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Fresh Strawberry Cake

This Fresh Strawberry Cake is moist, tender, and layered simply with a strawberry cream cheese frosting that’s jaw-dropping delicious. It’s made with nothing artificial.

Close-up of a slice of strawberry cake on a plate, topped with fresh strawberries and cream.
Easy-to-make Fresh Strawberry Cake using no artificial coloring or boxes of Jello or pudding.

Video: Watch Us Make This Recipe

Why This Recipe Stands Out

What’s not to love about a cake that’s bursting with the fresh, sweet flavor of strawberries? Here’s what’s special about this cake:

  • Back-to-Basics: We love that this cake is made with fresh, simple ingredients. No artificial coloring and no boxes of Jello or pudding – just fresh strawberries and lots of flavor.
  • Light, Fluffy, and Tender: The cake has a beautiful texture that’s just like our classic Yellow Cake.
  • Cream Cheese Frosting: This strawberry-cream cheese frosting is really what steals the show. Have you met the cheesecake?
  • All the Occasions: This cake is perfect for any celebration, from birthdays to Mother’s Day. It’s a lot like our Strawberry Crumb Cake, which we love for summertime celebrations!

Key Recipe Ingredients

  • Fresh Strawberries – The star of our cake, very ripe fresh strawberries are used to make a puree that infuses the cake with a natural, fruity flavor.
  • Unsalted Butter – Make sure it’s at room temperature, so it creams easily with the sugar.
  • Cake Flour – Cake flour has a lower protein content than all-purpose flour, resulting in a lighter, more tender cake crumb. Sift it after measuring to prevent any lumps.
  • Strawberry Puree – The frosting uses a strawberry puree made from fresh strawberries, adding a lovely pink color.
  • Cream Cheese – We use cream cheese to stabilize the frosting and add a delicious tangy flavor that pairs beautifully with the strawberries.

Substitutions And Variations

Here are some of our favorite variations and substitutions:

  • Puree: The strawberry puree is what gives this cake its fresh, fruity flavor. For a fun twist, try using raspberry or blackberry puree instead.
  • Other Berries: Instead of strawberries, you can also adapt this recipe by using your favorite berries. This Blueberry Coffee Cake is inspiring us to make a blueberry version too!
  • Different Frosting: If cream cheese frosting isn’t your thing, try swapping it out for a classic vanilla buttercream or use Stabilized Whipped Cream.

Step-By-Step Recipe Instructions

  1. Slice the fresh strawberries and toss them with sugar. Cover and refrigerate overnight. The next day, blend the strawberries until puree.
  2. Preheat the oven and prepare the pans. Beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Add milk, egg yolks, vanilla, and ¾ cup of strawberry puree. Blend just until combined.
  1. In a separate bowl, whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Fold this mixture into the butter mixture.
  2. In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the egg whites into the cake batter.
  1. Divide the batter between the two pans and bake for 2 – 25 minutes.
  2. For the frosting: Beat the butter until fluffy. Add cream cheese and beat until combined. Add sugar and beat. Add the strawberry puree and mix.

For full list of ingredients and instructions, see recipe card below.

How To Prep Ahead

Take a look at our best prep-ahead tips for this recipe:

  • Strawberry Puree: You can prepare the strawberry puree in advance and store it in the fridge for up to 2 days.
  • Make the Frosting: The frosting for this cake can be made ahead of time. Simply follow the recipe instructions to make the frosting, then store it in the fridge for up to 3 days. When you’re ready to use it, let it sit at room temperature to soften slightly, then give it a quick stir before frosting the cake.
  • Prepare the Cake Layers: The cake layers can be baked in advance and stored in the fridge for 1 day or in the freezer for up to 2 months. Just make sure to wrap cake tightly in plastic wrap to prevent drying out.
A sliced fresh strawberry cake on a white plate, topped with fresh strawberry slices.
Strawberry cream cheese frosting is amazing and takes this moist cake to the next level!

Commonly Asked Questions

Why do I need to let the strawberries sit in the fridge overnight?

Letting the strawberries sit in the fridge overnight allows them to become macerated and juicy. This process intensifies the flavor of the strawberries and also makes them easier to blend into a puree for the cake.

Can I use frozen strawberries instead of fresh ones?

While you can use frozen strawberries, we highly recommend using fresh, ripe strawberries for the best flavor and texture. The natural sweetness and juiciness of fresh strawberries really make a difference in this cake.

How long does fresh strawberry cake keep?

Fresh strawberry cake can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days. Just make sure it’s well covered to maintain its freshness and flavor.

Why do I need to let the frosting rest in the fridge before using it?

Letting the frosting rest in the fridge for at least an hour helps it to firm up slightly, making it easier to spread and giving it a better texture.

Did you make this?

Please give us a rating and comment below. We love hearing from you!

A sliced fresh strawberry cake on a white plate, topped with fresh strawberry slices.

Fresh Strawberry Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

4.97 from 26 ratings
This Fresh Strawberry Cake is layered simply with a strawberry cream cheese frosting that’s jaw-dropping delicious. Nothing artificial, all natural ingredients.
Prep Time: 8 hours 30 minutes
Cooling time: 2 hours 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 hours 40 minutes
Servings: 12 servings
Author: Amy Dong

Ingredients  

  • 16 oz fresh strawberries, very ripe
  • 3 tsp sugar
  • 12 Tb unsalted butter, room temp – lightly indents when tapped, not melty at all
  • 1 ¾ cup white sugar
  • 4 large eggs, whites and yolks separated – room temp
  • ¼ cup whole milk, room temp
  • 1 TB vanilla extract
  • 2 ¼ cup cake flour, sifted after measuring
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt

For the Frosting:

Instructions

For the Cake

  • Hull and slice fresh strawberries.  Toss with 3 tsp sugar and cover.  Let sit in fridge overnight, until they become macerated and juicy.  Blend strawberries with short pulses, just until pureed.  Do not over blend.
  • Preheat oven to 350F with rack on lower middle.  Line bottom of two 8 or 9 inch round pans with parchment paper.  Grease and flour the paper and sides of pans.
  • Beat butter and sugar in stand mixer with paddle attachment on medium high, until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
  • Add milk, yolks, vanilla, and 3/4 cup of strawberry puree – save remaining puree for frosting, filling, or other use. Blend just until combined.
  • In separate bowl, whisk together:  sifted cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Fold in the butter mixture with rubber spatula, just until wet/dry ingredients are fully incorporated.  Do not over mix.
  • In a clean bowl, using electric mixer, beat egg whites just until still peaks form. Gently fold egg whites into the cake batter with rubber spatula, softly folding until combined.
  • Divide batter evenly among the two pans.  Give the pans a gentle shake to level out the tops.  
  • Bake 20-25 minutes just until toothpick inserted in center has a few tender crumbs attached.  Watch carefully so it does not over bake and become dry.
  • Let cakes rest at room temp for 10 minutes and turn out onto wire racks.  Let cool completely before frosting.

For the Frosting

  • In stand mixer using paddle attachment, beat butter on medium speed until it is light, pale yellow, and fluffy.  Add cream cheese and beat until combined. Reduce speed to low and add confectioner's sugar and beat until combined.
  • Add the strawberry puree and mix just until combined.  Place frosting in fridge for at least an hour before use.  Frosted dessert should be kept in fridge until ready to serve.

Notes

  • Always use very ripe strawberries for this cake. The riper, the better, as they will be sweeter and more flavorful. Try to use ones without much white on them. If a lot of white needs to be cut off, you’ll need more strawberries. 
  • Make sure your butter is at room temperature and not melty at all. This will help it cream with the sugar properly and give your cake a light, fluffy texture.
  • This frosting is best suited for spreading rather than piping, as it is smooth and creamy soft.
  • Be careful not to over-mix your batter. Only fold until the wet and dry ingredients are fully incorporated to avoid a tough cake.
 
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Nutrition (per serving)

Calories: 670kcal | Carbohydrates: 110g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 151mg | Sodium: 544mg | Potassium: 171mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 89g | Vitamin A: 1185IU | Vitamin C: 27mg | Calcium: 140mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Diet: Vegetarian
Method: Bake

More to Bake and Eat

  • Strawberry Crumb Cake – This Strawberry Crumb Cake is tender, tasty, and ridiculously flavorful. It’s a beautifully simple dessert that’s perfect for both breakfast and dessert.
  • Strawberry Banana Bread – Strawberry Banana Bread is beyond delicious; it’s moist, tender, and makes perfect use of overripe bananas. Bake this for breakfast, snack, or dessert!
  • Double Chocolate Covered Strawberries – Chocolate Covered Strawberries are always impressive and well-loved, yet they’re super easy and fun to make! Serve these treats for birthdays, parties, or Valentine’s day.
  • Fresh Strawberry Pie – This Fresh Strawberry Pie is even better than our favorite restaurant pie. It’s fresh as can be, juicy, luscious, and stunningly delicious with just 3 simple ingredients in the filling.
4.97 from 26 votes (11 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating




27 comments

    • Krystle
    • 5 stars

    The strawberry puree is just divine in the cake and frosting. SO MUCH better than any artificial store bought strawberry cake

    • Nora
    • 5 stars

    I am a huge strawberry fan, and this cake is simply divine! I will make it again for sure!

    • Amy
    • 5 stars

    Made this on the weekend and it was such hit! Nothing quite beats fresh fruit on desserts.

      • Amy Dong

      Yay, so glad they all enjoyed this!

    • Megan
    • 5 stars

    this looks delicious

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