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Strawberry Cheesecake Cake

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I seem to be on a bit of a strawberry kick this week, but in my personal opinion, you can never have too many strawberries in your life. Or cake. Or cheesecake. Or, in this case, Strawberry Cheesecake Cake.

This cake might look fancy, but it started as a boxed cake mix and requires almost no baking ability! #WayfairCakeOff

So when I was asked to be a part of The Great Wayfair Cake Off and I was told that my cake had to include fresh fruit, my thoughts immediately went to strawberries, and then to cheesecake. And then to Strawberry Cheesecake Cake.

It’s a bit of a tongue twister, but this cake is amazeballs.  And even better, it is also really quite easy to make, and you need practically no baking skills whatsoever. 

This cake might look fancy, but it started as a boxed cake mix and requires almost no baking ability! #WayfairCakeOff

Because I don’t know about you, but I’ve tried to make cake from scratch before and it never, ever comes out properly. It’s always way too dense, or not dense enough, or it puffed up so much that it completely overflowed the pan… Whatever I manage to do to from-scratch cakes, it’s just not pretty. {The same goes for cheesecake. That whole water bath garbage has caused some soggy, nasty messes and a fair share of tears in our house.}

But this cake starts off with a plain old boxed cake mix. To add some cheesecake flavor, I just added in a packet of dry cheesecake flavored pudding mix, and I also added some vanilla bean paste, because, well, I add that to pretty much everything. And then just bake it in two equal-sized cake pans. Make sure you let the layers cool completely before icing them, or you will have a big ol’ mess on your hands.

This cake might look fancy, but it started as a boxed cake mix and requires almost no baking ability! #WayfairCakeOff

Of course I had to use cream cheese icing, too. But not just any plain old cream cheese icing. No sir. I made strawberry cream cheese icing. 

I’m pretty sure I could have eaten the entire batch with a spoon, it was truly that delicious. I will say that it’s a much thinner, runnier icing that doesn’t stand up well to piping, but that makes it even better for non-professional cake bakers!

Now, if you wanted to go even easier, you could of course use some store-bought cream cheese icing and add a bit of strawberry puree or strawberry preserves {trust me, I won’t judge. I pretty much always have a tub or two of icing in my cupboard}, but homemade icing is SO much better, and it’s really not as difficult to make as you might think.

This cake might look fancy, but it started as a boxed cake mix and requires almost no baking ability! #WayfairCakeOff

To put it all together, put one cake layer down on your cake plate {this is a great post with a bunch of tricks on how to layer and ice a cake without making a horrible mess} and add a layer of your icing on top. Then add a layer of sliced strawberries, and another layer of icing. 

At this point, you can keep going right away or stick the whole shebang in the freezer for a bit. I recommend doing this if you have the time, because it makes it so much easier to frost it later, and it helps to keep the layers together and ensures that they’re not going to slide around. 

This cake might look fancy, but it started as a boxed cake mix and requires almost no baking ability! #WayfairCakeOff

Once you’re ready to frost, just slap on a nice thick layer of the icing. No need to be perfect — in fact, I think cakes like this look better when they’re a little rustic. 

If you like the look of this cake, I’d love for you to comment below and/or share it on any or all of your social media accounts. The cake recipe with the highest reader engagement wins The Great Wayfair Cake Off, and lord knows I like winning things. 

So you tell me: Are you a from-scratch cake baker, a from-the-box cake baker or a from-the-store cake “baker”? 

Strawberry Cheesecake Cake
This cake might look fancy, but it started as a boxed cake mix and requires almost no baking ability!
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For the cake
  1. 1 boxed white cake mix, with other ingredients as directed on the box
  2. 1 box cheesecake-flavored pudding mix
  3. 1 tsp vanilla bean paste {or pure vanilla extract}
For the Strawberry Cheesecake Icing
  1. 1/2 cup sliced strawberries
  2. 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  3. 2 8-oz packages of cream cheese, softened
  4. 1 tsp vanilla bean paste {or pure vanilla extract}
  5. 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  6. 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
For the cake
  1. 1. In a large bowl, stir together cake mix and pudding mix. Prepare cake as directed on package, and bake in two 8- or 9-inch round pans. Cool completely.
For the icing
  1. 1. Place strawberries in food processor and puree until smooth.
  2. 2. In a large bowl, beat butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Slowly add in powdered sugar and flour until fully combined. Add vanilla and 3 Tbsp strawberry puree, mix until blended.
  3. 3. If too thin/runny, place in fridge until ready to use.
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