Homemade Strawberry Cake

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This Homemade Strawberry Cake is full of sweet, fresh strawberry flavor! Moist strawberry cake layers are paired with a strawberry cream cheese frosting for the ultimate strawberry cake!

strawberry cake collage

Homemade Strawberry Cake

Strawberry cake is a favorite of mine and always has been. As a kid, strawberry cake (from a mix) with cream cheese frosting was a fave. I even made it into a strawberry cupcake a while back.

Then I decided the only thing better than that would be to have a strawberry cake made from scratch with all the flavor coming from real strawberries, so made I made this cake. And while it is delicious, I’ve learned a few things since then and knew I could make it even better.

How, you ask? A reduction. I first started reducing champagne to use in recipes several years ago, starting with these Mini Strawberry Champagne Cheesecakes. I wanted plenty of champagne flavor, but just adding it as is wasn’t enough. So I started reducing that. Then I discovered that method would work well with strawberry puree and used it for a Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cheesecake, No Bake Strawberry Cheesecake and even Strawberry Whipped Cream.

So finally I decided to revisit my strawberry cake and try it out with a strawberry reduction.

overhead of full homemade fresh strawberry cakeslice of strawberry cake

How to Make Homemade Strawberry Cake

To make this amazing Strawberry Cake, you’ll start off with your strawberries, puree them and then cook them until reduced by half. Ultimately you’ll pack one pound of strawberries into these cake layers in the form of three fourths cup of strawberry reduction. Rock on!

From there, you’ll actually use the reverse creaming method in this cake, as opposed to the regular creaming method, which you see most often around here.

Reverse Creaming Method

While working with a new mixing method can seem a little intimidating at first, this method is super simple and is totally worth learning something new. I’ve actually kind of fallen in love with it, so you’ll see it around here more. Basically it goes like this:

1. Combine the wet ingredients, aside from the butter.
2. Combine the dry ingredients.
3. Slowly mix the butter into the dry ingredients.
4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredient/butter mixture in two parts.

Not only is this method easy, it produces the loveliest crumb and cake texture. It’s so tender and silky. I love it! That said, it has a tight crumb, so you don’t expect it to be a fluffy cake. It’s on the more dense side, but it’s not overly heavy.

overhead of homemade fresh strawberry cake with a slice cut out

So for this particular cake, you’ll combine the strawberry reduction with the rest of the wet ingredients. I added the milk and sour cream to it right away to help it cool down more quickly (impatience!), then added everything else once it was room temperature. You’ll divide the wet mixture into two parts and set them both aside.

From there, combine the dry ingredients and then slowly add the butter one tablespoon or so at a time. The mixer should be on low speed and will eventually the mixture will start to resemble wet sand.

Then you’ll add some of the wet ingredients and turn the mixer up to medium high and beat for about a minute. This is when the air is incorporated into the batter and it gets wonderfully light and fluffy! Next, add the rest of the wet ingredients and mix well. At this point I added a little bit of extract pink color to the batter, just to get a nicer shade of pink. You could leave it out though.

slice of homemade fresh strawberry cake

Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

Once your cake is baked and cooled, it’s time to slather it in the best strawberry frosting! For the strawberry flavor, I used freeze dried strawberries. As mentioned before, I love cream cheese frosting with strawberry cake. You could certainly use regular cream cheese frosting, but I decided to add even more strawberry flavor.

Adding strawberry puree (even reduced puree) to the frosting is going to add too much liquid for the cream cheese frosting to hold up well. To fix that – freeze dried strawberries to the rescue! They add LOTS of great flavor without adding liquid, which is just what is needed.

If you’ve really got your heart set on using strawberry puree for the frosting, I suggest using a regular buttercream. Check out my vanilla buttercream frosting and add some strawberry puree (reduced would give you even more flavor) in place of the milk. Another alternative would be to lighten things up with strawberry whipped cream.

The Best Strawberry Cake

This Homemade Strawberry Cake is soft, moist and full of strawberry flavor! It’s exactly what you’re looking in a strawberry cake. And if you’ve never tried the creaming method, this is a great chance to try it. You’ll fall in love with the ease of the method and the tender cake it gives you. It’s not particularly light and fluffy, because it has a tight crumb. You might even describe it as dense, but it’s not heavy. It is tender and full of flavor! Enjoy!

full shot of whole strawberry cake

More Strawberry Desserts To Try

Strawberry Poke Cake
Strawberry Shortcake Cake
Strawberries and Cream Cheesecake Cake
Strawberries and Cream Cupcakes
Strawberry Cheesecake
Strawberry Pound Cake
No Bake Strawberry Cheesecake

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Full image of Homemade Fresh Strawberry Cake
Recipe

Homemade Strawberry Cake

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Prep Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 51 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours 6 minutes
  • Yield: 12-14 slices 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This Homemade Strawberry Cake is full of sweet, fresh strawberry flavor! Moist strawberry cake layers are paired with a strawberry cream cheese frosting for the ultimate strawberry cake! The texture isn’t light and fluffy, but instead tender with a tight crumb. You might even find it a little dense, but not too heavy.


Scale

Ingredients

Strawberry Cake

  • 3 cups (400g) of quartered strawberries*
  • 3/4 cup (173g) sour cream
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) milk
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups (325g) all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups (310g) sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup (168g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 79 drops pink food color, optional

Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 2 cups (46g) freeze dried strawberries*
  • 16 oz (452g) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (172g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 10 cups (1150g) powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup chopped strawberries

Instructions

1. To make the strawberry reduction, add the strawberries to a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. You should have about 1 1/2 cups of puree.
2. Add the puree to a medium sized saucepan and cook over medium heat. Allow the mixture to come to a slow boil, stirring consistently to keep it from burning, until it has thickened and reduced to 3/4 cup, about 20-25 minutes. To measure, pour the puree into a measuring cup. If it’s more than 3/4 cup, add it back to the pan and continue cooking.
3. When the puree has thickened and reduced, pour into a large measuring cup and allow to cool to at least room temperature. This strawberry mixture can be made ahead, if you like, and stored in the fridge.
4. Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C) and prepare three 8 inch cake pans with parchment paper in the bottom and baking spray on the sides.
5. Combine the strawberry reduction, sour cream, milk, eggs and vanilla extract in a large bowl, then separate about 1 cup of the mixture into another bowl or measuring cup. About 1 1/2 cups should remain in the other bowl. Set both aside.
6. In a large mixer bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
7. With the mixer on the lowest speed, add the butter about a tablespoon at a time, allowing it to incorporate before adding the next tablespoon. As you add more butter, the mixture will start to clump together a bit a should end up resembling wet sand.
8. Add the larger of the reserved egg mixture (about 1 1/2 cups) to the dry ingredients/butter mixture. Stir on the lowest speed until it’s incorporated, then scrape down the sides of the bowl.
9. Increase the speed to medium high and beat until light and fluffy, about 45 seconds to one minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
10. Turn the speed down to low and slowly add the remaining egg mixture in a slow stream until incorporated.
11. Scrape the sides of the bowl, then turn speed back up to medium high and mix until well combined, about 10-15 seconds.
13. Divide the batter evenly between the three cake pans and bake 24-26 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out with a few crumbs.
14. Remove cakes from the oven and allow to cool for 2-3 minutes, then remove to cooling rack to cool completely.
15. To make the frosting, add the freeze dried strawberries to a food processor and grind into a powder. It should give you a little more than half a cup of strawberry powder.
16. In a large mixer bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth.
17. Slowly add half of the powdered sugar and the vanilla extract and mix until smooth.
18. Slowly add remaining powdered sugar and strawberry powder and mix until smooth. Add some salt, to taste. Set aside.
19. To put the cake together, use a large serrated knife to remove the domes from the top of the cakes so that they’re flat. Refer to my tutorial, if needed. Place the first cake on a serving plate or a cardboard cake round.
20. Add about 1 cup of frosting to the top of the cake layer and spread evenly. Add about half of the chopped strawberries and press into the frosting.
21. Add the second layer of cake, another cup of frosting and the remaining chopped strawberries.
22. Top the cake with the remaining layer and frost the cake with the remaining frosting. Refer to my tutorial for frosting a smooth cake, if needed.
23. Pipe the shell border around the top and bottom of the cake. I used a large closed star tip for the top – Ateco 847. For the border around the bottom of the cake, I used Wilton tip 22.
24. Add a few strawberries on top for decoration and refrigerate until ready to serve. Cake is best when stored well covered and eaten within 3-4 days.

Notes

NOTE: I used a full pound of strawberries for the puree for the cake layers and additional strawberries for between the cake layers. Your strawberries MUST have great flavor in order for your cake to have any flavor. If your strawberries are lacking, your cake will be too.

If you’d prefer not to use freeze dried strawberries, you can use fresh strawberries. Just check out my Homemade Strawberry Frosting.

Keywords: strawberry cake recipe, strawberry cake filling, homemade strawberry cake, strawberry cake from scratch, best strawberry cake recipe, easy strawberry cake recipe, strawberry layer cake, layer cake, layer cake recipe

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Recipe rating

181 Comments
  1. Aimie

    Hi Lindsay, I have tried this recipe for my sister’s birthday and it turned out very perfect!!!
    The reverse method is very easy to follow, the cake texture is very silky. But I reduced a bit of sugar and changed from freeze dried strawberry to strawberry puree, the smell was irresistible!!!

    Thank you for sharing your great recipe. I’m now official you fan!!! 🙂

      1. Betsy

        How many strawberries (about) makes up 3 cups. ? And how do you make or where purchase freeze dried strawberries?

      2. Lindsay

        So the measurement in grams is is 400g. A one pound container of strawberries is about 454g, but you’ll being removing the stems, so you’ll probably need two one pound containers.

    1. Lindsay

      You can certainly try frozen berries. I tend to hesitate with them because it’s hard to know when you buy them if they have a good flavor and you introduce the variable of additional water, which can keep you from getting as strong of a strawberry flavor. But you can use them.

      1. Seyma

        Hey,
        I going to make this cake for my dad’s birthday. Strawberry is his absolute favorite also it looks so delicious but i dont have 8inch(20cm) cake pan. İ have a 24 cm springform pan. Can i put all the cake mix in that and after it baked slice the layers? Or Can i put half batch and wait for it bake then bake the other half? 
        (Sorry for my english its not my first language :(( )

      2. Lindsay

        I wouldn’t suggestion adding all the batter to one pan. It will bake unevenly and be very dense. You could try doing it in two halves.

  2. Suzy-q

    This cake looks amazing, Lindsay! I can’t wait to give it a try. I made your bourbon peach streusel
    cheesecake today. It is one of my favorites! I’ll definitely be making this strawberry cake soon.
    Thanks for another great creation!

      1. Jesikah D Sundin

        Hey there. I want to use this cake recipe for cupcakes. Do you happen to know the cook time?

      2. Lindsay

        I haven’t tried this as cupcakes yet, but I’m guessing it’s between 15 and 20 minutes.

    1. Shannon

      This cake has a great texture! It was a huge hit! The fresh strawberries really add to the taste.

  3. NL Hill

    This recipe sounds Amazing!! I am going to try to make this cake, but can you use cake flour instead of all purpose flour? I have cake flour that I need to use up. Thanks for the recipe and for a response.

    1. Lindsay

      I didn’t test it with cake flour, but I imagine it would be fine. You’ll likely get an even tighter crumb with cake flour. I hope you enjoy it!

    2. Liz

      I haven’t tried this yet but plan to for my daughter’s birthday. I live in high elevation area in Utah. Can you tell me if this recipe is suited for high or low elevation? I’m so tired of pouring my heart into an amazing looking recipe only to have my cake collapse. 🙁

  4. Erin

    This cake looks fabulous, Lindsay! And I have used the reverse creaming method twice before in different recipes and I am in LOVE with it. It yields the most amazingly soft, light, and almost springy crumb! And it’s super easy to accomplish. New methods always seem a little intimidating at first, for a lot of people, but that isn’t necessarily because they’re extremely tricky or fussy. I find that the majority of the time it is simply because you’re trying something different, something you aren’t familiar with doing. But really, the reverse creaming method is SO simple, you shouldn’t have any problems with it. Although, I find it helps to sift the dry ingredients together before adding the butter; this insures that there won’t be any big sugar crystals in the batter, which can make it a bit gritty. Also, having all of your ingredients at room temperature really helps produce a smooth and creamy batter. I’ll be sure to try this cake before strawberries go out of season 🙂

    1. Lindsay

      I’m glad to hear you like the reverse creaming method too! I agree, stepping out of your comfort zone can be tough. It’s often rewarding though! I hope you enjoy the cake when you try it!

  5. Leisel

    Hi. I have been following your blog for a while and I love your recipes they are absolutely A+ class.
    Especially your cheesecakes recipes, they are my go to…..this strawberry cake the method of mixing I have seen it referred as reversed creaming method…is it the same thing here?

    Thanks a lot for your patience and effort with your recipes…they’re fantastic plus being a mom with twins just amazing.

    Leisel

    1. Lindsay

      Thanks so much Leisel! I’m so glad to hear you enjoy everything! And yes, this cake uses the reverse creaming method.

      1. Lindsay

        I’m not sure if you did something wrong or not. It’s hard to say without seeing it. This cake does have a tight crumb, which some may think of as dense. Sorry you weren’t happy with it and gave it such a bad rating.

  6. Gina DeMarco

    I was wondering, do you have a recipe for a strawberry frosting that doesn’t have cream cheese in it? I would like to make this cake, but don’t like cream cheese. Thank you.

      1. Natasha Ball

        Hi, I’d like to make this ahead of time and freeze the cakes before icing to reduce the risk of crumbs when icing the cake. Will the cake be soggy when thawed? Also, I’d like to put your strawberry whipped cream between the layers and your strawberry frosting on the outside. Do you think the whipped cream will go soggy if the cake is frozen before decorating?

      2. Lindsay

        How long are you planning on freezing it? If you’re talking about 15 to 20 minutes, it’ll be fine. If you’re freezing it for several days or weeks, I recommend freezing the layers separately and adding the whipped cream after you thaw them later to avoid issues. Perhaps a better way to avoid crumbs would be to use a crumb coat on the cake before fully frosting it.

    1. Lindsay

      I’m actually posting it next week! It’ll be a strawberry frosting recipe with two different ways of making it. If you plan on making it sooner than that though, you can make my regular vanilla buttercream and add strawberry reduction or freeze dried strawberries in place of water/milk.

    2. edith

      “Strawberry Buttercream Icing”
      4 sticks good cream butter
      3 Tbs vanilla
      2 lbs power sugar
      2 teaspoons per 3 cups of powder sugar
      (every time you put cups in add whole milk or ur milk you like)
      2 cups of freeze-dried strawberry
      ground almost to a power but not quite
      my recipe
      yum!!!!

      start creaming room temp butter
      when creamed add vanilla then and powdered sugar 3 cups at time with 2 teaspoon milk
      (milk can be more or less but it makes it wet so hold off till end )
      ***beat till fluffy on high scrape always it makes it blend better

      1. Lindsay

        The ingredients list 3 cups of chopped strawberries (not puree) for the cake. In step one, it mentions that after pureeing, you’ll have 1 1/2 cups of puree. Does that helps?

    3. Donna

      It’s a perfectly fine recipe and the strawberry flavor shines, but dense is an understatement! I prefer a lighter cake; this one has very little crumb. Just a few recommendations: use the food coloring. I didn’t use much, and my cake was the same color as the icing so I didn’t get the beautiful layers. Also, this icing is so rich, especially with such a heavy cake. Next time I would make it in a bundt pan and use a light, bright drizzle, perhaps even lemon or something citrusy.

      1. Brooke

        Hi, I love this recipe and I’d like to use it to make a half sheet cake. Do you think it will turn out too thin? My cake layers with this recipe are usually about a half inch thick. Is this how they are supposed to be or am I doing something wrong? If this isn’t a good recipe for a sheet cake, do you have one you’d recommend? Thank you! Your cakes and tutorials are amazing!

      2. Lindsay

        I’m so glad you enjoy everything! I would say that the layers for this cake should be more like an inch thick. Doesn’t sound quite right that they are that thin. Assuming everything is turning out correctly, I would think this would work well as a sheet cake.

Lindsay
About Lindsay

I'm a wife and mom to twin boys, a baby girl and a sweet black lab with a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the sugar!

Scripture I’m Loving

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12