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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Sadie
4 years ago

5 stars
I haven’t tried the recipe yet but was curious if you have any tips for adjusting to high altitude? I live 7,000 ft and am about 7 months pregnant craving strawberry cake like crazy!!! I just moved to higher altitude so I haven’t mastered baking up here yet sadly. Any tips help!!!

Angelica
4 years ago

5 stars
This recipe is truly amazing! Ive been searching for a strawberry cake from scratch for quite a while now and did not get the taste and texture i was looking for until i tried yours! Thank you , thank you , thank you, i also wanted to know if i can use buttermilk in this recipe instead of whole milk? Have you tried this recipe with buttermilk? Let me know thanks

Jenn
5 years ago

Thanks so much for creating this gelatin-free strawberry cake recipe! I’ve been making it for about a year because of the delectable frosting. The cake kept coming out very compact so I did some experimenting of my own to make the cake more moist. I read that egg whites make a cake more dry so I used 2 whole eggs + 1 egg yolk (next time I will try 2 whole eggs + 2 egg yolks to try and get an even more moist result). I creamed the butter and sugar together, then added the rest of the wet ingredients… Read more »

S L Hosack
5 years ago

I just made this cake and I must say it was amazing. I didn’t have sour cream so substituted with milk with lemon juice in it. It made a much bigger cake than I was expecting. Simple, easy to follow instructions. I didn’t have the freeze dried strawberries so I just used some of the thickened puree. I made a small cake to take to my mother tomorrow. Thank you so much for your recipe. I think I will make it again at some point. I don’t make a lot of desserts as it is dangerous for me and desserts… Read more »

Cindy Crosson
5 years ago

I m all for strawberry 🍓 so is my husband I just made the Amish strawberry shortcake wow it’s good thanks for the recipe I’m going to make the strawberry cake soon. I’m gluten free and soy free so I did use gluten free flour and it still came out great. Cindy from Colorado.

Jodi
5 years ago

If I don’t want to use the 1/2 cup strawberry purée in the cake batter, is there a substitute?

Maartje
5 years ago

It’s difficult to transfer this recipe to grams, the strawberries in cups give different options (whole, halved, pureed) and it gives drastically different weights. So which one do i use?

Dhatri
5 years ago

5 stars
I love this recipe…simple and easy but I have a six inch pan so how should I go about this recipe?

Melody Crowl
5 years ago

4 stars
Made this for my sons birthday. He loves strawberries. He loved the icing but thought the cake could be more moist.

Lulu
5 years ago

I made this cake for my husband since he loves strawberry. It’s a deliciously light cake without that artificial flavor. I didn’t add the strawberry extract because I don’t like the aftertaste some extracts leave. It was still delicious and had a subtle strawberry flavor. This recipe is a keeper! Thank you!

Jody
5 years ago

5 stars
How much of the Strawberry puree goes into the cake and how much goes into the frosting?

Maria
5 years ago

What if I dont have strawberry extract? Can I leave it out?

C Dawley
5 years ago

5 stars
The best strawberry cake I ever tasted and so beautiful to the eyes

Anita
5 years ago

At what altitude was this tested? Thank you, Anita

Patricia C
5 years ago

The cake looks really yummy & I’m going to try it, but I’m curious as to what is the purpose of the 2 tablespoons of canola oil? Why not use more butter or use cream instead of 2 % milk?

Nicci Hutchins
5 years ago

Is this a thick batter or did I ruin it somehow?