Fresh Strawberry Cake

Tested & Perfected Recipes

Jam-packed with fresh strawberries, this strawberry cake is one of the simplest, most delicious cakes you’ll ever make.

Strawberry Cake

This strawberry cake recipe was sent to me by Karen Tannenbaum, a longtime reader, avid baker, and all-around lovely lady. In her email to me, Karen described a dinner she made that ended with this dessert as “just like a night in heaven.” I was sold. Within a few days, I had the cake in the oven — and, sure enough, it was the one of the simplest, prettiest, most delicious cakes I’d ever made.

The beauty of this cake is that it’s made with very few ingredients, and you can have it in the oven in under 15 minutes. What’s more, it’s a great way to use up extra strawberries or salvage berries that are less than perfect, and it keeps well for days. The recipe was originally published in Martha Stewart Living in June 2005, though it has been modified just a bit.

Ingredients For Strawberry Cake

ingredients for strawberry cake

How To Make Strawberry Cake

Begin by combining the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.

dry ingredients in mixing bowl

Whisk to combine and set aside.

whisked dry ingredients in mixing bowl

Beat the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.

creaming butter and sugarAdd the egg and vanilla.

adding egg and vanilla

Beat to combine.

mixing egg and vanilla into batter

Add some of the flour.

gradually adding the flour to the batter

Mix to combine, then add some of the milk.

alternating the flour with the milkAlternately add the remaining flour and milk, beating until smooth. The batter will be quite thick.

finished strawberry cake batter in mixing bowl

Transfer the batter to a buttered 9-inch deep dish pie pan (or 9-inch cake pan) and smooth with a spatula.

spreading batter in pie dish

Arrange the strawberry halves on top of the batter.

topping the batter with strawberries The sprinkle with the remaining sugar. (Don’t be tempted to omit the sugar here; it balances the tartness of the berries and forms a deliciously crisp crust on top the cake.)

strawberries sprinkled with sugar

Bake at 350°F for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 325° and bake for about an hour more.

baked strawberry cake Cool the strawberry cake on a rack. Serve warm or room temperature, either plain or topped with sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Strawberry Cake

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Fresh Strawberry Cake

Jam-packed with fresh strawberries, this strawberry cake is one of the simplest, most delicious cakes you’ll ever make.

Servings: One 9-inch cake, 8-10 servings
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 1 Hour 10 Minutes
Total Time: 1 Hour 25 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus more for greasing the pan
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup milk (low fat is fine)
  • About 3/4 pound strawberries, hulled and halved

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and butter a 9-inch deep dish pie pan or 9-inch square cake pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and 1 cup of the sugar until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and beat on low speed until well combined. Gradually add the flour mixture, alternating with the milk, and beat on low speed until smooth. (Note: the batter will be thick.)
  4. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and smooth with a spatula (if you use a square cake pan, the batter will only come about 3/4-inch up the sides of the pan -- that's ok). Arrange the strawberries on top, cut side down, so that they completely cover the batter (the recipe calls for approximately 3/4 pound of strawberries; use more or less if necessary). Sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar over the strawberries.
  5. Bake for ten minutes, then reduce the heat to 325°F and bake until the cake is lightly golden and a tester comes out clean, about an hour. Let the cake cool in the pan on a rack. Serve with sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, if desired.
  6. Cake can be stored at room temperature for several days, loosely covered.
  7. Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The cake can be frozen for up to 3 months. After it is completely cooled, cover it tightly with aluminum foil or freezer wrap. Thaw overnight on the countertop before serving.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (10 servings)
  • Calories: 241
  • Fat: 8 g
  • Saturated fat: 5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 40 g
  • Sugar: 25 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 3 g
  • Sodium: 185 mg
  • Cholesterol: 38 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Reviews & Comments

  • I have made many of your desserts and all have turned out wonderfully! Made this one last night but feels heavy and dense…. any idea what I did wrong? Thanks Jen!

    • — Stephanie on January 22, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Stephanie, Sorry you had a problem with this! Two things come to mind. By heavy, do you mean overly moist? The strawberries add some moisture to the cake; if you felt like it was too moist, next time I’d try cutting them into smaller pieces. Also, do you use the spoon and level method to measure the flour? Even a few extra ounces can make a big difference. This article/video explains it nicely. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on January 22, 2021
      • Reply
  • I made this exact recipe tonight and it was fantastic….wouldn’t change a thing.

    • — Leslie on January 17, 2021
    • Reply
  • I have made this several times and everyone has loved it! It basically tastes like the Jordan Marsh blueberry muffins in a cake!! Love it!

    • — Dawn on January 2, 2021
    • Reply
  • I have made this at least 5 times, always perfection!

    • — DisWiDoMi on December 28, 2020
    • Reply
  • My sister raved about this cake, which her family loves. I clearly understood her compliments for this cake after I made it. It is absolutely delicious! My family loves this. Thank you Jen!

    • — Damienne Dunham on December 9, 2020
    • Reply
  • This recipe was delicious easy to make and super tasty. I’m going to try it again with other fruit I think it would be fantastic with raspberry as well

    • — Stephanie on November 9, 2020
    • Reply
  • Absolutely delicious. The cake was super tender and soft, the flavor of strawberry was unreal! I will make this again. Very easy. Served with ice cream. Don’t change a thing!

    • — Jennifer V on October 29, 2020
    • Reply
  • Super delicious

    • — Malak on October 1, 2020
    • Reply
  • What other types of pans/sizes would this recipe do well in? I do not have a pie dish.

    Thank you

    • — Gail Scott on September 30, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Gail, you can use a 9-inch square or round cake pan. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on September 30, 2020
      • Reply
      • Hi Jennifer,

        Does the cake need to be refrigerated or can it stay out? I made the cake for Monday night family dinner, 2 days away and wanted to check to see if I should refrigerate.

        I will send review after I get feedback from family.

        Thank you.

        Donna

        • — Donna Harrington on November 1, 2020
        • Reply
        • Hi Donna, you can store it on the counter. It keeps nicely for several days. Hope everyone enjoyed!

          • — Jenn on November 2, 2020
          • Reply
  • Absolutely delicious! I like it warm with some cream. I reduced the sugar in the sponge to 150g and it still seemed a bit on the sweet side to me. The texture at 150g seemed to be unaffected, it was like a light sponge cake/ pudding. The strawberries did sink right in to the sponge actually so visually maybe not as appealing, but as I say still really very good!

    • — Kelly on September 27, 2020
    • Reply
  • I really enjoyed this cake! Very simple to make. Required about 15 min less time than the recipe called for. Just kept checking on the level of brownness on the top, and for a toothpick to come out clean. I appreciate the step-by-step pictures included in the recipes — very helpful!

    • — MB on September 13, 2020
    • Reply
  • I followed this recipe exactly as it is written. It was absolutely perfect. My family devoured it hot out of the oven. The flavor was perfect – a sweet but mild vanilla cake with juicy, fruity berries. I would recommend checking the cake a few times as mine needed ~15 minutes less cooking time than it called for. This will remain in my rotation of perfect recipes. Thank you Jennifer!

    • — Julia on September 10, 2020
    • Reply
  • I made this cake with great anticipation, using some lovely organic strawberries, and brought it with a flourish to a safely-distant, outside gathering. The strawberries were still good but the cake was so stodgy. And dense and heavy. I thought I’d followed the recipe exactly. What did I do wrong?

    • — beverley abel on September 9, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Beverley, Sorry you had a problem with this! Did you make any adjustments to the recipe?

      • — Jenn on September 9, 2020
      • Reply
  • This strawberry cake is simply amazing! My family is absolutely in love with it.

    • — Shannon McKee on September 7, 2020
    • Reply
  • Hello Jen,
    Thank you for this recipe. I haven’t tried it yet, but I am sure it will be delicious (the somewhat similar plum cake certainly is). However, I think the metric equivalent of 450g for 3/4 lb. strawberries is incorrect. I occasionally go to metric equivalents because I have a hard time measuring butter in tablespoons. It is very helpful. As far as I can tell the measurements are usually correct, which is why I was surprised. I hope you don’t mind me questioning it.

    • — Anne on September 6, 2020
    • Reply
    • You’re right, Anne — thanks so much for pointing that out — it takes a village!! I’ve just updated it; hope you enjoy the cake if you make it! 🙂

      • — Jenn on September 7, 2020
      • Reply
  • I was so pleasantly surprised by this cake!!! It is delish!! I might try a little less sugar the next time but I mean if you’re going to eat cake, eat cake! 🙂

    • — Rebecca on September 4, 2020
    • Reply
  • Hi, I need to watch my sugar intake, is there any advice you can give on swapping the sugar out for a replacement such as Stevia? And if so what quantity? Thanks

    • — Holly on September 2, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Holly, I wish I could help but I’ve never worked with sugar substitutes so I can’t say how it would impact the recipe. I’d love to hear how it turns out if you try it with one!

      • — Jenn on September 2, 2020
      • Reply
    • I don’t know if this helps but I LOVE this recipe and have made it a few times and have gradually been reducing the sugar. I’m still using regular white sugar but so far I am down to 2/3 cup and it’s still great, fluffy and wonderful (just sprinkling 1 tbsp on top). I know sugar is not just about the sweetness but the structure of the cake so need to be careful, but so far so good.

      • — Jane on September 4, 2020
      • Reply
    • Hi. I made the cake with half the sugar, and it was delicious (most folks who prefer less sweet might want to cut it down to 3/4c). I used 1/4 tsp almond extract instead of vanilla, & substituted 1/2 c ground almonds for 1/2 c flour. Baking time was about 15 min shorter (when the edge browns and pulls away from pan, it’s done! –even if top is only very lightly browned). The berries make the dish sweet enough, and I only wish I could stuff more in. Simple but beautiful presentation. Drizzle on some dark chocolate balsamic vinegar, and it’s a marvel!

      • — Virginia on September 27, 2020
      • Reply
  • I don’t know what I did wrong, but the cake part came out tasting a little like cornbread to me.

    • — Kim on September 1, 2020
    • Reply
  • OMG this cake was sooooooo good! I only had oak milk so I used that. I used a 9 x 9 glass dish and it was perfect. This one is a keeper!

    • — Patti on August 29, 2020
    • Reply
  • I’ve made this many times with strawberries — so fabulous. How do you think this recipe would do with peaches?

    • — Barbara I Zipperman on August 23, 2020
    • Reply
    • So glad you like this! Yes, it will work nicely with peaches too. 🙂

      • — Jenn on August 24, 2020
      • Reply
  • I made this Fresh strawberry cake and it tastes nice but the sponge came over the sides of the tin and ended up being about less than an inch deep. After reviewing the recipe it states 225 gms of sugar. Is this too much sugar? Any advice would help please.

    Regards Teresa

    • — Teresa on August 22, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Teresa, Sorry You had a problem with this! You mentioned that the batter ran over the side of the pan, but that the cake was very shallow. What size pan did you use a 9-inch deep dish pie pan or 9-inch square cake pan? (The 225 grams of sugar is correct.)

      • — Jenn on August 22, 2020
      • Reply
  • Wonderful recipe Jenn and I agree with you….simplest and most DELICIOUS cake!!!

    • — Candice Hill on August 18, 2020
    • Reply
  • Can you make with frozen strawberries?

    • — Kate on August 18, 2020
    • Reply
    • Sure, Kate. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on August 18, 2020
      • Reply
  • Thank you for the great recipe. Baked it today for my daughter’s birthday and the whole family enjoyed it. It was delicious and the only thing I would change next time is reduce the sugar. Thanks again!

    • — Sarita on August 12, 2020
    • Reply
  • I’ve made this cake about 6 times this summer! It’s easy and fool proof. The consistency is very similar to a moist shortcake/biscuit. We (my family) are not fans of fruit baked in cake, so we use it as a shortcake and pile the strawberries or peaches on top. It’s perfect with a cup of coffee in the morning too!

    • — Kelly on August 9, 2020
    • Reply
  • This cake is absolutely amazing. I’ve made it five times and it’s always a hit with my guests. I’ve used both a deep dish pie pan and a 9 inch springform pan. This cake comes out awesome in a springform and the sides are a bit crunch like the top.

    • — Ron Redmon on August 9, 2020
    • Reply

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