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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 the cake is that it’s made with very few ingredients, and you can whip up the batter 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.

If you have an abundance of strawberries on hand, or find them on sale during the season, try my strawberry shortcake and strawberry muffins as well. You’ll be glad you did.

What You’ll Need To Make Strawberry Cake

ingredients for strawberry cake

Step-by-Step Instructions

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

  • Hi Jen,

    I added a comment last night and I’m not sure why it was taken down asking about if you could use other fruit for the top. In particular could you use any frozen fruit.

    Also, I love almond flavor and I was wondering if you could substitute part of the vanilla extract for almond extract, and in what quantities you would suggest.

    Thanks!

    • — A Wong on November 18, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi, I responded to the question yesterday, but maybe you missed it: It’s fine to use frozen strawberries and also OK to mix up the berries. Regarding the almond extract, you can replace ¼ teaspoon of vanilla with almond extract; I wouldn’t use anymore than that as it’s very potent. Hope that helps that you enjoy the cake!

      • — Jenn on November 19, 2022
      • Reply
  • Hi Jen,
    I would love to try this recipe, it looks great!! I have a couple of questions:
    Since it’s not summer any more, good fresh strawberries are harder to find. Is it possible to use any frozen fruit and could you use other than strawberries also?
    Also, I love almond taste, do you think you could add some almond extract in place of part of the vanilla extract? Do you think it would test good and if so what proportions would you use?

    Thank so much!!

    • — A Wong on November 18, 2022
    • Reply
    • Yes, it’s fine to use frozen strawberries and also OK to mix up the berries. Regarding the almond extract, you can replace ¼ teaspoon of vanilla with almond extract; I wouldn’t use anymore than that as it’s very potent. Hope that helps that you enjoy the cake!

      • — Jenn on November 18, 2022
      • Reply
      • Thank you! I can’t wait to try it!!

        • — A Wong on November 18, 2022
        • Reply
  • Recipe turned out great.
    Would this recipe would work with fresh cranberries?

    • — Laura A on November 6, 2022
    • Reply
    • Glad you liked it! I think fresh cranberries would be too tart. Sorry!

      • — Jenn on November 7, 2022
      • Reply
  • Thanks for another brilliant recipe, Jenn! I subbed Bob Mill’s 1:1 GF and the texture and flavour was absolutely perfect, however the whole cake went very dark brown, like the batter had caramelised or something? Wasn’t overcooked by any means and it didn’t take away from the flavour, but just wasn’t as pretty as yours and looked more like a pudding. Any idea what might have caused that? Also, any tips on preventing the strawbs from sinking? Add them and the rest of the sugar at the half-way mark, perhaps? 🥰

    • — Ashlyn on October 29, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Ashlyn, based on what you’re describing, I’m wondering if perhaps you used baking soda instead of baking powder? (Baking soda causes things to brown a lot more.) Also, did you use a dark metal pan? That would add to more browning (at least on the exterior of the cake). Regarding the strawberries sinking, I wouldn’t add them halfway through baking. Rather, I’d just cut them into slightly smaller pieces to make them a bit lighter. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on November 1, 2022
      • Reply
  • I’ve made this heaps of times and it’s always great. The one change I make is switching out the vanilla for almond extract. Thanks for a great recipe!

    • — Fiona on October 16, 2022
    • Reply
  • Made this and loved it. Do you think I could try it with raspberries?

    • — Jackie on September 16, 2022
    • Reply
    • Yep, definitely 🙂

      • — Jenn on September 17, 2022
      • Reply
  • Would love to try this! Any chance of British weights and measures, and temperatures *C?

    • — Janski on September 4, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Janski, The great majority of my recipes (including this one) include conversions to metric/weight measurements. To view them, scroll down to the recipe, and immediately under the recipe title on the right side, you’ll see a little toggle. If you move it from “cup measures” to metric, you’ll see measurements that will work for you. Hope that helps! 🙂

      • — Jenn on September 6, 2022
      • Reply
  • Today is the fifth time I’m make this delicious cake since I found your recipe in July. I accidentally used a whole stick of butter instead of six tablespoons. It was great. Have used a whole stick every time. Everyone loves it, especially me. Always love any of your recipes I’ve tried.

    • — Phyllis on August 30, 2022
    • Reply
  • This was delicious ! I baked it for 50 minutes once the temperature was lowered to 325 because
    my new oven seems to bake faster than my former oven. So glad I did as the cake itself was
    moist. I wondered if I can use turbinado sugar on top or is it best to stick to granulated sugar?
    I gifted this for an anniversary ( they loved it ) as I thought the strawberries on top looked like hearts . They saved me a piece to try which is why I can leave this comment and question. Thank you.

    • — Bettianne Marcus on August 23, 2022
    • Reply
    • Glad both you and your recipients enjoyed it! Yes, it would be fine to use turbinado on top of the cake if you’d like.

      • — Jenn on August 24, 2022
      • Reply
  • I had some leftover strawberries and came across this recipe. I had to make a few changes because I didn’t have all the ingredients it calls for. I cut down the sugar for the cake to about 3/4 cup because I didn’t have any more sugar left. I used Earth Balance plant-based butter, 3 TB of the egg beaters, and cashew milk to replace the unsalted butter, large egg, and dairy milk. Lastly, I wasn’t able to sprinkle the top of the strawberries with sugar so I drizzled honey onto them. As expected, the top wasn’t crisp as it would’ve been if I had any sugar left. I was afraid that these changes would mess it up, but it actually turned out so good! I don’t like cake that is too sweet, so this had just the perfect amount. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

    • — Demitria on August 18, 2022
    • Reply
  • I am wanting to do this recipe for my parents anniversary! Was just wondering can I use normal milk? Also, is it possible to use frozen strawberries?

    • — Latisha Corns on August 17, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Latisha, This recipe calls for regular milk so yes, and frozen strawberries are fine as well. Hope your parents enjoy! 🙂

      • — Jenn on August 17, 2022
      • Reply

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