This Strawberry Crunch Cake is four layers of strawberry goodness covered in buttercream frosting and a strawberry vanilla crunch coating. This is one of my all time favorite cakes!Jump to Recipe
This Strawberry Crunch Cake is based off of my favorite childhood ice cream bars. This cake is so nostalgic and when I tried it for the first time it brought back so many memories.
Normally, I don’t use box cake mixes in my recipes. I am a firm believer that homemade cakes are where it is at, but I made an exception for this cake.
I wanted to keep this recipe as easy as possible for you guys, so I decided to use box cake mix and make the buttercream and crunch coating from scratch and you can’t even tell it is a box mix!
INGREDIENTS NEEDED TO MAKE A STRAWBERRY CRUNCH CAKE
One strawberry and one white cake mix– I chose to go this route because it would make the recipe move a little faster. If you want to kick your box mix up a notch, replace the water with milk, add one additional egg, and double the amount of oil and replace with melted butter.
Butter- I use salted, but you can use unsalted and add 1/4 tsp salt to the frosting. I also use butter to make the crumb coating.
Powdered Sugar– I HATE a super sweet frosting, it takes away from the cake and I prefer to taste more than a super sugary frosting. I use about 1 cup of powdered sugar per stick of butter for my frosting.
Vanilla Extract– The REAL stuff is always better or you can make your own! If you only have imitation, feel free to use what you already have on hand.
Strawberry Jell-O mix– There are a lot of recipes that use freeze dried strawberries for the crunch coating but I know that they aren’t readily available everywhere, so I switched it up to use strawberry Jell-O mix instead.
Vanilla Pudding Mix– Again, I switched this one up to a readily available ingredient that most people can find at their local grocery store.
Flour- This will be used to make the crumb coating as well.
HOW TO MAKE THE CRUMB COATING
This is the hardest part of the whole recipe, but I promise it is worth it!
To make the crumb coating you want to start by putting half a stick of softened butter into two bowls. Next, add the strawberry Jell-O mix into one bowl and add the vanilla pudding mix into the other.
Add 1/4 cup flour to each bowl and use a fork to mix together until you get a sand-like texture. If you need to add a little more flour feel free to add about 1 Tablespoon at a time until you reach the desired consistency.
Prepare a baking sheet by lining with parchment paper and pour both mixtures onto the sheet and mix with your hands until they are evenly combined. Then smoosh the crumbs down so you have one even disc of crumbs.
Bake for 11-12 minutes or until slightly browned. Be very careful because they will burn quickly.
Allow them to cool completely, they should harden up as they cool. Then break up the disc and put into a food processor and pulse until you have a coarse crumb.
HOW TO MAKE THE CAKE AND BUTTERCREAM
Prepare your cakes by following the instructions on the back of the cake box (or follow instructions above for the doctored cake mix).
Bake 2 8 -inch cakes of each flavor. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack and then level with a serrated knife or cake level.
For the buttercream, add the butter into the bowl of a stand mixer and cream with a paddle attachment until smooth.
Add the vanilla extract and powdered sugar one cup at a time making sure to fully combine after each addition.
Last, add 2-3 Tablespoons of heavy whipping cream and whip on high for 2-3 minutes.
HOW TO ASSEMBLE A STRAWBERRY CRUNCH CAKE
After your cakes are cooled and leveled. Start by stacking a strawberry cake layer on a cake stand or serving tray and top with about 2/3 cup of frosting and smooth. Add a vanilla cake on top and continue alternating cake flavors.
Once the cakes are stacked, smooth the remaining frosting over the outside of the entire cake. Don’t worry if it isn’t too pretty, we are going to cover it up anyway 😛
Cover all of the sides with the strawberry crunch coating. Gently press the crumbs into the cake using your (clean) hands.
Top with whipped cream and extra topping if desired and serve! That’s it!
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Strawberry Crunch Cake
- 1 box Strawberry Jell-O mix
- 1 box Vanilla pudding mix
- 1/2 cup flour divided
- 5 sticks butter softened and divided
- 1 Strawberry boxed cake mix
- 1 White boxed cake mix
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract q
- 2-3 Tbsp heavy whipping cream
- In a small mixing bowl, add half a stick (1/4 cup) butter, strawberry Jell-O mix and 1/4 cup flour. Use a fork to mix until you get a sand-like consistency.
- In a separate bowl, add half a stick (1/4 cup) butter, vanilla pudding mix, and 1/4 cup flour. Use a fork to mix until you get a sand-like consistency. (Feel free to add additional flour if necessary)
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. and prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Pour both bowl onto the cookie sheet and gently toss both mixtures until they are evenly mixed. Gently use your hand to press down and form a disc with the two mixtures, Bake for 11-12 minutes or until slightly browned. (Be very careful they burn quickly)
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. They should harden up as they cool.
- Once completely cool, break up the disc and add to a food processor and pulse until you have a course crumb. Set aside in an air tight container.
- Prepare both cake mixes according to the instructions on the back of the box and bake 2 8-inch cakes of each flavor. (A total of 4 cake layers)
- Allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
- Meanwhile, add 4 sticks softened butter into the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment and cream for 2-3 minutes or until smooth.
- Add vanilla extract and mix well. Add the powdered sugar one cup at a time being sure to completely combine after each addition.
- Last, add in the heavy cream and whip on high speed until you get a "whipped" consistency.
- After your cakes are cooled and leveled. Start by stacking a strawberry cake layer on a cake stand or serving tray and top with about 2/3 cup of frosting and smooth. Add a vanilla cake layer on top and continue alternating cake flavors.
- Once the cakes are stacked, smooth the remaining frosting over the outside of the entire cake.
- Cover the sides of the cake in the strawberry and vanilla crunch topping and top with whipped cream if desired and serve!