How To Make Strawberry Cake Frosting

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Hi everyone, I’m here again with another recipe. Today I am going to show you how to make Strawberry Cake Frosting. This is a delicious recipe made from a combination of fresh strawberries and whipped cream. It’s simple to make and can be used to decorate any kind of cake or cupcakes.

I love strawberry cake frosting. I really do. I’d eat it on anything (but maybe not vegetables). It’s a sweet cream cheese frosting that tastes delicious with the right blend of strawberries to icing.

Strawberry Cake with Strawberry Frosting

This moist and fluffy Strawberry Cake with Strawberry Frosting is naturally flavored with real strawberries. It’s topped with a strawberry whipped cream frosting that is full of sweet strawberry flavor. This gorgeous pink cake is perfect for summer!

A slice of this three-layer Strawberry Cake with Strawberry Frosting.
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Fresh Strawberry Cake with Strawberry Frosting

Strawberries are one of those things that just immediately transport me to summer. So when these bright, juicy berries are in season, I just can’t seem to get enough of them. I really wanted to incorporate that classic sweet and slightly tangy strawberry flavor into this cake.

This light and refreshing cake tastes like summer. Both the cake and frosting are naturally flavored with real berries so it’s packed with strawberry flavor. This colorful cake really does make for a stunning summer dessert.

The strawberry whipped cream frosting is my cream cheese whipped cream frosting made with freeze-dried strawberries. It’s rich, creamy, and adds a punch of strawberry flavor to the cake.

I seriously cannot get enough of this frosting. It can make it with either cream cheese or Mascarpone cheese. Using cream cheese will give the frosting a bit more tang, whereas the frosting will be milder if you use Mascarpone cheese. I’ve done both and I promise it’s equally amazing either way. 

What Makes This Cake So Good?

There are so many reasons why I love this cake. Some of my favorite things about this recipe are:

  • It’s full of real strawberries
  • It has a moist and fluffy texture
  • Both the cake and frosting are full of incredible strawberry flavor
  • It’s bright and colorful
A slice of Strawberry Cake with Strawberry Frosting on its side with a forkful in front.
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Ingredients for Strawberry Cake

Are you ready to start baking? This cake is made using pretty simple ingredients. Refer to the recipe card for the fill list of Ingredients.

  • Fresh Strawberries: These will be reduced to make a sauce
  • Vegetable Oil: Using oil will make the cake moister than if you used just butter.
  • Unsalted Butter: Adds flavor
  • Eggs
  • Sour Cream: Adds thickness and moisture to the cake. Substitute with plain or Greek yogurt
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Grandulated Sugar
  • Flour: I recommend using all-purpose flour for this cake. I have not tested it with alternative flours
  • Baking Powder, Baking Powder & Salt
  • Milk: You can use whatever type of milk you want for this recipe.
  • Pink Food Coloring: This is optional, but using it will add color and brightness to the cake.

How To Make Strawberry Cake Frosting

There are a few steps to making this strawberry cake, but once you try it you’ll realize that it’s worth the extra work. 

Step 1: Make the strawberry reduction

You can either do this right before you make the cake or ahead of time (just store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator).

  1. Just rinse the berries and pulse them in a food processor until it turns into a puree.
  2. Then, cook the puree over medium-low heat, stirring until you see the mixture until it becomes a slow and rolling boil (this should take 20-30 minutes and the sauce should be very thick).
  3. Once ready, transfer the sauce to a bowl so that it can come to room temperature. 
A bowl of the strawberry reduction
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Step 2: Prepare the Cake Batter

  1. Prep your equipment. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line and grease three baking pans for the three cake layers. 
  2. Combine the wet ingredients. Beat the oil, eggs, butter, sour cream, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Make sure that they are very well combined. Then, add the sugar, beating until combine.
  3. Next add the strawberry puree and pink food coloring. Remember, that the pink food coloring is optional, but I love how vibrant it makes the cake.
The wet ingredients with the strawberry reduction in a mixing bowl.
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4. Mix the remaining dry ingredients. Mix the remaining dry ingredients in a separate bowl. When you’re ready, alternate adding this mixture to the batter along with the milk, doing half at a time. Beat the batter until it’s just well combined and then stir with a spatula to make sure that it is well mixed.

The fully mixed cake batter.
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5. Bake the cake. Divide the batter as evenly as possible between the three pans. Bake the cake for 18-20 minutes at 350°F (your kitchen will be filled with an amazing strawberry aroma). Make sure that you let the cake cool completely before you assemble it.

Strawberry Frosting Ingredients

There are also a few extra ingredients for the frosting. You can refer to the recipe card at the bottom of this post for the full amount.

  • Freeze Dried Strawberries: You can find these at most grocery stores, Trader Joe’s or Target.
  • Cream Cheese or Mascarpone Cheese: Make sure you are using full-fat and cold cheese.
  • Heavy Whipping Cream: Keep this cold before making the frosting. 
  • Pure Vanilla Extract
  • Powdered Sugar

How to Make the Strawberry Frosting

  1. Make a strawberry powder. Pulse the freeze-dried strawberries in the food processor so that they grind into a fine powder.
  2. Prep your equipment. Place your mixing bowl in the refrigerator or freezer for about 5-10 minutes before you start making this frosting.
  3. Beat the cream cheese. Cut the cream cheese into 1-inch cubes and beat on medium-high for 2-3 minutes. You’ll know it’s done when it’s smooth and free of any lumps. Make sure to occasionally scrape down the sides of the bowl. Remember, you can also substitute mascarpone for a milder frosting. 
  4. Add the whipping cream. Once the cream cheese is ready, slowly add in some of the whipping cream and continue beating until the cream cheese resembles a liquid mixture. Then, continue adding the rest of the whipping cream and beat on medium-high. You’ll know you’re done this step once you notice soft peaks forming. 
The heavy whipping cream and the cream cheese mixed.
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5. Add the rest of the ingredients and beat. Add the powdered strawberries, vanilla, and sugar to the bowl. Beat the mixture until stiff peaks start to form. 

Adding the strawberry powder to the cream cheese mixture.
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Assemble & Decorate the Cake

Now that you’ve done all of the hard work to make the cake, this is the part where you can have fun and be creative. Since the frosting is a whipped cream base, do your best not to over handle it.

Level the cakes. Once cooled, cut the domes off of the top of the cakes with a cake leveler. Scoop a dollop of frosting onto the cake board and place the first layer of cake on top (this will limit the cake’s ability to slide around on the board). 

Frost between the cake layers. Add some of the frosting to a piping bag with a large and open round tip (you can also just cut off the end of the piping bag). Pipe a layer onto the leveled cake, starting with the outside edge and working towards the middle like a spiral. Spread the frosting evenly with an offset spatula. Add the second layer and repeat, then add the third layer on top (do not repeat this step on top of the third layer).

Make a rough crumb coat around the cake. Use the piping bag to fill in any gaps that you notice between the cake layers and create a rough crumb coat. Use an offset spatula to wipe any excess frosting, you only want just enough to cover the outside of the cake. If the excess frosting has cake crumbs in it, make sure that you do not mix it back into your frosting.

Decorate and garnish. Use the remaining frosting to frost and decorate the outside of the cake. Fill a large piping bag with frosting and cut off the edge. Then, working from the bottom up, decorate around the outside of the cake and smooth with an offset spatula. Decorate and garnish with fresh strawberries. 

A fully decorated Strawberry Cake with Strawberry frosting, garnished with fresh strawberries.
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Recipe Tips for Success

Three-layer cakes can be intimidating, but they don’t have to be. Even though this recipe may have a lot of steps, it’s actually pretty easy to make.  Here are some extra tips to help you nail this recipe:

  1. Make the strawberry reduction ahead of time: This step is just easy to make ahead of time and it reduces the amount of prep work once you start making the cake. Just store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use. 
  2. Do not overmix the cake batter: Overmixing the batter will result in a tougher, more chewy consistency. Keep this cake light and fluffy by only mixing until just combined. 
  3. Don’t make the frosting ahead of time: This is best to work with when it’s made fresh. So while you can prepare the layers in advance (and frost the next day), wait until you are ready to assemble to make the frosting.
  4. Wait for the cake to cool completely before assembling: You do not want to cut your cake before it’s cooled. Since the cake is still super moist when it’s hot, cutting it before it’s cooled will result in a mess. 
  5. Do not skip leveling the cake: If you skip this step, your layers will look sloppy and the cake may not stay up. Make sure that you have a strong, sturdy, and pretty cake by leveling the layers first!
A Strawberry Cake with Strawberry Frosting and decorated with strawberries.
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How to Store a Frosted Cake

Unless you’re serving this cake at a big party, you’ll probably want to store some of this for later. While some cakes can be left out once frosted, this one does need to be stored in the refrigerator. I recommend placing it in an airtight container before storing it. Try using my favorite cake carrier.

Can I Freeze Extra Slices?

Yes, you can freeze extra slices of this cake! Just make sure that the cake is completely cooled before you start to freeze it. I recommend that you cut any extra cake into individual slices so that they are easier to thaw once you’re ready to eat them. Then, wrap the slices in plastic wrap or parchment paper and add them to a freezer-safe container. This cake can be frozen for up to three months. 

To defrost, either thaw the cake for a couple of hours in the refrigerator. If you have smaller pieces of cake you can also just thaw them for a few minutes at room temperature.

How to Turn this into Cupcakes

This recipe will make 24 cupcakes. Bake the cupcakes for approximately 15-18 minutes. Cool completely then frost. Once frosted, these need to be stored in the refrigerator.

Strawberry Cake with Strawberry Frosting

  •  Prep Time: 60 minutes
  •  Cook Time: 20 minutes
  •  Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  •  Yield: 10-12 slices

Description

This moist and fluffy Strawberry Cake with Strawberry Frosting is naturally flavored with real strawberries. It’s topped with a strawberry whipped cream frosting that is full of sweet strawberry flavor. This gorgeous pink cake is perfect for summer!

Ingredients

For the Cake:

  • 16 ounces strawberries, reduced
  • ½ cup (118ml) vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons (42g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ cup (96g) sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons (10ml) pure vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups (285g) granulated sugar
  • 2 ½ cups (350g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons (7.5g) baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup (118ml) milk
  • Pink food coloring* (optional)

For the Frosting:

  • 1-ounce bag (34g) freeze-dried strawberries
  • 16 ounces (452g) full-fat cream cheese or mascarpone cheese, cold
  • 2 1/4 cups (531ml) heavy whipping cream, cold
  • 2 teaspoons (10ml) pure vanilla
  • 1/2 cup (65g) powdered sugar

Instructions

For the Cake:

  1. To make the strawberry reduction, rinse the berries and pulse in a food processor or blender until pureed. You should have about 2 cups of puree.
  2. In a medium-sized saucepan cook the puree over medium-low heat. Stir frequently and allow the mixture to come to a slow rolling boil. Continue cooking until it has thickened and reduced to 3/4 cup. This should take about 20-30 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl and cool to room temperature.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare three 8-inch round baking pans line the bottom with parchment paper and grease the sides.
  4. In a large mixing bowl combine the wet ingredients: oil, butter, eggs, sour cream and vanilla. Beat until very well combined. 
  5. Next, beat in the sugar until it’s been well mixed. Then add the strawberry puree and a couple of drops of pink food coloring and beat until well combined. 
  6. In a separate bowl, combine the remaining dry ingredients. Alternate adding the dry ingredients with the milk, half at a time, and beat just until combined. Then stir the batter with a spatula to ensure it’s well mixed. 
  7. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans, about 1 2/3 cup of batter per pan. Bake at 350°F for 18-20 minutes. Cool completely.

For the Frosting: 

  1. Pulse the freeze-dried strawberries in a food processor and grind into a fine powder. 
  2. Place your mixing bowl in the freezer or refrigerator for 5-10 minutes before starting.
  3. Cut the cream cheese into 1-inch cubes and beat on medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes until cream cheese is smooth and free of lumps. Scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally. Slowly add in one cup of heavy whipping cream and continue beating until the cream cheese resembles a liquid mixture.
  4. Continue to add the remaining heavy whipping cream and beat on medium-high speed until soft peaks form.
  5. Finally, add the powdered strawberries, powdered sugar and vanilla extract and beat until stiff peaks form.

To Assemble and Decorate: 

  1. Use a cake leveler to cut the domes off the top of the cake. Place a dollop of frosting on your cake board and place the bottom layer of cake on top of that.
  2. Place about 2 cups of frosting in a large piping bag fitted with a large open round tip, or simply cut off the end of the piping bag. Pipe a layer of frosting on top of the leveled cake, starting at the outside edge and working your way into the middle. Spread evenly with an offset spatula. Place another layer on top and repeat the frosting with the second layer, then place the final layer on top. 
  3. Use your piping bag to fill in any gaps between the layers and to create a rough crumb coat. Using an offset spatula, wipe away the excess frosting, leaving just enough to coat the outside of the cake. Do not mix your crumb coating frosting back into your icing if it has cake debris in it.
  4. Separate out 1 ¼ cups of frosting to decorate with. Use the remaining frosting to decorate the sides. Fill a large piping bag, cut off the edge of the bag and pipe around the outside edge of the cake, working from the bottom up. Gently smooth with an offset spatula. Decorate and garnish with fresh strawberries. 

Notes

  • The pink food coloring is optional, but it will make the cake a vibrant pink.
  • You can make the strawberry puree ahead of time, just store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  • Make sure to let the cake cool completely before assembling and frosting.

Strawberry Frosting

  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 6 min
  • Prep: 6 min
  • Yield: about 1 pound (enough for 12 cupcakes

Ingredients

Deselect All

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature

4 cups powdered sugar, plus extra, as needed

1/4 cup whole milk, at room temperature

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 to 3 tablespoons strawberry fruit spread or jamAdd to Shopping List

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, using an electric hand mixer, beat the butter until light and smooth. Beat in 3 cups powdered sugar, milk and vanilla until smooth and creamy.
  2. Beat in the strawberry fruit spread or jam into the vanilla frosting. Mix in the remaining 1 cup powdered sugar, plus extra, as needed, until smooth and creamy.

Strawberry Cake with Strawberry Buttercream Frosting

This vibrant pink layer cake is pure strawberry-on-strawberry goodness, with fresh strawberries going into the cake batter and frosting. One thing to note about the buttercream frosting—it is absolutely bursting with berry flavor, but is easily over-mixed. If you find you’ve broken your emulsion when whipping this frosting up, no worries. You can simply mix in a little more powdered sugar to restore it. That said, we love how purely strawberry-forward the flavor of this frosting is, so we’d advise being very light-handed when adding extra powdered sugar, as it will dilute the berry flavor. In our opinion, it’s better to have a slightly broken frosting that tastes like strawberries than a perfectly pristine frosting that tastes like sugar. 

Strawberry Cake

You will fall in love with this fresh Strawberry Cake made with a homemade strawberry reduction. It’s moist, tender, and the most beautiful shade of pink! This recipe combines layers of strawberry flavored cake with strawberry flavored cream cheese frosting, so you get fresh strawberry flavors with every bite.

A strawberry cake on a cake stand with a slice cut and placed in front.
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This made from scratch with strawberry cake recipe is such a delightful and pretty cake. Packed with strawberry flavors and a gorgeous shade of pink, this cake is perfect for any occasion. No box mix or Jell-O in this cake! Made with real strawberries, this cake will steal the show with its light and tender crumb.

Filled and coated in a wonderful strawberry cream cheese frosting, this cake has strawberry flavoring through and through. Try making my strawberry shortcake recipe, strawberry pie recipe, strawberry chocolate cake recipe if you have extra strawberries on hand. Or, try my red velvet cake recipe or vanilla cake recipe if you want another easy cake recipe.

WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE THIS RECIPE

Ingredients needed to make strawberry cake.
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Leavening agents — this strawberry cake uses both baking soda and baking powder. Make sure they are fresh and replace them if they’ve expired.

MY OTHER RECIPES

Butter — buy unsalted butter to prevent the cake and buttercream from tasting salty as there is salt added to the cake.

Eggs — this recipe uses a lot of egg whites to keep the cake light and fluffy. Save the egg yolks for my crème brûlée recipe.

Milk — to add the maximum richness and creaminess to the cake, make sure you use full-fat milk.

Strawberry reduction — reducing a strawberry puree is the secret to a flavorful strawberry cake and frosting. Adding strawberries directly into the batter or frosting does not incorporate the strawberry flavor throughout the cake, and just pureeing strawberries adds too much liquid to the cake and frosting. A strawberry reduction ensures the most flavor.

Cream cheese — be sure to use full-fat cream cheese and not the spreadable type from a tub. Cold cream cheese won’t mix well, so make sure to bring it to room temperature.

HOW TO MAKE STRAWBERRY CAKE

Set of two photos showing the dry ingredients whisked together and sugar added to the mixer.
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1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed just until creamy. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Scrape down the bowl and add the egg whites and vanilla. Beat until on medium speed until well combined and very fluffy. Reduce the speed to low.

Set of two photos showing milk and strawberry puree added to the mixer.
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3. Add the flour mixture in batches to the mixer.

4. Alternate the flour with the milk and the strawberry reduction, mixing just until combined. Stop and scrape down the bowl as needed. If desired, mix in a drop or two of pink food coloring.

Set of two photos showing batter added to a cake pan and strawberry puree added to mixer of frosting.
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5. Divide the batter among the 2 buttered 9-inch round cake pans. Bake for 30 minutes or until the cake is springy to the touch and starts to pull away from the sides of the pans. Let the cakes cool in the pans for 20 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

6. In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and salt until smooth and fluffy. With the mixer on low, gradually add in the powdered sugar alternating with a tablespoon of the strawberry puree. Increase the speed to medium and beat until fluffy. Then assemble the strawberry cake by adding the frosting between the cake layers and the exterior of the cake.

A strawberry cake on a cake stand with fresh strawberries on top and on the side.
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PRO TIPS FOR MAKING THIS RECIPE

  • If the tops of your strawberry cake layers are domed, use a serrated knife to cut off the top of the domes so you can stack them evenly. Alternatively, use cake strips to help your cake layers come out evenly. Cake strips work by keeping the outside edge of the pan cooler to ensure that the entire cake rises at the same rate, preventing a dome from forming in the middle. If you don’t want to buy cake strips, I have a post on how to DIY cake strips.
  • I highly recommend using a scale to measure your flour as it’s the most accurate method. If you don’t have a scale, fluff your flour with a spoon and then spoon it into your cups before leveling it off with a knife. This method prevents you from overpacking the measuring cup.
  • If the ingredients were refrigerated (eggs, milk, and cream cheese), it’s best to bring them to room temperature before using them, so they mix well into the batter without overmixing.
  • I recommend using gel food coloring as the color is more concentrated and does not add additional liquid to the strawberry cake’s frosting.
  • Make sure you do not skip alternating the flour mixture and wet ingredients. If you add the wet ingredients all at once into the mixer, you risk the batter separating.
  • Be careful not to overmix the strawberry cake batter, as it’ll lead to a dense and dry cake. Once all the flour has been incorporated into the batter, stop mixing.
A slice of strawberry cake on a plate with a fresh strawberry on top with a cake stand with the rest of the cake in the back.
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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

HOW TO MAKE A STRAWBERRY REDUCTION?

To make a strawberry reduction, start by washing and hulling 1 pound of fresh strawberries. For frozen strawberries, thaw them before using. Place the strawberries in a blender and puree. Pour into a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently. Cook until reduced by about half, 25 minutes for fresh and up to 45 for frozen. You should have 1 cup of reduction. Let cool completely before using. Do not add sugar to the reduction.

If you’d like to use a premade jam instead, reduce the sugar in the cake by ⅓ cup. If your strawberries aren’t very flavorful or you’d like a stronger strawberry taste, you can add up to 1 teaspoon of strawberry extract to the cake batter and frosting.

HOW DO I STORE THIS CAKE?

You can leave the strawberry cake at room temperature for up to 5 days if you keep it covered. You can also store the cake in the fridge.

CAN I FREEZE THIS?

You can freeze fully frosted or unfrosted cake for up to 2 months. Wrap the cake tightly in a layer of plastic wrap and then tin foil before freezing. Let the cake thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then bring to room temperature before serving.

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