Fresh Strawberry Cake and Frosting

Fresh strawberry cake recipe

The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  • Total: 50 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Servings: 24 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
199 Calories
7g Fat
33g Carbs
2g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 24
Amount per serving
Calories 199
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g 9%
Saturated Fat 4g 19%
Cholesterol 53mg 18%
Sodium 149mg 6%
Total Carbohydrate 33g 12%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Protein 2g
Calcium 49mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This one-layer strawberry cake is topped with a delicious strawberry cream cheese frosting for a fabulous spring or summertime dessert. The strawberries will give a natural pink color to the frosting and the cake. The cake is super easy to make from scratch and it's the perfect size for most families and gatherings. Plus, a one-layer sheet cake requires less assembly and calls for less frosting and decorating than a two-layer cake.

Fresh strawberries are in season in late spring and early summer. If you are used to the imported year-round strawberries at the supermarket—which are picked green—you'll be blown away by the flavor of vine-ripened strawberries. Seek them out at a farmers market or a farm stands. Another convenient choice is buying frozen strawberries, especially in this recipe where they are mashed rather than used whole or sliced. Frozen berries often are far more flavorful than fresh non-local or out-of-season strawberries.

Ingredients

  • For the Cake:
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (softened)
  • 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup mashed strawberries
  • For the Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 3 ounces cream cheese (softened)
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter (softened)
  • 3 to 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup mashed strawberries (excess juice drained)
  • Pinch salt

Steps to Make It

Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, this cake recipe is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and cooking.

Make the Cake

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for strawberry cake
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  2. Preheat oven to 375 F. Grease and flour a 13-by-9-inch baking pan.

    Grease pan
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  3. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl; set aside.

    Combine flour and salt
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  4. In another bowl, cream the butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy with an electric mixer. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla and blend well.

    Cream butter
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack 
  5. Slowly beat about 1/3 of the flour mixture into the creamed mixture with half of the strawberries. Beat in another 1/3 of the flour mixture and the remaining strawberries. Blend in the remaining flour mixture and beat until smooth.

    Beat flour mixture
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  6. Spread in the baking pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until cake springs back when lightly touched with a finger. Cool on a rack.

    Put batter in pan
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

Make the Frosting and Frost the Cake

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for frosting
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  2. Beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth.

    Beat cream cheese
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  3. Beat in the powdered sugar, strawberries, and salt. Add more powdered sugar as needed until thick enough to spread.

    Beat in salt, sugar, strawberries
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack 
  4. Frost the cake with the frosting.

    Frost cake
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  5. Store the cake in the refrigerator until serving time. Cover and store leftovers in the fridge.

  6. Serve and enjoy.

    Serve strawberry cake
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

Tips

  • To thaw frozen strawberries quickly, put them in a well-sealed container and immerse the container in cold water. For longer thawing, arrange the strawberries on a tray in a single layer and let them defrost at room temperature.
  • When making the frosting, it's important to squeeze excess moisture from the strawberries.
  • You can decorate the top of the cake with more sliced strawberries.
  • Add a few drops of red food coloring to the frosting for brighter pink color.
  • If you choose to remove the cake from the pan before frosting, make sure to line the greased pan with a lightly greased sheet of parchment paper that has been cut to fit. After the cake has cooled for 15 minutes, slide a knife around the sides of the pan and then place a large cooling rack or large, rectangular platter over the top of the cake. Invert the cake onto the rack or tray and peel off the parchment paper. Frost the cake and enjoy!

How to Store and Freeze

  • Because of the cream cheese frosting, the cake should not be left at room temperature. Store leftover strawberry cake, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • Freeze leftover cake, unwrapped, and then wrap the frozen cake in plastic wrap and foil. Freeze the wrapped cake for up to 3 months. To defrost the cake, remove the wrappings while it is still frozen and let it stand at room temperature for about 2 hours.