cream and juice at medium speed until foamy; increase speed to medium-high, and slowly add remaining 1/3 cup sugar, beating until stiff peaks form. Fold half of cream mixture into cheese mixture; fold in remaining cream mixture. Use immediately.