Okay, so Strawberry Heart Cake isn’t the most complicated of things to make. But I can’t claim to be the world’s best cake decorator. That title can be battled out between my friends Amanda and Kristan. But maybe you’re like me. You wish you could make the beautiful things those talented women make. Plus, I think we can all agree strawberry cake can overcome a lot of homeliness.
That’s where I am with this cake. I made it, I covered it (and myself) in red and pink frosting and about a gazillion sprinkles. It’s homely as all get out. But it tastes phenomenal, and my husband really liked it and thought it was sweet. That’s all this girl can ask for, really.
When I was little, I had this best friend, named Sara. Her mom was really great at all sorts of crafty baking things. And she made Sara this heart cake for her birthday in August. I was so beyond in love with it, and just a little bit jealous of her! My mom didn’t know how to make a heart shaped cake, and I have a February birthday. Shouldn’t the mom of the February kid know how to make all heart shaped confectionery?
Luckily, Sara’s mom was the giving type, and gave my mom the method. And it’s kind of a forehead slapper once you know how easily it’s done.
The cake in the photo has two layers: the strawberry cake recipe that’s below, and a vanilla white cake. Keep in mind that this is a LOT of cake. It’s the equivalent of 2 two layer cakes. So it’s perfect for a birthday party or Valentine’s Day party. But it is just as beautiful in one layer if you’re thinking of it as just a Valentine’s Day treat for your family.
Have you ever had a heart-shaped cake?
Strawberry Heart Cake
makes 1 layer heart cake. To make as in the photo, double the recipe
2 3/4 c. cake flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 sticks of butter, softened
2 c. sugar
1 pkg Strawberry Jello
4 eggs, room temperature
1 c. whole milk or half and half
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 c. strawberry puree (I used frozen strawberries pulverized in the blender)
Preheat oven to 350F.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir with a whisk to combine.
Using a hand or stand mixer, cream together butter, sugar, and jello until fully combined and forming fluffy peaks. Add eggs, 1 at a time, fully incorporating before adding the next.
Alternately add flour mixture and milk, mixing on low speed. When fully incorporated, blend in vanilla and strawberry puree.
Ready 1 8×8″ square baking pan and 1 8″ round baking pan by spraying with cooking spray for baking, or butter and flour. Pour half of the batter in the square pan, and 1/2 the batter in the round pan.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out of the center of the cake clean.
Allow to cool to the touch, then remove to a cooling rack and allow to continue cooling completely.
When ready to frost, place on a baking sheet or cake platform large enough to support the “heart” shape. Carefully cut the round cake precisely in half using a bread knife. Place the square cake onto your platform, turning it so it is now a “diamond”. Place each half of the circle directly against the diamond edge to create the ‘bumps’ of the heart. Frost with your favorite buttercream, taking care to put extra around the seams of the heart so that it appears as one big sheet.
Decorate as you see fit. Sprinkles, Conversation Hearts, other Valentine’s Day candies would be perfect here.