Fresh Strawberry Cake

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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 round 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

  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ 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
  • ½ cup milk (low fat is fine)
  • About ¾ 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 round 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. Arrange the strawberries on top, cut side down, so that they completely cover the batter (the recipe calls for approximately ¾ 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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Comments

  • Not sure what I did wrong but my cake was very dry and crumbly. Great taste!

    • — Naomi on July 4, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Naomi, I’m sorry you had a problem with the texture of the cake! Dryness is usually caused by measuring the flour incorrectly. Did 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.

      • — Jenn on July 5, 2022
      • Reply
  • After making the strawberry muffins from this site, I had extra strawberries that the family didn’t care to eat anymore, I decided to try this strawberry cake. We are divided on which recipe we like better!! This cake recipe is easier to put together but you can’t go wrong with either recipes. Thanks for sharing another great recipe.

    • — Meredith on June 27, 2022
    • Reply
  • Awesome Recipe! Made it and followed to the ‘T’. Came out really good.

    • — AB on June 26, 2022
    • Reply
  • This is the best cake recipe ever! I rarely leave reviews but decided to on this one because it’s the only recipe I’ve ever made that’s so easy but never fails. I’ve made it for family dinners, potlucks and for gifts and every time someone always asks me for the recipe. No need for beaters even! MAKE THIS CAKE and don’t forget the sugar on top—it’s the perfect finishing touch. Crunch heaven.

    • — Miz on June 25, 2022
    • Reply
  • My dad loves berries so I made this for Father’s Day. My dad LOVED this cake so much and asked me to make it again….soon! Such an easy recipe with minimal ingredients that I already have in my pantry. I was worried about the last step of sprinkling sugar on top of the cake and berries because I thought it would make the cake too sweet, but my sister said her favorite part was “the crunch” of the sugar on tope of the cake. All around, this was a big hit!

    • — MiddleSister on June 24, 2022
    • Reply
  • This cake is delicious! Light and bright. I only had oat milk so I used that and it turned out just fine.

    Will definitely be making again, and I think I’m going to experiment with mixed berries next time. Love it!

    • — Jaimie on June 21, 2022
    • Reply
  • This cake is amazing! My husband isn’t the biggest strawberry fan, and this is now one of his favorites. Very easy to make and all ingredients are pantry staples- don’t change a thing. Served it with homemade whipped cream, and it didn’t last! Absolutely a keeper and I’ll be making this often!

    • — Amanda on June 19, 2022
    • Reply
  • Jenn, I never post but I must say that this is time and time again, a fantastic summer dessert. I have made it so many times already and our family loves it with a little fresh whipped cream or some sour cream with a touch of sugar and vanilla or almond extract. Thank you for your generous, most tried and true recipes. 💕

    • — Andree on June 16, 2022
    • Reply
  • This is amazing and I will make it often this summer. A little whipped cream is a treat, but it’s great without it too. Perfect summer dessert.

    • — kj on June 16, 2022
    • Reply
    • I forgot to add that I used a 9 x 9 square pan and it turned out perfectly, despite what other reviewers mentioned:).

      • — kj on June 16, 2022
      • Reply
  • Have made this twice. Absolutely delicious with some fresh whipped cream on top! I only sprinkle a tablespoon of sugar and find it plenty already. Also use parchment paper in a 9×8 pan and pour the batter in directly. This will definitely be part of the dessert rotation now 🙂 Thank you!

    • — Jean on June 12, 2022
    • Reply
  • So delicious!!!! Picked fresh strawberries and I, my friend, and daughter all made this cake with great success. Thank you!!!

    • — Mary on June 12, 2022
    • Reply
  • Could the cake batter be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge overnight or possibly a couple of days? Going camping and would add the strawberries at the time of the bake. Thanks! Mary

    • — Mary on June 10, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Mary, Unfortunately, it won’t work to refrigerate the batter as the cake won’t rise well when you go to bake it. If you’d like, you can mix the dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet in another and then combine them and proceed with the recipe when you’re ready to bake it.

      • — Jenn on June 10, 2022
      • Reply
  • Having company and want strawberry dessert ready without last minute prep? This is the best strawberry dessert! Made many times and people are looking for it now strawberry season is here. Thanks so much. A retired home economics teacher

    • — Trudy on June 9, 2022
    • Reply
    • I haven’t made this yet, but I’m planning on making it soon. Im just wondering if other fruit can be used… peaches, other berries, etc.?

      • — Jane on June 17, 2022
      • Reply
      • Yes, both peaches and other berries will work here. Enjoy!

        • — Jenn on June 20, 2022
        • Reply
  • Could you use rhubarb and strawberries in this?

    • — Samantha on June 8, 2022
    • Reply
    • Sure, I think that would work. I’d love to hear how it turns out with the addition of rhubarb. 🙂

      • — Jenn on June 9, 2022
      • Reply
      • It was so good!! I used fresh strawberries and frozen rhubarb. I also use an 8″ square pan. Best variation I’ve made of them so far, thought they are all amazing. Would nectarines work with this?

        • — Samantha on June 11, 2022
        • Reply
        • So glad you like it! Yes, I think nectarines will also work here. Please LMK how it turns out!

          • — Jenn on June 13, 2022
          • Reply
  • So delicious and easy! Definitely a keeper.

    • — Claudia C. on June 6, 2022
    • Reply
  • Hi, Jenn. Loved the cake, but I think the square pan size should be 8-inch. Based on volume, it seems that the equivalent of a 9-inch pie pan would be an 8-inch square pan. I baked mine in a 9-inch square pan, and it was slightly overbaked at 44 mins (plus the initial 10). It’s a darker metal pan, but still I think the sizing was part of the problem. The cake was still delicious, but it would have been even better if I had baked it a few minutes less.

    • — JZ on June 5, 2022
    • Reply
    • Glad you liked the cake and I agree that a 9-inch square pan is a bit big – my bad! I am going to change the recipe to indicate that if you don’t have a pie pan, a 9-inch round cake pan is a good alternative. Thanks for pointing that out!

      • — Jenn on June 7, 2022
      • Reply
  • Absolutely delicious! Followed recipe exactly and everyone loved it. How should I store leftovers? Not sure if I refrigerate and cover. Also I baked the cake in glass Pyrex following your temperature settings but some mentioned reducing temperature. Is it necessary? Thanks Chris

    • — Chris on June 5, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Chris, you can store it covered on the counter. And it’s not necessary to reduce the oven temp if you’re using glass unless you notice the edges start to brown. If so, you can reduce the temperature by 25 degrees. Glad you enjoyed it!

      • — Jenn on June 6, 2022
      • Reply
  • This cake was amazing. We are gluten free and it worked perfectly using Bob Red Mills 1:1 GF flour. We also always decrease sugar in recipes and halving the sugar (both in the cake and on top) still tasted fabulous. I did 1/4c white sugar and 1/4c coconut for the cake mix plus 1T white sugar on top. Will definitely make this again!

    • — Jackie on June 2, 2022
    • Reply
  • Can half and half be used if you don’t have milk on hand?

    • — Chris on May 29, 2022
    • Reply
    • Sure, Chris, that should work. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on May 31, 2022
      • Reply
  • LOVE this simple cake! I don’t always have milk on hand however. Do you think a non-dairy milk, eg, almond milk, would work?

    • — Diana on May 28, 2022
    • Reply
    • Yep, that’s perfectly fine (and so glad you like the cake)! 🙂

      • — Jenn on May 31, 2022
      • Reply
  • Loved this recipe, along with all of the others I have tried! This cake is moist, delicious and fresh with the berries. A real winner!!

    • — Marlene on May 27, 2022
    • Reply
  • Do NOT bake this in a pie tin! I tried it and the batter overflowed when baking. The cake is delicious though.

    • — Raj on May 25, 2022
    • Reply
    • Yes, the same happened to me. I use a springform now when I make it.

      • — Anke on June 4, 2022
      • Reply
  • I saw that this recipe had 970 reviews for an overall full five star rating and I honestly wondered if bots were involved. They are not. This is the absolute best cake I’ve ever baked, and I bake a LOT. I used a 9.5″ pie dish and I dropped the oven temperature by 25 degrees, but that’s simply something you do when baking in Pyrex. I used Kerrygold butter and 2% milk and followed the recipe to the letter. This cake is light, fluffy, and incredibly moist, and its sweetness perfectly compliments the slight tang of the strawberries. The two tablespoons of sugar on top seems like a lot, but it makes a wonderful light “crust” on the top so I recommend using the full amount.

    I have nothing to add. I usually have tweaks or corrections, but this recipe results in a cake that’s pure perfection exactly as written. My daughter thinks it is “the best cake ever” – even without chocolate. The reviews are deserved.

    • — Kat on May 22, 2022
    • Reply
    • The only advice I can offer is to cut larger strawberries into quarters instead of halves so they don’t sink to the bottom. Local or hothouse smaller strawberries should be fine for cutting in half.

      • — Kat on May 23, 2022
      • Reply
  • This strawberry cake is delicious on it’s own. But, it’s super as a replacement base for strawberry shortcake when shortcake isn’t available. Great recipe!

    • — Cindy on May 18, 2022
    • Reply
  • Needed to use up some strawberries, made this for our weekly family brunch. It didn’t even make it to dessert – looked just like the photo and people wanted a slice to eat with their brunch food. Definitely will make it again. Possibly the highest compliment is from my 11 year old grandson who enjoys cooking but usually not a baker – he asked for the recipe to be printed to add to his personal cookbook of recipes he likes!

    • — B Hendrix on May 15, 2022
    • Reply
  • Thanks for sharing this recipe. I made the cake with fresh picked strawberries and my family is enjoying it.

    • — Valerie S on May 11, 2022
    • Reply

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