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Soft and fluffy homemade strawberry cake made with fresh strawberries and topped with a creamy strawberry buttercream. With nearly triple digit 5-star reviews since its publication in 2017, this cake is sure to be a favorite in your kitchen, too!
This cake is so darn good. There is just no other way to describe it.
After years of being incredibly disappointed with strawberry cakes that tasted too artificial because they were made with strawberry gelatin or ones that were too wet because they didn’t take care to prepare the fresh strawberries properly, I settled on the perfect combination and ratio of ingredients as well as the perfect strawberry buttercream.
This is hands down the most popular cake recipe that exists on my site, and if you give it a shot, I know you’ll be doing a happy-strawberry-cake dance like I do every time I make it.
This is the Best Strawberry Cake Recipe!
Long ago, around 2010, when I started baking and decorating custom cakes for people, I took to Google and Pinterest to find a homemade strawberry cake that was made with actual fruit. Can you believe it was super difficult to find?
Have you ever tried to search for a fresh strawberry cake recipe from scratch? Or a strawberry cake recipe without gelatin? I found a lot of recipes were made with strawberry jelly, strawberry jam, or even strawberry Jell-O, but that’s not at all what I was looking for.
I wanted soft, fluffy cake dotted with actual bits of real strawberries, and a strawberry cake without gelatin. I found strawberry cupcakes from Brown Eyed Baker that I figured I could turn into a cake, and after a few tries, I settled on this lovely little number that has been gracing people’s kitchens since I published the recipe in 2017.
Consider this 5-star review from reader Jan:
“This is just the most fantastic recipe. Not only is the cake absolutely delicious, the recipe works! I’ve spent years trying recipes from the internet and a lot of them are wrong in so many ways, but this is one I’ll be using for many years ahead.“
STRAWBERRY CAKE PROBLEMS
Since the publication of this recipe in 2017, I see a lot of the same remarks over and over in comments and reviews. Home bakers like you are so happy to find a delicious strawberry cake that doesn’t have any extra steps (like making a strawberry reduction), doesn’t use any strawberry extract, and doesn’t have you reaching for a box of strawberry gelatin.
While there’s certainly nothing wrong with those recipes and I am confident they all have people who use them as their go-to strawberry cake recipe, this strawberry cake has stood the test of time in my as well as my readers’ kitchens, and I am confident that if you give my recipe a try, you will be a believer, too!
Homemade Strawberry Cake ingredients
This easy strawberry cake recipe uses very simple ingredients. The only odd ball is probably the freeze-dried strawberries, but see my note below or in the recipe card about where to find them.
For this strawberry cake, you will need:
• all-purpose flour
• baking powder
• granulated sugar
• vanilla extract
• eggs + egg white
• fresh strawberries
For the strawberry buttercream, you will need:
• freeze-dried strawberries
• powdered sugar
• milk or cream
• vanilla extract
WHERE DO I FIND FREEZE-DRIED STRAWBERRIES?
Freeze-dried strawberries are typically found in the dried fruit section of your grocery store. If you can’t find them there, check the aisle with bulk candy, if your grocery store has one.
Make sure you are buying freeze-dried strawberries and not just dried strawberries. Dried strawberries are more of a gummy texture. You are making strawberry powder, so you’ll want to buy the ones with zero moisture in them.
Fresh Strawberry Cake Recipe substitutions
If all you have are frozen strawberries, you may use them. Thaw and blot or squeeze dry as much as possible, then proceed with the recipe. You can also use any milk that you prefer, but I always test my recipes with full fat cow milk.
How to make Strawberry Cake
The ingredients in this fabulous strawberry layer cake are nothing you haven’t seen already in cake. Nothing special, nothing fancy, and no artificial flavors.
You’ll be getting 100% of the strawberry flavor in this cake from actual, juicy strawberries. 2 cups of them! That’s about 16 large strawberries. So much flavor!
The cake itself lends to a soft and fluffy texture. You might think this cake should be dense and heavy, but it is absolutely not. It’s basically like eating a strawberry cloud. Can you dig it?
The only thing that makes this easy strawberry cake better is the absolutely creamy dreamy strawberry buttercream that gets slathered all over every inch of it. Ohhh, it is SO GOOD.
Consider this 5-star review from reader Nancy:
“The best scratch cake I have ever made. Huge hit with the whole family! Moist and delicious!! The freeze dried strawberries were a great addition to the buttercream.”
The secret to buttercream for Strawberry Cake from Scratch
I spent a whole lot of time trying to make strawberry frosting in my past cake baker life, and I always failed miserably. I never got the right ratio of strawberries to sugar and butter in order to get great flavor and also avoid making a shloopy, drippy mess.
I even tried using strawberry puree, but still didn’t love the result.
Like I said, failed miserably. It wasn’t until I had a lightbulb moment and wondered if freeze-dried strawberries might do the trick. Spoiler alert: they were perfect.
We can get freeze-dried strawberries in the dried fruit section of our grocery store, so if you aren’t sure yours carries them, check that section carefully! I was surprised to find them there.
You’ll need to blend up approximately 1 cup of the freeze dried strawberries, winding up with about ½ cup of strawberry powder.
That will go directly into your basic buttercream (which is my classic vanilla buttercream recipe) and it will lend the most wonderful strawberry flavor while also keeping the integrity of your sturdy buttercream intact.
Win win, people!
How to serve this Fresh Strawberry Cake Recipe
This cake can be served as is, or with fresh strawberry compote spooned on top. Garnish the cake with fresh strawberry slices for an extra punch of fresh strawberry flavor and texture.
The second you have a taste of this homemade strawberry cake with strawberry buttercream, you’ll wonder where this cake has been all of your life so far.
It is the perfect way to use up that beautiful produce that is just calling your name every time you’re in the grocery store, and you won’t regret the time it takes to hull and chop all those strawberries. Totally worth the work.
This is, hands down, the best strawberry cake recipe I have ever had. Ever.
And if you want to turn it into a bundt cake, here’s my recipe for strawberry bundt cake with strawberry ganache!
We dined on this sweet and slightly tart cake all 4th of July weekend, and it was a huge hit everywhere it went, which was, surprisingly, a few people’s houses.
In fact (!!!!), our son has proved not to love cake so much (I’m a little heart broken), but he couldn’t get enough of this stuff. Perhaps it was all the fruitiness, who knows, but you definitely need this cake in your life this summer.
Besides, just look at those gorgeous strawberry studs and the color of that buttercream! Who can resist that?
How to store Fresh Strawberry Cake
Store this cake covered tightly at room temperature up to 5 days, but cake will start to lose its moisture after about 3 days, and strawberries will start to get soggy. Store the cake in the refrigerator to maintain freshness longer.
Homemade Strawberry Cake FAQs
MOre Favorites from Fresh April Flours
Strawberry Cake from Scratch
- 3 and ¼ cups (390g) all-purpose flour be sure to measure properly
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (224g) unsalted butter softened to room temperature
- 2 cups (400g) granulated sugar
- 1 and ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs
- 1 large egg white
- 1 cup (240g) milk any
- 2 cups finely chopped strawberries1 approximately 16 large strawberries
- 1 cup (20g) freeze-dried strawberries2
- 1 cup (227g) unsalted butter softened to room temperature
- 4 to 5 cups (480-600g) powdered sugar
- ¼ to ⅓ cup (60-80mL) milk or cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Place oven rack on the middle setting and preheat the oven to 350ºF (177ºC). Grease and flour (or use homemade cake release) two 8" or 9" round cake pans.
- In a medium size bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.3 and ¼ cups (390g) all-purpose flour, 4 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt
- In a large bowl with a handheld mixer, or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar, and vanilla until pale (approximately 3 minutes). Add the eggs and egg white one at a time, allowing each to incorporate before adding the next one and scraping the. Scrape down the sides of the bowl when necessary.1 cup (224g) unsalted butter, 2 cups (400g) granulated sugar, 1 and ½ teaspoons vanilla extract, 3 large eggs, 1 large egg white
- Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture in 2 parts, alternating with the milk.1 cup (240g) milk
- Blot the strawberries dry (you don't need to wring them out, just blot them), then gently fold in strawberries by hand.2 cups finely chopped strawberries1
- Divide batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans. Bake cakes for about 40-44 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the tops are lightly browned. Remove from oven and allow cakes to cool completely in the pans on a wire rack before removing and assembling.
- Using a blender or food processor, process the freeze-dried strawberries into a fine powder. Set aside.1 cup (20g) freeze-dried strawberries2
- In a large bowl with a handheld mixer, or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy, about 2 minutes.1 cup (227g) unsalted butter
- With the mixer on low, add in the powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk or cream. Add the strawberry powder and salt, increase mixer speed to medium, and beat until completely smooth, about 3 minutes. If frosting is too stiff, add more milk. If it is too thin, add more powdered sugar.4 to 5 cups (480-600g) powdered sugar, ¼ to ⅓ cup (60-80mL) milk or cream, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, ¼ teaspoon salt
ASSEMBLE THE CAKE
- Place second layer on top, cut surface down. For a sturdier cake, refrigerate at this point for about 10 minutes. When cake is slightly chilled, remove from refrigerator and spread more frosting on the top and around the sides. Serve. Leftovers stay fresh, covered tightly, at room temperature up to 5 days and in the refrigerator up to 1 week.
- Make ahead: prepare cakes and frosting up to 1 day in advance. Cover cakes tightly and keep at room temperature or in the refrigerator until ready to assemble. Refrigerate prepared frosting in an airtight container until ready to use. Unfrosted cake layers may be frozen, wrapped tightly, up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before assembling. Frosted cake can be frozen, wrapped tightly, up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before serving.
- Strawberries: you can use frozen strawberries, too. Thaw them first then blot or squeeze some of the liquid out of them before using.
- Freeze-dried strawberries: freeze-dried strawberries are typically found in the dried fruit section of your grocery store. If you can’t find them there, check the aisle with bulk candy, if your grocery store has one.
- This cake can also be made into a bundt cake. Recipe differs only slightly. I paired that one with a strawberry ganache, but you can use any frosting you like.
- To turn this cake into cupcakes: this will yield about 24 cupcakes. Bake time is about 18-22 minutes.
All nutritional values are approximate and provided to the reader as a courtesy. Changing ingredients and/or quantities will alter the estimated nutritional calculations.