Strawberry Cake

This Strawberry Cake is fantastic, and bursting with strawberry flavor! The cake layers are made with real strawberries, filled with Strawberry Jam, and frosted with a tangy and delicious Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting.

strawberry cake, a pink cake on top of a wooden board, the cake has pink frosting and is decorated with halved strawberries.

I made this cake a total of 3 times to get it perfect, exactly the way I wanted it to be. The cake layers are fluffy and light, the Strawberry Jam is sweet and rich, and the Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting is tangy, creamy, and impossible to resist.

The cake is made with real strawberries, and you will be able to taste the burst of fruity goodness in every bite of this dessert.

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Overall, this has been one of my favorite cakes I baked lately! This cake is so worth it. It has a lot of steps, but can be made simpler if you use store-bought jam.

slice of strawberry cake on a plate, the cake is pink filled with strawberry jam and frosted with pink strawberry frosting.

Strawberry Cake Recipe

I will show you step-by-step how to make this delightful Strawberry Cake. Here you will find the detailed instructions alongside images, and on the bottom of the page you can see the ingredients list.

The first thing you want to do before starting this cake, is to make the strawberry reduction, which will be used in the cake batter and also in the frosting.

Strawberry Puree

Place the strawberries in a blender, and blend until it becomes a puree.

Pour the puree in a saucepan, and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it reduces to 3/4 cup.

Pour the reduced strawberry puree in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface, so a skin doesn’t form.

Let the puree cool down.

You will use 1/2 cup for the cake batter, and the remaining 1/4 cup for the frosting.

When you reduce the strawberries, the flavor becomes super concentrated and it’s going to make the taste of strawberry present in every layer of this cake.

first picture: strawberries inside of a blender. second picture: strawberry puree inside of a blender. third picture: strawberry puree in a saucepan with a spatula stirring it. fourth picture: strawberry puree cooked and reduced.

Strawberry Cake Batter

To make the Strawberry Cake Batter, mix the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Set aside.

Beat the butter with a mixer for 30 seconds. Add the sugar and the oil and beat for another minute or two, until the batter is fluffy.

Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until completely incorporated before adding the next egg. Along with the final egg, you can add the vanilla extract.

first picture: butter whipped inside of a bowl. second picture: bowl with whipped butter inside and granulated sugar and vegetable oil in the bowl. third picture: bowl with whipped butter with sugar. fourth picture: whipped butter and sugar in a bowl with an egg added to it.

Add the sour cream, and the reduced and cooled down 1/2 cup of strawberry puree, mix to combine.

At this point you can add a couple of drops of red or pink food coloring to the batter, if desired.

The batter’s color will fade as the cake bakes, and it will turn more orange/brownish, so if you want the cake to remain pink, you have to add a bit of food coloring, but it’s totally optional.

first picture: bowl with batter inside and an egg and vanilla extract. second picture: bowl with batter inside, and sour cream added to the bowl. third picture: bowl with batter inside and sour cream, and strawberry puree. fourth picture: bowl with pink batter inside and added buttermilk to the bowl.

Pour half of the buttermilk in the bowl. Mix to combine.

Add half of the flour mixture to the bowl, stir until incorporated.

Pour the rest of the buttermilk and mix. Finish by adding the remaining flour. Mix on low to combine. You can finish stirring with a spatula, to avoid over mixing the cake batter.

first picture: bowl with pink batter inside, and flour added to the bowl. second picture: bowl with pink batter inside and buttermilk in the bowl. third picture: bowl with pink batter inside and flour added to it. fourth picture: bowl with strawberry cake batter.

Baking

Divide the batter between 3 8-inch pans lined with parchment paper and greased.

Bake in the oven for about 35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes off clean when inserted in the cake.

Let the cakes cool down for about 10 minutes, then flip onto a wire rack, or tray to cool down completely before assembling the cake.

If you aren’t assembling the cake on the same day, wrap the layers individually with plastic, and place them in the freezer. It’s better to keep the cake in the freezer instead of the fridge, because as my friend Kristin taught me, the fridge will dry out the cake layers, whereas their moisture will be better preserved if you freeze them.

first picture: hand scooping strawberry cake batter in a pan, there are three round 8 inch pans in the picture filled with cake batter. second picture: three round cake pans with strawberry cake batter inside. third picture: cake pans with baked strawberry cake in the pans. fourth picture: hand flipping a strawberry cake on a baking tray.

Strawberry Jam

You can make the Strawberry Jam even as the cake bakes. Or a few days ahead. It will keep well in the fridge for a week, or even longer.

And it’s ok to use store-bought jam if you don’t want to make your own jam.

Place the strawberries, lemon juice, and sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, keep the heat at medium-low. Stir occasionally and let them jam cook until it becomes thick and darkened in color, and the berries are falling apart, it can take about 30 minutes or more to reach this stage. If you take the temperature with a thermometer it should be between 200 and 220ºF.

If you don’t have a thermometer just cook until the jam is very thick and reduced.

Pour the jam in a bowl, let it cool down completely. Cover and place it in the fridge.

first picture: saucepan with strawberries, sugar, and lemon sugar inside. second picture: hand stirring the strawberries with a spatula. third picture: hand stirring strawberries cooking. fourth picture: strawberry jam being poured in a bowl.

Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

To make the Strawberry Frosting, beat the butter for 30 seconds with the paddle attachment if using a stand mixer, or you can use a hand mixer instead.

Add the cream cheese and beat for another 30 seconds.

The reason we don’t add the cream cheese immediately is that over beating cream cheese can cause it to become watery, which will make the frosting too runny.

Add half of the powdered sugar and mix on low to combine, then raise the speed to medium-high and beat until creamy for 30 to 60 seconds.

first picture: bowl with whipped butter and cream cheese inside. second picture: powdered sugar added to the bowl of whipped cream cheese and butter. third picture: cream cheese, butter, and powdered sugar whipped in a bowl, with a hand mixer next to it. fourth picture: bowl with whipped butter and sugar inside and strawberry puree added to the bowl.

Add the strawberry puree, mix on low. Then add the remaining powdered sugar and mix on low to combine.

Raise the speed to medium high and beat until the frosting is creamy.

If the frosting is too runny, add a bit more powdered sugar a little at a time until the desired consistency is achieved.

first picture: bowl with pink strawberry frosting inside. second picture: bowl with pink strawberry frosting inside and powdered sugar added to it. third picture: bowl with pink frosting inside with strawberries in the back. fourth picture: bowl with frosting in the back and a spatula with creamy pink strawberry frosting.

To assemble

To assemble the cake, start by placing a cake layer on a cake plate or turntable. Spread a thin layer of strawberry buttercream on the cake.

Place a bit of frosting in a piping bag lined with a large round tip.

Pipe a ring of frosting around the edges of the cake.

Fill the center with a layer of jam. Top with another cake layer.

first picture: pink cake layer on top of a wooden board with strawberries in the back. second picture: hand spreading pink frosting on top of the cake layer. third picture: hand piping a ring of frosting around the edges of a cake layer. fourth picture: cake layer with strawberry frosting piped around the edges and strawberry jam in the filling.

Repeat this process by spreading a layer of frosting on the cake, then piping a ring of frosting around the edges. Fill the center with jam. It’s important to not over fill the cake, or it will spill through the cake as you’re trying to ice it.

Stack another cake layer on top.

first picture: pink cake layers stacked on top of a wooden board with strawberries in the back. second picture: pink frosting on top of the cake layer. third picture: stacked cake layers with strawberry frosting piped around the edges and strawberry jam in the filling. fourth picture: three layers of strawberry cake stacked together.

Crumb Coating

Cover the cake with a thin layer of frosting. Use an offset spatula to smooth out the cake on top, and use a bench scraper to smooth out the sides of the cake.

This thin layer of frosting will seal the crumbs in the cake, which will prevent the final coating of frosting from having any visible crumbs throughout.

Another reason why I like to crumb coat my cakes is that it makes it much easier to get the final frosting layer to be very thick and smooth. Specially when decorating and stacking a cake with such a wet filling as our strawberry jam, and a soft frosting like the cream cheese based one we are using, crumb coating can be very helpful.

After you are done spreading this thin layer of frosting around the cake, place the cake in the fridge for 20 to 30 minutes until the frosting sets.

While the cake is in the fridge, prepare the strawberries. Slice them in half lengthwise and place them facing down on a paper towel lined plate or tray, to drain the strawberries of any excess water.

first picture: hand spreading pink frosting around pink strawberry cake. second picture: hand smoothing the frosting on a pink cake. third picture: hand smoothing the side of a strawberry cake frosted with pink frosting using a bench scraper. fourth picture: strawberry cake with a thin layer of strawberry frosting spread around it.

Frosting and decorating

Remove the cake from the fridge and spread a thick layer of frosting on the sides and on top of the cake.

Place the cake scraper on the side of the cake, and spin the turntable around as you keep the cake scraper steady, to remove any excess frosting and smooth out the sides of the cake.

Swipe the offset spatula at an angle, coming towards you, to smooth out the edges of the cake on top.

Place the strawberries all over the cake. Slice and serve.

first picture: strawberry cake on a cake board, and someone with a spatula on the side of the cake adding more frosting. second picture: hand swiping the top of the cake with spatula to smooth it out. third picture: hand placing strawberries on the side of the pink frosted cake. fourth picture: hand placing a strawberry on top of the pink frosted cake.

Cake tips

Here are some tips for making this easy strawberry cake recipe:

  • When making the strawberry puree, make sure it’s reduced to 3/4 cup and reserve 1/2 for the cake batter, and 1/4 for the frosting. The puree can be kept in the fridge for up to 2 days.
  • Make sure the buttermilk, sour cream, and eggs are at room temperature. Just remove them from the fridge about 20 or 30 minutes before you have to use them in the recipe.
  • The butter and cream cheese should also be at room temperature, about 72ºF.
  • Spray the round cake pans with oil, place a round of parchment paper on the bottom, and lightly spray the parchment. I like this way of preparing my cake pans the most.
  • Don’t over mix the batter once you add the flour ingredients in, because that can make the cake dry.
  • Over baking can also cause the cake to become dry. Bake just until a toothpick comes off clean when inserted in the cake. If using a convection oven, use 325ºF instead of 350ºF.
  • If not assembling the cake on the same day, wrap it tightly with plastic and place it in the freezer instead of the fridge. Remove the cake layers from the freezer 10 minutes before it’s time to frost the cake.
  • Don’t over beat the frosting once you add the cream cheese in, that can make the frosting runny.
  • The jam can be made up to a week ahead, as it keeps super well in the fridge.
strawberry cake, a pink cake on top of a wooden board, the cake has pink frosting and is decorated with halved strawberries.

Why you will love this Strawberry Cake

The combination of the moist crumbs of this perfect strawberry flavored cake, the delicious strawberry jam filling, and luscious frosting, is the perfect balance of texture, flavors, and exude decadence in fruity goodness in every bite. The strawberry flavors are bold, and this dessert will be perfect for any strawberry lovers!

This cake is perfect to be served for Mother’s Day, Easter, any Spring or Summer events. You can enjoy this cake at a family gathering, or make it for someone you love.

Even though there are a lot of steps to this recipe, they are fairly simple, and you can make several parts of this cake with days in advance. You can also take a shortcut and use store-bought jam instead of making your own.

No matter what, you will definitely enjoy this incredible cake!

slice of strawberry cake on a plate, the cake is pink filled with strawberry jam and frosted with pink strawberry frosting.

If you liked this recipe, here are some more recipes you might enjoy:

I hope you enjoyed this recipe. Leave a comment below, or tag me on instagram if you make it! I love to see your creations!

strawberry cake, a pink cake on top of a wooden board, the cake has pink frosting and is decorated with halved strawberries.

Strawberry Cake

Camila Hurst
This Strawberry Cake is fantastic, and bursting with strawberry flavor! The cake layers are made with real strawberries, filled with Strawberry Jam, and frosted with a tangy and delicious Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting.
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12 servings
Calories 350 kcal

Ingredients
  

Strawberry Puree
  • 453 grams strawberries 16 oz
Strawberry Cake Batter
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour 382 grams
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter room temperature (113 grams)
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar 300 grams
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil 120 ml
  • 3 large eggs room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sour cream 120 grams
  • 1/2 cup strawberry puree
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk 120 ml
Strawberry Jam
  • 2 cups quartered strawberries 300 grams
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar 100 grams
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 1 cup unsalted butter 226 grams
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese 113 grams
  • 5 cups powdered sugar 625 grams
  • 1/4 cup strawberry puree
To decorate
  • strawberries sliced in half

Instructions
 

Strawberry Puree
  • Place the strawberries in a blender. Blend until the strawberries becomes a puree.
  • Pour the pureed strawberries in a medium saucepan, place over medium heat.
  • Bring to a simmer, and stir often.
  • Cook the puree until it reduces to 3/4 cup. You will use 1/2 cup for the cake, and 1/4 cup for the buttercream frosting. It can take 10 minutes or a bit longer to reduce the puree to 3/4 cup. It depends on how high the heat is.
  • Remember to stir occasionally, and you can measure the puree by pouring in a heat-safe measuring cup, if you still have over 3/4 cups, return the puree to the pan, cook a bit longer, and measure again.
  • Once you have 3/4 cups, pour in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface of the puree so it doesn’t form a crust. Let the puree cool down.
Strawberry Cake Batter
  • Pre-heat the oven to 350ºF.
  • Grease and line the bottom of 3 8-inch cake pans with a circle of parchment paper. Grease the parchment and the sides of the pan as well.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to combine. Set aside.
  • Use an electric mixer to beat the butter at medium speed for 30 seconds. You can use a stand mixer or a hand mixer.
  • Add the granulated sugar, the oil, and beat together with the butter for another 1 to 2 minutes, until the mixture is light and fluffy.
  • Scrape the bowl every so often to ensure everything is getting nicely incorporated together.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until incorporated before adding the next egg.
  • Add the vanilla and mix to combine.
  • Pour the sour cream, and 1/2 cup of the strawberry puree in the bowl and mix. You can place the remaining strawberry puree in the fridge, covered, to use in the frosting later.
  • At this point, you can add a couple of drops of pink food coloring to the cake if desired.
  • Add half of the buttermilk to the bowl and mix on low.
  • Add half of the dry ingredient mixture and stir to combine
  • Add the remaining buttermilk and mix.
  • Finish by adding the last half of the dry ingredients. Stir to combine.
  • You can also use the spatula instead of the mixer to fold the batter during this final stage. Avoid over mixing, to prevent the cake from turning out dry.
  • Divide the batter evenly between the 3 pans.
Baking
  • Bake the Strawberry cake layers in the pre-heated oven for about 35 minutes, until a toothpick comes off clean when inserted in the cake.
  • Remove the cakes from the oven and let them cool down in the pan for 10 minutes. Then flip the cakes onto a wire rack until they have cooled completely.
  • If not using the cake layers on the same day, wrap them in plastic wrap and place in the freezer until you are ready to use. Keeping the cake layers frozen will be better than in the fridge to retain moisture.
Strawberry Jam
  • Add the chopped strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice to a saucepan.
  • Cook the strawberries, stirring occasionally, at medium-high heat.
  • When the strawberries come to a boil, turn the heat down and continue to cook at medium-low heat.
  • Cook until a thermometer reads between 200 and 220ºF. The jam will be dark, and thick. If it starts to stick to the bottom of the pan, turn the heat down even lower.
  • If you don’t have a thermometer, simply stop cooking them jam once it is dark, thick, and reduced.
  • Remove the jam to a bowl, place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the jam, and let it cool down. Refrigerate for a couple of hours before using.
Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting
  • Beat the butter in the bowl of a mixer for 30 seconds. Add the cream cheese and beat for another 30 seconds on medium-speed.
  • Add half of the powdered sugar, mix on low until combined. Raise the speed and beat on medium speed for just a few seconds.
  • Add the strawberry puree and mix on low.
  • Add the remaining powdered sugar, mix on low, and then raise the speed to medium-high, and beat for one minute.
  • If the frosting is too runny, add a bit more powdered sugar to make it thicker.
Assemble the cake
  • To assemble the cake, place a cake layer on a cake plate.
  • Spread a thin layer of the Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting on top of the cake.
  • Place some of the Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting in a piping bag fitted with a large round tip.
  • Pipe a ring of frosting around the edges of the cake.
  • Spread a layer of jam inside the ring of frosting.
  • Top with another cake layer.
  • Repeat the process by spreading a layer of frosting on the cake, then piping a ring of frosting around the edges, and filling the center with jam.
  • Top with the final cake layer.
  • Spread a thin amount of frosting on top of the cake and on the sides. Use an offset spatula, or a cake scraper to smooth out the frosting. This is called crumb coating, it helps seal the crumbs in, and makes it easier to smooth out the final coating of frosting.
  • Place the cake in the fridge until this layer of frosting has chilled, about 20 to 30 minutes.
  • While the cake is in the fridge, prepare the strawberries. Slice them in half lengthwise and place them facing down on a paper towel lined plate or tray, to drain the strawberries of any excess water.
  • Remove the cake from the fridge and spread the remaining frosting on top of the cake and on the sides.
  • Use the cake scraper to smooth out the frosting by placing it on the side of the cake, and keeping it steady as you spin the turntable around.
  • Smooth out the top of the cake using an offset spatula, swiping it over the edges of the cake gently towards you.
  • Place the halved strawberries all over the cake.
Storage
  • Store the leftover cake slices in the fridge, in an air-tight container.
  • If freezing the cake, wrap it in plastic and place in air-tight container, and remove the fresh strawberries.

Notes

Jam: It’s ok to use store-bought jam if you don’t want to make your own jam.
Buttermilk, eggs, sour cream: Make sure these ingredients are at room temperature. Just remove them from the fridge about 20 or 30 minutes before you have to use them in the recipe.
Butter: The butter also needs to be softened, but it can take longer than 20 minutes to soften butter. It’s ideal that it’s at 72ºF.
Buttermilk: If you don’t have buttermilk, simply add a teaspoon of vinegar to regular milk, let it sit for 2 minutes, and use in the recipe.
Sour cream: You can use yogurt instead of sour cream. I prefer full fat greek yogurt.
Strawberries: You can use either frozen or fresh strawberries for all the steps of the recipe.
Keyword cake, strawberry

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7 Comments

  1. How much sugar do we put in the cake batter? It’s mentioned in the ingredients but not in the instructions.

  2. I make a strawberry cake using a strawberry reduction that goes into the cake batter, no jam between the layers and to get that strawberry flavor in the frosting I use freeze dried strawberries blitzed up into powder. I love cream cheese frosting but my husband and son don’t so I make a batch of strawberry flavored marshmallow frosting to cover half the cake. It tastes like you’re eating a strawberry shake 😋 After reading the recipe I’m sure yours does as well 👍

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