Strawberry Red Velvet Cake

Strawberry Red Velvet Cake

In this sweet summer remake, red velvet cake gets a healthy helping of fresh strawberries added into the buttercream to create a Strawberry Red Velvet Cake that rivals the classic.

Strawberry Red Velvet Cake
Makes 1 (8-inch) cake
  • ⅔ cup (150 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1⅓ cups (267 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs (100 grams), room temperature
  • 2 large egg yolks (37 grams), room temperature
  • 1⅔ cups (209 grams) all-purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup (25 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 grams) baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ⅔ cup (160 grams) whole buttermilk, room temperature
  • 4 teaspoons (20 grams) red liquid food coloring*
  • 2 teaspoons (10 grams) distilled white vinegar
  • 1½ teaspoons (6 grams) vanilla extract
  • Strawberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream (recipe follows)
  • ¼ cup (47 grams) ¼-inch-chopped fresh strawberries
  • Garnish: halved fresh strawberries
  1. Position oven racks in center and top third of oven. Preheat oven to 325°F (170°C). Spray a tall-sided 8-inch round cake pan with baking spray with flour. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar at medium speed until fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Add eggs and egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating just until combined after each addition. Fold in food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla until combined. Transfer batter to prepared pan. Tap pan on a kitchen towel-lined counter a few times to settle batter and release any air bubbles; smooth top with a small offset spatula.
  4. Bake on center oven rack until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean and an instant-read thermometer inserted in center registers 200°F (93°C), 1 hour and 10 minutes to 1 hour and 20 minutes, placing foil on top oven rack after 55 minutes of baking to prevent excess browning. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan, and discard parchment. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
  5. Using a serrated knife or a cake leveler, cut cake in half horizontally. Place bottom half on a serving plate.
  6. Reserve 1½ cups (322 grams) Strawberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream. In a small bowl, stir together 1⅔ cups (356 grams) buttercream and chopped strawberries; spoon into a pastry bag, and cut a ¾-inch opening in tip. Pipe buttercream evenly onto bottom half of cake, and smooth with a small offset spatula. Top with remaining half of cake. Spread remaining buttercream on top and sides of cake.
  7. To texture cake, place frosted cake on a turntable, and position tip of a small offset spatula at base of cake. While pressing down lightly at tip, spin turntable until spatula returns to starting point. Move spatula just above first ridge and repeat as needed. For top of cake, position spatula at center of cake. While pressing down lightly at tip, spin turntable and pull spatula gradually toward edge of cake.
  8. Spoon reserved 1½ cups (322 grams) Strawberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream into a pastry bag fitted with a 9/16-inch open star piping tip (Ateco #827). Pipe swirls of buttercream around edge of cake. Garnish with halved strawberries, if desired. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Let come to room temperature before serving.
*We used McCormick Red Food Color.

Strawberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Makes 6½ to 7 cups
  • 1¾ cups (350 grams) granulated sugar
  • 6 large egg whites (180 grams), room temperature
  • 2 cups (454 grams) unsalted butter, softened (see Note)
  • 1 teaspoon (4 grams) vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon (1.5 grams) kosher salt
  • 1¾ cups (520 grams) strawberry fruit spread*
  • ¼ teaspoon (1.25 grams) red liquid food coloring (optional)
  1. In the heatproof bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together sugar and egg whites by hand. Place bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Cook, whisking occasionally, until an instant-read thermometer registers 120°F (49°C) to 130°F (54°C).
  2. Carefully return bowl to stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment, beat at high speed until stiff peaks form and meringue is just warm to the touch, about 10 minutes. Add butter, about 2 tablespoons (28 grams) at a time, beating until combined after each addition. (If buttercream breaks or looks loose, beat for 2 to 3 minutes, and the emulsion will come back together.) Beat in vanilla and salt. With mixer on medium speed, gradually add fruit spread, beating until well combined. Beat in food coloring (if using). Use immediately, or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days. If refrigerating, let come to room temperature and rewhip before using.
*We used Smucker’s Natural Strawberry Fruit Spread.

Note: The butter needs to be softened, which means it should hold an impression when pressed with a finger but still show some resistance. It should temp at about 65°F (18°C) to 68°F (20°C).


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