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 in a pie pan.

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. A few days later, I had the cake in the oven, and sure enough – it turned out to be one of the simplest, prettiest, and most delicious cakes I’ve ever made.The beauty of this 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. This recipe originally appeared in Martha Stewart Living back in June 2005, but I’ve made a few tweaks to make it even better.

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 in a pie pan.

More Recipes You Might Like

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


  • 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


  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

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  • 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, 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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  • What do you think about subbing in blackberries?

    • — Donna on July 14, 2024
    • Reply
    • I think it would work – I’d love to hear how it turns out if you try it!

      • — Jenn on July 15, 2024
      • Reply
  • Made this strawberry cake & it was good. Not too sweet. Just right.

    • — Lu on July 14, 2024
    • Reply
  • I followed this recipe exactly.
    I find it too dry. Disappointed.

    • — Jean Griffith on July 12, 2024
    • Reply
  • The taste, texture, ease of recipe, overall this is indescribably delicious and highly recommended to make! I only had 3 tablespoons of butter so the other 3 I used softened coconut oil and it came out perfectly. This will be my go to from now!

    • — Raihanna S on July 11, 2024
    • Reply
  • Jenn, all I have is a 10 inch quiche pan, would I need to change any of the measurements?

    • — Phyllis L on July 7, 2024
    • Reply
    • Hi Phyllis, I’d recommend making 1.25 times the recipe. The bake time may be slightly different so keep a close eye on it. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on July 9, 2024
      • Reply
  • Hello, recipe looks delicious and I’m planning on making it but could I check a point please.
    About 340 grams strawberries, hulled and halved. is the 340grams the weight before or after hulling?

    • — Fran on July 6, 2024
    • Reply
    • Hi Fran, the 340 grams is what you should purchase, so once you’ve hulled them, they will weigh a little less. Hope you enjoy the cake!

      • — Jenn on July 8, 2024
      • Reply
  • Other than a decrease in strawberries, your recipe is verbatim.

    • — Patricia Darcy on July 4, 2024
    • Reply
    • Hi Patricia, I appreciate you pointing out how similar the cake is to Smitten Kitchen’s recipe. Whenever I adapt or feature a recipe from another chef/cookbook, I am very careful to indicate that/give credit to the original source. I mention in the recipe intro that I adapted the cake recipe from a 2005 Martha Stewart version, so I’m assuming that Smitten Kitchen must’ve done the same.

      • — Jenn on July 5, 2024
      • Reply
  • I am wondering if the 2 T of sugar on top of the berries is organic white sugar? turbinado sugar? powdered sugar ?

    • — Jan on July 4, 2024
    • Reply
    • Hi Jan, it’s granulated sugar (it’s the 2 additional tablespoons of sugar listed in the ingredients along with the 1 cup).

      • — Jenn on July 5, 2024
      • Reply
  • I plan to make this and am wondering if this can be made with frozen and defrosted sliced strawberries?

    • — Jane on July 2, 2024
    • Reply
    • Hi Jane, you can use frozen berries (no need to thaw them). The bake time may be a few minutes longer as the frozen berries will make the batter a little cold. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on July 3, 2024
      • Reply
  • Loved it

    • — Brian Hannah on July 1, 2024
    • Reply
  • Delicious Strawberry Cake! 😋
    I’ve made this cake recipe several times for our family and it’s gone in 2 days!
    Thank you, it’s wonderful to find recipes made from scratch again. 😁♥️

    • — Mari Hood on June 29, 2024
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn! As always, your recipes are amazing. I made your strawberry cupcakes last week and they were perfect. I want to make this cake non-dairy but I’m out of milk substitutes. Any chance I could use water? I’m guessing this will be a hard “no”, but I thought I would ask!


    • — Hannah on June 28, 2024
    • Reply
    • Thanks for your nice words about the recipes – so glad you like them! I think you can technically get away with using water, but it may have an impact on the texture and flavor of the cake. Please LMK how it turns out if you try it!

      • — Jenn on June 28, 2024
      • Reply
      • I made it and it was delicious! I added 10 extra grams of margarine. I’m sure the original recipe is better, but it wasn’t around to compare!

        • — Hannah on June 29, 2024
        • Reply
        • So glad it came out well- thanks for taking the time to report back! 😊

          • — Jenn on July 1, 2024
          • Reply
  • An easy delish pie/cake, first I added about 1/.3 cup of diced rhubarb and then topped it with strawberries. It was a hit! Thank you for this recipe.

    • — Denise Kennedy on June 28, 2024
    • Reply
  • I’ve really enjoyed making this cake the last couple years during strawberry season. I like putting a ring or two of thin (1/4-1/2″?) rhubarb slices too. This year I made sauce out of the extra rhubarb I had cut and we ended up dolloping it on the cake and ice cream when serving. So yummy I thought I’d throw the idea out there for others. Thanks again for easy, delicious cake to use some berries up.

    • — Renee on June 27, 2024
    • Reply
  • My husband and I just had a slice for dessert (actually he had two, lol!) and wow, it was so delicious! I used some Maine strawberries I recently picked, but other fruits would definitely be a great substitution, too, like blueberries or peaches. My one recommendation would be to watch the clock after reducing the temperature…mine didn’t take the extra hour, more like 45-50 minutes. Thanks!

    • — Sharon O. on June 25, 2024
    • Reply
  • My trial run before company turned out very well, so thank you once again for another lovely recipe .
    Can I prepare the batter in advance in prep for a dinner party?


    • — Ruth Ann Gardner on June 24, 2024
    • Reply
    • Glad you like it enough to serve at your dinner party! 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 25, 2024
      • Reply
  • I have never been disappointed with anything you’ve suggested, Jenn. This was superb. Definitely want to make it again. My sweetheart suggested halving the batter, slicing some strawberries very thin, and putting them in the middle. I might do that next time. How do I get that fabulous crunchy top all over…mine fell a tiny bit in the middle. Just an excellent recipe! THANK YOU! Susan in Philly

    • — Susan Niemann on June 23, 2024
    • Reply
    • Hi Susan, so glad you enjoyed the cake! If it fell in the middle, it’s likely that it was a bit underbaked. Regarding the crunchy top, did you use the full amount of sugar sprinkled over the top? That caramelizes a bit in the oven creating a very subtle crunch.

      • — Jenn on June 24, 2024
      • Reply
    • Have you ever made this in a springform pan?

      • — L on July 3, 2024
      • Reply
      • Hi L, I haven’t made it in a springform, but you can. Enjoy!

        • — Jenn on July 5, 2024
        • Reply
  • This very easy cake is so beautiful and so delicious. The summer strawberries are plentiful in my neck of the woods and I always seem to buy too many, so I’m on the lookout for recipes that use lots of strawberries. This cake is summer in a pie plate. The only change I made was to add a splash (1/4 teaspoon) of almond extract with the vanilla. The batter smelled like Christmas cookies and I loved the added almond flavor. We ate this for dessert and breakfast the next day. (And the next day and the next…) I will be saving this recipe to make again and again. Thank you!

    • — Julie W on June 22, 2024
    • Reply
  • I love this cake and have shared it several times…this morning I shared it with a friend who posted a great big bowl of fresh-picked strawberries. They looked so good! I don’t have strawberries at the moment, but I do have peaches! Just made this with sliced peaches and it is in the oven now!

    • — Ruthie on June 22, 2024
    • Reply
  • I made this cake twice in two weeks! The first time I made three cakes in 8” cake pans because I had so many strawberries and the recipe was so simple! The second time was for Father’s Day. Served with freshly whipped cream. Absolutely delicious and will definitely make again!!!

    • — Jessica Bryan on June 18, 2024
    • Reply
    • Thank you for sharing your recipe it is awesome. Your step by step how to make it is very easy to follow. My Husband loves it, I find it is better the next day

      • — Sandra Morris on June 18, 2024
      • Reply
  • Easy to prepare, excellent instructions and delicious. Thank you!

    • — Rosemary on June 17, 2024
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn –
    I have been following you for ages, made many, many recipes and loved them all. This Strawberry Cake is extra amazing – especially as I’m not a fan of strawberries. But i made it for my strawberry loving granddaughter for her birthday. It smelled amazing while cooking and is just the right size for our small gathering. My granddaughter loved it, and so did I.

    A few comments – I used Zulka sugar (which makes it difficult/impossible to make a fluffy cream with butter) but turned out just fine – and was especially good as the topping sugar.
    I also used a convection oven – same temps, but cut the cooking time to 45 minutes.

    Now for fruit substitution questions – will any stone fruit work? I haven’t seen a comment on plums. And if you use a stone fruit, I am assuming you would cut it slices and set in the batter – should you overlap the slices or just side by side?

    Last question – new to rhubarb, and recipes I have seen, especially in combination with strawberries, is that the fruit is mixed together with sugar. Since this is sitting on the top of the batter, should the rhubarb be prepped in any way? e.g. boiled in sugar water? Size of chunks?

    Thanks again for the recipe – will now be my go-to!

    • — Cynthia on June 17, 2024
    • Reply
    • Hi Cynthia, so glad you like the recipes and had good luck with this one! If you’d like to use rhubarb in the cake, I’d use a combination of rhubarb and strawberries and cut the rhubarb into size similar to the strawberries. I don’t believe you need to make any changes (i.e. boil the rhubarb in sugar water), but I’ve never made the cake with rhubarb so it may take a bit of experimenting on your part. Please LMK how it turns out if you try it. 😊

      • — Jenn on June 18, 2024
      • Reply
  • Made today bc my strawberries were going to go bad if I didnt! But I want this for Friday! Can I freeze this cake? Will it still be good?

    • — Yvonne on June 17, 2024
    • Reply
    • Sure, it freezes nicely!

      • — Jenn on June 18, 2024
      • Reply
  • Yes! Made this recipe, came out incredible…it was easy, fast prep…Hoping it tastes as awesome as it looks.. I added powdered sugar on top just to make it look more decadent lol wish I cud send attachment with pic!!

    • — Yvonne on June 17, 2024
    • Reply
  • Delicious cake, I do not even like cake and I loved this. Family ate this up in a day. We topped it off with the homemade whipping cream.

    • — Jennifer on June 17, 2024
    • Reply
  • I had such high hopes for this dessert and sadly I was disappointed. The cake was really dry and there were no jammy strawberries as described by others. I made it exact to recipe and I am perplexed how the reviews could be so good for this and mine was quite the opposite.

    • — Kara Howard on June 17, 2024
    • Reply
  • Hi, what type of sugar do you use in the cake mix and on top of the cake? Initially assumed it’s white sugar in the cake mix, but where it says add excess sugar on top, it looks more like icing or cater sugar in the photo. Just wondering which you used? Thank you

    • — Melissa on June 17, 2024
    • Reply
    • Hi Melissa, it’s just regular granulated sugar.

      • — Jenn on June 17, 2024
      • Reply
  • Substituted gluten free flour. It turned out incredible being gluten free. So if you’re gluten free try this. It’s not dry at all, super moist. Crispy top too. So fast and easy. Everyone loved it, even my non gluten free peeps. 11/10

    • — Mk brown on June 17, 2024
    • Reply
    • Omg thank you for this comment! This is why I’ve been scrolling through all these comments. 😁 What gluten free flour mix did you use?

      • — Marta on July 13, 2024
      • Reply
      • Hi Marta, in case Mk doesn’t see your question, a number of readers have commented that they have good luck with King Arthur Measure for Measure gluten-free flour and Cup4Cup gluten-free flour. Hope that helps!

        • — Jenn on July 14, 2024
        • Reply
  • SO DELICIOUS!!!! My family absolutely loved it!! So moist and yummy!!!!

    • — Sherry on June 16, 2024
    • Reply
  • Can I substitute Greek yogurt for milk?

    • — JJ on June 16, 2024
    • Reply
    • Hi JJ, I don’t recommend it as the acidity might interfere with the leavening. Sorry!

      • — Jenn on June 17, 2024
      • Reply
  • This cake was surprisingly outstanding ! It was wonderfully light and delicious with home grown fresh strawberries. My husband loved it and admitted to thinking about stealing a piece the morning after, for breakfast !

    • — Laurene Earwood on June 13, 2024
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn, I have a lot of beautiful apricots on my tree. Can I sub them for strawberries and if so are there any changes?

    • — Jill on June 12, 2024
    • Reply
    • Hi Jill, I haven’t tried it, but I think it should work nicely. I’d love to hear how it turns out!

      • — Jenn on June 13, 2024
      • Reply
  • Another great recipe. Everyone loved the
    strawberry cake recipe. Thank you!

    • — Karen Worster on June 11, 2024
    • Reply
    • Not pleased with this recipe. The result was OK. My opinion is thar 1 1/2 cups of flour produced a batter thicker then sheet rock compound. Had to add more thanthen 1/2 a cup of liquid…

      • — William Gawchik on June 15, 2024
      • Reply
  • Followed directions exactly and it was delicious! I had strawberries to use up before we went on a trip. I really think I would love it with raspberries! Will definitely make again! Highly recommend.

    • — Donna Bee on June 11, 2024
    • Reply

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