Hands-on Time
1 Hour 10 Mins
Total Time
2 Hours 10 Mins
Makes 12 to 16 servings
Photo: Hector Sanchez; Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas

How to Make It

Step 1

Prepare Cake Layers: Preheat oven to 350°. Beat first 3 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Add red food coloring and vanilla, beating at low speed just until blended.

Step 2

Stir together sour cream and 1/2 cup water until blended. Sift together flour and next 3 ingredients; gradually add to butter mixture alternately with sour cream mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Spoon batter into 3 greased (with shortening) and floured 9-inch round shiny cake pans (about 2 1/2 cups batter in each pan).

Step 3

Bake at 350° for 20 to 24 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks, and cool completely (about 30 minutes).

Step 4

Prepare Glaze: Pulse strawberry preserves in a food processor until smooth; transfer to a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave strawberry preserves at HIGH 30 to 45 seconds or until melted; stir in almond liqueur. Brush 1/4 cup warm glaze over top of each cooled cake layer. Reserve remaining 1/4 cup glaze.

Step 5

Prepare Frosting: Beat 3/4 cup softened butter at medium speed 20 seconds or until fluffy. Gradually add 5 cups powdered sugar and 1/2 cup diced strawberries, beating at low speed until creamy. Add 1/4 cup diced strawberries, 1 Tbsp. at a time, beating until frosting reaches desired consistency. Reserve remaining 1 cup diced strawberries.

Step 6

Place 1 cake layer, glazed side up, on serving platter. Spread one-third of frosting over cake layer; sprinkle with 1/2 cup reserved diced strawberries. Repeat procedure with second cake layer. Top with remaining cake layer; spread with remaining frosting. Drizzle remaining 1/4 cup strawberry glaze over cake.

Chef's Notes

If your berries are juicy, you may not need the entire amount in the frosting.

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