Fresh Strawberry Cake

With strawberries going on sale in stores for Valentine’s Day, now is the perfect time to make a Fresh Strawberry Cake! This cake is so delicious you will want to make it for someone you love soon!

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It seems that throughout the web there is a quest for a light, moist strawberry cake made from scratch. While this seems like a simple task, it can prove tricky to get the formula just right.

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Strawberries are inherently acidic and excess acidity in a batter can wreak havoc on cake structure.  If structural protein interactions are goofed with the resulting cake can be dense and gummy. For this reason baking soda is necessary to neutralize some of the acidity.

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All-purpose flour provides scaffold proteins while buttermilk enhances the flavor of the strawberry and keeps the cake tender. I used oil instead of butter in this recipe so that the delicate strawberry flavor would not be masked and for added moistness.

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To compliment this awesome cake, I frosted it with a milk and flour buttercream (that actually doesn’t sound very appetizing). Let’s call it Whipped Buttercream. If you have never made a buttercream that starts with a white sauce now is the time! It is amazing, like a cross between whipped cream frosting and Swiss meringue buttercream.  It has been years since I have made this frosting and I forgot how truly wonderful it is and I ate way more than I should have! Give this luscious recipe a go.

Happy Baking!

Fresh Strawberry Cake


  • 16 ounces (454 grams) sugar-2 1/3 cups
  • 2/3 cup (160 milliliters) vegetable oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 14 ounces (397 grams) all-purpose flour-2 ¾ cup
  • 1 teaspoon (5 milliliters) salt
  • 2 teaspoons (10 milliliters) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (5 milliliters) baking soda
  • 1 cup (240 milliliters) buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons (10 milliliters) vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon (5 milliliters) strawberry extract* or 2 teaspoons (10 ml) strawberry paste (optional)
  • 1 cup (240 milliliters) strawberry puree (from fresh or frozen berries)
  • 1-2 drops red food coloring (optional)**
  • Whipped Buttercream
  • 6 Tablespoons (90 milliliters or 53 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (120 milliliters) whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 cups (360 milliliters) milk
  • 16 ounces (454 grams) unsalted butter, softened-2 cups (4 sticks)
  • 14 ounces (397 grams) sugar-2 cups
  • 2 teaspoons (10 milliliters) vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour three 8-inch round cake pans. Beat sugar, oil and eggs for 1 min on medium speed of stand mixer. Sprinkle in flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Start mixer on low to blend and gradually add buttermilk until combined. Add extracts and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Stir in strawberry puree and food coloring if using.
  2. Pour into the three pans evenly and bake for 25-30 minute or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes and then turn out onto wire racks to cool. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill if not using immediately. Frost with Whipped Buttercream or other icing of your choice. Enjoy!
  3. *I used Silver Cloud Estates Strawberry Natural Flavor Blend- the extract is not totally necessary but will really boost the strawberry flavor.
  4. **baking soda mutes the natural color of the strawberries to a dull mauve. Go au natural if you choose or add a couple of drops of color to appear pretty in pink!
  5. For the Buttercream:
  6. Place the flour in a small sauce pan and slowly whisk in the milk and cream. Make sure the mixture is smooth and lump free (an immersion blender can help with this). Cook the mixture over low heat whisking constantly until it is boiling and thick. Remove from heat and set aside to cool for 10 minutes or until it is tepid (too hot equals melted buttercream!). Whisk occasionally.
  7. Meanwhile, beat the butter on medium in the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment for 2 minutes until smooth and light. Gradually add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time until it is all incorporated. Add the cooled milk mixture, 1 tablespoon at a time to the butter mixture. When it is all added, beat in the vanilla and mix for 30 seconds or until fluffy. Yum!

221 thoughts on “Fresh Strawberry Cake”

        1. Hi Pris, The recipe states 16 ounces or 2 cups or 4 sticks of butter (which are 1/2 cup each). I hope that clears it up. 🙂

  1. Looks wonderful! Would this buttercream hold up under fondant? I’m thinking yes, but better to be safe by asking than sorry. Thank you so much for sharing!

    1. It is rather soft when you make it but it firms up well when refrigerated because of the high fat content. I have not used it under fondant but I think it would be doable if you worked fast while it was cold. Good luck and let me know how it goes if you try it!

      1. I made your cake a couple of days ago and Wow! It was amazing!! My friend loved it so much she wants me to make it for her baby shower. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  2. I thought you might like to know (as I too was referring to my “faux whipped cream” frosting as such) boiled flour and milk frosting are called ermine frosting. Learn something new everyday.

        1. Hi Dawn, It is granulated. Not a stupid question. It melts in so you will not detect the granules. Some recipes like this one call for superfine sugar but I don’t find it necessary. 🙂

  3. I have been searching such recipe for a Loooong time! Now I found it. Will definitely try it when I get some strawberries tomorrow. One question … what is the self life of this cake with frosting?

    1. I pureed mine in the food processor. Either that or a blender would work fine. It is granulated sugar in the frosting. It melts in so you don’t get the gritty texture of powdered sugar. Good luck!

    1. Since the fruit is cooked in it does not spoil faster than other cakes. Actually the fruit will preserve the quality of the cake over time as it acts as a time-released moisture source. I would say 3-4 days at room temperature. The frosting probably should not be left out that long though. I hope that helps!

    1. You can treat as you would SMBC but at room temperature it is pretty soft so you may need to chill it before you can achieve an ultra smooth sharp finish. Good luck!

  4. I can’t wait to try this!!I have been looking for a real strawberry recipe for a while now and this looks super tempting!!! I will try it and refer to your blog once I do!! 😀

    Good luck on your new blog!!

    1. Since this is a newly developed recipe for me I have not attempted to cover it yet. It is possible but you would need a firm icing such as ganache or a well chilled Swiss meringue. You could reduce the baking soda to 1/2 tsp for a more compact and sturdy structure. I hope this helps. Let me know if you give it a try.

      1. Hi Summer – Thanks for your response! Would the structure of the cake be a bit sturdier if we omit the baking soda all together? Would this impact the cake in a negative way, for example flavor, etc. Thank you!

        1. Yes, it would be sturdier, but possibly compact to the point of being unappealing. Sometimes cakes that are acidic and have no baking soda can also leave an almost burning sensation in the back of your throat. So I would suggest at least using some baking soda. It is a delicate balance and a bit hard to predict the exact results. Cooking at a higher temperature will also result in a more dense cake. You could increase oven temperature by 25 degrees to 375F as well. Good luck! If you have issues with the results let me know and I can help troubleshoot.

          1. Hi Summer – I went ahead and followed your strawberry cake recipe without altering the baking soda amount. I did reduce the size of the cake, but I scaled down all the ingredient amounts proportionally. I did not add strawberry extract because I didn’t have at home at that moment, and I feel that with it the strawberry flavor could have been a bit richer. I baked the cake and covered it fondant and it resisted wonderfully with the ganache crumb coat. Thank you for the wonderful recipe!! I’ve posted photos of the finished cake in case you would like to see:

          2. Awesome! I love the lace applique! I would definitely try a little natural extract next time if you can get your hands on some. You can also try concentrating the strawberry puree down via reduction on the stove top but you lose a little fresh flavor that way. I’m so glad to hear that the cake held up well under fondant. Yay! Thanks for letting me know and showing your beautiful work 🙂

          3. I’m currently making the strawberry cake right now and the batter seems almost liquid is that normal?

          4. I don’t think the batter was excessively liquid but because it uses oil and not butter it is a little thinner than others. It may have to do with the water content of your berries too. It should bake up fine either way. Let me know how it turns out!

  5. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe I have just finishing making the buttercream and I love it. Please how long can I keep the leftover buttercream. Nikki

    1. I would say 5-7 days in the refrigerator or a couple of weeks in the freezer. The trouble with this buttercream is that it likes to break when you stir it up again. Be sure it is fully at room temperature before you try to stir it or use it. Starch thickened sauces are just funny when chilled long or frozen. If you commonly wish to keep leftovers of this recipe I would invest in some cook-type clear gel. It is a modified corn starch that is resistant to excess heating, freezing and stirring. It will help maintain the integrity of the composition. You can find it on Amazon. I hope this helps!

  6. I believe this frosting originated at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York. It was the frosting recipe they used in making the first Red Velvet Cake that originated from their kitchen. My mom handed down the recipe for both the cake and frosting recipe she purchased in the 1960’s.

    1. This is also the frosting I grew up making with my mom. Nice, less sweet, light and fluffy. Doesn’t hold up well in TX summers though. 🙂

    1. Keep the baking soda. It is critical to texture. Just omit the color and if you choose the flavoring. The cake will still be lovely but the flavor will be subtle and the color a soft, muted pink.

  7. Hi Summer,
    I’m wondering if i can substitute shortening for butter in the buttercream?

    Your recipes are great btw!!! 🙂

    1. I have seen recipes for ermine frostings that use shortening so I am sure that it would work fine 🙂

  8. Double the recipe for a 12×18 sheetcake! Made this, added freeze dried strawberry powder (one 16oz pkg) and replaced one cup (out of the doubled recipe) with cake flour. It is delicious!!

  9. Hello…baked the cakes and wanted some advise on whether I should ganache it with white or dark chocolate before covering with fondant.

    1. I would use white, but I just prefer that flavor combination over dark and strawberry. I think both would work great though!

  10. I have made this cake twice now, and while it tasted amazing (one friend said it was the best cake she has ever had), it also has overflowed my pans and burned all over in the bottom of my oven both times. It seems to be rising way too much. I followed the directions exactly both times. Do you have any suggestions? I considered reducing the amount of baking soda, or eliminating the baking powder. Could the elevation have anything to do with it? (We’re at 4700 feet.) So frustrated, because this is delicious. I just wish I didn’t have to scrape the bottom of my oven and air out my house. 🙂

    1. Yes, I am sure this is an elevation issue! I would probably eliminate the baking powder or keep it way low (like 1/4 tsp). You could also bump up your pan size just for insurance that you won’t overflow. So sorry you have had this problem. There is nothing worse than cake burning in the bottom of your oven! Been there!

  11. I made this cake for my daughter’s birthday and it was a hit. I added a layer of strawberry curd and it was amazing. The icing was perfect and easy to get beautiful sharp edges. I also covered it with fondant and held the shape with no problem. Thank you for sharing!

  12. Oh my gosh! Finding this recipe was so timely as I was asked to do a strawberry flavour Doctor’s Coat cake! This cake was perfect, along with the Simply Smooth Buttercream which I flavoured strawberry. The cake was an absolute hit! Thank you!

  13. Well, now I am totally confused. I read “Bakewise,” written by a food scientist. She said to add baking powder, and not baking soda, to neutralize acidic ingredients.

    1. Baking powder is a mixture of baking soda and an acid or two which interact to expand air pockets and aid leavening. The acids are present in the baking powder so the formulation will work even if there is little acid in your batter. If you are trying to neutralize an acid it makes little sense to me to add a product that already contains acid in proportion to the baking soda it contains. One advantage of baking powder is that it contains late acting acids which are induced with heat and thus sustain leavening throughout the baking process. I hope this helps!

      1. So why are you adding baking soda, if Baking powder already contains baking soda? Doesn’t the baking powder already neutralize the acid? Why not just use baking powder only? Thank you.

        1. The baking soda in the powder is just enough to neutralize the acid in the baking powder. That is why you can use it alone in neutral batters. If you are adding an acid such as fruit, sour cream, buttermilk or vinegar to your batter you may need to add baking soda which is the alkaline ingredient alone. I have found that this cake with the volume of fruit acid it contains needs the baking soda or the results are a dense gummy cake. If you search out other fresh strawberry cake recipes on the internet that do not contain baking soda you will see a similarly dense result noted commonly in their comment section. I hope this helps 🙂

  14. Made the cake and froze it….just had a taste while icing it. It really is moist and yummy. Thank you Summer.

  15. I made this cake yesterday .. N it was awesome.. Delicious soft moist
    Everybody loved it..I cut the recipe in half without any problem
    Frosting was a lil buttery for me .. But better then buttercream ( not a fan of regular buttercream)
    So u think this frosting can stay out for a long time?
    Thnakyou so much for this recipe

    1. So glad you liked the cake! Since this frosting is a bit on the soft side I wouldn’t leave it out overnight if I could help it. Plus the starch in it will tend to want to break down over time and this will be slowed if it is chilled. 🙂

  16. Hmmm .. The ax again for this great recipe…
    Also I wanted to let u know I got UR recipe link from Jessicakes ..
    N I ve so e questions.. Can I freeze this cake ? Will it be moist.
    Oh yes one thing I forgot to tell u that my cake got a sticky upper layer after I put them to cool on rack..
    I took them out of oven let them stay in pans for 10 mins … Then put them on racks n then I noticed that sticky layer….I don’t know y this happened.. ..

    1. This cake should freeze well and stay moist. I would wrap it up in three layers of plastic wrap while it is still a bit warm. The sticky upper layer is a common phenomenon. If you read the Upper Crust post it goes into depth on why this happens. It usually occurs after storage but perhaps there was enough internal moisture and surface sugar to attract it as it cooled. You can leave it as it without problems or remove it if it bothers you 🙂

  17. Would you be able to use this recipe for cupcakes? It look amazing! Do you think any adjustments aside from the proportion would be needed to make cupcakes instead? Any suggestions would be great!!!

    1. I think this would work quite well as cupcakes. You may want to reduce the baking powder a little. Other than that it should be fine. I would let the batter sit for 10 minutes and the restir before baking. It seems to help the shapeliness of cupcakes. Let me know how it goes!

      1. I plan on making this recipe for my son’s birthday party, but into cupcakes. by how much exactly would you reduce the baking powder? Thanks Summer!!

  18. Hello, Summer. Can I store this cake for a week in the fridge? if so, what’s the best way to store it? Thanks!

    1. I think I would freeze it if I were going to store it for a week and wanted it to maintain the best quality. I would triple wrap it with plastic wrap and freeze or refrigerate, whichever you prefer. If your refrigerator has non-cake foods in it I would also store it in a sealed container to prevent permeation of odors.

  19. Hi Summer. Just found your blog this morning, and I LOVE it…so much valuable information. I have a question about this buttercream. Do you know if it is possible to flavor it, such as with chocolate? I have only worked with traditional swiss buttercream that I have added different flavor to, but since this is a different style of buttercream, I wasn’t sure if it is possible. Thanks for your help!

    1. I definitely think so. I have not flavored this other ways but you could definitely add any type of extract or sub some of the milk for another flavorful liquid. If I were going to do chocolate I would beat cocoa with the butter first and then remove it from the bowl and proceed with the normal instructions adding the chocolate-butter at the end. I may have to try that now, it sounds delicious! 🙂

  20. Hi there, I baked the cake and made the frosting, but with the frosting when I added the cooled milk mixture, it became a little runny and looked like the mixture was breaking. What did I do wrong??? :'( :'( Trihanie

    1. It could have been the temperature of your ingredients, or the speed it was added, or the speed it was whipped at. If it starts to look like it is breaking, stop additions and increase the speed of the mixer and let it whip until it is fully incorporated and smooth. The butter has to have time to emulsify and incorporate the liquid. Try to keep the mixture from getting too cold or too warm while you are incorporating. Either can cause issues. Once emulsified temperature is less of an issue. If you still have the buttercream and it is a bit broken, bring it to room temperature and beat it at as high a speed you can until smooths out. This can take a few minutes. I hope this helps!

  21. Hi Summer, I love your recipes and would like to try this one, but I was wondering if you could post it with the measurements in grams please, because I’m in Australia and we have different cup sizes to America. Thanks so much in advance!!

    1. Hi Jaime! Yes, I will work on it tomorrow. This was my first recipe posted so it was in my pre-metric days. 🙂

  22. This sounds amazing having my girls 2 year party tomorrow got it in the oven now i didnt have the stberry extract so i used some strawberry shortcake icing creations from dunkin hiens cause i love using them for fun flavors in cakes and wanted a little extra flavor cant wait for it to come out is smell amazing i will be covering it in me homemade fresh stberry buttercream and covering it in fondant

    1. I hope this turned out lovely for you and it was an awesome celebration! My daughter had her 10th bday party yesterday and her birthday is tomorrow. So fun!

  23. Hi Summer, I’m making this cake all the time and it’s delicious. Do you think it would work with raspberries too? Thanks!

      1. Hi Summer, thanks for your reply! I tried it out yesterday with raspberries, and while taste and consistency were fabulous, the sponge came out a dirty streaked purplish gray – rather like blueberries. It didn’t look very appetizing at all. My strawberry cakes usually turn brown and look okay. (although, they used to stay pink, now they don’t anymore….!) Any thoughts on how to prevent this oxidizing and browning? The aluminum pans probably don’t help either…!

        1. Color change is caused by the alkalinity of the baking soda. The acidity preserves the color but destroys the cakes structure. You have to add color back if you want to have a nice pinkish tinge. You can use natural color if the thought of food coloring makes you cringe. 🙂

  24. Hi Summer, Can I use cake flour instead ? I am looking for a soft pink cake. I just made a strawberry cake recipe that uses cake flour and 1 Tbsp of Baking powder ( no baking soda). It’s texture is fine, but I didn’t care for the ( lack of) flavor. I think your recipe with the buttermilk and strawberry puree will be more to my liking in flavor. However, I also want a nice pink color and the graying with the baking soda concerns me as far as a pretty shade of pink. What do you think? I also plan to do white chocolate ganache over it and fondant, and fill it with white chocolate cream cheese frosting. Thank you.

    1. You can use cake flour but in my recipe the strawberries and buttermilk add quite a bit of acid and I worry that if you don’t add baking soda those elements will cause structural issues especially if you take the protein element out of the flour. But it is always worth a try. Let me know if you try it. 🙂

  25. Hi Summer!
    I made this cake a few months ago and I loved the combination of the sponge and the frosting! So delicious! I didn´t have strawberry extract and it did not really have a strawberry taste. Now I´m going to bake it again for my daughter´s 3rd birthday and I´m going to add the extract. What kind of food coloring do you add? Last time I added a bit of Sugarflair´s Christmas Red and the cake came out brownish.
    Thanks so much for converting the recipe for your “metric readers”!
    PS: Could you please publish a cookbook?? I´d love to have all your insight and great recipes in a book!

    1. Hi Iris, I think you will really like it with the extract! I just used a liquid red food coloring that came from a restaurant supply store that I frequent. It was made by First Street. I like that one for Red Velvet Cake because it has the most mild flavor. The strawberry is going to turn a purple-grey tone with the addition of the baking soda so maybe try a red on the orange spectrum to neutralize the purple tone. Just add a little at a time and adjust as needed.

      I would love to publish a cookbook someday! Maybe when I have some more time and recipes under my belt. Thank you for your sweet encouragement! 🙂

      1. Hi Summer!
        Oh yeah, I really liked it with the extract!
        Concerning the color I used Rainbow Dust Pro Gel “Strawberry” and it finally turned pink! Yay! But I had to use quite a lot of it. The strange thing was that the color was more intensive at the top of the cake. (?)

        1. Perhaps your color was heat sensitive and the baking process caused a shift at the bottom/top. I am glad the flavor was good with the extract! 🙂

  26. Hi!
    Are raspberries as acidic as strawberries? Would this recipe work if I used raspberries in the place of strawberries?

    1. Hi Janhavi, I just made it with raspberries and it worked very well taste-wise. However, the color turned up a pretty dark brownish purple. Hope that helps!

        1. I have a pic but would rather not hijack Summer’s beautiful blog with it 😉 Let’s continue by mail, what’s your addy? Kind regards, Minh

  27. I just read the comment about the color and making it with raspberries. What color would I need to add to end up with a pretty color? I’m worried about colors mixing with the color that it will turn to yield an even more strange color.

    1. You can definitely try. The texture will be a touch different. Some substitutes include silken tofu, a little extra water + oil + baking powder, a commercial egg substitute or a gum product (xanthan/Arabic/guar etc.). You may want to move to a larger pan (9″) since the eggs provide structural support and the deeper you bake greater the gravitational force on your structural elements. Good luck!

  28. Hi Summer could I use sour cream instead of buttermilk? If so, how much could I use? Will it change the texture? And if I use strawberry extract do I HAVE use fresh strawberries?

    1. You can use half sour cream and half milk for the buttermilk and you need something to take place of the acidity and moisture of the strawberries; applesauce or the like would work but without it it is not the same cake. 🙂

  29. I made these last night as cupcakes. They came out great. I decreased the baking powder to 1.5 teaspoons and baked them at 350 for 20 minutes. It gave me 30 cupcakes and they baked up flat, but nicely. Everyone loved them! Thank you :))))

  30. Tried this recipe tonight and I LOVE IT! Cake turned out very moist & light. I used fresh strawberries and strawberry extract. The color was more of super light caramel and the flavor was very mild. I think next time I will try adding food coloring as suggested and actually cut down on the sugar (a little to sweet for me). I love that now I have a “from scratch” strawberry cake recipe. Thanks so much for sharing your recipe, tips and wisdom! 🙂

    What can I add to give it more of a strawberry kick?

    1. Hi Dolores, I am glad this worked out well for you! You can increase the amount of strawberry extract or add a strawberry paste like that from Pastry Portal. Another option would be to add a thin layer of strawberry jam when filling or use a reduced strawberry soaking syrup. Best of luck!

      1. Thanks for reply. I gotta tell you, 3 days later this cake is still sooo moist & soft. I paired it w/ my own version of vanilla butter cream and we think it’s one of the most delicious cakes I’ve ever made! 🙂 Your vanilla cake recipe is in the oven as I type! So excited that I found your website! Thank you for all you do to help other’s baking successful! 🙂

  31. I’ve never made a “from scratch”
    Strawberry cake before and I’m super excited to try this one! I’m wondering about the strawberry extract tho. I’m assuming you’re using one like a vanilla extract but what I have is the concentrated extract like what you would use for making candy. Do you think that will work out? And if so how much do you suggest I use in place of your suggested amount? Thanks!

    1. I did use an extract that was similar in potency to vanilla. I think the candy flavors will work. I would start with a few drops and taste it and see if the flavor is coming through. I don’t have an accurate idea on how much to use. Start low and build up. Good luck!

  32. I made this cake into cupcakes for a girl baby shower last weekend and they turned out AMAZING!!! Everybody was asking for the recipe. I am in the process of translating it to Arabic to share with them. Thanks a million for sharing this wonderful recipe.
    I filled the cupcakes with almond cream and used American buttercream icing with strawberry flavour on top. The almond was a nice complent to the strawberry. THANK you!!

  33. Hi Summer,

    I want to try your strawberry cake recipe for my daughter’s birthday next weekend. I am thinking of doing a two tier neapolitan cake (8in and 6in). Would this recipe work for stacking along with your whipped buttercream frosting? I have never tried this kind of frosting before. I have tried your vanilla sour cream cake and American mud cake and they are absolutely perfect. Thanks for sharing all your recipes.

  34. Just made the cake last night (2-8 inch cakes and 10 cupcakes) and the frosting this morning. The cake is very good, and I’m glad I had the extract on hand to enhance the flavor. I increased it by 1/2 tsp. That frosting, though. OMG. Like a cross between buttercream and Swiss meringue. I also cooked a few extra strawberries down with a little water and sugar, puréed and chilled it, and added a layer of the purée along with a layer of the frosting between each cake layer. (I torted the 2 cakes, for 4 thin layers.) I’ve sampled the combo, and it was great. Serving it for dinner with friends this evening.

  35. Hi Summer, this is an old post hoping you still get this….I’m making this cake today just wondering about the puree….normally I’d add sugar and a little lemon juice to a straight strawberry puree….should I just do strawberries considering the sugar in the cake and the other acid balances already in the cake? Will it be too sweet if I add sugar to the puree as well? Also, I’m not using any strawberry extract so any other suggestions ie. reducing the puree to increase the flavor? If I reduce it should I use more puree? Cheers!

  36. This is my favorite frosting! My mom always put this on red velvet cake and for me its what makes the cake. Looking forward to trying it on strawberry cake too!
    Love your blog, so informative!

  37. I put this cake under the fondant with ganache, the best cake ,the cake was Beatty and the beast,than you,i trust your recipes,is professional

  38. Hi, just wondering if anyone has tried making the buttercream frosting into chocolate flavour? Would like to find out how it turns out paired with the strawberry cake.

  39. Looks like an awesome recipe, I’m about to try it but I want to bake it in a higher pan and torte it, does it firm up when chilled to allow me to split it like cakes with butter or will I end up with a crumbly mess? Thank you so much, Summer, I swear by your recipes!

  40. Hi, I am going to be trying this cake recipe this weekend. Thought you might want to know, the frosting you made is called “Ermine” or “Boiled Milk” frosting. I make it more often for cakes than any other kind of frosting 🙂

  41. I love strawberry cake and really want to make this for the 4th of July and decorate with red & blue fruit!

    One question: I don’t think I will be able to find strawberry extract or paste — any substitution to help boost the strawberry flavor? Thanks!

  42. Made this cake for my niece’s birthday and it was fabulous. Thanks so much for recipe. I made the icing and left it in fridge overnight and then panicked as it was rock hard next day. I guess I should have let it get to room temperature but panicked and ended up ruining it so made some more, thankfully had some leftover ingredients. The icing is amazing and complimented the cake beautifully.

  43. Hi! I was curious about you thoughts on stacking this cake? I have had experiences where the cake was so soft that it cracked even with dowels supporting the upper cake. I’m hoping to make this cake a 10inch with a smaller 6inch stacked on top. Thanks!

    1. Many people have had great luck stacking this cake. Just be sure to support well with straws or dowels. It is not so soft that it will fall apart 🙂

  44. I made this cake for a family function for the first time. It was a success. The cake and frosting are not as sweet as other recipies I have tried before. It’s definately different. I made a 12×18 half sheet and it’s surely going to be a hit! Thank you Summer!

  45. Hi

    I would love to make this cake for my daughters birthday. Just wondering if I can use 2 9″ cake pans instead of 3 8″ ones? Please let me know if it’ll work. Thanks.

  46. Hi Summer. Why do i need 3 separate cakeforms? Could i just pour it into 1? If yes will my cake bake evenly, and how much longer to bake? Thanks a lot!

    1. This cake has been formulated to be baked in three layers and it is unlikely to do well baked in one pan. For more info on why it needs to be baked in thinner layers see Size Matters. 🙂

    1. Have you tried your 9″ pans yet? I am wondering if it worked out ok. I am in the same boat. I have three 9″ pans, but no 8″ pans. I’m wondering if you would need to adjust recipe, cook time, or temperature at all.

  47. I would like to use this recipe for a four-tiered wedding cake. I’m a little concerned about stacking and filling the pans. Do you think it will bake appropriately if I followed the manufacturers instructions on the amount of batter to place in the pans? Will it hold a stack if properly supported?

    1. Sorry for the late reply. I am backtracking on comments I missed. As long as the tiers are well supported this should hold up fine. I would work with it chilled when stacking the larger tiers to ensure stability.

  48. Hi Summer,
    I’m baking a 12″ round, do I have to multiply by 2.9?How much to I have to multiply for the buttercream?
    Also, is the original 8″ recipe is there 2 cups of buttercream or 4 cups? Cheers!!

  49. Hi, I’m in the south and have recently been using White Lily all purpose flour. It is made from a winter wheat. I’m wondering if that would cause a problem or if I should stick to a regular all purpose.

  50. Hi Summer

    Since I found your blog this morning and I´ve been reading your cake recipes with their hundreds of comments the whole day. You and your blog are amazing, CONGRATS!!!!

    I think the Fresh Strawberry Cake recipe is the RECIPE for many cakes. Could I substitute strawberry for anything that I can make puree? For example: pumpkin, banana, blackberries, apricot, peaches, pineapple, and rhubarb? What about the acidity grade, and the consistency of the puree? What changes should be necessary? Should you use them raw, cooked, concentrated?

    Before I found your blog I used to adapt the American recipes taking into account the quantity of liquids, and consistency of ingredients I use vs. the regular products in the US. Even though I´ve been very successful, now I see that there are many other things playing a role in baking chemistry. From all what I’ve read in your blog, I´ll be careful from now on.

    Best regards,


    1. This is a good base for many fruits. Strawberries fall on the acidic side so you should be fine with most substitutes straight across unless they are very acidic (maybe rhubarb). I think fresh will work great in most cases except for those that work best in cooked form such as pumpkin or rhubarb where it is needed to soften the fruit or veggie. Good luck! Would love to see your results. 🙂

  51. After literal hours of research, I decided use your recipe, bcause science! Made this cake twice today, once in a large Pyrex bowl (birthday girl wanted a bubble-shaped cake), & once in the recommended three layers, with a couple tart tins, too, for a dye free-guest. Based on the cake scraps we’ve been devouring all day, both turned out great! The full batch in the Pyrex took about an hour and a half, but I keep a pan of water in the oven for bread baking, so it helped keep the cake moist as it cooked all the way through. Second round turned out perfectly, too. We used semi-sweet chocolate cream cheese ganache between the layers, & just a basic vanilla frosting all over, dyed blue for the bubble cake, & it’s just scrumptious. Thank you!

    1. It depends on how large you are going to make it. If you are making a 9×13 inch pan it should be fine. Much larger than that, I would reduce the baking powder by 1/2 teaspoon and drop you oven temperature by 25 degrees F. I would love to hear about your results. 🙂

  52. Hello Summer. Thank you so very much for sharing all your delicious cakes. I tried your Essential Vanilla Cupcakes and it was amazingly delicious, my husband could not stop eating them. One of my son’s favorite color is red and he has been asking me to bake him a strawberry cake and I found your recipe. YAY. He also would like me to bake him a strawberry cupcakes, will this work for cupcakes? Kindly please let me know. Thank you.

    1. Others have had success with this recipe as cupcakes. I have not tried it but you could add 1/4 cup flour as a little insurance if you don’t want to take chances. Let me know how it goes! 🙂

    1. Hi Ann, I’m so sorry I missed this. I thought I replied to it before. In a pinch you can use cake flour but a half and half combo would work better if you like a bit of cake flour in the mix. Good luck!

  53. Hello, I made your cake few times over last 3 months and every time I get wonderful reviews. Thank you so much for sharing recipe. I usually increase strawberry puree slightly, cake still turns out pretty good. When I bake for girls, I add a little color if not or if I am just baking it for home, I do not. Looking forward to trying more of your recipes.

  54. Oh! Boy! Im so making this!! But would like to give it a chocolate twist. Would it be okay if I add like 3oz of cocoa to the buttercream? And then add a light coat of ganache? Oh! Just came to my mind to use your mud cake topping!! I know, I know! I’m getting greedy haha! 😀

    Looking forward to cover it in fondant. What do you think would work best? Don’t mean to ruin the strawberry flavor with too much chocolate 🙂

    Thanks in advance!

    1. Yes, cocoa would be delicious. You just have to add it at the right time so it incorporates well. You can whip it with the butter or add just enough water to make a loose paste to mix in. Whatever chocolate method you choose, I am sure it will be wonderful! Let me know how it goes. 🙂

  55. Is there a way I can reduce butter in this WCBC? I’m afraid it comes out too buttery like my past cake 🙁

    1. Yes, for sure! I would try removing 25% of the butter and see how you feel about the taste and texture. If you think it could use more butter at that point you can add a little back in at a time. 🙂

  56. How long would cook these for cupcakes, and at the same temperature? I am planning on making these for my son’s 2nd birthday party. Thanks!

    1. The cake will be more delicate and the structure could be compromised but it will likely turn out well with cake flour also.

  57. Hello Summer. So glad to see you’re back in action. I can’t wait to try your new recipes.

    A friend of mine recently asked me to make a strawberry cake and I remembered seeing this recipe on your website. I’ve tried many of your recipes now and I’ve really enjoyed them all.

    I did a test run last week and had good results. I didn’t add the red food coloring so the color was definitely off. I also cooked the purée down a bit to remove the excess liquid. And lastly, I added two tablespoons of ground, dried strawberries. It was very yummy, though the strawberry flavor still seemed a bit muted.

    I made this recipe again just now, but I didn’t cook the strawberries (hoping that the fresh strawberries would make a difference) and I added yet another tablespoon of dried strawberries to the mix. I also included the teaspoon of strawberry extract. I tasted it a bit before popping the pans in the oven and thought the flavor was still a bit mild.

    My question (finally, haha!) is whether this has anything to do with the amount of flour used in the recipe. I use a digital scale to measure out the 397g, as stated in the recipe. However, I noticed that it also says 2 3/4 cups. I use King Arthur AP flour, and there’s 120g in 1 cup of flour. Should I be using 330g instead of 397g?

    Thanks for your help!

    1. Hi Joanna,
      I always weigh my flour when I develop recipes so the most accurate relocation will be going by weight. Different sources have different opinions on what one cup of flour weighs. I go with a general 5 ounces per cup for all-purpose flour when I convert to cups.
      If you want a more potent strawberry flavor I would add more of the extract. Natural strawberry is actually quite mild in flavor and difficult to bring across strongly pronounced in a baked item but the extract can help it come forward more. Pastry Portal’s strawberry flavor paste is fabulous but it’s a bit pricey and comes in a large volume for a home baker. I wish I had a perfect solution but I think more flavoring will help. Smiles!

  58. Hi Summer – I am planning to use 9″ square pans to make your Fresh Strawberry Cake. Can you give me an idea of how much batter to fill each pan or the the height the batter should be in the pan for best results? I also have the wilton heating core and the bake-even strips. Should I use those? I can double the recipe if need to make sure I have enough batter and bake any leftovers in another pan. Also, I’m planning to use a cream cheese frosting – do you think that would taste good? Thank you so much for your advice.

    1. Hi Clinton, You will need 1 1/2 times the regular recipe for 9-inch square pans. You can find an upgrading reference chart of the Sizing Up post. I generally weigh my batter (make sure you know the weight of your mixing bowl before you start) and divide it by the number of pans to get it perfectly evenly distributed. For this size pan you won’t need the strips or cores. I only use cores on cakes 12 inches or larger. I think cream cheese frosting will be fabulous with this! Best of luck to you. 🙂

    1. Hi Piya, You can make this cake with castor sugar but I have better results with regular granulated. Here is a post I wrote on using different sugars in cake baking, Oh, Sugar, Sugar. It will explain a bit about why. Best to you 🙂

  59. Hi Summer,

    I love this cake. This is my go to strawberry cake and everyone loves it, but I was just wondering if there is a way to make this cake more fluffy?

  60. Hi Summer
    I made this cake for my daughter’s first birthday, She loved it and it quickly became a favorite. But no matter how many times I bake it, I can’t get the color to look like yours. Mine is almost a pale brown. Is there a way to make it pink for my baby girl? I also have a hard time getting the sugar mixed into the butter for the frosting…I still feel the crunch. Can I use powdered sugar? And if so, how much?
    Thanks again for an awesome recipe!

  61. Hi Summer,

    First of all, I think your amazing and you knowledge of science and baking is incredible. I want to ask you, how can I get to your blog? Also do you happen to know of a full-proof white cake recipe?


  62. When I bake it always says unsalted butter….I always use salted butter and omit salt…I never have any problems…im.curious as to why lol

    1. Most people use unsalted butter in order to have control over the salt content in a recipe. Sometimes the amount of salt in salted butter is too much for a recipe, such as buttercream. Salt is also used as a preservative so unsalted butter has a shorter shelf life and can be fresher or have more pristine butter flavor than salted butter. I will often use salted and unsalted butter interchangeably just reducing the amount of salt by 1/4 teaspoon for every stick/4 ounces of salted butter I use in a recipe calling for unsalted. In buttercream, I will sometimes use a mix of salted and unsalted. All salted butter can get too salty. My husband accidentally bought 40 pounds of salted butter for me so I have become quite adept at converting recipes. I hope this clarifies things! 🙂

  63. Hi Summer,

    I tried this cake over the weekend and it turned out amazing! (I might add more red dye next time though haha). I was wondering though if I could substitute the strawberry puree and extract for any other fruit flavor. I’ve been looking for a lemon cake that has a great texture like this cake and was wondering if I could just substitute lemon juice and extract in place of the strawberry?? Thank you so much for the recipe!

  64. I made this cake but cooked the puree to concentrate the flavor. Cake flavor was good but I would like the cake to be a bit fluffier. Would adding a little corn starch accomplish this? Any ideas how to do this? I used a strawberry cream cheese frosting and got rave reviews. Getting the pretty pink color is a trick but for a little girls birthday or a baby shower, the pink cake looks great in pictures..

    1. Hi Penny! This cake was quite fluffy when I made it, so I would start by checking the freshness of your leavening ingredients. Baking soda is particularly apt to lose its leavening power in a short amount of time. If you baking soda and baking powder are new, you can drop your oven temperature by 25 degrees Celsius, add 1/2 teaspoon baking powder or increase your sugar by 2-3 tablespoons. Any of these techniques will give your cake more lift. I hope this helps

      1. Many thanks. My baking soda and baking powder are new so I will try your other suggestions. It is a tasty cake.

  65. Hi Summer, I plan to have this cake out (under a tent) for a sale from 9-1. Would the frosting stay fine for that time?

      1. Thank you so much for your prompt reply. I will actually make a Strawberry buttercream frosting. Another question – why do some of the recipes use All purpose flour and some Cake flour. I was planning on using cake flour to make it more light and fluffy. What do you think?

        1. No worries – I found the answer on one of the other comments!!! Thanks a lot though, I notice you are very prompt and helpful with everyone’s questions, which is great!

  66. Just stopped by to comment that this cake was absolutely lovely tasting and I will definitely be making it again. I used Lorann Bakery Emulsion strawberry flavor; it could have used a little more red food coloring (I added only 1-2 drops) for the pink-ish-ness of the cake, but the paler color was still pretty just as it was. Thanks for sharing such a great recipe!

    1. Hi Alicia,
      Multiply the recipe 1 1/2 times for a 10 inch cake. In the post Sizing Up there is a chart that shows you what to mutiply cake recipes by for increasing pan sizes. It might be helpful for future reference. 🙂

  67. Troubleshooting——-
    Hi! Thank you for the recipe. I made it last week (I posted pictures:)). I would like to try it again but maybe someone could help me with troubleshooting. My Cake turned out kinda gummy like it wasn’t done but it was done. It had a stick to your teeth kinda of crumb. I didn’t care for that and would like more if a Cake crumb. I followed the recipe exactly not making any adjustments. There was one thing that may have affected the texture. I put the strawberries in the food processor and strained them but they seemed to hold a lot of moisture. Thank you very much!

    1. Hi Crystal,
      Gumminess is generally the result of too much liquid. If your strawberries were very juicy, it may have thrown off the moisture balance. If that seems the case in the future you can use less strawberry puree or milk (about 1/4 cup or so less) to get a fluffier or cakier texture. 🙂

  68. I’ve had this cake before and it was honestly the best strawberry cake I’ve ever eaten, so I trying to convince myself that I’m capable of making it for Easter lunch! Question—have you ever had any feedback on making this with gluten free flour? It’s not mandatory but would be extra thoughtful if I made a gluten free version so that everyone could enjoy. Any tips on the best GF flour to substitute here? Would it just mess up the fluffiness and deliciousness of this cake to attempt to make it GF?

    1. Hi Jamie, I’m so sorry to get back to after Easter! I hope you found a solution. I generally mix gluten-free flour blends in a cake by cake basis, but I know people have success with cup-for-cup blends. If you are going to use a market blend, I would recommend removing 1/4 cup of liquid and adding an egg for structure. I apologize for the vague help. It’s just not easy to recommend universal fixes with gluten-free baking. Best wishes to you!

  69. hi, love this recipe and would like to try it this week for a friend’s baby shower, I do have a question about the frosting, is it ok that I add some strawberry puree in the whipped buttercream so the buttercream ‘s color is strawberry red instead of white? Thanks!

    1. Hi Veronica! This frosting is less stable that SMBC or American buttercream, so I worry that adding puree directly would cause it to break. You could replace some of the milk (about 1/2 cup) with strawberry puree before the mixture is cooked though. You could also add freeze dried strawberry powder (purchased as powder or ground in a coffee grinder and sifted) to the buttercream to add color and flavor. Best wishes!

  70. Made the cake today. Finally!!! It’s been on my wish list for four years! It’s strawberry season, and hubby was complaining about buying too many strawberries. So it’s time to bake it.

    Will keep one layer for us, and two layers for a meeting.

    It is firm enough to trim the top so it’s flat? I would do it when the cake is cold.

    1. Awesome! I made a blueberry version of this cake today for my niece’s wedding next weekend. Yes, this cake should be plenty firm enough to level the top, especially when chilled. I hope you enjoy it!

      1. Mwah!! Thank you do much for your promt reply.

        Just curious, which of your cakes would be suitable for the county fair? If I changed the icing, would this one? It has to last awhile.

        I live in Ventura County, CA. It’s an agricultural area. Many of the country’s strawberries come from here. I am thinking lemon or strawberry. Your recipes are so fabulous!!!

        1. This cake will hold up very well because it is oil based (which seem to out last butter-based cakes) and the fruit presence acts to sustain moisture in the cake over time. I think it would be a great choice to showcase the lovely fruit of the region! Definitely swap the icing though. 😉

          1. If it’s not going to be out more than 5 days I would use half butter half shortening, especially if it’s going to be taste tested. Butter tastes so much better! Gauge the heat and out time to decide on formulation. Good luck!

          2. Ps. THANK YOU!!

            I took 2 of the layers to a meeting and they loved it. Only a few pieces left for hubby. I froze half of the last layer. I Torted and iced the last layer

            Hubby is a chocolate lover. But when he tasted this he said “YUM!”
            I said “ I though you liked chocolate.”
            Hubby “Well, I can branch out!”

            Your recipes are always dependable. You ROCK! Love the science part.

          3. Hi Summer, thanks for the half butter and half shortening idea! I will keep that for the future.

            Since I am going to make this several days before competition and I don’t know when it will tasted, I decided on whipped meringue frosting. I can make the frosting several weeks ahead and keep it on the counter. I think it’s also called seven minute frosting? I’ve made a batch and taste tested it. I can taste the shortening, but others just comment on the fluffy texture.

  71. Hi Summer,

    This has been my go to strawberry cake recipe for I do not even know how long. The other day, I thought about switching out the AP flour for Cake Flour to experiment; however, I cannot for the life of me figure out the weight conversion. Can you help? Thank you.

    1. Hi Vanessa! You can do a direct weight for weight swap. Meaning, you can use the same weight of cake flour as is listed for the all-purpose flour. Let me know how it turns out!

      1. I feel like a Goof! Hahahaha! I thought it would be more, because of the 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons rule. Awesome! I am going to try it this weekend. Thank you.

  72. Hi Summer. Will try your recipe this weekend. Just wondering if this buttercream pipeable & hold its shape?

    1. Hi Rosalina! I wouldn’t trust this buttercream to pipe well. It’s firm when chilled, but softish at room temperature. If you worked with it cool and are a fast and experienced piper you might be okay. But if it were me, I would pipe in another buttercream, or use another buttercream overall if I planned to pipe. I hope your baking goes well!

  73. Summer!

    This cake won FIRST place at the Ventura County Fair!!! We just home from the fair and I just had to tell you.

    I paired it with a whipped meringue frosting. Both the oil based cake and the meringue frosting are long lasting. That gave me more time to make everything.

    I cut the layers in half, so had a six layer cake! Very impressive looking. I put chocolate covered strawberries, with a chocolate drizzle, on top.

    I wish I could post a picture.

    Thanks so much for your wonderful recipe and help.

    I’m wondering about a oil based lemon cake for next year!

      1. Hi Summer, how can I change the recipe to make a two layer, 6” cake? The square inches of the cake as is is 150”. Two of the 6” would be different than half of the current 8” cake.

        The Wilton guide says that the 6” holds 2 1/4 cups of batter. The 8” holds 5 cups of batter.

        A good friend had her birthday and stomach surgery, and would love a strawberry cake! She couldn’t taste my cake!

        1. Hi Judy! You are going to want 1/3 of the original recipe (2/3 times 1/2). That will reduce the layers from 3 to 2 and halve the recipe for the 6″ cakes. I would use 1 egg plus 1 yolk to divide the eggs. I think everything else should be relatively straight forward. I hope this is a wonderful treat for your friend!

          1. Carla is drooling! She said she will see the doctor at the beginning of September and will see when she can eat this.

            She also would love chocolate, so maybe ganache on top? I see that you have advised thick ganache. But, since I’m not doing fondant, how about pourable ganache?

            Thank you.

  74. Hi, I was wondering if I could bake this recipe in a 9×13 inch pan vs. three 8 inch layers? I wanted to make it in a sheet pan for my granddaughter’s birthday party. I thought a sheet pan would cut easier for a crowd vs. the layers.

  75. Hi Summer
    I absolutely love this recipe! I haven’t met one person that hasn’t liked this cake. My question is “can we substitute the strawberry for Mango?” Is there anything I should change?

    1. Hi Mukie! Mango puree should work well here in place of the strawberry. They have a similar level of sweetness, acidity and water content. You may wish to seek out a mango extract or flavoring to help boost the flavor since mango can be rather mild. Alternatively, you could all a complimentary flavor such as orange and add a bit of orange zest or oil to enhance the mango flavor. I hope your cake turns out lovely! I am so glad you enjoy the strawberry variation.

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