Strawberry Upside Down Cake

A delicious twist on a classic pineapple upside down cake, this Strawberry Upside Down Cake is perfect for summer. With the bright strawberry topping baked right in, this cake is easy to make and beautiful too!

A slice of strawberry upside down cake topped with whipped cream and a fresh strawberry

An Easy Strawberry Cake

This Strawberry Upside Down Cake is inspired by my Pineapple Upside Down Cake, one of my favorite desserts. Like the original pineapple version, this recipe starts with my moist vanilla cake, with just a few changes to account for the difference in pan size.

As a good upside down cake should be, this strawberry cake is moist and a little dense – but the good kind of dense. It’s still tender and not heavy. It’s a sweet cake but not too sweet, which works perfectly with the fresh strawberry flavor.

The strawberry topping is made with just 3 ingredients and baked right into the top of the cake, making this a super easy dessert. That’s one thing I’ve always loved about upside down cakes – they look fancy but in reality, they’re so easy!

The red strawberries are naturally colorful and beautiful, adding a pop of color to the dessert table and ensuring all eyes are on this cake. It’s great for summer and perfect for holidays featuring red like the 4th of July, Memorial Day, Labor Day and other celebrations too. Maybe even Valentine’s Day!

Overhead view of a strawberry upside down cake

What You’ll Need

You’ll just need basic ingredients to make this strawberry upside down cake. The strawberry topping requires just 3 ingredients!

For the Strawberry Topping:

  • Butter – Salted or unsalted is fine.
  • Sugar – Sweetness for the fresh strawberries.
  • Strawberries – Fresh sliced strawberries are the star of this cake.

For the Cake

  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking powder – Helps the cake rise and create the fluffy texture.
  • Salt – For flavor. Omit if using salted butter.
  • Unsalted butter – I prefer unsalted butter to control the salt in the cake.
  • Vegetable oil – Keeps the cake nice and moist.
  • Sugar – This cake is sweet but not too sweet!
  • Vanilla extract – Adds flavor.
  • Eggs – Help create the structure of the cake.
  • Milk – I use 2% but whole milk would be fine.

How to Make Strawberry Upside Down Cake

Though it looks fancy, this upside down cake is surprisingly easy to make! Just a little time to prepare the strawberry topping, a few minutes beating the batter, and this cake is ready to bake!

  1. Make the strawberry topping. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Combine the butter and sugar and spread on the bottom of a cake pan. Arrange the strawberry slices over the sugar – starting around the outer edge and then into the center.
  2. Make cake batter. Combine the dry ingredients and set aside. Beat oil, butter, sugars and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at time, mixing after each one. Add half of the dry ingredients to the wet batter and mix until mostly combined. Add the milk, mix, and then add the remaining dry ingredients. The batter should be well incorporated but do not overmix.Cake batter being spread over sliced strawberries in a cake pan
  3. Bake. Spread the batter evenly in the cake pan over the strawberries. Bake for 45-50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  4. Cool. Press down gently to flatten the cake. Let cool in the pan for 30 minutes then invert onto a cooling rack. Serve warm.

Tips for Success

For the most tender, flavorful strawberry upside down cake, keep these tips in mind when preparing and cooling the cake.

  • Do not skimp on the creaming time. It’s important to beat the butter and sugar for the full 2-3 minutes to allow the cake to rise properly during baking.
  • Use a towel to press down on the cake. Immediately after taking the cake from the oven, place a kitchen towel over it to press down and compress any dome that might’ve appeared during baking.
  • Cool before inverting. Cool the cake in the pan for 15 minutes or so before flipping it over to remove the cake from the pan.
  • Use fresh strawberries. For the best strawberry upside down cake, you should use fresh strawberries instead of frozen, which end up quite mushy when thawed.
Strawberry upside down cake on a serving platter

Serving Suggestions

Strawberry upside down cake should be served warm. I find it’s usually the perfect temperature for eating about 45 minutes after removing it from the oven.

If the cake cools completely before you get a chance to enjoy it, just reheat individual slices in the microwave for 10 to 15 seconds.

How to Store

Due to the strawberry topping, this cake needs to be stored in the fridge. To avoid drying it out, cover it tightly with plastic wrap or place it in an airtight container.

Warm slices up in the microwave for 30 seconds or so, for the best leftover cake!

A slice of strawberry upside down cake topped with whipped cream and a fresh strawberry

Can I Freeze Upside Down Cake?

Due to the strawberry topping, this cake is not ideal for freezing. As it thaws, it will become mushy and collapse under the thawed berries. Since this is such a hit, I’ve never had to worry about having any leftovers that need to be frozen!

Print
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Strawberry upside down cake on a serving platter
Recipe

Strawberry Upside Down Cake

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 810 slices 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

A delicious twist on a classic pineapple upside down cake, this Strawberry Upside Down Cake is perfect for summer. With the bright strawberry topping baked right in, this cake is easy to make and beautiful too!


Scale

Ingredients

For the Topping

  • 2 tbsp (28g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup (104g) sugar
  • 3 cups (390g) sliced strawberries

For the Cake

  • 1 1/4 cups (163g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 6 tbsp (84g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 tbsp (30ml) vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup (155g) sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp (150ml) milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C).
  2. Combine the melted butter and sugar and spread evenly in the bottom of a 9×2 inch cake pan.
  3. Arrange the strawberry slices over the sugar, using the photos above for visual reference. Arrange some first around the outer edge of the pan and then fill in the center.
  4.  To make the cake batter, combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium sized bowl and set aside.
  5. Add the butter, oil, sugars and vanilla extract to a large mixer bowl and beat together until light in color and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Do not skimp on the creaming time.
  6. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until mostly combined after each. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to be sure all ingredients are well incorporated.
  7. Add half of the dry ingredients to the batter and mix until mostly combined.
  8. Slowly add the milk and mix until well combined. The batter may look a little curdled, but that’s ok.
  9. Add the remaining dry ingredients and mix until well combined and smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to be sure all ingredients are well incorporated. Do not over mix the batter.
  10. Add the batter to the prepared cake pan and spread evenly. Bake for 45-50 minutes, covering with foil about 35 minutes in if needed to prevent the top from over-browning. The cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  11. Remove the cake from the oven and press the cake down gently to help flatten any dome. I placed a dish cloth on top of the cake to help press on the hot cake.
  12. Let the cake cool in the pan for 30 minutes, then invert onto a cooling rack. Allow the cake to cool a bit before serving. It’s best served warm, but if you allow it to cool completely to room temperature, you can heat individual slices for 10-15 seconds to warm them back up a bit.

Keywords: how to make upside down cake, fresh strawberry cake, easy summer desserts

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4 Comments
  1. Bryn

    I never want to discourage scratch made baking but my daughter saw this cake and wants to make it on her own, and asked if she could use a box mix (she’s 9). Could you tell me is white cake or yellow cake would be the most similar to your homemade version? Also, I’m assuming the version with pudding added may be too moist?. Thoughts? Thank you so much. She made scratch cupcakes a month or two ago and I think she just wants to speed up the gratification!

    1. Lindsay

      Either would probably work, but a regular vanilla cake would be most similar, not necessarily white or yellow. Not sure about the pudding mix, but it’s probably fine. Cake mix is made to pretty much stand up to anything, LOL.

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!

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