Moist, tender, and pink, this homemade Strawberry Cake with Fresh Strawberries is simply the best. Top this sheet cake with a fluffy strawberry buttercream frosting for a sweet and tasty summer dessert. This fresh strawberry sheet cake is well worth making!
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Fresh Strawberry Sheet Cake
Strawberries, oh how I love thee, especially when they are included in this simple cake covered in a soft, billowy strawberry icing full of fresh red berries.
No matter where you get your strawberries, fresh-picked from the garden or the market, make sure you store them so they will stay fresh. Learn How To Keep Strawberries Fresh; a simple trick works like a charm. Fresh strawberries with strawberry cream cheese frosting are more delectable than anything you could ever imagine.
I use buttercream frosting for this fresh strawberry sheet cake, but any frosting tastes delicious! You can never use enough fresh berries in this recipe to get that sweet strawberry flavor!
Learn How to Grow Strawberries Inside with this step-by-step guide.
Want to preserve that fresh-picked strawberry flavor? Make this small batch of 3-Ingredient Strawberry Jam - Without Pectin.
Why We Love This Homemade Strawberry Sheet Cake
- This homemade cake has a real strawberry flavor, not that fake strawberry flavor that no one ever craves. You know, that weird taste? My strawberry cake recipes don't taste like that! You can avoid that taste by using enough strawberries.
- This homemade strawberry cake recipe does not use jello for flavor or color. Nope, just strawberries! And the moist cake is well worth making it this way!
- This strawberry sheet cake recipe is perfect for summer picnics, cookouts, potlucks, and an everyday dessert. It's just a real crowd-pleaser!
- Have a special occasion? This cake makes the prettiest presentation for Easter, Mother's Day, baby and bridal showers, christenings, and even a tea party.
- There is nothing easier than a sheet cake; no stacking is required. You decide if you want to leave the cake in the pan or turn it out onto a platter. For the cake pan, I prefer using a glass baking dish for a pretty presentation.
- Out of all the strawberry desserts available, this recipe is the best! The full recipe is going to be found below!
🍓Cake and Icing Ingredients
Food Coloring - Do you want a really pink cake? If so, add some food coloring; if you don't like food coloring, that is perfectly fine, your cake will be a more natural color and will be just as tasty. I go both ways on this, and the amount of food coloring I add is minimal.
- To make a strawberry cake taste like a strawberry, it is necessary to make a few cups of puree. Yes, this is an extra step, but it makes all the difference. It just requires some cooking time and adds color and flavor.
- I have tried making this cake by just adding chopped strawberries to the batter, and it didn't have strawberry flavor throughout. The strawberries were weirdly mushy and turned a brownish color. I threw it away.
- The added benefit of making the strawberry puree is you will use it in the strawberry frosting.
How To Make A Strawberry Cake: Step-By-Step Instructions
Step 1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease the bottom of a 13" x 9" cake pan. If you want to turn the cake out onto a platter, line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper or wax paper.
Cake pan tips - I used a 12" x 8" cake pan and cut my cake into eight thick slices. You can also use 2-8" cake pans or make 24 cupcakes.
Step 2. Make the strawberry puree by washing and stemming the strawberries, then coarsely chop the berries. Add the berries to a medium-sized saucepan with the sugar and water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat slightly so the berries continue to boil, just not a hard boil, and cook and stir for 15 minutes.
Step 3. Pour the reduced strawberry puree into a bowl and mash with a fork. The puree will not be super thick. Let cool to room temperature before adding to the batter.
Step 4. In a large mixing bowl, beat the room-temperature butter until fluffy, then mix in the sugar for 3-4 minutes at medium speed.
Step 5. Separate the eggs and add just the egg whites and the vanilla to the bowl and mix on medium speed until combined.
Step 6. Mix the dry ingredients, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together, then add ⅓ of that to the bowl and mix, then add half of the milk and mix. Repeat adding the flour and milk. The batter will be very thick when totally mixed.
Step 7. Remove a ¼ cup of the strawberry puree to use in the frosting. Add the puree and the zest of the lemon to the batter. Mix on low speed until completely mixed. Scrape the bowl as needed.
Step 8. Here are the before and after of the cake batter when adding food color. This is totally optional. I added four drops of red food coloring. You can leave the batter totally natural or add as much food coloring as you like. It's your cake so do your thing!
How to Use Strawberry Extract
Tip for using strawberry extract or emulsion- Adding extra strawberry flavor to this cake is optional. This recipe does not have an overpowering strawberry flavor, so if you want that flavor boost, add a teaspoon of extract or a half-teaspoon emulsion to the batter, the frosting, or both.
Step 9. Bake the cake for 40-42 minutes. Test with a toothpick to make sure the cake is completely baked. Remove from the oven and cool completely before frosting the cake.
Step 10. Make the frosting by beating the room-temperature butter until fluffy, then slowly mix in the powdered sugar. Add the reserved ¼ cup of strawberry puree, mixing on medium-low speed. Add the cream one tablespoon at a time to get the desired icing consistency.
Step 11. Top the cake with dollops of frosting and smooth to the corners of the cake with a spoon or an icing knife. Cut the cake into squares and top with sliced strawberries.
My family voted this the best summer cake ever; for good reason, it's so good. So don't let the strawberry season pass by without baking this fruity, made-from-scratch cake. And while you enjoy a slice of this fabulous cake, you may want to sip on this fruity Strawberry Daiquiri Mocktail.
Yes, you can. Let the strawberries thaw for a little bit, then chop. Cook the berries with sugar and water. You may need to cook a few minutes longer because of the excess liquid in the berries.
It depends. Cakes made with a puree and topped with a buttercream frosting can be stored covered on the counter for three days.
If the cake has pieces of strawberries in it or has been frosted with cream cheese frosting, then you should keep the cake in the refrigerator.
If you put strawberries on top of the cake for decoration, they will more than likely get moldy at room temperature, so store the leftover cake in the fridge.
You could cut the fresh strawberries up and add them to the cake. Otherwise, you can put whole strawberries on the fresh strawberry cake.
More Fruit Cakes To Love
- Light and billowy, this Raspberry Cake is so pretty and delicious, perfect for a summer party.
- If citrus is your thing, bake our favorite Lemon Bundt Cake with fresh lemon pieces baked inside the cake for bursts of citrus flavor. Or, if you prefer the sweet taste of oranges, make this Orange Bundt Cake with bits of mandarin oranges. Both are so good!
- This Banana Bundt Cake starts with a box cake mix, and you add caramel and vanilla bean seeds to the batter. And the cream caramel icing on top adds the perfect sweetness to this awesome cake.
Bake this cake in a pretty red baking pan. This 13" x 9" ceramic baking pan is perfect for a strawberry cake.
Dessert recipes with strawberries
Fresh Strawberry Sheet Cake with Strawberry Buttercream
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- 8 ounce strawberries washed and stemmed
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup water
- 4 ounces unsalted butter room temperature - 1 stick
- 1¼ cups granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 cups AP flour
- 1½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 lemon
- ¾ cup whole milk
- 3-4 drops pink food coloring optional
- 1 teaspoon strawberry flavoring optional
Strawberry Puree (Reduction)
- Wash, stem and chop the strawberries, then add them to a medium-sized saucepan with the sugar and water. Bring this mixture to a boil, then lightly boil for 15 minutes, stirring frequently. When done remove from the heat and smash the berries with a fork. This mixture will not be super thick.
- Pour the strawberries into a bowl to cool, while you are making the cake batter.
Mixing the Strawberry Cake
- Preheat the oven to 350° F. Prepare a 13" x 9" pan with cooking spray. If you are going to depan the cake, line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer, add the softened butter and beat until fluffy then add the sugar and mix on medium speed for two 3-4 minutes. Scape the bowl as needed.
- Separate the eggs and add the egg whites and vanilla to the butter. Mix on medium speed until well incorporated.
- In a small bowl mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour and the milk to the bowl. Begin and end with the flour mixture and scrape the bowl as needed. Mix just until combined.
- Remove a ¼ cup of the strawberry puree then add the rest of the puree to the cake batter along with the lemon zest. Mix on medium speed until combined. The batter will be thick.
Optional color and flavoring
- Add 3-4 drops of pink food coloring and mix to combine.
- For a stronger strawberry flavor add ½ teaspoon to 1 teaspoon of strawberry flavoring.
- Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for 35-40 minutes. Test with a toothpick for doneness. When done set the cake on a cooling rack.
- If you are leaving the cake in the pan it is ready to frost when completely cooled.
- If you are serving the cake on a platter, let the cake cool completely and turn it out onto a platter, and frost when cooled.
Strawberry Buttercream Frosting
- Add the softened butter to a stand mixing bowl or a large bowl and mix on medium speed until smooth.
- Mix in half of the powdered sugar then add the other half and mix into the sugar.
- Add the ¼ cup of strawberry puree and 1 tablespoon of the cream. Mix on medium speed until combined. Depending on the consistency of the icing add another tablespoon of cream and mix.
- Spread the icing on top of the cake and serve.
- Store any leftover cake covered for up to three days.
- If you have topped the cake with strawberries store the cake in the refrigerator.
First published: May 14, 2022, Last updated: June 21, 2023 for better readability.
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From learning to cook on a farm in Indiana to culinary school in California, my passion for food is never-ending. Turning on my oven to bake something for friends and family is my happy place, and I am glad to be here at One Hot Oven sharing sweet and savory family-friendly recipes for your cooking and baking inspiration.