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.
I would love to make this for my niece’s birthday but with a strawberry cream cheese frosting. My family really dislikes buttercream 😕
Hey, Mar– go ahead and use this cream cheese frosting recipe, and simply add the same amount of freeze-dried strawberry powder to that. Enjoy!
I saw this recipe on my instagram earlier in the week and was possessed with the urge to make it because it looks so delicious! I am still working on getting baking tools since I am in college, but I was able to do this with some aluminum cake pans and my fork for mixing since I do not have a handmixer here! This recipe is super easy to follow, and I was happy with the results. I brought the cake over to a friend’s house for a Grammy watch party, and everyone ran over. One of my friends even had 3 slices, said I had a new talent, and then asked me to keep making cakes! I loved loved loved making the frosting with the freeze dried strawberries! Such a cool addition
This kind of review warms my heart to the core!! I’m so impressed you did this without a mixer, but more importantly, I’m so happy to hear you impressed others and have been asked for an encore performance 🙂 way to go, Abigail!
My granddaughter wanted to try making a cake by herself and as soon as I saw this recipe I wanted to taste this cake. Remy is 8 and had no problem following the recipe by herself. I assisted with chopping the berries for her, but otherwise she did everything herself. The cake came out terrific. My daughter said it was the best cake I’d made in years, to which Remy replied, “No. I made it!” Thank you for such a wonderful recipe. As a side note, Remy isn’t a strawberry fan so we made her a couple of cupcakes with the batter before adding berries. She loved them.
This is awesome, Tracey. Thank you so much! And please give a high five to Remy for me! I’m so impressed!
Made this cake for an anniversary party – it turned out awesome! My daughter said it was the perfect combination of sweet and strawberry.
I love that! Thank you, Mary!
I made this for my sisters birthday it was delicious!
Love that! Thanks, Niamh!
Hi! I’d like to make a gluten and dairy free version of this. The GF all purpose flour seems to bake well, my question is mostly around the cream and milk portion of the recipe (We have been using a GF DF plant based butter substitute that has worked well). Do you know if the DF cream will work? Maybe almond milk over oat milk due to flavor?
Hey, Brooke– you will be absolutely fine to use any cow milk sub you prefer. I’d probably use almond milk over oat. Let me know how it goes!
I just made this……it’s delicious!! The best I’ve ever had! Thank you for sharing your gift!
Thanks so much, Christine!
I made this earlier this week and it was wonderful! I made it in a sheet pan and I used your cream cheese recipe for the frosting. This will forever be my go to recipe for strawberry cake!
Awesome, Pok! Thanks so much 🙂
Can this be switched to cupcakes?
Yep! It will make about 24 cupcakes. Bake time is likely around 15-20 minutes.
I am wanting to make this for my daughters birthday party and am wanting to make the cake portions ahead of time, is that possible? How much ahead of time do I need?
Hey, Jessica– that information is in the recipe. Step 3 under “assemble the cake.”
I tried it! It came out yummy everyone liked it. thank you soo much!
Thanks so much, Maya!
Can frozen strawberries be used instead of fresh?
Yes– thaw and wring out excess water before using.
Can I dye the buttercream yellow?
Hi, Susan– if you wanted to, but it would turn orange since the strawberry powder makes it pink/red. If you want to have yellow buttercream, just use vanilla.
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
Thank you so much, Jan! I appreciate you so much.
The best scratch cake I have ever made. Huge hit with the whole family! Moist and D’licious!!
The freeze dried strawberries were a great addition to the buttercream.
Thank you SO much, Nancy! I appreciate that so much 🙂
Forgot the 5 stars!
Hi Lynn! Can this be made into cupcakes? What would the cooking time be?
Hey, Wanda– yes! This will make about 24-30 cupcakes. Bake time is probably somewhere around 12-15 minutes.
I made this cake for my husband’s birthday yesterday and it was a hit. The best recipe I have ever made! This is perfect for a birthday and a wedding.
Thank you so much, Akhila! 🙂
Hi there! I just made this case with the cream cheese icing that you linked in one of the posts below (strawberries included)! The icing is delicious and the cakes came out beautifully. I will be bringing this cake to a dinner party tomorrow and if like to know how soon before serving should it be removed from the fridge?
Thanks in advance! I’m dying to try it!
Thanks so much, Steph! So glad you liked it. You can remove it from the fridge whenever you’d prefer 🙂
Hi, not sure what freeze dried strawberries are, are these a dried strawberry. Where can I purchase these. Love your recipes. Thanks for sharing them with us.