José works at the Red Cross and every chapter hosts a thank you dinner for their volunteers each year. Volunteers are the lifeblood, backbone and foundation of the Red Cross: without them the Red Cross could not fulfill it’s mission.

This past Saturday we baked cakes for the Central Texas Chapter’s Red Cross Volunteer Recognition Dinner – and our super-easy Strawberry Cake is the hands-down winner. Despite how absolutely simple it is to make.

Because I was busy MAKING cakes I didn’t have time to take pictures. But this cake is so absolutely dead-simple you don’t need photos. The photo here is courtesy of Mindy Gonzalez Escamilla.



  • 3 9″ cake pans (preferably 3″ deep)
Jumex Strawberry Nectar


  1. Preheat oven to 350º F. Position rack in middle of oven.
  2. Butter bottoms of 9″ cake pans, line with parchment, lightly butter and flour pans. Set aside in a cool place.
  3. Combine cake mix, strawberry nectar, eggs and oil in mixing bowl fitted with paddle attachment. Start slowly to combine ingredients then mix at medium speed for 2 minutes.
  4. Evenly divide cake mix between cake pans.
  5. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Test with a cake tester before removing from oven. (These are thicker than normal box cakes so you have to be careful.)
  6. Transfer pans to wire cooling racks and cool in the pan for 10 minutes.
  7. Run a knife around the outside edge of each pan, flip each layer onto a wire cooling rack, remove parchment sheet if necessary, and then flip them back onto their bottoms. You want the layers to cool top-side-up.
  8. Allow to cool completely.

Prepare the frosting (just before assembly)

  1. Scrape both cans of frosting into a large mixing bowl.
  2. With either a hand mixer or the whisk attachment on a stand mixer, beat until light in color – about 30 seconds.
  3. Add 1/4 cup of strawberry preserves and beat at high speed for about a minute to thoroughly combine.

Assembling the cake

  1. Using a serrated knife remove domed tops from 2 of your layers – these will be the bottom and middle layer.

Give your cakes a steady once-over and choose the layer with the most uniform dome. Set this aside to use as your top layer.

  1. Spread 1/4 cup of frosting in center of serving platter and place one of your flattened layers on the platter. Press down slightly and wiggle it to anchor firmly.
  2. Spread about 1/2 cup (half of a freshly opened jar) Strawberry Preserves on bottom layer and spread evenly ALMOST to edges leaving a 1/4″ safe zone at the edge to prevent filling from oozing out before you frost.
  3. Top with second flat layer and spread with 1/2 cup Strawberry Preserves.
  4. Place last layer, dome side up, on top.
  5. Spread frosting onto cake (you’ll probably have a little left over).
  6. Garnish with strawberry.
Credit where credit is due: Adapted from Sandra Lee's Strawberry Creme Cake recipe.