Light and Fluffy Strawberry Cheesecake Cake with Strawberry Cream Cheese Buttercream

Get ready to dive into the most delicious Strawberry Cheesecake Cake with strawberry cream cheese buttercream and a graham cracker crust. It’s just like eating strawberry cheesecake, but as a cake!

A pink strawberry cheesecake cake on a metal cake stand with plates.
Table of Contents
  1. Light and Fluffy Strawberry Cheesecake Cake with Strawberry Cream Cheese Buttercream
  2. How to Make Graham Cracker Crust
  3. Homemade Strawberry Cake Recipe
  4. No-Bake Cheesecake Filling
  5. Strawberry Cream Cheese Buttercream
  6. Recipe

Light and Fluffy Strawberry Cheesecake Cake with Strawberry Cream Cheese Buttercream

The idea for my new Strawberry Cheesecake Cake actually came from having strawberry cheesecake ice cream on a recent road trip with my sister and her two boys. I love the flavors of the fresh strawberries with graham cracker and a hint of tangy cream cheese.

I just knew it would make for a delicious cake!

For this cake, we’re four elements:

  • Graham cracker crust
  • Strawberry Cake
  • No-bake cheesecake filling
  • Strawberry cream cheese buttercream
A strawberry cake with strawberry buttercream and fresh strawberries.

How to Make Graham Cracker Crust

I love a crunchy element in my cakes and this graham cracker crust adds a delicious crunch and flavor. To make it, you’ll simply combine the graham cracker crumbs with butter and sugar.

Before adding any cake batter to your cake pans, you’ll actually bake the crumbs first. Divide the crust evenly between the three pans and then firmly press the crumbs into place to create a crust. Baking the crust on it’s own for a few minutes will help achieve a little crunch with each bite.

Inside layers of a cake.

Homemade Strawberry Cake Recipe

This strawberry cake is light and fluffy and full of flavor, thanks to a combination of strawberry puree and strawberry extract (or emulsion)

What’s the difference between an extract and emulsion?

An extract is an alcohol based flavoring and an emulsion is water based. Both are used to add flavor and can be used interchangeably.

Don’t forget to follow my go-to tips for getting your cakes to rise and bake well:

  • Preheat your oven for 30 minutes prior to baking.
  • Use good quality pans like Fat Daddio.
  • Spray your pans with nonstick spray and line with parchment paper. 
  • Don’t overmix your cake batter once you add the dry ingredients.
  • Use room temperature wet ingredients.
  • Use fresh baking powder.
  • Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out with a few moist crumbs on it.
Strawberries on top of a cake.

No-Bake Cheesecake Filling

To make the no-bake cheesecake filling, whip the heavy whipping cream to stiff peaks and then set aside while you mix the cream cheese and sugar together. Once the cream cheese mixture is smooth, you’ll then fold in the whipped cream. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Three slices of cake on plates.

Strawberry Cream Cheese Buttercream

For the buttercream, we’re adding a little more of the cream cheese flavor with the strawberry flavor. I love how the tang of the cream cheese complements the sweet strawberry flavor. You’ll also find this recipe in my Strawberry Lemonade Cake.

Slice of cake on a plate.

A pink strawberry cheesecake cake on a metal cake stand with plates.

5 from 27 votes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Cake

Ingredients
  

FOR THE GRAHAM CRACKER CRUST

  • 25 (380 g) graham crackers full rectangle cracker
  • 3/4 cup (165 g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar

FOR THE STRAWBERRY CAKE

  • 1 3/4 cups (350 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (226 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup (72.6 g) vegetable or canola oil
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 egg whites, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon (4.2 g) vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon (4.2 g) strawberry extract or emulsion
  • 3 cups (345 g) cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons (8 g) baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon (3 g) salt
  • 3/4 cup (175 g) strawberry puree reduction about 3 cups chopped strawberries, pureed and simmered over the stove to thicken and reduce to ¾ cup
  • 1/2 cup (120 g) buttermilk, room temperature
  • Pink food coloring, optional

FOR THE CHEESECAKE FILLING

  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (120 g) heavy whipping cream

FOR THE BUTTERCREAM

  • 2 cups (452 g) unsalted butter, slightly cold
  • 6 oz. (170 g) cream cheese, slightly cold
  • 6 cups (750 g) powdered sugar, measured and then sifted
  • 1 teaspoon (4.2 g) strawberry emulsion
  • 3 tablespoons (42 g) heavy whipping cream
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions
 

FOR THE GRAHAM CRACKER CRUST

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Spray three 8-inch cake pans with nonstick spray, line with parchment, and spray again. Set aside.
  • In a food processor or blender combine the graham cracker, sugar and melted butter. Pulse until the mixture resembles wet sand.
  • Divide the crumbs between the three pans (about 7 ounces in each). Pat firmly into place.
  • Bake the crusts for 5 minutes.

FOR THE STRAWBERRY CAKE

  • Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F.
  • In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  • In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the sugar and butter for about 2 minutes. Add the oil and beat for another 2 minutes, until light and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs and egg whites, one at a time, and mix well after each addition. Add the vanilla and strawberry extract or emulsion.
  • With the mixer on low, alternatively add the flour mixture with the strawberry puree and buttermilk, starting and finishing with the flour mixture. Mix until just incorporated.
  • Evenly divide the batter between the three pans, about 17 ounces in each.
  • Bake the cake layers for about 33 to 38 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs on it.

FOR THE CHEESECAKE FILLING

  • In a medium size mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth, about 2 minutes.
  • In a chilled stainless steel bowl, beat the heavy whipping cream until stiff peaks form.
  • Fold in the heavy whipping cream into the cream cheese mixture.
  • Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use.

FOR THE BUTTERCREAM

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and cream cheese on medium speed for about 2 minutes.
  • Turn the mixer to low speed and gradually add the powdered sugar, followed by the strawberry emulsion, cream, and salt.
  • Turn the mixer to medium-high speed and beat the frosting for about 5 minutes.
  • Before frosting your cake, mix the buttercream by hand with a wooden spoon to push out any air pockets. If the frosting feels too soft to frost or pipe, cover it and refrigerate it for about 30 minutes.

Assembly

  • Place the first cake layer, top side up, in the center of a cake board or cake stand. Pipe a rim of buttercream around the top edge of the cake.
  • Fill the center area with half of the cheesecake mixture. Layer on sliced strawberries.
  • Place the second cake layer, top side up, on the filling and repeat step 2.
  • Place the final cake layer, also top side up, and apply a thin layer of buttercream around the entire cake. This should look like a semi-naked cake. Freeze the crumb-coated cake for about 10 to minutes.
  • Continue frosting and decorating the cake with the remaining buttercream.
Keyword Strawberry Buttercream, strawberry cake, Strawberry Cheesecake Cake, strawberry cream cheese buttercream
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Courtney Rich

I’m a self-taught baker, obsessed with cake.

I long ago ditched box mixes in pursuit of melt-in-your-mouth, to-die-for flavor combinations, fillings and textures. I believe cake must be decadent, life-changing and worthy of celebration! And I believe anyone should be able to bake that kind of cake – and I’m here to teach you just that!

Get my free cake decorating guide
Everything you need to know about decorating a cake like a pro!

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Comments

  1. Earlier in the post you said you can use the extract or emulsion for the cake but you specifically said emulsion in the buttercream. Can we still substitute the extract there too?

  2. This may be obvious in the picture, but in the assembly directions, or in the recipe I did not see or read when to use the baked graham cracker crust layers? Or was the cake batter poured over it and rebaked with the cake? Thanks for taking the time to reply and thanks for the recipe. My daughter loves strawberry cheesecake and I look for new ways to incorporate it in her birthday cakes. Looking forward to your answer.

  3. I presume with the cream cheese this cake needs to be kept refrigerated?

    How long will this cake last? Can I make it Friday for eating on Sunday?

    Looks amazing

    1. If you make it Friday, wrap in saran and keep in your freezer. Take out of the freezer sunday morning and put into the fridge. Take out of fridge about four hours before serving.

  4. 5 stars
    This is the very first Cake by Courtney recipe I’ve tried and it definitely will not be my last. I just took it a step at a time and it all came together. It’s delicious and all the flavors and textures came together so well. I dried my strawberries off very well so it wouldn’t get my cake soggy. I was worried the buttercream could make the cake too sweet, so I just put a thin layer on top and it’s perfect! Make this cake!! It’s a great one!

  5. 5 stars
    I made this cake for my daughter when she came home to visit from college over the weekend. She loves strawberries, and when I saw this cake, I just had to make it for her. She loved it and everyone else we shared it with. The cake is very moist and delicious by itself, but the cheesecake filling and graham cracker crust take it to another level. The directions are clear and easy to understand. I am glad that I made it and will definitely make it again.

  6. Hey Courtney, this is the website of my dreams! Cake is my absolute favorite dessert, and I love your unique and tasty flavor combinations! I’ve made about 6 of your cakes so far, and they’ve all been fantastic. I’m making the strawberry cheesecake cake for a church lunch tomorrow and I don’t see a measurement for the sliced strawberries that go in between the layers. Can you please let me know?

  7. 5 stars
    Love this cake.
    I am making these into cupcakes. Would the gram cracker crust still work on the bottom or just sprinkled on top

  8. Can the cakes be made a week in advance and crumb coated and froze? Or will the graham
    Cracker and strawberry cheesecake filling get weird?