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    Soft Strawberry Cake

    If you’re looking for a strawberry cake that is bursting with fresh strawberry flavour, then this recipe is it! Super soft strawberry cake layers are sandwiched between a strawberry cream cheese buttercream and fresh strawberry filling – YUM!

    strawberry cake

    Why This Strawberry Cake is Special

    So this might be an unpopular opinion, but I feel like there’s two problems with regular strawberry cake.

    Firstly, if it’s a recipe that uses only fresh strawberries, then it often lacks that strawberry flavour hit that you want, from well, a strawberry cake!

    Secondly, if it’s a recipe that uses strawberry essence or extract only, then it often has this overwhelmingly artificial taste which just isn’t my cup of tea.

    I really wanted to try and develop a recipe that had as much fresh strawberry as possible in the actual cake batter, but with the addition of strawberry extract/essence to really bump up the flavour. Hopefully in a way that simply amplified the natural strawberry flavour, but without it tasting artificial.

    Strawberry cake

    How did I achieve this? After MANY fails (the first version I made was SO BAD), I finally got the result I wanted by making a strawberry filling/reduction (which I adapted from my raspberry filling recipe), and that became the base of the entire cake.

    I used the strawberry filling in the cake layers, cream cheese frosting and as a filling in the centre of the cake. To then amplify the strawberry flavour, I added additional strawberry essence/extract into the cake layers (it took me a few trials to get the amount juuuust right!) and frosting, and it really took the cake to the next level!

    How to Make Strawberry Cake

    So this strawberry cake has three elements:

    1. Strawberry filling/reduction (this is the base of the entire recipe and is made first. It can also be made the day beforehand to save time)
    2. Strawberry cake
    3. Strawberry cream cheese frosting

    You can find the full quantities as well written directions in the recipe card at the end of this blog post 🙂

    Strawberry filling/reduction:

    Begin by placing strawberries, sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice in a large fry pan and place over a medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

    Once the strawberries are soft, using a potato masher, mash the strawberries well. Allow the mixture to reduce for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

    strawberry cake

    Combine cornstarch with the water and mix until the cornstarch is no longer lumpy. Add it into the strawberry mixture while continuously mixing to avoid lumps forming.

    Reduce for another few minutes and then take it off the heat. You should have about 2 cups. It’s okay if it’s not exact, but if you have a lot more than 2 cups, then you will need to reduce the mixture further.

    strawberry cake

    The filling needs to cool before you move onto the cake. To speed up the process, spread the filling out onto a wide dish and refrigerate for 30 minutes. You can also make this the day beforehand to save time.

    Strawberry Cake

    Begin by preheating oven to 160 °C (320°F) with the fan on (see note 4 on recipe card below if you don’t have a fan function) and grease and/or line two 8 inch cake tins (I use my homemade cake release).

    In a bowl, sift together your flour, cornflour, baking powder and salt. Using a whisk or fork, mix until well combined. Set aside.

    strawberry cake

    In a small bowl combine 3/4s of a cup (195g) of the strawberry filling, milk and gel food colour. Mix until well combined. Set aside for now.

    In another bowl, add in your butter, vegetable oil and sugar. Using an electric mixer (hand or stand mixer are both fine – see note 2), cream together for 3 minutes until light and creamy.

    strawberry cake

    Add in egg whites in 3 batches on a low-medium speed, mixing well in between each addition (about 10-15 seconds between each batch).

    Add in half of your strawberry/milk mixture from earlier, strawberry essence/extract, vanilla and white vinegar. Mix until well combined. Now set your mixer aside as the remainder of the batter will be finished by hand.

    Finish off by adding in half of your premixed dry ingredients to your wet mixture, and gently fold it in with a spatula until just combined. Then add in the remaining strawberry/milk mixture, and fold it in until just combined. Lastly, add in the remaining dry ingredients and gently fold it into the mixture until just combined. Do not overmix (see note 3). If your batter seems a little dull in colour, then you can add another drop of red gel food colouring.

    strawberry cake

    Distribute the batter evenly into the two 8 inch cake tins, and bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

    Once baked, allow the cake layers to cool in the cake tins for about 15-20 minutes, and then turn them out onto a wire rack to completely cool before frosting with the strawberry cream cheese buttercream recipe below.

    strawberry cake

     

    Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

    Begin by creaming your butter for a few minutes until it’s light and fluffy. Either use a hand mixer or stand mixer on a medium high speed. If using a stand mixer, use the paddle attachment.

    Add in the icing sugar in 3 batches while mixing on low. Ensure that each batch of icing sugar is mixed into the butter well before adding in the next batch.

    strawberry cake

    Next add in your cold cream cheese, strawberry essence/extract and vanilla. Mix just until the frosting is smooth. Avoid over-mixing (see note 3).

    Add in a 1/4 cup (65g) of the strawberry filling we made earlier, and mix that in until just combined. You can add additional colouring in at this point too if you prefer.

    strawberry cake

    Assembly

    OPTIONAL: Begin by trimming off all the caramelised edges on the top, bottom and sides of the cake layers. Also level the tops if the cake layers have a slight dome.

    Place your first cake layer onto your cake stand, and spread out a generous amount of the frosting on top.

    strawberry cake

    Place some of the frosting into a piping bag with a 1A round tip, and pipe a border/dam around the edges of the cake layer to hold in our strawberry filling. Fill the middle with the remaining strawberry filling we made earlier.

    Place the next cake layer on top and cover the top and sides with more frosting. If you have a cake scraper, you can use it to smooth out the sides. I like to do a little bit of piping on the top with the remaining buttercream in my piping bag (using the same 1A piping tip) and finish off with fresh strawberries on the top.

    strawberry cake

    strawberry cake

     

    strawberry cake

    Soft Strawberry Cake

    If you're looking for a strawberry cake that is bursting with fresh strawberry flavour, then this recipe is it! Super soft strawberry cake layers are sandwiched between a strawberry cream cheese buttercream and fresh strawberry filling - YUM!
    5 from 27 votes
    Print Pin Rate Watch Video
    Prep Time: 35 minutes
    Cook Time: 35 minutes
    Cool Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
    Total Time: 2 hours 40 minutes
    Servings: 12 people

    IMPORTANT: For accuracy, I would recommend using the gram measurements provided as those are the exact quantities I use. Cup measurements are given as estimates (based on US cup measurements) to make it easier for those who do not have a scale.

    Ingredients
     

    Strawberry Filling/Reduction

    • 3 cups (600 g) fresh strawberries - hulled and halved
    • ¾ cup (150 g) white granulated sugar - see note 5 if you have very sweet strawberries
    • 1 tbsp lemon zest - about the zest of 1 lemon
    • ¼ cup (60 g) fresh lemon juice
    • 3 tbsp (22 g) cornstarch - also known as cornflour
    • 2 tbsp water

    Strawberry Cake

    • 2⅓ cups (300 g) flour - regular all purpose (see note 1 if you want to use cake flour)
    • ¼ cup (25 g) cornstarch - also known as cornflour
    • tsp baking powder
    • ½ tsp salt - omit if using salted butter
    • ¼ cup (60 g) milk - room temperature
    • ¾ cup (195 g) strawberry filling/reduction - made in the first step of this recipe
    • 1 drop red gel food colouring - optional but recommended, see note 6
    • ½ cup (113 g) unsalted butter - room temperature
    • ½ cup (105 g) unflavoured vegetable oil - I use canola
    • cups (300 g) white granulated sugar
    • 6 large (225 g) egg whites - room temperature, size 7 eggs
    • 3 tsps strawberry essence/extract
    • tsp vanilla essence/extract
    • 1 tsp white vinegar

    Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

    • 1 cup (225 g) unsalted butter - room temperature
    • cups (570 g) icing sugar - also known as powdered sugar/confectioners sugar
    • cups (335 g) cream cheese - cold, firm type not spreadable
    • ¼ cup (65 g) strawberry filling/reduction - made in the first step of this recipe
    • 2 tsp strawberry essence/extract
    • 1 tsp vanilla essence/extract

    Instructions

    Strawberry Filling/Reduction

    • Place the strawberries, sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice in a large fry pan and place over a medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    • Once the strawberries are soft, using a potato masher, mash the strawberries well. Allow the mixture to reduce for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    • Combine the cornstarch with the water and mix until the cornstarch is no longer lumpy. Add it into the strawberry mixture while continuously mixing to avoid lumps forming.
    • Reduce for another few minutes and then take it off the heat. You should have about 2 cups. It's okay if it's not exact, but if you have a lot more than 2 cups, then you will need to reduce the mixture further.
    • The filling needs to cool before you move onto the cake. To speed up the process, spread the filling out onto a wide dish and refrigerate for 30 minutes. You can also make this the day beforehand to save time.

    Strawberry Cake

    • Preheat oven to 160 °C (320°F) with the fan on (see note 4 if you don't have a fan function) and grease and/or line two 8 inch cake tins (I use my homemade cake release).
    • In a bowl, sift together your flour, cornflour, baking powder and salt. Using a whisk or fork, mix until well combined. Set aside.
    • In a small bowl combine 3/4s of a cup (195g) of the strawberry filling, milk and gel food colour. Mix until well combined. Set aside for now.
    • In another bowl, add in your butter, vegetable oil and sugar. Using an electric mixer (hand or stand mixer are both fine - see note 2), cream together for 3 minutes until light and creamy.
    • Add in egg whites in 3 batches on a low-medium speed, mixing well in between each addition (about 10-15 seconds between each batch).
    • Add in half of your strawberry/milk mixture from earlier, strawberry essence/extract, vanilla and white vinegar. Mix until well combined. Now set your mixer aside as the remainder of the batter will be finished by hand.
    • Finish off by adding in half of your premixed dry ingredients to your wet mixture, and gently fold it in with a spatula until just combined. Then add in the remaining strawberry/milk mixture, and fold it in until just combined. Lastly, add in the remaining dry ingredients and gently fold it into the mixture until just combined. Do not overmix (see note 3). If your batter seems a little dull in colour, then you can add another drop of red gel food colouring.
    • Distribute the batter evenly into the two 8 inch cake tins, and bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
    • Once baked, allow the cake layers to cool in the cake tins for about 15-20 minutes, and then turn them out onto a wire rack to completely cool before frosting with the strawberry cream cheese buttercream recipe below.

    Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

    • Cream your butter for a few minutes until it's light and fluffy. Either use a hand mixer or stand mixer on a medium high speed. If using a stand mixer, use the paddle attachment.
    • Add in the icing sugar in 3 batches while mixing on low. Ensure that each batch of icing sugar is mixed into the butter well before adding in the next batch.
    • Next add in your cold cream cheese, strawberry essence/extract and vanilla. Mix just until the frosting is smooth. Avoid over-mixing (see note 3).
    • Add in a 1/4 cup (65g) of the strawberry filling we made earlier, and mix that in until just combined. You can add additional colouring in at this point too if you prefer.

    Assembly

    • OPTIONAL: Begin by trimming off all the caramelised edges on the top, bottom and sides of the cake layers. Also level the tops if the cake layers have a slight dome.
    • Place your first cake layer onto your cake stand, and spread out a generous amount of the frosting on top.
    • Place some of the frosting into a piping bag with a 1A round tip, and pipe a border/dam around the edges of the cake layer to hold in our strawberry filling. Fill the middle with the remaining strawberry filling we made earlier.
    • Place the next cake layer on top and cover the top and sides with more frosting. If you have a cake scraper, you can use it to smooth out the sides. I like to do a little bit of piping on the top with the remaining buttercream in my piping bag (using the same 1A piping tip) and finish off with fresh strawberries on the top.

    Video

    YouTube video

    Notes

    Note 1. You can use cake flour in replacement of the all purpose flour and cornstarch in this recipe (325g total required). 
    Note 2. If using a stand mixer, then use the paddle attachment for the initial mixing, but continue to do the last step by hand as stated in the recipe.
    Note 3. By gently folding in the ingredients, it prevents too much gluten from forming, thus giving us a softer cake. Only mix until the strands of flour have disappeared and the batter is uniform. 
    Note 4. In this recipe I use an oven with the fan function turned on. The fan forced function cooks cakes/cupcakes faster, so if your oven doesn't have a fan option, then you will need to increase the baking temperature to 175°C (347°F) so that the cake/cupcake bakes at the same rate as mine 🙂
    Note 5. If you have very sweet strawberries then you can reduce the sugar by about a quarter cup (50g). Once you've finished making the strawberry filling, then taste it and if it's a little too tart you can add additional sugar. 
    Note 6. Red gel food colouring is optional, but I would recommend it as the cake layers lose colour when they bake and end up with a dull colour. 

    Nutrition

    Calories: 612kcal | Carbohydrates: 116g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 69mg | Sodium: 432mg | Potassium: 161mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 42g | Vitamin A: 774IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 175mg | Iron: 1mg

    Nutritional information are estimates only as they are automatically calculated by a third party application. Actual values may differ based on brands and types of products used.

    Keyword: easy strawberry cake, fresh strawberry cake, moist strawberry cake, real strawberry cake, strawberry cake
    Tried this recipe?I love hearing from you! Tag me @cakesbymk.nz on instagram so I can see your amazing creations 🙂

     

     

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    59 Comments

    • Maryam

      This was the BEST strawberry cake ever – it was delicious, fancy cafe quality cake!!

      • Cakes by MK

        That’s so awesome to hear Maryam! So so happy to hear you enjoyed the recipe 😀

    • Kat

      Can I use thawed frozen strawberries for the reduction? if yes, do I add the same amount of sugar? By the way, I baked the cake last night, it is the BEST of all 5 recipes I tried prior. I AM SO HAPPY that I decided to try one more time, with your recipe! SSOO SOOO worth the shot! thanks for making amazing recipes!

      • Cakes by MK

        Hi Kat! Yes that should be fine it’ll just take longer for the mixture to reduce. All other ingredients in the reduction will stay the same 🙂 and aww yay! That makes me so so happy to hear that you found success with my recipe 😀 appreciate all the love and support 🙂

    • arlyn

      5 stars
      i made this cake and it was so good! i have been making all your cake recipes and been loving them all!
      i just had a quick question though, i had some extra leftover of the strawberry reduction/filling and was wondering what you recommend on how long it can be in the freezer for? till the next time i use it. thank you in advance!

      • Cakes by MK

        So so happy to hear you enjoyed the cake Arlyn! 🙂 And you should be able to freeze it for a few months without any problems! 🙂

    • Elsie Boueche

      Hi! I have tried a couple of your recipes and they always come out perfect! I was wondering if using egg whites from a carton is okay for this recipe?

      • Cakes by MK

        Hi Elsie! So happy to hear you’re enjoying the recipes 😀 and yes egg whites from a carton will be fine 🙂 hope you enjoy the recipe!

    • Ishita

      I’ll be making a 6 inch and a 8 inch cake simultaneously. How much cake batter should I prepare? Will two third be enough?

      • Cakes by MK

        Hi Ishita! I would recommend making 3/4s of the recipe 🙂 hope you enjoy it!

    • Michelle

      Hi,
      In the video it looks like you’re using orange zest & juice. In the recipe it says lemon? Thanks 👍

      • Cakes by MK

        Hi Michelle! Yes the lemons I bought were very orange for some reason haha but they are definitely lemons 🙂

    • Hayley

      Hi, I’m planning to make this cake next week but I have an issue where I’m struggling to find strawberry essence/extract. Is there anything I can use instead?

      • Cakes by MK

        Hi Hayley! 🙂 Some people also use strawberry emulsion in strawberry cakes but it is stronger (so you want to use less) and a little harder to find so that probably won’t be the best option. Hmmm I am not too sure what else might work sorry! Maybe a strawberry syrup used for drinks? Or you can leave the flavoring out, the cake just won’t have that extra strawberry kick 🙂

    • shefi

      can we use 3 6 inch trays for this recipe?

      • Cakes by MK

        Hi Shefi! Yes you can, just the cake layers will be a little thicker as 1 batch of this recipe will make 4 6inch cake layers 🙂

      • Debbie

        Love your recipes!
        With this recipe can you make cupcakes with strawberry filling? If so can you send me recipe?

        Debbie

        • Cakes by MK

          Thanks so much Debbie! 🙂 And yes you can totally make cupcakes with this recipe! I don’t have the exact quantities for a small batch of cupcakes, but I would just half the recipe and then see how many cupcakes you can get out of that and then adjust the recipe accordingly (based on how many cupcakes you want in the future). Hope that helps! 🙂

    • Maryam

      You’ve posted perfect timing – I have a cake order for a strawberry cake so I will be trying this one out next week prior to order! Please let me know how many days in advance can I make the strawberry filling/reduction?

      Alternatively can I buy fresh strawberries, hull and halve them, and then freeze them to use for later when I make the filling?

      • Cakes by MK

        Hi Maryam! So glad to hear this recipe came at the right time 😀 and you can make the strawberry filling a day or two in advance, and yes you can totally use frozen strawberries too, it will just take a bit longer to reduce due to the extra liquid 🙂 hope that helps and hope you enjoy the recipe!

    • Carmen

      I’ll be trying this recipe

      • Cakes by MK

        Awesome! Hope you enjoy it Carmen 🙂

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    About me

    Welcome to my blog! My name is Maryam and I LOVE baking! :) I hope to provide you with the tools (i.e. simple, from-scratch, quality tested recipes), so that you can confidently bake up delicious treats to share with your family and friends!

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