They were okay with whatever I did, but I wondered if anyone knew what would be best. Should I do a strawberry flavored cake, a strawberry filling or both? I thought both would be too much strawberry. Anyone have any ideas?
Strawberry filled cake and a strawberry flavored cake are very different things so I think I'd really lock down what they want before you make yourself crazy! I have made a very good strawberry flavored cake using white chocolate pudding mix and some pureed strawberries in a strawberry flavored cake mix. I agree with you that strawberry cake and filling would be overkill.
First, definetally clarify the flavored cake vs. filled cake.
If they want a strawberry flavored cake, there are a bunch of ways to do it. I don't really have a written out recipe, I just mix by consistency. I use a white cake mix (with eggs, oil, and water), strawberries that have been mashed or pureed a little (want some strawberry chunks) probably a cup to a cup and a half, and a small package of strawberry jello. Make sure you account for the liquid in the strawberries by cutting down the water and adding a little extra flour. It tends to be a denser cake that needs a little longer to bake.
Whatever recipe you go with, definetally add red food color, whether it's jello or by adding red paste. Otherwise the berries will grey and you'll end up with a greyish-pinkish cake that does NOT look appetizing at all.
You may want to experiment with jello vs pudding mix added in. I did with both and found the jello version a bit dryer than the pudding version. Both were sturdy but definitely different tastes/consistencies.
dodibug, I actually have the opposite problem, I usually end up with a cake that is too moist! I think I under-compensate for the liquid in the strawberries. One of these days I'm going to have to learn how to write down what I'm putting in so I can correct it the next time.
I use BC super moist white cake mix, do you think that makes a difference? What do you use?