Sweet & fluffy Strawberry Cake is tender and delicious, bursting with strawberry flavor and juicy bites of fruit.
Similar to our Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes, this Strawberry Cake is packed with fresh strawberries, perfect for summer. The Strawberry Frosting in this recipe is delicious, but it also pairs well with Vanilla Buttercream.
Homemade Strawberry Cake made easy
This delicious homemade Strawberry Cake is made easy by using one of my favorite shortcuts – a cake mix! Now don’t worry, we took that cake mix base and elevated it to a whole new level!! You won’t even recognize it. 😉
How gorgeous is this pink and red strawberry cake?!
I love the color of this cake. The combination of the moist cake with the creamy frosting is super tasty. The strawberry flavor is very rich. It’s the perfect summertime cake for all of your potlucks, BBQs, and birthday parties.
After frosting this cake, I like to put it into the fridge before serving. It tastes delicious after being chilled, and it makes it easier to cut into slices. Even better – serve it with Vanilla Ice Cream or Whipped Cream and strawberries on the side!
How to Make Strawberry Cake
PREP. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease two 8-inch round cake pans and line them with parchment paper.
DRY INGREDIENTS. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the cake mix, gelatin, sugar, and flour.
WET INGREDIENTS. In a small bowl, whisk together the water, oil, and eggs.
STRAWBERRIES. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and beat on medium speed for two minutes, until well combined. Gently fold in the chopped strawberries.
BAKE. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake the cake layers for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let cool for 5-10 minutes, then remove the cakes from the pans to a wire rack to cool completely.
Frost + Decorate
FROSTING. To make the Strawberry Buttercream frosting beat the butter until light and fluffy. Stir in the strawberry puree and mix to combine. Add 3 cups of powdered sugar, and mix until combined.
Add additional powdered sugar, ½ cup at a time, to make a frosting that is spreadable and fluffy, but not runny.
DECORATE. To assemble the cake, use an offset spatula and spread ¾ cup of frosting in between the cake layers. Use the remaining frosting to cover the sides and top of the cake.
- Frosting consistency. The consistency of this frosting is made for a simple, smooth finish. For a sturdier and pipe-able frosting, add 1 tablespoon of powdered sugar at a time until you reach the desired consistency. If the frosting is too thick, simply add a bit of milk.
- Crumb coating. When frosting the cake, it might be helpful to start with a crumb coat. A crumb coat is a thin layer of frosting that helps “seal” in crumbs. This prevents crumbs from making an appearance in the second layer.
Decorate with Fresh Strawberries:
Whole strawberries need to be washed. Make sure the berries are completely dry before placing them on top of the cake. Keep the stem on or remove it. Another idea is to use whole Chocolate Covered Strawberries.
Sliced strawberries are also very pretty. Since sliced strawberries will produce more liquid, decorate the cake as close to serving time as possible so the juices won’t have time to drip out. Use the slices to form patterns on top of the cake as well as on the sides.
Glaze the berries with strawberry jelly to make them beautifully shiny.
- Add ¼ cup of jelly to a small bowl and heat it in the microwave until it liquefies, for about 20-30 seconds.
- Use a brush to coat the berries.
- Whole berries can be brushed before placing them on the cake. Sliced berries can be placed and then brushed with the glaze.
Elevate your cake mix. Sometimes I love making cakes from scratch, other times I like to save a bit of time and effort by using a box of cake mix. Adding strawberry gelatin powder and fresh strawberries to a white cake mix creates the best taste and texture.
Box cake mix. You will NOT be using the instructions or ingredients that are listed on the box. Only use the white cake mix and follow the Lil Luna recipe ingredients and instructions. Use just the gelatin powder-do not add water to it.
Frozen strawberries. Use plain, frozen strawberries instead of fresh ones. Thaw the berries a bit before pureeing, but frozen chopped berries can go directly into the cake batter.
Variation. Substitute the “strawberry” instructions with another berry like blueberries or raspberries.
Use different cake pans. I love how pretty the two layers look for this cake, but you can easily use other cake pans for this recipe. Remember to check for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, or with a couple of crumbs, the cake is done.
- Cupcakes. Simply divide the batter into about 24 cupcake tins. Bake at 350°F for 15 to 20 minutes. Watch carefully as bake times vary from oven to oven. Cool and frost.
- 9X13 inch pan. Preheat the oven to 325°F and grease the pan. Bake for 32-37 minutes.
STORE leftover cake in an airtight container. It should keep for 1-2 days at room temperature or for 3-4 days in the fridge.
FREEZE leftover cake. Flash freeze first by placing the leftovers on a baking pan and sticking them in the freezer until solid. Wrap with plastic wrap then again with foil. Freeze for 2-3 months.
When you’re ready to eat simply unwrap and allow it to thaw.
Make ahead of time. I suggest storing the cake and frosting separately until you’re ready to frost and serve. Use the storage tips from above for the cake.
The frosting can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for up to a month.
For more favorite cakes:
Strawberry Cake Recipe
for the cake:
- 1 package white cake mix
- 1 package strawberry gelatin 3 ounces
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup finely chopped strawberries
for the frosting:
- 1/2 cup butter softened
- 1/2 cup strawberries pureed
- 4 ½ – 5 cups powdered sugar
- To make the cake, preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease two 8-inch round pans and line them with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the cake mix, gelatin, sugar, and flour. In a small bowl, whisk together the water, oil, and eggs.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and beat on medium speed for two minutes, until well combined. Gently fold in the chopped strawberries.
- Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool for 5-10 minutes, then remove the cakes from the pans to a wire rack to cool completely.
- To make the frosting, beat the butter until light and fluffy. Add the strawberry puree and mix to combine. Add 3 cups of powdered sugar, and mix until combined. Add additional powdered sugar, ½ cup at a time, to make a frosting that is spreadable and fluffy, but not runny.
- To assemble the cake, spread ¾ cup of frosting in between the cake layers. Use the remaining frosting to cover the sides and top of the cake.
This was such a light and fluffy cake! Was the exact fix for my sweet tooth; looking forward to enjoying this for dessert again tonight!
The softest cake ever! My favorite is the creamy frosting! We used this for a birthday cake & it was a hit!
Such a cute cake but also delicious. This seriously highlights strawberries!
This looks like something I would love! Can’t wait to try it.
StrawBerry cake reminds me of summertime. Light and fresh and full of strawberries. So good!
I made this for my birthday. I would probably not use quite as much frosting as I did the first time. the cake was really good and i would DEFINITELY make it again.
I’m making this rIght now for Our Labor Day bbq. Wish me luck! Im doing The two layers in a 9×13 pan since there will be lOts of people. It smells delicious as its baking!! Thanks for the great recipe! It was super easy to make!
You are so welcome! I hope it’s a hit! Thank you for trying it!
This was easy to make. I made it for my daughters birthday. She loved it! I will definitely make this again!
I am happy to hear that! Thank you for trying it!
This may be a dumb question but did you use ap or sr flour?
I use all-purpose 🙂 Enjoy!!
Looks & sounds delish.
How many strawberries do you think you use for the purée ? Or is that something you buy ?
I’d use about 8 large strawberries, give or take. 1 cup of whole strawberries should break down to be about 1/2 cup of puree, which is just what the recipe calls for.
Hi what could I do to reduce the amount of sugar in this recipe? As box mix and gelatin has so much sugar and then you are adding yet more sugar on top of that??
Do you drain frozen strawberries before they are puréed?
You can certainly use plain frozen strawberries instead of fresh. Yes, if there is excess water after thawing them a bit (before pureeing), then you can drain that. If using frozen chopped berries for the cake, they can go directly into the cake batter, no need to thaw.
I can’t wait to make this cake for my niece baby
I can’t wait to make this for my niece birthday I will be adding some roses to here make it very pretty for her
Oh that sounds beautiful… and delicious! I hope she enjoys her cake! 🙂
I love this cake it tastes amazing but I’ve made it twice now and the cake just crumbles. The minute I touch it to frost it it comes apart. So how do I get it to look as good as it tastes?
I’m so glad you love the cake. Sorry to hear about the crumbling…. There are a lot of reasons why a cake might crumble… too dry, too moist, overmixing, where you live can affect how the cake bakes… there’s lots of things. But first thing I’d suggest is to make sure your cake is completely cooled. You could even make the cake earlier, wrap tight and keep in the fridge before frosting. But just making sure it has completely cooled. And then kind of trial and error after that figuring out what might be the cause of the crumbling. 🙂
made this for a special occasion using vanilla buttercream and it was great!! Everyone loved it. Easy to make and was very moist. I will be making this again!
Yay! So glad to hear you loved the cake. Thanks for sharing!
I have baked the strawberry cake then I made a peach cake this recipe is GREAT!!! One question I messed up and got sugar free jello mix can you use it instead of the regular jello mix
You know, I have actually never tried this with sugar free jello mix. I imagine it would still work just fine. Might change the flavor a bit? You’ll have to let us know how it turns out!
I chickened out and made the trip to the grocery store. LOL
I wanted to like this beautiful cake, but found both the cake and frosting excessively sweet and I cannot recommend it. I don’t understand why you added 3 tb of sugar to the already sweetened boxed cake mix and strawberry gelatin. So sorry.
Thanks for the feedback and for giving the recipe a try!! Sure appreciate it!
I made this for my mom’s birthday and it was so good and people asked for the recipe.
Oh we’re so happy to hear that!!