Homemade Strawberry Cake Recipe

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Hints for the perfect Homemade Strawberry Cake! This 100% from-scratch recipe uses fresh strawberries in the cake and in the homemade buttercream. You may also love our strawberry crumb bars

Homemade Strawberry Cake Recipe

Fresh Strawberry Cake Recipe

It took two whole months of flour-flying, cake-baking intensity, but we’ve come through for you with a strawberry cake that I think you’ll love. 100% homemade strawberry cake. Made with fresh strawberries.

We had last month made a strawberry cake that was to-die-for that used a cake mix and gelatin, but you wanted a strawberry cake from scratch without gelatin. You asked for it, and we didn’t quit ’til we had it down. Ok….so I did quit, but then decided I couldn’t let the challenge go and picked it up again.

Do you realize how hard it is to add fresh strawberries to homemade cake? It’s not as easy as dumping those juicy red berries into the batter. It takes some tweaking to get intense strawberry flavor without adding too much moisture to the cake. We finally made it happen and couldn’t be happier with the results!

Let’s get right into talking about this homemade strawberry cake recipe!

Homemade Strawberry Cake Recipe

How do you make strawberry flavored cake?

So how do you make a strawberry cake with real strawberries? You start by making a strawberry puree. How do you make a strawberry puree for cake? I’m glad you asked!

To make a simple strawberry puree, you’ll take 1 quart of strawberries, clean them, cut off the stems, and put them in a food processor until they are all nice and pureed. You should end up with about 3 cups of puree. Now some stop there, but I decided to get a more intense strawberry flavor for this homemade strawberry cake and buttercream, I wanted to make a strawberry puree reduction. That means I took the fresh strawberry puree and placed it in a saucepan. I turned the stovetop on to medium-low heat and allowed the strawberry puree to simmer for about 30-45 minutes until the puree has reduced down by half, or about 1 ½ cups. Why do this? It cooks out some of the moisture of the strawberries, but keeps all that berry-bursting flavor. This is the reduced strawberry puree that you will use in the cake and in the buttercream.  Be sure to plan ahead on this part. You’ll need the reduced puree to cool completely before you make the cake. I often make prepare the puree the day before I will be baking the cake.

How do you make a homemade strawberry cake?

It’s fairly easy to put together the cake. We based the recipe off this cherry cake, which uses cake flour, butter and egg whites which results in a fluffy cake with amazing flavor. To get the strawberry flavor, use a little bit of strawberry extract, which you can find in grocery stores in the baking aisle. If you can’t find that extract, simply use the vanilla extract. You’ll also use ½ cup of the reduced strawberry puree.

Can you use all purpose flour instead of cake flour?

Not really. In order to have the best results, if a recipe calls for cake flour, you should definitely use cake flour. Do you want to make a substitute for cake flour? Take a cup of all-purpose flour and remove two tablespoons of flour. Add two tablespoons of cornstarch back into the flour. Whisk the flour and cornstarch together. This will work as a cake flour substitute in a pinch!

*It’s important to note that the cake does not have a bright pink color. It’s more white in appearance. If you’d like a deeper pink color, use a drop or two of red food coloring.*

How do you make strawberry frosting?

The frosting itself is just like our basic buttercream frosting. The only difference is that instead of heavy whipping cream to make it smooth, you’ll use some of the remaining strawberry puree to give it a pink color and strawberry flavor.

*Add the strawberry puree into the buttercream no more than ¼ cup at a time to be sure that the buttercream doesn’t end up too runny. You want it to be spreading consistency, but not to slide off the cake. You may not use all of the reduced strawberry puree.*

Homemade Strawberry Cake Recipe

It’s a fairly easy homemade cake recipe. Use only the ingredients listed (meaning go buy that cake flour!) and take your time.

You can make this as a 2-layer cake or in a 9×13 pan. It makes a great strawberry sheet cake.

*Please note that we like a lot of frosting on our cakes. If you’d like less, or if you are making the 9×13 pan size, see the instructions in the recipe.*

Tools to Make This Cake

  • Stand Mixer: A hand mixer will work, but I always find it easier to make frostings with a stand mixer.
  • Beater Blade with Scraper: The best invention ever!
  • 9” Round Cake Pan: These are my favorite pans!
  • Cake Flour:A must-have for anyone who loves to bake from scratch.
  • Cake Spatula: To get that frosting nice and smooth.
  • Wire Cooling Racks:This will help your cakes cool more quickly.
  • Cake Plate: I have this cake plate and everyone loves it! It comes with the cute server too.

Other Strawberry Recipes

strawberry cake with a slice missing
strawberry cake with a slice missing

Homemade Strawberry Cake Recipe

4.56 from 106 votes
Hints for the perfect Homemade Strawberry Cake! This 100% from-scratch recipe uses fresh strawberries in the cake and in the homemade buttercream.
Servings 15 servings
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes

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Ingredients
 

For the Strawberry Puree:

  • 3 cups strawberries pureed*

For the Cake:

For the Buttercream:

  • 1 1/2 cups butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 5 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup reduced strawberry puree

Instructions
 

  • *For the strawberry puree, clean and remove the stems on about 1 quart of strawberries. Cut them in half and place them in a food processor to blend them into a puree. You should end up with about 3 cups of strawberry puree.
  • Place the strawberry puree in a small saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring often to prevent burning, until the strawberries have reduced to 1 ½ cups of puree.  I've found this to take about 30-45 minutes.
  • Allow the reduced strawberry puree to cool completely. (I often make this a day in advance so it has plenty of time to cool.)

For the Cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Sift together the cake flour, baking powder, soda and salt into a medium size bowl. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of stand mixer, cream together the softened butter and sugar. 
  • Add the milk, oil and extracts. Beat on medium speed for 2minutes. 
  • Add the reduced strawberry puree and egg whites.  Beat for an additional 2 minutes.
  • Add the flour mixture and stir until well combined, but be careful not to overmix. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed. 
  • Grease and flour two 9" round cake pans. Divide the batter between the cake pans.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes, or until the cake springs back when you touch the center of it. Allow the cakes to sit for 5 minutes, then remove them from the pans to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the Buttercream:

  • In a stand mixer bowl, with the mixer on medium speed, whip the butter for 2-3 minutes until it is almost white in color. Add in the salt, powdered sugar, vanilla extract. Mix on low speed until blended. Add in the reduced strawberry puree, ¼ a cup until the frosting is the consistency you'd like. Add a drop or two of red food coloring if you'd like the cake to be a little pinker. Beat on low speed again for 1-2 minutes.

Assemble the Cake:

  • Frost the top of one of the round cakes, then place the second cake on top of that.
  • Frost the entire outside of the cake with the strawberry frosting, making it as smooth as possible. 
  • Decorate the top with cut or whole strawberries, if desired.
  • Cover and refrigerate until serving.

Video

YouTube video

Notes

**We updated this recipe January 13, 2019 based on reviewers feedback. We've re-tested this recipe about 5 times and find that it rises better and is fluffier based off these instructions. We so appreciate your feedback!
You can make this recipe into a 9x13 cake. Simply bake at the same time and temperature, watching it closely until the center of the cake springs back when you touch it. 
If you'd like less frosting, try:
2 sticks of butter
¼ teaspoon salt
4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup strawberry puree (added slowly until the frosting is at the correct consistency.)
Make as directed above.

Nutrition

Calories: 554kcal | Carbohydrates: 80g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 65mg | Sodium: 391mg | Potassium: 162mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 63g | Vitamin A: 775IU | Vitamin C: 16.9mg | Calcium: 53mg | Iron: 0.4mg
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Calories 554
Keyword cake recipes, cake with strawberries, how to make strawberry cake, strawberry dessert

Homemade Strawberry Cake Recipe

About JulieJulie Clark

About Julie Clark

I'm Julie Clark, CEO and recipe developer of Tastes of Lizzy T. With my B.A. in Education and over 30 years of cooking and baking, I want to teach YOU the best of our family recipes.

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4.56 from 106 votes (44 ratings without comment)
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Shasta
5 years ago

Is the butter salted or unsalted?

Can you use whole milk for the same results?

Noelle Davis
5 years ago

5 stars
I’ve made this cake twice. Once for my twins bday and another time after it was requested for my nephew. It is always gobbled up and everyone LOVES it. I love the strawberry buttercream. Love that it doesn’t use fake strawberry flavors.

Sara
5 years ago

I just made this cake and it taste amazing. I just had one problem. Mine came out this weird purplish gray color instead of either and off white or pink. I even added some red food coloring to the second half of the batch to see if that would make a difference but it just made it just purple. Do you have any idea why this could be happening?

Nathalia Duran
5 years ago

Favorite recipe of all time!!! Has been used by various family members and friends with awesome results every time. Wondering- I need to make these into cupcakes. How would baking time or temperature change? Thank you!

Courtney
5 years ago

Will this recipe work just to make a plain vanilla cake and take out the strawberry purée and strawberry extract?

Erika
5 years ago

I am going to try this recipe for my daughter’s 1st Birthday. On number 5 in the instructions, do you beat egg whites first until soft peaks form and then add to puree and beat for additional 2 minutes? The instructions weren’t specific on how to add the egg white. Please clarify. Thank you. 🙂

LAVERNE
5 years ago

4 stars
The sponge was light and tender. The strawberry flavor was good. It melts in your mouth. I gave it a four due to the frosting. It had a wonderful strawberry flavor, however it read need by the salt. I also made the frosting while the cake was baking. Once the layers were cooled i started to frost the cake. The frosting had lost all its volume and fluffiness. I guess refrigerating until served is not a suggestion. I’ll try it again with no salt an refrigerating the frosting.

Jess
5 years ago

5 stars
Can I use frozen strawberries?

Vilya Thomas
5 years ago

Hello Julie, I am planning to make this cake, it looks interesting and your reviews are mostly good. My question is, regarding the recommendation to whip the egg the whites…should I whip to fraughty, soft or stiff peaks???

Angie
5 years ago

If I don’t have a food processor, what else could I use to make the puree? Would a blender work? I want to make this even though it isn’t strawberry season yet 😁

Keidy Soto
5 years ago

5 stars
Immediately subscribed because I loved this recipe! All of my family loved it.
Does this cake need refrigeration without the buttercream? I want to make it again during the week to share it with some friends on the weekend 🙂

Triona
5 years ago

Any suggestions for adapting this recipe to a smaller cake and cupcakes? Hoping to do it for my daughters 1st birthday (one small smash cake and cupcakes. Could also do a smaller and a regular sized cake I guess. Simply reduce baking time or anything else I should think of?

Thanks

Faith
5 years ago

Now I know how to bake a cake

Eman
5 years ago

hello, why you don’t use the egg yolk in this recipe.

Lauren
5 years ago

Try replacing some of the baking powder with a fee pinches of baking soda. That is a must for acidic ingredients.

Lauren
5 years ago

Hey I looked at the recipe and there’s an ingredient you are definitely missing. For an acidic ingredient like strawberries, your cake should have some baking soda to help. That alkalinity will make your cake so nice and fluffy, and give it a better rise. So then people won’t complain about dense cake with no rise.