Homemade Strawberry Cake
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Soft and fluffy homemade strawberry cake made with fresh strawberries and topped with a creamy strawberry buttercream.
Middle of July already?? How? HOW? That can only mean one thing… We are more than halfway through our cake of the month adventure. How are we doing? Have you made any yet?
I know last month’s cake was a big hit and I saw manyyyy beautifully swirly pictures on IG! Thank you for tagging me!
Let’s see here… In past Cakes of The Month, we’ve made:
- yellow layer cake with chocolate buttercream
- dark chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting
- white layer cake with whipped cream buttercream
- banana crumb snack cake
- ice cream sheet cake
- red, white, & blue swirl bundt cake
Today, we’re visiting a cake that I’ve had in my back pocket for many years. I used to make this fresh strawberry cake often for custom cake customers, and it was wildly popular in the summer months.
The reason I’m bringing it to the blog today is because it showcases one of the best fruits summer has to offer: fresh strawberries.
This Strawberry Cake is so fresh!
Back in the day, when I developed this recipe, I took to Google and Pinterest to find a homemade strawberry cake that was made with actual fruit. Can you believe it?
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, jam, or even Jell-O, but that’s not at all what I was looking for.
I wanted soft, fluffy cake dotted with actual bits of 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 I’m sharing with you today.
Homemade Strawberry Cake ingredients
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
Best 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 from Scratch
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.
The secret to buttercream for Strawberry Cake
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 (the same recipe I use here) 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 [I have a recipe for this]. 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 summer 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
Love fresh strawberry recipes? Try my strawberry bundt cake, strawberry lemonade quick bread, or strawberry compote recipes next!
MOre Favorites from Fresh April Flours
Best Strawberry Cake Recipe
- 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 strawberries approximately 16 large strawberries
- 1 cup (10-12g) freeze-dried strawberries
- 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
- salt to taste
- 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.
- 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.
- Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture in 2 parts, alternating with the milk. Gently fold in strawberries by hand.
- 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.
- 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.
- With the mixer on low, add in the powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk or cream. Add the strawberry powder, 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. Add salt to taste.
- For more buttercream troubleshooting tips, see my book, The Home Baker's Guide to Basic Buttercream.
ASSEMBLE THE CAKE
- 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.
All nutritional values are approximate and provided to the reader as a courtesy. Changing ingredients and/or quantities will alter the estimated nutritional calculations.
This batter was so silky and fluffy. The cake was delicious. I received so many compliments.
I hear that a lot 🙂 thanks, Angie!
Cake is delicious! And wasn’t difficult to make.
I love hearing that. Thanks, Amber!
The texture of this cake is beautiful! So fluffy and moist, not too dense or heavy at all. The strawberry flavor is a bit strong for me, but if you’re a strawberry lover this cake is for you!
Thanks so much, Breanne!
Very good! Even used gluten free flour!
AWESOME! I’m so glad to know that 🙂
Which GF flour brand?
Anything that can offer a true a 1:1 sub!
Excellent flavor! Great recipe. Thanks!
So glad you liked it, Lisa!
This is hands down my family’s favorite cake! We make it often. I made it this weekend for my daughters birthday. I doubled the recipe and made half a sheet cake! It’s always perfect and I often get requests for it! Love it!
Thank you so much, Leah!
Ive made this cake at first time it went perfectly delicious and fluffy. But on my 2nd trial, i failed. Haha. I wonder if i can use strawberry preserve instead of freah strawberry?
Hey, Natasha– you probably could, but you’d want to adjust the sugar because preserves are already sweetened, and the recipe calls for fresh strawberries with no added sugar. Playing with the sugar content would disrupt all the other ingredients, so I wouldn’t try it unless you had extensive practice with that kind of substitution. It’s hard to say why it worked once and not again, but I’d say you possibly missed an ingredient or you have expired leaveners.
I only have one 9 inch pan, can I put all of the batter in at once and torte the cake in half when it’s done baking?
Hi, Lanie– I would not recommend that. I would halve the recipe if you only want one 9″ to torte.
I am in a tropical country. Should this cake be refrigirated if to be used next day
I would refrigerate this cake, yes.
How can I make this without freeze dried strawberries?
There are no freeze dried strawberries in the cake, so you’re all good there. As far as the frosting goes, there’s no way to get a sturdy, not runny frosting without using freeze dried ones. Hope that helps!
I made this cake for my birthday last weekend and it was HEAVENLY! As a strawberry addict, it was important for me to bake a cake that would uphold the integrity of the strawberry flavor, and let me tell you, this did NOT disappoint! The cake was moist and the buttercream was out of this world good! This is definitely a must try during the summer.
Thank you so much, Cindy! I am so glad you approve of it all as a strawberry lover 🙂
Looks yummy, I have just a 10inch pan, can I use this recipe for that size of pan?
Hey, Tee– you can, the bake time will just be shorter and the cake will be thinner. If you want to, you can 1.5x the recipe and that will fit better in the pan. It’s up to you what you prefer your end result to be. Hope that helps!
Alright, thank you.
I tried it! It came out great!
Awesome, Blossom! 🙂
This is a great easy cake . And awsome flavor. I highly recommend this above most recipes using fresh strawberries.
Thank you! 🙂
I loved making this cake! The recipe was simple to follow and I loved that it wasn’t overly sweet. The fresh strawberries gave it great flavor and texture and the frosting with the freeze dried strawberries was the perfect accompaniment. And oh my gosh the aroma!!! Yum!
Thank you so much, Jen! 🙂
This recipe and pictures make this sound and look so good. I, however I have a question that I wanted to ask before I make it. Can I use strawberry extract as well as vanilla extract? Like half of one and half the other? Or use only strawberry extract or not use the strawberry extract at all?
Thank you in advance
Hi, Ashley– you can if you’d like, but it’s not necessary. You need to keep at least some vanilla, so I wouldn’t replace all of it.
Made this cake for my Son-in-Laws birthday and it was a huge hit with the family. I did not use the frosting recipe provided here though, b/c I wanted a strawberry cream cheese frosting for it. This cake recipe was a easy to put together and gives a rich, silky batter. I did add 1 Tbsp of lemon juice and 1 tsp of lemon zest in both the cake batter and the frosting that I made which took it over the top Thank you for sharing this recipe.
Thanks so much, Mary Ann! SO glad you enjoyed it 🙂
Maybe the best Strawberry cake ever . Easy to make and the outcome was bakery worthy . Loved by everyone. Will be making again and again 😀
Thanks so much, Melissa– so glad everyone liked it!
Hi, would this cake work well with a whipped cream frosting like in a strawberry short cake?
Hey, Barbara– it certainly would! My traditional homemade whipped cream would be perfect!
Can this be baked in a 9×13 dish instead? Looks delicious!
Hi, Kathy– it can. I’m taking a guess at bake time– try 23-25 minutes to start!