From-Scratch Strawberry Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

filed under: Cakes on February 3, 2016

Finding the perfect cake for a special birthday has just gotten easier! This Homemade Strawberry Cake with silky Cream Cheese Frosting is perfection! (Video below on how to create this ruffle technique!) I love making my own birthday cake! It is one of the few times I year I throw all caution to the wind and just bake to please my soul. And belly. 😉 

Cream Cheese Frosting Ruffles on Strawberry Cake

How to Make a REAL Strawberry Cake

Strawberry Cake Recipe (Below)

Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

8-inch round cake pans

Offset Spatula

Pastry Bag with #113 Leaf Tip

Inside slice of REAL strawberry Cake

Food Coloring: Yay or Nay?

As you can see, this is not a pink cake. Real strawberries will only lend so much of their color to the batter. But readers have mentioned that they do not want to use red food coloring and this cake is a perfect example of not needing to. The flavor is wonderful enough on its own!

If you want your cake to be more pink feel free to add some red food coloring. I would recommend at least a teaspoon.

Tips for Real Strawberry Cake

  • Room temperature ingredients are ESSENTIAL for this recipe. You can see how I quickly bring eggs to room temperature here.
  • There are a number of steps to this recipe, so it’s a good idea to read through first and prepare your ingredients beforehand.
  • If you want to use all of your strawberry puree IN the cake, feel free to brush cakes with a simple syrup after they have baked. This is a dense cake, so it does need the additional moisture added before serving.
  • This cake would also be amazing with Whipped Cream frosting.
  • If you are baking at a higher altitude, check out my High Altitude Baking Tips.

Cream Cheese Frosting

For the Cream Cheese Frosting recipe, feel free to add 1-2 tablespoons liquid (milk, heavy cream, etc.) to create the soft, velvety texture needed for this frosting technique. I also turned my mixer on high and let it go for about 4 minutes to add some air into the frosting.

A crumb coat is important in this cake as you will want something for the ruffles to “adhere” to. (frosting sticks to frosting)

Cream Cheese Ruffles

Here is a video on how I created the Ruffle technique on this cake:

I used an offset spatula to create lines in the crumb coat that helped me to stay straight. (Some of my ruffle lines are crooked… I apologize! This happened because I was trying to pipe and film at the same time. You can easily create vertical perfection at home with the guidelines in your cake!)

Top of Ruffle Cake

For the top, I just used my offset spatula to smooth the edge. Gently pull the frosting from the edge towards the center of the cake. Very easy!

And of course, feel free to do ignore the fancy design and just smooth the frosting out as you see fit. 🙂 

Slice of Strawberry Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Recipe adapted from Strawberry Ruffle Birthday Cake.

5 from 2 votes
Seriously amazing From-Scratch Strawberry Cake with a silky Cream Cheese frosting that will blow your mind!
From-Scratch Strawberry Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
50 mins
Total Time
1 hr 10 mins

Finding the perfect cake for a special birthday has just gotten easier! This Homemade Strawberry Cake with silky Cream Cheese Frosting is perfection! 

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: From-Scratch Strawberry Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting, strawberry cake, Strawberry Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Servings: 10 servings
Author: Amanda
  • 4 large egg whites, (save yolks for later)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (226g) butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar, for separate step
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup strawberry puree (1 cup thawed frozen strawberry & 1-2 tbsp water in blender)
  • 2 -3 cups dices fresh strawberries, or thawed strawberries
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Prepare three 8-in round cake pans.

  2. Whip four eggs whites in mixer until soft peaks form. Add 1 cup sugar, 1 tbsp at a time, whipping to maintain soft peaks. Pour whites into large bowl (This was about 5 cups in volume after whipped) and set aside.

  3. Without fully cleaning the mixer bowl, cream room temperature butter and 1 cup sugar until fluffy. Add in vanilla and almond extract. Add egg yolks one at a time, beating after each addition.

  4. Sift together 3 cups flour, baking powder, and salt.
  5. Alternatively add flour mixture and ⅓ strawberry puree to batter until fully combined. (Flour, ⅓ cup puree, flour, ⅓ cup puree, flour) Batter will be thick. You should have ⅓ cup puree LEFT OVER. (This will be brushed on cake later)

  6. Fold in egg whites.
  7. Gently add diced strawberries to batter. (I used 2 cups but think 3 cups would also be delicious.)

  8. Pour batter into prepared pans and bake for 32-36 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with no wet batter. (crumbs are ok!) If using two 8-in cake pans, bake for 38-42 minutes.

  9. Remove cakes from over and use a pastry brush to spread remaining strawberry puree over warm cakes.
  10. Cool until ready to assemble cakes.

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  • Jocelyn @BruCrew Life says:

    What an absolutely fun and gorgeous way to use that leaf tip! I need to pull out my tips and see what I could do differently with them. You have inspired me 🙂 And happy birthday…I know I’m a little late…I’m so sorry about that! Hugs from me to you!

    • Amanda says:


  • Farah says:

    Happy Birthday!!! mine is tomorrow. I also love baking my own birthday cake but this year I am under strict orders not too. I am sure that it will be a wonderful surprise. this cake looks delicious. I will definitely bake it real soon. thanks

  • Christina says:

    I hope you had a wonderful birthday. This looks great. Thank you for a cake recipe that is from scratch. We are trying to stay away from “mix” food. I am so disappointed when I see a great looking desserts and it is from a box mix.

  • lydia says:

    Made this one for my daughter’s 15th birthday. She loved it and everyone else. Thanks for sharing!!

    • Amanda says:


  • Blair says:

    I’ve searched the Internet for a strawberry cake using real strawberries and no artificial flavors! Thanks for taking on the challenge! I’d like to make them cupcakes, though. How would you adjust cook time/temp for cupcakes? I’m wondering if the real strawberries inside changes the game from the normal cake/cupcake conversion.


    • Blair says:

      Ok I tried it. 🙂 For anyone wondering the same thing as me:

      I split the recipe in half, and still made 18 cupcakes! I did use 2 cups of diced strawberries and 3/4 cup of the purée. Cooked 20 minutes st 350°.

      It. was. DIVINE. Such a great strawberry flavor. My friends were shocked that biting into them they actually bit into strawberries–it’s so uncommon in strawberry cake. I’ll make these again for sure! Thanks for the recipe!

      • Amanda says:

        Love it!! Thank you for the feedback and tips! 🙂 <3

  • Barbara nelson says:

    ????can you use cake flour instead of all purpose flour to make the cake less dense

  • Noel G says:

    Hello from an American living in Germany!

    I bought everything to make this cake, and im so excited to show my German/European friends how amazing American baking is!!

    Also looking forward to your canning video as a newbie. Mason jars are about 10 Euro A JAR here so Im left with only 1 piece jar lids, I think they are called lug lids. Any info on safe canning with these would be great. I know the USDA doesn’t approve them but this is the only thing old German omas can with here, so how bad could it be?

  • Heather K says:

    Looking forward to making this for my 6 year old. I too am thrilled to find your from-scratch recipe. What recommendations can you make for making a day or two in advance? Thank you!

  • Karen says:

    Making the cake and noticed that you add the 1 cup sugar two times. Is there really 2 cups sugar?

    • Amanda says:

      Yup! It’s supposed to be there twice. The instructions list where to use the sugar. 🙂

  • Angel Bruck says:

    I’ve made this cake (haven’t tried the frosting) at least 3 times and always get RAVE reviews. This is one of my favorite cakes because it’s soooo moist and full of strawberry flavor! I made cupcakes once and my only feedback on that is that, depending on how they’re frosted (I used a star or French pastry tip, I can’t remember), you can see the brushed puree on top of the exposed cupcake. For those, I used a marshmallow buttercream for a strawberries ‘n cream flavor and BOOM. Amazing. Thank you for a REAL, from scratch strawberry cake that makes the Beast in my belly very happy!

  • Brooke williams says:

    Could you add some strawberry instant jello to this recipe for a little more strawberry flavor and also to get the color?

  • Jarrett Miller says:

    when making the soft peaks and adding the sugar, is the sugar suppose to dissolve completely each time? I am having issues dissolving the sugar and not mixing it past soft peaks. thanks!!

    • Angel Bruck says:

      While I have made this cake several times and have LOVED it (I provided separate feedback above), I wanted to come back and echo Jarret’s concern about whipping the egg whites. The recipe here states to add the sugar, continue whipping, and to maintain soft peaks but I have found that impossible. With additional whipping, egg whites will always become stiffer. The original blueberry cake recipe from allrecipes (
      that Amanda sourced in her first strawberry cake recipe says to whip until STIFF peaks form and that matches tutorials I have found online as well.

  • Mommy Rome says:

    Making for my 4 year olds bday party and he doesn’t want the diced strawberries in it. Can I puree those as well and add it in or will it change the texture too much , making it runny?

    • Amanda says:

      You could definitely puree them. 🙂

  • Becky says:

    What do you think the baking time would be to do a 9×12 pan cake?

  • Lauren says:

    Would the consistency of this be ok to cut to do a cake in the shape of a 1 for my daughters birthday? Thinking of an alternative to butter cake.,,

  • Maria says:

    So disappointing. This cake will not doubt be tasty but not be very pretty. The sugars from the strawberries caused my cake to stick to the round pans relentlessly. I’m hoping by the time they cool completely they will not fall apart when I try to frost the layers.
    My mistake may have happened somewhere between glazing with extra purée and letting them cool too long but the directions stoped shy of this!

  • Rahul Yadav says:

    This recipe is easy to follow and the cake is absolutely amazing.

  • Paula says:

    This cake is delicious and so fresh-tasting! Made it twice with rave reviews! I did try Amanda’s suggestion of putting 3 cups of fresh strawberries in the cake but I thought it was a little too wet/dense. 2 cups was perfect. The puree on top adds that extra strawberry boost to the flavor. Also, it’s not very clear in the recipe, but you do need to cool the cakes completely in the pans after glazing. Don’t try to take them out after a typical 10 minutes of cool time–they will stick and fall apart! Second time was the charm. I am now making it as the basis for Amanda’s Cow and Barn Cake for a kids party. What says farm better than fresh strawberries!? Inspirational recipe.

  • Memom says:


    This recipe is just what I was looking for, using actual strawberries not freeze dried. However, If I don’t want chunks of strawberries, can I just purée them and add it to the batter directly? I’ll be making cupcakes with these.

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      Yes, you can puree all the strawberries. 🙂

  • Bev Kearns says:

    Sounds wonderful!! Thank you for sharing this recipe and I will be making it as soon as fresh strawberries are available.

  • Mandy says:

    Could pineapple or mango be substituted for the strawberry?

  • Kristy says:

    I am so glad I found your website. I want to thank you for sharing your recipes! I made the strawberry cake this evening and LOVED it! I have made a few other cakes and cookies from your site and I am never disappointed!

  • Linda says:

    I am preparing this .cake and am confused by step 5. THe recipe calls for adding 1/3 purée, then 1/2 Cup to batter. This does not leave 1/3 cup left over. Will you please clarify? Sounds delish.


    • Elizabeth Keeney says:

      Hi, Linda! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with questions. It should be 1/3 cup puree added to the batter both times, with 1/3 of the strawberry puree leftover. I hope this clarifies it; I updated the recipe to reflect the change. Have a great day!