Are you ready to enjoy the most incredible strawberry flavor you’ve ever tasted in a homemade strawberry cake? I’m sharing my little secret of adding strawberry Jello for an extra punch of flavor. But don’t worry– it’s not one of those cake mix and jello recipes. This is a homemade cake that’s impressive AND totally doable for anyone, even if you are new to baking.
The best part is you can easily whip up this recipe from scratch using either fresh OR frozen strawberries. This cake is a guaranteed hit that will definitely be a favorite in your home. Especially if you top it off with my mouth watering strawberry frosting!
This strawberry cake recipe is a large one. It makes a large 9 by 13 cake or a triple-layer cake. This is the perfect cake for a party, event, or family affair because of how many servings you can get out of it. Of course, the fact that it’s delightfully fresh and not overly sweet is a bonus!
Homemade strawberry cake is about as summer as summer can get. The best way to spend a summer evening, in my opinion, is sitting on the porch with a cup of coffee and strawberry cake. I’ll take a puppy on my feet, a happy teenager on the hammock, and the sounds of a busy neighborhood all around.
Can I walk around with this cake in my hand everywhere I go? I guarantee the world would stop fighting and crying and start following me and begging for a wee taste. It is simply stunning.
The good news is it truly tastes as good as it looks. Which, is really really good!
Key Ingredients for Fresh Strawberry Cake:
- Strawberries (fresh or frozen): Essential for strawberry flavor and vibrant color. Substitution: Other fresh or frozen fruits like raspberries, blueberries, or peaches.
- Butter (softened): Adds richness and moisture, giving the cake a tender texture. Substitution: Margarine or dairy-free butter substitute.
- 3-ounce package Strawberry Flavored Jello: Enhances the strawberry flavor, adds sweetness, and intensifies pink color. Substitution: Fresh strawberry puree or strawberry extract.
- Eggs (room temperature): Acts as a binding agent, helps with the structure, moisture, and richness. Substitution: Vegan substitutes like applesauce, mashed bananas, or commercial egg replacers.
- Milk: Adds moisture, tenderness, and a subtle creamy flavor. Substitution: Non-dairy alternatives like almond milk, soy milk, or oat milk.
How do you make a strawberry cake with frozen strawberries?
This cake is one I make often in the summer when fresh strawberries are abundant at the local farmers market. In the winter, I simply use frozen strawberries with absolutely no sacrifice for flavor.
When subbing frozen fruit for fresh fruit, increase the baking time by a few minutes because the colder fruit decreases the batter temperature causing it to take a bit longer to bake. Always be sure the berries are thawed and patted dry and then treat them as if they were their fresh counterparts.
Why do I use strawberry Jello in my homemade strawberry cake?
The strawberry flavor is intensified by the use of strawberry Jello mix, an easy way to get more strawberry flavor and gorgeous color without having to use pints and pints of strawberries.
Step-by-Step Instructions for Fresh Strawberry Cake:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Grease and flour 2 8-inch cake rounds or a 9 by 13 inch pan
- Wash and hull the strawberries. Cut the strawberries in half or chunks.
- Place the strawberry pieces in a blender.
- Pulse the blender in short bursts to start breaking down the strawberries.
- Gradually increase the blending speed to achieve a smooth puree. Stop and scrape down the sides of the blender, if needed.
- Continue blending until the strawberries are fully pureed.
Making the Cake Batter:
After I get a batch of this cake batter mixed up I just sit and look at the beautiful color of it. That pink is so very, very lovely!
- Transfer the strawberry puree to a small saucepan and boil gently until reduced by half (about 20 minutes).
- Cool completely.
The effort is totally worth it. I promise! And the puree will be simmering on the stove while you work on the rest of the cake. Just be sure to cool it before you put it in your cake! (throw it in the freezer for a bit to make that go fast.)
- Add the butter, sugar, vanilla, and Jello to a large mixing bowl. Beat together until smooth, about 3 minutes on medium speed.
- Add eggs one at time beating, on medium speed, between each egg.
- In a separate bowl mix the flour, salt, and baking powder until combined.
- Add the milk and flour mixture alternately to the butter mixture. Beat well after each addition on medium speed until fully combined.
- Gently fold in strawberry puree.
How do you make a fresh strawberry puree like what many strawberry cakes use?
For this cake, I simply put the fresh strawberries in my mixer before adding anything else and turn it on high. After several minutes my strawberries are pulverized. Just put that into a small saucepan on medium high heat until it’s reduced in half.
Why a reduced strawberry puree instead of pureed strawberries, fresh strawberries or strawberry jam?
- The strawberry puree intensifies the flavor dramatically. In fact, if you reduce the strawberries down even FURTHER than my recommended half you will intensify that flavor all the more. Strawberries, although delicious eaten fresh, don’t have a strong flavor.
- Throwing in chunks of cut strawberries only tastes like vanilla cake with strawberry chunks. NOT what we are going for.
- Pureed strawberries have too much liquid and will mess up the texture and moisture of your cake.
Baking the Strawberry Cake:
- Divide the cake batter evenly into prepared cake pans.
- For a bonus fresh strawberry flavor, try finely chopping a few fresh strawberries to stir into your batter right before you pour it into your pan.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes or until toothpick in the center comes out clean.
Tips for determining when your cake is done:
- Perform the toothpick test: Insert a toothpick into the center of the cake. If it comes out clean or with a few crumbs clinging to it, the cake is likely done. If the toothpick comes out with wet batter, it needs more baking time.
- Look for a golden brown color on the top of the cake. This is an indication that the cake is baked and the exterior has developed a nice crust.
- Gently press the top of the cake with your finger. If it springs back and feels firm to the touch, it is likely done. If it leaves an indentation, it needs more baking time.
- Pay attention to the edges of the cake. They should start to pull away from the sides of the pan slightly when the cake is fully baked.
- Use a cake tester or skewer to check the center of the cake. If it comes out clean or with a few crumbs, the cake is likely done. If it has wet batter on it, it needs more baking time.
Remember that every oven is different, so adjust the baking time accordingly if you notice the cake is not fully baked or is browning too quickly.
For a fun, easy, and delicious Patriotic dessert add blueberries to the top of the cake and whipped cream to create the traditional red, white, and blue color combo.
You’ll be slapping hands away, at this point. Heck YOU might be the worst. This cake is so yummy.
How to make homemade strawberry frosting:
Add your strawberries right at the end of making your frosting. And don’t forget that wee bit of salt…it makes all the difference for flavor!
Be sure to puree enough strawberries when you start your strawberry cake to use some of them in this frosting recipe. Honestly, your life will never be the same after this combo!
- Beat the butter and sugar together well on high speed for about 3 minutes.
- Add salt, vanilla extract, and cream and beat again until light and fluffy.
- Gently stir in the cooled strawberry puree.
Assembling the Cake:
This cake is decorated only with strawberries. Simple, sweet, and gorgeous!
- Allow the cake layers to cool completely.
- Apply a layer of strawberry frosting between the cake layers.
- Frost the entire cake with a generous layer of strawberry frosting.
- Top with decorations, if you like.
Simple strawberry cake decorating ideas:
- dusting of powdered sugar
- a bit of fresh thyme
- drizzles of white chocolate
- little licorice edging
- fresh flowers
Make/Store the Strawberry Cake:
- Allow the cake to cool completely before storing to prevent condensation and moisture buildup.
- If the cake has frosting, cover it loosely with plastic wrap or place it in a cake container to protect it.
- Store the cake at room temperature if it will be consumed within 1-2 days. Ensure that the storage area is cool, dry, and away from direct sunlight or heat sources.
- If you need to store the cake for a longer duration or in hot and humid conditions, refrigeration is recommended. Place the cake in an airtight container or cover it tightly with plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out in the fridge.
- Keep in mind that refrigeration can affect the texture of the cake, potentially making it denser. Therefore, it’s best to serve refrigerated cake at room temperature to restore its original texture and flavor.
- Properly stored, a strawberry cake can stay fresh for 3-4 days at room temperature and up to 1 week in the refrigerator. However, note that the fresher the cake, the better the taste and texture.
- If you plan to store the cake for an extended period, consider freezing individual slices. Wrap each slice tightly in plastic wrap, place them in a freezer-safe container, and store in the freezer for up to 2-3 months. Thaw slices in the refrigerator before serving.
Troubleshooting/ Common Questions:
-One possible reason is overmixing the batter, which can develop gluten and result in a dense texture. Mix the ingredients just until they are combined to avoid overmixing.
-Another reason could be using too much flour or not enough leavening agents like baking powder or baking soda. Ensure you are using the correct measurements and follow the recipe accurately.
-Additionally, using too much liquid or not enough fat can affect the texture. Double-check the ingredient ratios in the recipe.
-One reason could be underbaking the cake. Make sure to follow the recommended baking time and use the toothpick test to check for doneness.
-Opening the oven door too early or frequently during baking can cause the cake to sink. Avoid opening the door until the cake is nearly done baking.
-Using old or expired leavening agents can also result in sinking. Ensure your baking powder or baking soda is fresh and active.
Grease the cake pan thoroughly with butter or cooking spray, making sure to coat all the surfaces.
Consider lining the bottom of the pan with parchment paper for easy removal.
Allow the cake to cool in the pan for a few minutes before inverting it onto a wire rack to release it gently.
Overbaking can lead to a dry cake, so ensure you follow the recommended baking time and do the toothpick test for doneness.
Adding a simple syrup or soaking the cake layers with a flavored syrup can add moisture.
Consider using a moistening filling or frosting, such as whipped cream or a fruit puree, to enhance the cake’s moisture.
Use ripe, flavorful strawberries for the best results.
Consider adding strawberry puree or extract to the cake batter to enhance the strawberry taste.
Incorporate diced strawberries into the batter for added texture and bursts of flavor.
This cake deserves a pretty cake platter, don’t you think? I hope you make enough cakes that you totally have one. Or two.
Can there be any better sight on your kitchen table on a Saturday afternoon? Sigh, I don’t think so.
easy homemade strawberry cake recipe
- 1 cup strawberries
- 1 cup butter softened
- 1 3/4 cups white sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 3 ounce strawberry flavored Jello raspberry totally works, also
- 4 eggs room temperature
- 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 cup milk room temperature
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 2 8 inch cake rounds or a 9 by 13 inch pan
- Puree your strawberries, transfer to a small saucepan and boil gently until reduced by half (about 20 minutes). Cool completely. You want to end up with about 1/2 cup pureed strawberries —>TIP: double your strawberries if you want to make the strawberry frosting. You’ll save yourself the step of doing those later!
- Add butter, sugar, vanilla, and Jello to a large mixing bowl. Beat until smooth.
- Add eggs one at time beating between each egg.
- In a separate bowl mix flour, salt, and baking powder.
- Add milk and flour alternately to the butter mixture. Beat well after each addition.
- Gently fold in strawberry puree.
- Pour into prepared cake pans.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes or until toothpick in the center comes out clean.
easy strawberry cake frostingPrint Recipe Pin Recipe
- 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 3 to 4 cups of confectioners sugar start with 3 and see if more is needed
- pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoon milk or heavy cream
- 1 cup medium strawberries pureed (makes about 1/2 cup)
- Puree your strawberries, transfer to a small saucepan and boil gently until reduced by half (about 20 minutes). Cool completely. You want to end up with about 1/2 cup pureed strawberries
- Beat butter and sugar together well (at least a couple of minutes)
- Add salt, extract, and cream and beat again until light and fluffy.
- Stir in the cooled strawberry puree.
Other homemade cake recipes you should try:
It sounds bold to claim this is the BEST. But it really is. Siri recommends it, the comments prove it…try it and see for yourself!
Shared, pinned, read, made, and loved by over 1 million people. I mean…heck!
My personal favorite, this old-fashioned sour cream bundt cake is bursting with fresh blueberries and fresh lemon flavor. This one might top the popularity of the chocolate cake. And frankly, I am A-okay with that!
White cake seems boring after the chocolate and lemon blueberry. But there isn’t a cake as versatile and consistent as this white cake. You’ll use it for Birthday’s, Graduations, Summer Picnics, and everything in between.