Strawberry Shortcake Explosion Cake

My 26th birthday was wild. I kicked off the day by making this insane cake, but little did I know, Sebastian would propose to me later that day, and this would also be a cake to represent our engagement!

I’ve got a summer birthday, and two of my biggest summer cravings are strawberries and ice cream. You give me one of those Good Humor strawberry shortcake pops and I am in heaven. I also love boxed cake… there’s something about all the chemicals (lol) that make this cake just taste so much better. Don’t @ me!!! From my experience, if you’re craving boxed cake, nothing else will satisfy that craving.

So, here’s my strawberry shortcake explosion cake. I initially wanted three layers, but one of them crumbled…so I decided to turn them into cake balls for the decor. I ended up layering white vanilla cake with another layer of strawberry cake (which I made by mixing white cake batter with strawberry jam.) In between, there’s a strawberry jam layer, with the Rice Krispies strawberry cereal sprinkled on top for the extra crunch factor, and to break up the stickiness. Frost all of this with a vanilla/strawberry frosting ombre combination…top with strawberry pocky and Pop-Tart pieces, cake truffles, and more cereal of course. Tada! You have an explosion.

layered strawberry and vanilla cake with strawberry jam and strawberry crispy cereal, strawberry pop-tarts, cake balls and pocky sticks

Strawberry Shortcake Explosion Cake

Turning store bought cake mix into a gourmet dessert! White cake and strawberry cake, layered with strawberry jam and crunchy cereal. All of this is coated in delicious storebought vanilla and strawberry frosting, and topped with cake balls, pocky sticks and strawberry Pop-Tarts!
Total Time 3 hrs
Course Dessert
Cuisine Dessert


  • 3 cake pans, buttered and floured. Lined with parchment paper.


  • 3 boxes white cake mix use ingredients as instructed, per box
  • 2 jars store bought vanilla frosting
  • 1 jar store bought strawberry frosting if you can't find strawberry, you can use another vanilla + pink or red food coloring
  • 1 box

    crispy strawberry cereal

    I used Rice Krispies
  • 1 jar strawberry jam
  • 1 box strawberry milkshake Pop-Tarts you can use any strawberry toaster pastry
  • 1 box strawberry pocky sticks
  • Pink and white sprinkles


  • Prepare white cake batter as box instructs. Prepare two boxes together in the same bowl, and one box in a separate bowl.
  • In the bowl with one box's worth of batter, pour 1/2 cup of strawberry jam and mix until thoroughly combined.
  • Prepare your cake pans by buttering, flouring and lining with parchment paper to prevent sticking. Pour white cake batter in two of your cake pans, and set aside.
  • Pour strawberry cake batter into the third pan.
  • Put all pans in the oven to bake, as box instructs.
  • When the cakes are done, let them cool for at least 30 minutes. You can place them in the freezer if you need to expedite the process.
  • Place one white cake and the strawberry cake on a flat surface, and slice off the curved top. This will flatten the cakes so you can stack them on top of each other.
  • Take the third cake and crumble it to prepare cake balls for the decoration. Add 1/2 cup of vanilla frosting to the crumbled cake, until a moist dough forms. If your cake is dry and balls are not forming, add extra frosting until the desired consistency is reached.
  • Place the cake balls in the fridge.
  • Put the flat vanilla cake on a cake stand and frost it completely with vanilla frosting. Then, spread strawberry jam on top. Sprinkle crispy cereal on top of the jam and then put the second cake on top. The cakes should be uniformly stacked.
  • Now, frost the upper half of the cake with the strawberry frosting, mixing with the vanilla in the middle to make a lighter pink. The top should be the brightest pink, while the color fades into the vanilla at the bottom.
  • Crush strawberry cereal and sprinkle it on top and around the edges.
  • Time to decorate! Grab your cake balls from the fridge and coat them in sprinkles. Put the cake balls around the edge of the cake.
  • Break the strawberry Pop-Tart into pieces, and stack on top of the cake, between the cake balls.
  • Arrange the Pocky sticks on the edge of the cake, between the Pop-Tarts and the cake balls.
Keyword boxed cake recipe, Rice Krispie crunch cereal, Strawberry pocky, Strawberry pop-tarts, strawberry shortcake

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