Oh boy! This Very Berry Strawberry Filled Cake by the talented Brenda Gary is 💯. Enjoy her FULL RECIPE below!

Cake Ingredients: 
2 boxes Vanilla Cake Mix
2 cups milk
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract

Fresh strawberry topping ingredients (MAKE AHEAD):
2 cups chopped fresh strawberries
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
½ tsp fresh lemon juice
2-3 drops red food gel coloring
1 tbsp strawberry emulsion
1 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp water
** save tops of 6-8 fresh strawberries with tops

Vanilla Buttercream ingredients (MAKE AHEAD):
1 cup salted butter softened
½ cup unsalted butter
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla, regular or clear
6 cups powdered sugar
6-8 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

Strawberry Filling ingredients:
Strawberry Jam
Strawberry All fruit spread

MAKE STRAWBERRY TOPPING: Place chopped strawberries and sugar into a medium saucepan, add water, and stir. Over medium high heat until boil, stir, reduce heat to medium. Mix cornstarch with 2 tbsp of water until completely combined. Pour the liquid into the pan, stirring continuously, until well blended. Cook the strawberry mixture over medium for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently, until it becomes thick syrup forms. Remove from heat, pour in a bowl, add lemon juice, strawberry emulsion, and gel coloring, stir. Let cool, then refrigerate. Sauce will thicken as it cools. Vanilla can be used in place of lemon or no lemon juice.
**strawberry extract will not give the added strawberry flavor like the emulsion will

In a stand mixer bowl with paddle, on medium speed, whip the butter for 2 minutes until it is fluffy and almost white in color. Add in the powdered sugar, vanilla and 4 tablespoons milk. Beat on low speed for 1 minute. If mixture is too thick, add more heavy cream 1 tsp at a time. Increase speed to medium, beat 3-4 minutes.

Combine fruit spread and jam into microwavable bowl. Microwave 30-60 seconds, set aside.

In a large bowl or stand mixer, add milk, eggs, vanilla, then cake mix. ( If you have a favorite white or vanilla cake scratch, you can use it.)
Mix batter. Pour into 3 9×2 inch cake pans, coated with a baking spray with flour. Bake according to box directions. Cool

Apply a small amount of buttercream to cake board or plate. Place one layer of cake bottom side up onto board or plate.
Poke holes into cake using a wooden spoon. Spread some of the strawberry filling onto cake layer using a spatula. Make sure filling seeps into holes. ** filling placed into a piping bag can be used as well, or a bismark or cupcake injecting tip.
Frost with buttercream.
Repeat process with a second and third layer.
Frost as desired but make a border around the top layer. I use a 1mm Wilton tip to create the border. Place strawberry topping in the center of the border, top with fresh strawberry tops.
*** you can also place a small amount of strawberry topping and fresh chopped strawberries between the layers but be sure to create a border to hold the topping in.