If you’re looking for an easy strawberry cake recipe, this is it! This extra-moist cake starts with a boxed cake mix, but is anything from ordinary. Top with homemade strawberry frosting that tastes like a milkshake.
It’s March. The doldrums of winter are setting in and we’re all craving a little bit of summer. What will satisfy that craving and have you dreaming of sunny spring days ahead? This easy strawberry cake recipe.
This recipe is a classic and definitely not original to us, but it is one we shared back at the beginning of our website in 2013, because it was a tried and true family recipe. It has stood the test of time and I know your family will love it just as much as ours had.
About this Easy Strawberry Cake Recipe:
Flavor: Strawberry upon strawberry. That’s the flavor profile. The strawberry Jello and strawberry puree are like a double strawberry hit. And if you can find a strawberry cake mix it will be a triple threat.
Texture: This cake is ultra moist thanks to the addition of Jello in the ingredients. It’s a full proof cake that ends in moist results, every time.
And I’ll have to say…this cake is hard to beat. It’s the best strawberry cake recipe I’ve ever made. The strawberry flavor is intense and the cake is ridiculously moist.
Can I put fresh strawberries in cake mix?
Yes! This cake starts with a cake mix, but uses fresh strawberry purée to give it the fresh strawberry flavor.
To made strawberry purée, take the strawberries and run them through a food processor to purée them. Use 1 cup of the strawberry puree, juice and all, in this cake recipe.
Will strawberries make cake soggy? No. But it’s going to add the moisture and sweetness you’ve wanted in a strawberry cake.
Tips for Making Strawberry Cake
This is a dump-and-go style cake. Add all of the ingredients to a stand mixer (or use a hand mixer) and mix well. Here are a few hints:
Although this strawberry cake starts with a boxed cake mix, it does have fresh strawberries in it. You’ll add 1 cup of pureed strawberries to the cake batter. Just enough to add a fresh flavor and extra moisture.
Add a small box of strawberry gelatin to the batter. If you can find a strawberry boxed cake mix, you may be able to use that and skip this step. But add strawberry gelatin to a white cake mix for a huge strawberry flavor boost.
Use oil instead of butter. I normally like to try to use butter in cake recipes. I tested this recipe three times and everyone preferred the cake with oil over butter. The texture was simply amazing, and since strawberry is the main flavor, you won’t notice the butter taste missing.
To make a 9×13 cake, prepare the cake and pour the cake batter in a greased 9×13 cake pan. Bake at 325ºF for 35 minutes, or until the center of the cake bounces back when you touch it.
To make a 2 layer cake, divide the batter between 2 greased and floured 8″ cake pans. Bake at 325ºF for 29 minutes, or until the top of the cake bounces back when you touch it.
I desperately wanted to use fresh strawberries for the frosting. But I just couldn’t get the texture right. The fresh strawberries were reacting with the butter and sugar, which caused the frosting to be a little lumpy, a little runny and not as smooth as I liked.
My from scratch strawberry cake calls for a strawberry reduction in the frosting. Since this was an “easy strawberry cake”, I wanted something a little quicker.
So what gives this homemade strawberry frosting its flavor?Strawberry jam. I used Welch’s Natural Strawberry Spread. The combination of butter, jam, sugar, vanilla and a little cream makes this frosting taste like you are drinking a strawberry milkshake. Even those in the family who don’t care for frosting couldn’t resist.
don’t want to use strawberry jam?
Use freeze-dried strawberries for a pop of flavor. Grind the strawberries into a powder and add to the creamed butter and sugar a few tablespoons at a time, until you get the flavor you’d like.
If you’re looking different frosting, try one of these:
The fresh strawberry puree is simply a cup of blended strawberries. Measure the puree after the strawberries are blended and it should equal 1 cup.
Preheat the oven to 325ºF. Grease and flour two 8" round cake pans (*see instructions below for 9×13 cake pan*).
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the cake mix, gelatin, milk, oil, eggs and fresh strawberry puree.
Beat on low speed until mixed, then beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
Divide the cake batter evenly between the two prepared pans.
Bake for 29-33 minutes, or until the top of the cake bounces back when you touch it.
Allow the cakes to cool for 10 minutes, then turn them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
For the Frosting:
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the room temperature butter for 1-2 minutes until nearly white in appearance.
Add 2 cups of powdered sugar and the vanilla extract. Beat on low for 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Mix in the heavy cream* and another 2 cups of powdered sugar. Beat on low for 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Add the last 2 cups of powdered sugar and the strawberry jam. Beat on low speed until mixed, then beat on medium speed for 1-2 minutes, until the frosting is creamy and smooth, scraping down the sides as needed.
To Frost the Cake:
Place one cake layer on a cake plate.
Spread frosting on top of the first layer. (Add a layer of strawberry jam here, too, if you'd like!)
Place the second cake layer on top of the frosting.
Use the remaining frosting to frost the top and sides of the layer cake.
Optional: Decorate the top middle of the cake with a few tablespoons of strawberry jam and fresh strawberries.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge until serving.
*Add additional heavy cream by the tablespoon until it is to the consistency you’d like.
**To make a 9×13 cake, prepare the cake as described above. Pour the cake batter in a greased 9×13 cake pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 35 minutes, or until the center of the cake bounces back when you touch it.
***If you make a 9×13 cake, you won’t need quite as much frosting. Use these amounts for frosting, preparing it in the same way as described above:
1 cup butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4-5 tablespoons heavy cream
⅓ cup strawberry jam
If all you have is unsalted butter, use that and add a dash of salt.
Refer to the article above for more tips and tricks.The calories shown are based on the cake being cut into 15 pieces, with 1 serving being 1 slice of cake. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate. **We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information. The information in the nutrition box are calculated through a program and there is room for error. If you need an accurate count, I recommend running the ingredients through your favorite nutrition calculator.**