Homemade Strawberry Cake

Homemade Strawberry Cake

This strawberry cake completely blew me away. After years of mediocre from-scratch strawberry cakes, my expectations were pretty low. It was time to taste test my efforts and biting into the first pastel pink forkful was the moment of truth.

I cried tears of joy. Or were those actual tears because I just dirtied every dish with all this strawberry cake recipe testing? Hmm.

Let's get down to business. I find it challenging to pack real strawberry flavor into cake without the crutch of fake strawberry flavoring. My goal was to create a strawberry layer cake made entirely from real strawberries. We're talking strawberries inside the cake and in the frosting as well. With the help of freeze-dried strawberries, I tackled strawberry frosting. I'll get to that below. But for strawberry cake? Things have always been pretty lackluster in the flavor and texture department.

Strawberry Cake Problems

  • Chopping up strawberries and folding into cake batter works, but then you're just eating vanilla cake with chunks of strawberries.
  • Pureeing strawberries and folding into cake batter has potential, but the texture is always off. There's too much liquid. How about adding more flour to make up for that liquid? Then your cake is too dense. And the flavor is always lacking.
  • Strawberry jam could work, but I prefer to start with real strawberries.
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So how can we pack real strawberry flavor into cake batter without adding too much liquid? REDUCE THE STRAWBERRIES DOWN. Ding ding ding! We have a winner.

New Game Plan

  1. Puree fresh strawberries.
  2. Reduce down on the stove.
  3. Let cool.
  4. Stir into cake batter.

Puree 1 pound of ruby red strawberries. You'll need a food processor or blender for this step and again when you make the frosting.

Take that strawberry puree and reduce it down on the stove. This, my friends, is where all the magic happens. Like I mention above, you want a lot of concentrated flavor within a little amount of liquid.

You'll begin with 1 cup of hot pink puree and reduce down to 1/2 cup. This process takes about 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, it will be very thick and very red. Add this thick and highly concentrated strawberry flavor to your cake batter, instead of the thinner strawberry puree.

*No artificial strawberry flavor.

*Nothing from a box.

*Just pure strawberries.

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Start with 1 pound of fresh strawberries.

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Puree them into a hot pink thin liquid.

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Reduce until thick and dark red. About 1/2 cup.

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The reduced strawberry puree will go right into the cake batter. No need to strain the seeds first -- they disappear when the cake is baked. Since the reduced strawberry puree needs to completely cool down, I suggest getting started the day before. Just let the reduced strawberry puree sit in the refrigerator overnight and make the cake batter the following day.

The Cake Batter

The cake batter starts from my white cake. This vanilla flavored cake proved to be the best jumping off point for a strawberry cake. I kept the majority of the recipe the same, but I removed some of the wet ingredients to make room for 1/2 cup of reduced strawberries. The cake is light, springy, soft, and fluffy.

The reduced strawberry puree will tint the cake batter a lovely pastel pink and, if you want, you can add a small drop of pink or red food coloring to brighten that hue. Not necessary, of course. (I added a teeny drop.)

Expect a velvet-y and slightly thick cake batter.

The Strawberry Frosting

You can taste the fresh strawberry flavor in the baked cake, but the flavor is REALLY brought out when you combine it with strawberry frosting. Like strawberry cake, strawberry frosting has always left me feeling a little defeated. Fresh strawberries were the issue. The frosting would always curdle from the added moisture. And no amount of fresh strawberries could get me the strawberry flavor I craved. Instead of settling for artificial strawberry flavor, I took a trick from Sally’s Candy Addiction: strawberry dust! Grab some freeze-dried strawberries, grind them up, and toss it into the frosting.

(I actually added freeze-dried strawberries to cake batter as one of my test recipes. This was an awful decision and an epic fail. The cake was atrocious. Texture, taste, and appearance. Just... no. But freeze-dried strawbs are a YES for frosting!)

Where to buy freeze-dried strawberries? I always find them in my regular grocery store in the dried fruit aisle. Wegmans, Giant, Trader Joe's and Target carries them. Keep your eyes peeled– they’re more commonly found that you think!

Instead of a thicker strawberry buttercream, I used my silky cream cheese frosting recipe. Tossed in the freeze-dried strawberry "dust" and was left with a frosting so pink, Barbie would be jealous!

So let's review. The tricks to homemade strawberry cake and frosting made with real strawberries? (1) Reduced strawberry puree in the cake batter and (2) freeze-dried strawberries in the frosting.

Kiss your boxed strawberry cake buh-bye.

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Homemade Strawberry Cake

YIELD

serves 10-12

PREP TIME

1 hour, 30 minutes

COOK TIME

25 minutes

TOTAL TIME

6 hours (includes cooling)

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 and 1/2 cups (250g) sifted cake flour (measured correctly)*
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (1.5 sticks; 170g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 and 3/4 cups (350g) granulated sugar
  • 5 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup (75g) sour cream, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) whole milk, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup reduced strawberry puree (see note)*

Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1 cup (10-12g) freeze-dried strawberries*
  • one 8-ounce block full-fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick; 115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3 cups (360g) confectioners' sugar
  • 1-2 Tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • salt, to taste

DIRECTIONS

  1. Make the reduced strawberry puree and allow it to cool completely. See note.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Grease and lightly flour two 9-inch cake pans.
  3. Whisk the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Set aside.
  4. Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the butter and sugar together on high speed until smooth and creamed, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Beat in the egg whites on high speed until combined, about 2 minutes. Then beat in the sour cream and vanilla extract. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl as needed. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients until just incorporated. With the mixer still running on low, slowly pour in the milk *just* until combined. Do not overmix. Whisk in 1/2 cup of reduced strawberry puree, making sure there are no lumps at the bottom of the bowl. The batter will be slightly thick.
  5. Pour batter evenly into cake pans. Bake for around 24-25 minutes or until the cakes are baked through. To test for doneness, insert a toothpick into the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, it is done. Allow cakes to cool completely in the pans set on a wire rack. The cakes must be completely cool before frosting and assembling.
  6. Make the frosting: Using a blender or food processor, process the freeze-dried strawberries into a powdery crumb. You should have around 1/2 cup. Set aside. In a large bowl using a hand-held or stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, beat the cream cheese for 1 minute on high speed until completely smooth and creamy. Beat in the butter until combined. Add the confectioners' sugar, strawberry powder, 1 Tablespoon milk, and vanilla and beat on medium-high speed until combined and creamy. Add 1 more Tablespoon of milk to slightly thin out, if desired. Taste, then add a pinch of salt if needed.
  7. Assemble and frost: First, using a large serrated knife, slice a thin layer off the tops of the cakes to create a flat surface. Discard (or crumble over ice cream!). Place 1 cake layer on your cake stand or serving plate. Evenly cover the top with frosting. Top with 2nd layer and spread the remaining frosting all over the top and sides. Refrigerate for at least 45 minutes before slicing. This helps the cake keep its shape when cutting-- it could slightly fall apart without time in the fridge.
  8. Cover leftover cake tightly and store in the refrigerator for 5 days.

Make ahead tip: The cake layers can be baked, cooled, and covered tightly at room temperature overnight. Likewise, the frosting can be prepared then covered and refrigerated overnight. Light it sit at room temperature to slightly soften for 10 minutes before assembling and frosting. Frosted cake can be frozen up to 2 months if you have room in the freezer. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before serving.

RECIPE NOTES

  1. I strongly suggest using cake flour in this recipe. It's sold right next to the all-purpose flour in the baking aisle. And you use it a lot in my recipes! In a pinch, you can use a DIY version: measure 1 cup of all-purpose flour. Remove 2 Tablespoons. Mix in 2 Tablespoons of cornstarch. Sift it. Measure 1 cup. This sifted 1 cup equals 1 cup of cake flour. I suggest doing this 3x, then remove 1/2 cup since you need 2 and 1/2 cups in this recipe.
  2. Where to buy freeze-dried strawberries? I always find them in my regular grocery store in the dried fruit aisle. Wegmans, Giant, Trader Joe's and Target carries them. Keep your eyes peeled– they’re more commonly found that you think! Do not use the chewy/gummy dried strawberries. You need FREEZE-dried strawberries which grind into a powder. If you can't find them anywhere, just leave them out of the frosting and add another 1/2 cup of confectioners' sugar.
  3. To make the reduced strawberry puree: puree 1 lb of strawberries. You should have a little over 1 cup. Stirring occasionally, simmer the puree over low-medium heat for 25-30 minutes until you're left with 1/2 cup or a little over 1/2 cup Allow to cool completely before using in cake batter. I always make the reduced puree the day before so it has plenty of time to cool down. I cover and place in the refrigerator overnight. Use 1/2 cup in the cake. Discard any leftovers or spoon on ice cream/yogurt/add to smoothie. Yum!
  4. To bake in a 9x13 pan: Simply pour the batter into a greased and lightly floured 9x13 pan and bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  5. Cupcakes: Fill cupcake pans 2/3 full with batter. Bake for 20-22 minutes. Makes 2 and 1/2 dozen cupcakes. For less cupcakes, you can make my vanilla cupcakes, reduce the milk and sour cream to 1/3 cup each and add 1/4 cup of concentrated strawberry flavor to the batter.

© SALLY’S BAKING ADDICTION. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe. Some of the links above are affiliate links, which pay me a small commission for my referral at no extra cost to you! Thank you for supporting Sally’s Baking Addiction.

SHOP THIS RECIPE

Here are some items I used to make today's recipe.

KitchenAid Stand Mixer | Stand Mixer Glass Bowl | Dough Scraper | Pastry Cutter | Rolling Pin | Loaf Pan | Pastry Brush

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395 Comments

Comments

  1. Kayla on May 3, 2018 at 9:19 pm

    Hey Sally! I’m planning to bake this cake cut down by half. However, when I pureed my half pound of strawberries (half of the recipe), which is about 227 grams, I ended up with a little over 3/4 cup of puree. Since the recipe states that 1lb of pureed strawberry is a little over 1 cup, shouldn’t the 1/2 lb of pureed strawberry be a little over 1/2 cup? I did pour out some of the puree before reducing so it would be 1/2 cup, but then it wouldn’t weigh 227 grams (1/2 lb). What shoud I do?

    • Sally on May 4, 2018 at 5:44 am

      Hi Kayla! Keep the strawberry puree on the stove until it reaches 1/2 cup. If it takes a little longer to reduce down to 1/2 cup, no problem. You want only 1/2 cup in the cake batter.

  2. Alicia on May 3, 2018 at 11:10 pm

    Do you consistently sure the purée on the stove? Or leave it with a lid on? For 30min till thick

    • Sally on May 4, 2018 at 5:42 am

      Hi Alicia! Stir occasionally. No need to cover the pot with a lid.

  3. Kelli on May 5, 2018 at 4:05 pm

    Hi- Do you recommend 8 or 9 inch pans?

    • Sally on May 7, 2018 at 9:56 am

      Hi Kelli! See step 2 — 9-inch.

  4. Huma Farid on May 6, 2018 at 12:42 pm

    I made this cake for my daughter’s first birthday as she loves strawberries. It was a huge hit at the party, and I got a ton of compliments, even from my husband, who typically does not eat dessert. Every single slice was eaten, down to the crumbs. The color was pink, but not as pink as it is in your photos. It tasted incredible, as if someone had taken breyer’s strawberry ice cream and put it into a cake. This will be on the list of cakes to make again!

    Rating: 5
  5. Rhiannon on May 6, 2018 at 1:12 pm

    Hi Sally! Would it make a difference if I used frozen strawberries (thawed)?

    • Sally on May 10, 2018 at 6:03 am

      Hi Rhiannon! I haven’t tried using frozen strawberries before, but let me know if you do!

    • Jackie on May 24, 2018 at 12:40 am

      I’ve used frozen strawberries with this recipe before. As long as they are thawed, you’re fine.

  6. Jennifer Lloyd on May 8, 2018 at 8:11 pm

    Sally – this recipe tastes amazing but I made cupcakes and they didn’t raise very much. The batter looked really fluffy. Any thoughts?

    • Athina on May 14, 2018 at 7:40 am

      Was your baking powder old?

  7. Briitany on May 9, 2018 at 10:25 pm

    This cake was awesome!!! Thank you so much for sharing and making the directions so clear! The icing was soooooo good and a beautiful color! Now on to trying some of your other cake recipes!!

    Rating: 5
  8. Ellie on May 10, 2018 at 12:34 am

    Hi Sally! I have a couple questions…..
    1: for this cake, when I am making the strawberry purée, can I use frozen strawberries??
    2: I’m wanting to make this cake and put lemon icing on top… Does this sound like a good combination?? Also, in one of your posts you mentioned making lemon icing using buttercream and your lemon curd recipe. Would the consistency still be stable??
    Thanks for all the amazing recipes you give!

    • Sally on May 10, 2018 at 6:05 am

      Hi Ellie!
      1) I haven’t tried using frozen strawberries before, but let me know if you do!
      2) The consistency of a vanilla buttercream with lemon curd would be stable, though I wouldn’t overdo it with lemon curd. Alternatively, you can make this lemon buttercream: https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2017/08/07/lemon-buttercream-frosting/

    • Julia on May 13, 2018 at 11:48 am

      I’ve made this cake twice using frozen strawberries for the purée! It works great! The purée before cooking is pretty thick and slushy, and I found I had to cook the purée for longer because first everything has to melt then it has to reduce, but overall it will work just fine!

  9. Rachel on May 10, 2018 at 2:07 pm

    I want to make a 3-layer 8” cake. Would that work without adjusting ingredients you think? Obviously the baking time would not be the same.

    • Sally on May 11, 2018 at 9:37 am

      Hi Rachel! You can use this batter and divide between 3 8-inch cake pans.

  10. Heather V on May 10, 2018 at 10:55 pm

    I tried to make this recipe tonight as cupcakes for my coworkers. I’m not sure where I went wrong. The batter was beautiful and tasted great, but when I put them in the oven the middles sank and every single cupcake had a big hole in the middle. I’ve never had that happen before on any recipe so I’m not really sure what happened. Do you have any ideas? I really want this recipe to work for me but I don’t know how to start fixing whatever caused the weirdness.

    • Sally on May 11, 2018 at 9:44 am

      Hi Heather! I’m unsure. I’ve made this strawberry cake into cupcakes several times in the past few months, but have never experienced a hole in the center of the cupcakes. Are you following the recipe precisely?

    • Cathy Bauer on May 16, 2018 at 12:02 pm

      The same thing happened to me with the cupcakes! But with a different recipe. I followed it exactly though. Wondering if maybe the baking powder was old?

  11. Dora on May 11, 2018 at 8:26 am

    This cake turned out beautifully, though without the red food color it was a beige color inside. Although the frosting was delicious I am going to try the cake portion of the recipe again with a lighter frosting such as the the Seven Minute (or White Mountain) frosting since the cake was very light, and maybe put coconut on top.

    Rating: 5
  12. Amanda on May 11, 2018 at 10:16 pm

    Hello Sally! I am planning on making this cake for Mother’s day & I wanted to possibly add chopped fresh strawberries to the icing in between the cake layers would that be an issue? Wasn’t sure if that would add too much moisture between layers. If you get a chance let me know your opinion ASAP! Thanks luv!

    • Sally on May 14, 2018 at 6:30 am

      In between the layers, no issue at all. Let me know how it turns out!

  13. Andi Liebenbaum on May 13, 2018 at 7:40 pm

    My first time to your site, and I love it. Made the strawberry cake, because it ticked all the boxes (natural, no Jell-o), etc. It was certainly a hit at Mother’s Day brunch. That said, I found the cake to be dense (not light and fluffy). I DID use sifted cake flour. I used 5 to 6 ounces of egg whites because I have a plethora of them from making a lot of frozen custard/ice cream (IOW, I didn’t crack and use whites from 5 eggs). How would I know if I over-mixed the ingredients? I used three-quarters of a cup (not half a cup) of reduced strawberry puree. So, to the question: What are some reasons I might have had a dense, and not light and fluffy cake?

    Thank you for this wonderful recipe – I hope to use it and love it again in the future!

    • Sally on May 14, 2018 at 5:57 am

      Hi Andi! Make sure you are using only 1/2 cup of reduced strawberry puree. The more weight and liquid in the batter, the heavier the cake will be.

  14. Jodie on May 14, 2018 at 4:28 am

    Sally, this cake was so good. I made cupcakes for Mother’s Day because they were easier to give away to my friends who are mothers. The batter made 28 cupcakes filling the liners 2/3 full but the baked cupcakes ended up about level with the top of the liner. I think next time I will fill the liners a little fuller and aim for 24 cupcakes. Instead of a cream cheese frosting I made a butter cream recipe that I love using the dusted freeze dried strawberries you call for. The finished product was really good. Very light with great strawberry flavor. You nailed it! Thank you for perfecting this special cake.

    • Sally on May 14, 2018 at 12:35 pm

      How wonderful for you to bake for your mom friends! I’m happy you enjoyed them so much! 🙂

  15. Athina on May 14, 2018 at 7:45 am

    I just made this cake, and it was gorgeous. It wasn’t overly dense-I followed directions a tee. However, I would say, that this cake was not terribly moist, and I did not detect any strawberry flavor in the cake part. Itself. The frosting had a more intense strawberry flavor, but I doubled the amount of strawberry powder, otherwise, it would not have been strawberry-ish enough for me.

  16. Mashooda on May 14, 2018 at 8:16 am

    Hi. Could you use this recipe for a stacked cake or it’s too light and likely to collapse?

    • Sally on May 14, 2018 at 8:53 am

      I have a feeling it would be fine, but you can use cake dowels for support if you’re concerned.

  17. Allison Hess on May 14, 2018 at 12:48 pm

    Just curious why use a cream cheese frosting with this cake rather than “The BEST Strawberry Frosting” (from your post last Feb)? Is the texture/flavor of this cake just better with a cream cheese frosting rather than the more buttercream-y one? Planning to bake this later today and not sure if I should use this frosting recipe or the “BEST” one! 🙂 Thanks in advance for your advice!

    • Sally on May 15, 2018 at 8:46 am

      Hi Allison! The strawberry buttercream is heavy and I wanted a creamier/lighter tasting frosting to pair with this fluffy cake. Thank you for asking!

  18. Alexandra on May 16, 2018 at 2:01 pm

    Hi! I tweeted @ you but then saw you respond so quickly to blog posts so sorry for the repeat! Quick question — I’m traveling to my brother’s house this weekend and will be making this beautiful strawberry cake there for my niece’s birthday party. I’m already bringing my stand mixer and don’t want to lug along my food processor as well (their kitchen isn’t super well equipped). Can I make the reduced strawberry puree tonight at home and then not make the cake until Saturady? Will the puree last alright for several days? Thanks!

    • Sally on May 17, 2018 at 6:27 am

      Hi Alexandra! I’m much quicker to respond to blog comments, so thank you for taking the time to ask your question here. You can refrigerate the reduced strawberry puree for a few days. Bring to room temperature before adding to the batter.

  19. Lindsay on May 18, 2018 at 1:29 am

    Do you think it’d be ok to use plain Greek yogurt instead of sour cream? I just happen to be out of sour cream…which is totally weird because we love sour cream haha!
    I’m making this tomorrow for my daughter’s birthday party on Saturday, I can’t wait to see how it comes out!!

    • Lindsay on May 18, 2018 at 1:31 am

      Oops! I actually just saw another commenter ask the same question! So, no need to answer it again! I will try the Greek yogurt!

  20. Hannah on May 18, 2018 at 11:55 pm

    I just made this cake (I haven’t made the frosting yet) and it barely tastes like strawberry. The mini-cakes themselves turned out beautifully and are delicious, but there is barely a hint of strawberry. I knew my batter didn’t have a strong strawberry flavor and tasted a lot like a plain white cake before I put it in the oven. I actually ended up adding an additional 3/4 cup strawberry puree (I made extra for another recipe). I was worried my cakes wouldn’t bake correctly, but they did. I added a little sugar to my strawberry puree but I really don’t think that detracted from the strawberry flavor because my puree on its own was yummy. Any ideas? Is this just supposed to be a *very* (i.e. barely detectable) subtle strawberry flavor?

    • Sally on May 21, 2018 at 10:44 am

      Hi Hannah! The cake has a light strawberry flavor, yes. I’m concerned that your cake didn’t taste like strawberry with the 1 and 1/4 cups of reduced strawberry puree that you used. Did you reduce it down enough? Because 1/2 cup of reduced puree from 1 cup total should be an intense amount of flavor. Sorry you had trouble with it!

      • Hannah on May 22, 2018 at 8:16 pm

        Sally, after going back through your pictures, I don’t think I did. I’m gonna try again and reduce it more. However, I did add freeze dried strawberries to a Swiss meringue buttercream and it made a delicious strawberry frosting! Thanks for the trick! And thanks for the response! I knew I had to be doing something wrong.



  21. Emily on May 19, 2018 at 12:53 pm

    I’ve made this cake twice now, and it has become one of my family’s favorites. The second time I made it, I put a thin layer of strawberry jam on the first layer, then frosting. I also made batch and a half of frosting the second time, as I felt it needed more. Delicious cake!

    Rating: 5
  22. Lindsay on May 20, 2018 at 12:07 am

    I made this cake for my daughter’s 6th birthday party. It came out absolutely PERFECT. The cake was light and flavorful and had the best texture. Not too heavy or dense. I followed the recipe to a T, made sure not to over mix etc. It had beautiful strawberry flavor . However, I did not make the icing. I just made the layers and made a strawberry filling to go in between the layers and then iced it in a classic buttercream (my daughter wanted it to be a unicorn cake, so buttercream was definitely the way to go bc of all the decorating)! I actually doubled the cake recipe to make a 4 layer 9inch round cake, again…it came out even better than expected. Thank you for posting a recipe for a strawberry cake made with REAL strawberries and lots of flavor! I have attempted a few other strawberry cakes, and this one by far is the winner. Love it and will keep it in my recipe book for sure!

    Rating: 5
  23. Adibeh on May 20, 2018 at 5:33 pm

    This recipe seems great! I’m actually making it for my husband’s birthday today. I was wondering… can I fold in chopped strawberries to the cake batter to add more texture? (This would be in addition to the strawberry puree of course).

    • Sally on May 21, 2018 at 10:43 am

      Hi Adibeh! Adding chopped strawberries is a great idea for added texture. I would blot them to remove excess moisture before adding to the batter.

  24. Deborah on May 21, 2018 at 10:12 am

    Hello
    How can I make this taste like strawberry shortcake? If I use some of the frosting in the filling and then use whip cream on the outside do you think that would give it the strawberry shortcake flavor? Or is there something else I can do?

    • Sally on May 21, 2018 at 10:42 am

      Hi Deborah! I recommend filling the cake with the strawberry cream cheese frosting (reducing the amount down, of course) and frosting the whole cake with fresh whipped cream.

      • Deborah on May 22, 2018 at 5:47 pm

        Thank you Sally. I will try this the next time I am in the office. A co/worker of mine has been wanting cake that taste like strawberry Shortcake. I’m sure she will love it.



  25. Trisha on May 22, 2018 at 11:44 am

    Hi Sally,
    Do you think it would work to poke holes in the cooled cake and add some of the leftover strawberry purée? I am hoping to achieve big strawberry flavor, but do not want to mess it up texture-wise. Thanks!

    • Sally on May 22, 2018 at 1:16 pm

      I haven’t tried it that way but I can’t see why it wouldn’t work as a poke cake! Let me know if you try it!

  26. Heather on May 23, 2018 at 4:46 pm

    I’ve made this cake three times now and its always delicious. I am wondering if its normal that my batter always at some point begins to look curdled. Is there something I am doing wrong? It doesn’t seem to be affecting the cake when its done, so I guess I’m just curious if its supposed to look this way. Thanks!

    • Sally on May 24, 2018 at 10:20 am

      Hi Heather! It’s completely normal. The reason it looks curdled is the varying temperature of ingredients. Even though all are at room temperature, they have different consistencies. Once the dry ingredients are added, it slightly smooths out. Cake is still great!

  27. jane on May 23, 2018 at 6:30 pm

    I have a lot of condensed strawberry puree-was using all of the leftover sliced strawberries from a party-
    Can I pour in cupcake pans and pop out after frozen to use in future? will this effect the strawberries and how long can I keep in freezer?
    Jane

    • Sally on May 24, 2018 at 9:43 am

      Hi Jane! I’m sure you can freeze the reduced strawberry puree, though I haven’t tried it. Let it thaw before adding to the cake batter. I hope this answers your question!

  28. Kerry on May 25, 2018 at 11:07 am

    Hello! My son has requested strawberry cake with chocolate frosting for his birthday. Is your Favorite Chocolate Frosting a good choice for this or should I choose something lighter? Thanks!

    • Sally on May 25, 2018 at 12:36 pm

      Yes, they would be delicious together! I hope he has a fantastic birthday! 🙂

Reviews

  1. Huma Farid on May 6, 2018 at 12:42 pm

    I made this cake for my daughter’s first birthday as she loves strawberries. It was a huge hit at the party, and I got a ton of compliments, even from my husband, who typically does not eat dessert. Every single slice was eaten, down to the crumbs. The color was pink, but not as pink as it is in your photos. It tasted incredible, as if someone had taken breyer’s strawberry ice cream and put it into a cake. This will be on the list of cakes to make again!

    Rating: 5
  2. Briitany on May 9, 2018 at 10:25 pm

    This cake was awesome!!! Thank you so much for sharing and making the directions so clear! The icing was soooooo good and a beautiful color! Now on to trying some of your other cake recipes!!

    Rating: 5
  3. Dora on May 11, 2018 at 8:26 am

    This cake turned out beautifully, though without the red food color it was a beige color inside. Although the frosting was delicious I am going to try the cake portion of the recipe again with a lighter frosting such as the the Seven Minute (or White Mountain) frosting since the cake was very light, and maybe put coconut on top.

    Rating: 5
  4. Athina on May 14, 2018 at 7:45 am

    I just made this cake, and it was gorgeous. It wasn’t overly dense-I followed directions a tee. However, I would say, that this cake was not terribly moist, and I did not detect any strawberry flavor in the cake part. Itself. The frosting had a more intense strawberry flavor, but I doubled the amount of strawberry powder, otherwise, it would not have been strawberry-ish enough for me.

  5. Emily on May 19, 2018 at 12:53 pm

    I’ve made this cake twice now, and it has become one of my family’s favorites. The second time I made it, I put a thin layer of strawberry jam on the first layer, then frosting. I also made batch and a half of frosting the second time, as I felt it needed more. Delicious cake!

    Rating: 5
  6. Lindsay on May 20, 2018 at 12:07 am

    I made this cake for my daughter’s 6th birthday party. It came out absolutely PERFECT. The cake was light and flavorful and had the best texture. Not too heavy or dense. I followed the recipe to a T, made sure not to over mix etc. It had beautiful strawberry flavor . However, I did not make the icing. I just made the layers and made a strawberry filling to go in between the layers and then iced it in a classic buttercream (my daughter wanted it to be a unicorn cake, so buttercream was definitely the way to go bc of all the decorating)! I actually doubled the cake recipe to make a 4 layer 9inch round cake, again…it came out even better than expected. Thank you for posting a recipe for a strawberry cake made with REAL strawberries and lots of flavor! I have attempted a few other strawberry cakes, and this one by far is the winner. Love it and will keep it in my recipe book for sure!

    Rating: 5

Questions

  1. Susan on April 30, 2018 at 10:51 am

    Not a big strawberry fan, could I sub raspberries my absolute fave berry of all time? At a minimum I’d have to strain seeds, just not sure it’s going to be a thick puree…

    • Sally on April 30, 2018 at 12:24 pm

      I haven’t tried this with raspberries. Let me know if you do!

  2. Kayla on May 3, 2018 at 9:19 pm

    Hey Sally! I’m planning to bake this cake cut down by half. However, when I pureed my half pound of strawberries (half of the recipe), which is about 227 grams, I ended up with a little over 3/4 cup of puree. Since the recipe states that 1lb of pureed strawberry is a little over 1 cup, shouldn’t the 1/2 lb of pureed strawberry be a little over 1/2 cup? I did pour out some of the puree before reducing so it would be 1/2 cup, but then it wouldn’t weigh 227 grams (1/2 lb). What shoud I do?

    • Sally on May 4, 2018 at 5:44 am

      Hi Kayla! Keep the strawberry puree on the stove until it reaches 1/2 cup. If it takes a little longer to reduce down to 1/2 cup, no problem. You want only 1/2 cup in the cake batter.

  3. Alicia on May 3, 2018 at 11:10 pm

    Do you consistently sure the purée on the stove? Or leave it with a lid on? For 30min till thick

    • Sally on May 4, 2018 at 5:42 am

      Hi Alicia! Stir occasionally. No need to cover the pot with a lid.

  4. Kelli on May 5, 2018 at 4:05 pm

    Hi- Do you recommend 8 or 9 inch pans?

    • Sally on May 7, 2018 at 9:56 am

      Hi Kelli! See step 2 — 9-inch.

  5. Rhiannon on May 6, 2018 at 1:12 pm

    Hi Sally! Would it make a difference if I used frozen strawberries (thawed)?

    • Sally on May 10, 2018 at 6:03 am

      Hi Rhiannon! I haven’t tried using frozen strawberries before, but let me know if you do!

    • Jackie on May 24, 2018 at 12:40 am

      I’ve used frozen strawberries with this recipe before. As long as they are thawed, you’re fine.

  6. Ellie on May 10, 2018 at 12:34 am

    Hi Sally! I have a couple questions…..
    1: for this cake, when I am making the strawberry purée, can I use frozen strawberries??
    2: I’m wanting to make this cake and put lemon icing on top… Does this sound like a good combination?? Also, in one of your posts you mentioned making lemon icing using buttercream and your lemon curd recipe. Would the consistency still be stable??
    Thanks for all the amazing recipes you give!

    • Sally on May 10, 2018 at 6:05 am

      Hi Ellie!
      1) I haven’t tried using frozen strawberries before, but let me know if you do!
      2) The consistency of a vanilla buttercream with lemon curd would be stable, though I wouldn’t overdo it with lemon curd. Alternatively, you can make this lemon buttercream: https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2017/08/07/lemon-buttercream-frosting/

    • Julia on May 13, 2018 at 11:48 am

      I’ve made this cake twice using frozen strawberries for the purée! It works great! The purée before cooking is pretty thick and slushy, and I found I had to cook the purée for longer because first everything has to melt then it has to reduce, but overall it will work just fine!

  7. Rachel on May 10, 2018 at 2:07 pm

    I want to make a 3-layer 8” cake. Would that work without adjusting ingredients you think? Obviously the baking time would not be the same.

    • Sally on May 11, 2018 at 9:37 am

      Hi Rachel! You can use this batter and divide between 3 8-inch cake pans.

  8. Heather V on May 10, 2018 at 10:55 pm

    I tried to make this recipe tonight as cupcakes for my coworkers. I’m not sure where I went wrong. The batter was beautiful and tasted great, but when I put them in the oven the middles sank and every single cupcake had a big hole in the middle. I’ve never had that happen before on any recipe so I’m not really sure what happened. Do you have any ideas? I really want this recipe to work for me but I don’t know how to start fixing whatever caused the weirdness.

    • Sally on May 11, 2018 at 9:44 am

      Hi Heather! I’m unsure. I’ve made this strawberry cake into cupcakes several times in the past few months, but have never experienced a hole in the center of the cupcakes. Are you following the recipe precisely?

    • Cathy Bauer on May 16, 2018 at 12:02 pm

      The same thing happened to me with the cupcakes! But with a different recipe. I followed it exactly though. Wondering if maybe the baking powder was old?

  9. Amanda on May 11, 2018 at 10:16 pm

    Hello Sally! I am planning on making this cake for Mother’s day & I wanted to possibly add chopped fresh strawberries to the icing in between the cake layers would that be an issue? Wasn’t sure if that would add too much moisture between layers. If you get a chance let me know your opinion ASAP! Thanks luv!

    • Sally on May 14, 2018 at 6:30 am

      In between the layers, no issue at all. Let me know how it turns out!

  10. Andi Liebenbaum on May 13, 2018 at 7:40 pm

    My first time to your site, and I love it. Made the strawberry cake, because it ticked all the boxes (natural, no Jell-o), etc. It was certainly a hit at Mother’s Day brunch. That said, I found the cake to be dense (not light and fluffy). I DID use sifted cake flour. I used 5 to 6 ounces of egg whites because I have a plethora of them from making a lot of frozen custard/ice cream (IOW, I didn’t crack and use whites from 5 eggs). How would I know if I over-mixed the ingredients? I used three-quarters of a cup (not half a cup) of reduced strawberry puree. So, to the question: What are some reasons I might have had a dense, and not light and fluffy cake?

    Thank you for this wonderful recipe – I hope to use it and love it again in the future!

    • Sally on May 14, 2018 at 5:57 am

      Hi Andi! Make sure you are using only 1/2 cup of reduced strawberry puree. The more weight and liquid in the batter, the heavier the cake will be.

  11. Mashooda on May 14, 2018 at 8:16 am

    Hi. Could you use this recipe for a stacked cake or it’s too light and likely to collapse?

    • Sally on May 14, 2018 at 8:53 am

      I have a feeling it would be fine, but you can use cake dowels for support if you’re concerned.

  12. Allison Hess on May 14, 2018 at 12:48 pm

    Just curious why use a cream cheese frosting with this cake rather than “The BEST Strawberry Frosting” (from your post last Feb)? Is the texture/flavor of this cake just better with a cream cheese frosting rather than the more buttercream-y one? Planning to bake this later today and not sure if I should use this frosting recipe or the “BEST” one! 🙂 Thanks in advance for your advice!

    • Sally on May 15, 2018 at 8:46 am

      Hi Allison! The strawberry buttercream is heavy and I wanted a creamier/lighter tasting frosting to pair with this fluffy cake. Thank you for asking!

  13. Alexandra on May 16, 2018 at 2:01 pm

    Hi! I tweeted @ you but then saw you respond so quickly to blog posts so sorry for the repeat! Quick question — I’m traveling to my brother’s house this weekend and will be making this beautiful strawberry cake there for my niece’s birthday party. I’m already bringing my stand mixer and don’t want to lug along my food processor as well (their kitchen isn’t super well equipped). Can I make the reduced strawberry puree tonight at home and then not make the cake until Saturady? Will the puree last alright for several days? Thanks!

    • Sally on May 17, 2018 at 6:27 am

      Hi Alexandra! I’m much quicker to respond to blog comments, so thank you for taking the time to ask your question here. You can refrigerate the reduced strawberry puree for a few days. Bring to room temperature before adding to the batter.

  14. Lindsay on May 18, 2018 at 1:29 am

    Do you think it’d be ok to use plain Greek yogurt instead of sour cream? I just happen to be out of sour cream…which is totally weird because we love sour cream haha!
    I’m making this tomorrow for my daughter’s birthday party on Saturday, I can’t wait to see how it comes out!!

    • Lindsay on May 18, 2018 at 1:31 am

      Oops! I actually just saw another commenter ask the same question! So, no need to answer it again! I will try the Greek yogurt!

  15. Hannah on May 18, 2018 at 11:55 pm

    I just made this cake (I haven’t made the frosting yet) and it barely tastes like strawberry. The mini-cakes themselves turned out beautifully and are delicious, but there is barely a hint of strawberry. I knew my batter didn’t have a strong strawberry flavor and tasted a lot like a plain white cake before I put it in the oven. I actually ended up adding an additional 3/4 cup strawberry puree (I made extra for another recipe). I was worried my cakes wouldn’t bake correctly, but they did. I added a little sugar to my strawberry puree but I really don’t think that detracted from the strawberry flavor because my puree on its own was yummy. Any ideas? Is this just supposed to be a *very* (i.e. barely detectable) subtle strawberry flavor?

    • Sally on May 21, 2018 at 10:44 am

      Hi Hannah! The cake has a light strawberry flavor, yes. I’m concerned that your cake didn’t taste like strawberry with the 1 and 1/4 cups of reduced strawberry puree that you used. Did you reduce it down enough? Because 1/2 cup of reduced puree from 1 cup total should be an intense amount of flavor. Sorry you had trouble with it!

      • Hannah on May 22, 2018 at 8:16 pm

        Sally, after going back through your pictures, I don’t think I did. I’m gonna try again and reduce it more. However, I did add freeze dried strawberries to a Swiss meringue buttercream and it made a delicious strawberry frosting! Thanks for the trick! And thanks for the response! I knew I had to be doing something wrong.



  16. Adibeh on May 20, 2018 at 5:33 pm

    This recipe seems great! I’m actually making it for my husband’s birthday today. I was wondering… can I fold in chopped strawberries to the cake batter to add more texture? (This would be in addition to the strawberry puree of course).

    • Sally on May 21, 2018 at 10:43 am

      Hi Adibeh! Adding chopped strawberries is a great idea for added texture. I would blot them to remove excess moisture before adding to the batter.

  17. Deborah on May 21, 2018 at 10:12 am

    Hello
    How can I make this taste like strawberry shortcake? If I use some of the frosting in the filling and then use whip cream on the outside do you think that would give it the strawberry shortcake flavor? Or is there something else I can do?

    • Sally on May 21, 2018 at 10:42 am

      Hi Deborah! I recommend filling the cake with the strawberry cream cheese frosting (reducing the amount down, of course) and frosting the whole cake with fresh whipped cream.

      • Deborah on May 22, 2018 at 5:47 pm

        Thank you Sally. I will try this the next time I am in the office. A co/worker of mine has been wanting cake that taste like strawberry Shortcake. I’m sure she will love it.



  18. Trisha on May 22, 2018 at 11:44 am

    Hi Sally,
    Do you think it would work to poke holes in the cooled cake and add some of the leftover strawberry purée? I am hoping to achieve big strawberry flavor, but do not want to mess it up texture-wise. Thanks!

    • Sally on May 22, 2018 at 1:16 pm

      I haven’t tried it that way but I can’t see why it wouldn’t work as a poke cake! Let me know if you try it!

  19. Heather on May 23, 2018 at 4:46 pm

    I’ve made this cake three times now and its always delicious. I am wondering if its normal that my batter always at some point begins to look curdled. Is there something I am doing wrong? It doesn’t seem to be affecting the cake when its done, so I guess I’m just curious if its supposed to look this way. Thanks!

    • Sally on May 24, 2018 at 10:20 am

      Hi Heather! It’s completely normal. The reason it looks curdled is the varying temperature of ingredients. Even though all are at room temperature, they have different consistencies. Once the dry ingredients are added, it slightly smooths out. Cake is still great!

  20. jane on May 23, 2018 at 6:30 pm

    I have a lot of condensed strawberry puree-was using all of the leftover sliced strawberries from a party-
    Can I pour in cupcake pans and pop out after frozen to use in future? will this effect the strawberries and how long can I keep in freezer?
    Jane

    • Sally on May 24, 2018 at 9:43 am

      Hi Jane! I’m sure you can freeze the reduced strawberry puree, though I haven’t tried it. Let it thaw before adding to the cake batter. I hope this answers your question!

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