This easy strawberry cake is made with cake flour, fresh strawberry puree and Greek yogurt. It’s light and fluffy and topped with a decadent homemade strawberry buttercream frosting.
I gave a sneak peek of this easy strawberry cake over on Instagram a few months ago, because it was too good to not share, but today I’m finally sharing the full recipe on the blog!
This recipe is packed with fresh strawberry flavor and is made with cake flour, resulting in a super tender and soft cake. Plus, we’re using less sugar and oil than traditional cake recipes so it’s definitely EBF-approved.
And let’s not forget about the decadent strawberry buttercream frosting that we’re making from scratch. It’s seriously SO GOOD. I can’t wait for you to try it!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- It’s made with better-for-you ingredients (like avocado oil, Greek yogurt, maple syrup and fresh strawberry puree) and less sugar, making it a healthier option compared to traditional cakes.
- This cake is bursting with fresh strawberry flavor thanks to the strawberry puree in the cake batter and strawberry buttercream frosting!
- It’s a great base recipe that can be customized with mix-ins and frostings.
- Whether it’s a birthday, holiday, or just a weekday dessert, this cake is guaranteed to be a crowd-pleaser!
Baking With Cake Flour
Cake flour is a finely milled flour made from soft wheat that has a lower protein content compared to all-purpose flour. Cake flour typically contains around 8% protein whereas all-purpose flour has around 10-12% protein. The lower protein content results in less gluten formation when mixed with liquid, which ultimately leads to a more tender and delicate crumb in baked goods like cakes.
When using cake flour (I like using King Arthur’s cake flour), baked goods will typically have a lighter and softer texture. This makes it perfect for delicate, tender cakes like this strawberry cake. Although all-purpose flour can be used as a substitute in this recipe, using cake flour will give you the best results in terms of texture and overall quality. All-purpose flour will result in an overall denser cake.
- cake flour – the key ingredient for a tender, light cake texture. Cake flour has a lower protein content than all-purpose flour, resulting in less gluten formation and a delicate crumb.
- baking powder and baking soda – leavening agents that help the cake rise and create a fluffy texture.
- salt – brings all the flavors together.
- eggs – what gives this cake structure. Make sure your eggs are at room temperature before baking this cake. I won’t get into the science behind it but it’s key for a fluffy cake!
- granulated sugar or pure maple syrup – both maple syrup and granulated sugar will work as the sweetener for this cake, maple syrup will just result in a darker colored batter.
- strawberry puree – made by blending fresh strawberries until they form a puree, this strawberry puree adds natural sweetness and a delightful fruity flavor to the cake.
- plain full-fat Greek yogurt – adds moisture without a ton of oil and helps create a tender crumb. I recommend using full-fat plain Greek yogurt for the best results, but 2% will work just fine.
- avocado oil – a mild-tasting oil that contributes to the moistness of the cake. You can also use another neutral oil of your choice like olive oil or coconut oil. Melted butter will also work.
- vanilla extract – enhances the flavor of this cake and complements the strawberry flavor nicely.
- strawberry buttercream frosting – a simple homemade buttercream frosting made with by whipping together softened butter, strawberry puree, vanilla extract and powdered sugar until it’s nice and fluffy!
How to Make
Make strawberry puree: If you haven’t already made the strawberry puree, wash and hull your fresh strawberries and add them to a blender and blend until smooth and no chunks remain. You should end up with 1 ¼ cup strawberry puree. Set aside.
Preheat: Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Spray three 6-inch cake pans or two 8-inch cake pans with cooking spray and set aside.
Mix dry ingredients: In a medium mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients: cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
Whisk wet ingredients: Add your eggs, sugar or maple syrup, strawberry puree, yogurt, oil and vanilla extract to a large mixing bowl and using a hand mixer whisk on medium-high speed until fully combined and smooth.
Combine: While running the hand mixer on low speed pour dry ingredients into wet ingredients and mix until batter is fully combined and smooth. Just be careful to not over-mix!
Bake: Pour batter into prepared cake pans and bake for 20-23 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool for 5-10 minutes then remove the cake from the pans and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
Make frosting: While cake is cooling make frosting by whipping butter, vanilla and strawberry puree together with a hand mixer or a stand mixer. Add powdered sugar one cup at a time, whipping on medium speed until fully combined and creamy.
Frost and serve: Once cake is at room temperature frost it. Cut cake, serve and enjoy!
Substitutions & Notes
- Flour: For the best results I recommend using cake flour as it provides a lighter, softer texture, but you can use all-purpose flour or pastry flour in this recipe if that’s all you have on hang. Keep in mind that the texture of the cake will be slightly denser.
- Gluten-free: I tested this cake with Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free 1:1 all-purpose flour and it turned out okay, but I had to add 1/2 cup more milk to the batter because it was quite thick. The cake also was a little bubbly on top, didn’t rise as much and had a slightly gummy texture, so I wouldn’t recommend using a gluten-free flour. That said, feel free to experiment with your favorite gluten-free flour and let me know how it turns out for you!
- Dairy-free: For a dairy-free version, use dairy-free yogurt in the cake batter and vegan butter in the frosting.
- Vegan: I haven’t tried a substitute for the eggs and I wouldn’t recommend it as the eggs give this cake structure.
- Frosting: My healthy chocolate frosting, peanut butter Greek yogurt frosting or healthy cream cheese frosting would all be delicious paired with this strawberry cake. You could also try adding some strawberry puree to the healthy cream cheese frosting for a strawberry cream cheese frosting! Also, you can’t go wrong with a classic vanilla buttercream frosting. If going the store-bought route, my favorite healthier store-bought frosting is Simple Mills vanilla frosting.
Using Different Size Cake Pans or a Cupcake Tin
- 8-inch pans: This batter will make enough to fill two 8-inch cake pans. If using two 8-inch pans, bake for 20-23 minutes until golden brown on top and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- Cupcakes: You’ll want to bake these for 15-20 minutes in paper liners. The recipe makes about 15 cupcakes.
- Rectangular pan: If you prefer a sheet cake, you should be able to use a 9×13-inch pan. Be aware that the baking time might be shorter or longer, so keep an eye on the cake and test for doneness as it bakes.
- Square pan: I haven’t tested it, but I bet you could also make this cake in an 8×8 or 9×9 inch square pan. I’m not sure about the bake time, but I’m guessing 20-30 minutes.
How to Decorate Strawberry Cake
I love keeping this cake simple with just the strawberry buttercream frosting and some fresh strawberry slices on top, but here are some other fun ideas of how you could decorate this cake:
- Sprinkles: Add a fun and colorful touch to your strawberry cake by mixing in your favorite sprinkles and adding some on top!
- Strawberry jam swirls: Add an extra burst of strawberry flavor by swirling some strawberry jam (you can use store-bought or make this strawberry chia jam) and swirl some into the frosting.
- Chocolate chips: Scatter some chocolate chips over the frosting for a delicious chocolate-strawberry combination that’s hard to resist.
- Fresh berries: Arrange fresh strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and/or raspberries on top of the cake for a beautiful, fresh decoration that also adds a burst of fruity flavor.
Can You Make This Cake Ahead of Time?
Yes! This cake can be made 1-3 days in advance. To make ahead of time, let the cake layers cool completely and store them in the fridge, covered until you’re ready to assemble and serve. Alternatively, you can frost and decorate the cake and store it covered in the fridge until ready to serve!
How to Store Leftovers
Store any leftover cake in an airtight container on the counter for 1-2 days or in the fridge for up to 5 days. I haven’t tried freezing this cake, but I would imagine it would freeze just fine either frosted or unfrosted. If you’re making this cake ahead of time for a special occasion and want to store it in the freezer, I would store the individual layers separately in an airtight container or bag (I love my Stasher bags). The day before you’re ready to serve, let the layers thaw in the fridge then assemble and decorate as desired!
More Cake Recipes to Try
Be sure to check out all of the dessert recipes here on EBF!
Strawberry Buttercream Frosting
If you haven’t already made the strawberry puree, wash and hull your fresh strawberries and add them to a blender and blend until smooth and no chunks remain. You should end up with 1 ¼ cup strawberry puree. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Spray three 6-inch cake pans or two 8-inch cake pans with cooking spray and set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients: cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, add your eggs, sugar, 1 cup strawberry puree, yogurt, oil and vanilla extract. Using a hand mixer whisk on medium high speed until fully combined and smooth.
While running hand mixer on low speed pour dry ingredients into wet ingredients and mix until batter is just combined and smooth. Don’t over-mix!
Pour batter into prepared cake pans.
Bake for 20-23 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool for 5-10 minutes. Remove cake from pans and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
While cake is cooling make frosting by whipping butter, vanilla and ¼ cup strawberry puree together with a hand mixer on medium speed. Add powdered sugar one cup at a time, whipping on medium speed until fully combined and nice and fluffy.
Once cake is at room temperature frost it. Cut cake and serve.
Store cake in an airtight container at room temperature for 1-2 days or in the fridge for about 5 days.
Serving: 1 slice | Calories: 360kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 105mg | Sodium: 303mg | Potassium: 92mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 15g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.