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Strawberry Cake recipe? No mixes, please!!!

HI all
My husband and I picked and processed 95 pounds (!!!) of strawberries this July and (even after giving jars of jam to practically EVERYONE we know on EVERY occasion) there are still lots of berries in our freezer in various states of preparedness. We love our freezer jam, so we have tons of that. We also have gallon bags of sliced and barely sweetened berries as well as gallon bags of mashed/sweetened berries.

SO, for his birthday at the end of this month he has requested a strawberry cake with vanilla icing. Not strawberry shortcake (we've had A LOT of that this year already) but cake with strawberries IN the batter. NOt sure if he pictures whole berries, slices or just a pink cake made with strawberry puree, but I can't find recipes that are made without the ubiquitous box of white cake mix (and many call for jello mix also!!).

Anyone have a T&T recipe that would save the day? I'm especially interested in a recipe that would allow me to use some of our hand-picked berries instead of buying those flavorless things that come out of California this time of year.

If only my gramma was still alive...I think she used to make a cake like this.



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  1. This is the closest I have to a strawberry cake recipe. When I have a bounty of fresh strawbs, this is my go to recipe.

    You could easily adapt the frosting and/or fold your wonderful berries into the whipped cream/frosting. Enjoy!

    Strawberries and Whipped Cream Cake

    1 cup butter
    1 1/4 cups milk
    4 eggs
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    2 cups white sugar
    2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
    2 teaspoons baking soda
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    2 quarts fresh strawberries,
    halved lengthwise

    2 (8 ounce) packages cream
    cheese, at room temperature
    1/2 cup white sugar
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/8 teaspoon salt
    2 cups heavy cream

    1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9 inch tube pan.
    2. In a small saucepan, combine the butter and milk. Warm until butter has melted, but do not boil. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 2 cups sugar. Stir in the warmed milk and butter and vanilla. Combine the flour and baking soda; stir into the batter just until blended. Pour into the prepared pan.
    3. Bake for 55 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a knife inserted into the crown of the cake comes out clean. Cool in the pan for at least 15 minutes before removing and placing on a wire rack to cool completely.
    4. In a mixing bowl fitted with a whisk attachment, combine the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and salt. Beat at medium speed until smooth. Pour the heavy cream in a slow steady stream while the mixture is whipping until the mixture has fluffed up and can hold a stiff peak. Don't let it get grainy looking though. Scrape the bottom of the bowl with a spatula occasionally to remove any lumps.
    5. Slice the cooled cake horizontally into three layers. Arrange strawberries on the bottom layer with the top ends facing outward. Fill in the remaining space with more berries. Spoon some of the whipped cream over the berries and spread evenly. Place another layer of cake on top and repeat the process. Place the top layer on the cake and cover with the remaining cream. Arrange remaining berries over the cream.

    2 Replies
    1. re: HillJ

      This looks great. I love the icing recipe, it looks fluffy and not too sweet. I was headed in this direction (vanilla cake with fresh berries between layers) but he REALLY wants the OUR (frozen) berries IN the cake batter. I'm going to save this recipe for next summer, though...we will surely be out picking again (although maybe with a little more self-restraint this time).
      thanks again!
      maybe another chownd will know how to cook the berries into the cake?!

      1. re: amyamelia

        Yes, I hope a recipe is posted-I would be interested a well.

        Another thought, strawberry cheesecake! Folding the berries in would work beautifully.

    2. You might try experimenting with banana cake recipes, substituting strawberry puree for the mashed bananas. You'd need to alter the spices, nuts, etc. and perhaps reduce the amount of other liquids, as frozen strawberries are probably more liquid than mashed bananas. This might be a good jumping off point, though.

      2 Replies
      1. re: amyzan

        I was thinking the same thing. By making a puree of the strawberries you could incorporate them into the batter (altering the liquid measurements). I would allow the berries to thaw before pureeing them to allow most of the water to evaporate out first. You can then either use some whole defrosted berries in the middle of the cake or some of your jam with a pastry cream filling. I would then just do a 7 minute fluffy white frosting to top it all off.
        Wow- I am now craving this cake myself!

        1. re: MeffaBabe

          I am craving it made with raspberries and with a bitter chocolate icing. I think I will go rub up against my freezer... =)

      2. Here's one from A World of Baking by Dolores Casella. I tried it once, and my notes say, "Easy, but a heavy cake."

        Fresh Strawberry Cake
        2-1/4 c sifted cake flour
        1/4 tsp salt
        2-1/2 tsp baking powder
        1/2 c butter
        1-1/2 c granulated sugar
        2 large eggs
        1 tsp vanilla extract
        3/4 c fresh crushed unsweetened strawberries.

        Sift flour with salt and baking powder. Combine butter, sugar eggs, and vanilla, and beat for 3 minutes, scraping sides of bowl a couple of times. Then add flour mixture alternately with strawberries. Blend into the creamed mixture, then beat for 2 minutes. Turn batter into 2 8-inch round layer pants that have been buttered, lined with parchment, and buttered again. Tap pans to release excess air, bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes. Cook in pans 5 minutes, then turn out onto racks. Remove parchment while layers are still warm. When cool, frost with Uncooked Fruit Whip, using fresh strawberries, or whipped cream and sliced strawberries.

        Uncooked Fruit Whip
        1 c strawberries
        1 c sugar
        1 large egg white

        Mach the fruit to a pulp, add sugar and egg white, and beat until light and thick. Use immediately.

        1. Whole Foods Strawberry Cake
          Use fresh strawberries to decorate the top of this decadent cake.

          Serves 12
          2 cups unbleached organic flour*
          1 cup natural cane sugar
          1 TB baking powder
          1 tsp sea salt
          4 eggs
          1/2 cup unsalted organic butter, melted
          1 cup pureed strawberries, fresh or frozen, thawed
          1/2 cup organic milk


          1 box powdered sugar
          4 TB unsalted organic butter, melted
          4–6 TB puréed fresh or frozen strawberries
          fresh strawberries for decoration
          Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter (or spray) and flour 2 9-inch round cake pans or one 9x13 cake pan. Set aside. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, beat remaining ingredients together. Add to dry, beating with a wire whisk. Pour into prepared cake pans. Bake the cake for 30-35 minutes or until done when tested with a toothpick.

          To make the frosting, sift powdered sugar into melted butter. Add strawberry purée to spreading consistency. Frost the cake and decorate the top of the cake with fresh strawberries just before serving.

          * If desired, you may substitute part of the unbleached flour with whole wheat pastry flour or white wheat flour

          Nutrition Info
          Per Serving (140g-wt.): 410 calories (120 from fat), 13g total fat, 8g saturated fat, 1g dietary fiber, 5g protein, 71g carbohydrate, 100mg cholesterol, 350mg sodium

          1 Reply
          1. re: lintygmom

            I'm making this cake for the 2nd time tonight. My son requested strawberry cake for his 6th birthday and he can't have artificial food dyes. We tested this recipe a couple weeks ago and it's really good! Since it's a ghost cake (yes, a ghost cake for a December bday - I have the weirdest kid ever!) we're using whipped cream frosting but I like the sound of the frosting posted with it! Thanks for sharing! :D

          2. I concur with amyzan. Just last night I baked an Apple Spice Loaf/Cake from Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. It was easy, delicious and had a nice crumb. So my first thought when I read your question was that maybe you could substitute the applesauce in that recipe with your mashed berries and reduce the sugar a bit. You would probably want to replace the spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and cardamom) with something more complimentary to strawberries. Maybe lemon or orange zest. In general, I think you could try any cake recipe that involves applesauce, mashed bananas or other mashed fruit for flavor and replace with mashed strawberries. And, since you have such a surplus, you could make a trial cake or two first! ;)

            1. YES! I knew you guys could help!!

              These both look good at first glance, and though I had thought about fiddling with a recipe for banana or apple cake (great minds...), I would VASTLY prefer one that I can just make and enjoy. Although I would love to do the playing around and taste-testing thing, I try not to do too much baking. My husband just does not have the willpower to resist, and I want him to be around for a long time.

              thank you, hounds!

                1. re: lollya

                  Hey! I forgot about this post! I should report:

                  I ended up making the whole foods recipe from above and frosting with Krissywat's buttercream/pudding icing that I had been wanting to try (forever!).
                  the cake was really good, dense and buttery and not too sweet, and the icing was SO creamy and fluffy. Yum. I only wished that the cake tasted more strawberry-y, so I might fiddle with adding more puree next time and reducing the other liquids. I printed out all of the offered recipes and will try them all at some point or another...they all look so good and I certainly do have enough strawberries!


                  1. re: amyamelia

                    Another way to enhance the strawberry flavor is to add a little citric acid (although I'm not 100% sure how that will react with the baking powder). It will make the flavor pop! You could also use zest.

                2. Here is a cake recipe to die for. My mother in law makes it alot.

                  Strawberry Cake

                  2 cups Self rising Flour
                  3 eggs
                  1 cup Vegetable Oil
                  1 Cup Sugar
                  1 Pkg. Strawberry Jello
                  1/2 cup Buttermilk
                  1 1/4 cup of Strawberries , Pureed

                  Pre heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 8 in round pans. Sift flour into a bowl , set aside in another bowl beat eggs then add oil, sugar, gelatin, and buttermilk. stir untill well blended. Add flour to the mixtureand blend.
                  Drain 1/4 cup of juice from berries and save for icing. fold in berries . pour in pans and bake for 25 to 30 min, or till browned. Turn out on a rack to cool.


                  1/4 lb. butter, softened
                  1 pkg. (8oz) Cream cheese
                  1/4 cup berry Juice
                  1 1 lb box Powdered Sugar

                  Mix all until creamy and well blended.


                  1. Have you heard of the "Hummingbird" Cake? The recipe is from a restraunt in Dade City, Florida. I have made it many times and it is a "moist, rich, fresh fruit cake". You can use sliced fresh or frozen whole thawed strawberries, crushed pineapple and chopped bananas. It is made with oil in the same way a carrot cake is made. The frosting is the quintessential cream cheese variety which you could add smashed berries.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: kmajka

                      Can you please post the recipe for the Hummingbird cake? I would love to try it!
                      Thank you!

                    2. You might like this one. 350 degrees in a greased/floured 13x9x2 pan - 30 - 35 min.
                      20 oz strawberries
                      1 cup butter
                      1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
                      2 eggs
                      1 cup sour cream
                      2 cup flour
                      1/2 tsp baking soda
                      1 tsp baking powder
                      1/2 tsp salt
                      Cream butter, sugar and egg well. Mix flour, salt, soda, bk. powder. Add alternately to creamed mixture with sour cream. Gently fold in strawberries.
                      Pour half into pan.

                      Topping - 1/2 cup chopped nuts (toasted if desired) 1/2 cup brown sugar, 2tbsp. white sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon. Sprinkle half of this mixture on cake and top with remaining batter.

                      If you opt to ice this cake - use all of the "topping" in the middle. It makes for a very moist, delicious cake.

                      Fresh strawberries are best but I have used canned and frozen and they work just as well.

                      1. Hi, here is what I'm going to do. I'm going to make the recipe just below mine, the post starts out with, "this is the closest I have to a strawberry recipe." I'm going to put half the batter in the bundt pan then pipe in a line of the strawberry syrup recipe, then add remaining batter and bake and ice as directed. I've a feeling it will come out well.

                        The following recipe for the sauce I snatched from another recipe and what they're calling syrup is the juice that is remaining after using the frozen strawberries. That might want to be sweetened to taste. I will let all know what I come up with and how it turns out.

                        My dear stepson's birthday is the Friday after Thanksgiving and that is his request. A strawberry cake. So at least he'll know I'm trying!

                        # Sauce:
                        # Reserved strawberry syrup
                        # 4 teaspoons cornstarch
                        # 2 teaspoons lemon juice

                        1. I am just laughing my rear off!!!!!! I was looking online for the SAME recipe as you requested. Here is the link I found..... a GREAT recipe for Strawberry cake: www.thebakingpan.com/Cake/freshstrawb...
                          Hope it helps you!!! I already tried the recipe and it is SCRUMPTIOUS!!!!

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: Floridavelvet

                            hope you get this e-mail .am new to this site.found the recipe you are talking about . it says to use 3 9in. pans . what if i were to us 1 springform pan ? i have a 10in.11in. ans13in. pan .i was thinking of just having one cake and than frosting it and putting fresh it. . my main concern is about the size of the pan does this cake come out light in texture ? thanks for replying . am new to baking and want to make a big birthday cake for a friend. having 20 people over.

                            1. re: marimae

                              Lots of times cake batter will leak from a springform pan, depending on how thin the batter is. i wouldn't do that.

                              honestly, if you're a new baker, I wouldn't try to tinker too much with any recipes just yet. Do you have any pans that aren't springform? If you have normal cake pans that are in other sizes, you can use some basic math to determine how to adjust the amount of batter, but you have to be very careful to convert everything quickly, and then you will not be able to go by the written baking times.

                            2. re: Floridavelvet

                              Agree with Floridavelvet. Just made this cake. Really delsh if you are looking for a cake made without a mix or Jello. Posted on my blog yesterday...

                              1. re: Floridavelvet

                                I know this is an old thread, but I am on a quest for a fresh strawberry cake I had at a party last year, and I'm sure I won't be the last one to wander in here :) I can't wheedle the recipe for the wonderful cake I had out of the people who made it (they do it for a living). So I am waiting for my experimental cakes to cool and decided to dig around online and see what I could find. This bakingpan.com recipe is the one I found last year that looked worth trying (no cake mix & jello!) after I had the cake, and I was very disappointed. I must qualify by saying that if I hadn't just had the best strawberry cake I could ever imagine, perhaps I would have been happy with this one. I don't know. But I thought people should know my experience was not a good one on this. It wasn't bad, but it was just kind of blah.

                                It's funny that someone above mentioned adapting a banana cake recipe because I used my favorite banana cake recipe and made a few adjustments on it for my experiment tonight. I hope it's successful. I can't stop thinking about that amazing cake I had last year!

                                1. re: Floridavelvet

                                  Ha! this is so funny to see this thread bopping around. My DH requested *another* strawberry cake for his bday this year so I tried this recipe above from FloridaVelvet- the pic looked SOOO decadent. So I made the cake in two layers, used strawberry jam as filling between layers and frosted with the Krissywats pudding icing that is all over the boards. Loved it all around. Def. a winner, and I used thawed/frozen berries that we picked last summer since my honey's bday is in January (and we live in Vermont). I still love vanilla cake and vanilla icing best, but if you want strawberry cake this is a good one to try!

                                2. I finally found a recipe using fresh strawberries in one of the COTM from last year. It's in Screen Doors and Sweet Tea, and is for cupcakes, but will bake up in 9 inch rounds as well. http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/20...

                                  16 Replies
                                  1. re: amyzan

                                    3 sticks of butter for the cupcake frosting recipe?? I am going to go with you have NOT tried this recipe and cannot TRULY vouch for it. Wow..

                                    1. re: HungryinBmore

                                      I didn't make the recipe recently, but rather had the cookbook out from the library when it was the COTM in September last yearhttp://chowhound.chow.com/topics/654934?tag=search_results;results_list. I made the cake recipe directly from the book, cut in half, to make 12 cupcakes. Honestly, I don't recall the quantity of the frosting I made. I may have used a third or even a quarter of the frosting recipe, keeping the same proportions of cream cheese and butter. They were delicious, and the frosting was soft rather than stiff. I copied the recipe out and do not have the original cookbook at home to check the online recipe, but it's a reputable site. I would not intentionally lead a fellow cook or baker astray for some pitiable jollies. That's reprehensible behavior. It's too bad you weren't here in October to interact with Ms. Foose herself, Hungry.

                                      1. re: amyzan

                                        I just copied the Ponchatoula Strawberry cake recipe, but the frosting ingredients didn't list powdered sugar. When I was reading the mixing instructions it said to add powdered sugar. My question is how much powdered sugar. I also am concerned about the amount of butter, and plan to halve the amount. This cake sounds delicious! Thanks for any helpyou can offer.

                                        1. re: Ceci66

                                          The recipe calls for 4 cups of powdered sugar, but you may need more. I found the recipe made a soft frosting that needed to be refrigerated to thicken. It would help to refrigerate the strawberry mixture until it's thick after you cook it, especially if your kitchen is warm. Let us know how they turn out!

                                          1. re: amyzan

                                            Thanks, Amy, especially for the tip about cooling the strawberry mixture! I'm going to take this cake to a family cookout tomorrow where people are used to my new recipes! I'll be making the cake in a 13" X 9" pan. I noticed htat you kept the same proportions of butter and cream cheese. Do you suggest that I use 3 sticks of butter?

                                            1. re: Ceci66

                                              Not for a 13 by 9 inch pan, no. I'd go with half the recipe, but you could always make the whole recipe and freeze half if you don't use it. Martha Hall Foose must put a lot of frosting on each cupcake. Have fun at your cookout!

                                            2. re: amyzan

                                              I baked the Ponchatoula Strawberry cake for our cookout, but I was disappointed with it. It just didn't have the strawberry flavor that I had hoped for and I even sliced extra berries into the batter. I substituted lime zest for the orange and liked that flavor. The frosting was tasty and I used lime juice in place of the lemon juice in it. I plan to try some of the other strawberry cake recipes on this thread.

                                              1. re: Ceci66

                                                I'm sorry you didn't have a better experience with the recipe! Substitutions can be tricky, especially if the berries aren't ripe to begin.

                                        2. re: HungryinBmore

                                          I just looked up that recipe directly from Martha Foose's "S.D. & S.T." cookbook. It does call for 3 sticks of butter. I haven't made that recipe (I will try it next if tonight's experiment is a failure!), but every other recipe I've made from that cookbook has been good (if you don't count the error on the sweet tea pie crust that actually makes TWO crusts but doesn't tell you that! Talk about a thick pie crust! haha Fortunately, they have sheets in the books on the shelves now that tell you about the mistake, but it wasn't soon enough for me!)

                                          I can't believe I forgot about her strawberry cupcake recipe before I embarked on my experiment tonight. I just told someone recently that I needed to try that one next. I guess I was overwhelmed with the aroma from my flat of strawberries :) But the strawberry cake I had that I loved was in Greenwood, Mississippi, where Ms. Foose worked at the Viking Cooking School and had her bakery! It could well be her recipe used for that delicious cake I had :)

                                        3. re: amyzan

                                          That is a strawberry cake if ever there was one! How beautiful it is, I want this for my birthday cake, I love strawberries. My birthday is in June and the berries will be goregous then, I can't wait!

                                          I also love a swiss cake with fresh strawberry filling, and whipped cream for frosting. I generally opt for that one since I've never been able to find what I want. Thanks!

                                          1. re: amyzan

                                            Thanks for posting. I made those this weekend. I made 1 1/2 times the recipe to make an 8 inch 2 layer birthday cake and about 9 cupcakes. It's a very light and moist cake. The batter was a pale pink so I added a tiny drop of food color. Not a great idea, it turned slightly violet, but not enough to be a problem...I would just let it be pale if I made it again.

                                            I did not use the frosting recipe.

                                            1. re: danna


                                              Just for clarification, which recipe did you use? Just wondering....

                                              1. re: Mattkn

                                                The one Amy Zan posted on April 9, from seriouseats.com. It's called Ponchatoula Strawberry cake.

                                              2. re: danna

                                                Oh, good, I'm glad they turned out! I found them delicate but delicious. I hope the 8 inch layers weren't difficult to frost? That's smart, making them a bit smaller than standard to give them more structure. Did you have to line the pan with parchment? I'm always curious about details, if you have time.

                                                1. re: amyzan

                                                  I always butter, line w/ parchment and flour any layer cake. No reason not to take out the insurance.

                                                  I'm not really sure what you mean about 8 inch layers being difficult to frost, but no, they were easy. Now...i did screw up by making my magnolia bakery recipe frosting w/ light butter, so the piped decorations all melted flat and the vertical sides of the cake started to wilt, but that was strictly the frosting's problem.

                                                  i needed frosting because it was a birthday cake, but the texture was so light, it was kind of a shame to frost it. I made a few cupcakes too, and I just put a dab of frosting on the middle of the tops. I liked that better than the cake. My husband really liked it and my Dad (birthday boy) served himself another slice.

                                                  Full disclosure, I separated 2 of the whites and whipped and folded them in at the end, so I imagine that added to the lightness a bit.

                                                  1. re: danna

                                                    I just meant that an eight inch cake has less cake between the crusts than a nine inch. Thus, more structurally sound for a cake recipe that yields a particularly delicate crumb. I'm afraid I get lazy about parchment sometimes, and pay the price in pieceing a layer back together, not smart!

                                            2. There is a pink strawberry cake on the smitten kitchen blog - I made it for my niece's 4 th bday as she'd requested a pink cake and it was very good. Serve with lots of fresh strawbs. It's quite sweet but shouldn't a girly cake be all that and more?

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: kookiegoddess

                                                pink lady cake... make it for birthdays quite often. I don't find it too sweet, but it is dense.

                                              2. Can I use 8 or 9" cake pans instead of a tube pan w/ the Strawberries and Whipped Cream Cake recipe?

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: 1matilda

                                                  Yes, 1matilda, you can definitely sub pan size. The Baking 911 site will help: http://bit.ly/kM4XBo.

                                                  1. re: 1matilda

                                                    I have made the Strawberries and Whipped Cream Cake in all sorts of pans and sizes; just keep an eye on your oven. (sorry I just noticed this question today).

                                                    Also, I've found the combination of strawberry puree, mashed fresh sweet strawberries and a capful of strawberry vodka makes the best fruit combo folded into my strawberry cakes.

                                                  2. I know this is an old thread but it seems to be starting up again. A couple of years ago I made a strawberry cake from Cooking Light for my son's birthday. It gets mixed reviews on their site but we liked it. I think I added a bit of natural strawberry flavoring, as someone had suggested. The link is: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/straw...

                                                    1. Cook's Country has a feature/recipe for a strawberry cake with fresh strawberries in the batter in the current edition (July, I think).

                                                      Haven't tried it yet, but will. I've had good luck with many of their cake recipes.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: middydd

                                                        middydd, please post the recipe when you try it...even if you don't like it. Thanks;o)