This delicious from scratch Homemade Fresh Strawberry Cake made with fresh strawberries has no artificial colors or flavors. Paired with fluffy strawberry cream cheese frosting, this is the perfect Mother's Day cake!
*This post first appeared on Baked Ambrosia in May of 2018. Since then, the recipe has been slightly altered for an even better strawberry cake! All photos and text have also been updated*
It’s almost Mother's Day!
Homemade Strawberry Cake is not only perfect for Mother's Day but, it is the perfect cake to celebrate any occasion! This cake is made up of two delicious strawberry flavored cake layers made with fresh strawberries - no artificial flavors or colors here! The cake layers are stacked together with a quick and easy fluffy strawberry cream cheese frosting.
FROM SCRATCH STRAWBERRY CAKE INGREDIENTS
Let’s begin by taking a look at the ingredients in this strawberry cake recipe!
FRESH STRAWBERRY CAKE INGREDIENTS:
- Fresh Strawberries. Strawberries are the star of the show here. Try to find red, ripe, sweet strawberries for this cake recipe.
- All-Purpose Flour. I always use unbleached all-purpose flour in my baking. You can also use pastry flour or all-purpose gluten free flour with great results as well!
- Salted Butter. This strawberry cake can be made with salted or unsalted butter. If you are using unsalted butter, increase the salt by ½ teaspoon.
- Sugar. Organic cane sugar is what I always use in my baking. Feel free to use your favorite brand of granulated sugar.
- Buttermilk. If you don’t have any buttermilk on hand, you can make your own by mixing ¾ cup whole or 2% milk with ¾ tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice. Let the mixture stand for 10 minutes before using it in your recipe.
- Egg Whites. Cartoned egg white or separated eggs work perfectly fine in this recipe. If you use whole eggs, save the yolks for another recipe.
- Vanilla Extract. Always use pure vanilla extract (not imitation) for the best tasting baked treats!
STRAWBERRY CREAM CHEESE FROSTING INGREDIENTS:
- Strawberries. Again, use fresh ripe strawberries!
- Freeze Dried Strawberries. Freeze dried strawberries add a lot of flavor without making the frosting too runny. They also make the frosting a gorgeous pink color! I find freeze dried strawberries at my local grocery store or you can order them online.
- Cream Cheese. Use full fat cream cheese for a rich frosting.
- Salted Butter. I always use salted butter in my baking because it does not contain any flavorings like most unsalted butters do. If you do use unsalted butter, increase the salt by ½ tsp.
- Confectioners Sugar. Use your favorite powdered sugar in this recipe!
HOW DO YOU MAKE A HOMEMADE FRESH STRAWBERRY CAKE?
This strawberry cake recipe is essentially a white cake that has strawberry puree added into the batter. Using high-quality ingredients is key to producing a high-quality cake. However, it is even more important to understand how to combine those ingredients and the mixing procedures involved. Even the smallest error can result in a cake with undesired texture and volume. To make this strawberry cake, we will be using the the creaming method. The creaming method is one of the most popular methods for mixing high-fat cakes. This method produces moist cakes with fine crumbs. Don’t be intimidated though, I will walk you through all of the steps to make sure your homemade strawberry cake turns out perfectly!
STEP 1: MAKE ROASTED STRAWBERRY PUREE
Before you get started on the cake batter, begin by roasting the strawberries. Slice the strawberries and place them on a parchment lined baking sheet. Sprinkle a little bit over the strawberries and then roast for about 20 minutes. The strawberries will become a darker red color. After 20 minutes, remove the strawberries from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Puree the roasted strawberries in a blender or food processor until smooth.
STEP 2: PREPARE STRAWBERRY CAKE INGREDIENTS AND CAKE PANS
It is important to have all the ingredients at room temperature before you get started. Ingredients that are at room temperature mix better together and produce better cakes!
You will also need to prepare two 8-inch cake pans by greasing with butter and lightly flouring them, or spraying with nonstick spray.
STEP 3: SIFT THE DRY INGREDIENTS
Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Sifting the dry ingredients will remove any clumps and create a smoother batter.
STEP 4: CREAM BUTTER
Add the butter to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium-low speed until it is smooth and creamy.
STEP 5: ADD SUGAR TO BUTTER
Add the granulated sugar to the creamed butter and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. This should take about 8-10 minutes.
STEP 6: COMBINE LIQUID INGREDIENTS
Combine the egg whites, buttermilk, and vanilla in a separate bowl or large glass measuring cup. Whisk to combine.
STEP 7: INCORPORATE DRY AND LIQUID INGREDIENTS
Add the sifted dry ingredients alternating with the liquids until completely blended and smooth. Use the following order:
⅓ dry ingredients → ½ liquids → ½ dry ingredients → remaining liquids → remaining dry ingredients
STEP 8: POUR BATTER INTO CAKE PANS & BAKE
Evenly divide the batter between the two cake pans and bake in a preheated oven for 30-35 minutes. You will know that the cake layers are done baking when the tops spring back when lightly pressed in and a wooden skewer or toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle.
STEP 9: COOL CAKE LAYERS
Once the cake layers have finished baking, remove them from the oven and let them cool for 5 minutes in the pans before removing them. Transfer the cake layers to a cooling rack to cool completely.
STEP 11: MAKE STRAWBERRY CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
The strawberry cream cheese frosting used in this easy strawberry cake recipe is so good, you’ll want to eat it by the spoonful! When combined with the cake layers, you end up with the most delicious strawberry flavor. It is pink, fluffy, and made with no artificial colors. The secret is all in crushed freeze-dried strawberries. Freeze dried strawberries add a lot of flavor without making the frosting too runny. They also make the frosting a gorgeous pink color!
HOW DO YOU MAKE FLUFFY STRAWBERRY CREAM CHEESE FROSTING?
Here’s how to make the cream cheese frosting for this Homemade Fresh Strawberry Cake recipe:
- Use room temperature butter and cream cheese. It is very important that the cream cheese and butter are completely at room temperature before trying to combine them. Cold ingredients will not mix together well.
- Beat the cream cheese and butter well before adding the other ingredients. You can make your cream cheese frosting using a stand mixer or a hand mixer.
- Add pureed strawberries and freeze dried strawberries and mix the mixture again until the strawberries are well combined.
- Carefully add the confectioners sugar and salt. I recommend adding a little at a time to avoid getting powdered sugar all over your kitchen!
- Finally, beat the cream cheese frosting until smooth and fluffy.
STEP 12: ASSEMBLE STRAWBERRY CAKE
Once the cake layers have cooled to room temperature, and you have prepared the frosting, it is time to assemble the cake! Use a large serrated knife to slice a thin layer off the tops of the cakes to create a flat top. Place 1 layer on a cake stand and spread a layer of strawberry cream cheese frosting on top. Use an offset spatula to even out the frosting. Top with second cake layer and spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides of cake.
STEP 13: SERVE & ENJOY!
This cake is best served right away at room temperature. If you are preparing the cake in advance, keep it in the refrigerator. Before you are ready to serve the cake, remove it from the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for 20-30 minutes.
FAQS ABOUT THIS FROM-SCRATCH FRESH STRAWBERRY CAKE RECIPE
DO I HAVE TO USE FRESH STRAWBERRIES?
For the best results, you should opt for fresh strawberries! Many strawberry cake recipes use frozen strawberries or strawberry flavored gelatin to get an intense flavor. That classic strawberry flavor can be achieved by using fresh strawberries. The process is very easy and doesn’t have any artificial flavors or colorings that are found in flavored gelatin.
WHY ROAST THE STRAWBERRIES?
Roasting the strawberries before pureeing them intensifies their flavor. To make the puree, simply sprinkle sugar over sliced strawberries and roast. Once out of the oven, place the strawberries in a blender or food process and puree. Let the mixture cool before using it in the recipe.
WHY ISN’T MY FRESH STRAWBERRY CAKE PINK?
Since this strawberry cake recipe uses fresh strawberries, the batter will be slightly pink and once baked, the color will barely show but the flavor will still be there!!
HOW TO STORE A LAYER CAKE
If you have any leftovers, you will need to cover and store your cake in the refrigerator. When storing frosted cakes in the refrigerator, I always chill them for about 15 minutes to harden the frosting. Then, I loosely cover the cake in plastic wrap or place it in a cake keeper. This Fresh Strawberry Layer Cake can be stored for up to 1 week covered in the refrigerator.
CAN I BAKE THIS STRAWBERRY CAKE INTO A 9X13-INCH CAKE?
Yes! If you are short on time, or simply don’t feel like assembling a layer cake, you can bake this cake in a 9x13-inch baking pan. Simply prepare the batter, then bake for 30-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. If you will be making a single layer cake, I recommend making only half of the cream cheese frosting recipe.
More Mother's Day Recipes You'll Love!
Lemon Thyme Muffins - fluffy, buttery, and bursting with fresh flavors.
White Chocolate Coconut Almond Layer Cake - an all-time favorite!
White Chocolate Blondies with Raspberry Champagne Frosting - the ultimate dessert.
How To Host a Stress-Free Spring Brunch
If you make this recipe, take a photo and tag #bakedambrosia on Instagram and Facebook so that I can see your creations and feature them on Instagram! To stay up to date with the latest recipes, follow Baked Ambrosia on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube. ♡
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Fresh Strawberry Cake
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Add the sliced strawberries to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of sugar onto the strawberries. Toss them gently then roast in the the oven for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Add the strawberries to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. You should end up with about ½ cup puree.
- Keep the oven at 350 degrees F. Grease two 8-inch cake pans. Set aside. (See notes for sheet cake)*
- In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter on low speed until smooth and creamy. Add sugar and beat on medium-low speed until light and fluffy, about 8-10 minutes.
- In a large measuring cup, whisk together the strawberry puree, buttermilk, egg whites, and vanilla until well combined.
- On low speed, add ⅓ of the dry ingredients to the butter/sugar mixture, then half of the wet. Add half of the remaining dry, then liquids. Finish with remaining dry ingredients. Beat until smooth.
- Pour the batter in the prepared cake pans and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Allow the cake layers to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer them onto a cooling rack and cool to room temperature.
- To make the frosting, add sliced strawberries and freeze dried strawberries to blender or food processor. Puree until smooth. Set aside. In your stand mixer fitted with the paddle or whisk attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter on high speed for about 1 minute, or until smooth and creamy. Beat in the strawberry puree. Gradually add the powdered sugar and salt. Beat on medium-high speed until completely smooth and fluffy.
- Assemble the cake: Use a large serrated knife to slice a thin layer off of the top of the cakes to create a flat top. Place 1 cake layer onto your cake stand and evenly spread a layer of frosting. Top with 2nd layer and spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides of cake. Sprinkle top with crumbled freeze dried strawberries. Refrigerate until ready to serve.