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.
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
Begin by combining the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
Whisk to combine and set aside.
Beat the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
Add the egg and vanilla.
Beat to combine.
Add some of the flour.
Mix to combine, then add some of the milk.
Alternately add the remaining flour and milk, beating until smooth. The batter will be quite thick.
Transfer the batter to a buttered 9-inch deep dish pie pan (or 9-inch round cake pan) and smooth with a spatula.
Arrange the strawberry halves on top of the batter.
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.)
Bake at 350°F for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 325° and bake for about an hour more.
Cool the strawberry cake on a rack. Serve warm or room temperature, either plain or topped with sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
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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.
- 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
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and butter a 9-inch deep dish pie pan (or 9-inch round cake pan).
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- 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.)
- 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.
- 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.
- Cake can be stored at room temperature for several days, loosely covered.
- 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.
- 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.
As some other commenters have noted, this recipe is versatile with gluten-free flour. I made a GF flour blend using the recipe from America’s Test Kitchen (and added xanthan gum, of course) and used that. My cake was shockingly delicious, moist, and addictive. This was truly one of the best cakes I’ve ever made. I will absolutely make again. Thanks, Jenn!
This recipe is amazing! However, the last time I made it, it went into the oven looking and smelling perfect, as usual. When I took it out, I nervously noticed an odd smell – the best way I can describe it is sort of metallic. I hoped for the best once it cooled, but the smell (and, very unfortunately, the taste) was unmistakably weird and metallic. I know it’s not the recipe, because I’ve baked this a dozen times with great success. Just curious if you would know what went wrong, Jenn, or if anyone has any ideas. I was so sad to throw this cake away.
Hi L, How odd! Did you by any chance change brands of baking powder?
I thought it was my baking powder too, but no – I use the same brand as always. I used my usual metal cake pan too, but maybe it’s time for a new one? In any case, thank you for the response!
That’s definitely a head-scratcher; I hope you have better luck the next time you make it!
Made this last night and it turned out just like the picture! I am very impressed. Tastes great as well. Will definitely make again. . . maybe with peaches?
Absolutely divine! Thank you for an amazing recipe!
Very delicious cake…made it for a birthday and turned out great. Everyone enjoyed it, especially the “sugar crunch” on top. I added about 1/2 cup of a fresh strawberry reduction I made by dicing strawberries a bit of sugar and lemon juice…I reduced it until it was the consistency of tomato paste, then let it cool completely before adding to the batter. I wanted to intensify the flavor of the batter a bit….thankfully the alteration worked out 🙂 I think I have more of your recipes because I recognized the name, so now I’ll have to dig through my collection.
Can this recipe be doubled in a 9×13 inch pan?
Hi Kelsey, You can double this and use a 9 x 13 dish. Bake time should be about the same if not a tiny bit longer. Enjoy!
Could I get rid of the sugar and dice the strawberries to put on the inside for a layer cake?
Hi Natasha, I wouldn’t typically think to make a layer cake with fruit in it, but I don’t see any reason it wouldn’t work. I’d love to hear how it turns out if you try it!
Easy and fabulous. I used strawberries I had picked and frozen. I would thaw them a bit more next time as it took a while to fully cook the centre of the cake. I reduced the temperature a bit and baked another 20 min. It was so good with s crispy brown crust at the edge. Wow. Thanks. I will make again with other fruits.
I had leftover strawberries and blueberries, so I made this cake with both. I substituted monk fruit sweetener for the sugar. It was delicious! The cake is moist and flavorful. I love this recipe because it makes a smaller cake, just enough for my household size.
Love this cake made this twice so far and never disappointed
This is fabulous, like deconstructed strawberry shortcake! Just wondering if sweet cherries could be used as they’re in season now?
Hi Joyce, So glad you liked it! I haven’t made it with cherries, but I think it would be good. I’d love to hear how it turns out!
This is the most recent recipe I’ve made from this site and of course, it did not fail and was delicious. I used up the remaining strawberries from the quart to make a conserve with tawny port. Servied that and whipped cream with the cake. Everyone loved it.
Just now marinading salmon in Thai Sweet Chili from this site, to have for dinner. I’ll let you know how it turned out. I’m confident it will be good as every recipe I’ve tried from this site has been good. Thanks Jenn!
I made this cake in a 9″ springform pan, and it actually took less time (about 54 mins.) to bake beautifully. I don’t go by time, but by look and feel. I also decreased the sugar topping to 1TB.
I will dust with a little powdered sugar before serving with whipped cream. Thank you for a nice summer recipe.
Truly a delicious cake and I’ve now made it and gifted it for a third time in less than a week. A perfect recipe for strawberries in season. Thanks!
Can you make this recipe as cupcakes?
Sure, Debbie – that will work. Please LMK how they turn out.
Made it and LOVED it. I added a bit of lemon zest to the dough. I like a little lemon flavor with my strawberries. Super easy and came out great!
Great recipe! Easy to make and delicious! Worth baking in the oven even though it is almost 100 degrees heat in the kitchen!
Can you freeze this cake?
Yes, it freezes nicely!
My family LOVES this recipe. It has been easy to adapt to make it healthier so we can eat more of it, and it’s been amazing every time. I’ve halved the sugar, substituted almond flour and/or cornmeal for much of the white flour, substituted Greek yogurt for the milk, 1.5x or doubled it, doubled the strawberries, added lemon zest, baked it in a Bundt pan…and it’s always devoured within 24 hours. It is our favourite use of this season’s strawberry bounty and I bet I’ll next be trying it with raspberries and blueberries!
Hi Erin, I have made this recipe several times for different occasions. Each time was a hit. Im gluten free so substituted the flour. Also used almond milk
and coconut sugar Thank you.
Hi Erin, How did you layer it within the bundt pan? TIA
Thank you so much for this delicious recipe. It is one of our favorites and so easy to prepare. I recently made this for a family gathering using Bob’s Red Mill baking flour to accommodate my gluten-free sister-in-law and it was just as delicious. Looking forward to trying your Rustic French Apple Tart next.
I have no idea how long this cake tastes fresh because I made 2 within 24 hours and they both disappeared with a request to make another. Strawberries this year were particularly sweet. I had some leftover strawberries after making jam and found this simple recipe and it was a real winner with the entire family. Who knew! Thank you for coming up with the next apparent wonder of the world.
This is my go-to recipe when fresh NJ strawberries are in season. Alas, our strawberry season was cut short by a heat wave this year so I missed out on this wonderful treat. I’m wondering if I could use blueberries with or without peaches to replace the strawberries in this recipe. Would it be too watery?
Thanks so much for your great recipes and guidance. Peggy
Hi Peggy, Glad you like the cake — too bad that your strawberry season was cut short though! Yes, both blueberries and peaches will work here. Please LMK how it turns out if you try it!
Hi Jen and everyone,
I made this tonight and I had to bake it for much, much longer than 70 minutes….. the center took forever to bake. I even switched to convection for at least 15- 20 minutes. Anybody else have that problem? Better yet, any suggestions for next one? It looks great now but I won’t be tasting til tomorrow. I want to rave about this one along with everyone else!!
Hi Susan, That’s strange. Did you make any adjustments to the recipe or is there a chance you mismeasured something? If not, You may want to check the accuracy of your oven temperature. Here are some suggestions for how to do that. I hope it ended up tasting okay!
I had the same problem with some of my versions of this recipe, but it was because I made substitutions or additions that added moisture, like adding lots of extra berries. My solution has been to bake in a Bundt pan. The recipe has been incredibly forgiving.
Jen, Thank you so much for your reply. Just seeing it now!
Even after it didn’t turn out, I just bought an Emile Henri pie dish just for this pie, so I am determined to get it right! Thank you for all your suggestions!! I will keep you posted.
Using some small chunks/slices of rhubarb in addition to the strawberries yields a delicious burst of tart amongst all the sweet. Topped with whipped cream and a few more strawberries. Made it twice in three days to rave reviews. Thank you for a nice, easy, strawberry-using dessert!
Hi Jenn, I absolutely loved this recipe. My sister-in-law brought me some freshly picked strawberries today and I found your recipe. Easy peasy to make too (love that). My husband isn’t that fond of strawberries but he ate the cake anyway. (Must be his sweet tooth) I have no complaints whatsoever. Cake was delicious, light and moist. Thank you for sharing! Looking forward to seeing more of your recipes in the future. 💞🤗
Not sure what I did wrong but my cake was very dry and crumbly. Great taste!
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.
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.
Awesome Recipe! Made it and followed to the ‘T’. Came out really good.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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. 💕
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.
I forgot to add that I used a 9 x 9 square pan and it turned out perfectly, despite what other reviewers mentioned:).
Thank you for verifying! I agree, and I think that some are forgetting that Jen is using a 9″ DEEP DISH, which definitely holds more than a standard 9″ pie pan.
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!
So delicious!!!! Picked fresh strawberries and I, my friend, and daughter all made this cake with great success. Thank you!!!
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
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.
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
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.?
Yes, both peaches and other berries will work here. Enjoy!
Could you use rhubarb and strawberries in this?
Sure, I think that would work. I’d love to hear how it turns out with the addition of rhubarb. 🙂
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?
So glad you like it! Yes, I think nectarines will also work here. Please LMK how it turns out!
So delicious and easy! Definitely a keeper.
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.
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!
Or you can keep the 9” pan, multiply all the ingredients by 1.5, and make a bigger cake so you stand a fighting chance of having some leftover for tomorrow’s breakfast! Our only problem with this recipe is that it is gone too soon.
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
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!
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!
Can half and half be used if you don’t have milk on hand?
Sure, Chris, that should work. Enjoy!
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?
Yep, that’s perfectly fine (and so glad you like the cake)! 🙂
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!!
Do NOT bake this in a pie tin! I tried it and the batter overflowed when baking. The cake is delicious though.
Yes, the same happened to me. I use a springform now when I make it.
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.
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.
I also have glass Pyrex pie dish. You mentioned dropping temperature 25 degrees. Did you bake 325 for 20 minutes than 300 degrees for 1 hour?
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!
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!
Thanks for sharing this recipe. I made the cake with fresh picked strawberries and my family is enjoying it.