Strawberry Patch Cake

Easy to bake and take, this strawberry sheet cake will be the talk of your next get-together.

Southern Living Strawberry Patch Cake sliced on plates to serve
Photo:

Victor Protasio; Food Stylist: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Stylist: Mary Clayton Carl Jones

Active Time:
45 mins
Cool Time:
1 hrs 30 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 45 mins
Servings:
16

Nothing says spring like a bowlful of garden-plucked berries, and this strawberry sheet cake takes advantage of the season’s best, along with another unique variety: freeze-dried.

The fresh strawberries are stirred into the cake batter and artfully scattered on top, while the freeze-dried are blended into the frosting. Using both gives the cake a bold berry taste that’s at once sweet and tart.

If you can’t find freeze-dried strawberries at your local grocery store (they are often found in the snack aisle), both Amazon and Nuts.com sell them online.

Another key ingredient in this recipe is the marshmallow creme—it’s the store-bought secret to the fluffiest frosting, and it ties in nicely with the mini marshmallow daisies on top of this beautiful springtime dessert.

Strawberry Patch Cake Southern Living

Victor Protasio; Food Stylist: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Stylist: Mary Clayton Carl Jones

Ingredients

Strawberry Cake

  • Baking spray

  • 2 3/4 cups unbleached cake flour

  • 2 tsp. baking powder

  • 3/4 tsp. kosher salt

  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda

  • 1 lb. very ripe fresh strawberries, hulled

  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

  • 1 large egg

  • 2 large egg whites, at room temperature

  • 1/3 cup whole buttermilk

  • 1 3/4 tsp. vanilla extract

  • Red food coloring gel (optional)

Berry-Marshmallow Frosting

  • 2 Tbsp. freeze-dried strawberries (from 1 [0.8-oz.] pkg.)

  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter

  • 1 (7-oz.) container marshmallow creme

  • 2 cups powdered sugar

  • 1-2 Tbsp. whole milk

Additional Ingredients

  • Miniature marshmallows

  • Yellow candy-coated milk chocolate pieces (such as M&M’s)

  • Fresh strawberries, halved if large

Directions

  1. Prepare the Strawberry Cake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 13- x 9-inch baking pan with baking spray; line bottom of pan with parchment paper. Whisk together next 4 ingredients in a medium bowl.

  2. Place 1 cup of the strawberries in a food processor; pulse until chopped, 3 to 5 times. Set chopped berries aside. Place remaining strawberries in food processor; process until pureed, about 30 seconds. (You should have 3/4 cup puree.) Set aside.

  3. Beat sugar and butter in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add egg followed by egg whites, 1 at a time, beating on medium speed just until blended after each addition. Beat in buttermilk; vanilla; reserved chopped strawberries and puree; and, if using, a few drops food coloring until blended and desired color is reached, about 30 seconds. Gradually add flour mixture in thirds, beating on low speed just until incorporated after each addition, stopping to scrape down sides as needed.

  4. Spoon batter into prepared pan, spreading evenly. Bake in preheated oven until golden around edges and a wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack; cool completely, about 1 hour, 30 minutes.

  5. Meanwhile, prepare the Berry-Marshmallow Frosting. Process freeze-dried strawberries in a food processor until finely ground, 1 minute. Set aside. Beat butter in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on medium-high speed until creamy and smooth, 2 minutes. Add marshmallow creme; beat until combined, 2 minutes. Add 1 cup of the powdered sugar; beat on low speed until well blended. Add 1 tablespoon milk, ground strawberries, and remaining 1 cup powdered sugar, beating until smooth. If frosting is stiff, beat in remaining 1 tablespoon milk. Chill until ready to use.

  6. Use kitchen shears to cut marshmallows in half diagonally. Spread frosting over cake. Arrange marshmallow halves in groups of 5 to form flowers around edges of cake; press a candy-coated chocolate in center of each flower. Garnish cake with strawberries.

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