Homemade Strawberry Cake

4.94 from 115 votes

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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!

slice of fresh strawberry cake on a plate

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.

aerial photo of fresh strawberry cake with a slice cut out of 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.


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.

Aerial photo of ingredients for strawberry cake with text overlay.

For this strawberry cake, you will need:
all-purpose flour
baking powder
granulated sugar
vanilla extract
eggs + egg white
fresh strawberries

Aerial photo of ingredients for strawberry buttercream with text overlay.

For the strawberry buttercream, you will need:
freeze-dried strawberries
powdered sugar
milk or cream
vanilla extract


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.

fresh strawberry cake batter in cake pans ready to bake

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!

cut strawberries in a glass measuring cup

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.

fresh strawberry cake on a cake stand

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.

fresh strawberry cake on a plate with a fork and a bite taken out of it

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

Since strawberries are a very wet berry, it’s important to make sure your strawberries are completely dry before you chop them, otherwise you run the risk of the berries making your cake sponge soggy.

A strawberry cake is made of light and airy layers of cake sponge while a strawberry shortcake is made of a more crisp and crumbly cake or sometimes biscuit texture. It gets its name from the use of shortening as the fat for the cake, and this strawberry cake uses all butter.

The key to a super moist and light cake lies very heavily in the starting temperature of the fat, or in the case of this strawberry cake, the butter. You want room temperature butter, which is likely much cooler than you think it is. If your butter is too warm or even partially melted, it will not cream properly with the sugar, which is where a lot of the air and moisture comes from in a cake. See my post about room temperature butter for further explanation.

Fresh strawberries will last about 3-5 days in a baked cake, assuming they were fresh when you chopped them and added them to the cake batter. If you have sad strawberries that need to be used up before they go bad, make sure they are blotted dry before you chop them, and any soggy spots have been removed.

As written, this recipe will make one 9″ x 13″ sheet cake. Bake time will be about 25-30 minutes.

Love fresh strawberry recipes? Try my strawberry bundt cake, strawberry lemonade quick bread, or strawberry compote recipes next!

Strawberry Cake from Scratch

Soft and fluffy homemade strawberry cake made with fresh strawberries and topped with a creamy strawberry buttercream.
Prep Time20 minutes
Bake Time44 minutes
Total Time1 hour 4 minutes
Recipe Author Lynn April
Servings: 12 servings



  • 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


  • Trim cooled cake layers to create a flat surface. You can do this with a large serrated knife or a cake leveler. Place one layer on a plate or cake stand and cover the top with strawberry buttercream frosting. Spread evenly with an offset spatula.
  • 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.



  1. Strawberries: you can use frozen strawberries, too. Thaw them first then blot or squeeze some of the liquid out of them before using.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. To turn this cake into cupcakes: this will yield about 24 cupcakes. Bake time is about 18-22 minutes.
Recipe adapted from Brown Eyed Baker
Did you make this recipe?Mention @freshaprilflours on Instagram or tag #freshaprilflours!

Nutrition Disclosure

All nutritional values are approximate and provided to the reader as a courtesy. Changing ingredients and/or quantities will alter the estimated nutritional calculations.

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 799kcal | Carbohydrates: 120g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 20g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 125mg | Sodium: 371mg | Potassium: 406mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 88g | Vitamin A: 1050IU | Vitamin C: 255mg | Calcium: 139mg | Iron: 6mg

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  1. 5 stars
    Probably the best cake I have ever made. Not overly strawberry, but the flavor- so good! So easy to make, the directions were perfect. I’ll be making this a lot.

  2. Hi, i wanted to make a small cake with this recipe, in a 4” round pan
    Could you help with the measurements and baking time?

    Thanks in advance

    1. Hi, Ayushi! I recommend cutting the recipe in half for two 4″ layers. This will mean you have a bit leftover so you can make 2 or 3 cupcakes. I do not recommend cutting the recipe down any further than this! If you only need one 4″ layer, then you just have more batter left for more cupcakes! Bake time will only be about 12-15 minutes or so. Let me know how it turns out!

  3. 5 stars
    My family loves this cake. It is so delicious and I love the fact that it is made with fresh strawberries! All natural flavors and a joy to make. Thank you! I looked everywhere for a strawberry cake recipe and was lucky to find this.

  4. 5 stars
    I found your strawberry cake recipe for my son’s 3rd or 4th birthday because strawberry was his favorite flavor. He will be 9 this year and we’ve had it every year except one. Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, loves this cake. It is so delicious and so moist, and the freeze-dried strawberries in the frosting firm it up and save the day! It will always be my son’s birthday cake!! Thank you!

  5. 5 stars
    My son insisted on having a strawberry cake for his third birthday, and I have to say, this was amazing! I love how simple it was, but it really was something special. Everyone complimented it. I made the strawberry cake with a strawberry cream cheese frosting, per your recipe in another comment. Thank you so much for sharing! I’ll be making this again.

    1. Hi, Estelle– to cut this recipe in half, I would beat 3 eggs together and then only use HALF of that mixture. Same for the egg white. Enjoy!