Easy Recipes: Strawberry Refrigerator Cake

If you are looking for a delicious and easy cake recipe, I have the perfect one for you to make.

This is a family recipe that my good friend Kim shared with me. Her husband’s mom and his grandmother have made this cake for years. I recently had a slice (or two) at Kim’s daughter’s 9th birthday party. (I have shared with you guys before that Kim and I have been friends for about 15 years or so. Our kids have grown up together.)

What I love about family events at Kim’s house is that her mother-in-law generally brings something food related when Kim hosts a cookout or birthday party. I have begged for many of their family recipes like the Indiana Chowder and Apple Upside Down Pie that I’ve shared with you before.

And this my friend is how you make the most amazing strawberry cake. I expect you to make it for your next potluck dinner! (I made it for Anthony’s 12th birthday last weekend and we hauled it with us to the pizza place and devoured it!)

easy strawberry refrigerator cake

Ingredients:

  • 1 Duncan Hines Supreme Strawberry Cake Mix
  • Ingredients Listed on Back of Cake Box (egg, water, oil)
  • 2 (10 oz) boxes of Frozen Strawberries in Syrup
  • 1 cup of cold milk
  • 1 (3.5 oz ) box of Vanilla Instant Pudding
  • 1 (8 oz) container of Cool Whip, thawed
  • 1 pint strawberries (with tops removed and strawberries cut in half), thawed
  • 1/3 c chopped pecans (totally optional, but you’ll be glad you did)

Make the boxed cake mix according to the directions on the back. I could not find the Duncan Hines Supreme Strawberry cake mix, but I could find the Pillsbury version. It worked just fine.

Pour the cake batter into a greased 9×13 cake pan and bake according to the box directions.

box strawberry cake

When it is done take it out of the oven and let it cool 100%.

Once it is cool, use the handle of a wooden spoon to poke rows and rows of holes in the cake.   (I love recipe directions like this, a clear indication this will be amazing!)

poke holes in the cake

Add the thawed strawberries with syrup into a food processor or blender.

Pulse until it is a slushy consistency.

frozen strawberries in syrup

It will look like this with chunks for strawberries.

Yum!

pulse frozen strawberries

Pour the strawberry puree mixture over the cake and spread it out evenly.

Let it soak in.

pour strawberries over cake

While you are letting the strawberry puree soak in, put 1 cup of cold milk and the instant vanilla pudding mix into a bowl and mix until it thickens.

The box of instant pudding says to use 2 cups of milk, but we are only going to use 1 cup.

instant vanilla pudding

Fold in the thawed Cool Whip.

fold in the cool whip

Once the pudding and Cool Whip are well combined, spread it over the top of the cake.

vanilla pudding and whip cream icing

Spread it evenly.

ice the cake

Take the fresh strawberry halves and place them on top of the cake frosting.

I placed the strawberries in row, do what you like best.

easy strawberry cake

While I was making this all I could think about was one of our local Snow Cone shops and how they make these amazing Strawberry Shortcake Snow Cones and they top it with a layer of chopped pecans and then a heaping of Cool Whip.

Chopped pecans just seemed natural for this cake.

Sprinkle them on, but this is totally optional.

add chopped pecans (optional)

Just look at that!

Now, pop it in the fridge for 4 hours.

how to make a strawberry refrigerator cake

When you are ready to serve, slice it up and devour.

We loved this!

Anthony loved it.

This is a perfect birthday cake for an older child.

Even if he is a boy.

easy cake recipes

There was a little bit left.

We divvied it up between the staff at our local pizza shop.

They were very grateful.

easy strawberry cake recipe

Make it this weekend.

You know you want to.

(Thank you Kim and family for letting me share this with my readers!)

5.0 from 2 reviews

Easy Recipes: Strawberry Refrigerator Cake
Dessert
10-12
 
This easy strawberry cake recipe is perfect for any holiday gathering, party, celebration or just because.
Ingredients
  • 1 Duncan Hines Supreme Strawberry Cake Mix
  • Ingredients Listed on Back of Cake Box (egg, water, oil)
  • 2 (10 oz) boxes of Frozen Strawberries in Syrup
  • 1 cup of cold milk
  • 1 (3.5 oz ) box of Vanilla Instant Pudding
  • 1 (8 oz) container of Cool Whip, thawed
  • 1 pint strawberries (with tops removed and strawberries cut in half), thawed
  • ⅓ c chopped pecans (totally optional, but you’ll be glad you did)
Instructions
  1. Make the boxed cake mix according to the directions on the back.
  2. Pour the cake batter into a greased 9×13 cake pan and bake according to the box directions.
  3. When it is done take it out of the oven and let it cool 100%.
  4. Once it is cool, use the handle of a wooden spoon to poke rows and rows of holes in the cake.
  5. Add the thawed strawberries with syrup into a food processor or blender.
  6. Pulse until it is a slushy consistency.
  7. Pour the strawberry puree mixture over the cake and spread it out evenly.Let it soak in.
  8. While you are letting the strawberry puree soak in, put 1 cup of cold milk and the instant vanilla pudding mix into a bowl and mix until it thickens.The box of instant pudding says to use 2 cups of milk, but we are only going to use 1 cup.
  9. Fold in the thawed Cool Whip.
  10. Once the pudding and Cool Whip are well combined, spread it evenly over the top of the cake.
  11. Take the fresh strawberry halves and place them on top of the cake frosting.I placed the strawberries in row, do what you like best.
  12. Sprinkle on the optional chopped pecans.
  13. Now, pop it in the fridge for 4 hours.
  14. When you are ready to serve, slice it up and devour.
Notes
The Pillsbury version of the Strawberry cake mix works as well.

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Comments

  1. Tina Renee Barker says

    I made this cake today for our Sunday family lunch tomorrow! I goofed a bit by using a 23 oz. tub of strawberries in syrup so my cake didn’t soak all the juice up but I’m sure it will taste fantastic none the less! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!!!!

    • elizabeth says

      Well, it looks like I’m the only one who had trouble with this recipe. I made it for a big Bridge/Birthday party and I don’t think I will be serving it. First of all the whipped cream did NOT spread OVER the top of the strawberry puree-it got all jumbled up WITH it. Second, it is completely soggy. I have it in the freezer right now and am hoping that by freezing it I can serve it as a “frozen” dessert. However, I’m not too optimistic and am pretty sure I’ll be heading to the bakery for a store bought cake! Was I supposed to FREEZE the cake BEFORE I put the Cool Whip combo on top so the puree was solid? If so it was not mentioned.

      • says

        Thanks for your feedback and I am sorry this was a disappointing recipe for you.

        You are not supposed to freeze the cake, just refrigerate.

        Did you poke holes in the cake once it was cooled so the strawberry puree can seep into the cake? This will prevent the puree mixture from sitting on top of the cake and mixing in with the whipped topping.

        Did you run the frozen strawberries through the food processor and pulse them to make a liquid-like mixture?

        How did you apply the whipped topping? If you notice in my picture I dumped all of the whipped topping into the middle of the cake and then spread it out. If you apply the whipped topping in small amounts I image that could make a mess.

        Did you bake the cake in a 9×13 pan? If you baked it in a smaller pan, like a 9×9, that might prevent the puree from soaking up complexly. {I am just trying to run through ideas here. If the directions from my post were followed it should have come out exactly like my pictures. It really is a simple cake.}

        By placing the cake in the fridge for 4 hours once it’s assembled completely, sets the puree so it is not a soggy cake.

        Without seeing pictures of your results and process it is hard to help, but we have made this cake many many times and love it every time. My friend Kim’s mother has been making it for decades and it is amazing.

        I would love to help you.

  2. mary cunningham says

    Is there no strawberry jello mixed in with the strawberry puree????????? I’ve made poke cakes before but there has been jello in the mixturel

    • says

      Hi Patti- the printable version has been added to the end of the recipe! Thank you so much for bringing to my attention that it was missing.

      Have an awesome day!

  3. Pamela J Slocumb says

    This is the first time I’ve seen your site, but I must tell you that I LOVE the fact that you include a printable version with your recipes! What a great idea which is also so very helpful! Thank you!

    • says

      Pamela- thank you so much for your sweet words. This recipe went viral and we’ve seen lots of new readers. I try to provide the printable at the end of each recipe. I am in the process of adding it to any recipes that are missing it.

      Glad you are here and hope you’ll check out some of the other ideas on my site as well. I love sharing easy recipes for busy families, educational resources and activities for kids, as well as crafts and other mommy solutions!

  4. neyha says

    Hi Crystal,

    This is the first time I’ve seen your site and i simply love it, i’m planning a dinner party on this weekend and your dessert looks very tempting, i just wanna to ask you if we can use fresh strawberry home made syrup instead of frozen one, as i cant find it here.

    • says

      You could certainly make your own pureed strawberries by placing some slices strawberries in a bowl and covering them in sugar and letting them turn into a saucy mixture and then run it through the food processor to puree it.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] You can definitely change up the flavors and make this cake for any occasion. I was inspired by the Strawberry Refrigerator Cake found on Crystal & Co.. I changed up a few things to make it fit the patriotic theme, and it [...]

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