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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

    • Anne

      Hi MK,
      All your recipes are amazing, thank you for simplifying our lives and sharing them with us. For the strawberry cream cheese, I am wondering if 4 1/2 cups of confectionery sugar could result in being too sweet? I usually only use 1-2 cups of confectionery sugar in my cream cheese frosting which is sweet enough for me. I know sweet level is subjective to everybody but gauging on your other recipes ans your past comments on reducing sugar level, I feel this one can also be reduced (to maybe 1-2 cups). Have you tried reducing it before?
      Thanks!

    • Marisol Del Valle

      5 stars
      All your cakes are simply amazing. Thank you so much for your time in making such a nice videos with clear instructions. I had made the pineapple with whipped cream frosting, the soft strawberry with strawberry cream cheese frosting and the red velvet. These cakes are so moist and delicious 🤤

      • Cakes by MK

        Thank you so much for the feedback Marisol! 😀 So happy to hear you’ve been enjoying the recipes 🙂

    • Khanx

      5 stars
      Hey I’m marriyam! Can I use salted butter instead of unsalted butter and what is the substitute for cream cheese or can I reduce the amount of cream cheese will it effect the taste of cake and thanks for this delicious recipe hope you reply

      • Cakes by MK

        Hi Marriyam! 🙂 You can use salted butter for the cake, you would just want to leave the additional salt out. In terms of the frosting I would recommend using unsalted if possible for a less harsh tasting frosting – it will still taste good though if you use salted 🙂
        For the cream cheese frosting I’m not sure of a good substitute at this stage sorry! If you reduce the amount of cream cheese it will affect the texture so you will have a more runny frosting which isn’t great for decorating. Hope that helps 🙂

    • Lyly

      Hi😊 can I use mango instead of strawberry in the recipe? Thanks for your help

      • Cakes by MK

        Hi Lyly! 🙂 I haven’t tried this recipe with mango myself, but I imagine with a little experimenting it could work well – I’m just not sure what the sugar levels will be like! You may need to reduce the sugar slightly so the cake isn’t too sweet 🙂 if you decide to give it a go would love to hear how you go!

    • Paige

      5 stars
      This recipe is so incredible and very thorough. I’m so impressed! Excellent result.

      • Cakes by MK

        Thanks so much Paige! So happy to hear you loved the recipe 😀

    • Allison

      I’m really looking forward to making this cake for an upcoming order. How long will the strawberry reduction stay fresh in the refrigerator?

      • Cakes by MK

        Hi Allison! I would recommend making the reduction no more than a day beforehand just to ensure it’s nice and fresh, and it should last about a week in the fridge 🙂

    • Dominika B

      Looks delicious! Can this recipe be made into cupcakes? Thank you

      • Cakes by MK

        Thanks so much Dominika! Yes you could totally turn these into cupcakes – you would just need to reduce the cooking time. I would check the cupcakes at about the 18 minute mark and go from there 🙂 enjoy!

    • Sonakshi

      What can we use instead of eggs here and how much.. please reply🙂

      • Cakes by MK

        Hi Sonakshi! 🙂 I haven’t tried an egg substitute myself so can’t recommend anything at this stage sorry!

    • Rajena Mookan

      Hello MK,
      Can I use frozen strawberries or Frozen raspberry

      • Cakes by MK

        Hi Rajena! 🙂 I haven’t tried this recipe with frozen strawberries or raspberries myself, but I imagine it should work fine! My only concern is that there may be a little too much liquid in the recipe, so maybe try a half batch of the cake first just to make sure it’s okay 🙂

    • Mellow

      5 stars
      Omgg !!!! This recipe is definitely a keeper. I Thanks for the fantastic recipe Maryam!!

      • Cakes by MK

        Awesome!! So so happy to hear you enjoyed the recipe 🙂

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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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