Strawberry season reminds be of being a kid in small town Gilbert, SC. Springtime meant picking buckets of ripe strawberries at the local strawberry farm and devouring as many as I could. We made so many strawberry desserts and extras were prepped for freezing.
Sadly, the strawberry cake I grew up with normally came from a box and was bring pink in color. When I decided to find a recipe to make my own strawberry cake with fresh strawberries so many of them called for using strawberry jello. Nope, I’m not into the ‘jello in my cake to imitate strawberries’ thing. I want real strawberries in mine!
After many Google searches I finally stumbled upon this recipe that only uses fresh strawberries. I’m so glad that I did. This strawberry cake is light, fluffy, moist, and flavored with the wonderful sweetness of fresh strawberries. I didn’t alter the recipe much. It’s very heavily borrowed from I made that! which unfortunately is no longer active. She had so many great recipes!
See below for this awesome strawberry cake recipe. You need to experience real strawberry cake at least once and I think this recipe is a great start. Next time I made this I want to try roasting strawberries first and then making those into a puree. I have a feeling it just might make this cake even better!
No crumb or slice photo. Sorry! I made this for administrative professionals appreciation day at my work and everyone got to it too fast for me to take a photo. Next time I make this I’ll definitely update with a sliced image.
P.S. I played around with images and editing…some are wonky I know, but I’m practicing! Not too bad for an iPhone?
Inspired by: I made that!
- 3/4 lb. fresh strawberries (can also use frozen)
- 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp. sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 1/2 cups cake flour
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/3 cup buttermilk
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp. almond extract
- 1 tsp. lemon juice
- 1 stick (8 Tbsp.) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
- 1 cup strawberry puree
- 1 lb. cream cheese, room temperature
- 10 Tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 6 Tbsp. strawberry jam and/or strawberry puree
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 tsp. lemon juice
For the Strawberry Puree:
For the Cake:
For the Frosting:
- Wash fresh strawberries, remove leaves, cut in half or quarters.
- In a 2 quart saucepan add strawberries, vanilla extract, lemon juice, sugar and water. Bring to a simmer over medium heat.
- Let mixture simmer until strawberries become very tender.
- Remove from heat and muddle strawberries into a puree/compote. I use a small potato masher, but you can also use a spoon or fork. Set aside to cool.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter three 8-inch cake pans and line bottoms with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl sift cake flour, baking soda, and salt.
- In a small bowl add buttermilk, canola oil, lemon juice, and vanilla and almond extract. Mix gently and set aside.
- In a large bowl and with an electric mixer, beat butter until smooth. Add sugar and beat until incorporated and smooth. Add eggs, beat until incorporated and then beat 1 minute more at medium speed. Gradually add the buttermilk mixture and beat for 1 minute at medium speed.
- Add the flour mixture in 3 additions beating well after each addition. Add the strawberry puree and mix until well incorporated.
- Divide the batter evenly between the 3 cake pans. Bake 15-17 minutes or until cakes are done and clean on the toothpick test.
- Remove from oven let cool in pans for ~ 15 min.
- Remove cakes from pan and continue to cool on a wire rack. You can also place cakes in the freezer to cool faster and also make frosting easier.
- In a large bowl beat the butter with an electric mixer until smooth.
- Add the cream cheese and mix until well combined and smooth, about 3 minutes.
- Gradually sift in the powdered sugar mixing well until incorporated. Scrape the sides of bowl as needed.
- Add the strawberry jam (or puree), vanilla, and lemon juice. Mix until combined and smooth.
- Assemble cake and decorate as desired.
- I like to use my stovetop strawberry puree rather than making in a blender or food processor. I think it adds some flavor and also goes well on biscuits if you have any leftover. I also use this method because the first time I made this cake I didn’t own a food processor or blender and needed to puree somehow. It worked so I just keep doing it!
- Make sure your baking soda is fresh so your cake will rise. Instead of baking powder, this cake uses baking soda and buttermilk.
- For the frosting I normally use a mixture of strawberry jam and my puree.
- To tone down the pink color, just make a regular cream cheese frosting. The cake layers themselves are only very light pastel pink.
- Another way to use leftover puree or jam is to smooth a thin layer on top the frosting between each layer of the cake.
For the strawberry puree:
For the cake:
For the frosting: