Strawberry Cake

Sep 10

Strawberry Cake – Tender strawberry cake layers with fresh strawberries and cream cheese frosting.


A couple years ago, I was in Dallas for my consulting job and had some time to grab lunch with my older brother. I travel to Dallas quite a bit for work and Chris always takes me to the yummiest restaurants (Porch, Smoke, Savor… to name a few). We usually don’t get a lot of time together, so we often skip dessert (insert sad face emoji here). This time around, however, we had just enough time to make a stop at the Cake Bar.

Of course, I wanted to order a slice of everything, but narrowed it down to two flavors: chocolate and strawberry (a customer favorite, I was told). I’m typically a chocolate lover, but this time (to my surprise) I was blown away by the strawberry cake. It was perfection; so flavorful and moist. I just couldn’t stop shoveling it into my mouth. I knew immediately that I had to recreate this cake when I got home.

Strawberry Cake

As soon as I got returned from my trip, I started looking at strawberry cake recipes. Based on my research, I knew I wanted to use flavored gelatin because it would give the cake an added punch of strawberry flavor that strawberry puree on its own didn’t seem to achieve in most recipes. The Cake Bar cake had such a great strawberry flavor. I’m convinced they used the flavored gelatin too. I’d love to find out someday!

The cake turned out super moist and fluffy, not dense like so many other strawberry cakes do. The sifted cake flour also helps to create a light cake.

So, as far as the cake goes, I’m giving it two thumbs up. I’m super happy with how it turned out and will be putting it in my arsenal of cake recipes.


When I originally made this strawberry cake, I paired it with a strawberry puree filling. I’ve since changed the filling and now fill the cake with more cream cheese frosting and fresh strawberries. It helps to make the cake a little less sweet actually.


I used to not love cream cheese frosting until I learned to make my own. This one is SO good! It’s my go-to cream cheese frosting. I’ve used it in so many cakes (you can see the list HERE). I use less cream cheese than most people do, I think. Just enough to give it a tart flavor, but not too much where the flavor steals the show.

I hope you love this cake as much as I do. And if you’ve ever had the Cake Bar version, I’d love to know how you think it compares!



Strawberry Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Strawberry cake layers with cream cheese frosting and fresh strawberries

Course Dessert
Cuisine Cake
Keyword cream cheese buttercream, strawberry cake
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 25 minutes
Servings 1 3-layer, 8-inch cake
Author Courtney Rich



  • 1 1/2 cups (300 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 3 oz. package of strawberry flavored Jell-O
  • 1 cup (226 g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup (120 g) sour cream, at room temperature
  • 5 large egg whites room temperature
  • 3 cups plus 3 tablespoons (366.5 g) cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons (8 g) baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.8 g) salt
  • 1 cup (240 g buttermilk) room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon (12g) pure vanilla extract


  • 1 1/2 cups (339 g) unsalted butter, slightly chilled
  • 4 oz. cream cheese slightly chilled
  • 6 cups (750 g) powdered sugar, measured and then sifted
  • 3 tablespoons (43.3 g) heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon (4.2 g) pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • *This buttercream recipe makes enough to fill and cover your cake. If you want to add additional piping you’ll want to make an extra 1/2 batch.
  • Fresh strawberries


  1. For the Strawberry Cake

  2. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Spray three 8-inch or four 6-inch round cake pans with cooking spray, then place parchment rounds on the bottom and spray again. Set aside.
  3. In a medium size bowl, whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  4. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, Jell-O, and sugar for about 2 to 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. 
  5. With the mixer on medium speed, gradually add the egg whites, making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl between each addition. 
  6. Add the sour cream and vanilla. Mix for another 2 minutes on medium speed. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl.
  7. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and the buttermilk, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Mix until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix again on low for another 20 seconds.
  8. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans (about 16 ounces of batter in each pan). I used three 8-inch pans and my cooking time was 22 minutes. Baking time should be between 22-25 minutes for the 8-inch, but make sure to check on your cakes around 22 minutes, inserting a toothpick into the top of the cake (should come out with just a few crumbs) or gently tapping the top of your cake (shouldn't jiggle, but instead, bounce back up when done).
  9. Let cool in your pans for 10 minutes and then invert onto wire cooling racks until completely cooled.
  10. For the Cream Cheese Frosting
  11. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and cream cheese and beat on medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute.
  12. With the mixer on low, gradually add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, until incorporated. 
  13. Keeping the mixer on low, add the cream, vanilla and salt.
  14. Turn the mixer to medium and beat the frosting for 3-5 minutes, or until it is light in color (almost white) and texture.
  15. To remove air bubbles from the frosting, use a wooden spoon to stir and push out the air bubbles. 


Strawberry Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Strawberry Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting. Strawberry cake layers with cream cheese frosting and fresh strawberries

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63 thoughts on “Strawberry Cake

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  1. To see if they use gelatin, you could always call and say you have an allergy to gelatin and see what they say! Easy way to find out 🙂

  2. This looks amazing! Can’t wait to make it!

    Question: why does the buttermilk have to be room temperature? Could it be cold or heated? I’m pregnant and get nervous about leaving anything out since that’s when bacteria grows. Would that destroy the cake?

    1. Great question! Buttermilk and other “wet” ingredients better blend together and are better absorbed by the dry ingredients when they’re at room temperature – which helps the cake to rise more evenly. It wont’ ruin the cake if you use cold buttermilk.

  3. Just made this version on Saturday. Wow. Like really… WOW. I had never baked cakes before and this is my 4th one from you. You rock. I was very surprised to like this cake so much. Plus it freezes great 😉

  4. Hi Courtney!
    I’m wanted to ask can I make my own cake flour? I noticed you added cake flour instead of all purpose flour… I love following you and all your beautiful cakes 😊
    Thank you
    [email protected]😉

    1. Hi! Thank you. Yes you can make your own cake flour – it’s an easy google search, but I prefer store bought cake flour because it has a slightly sweeter taste to it and gives the cake a light texture. I don’t think homemade cake flour gives the same result. It’s close though

  5. Would love your recipe for the original strawberry purée filling too! I’m on the hunt for a great one. ❤️

  6. Kudos with this newer version of the Strawberry cake! I thought the older recipe was great, but thanks for tweaking it cause I love it even more now! Amazing what an extra 3 tablespoons of cake flour will do! Happy dance at high altitude. : ) p.s. waiting anxiously for my cake disks!

  7. I have been weighing my ingredients to make baking a little quicker. If I just convert all of the ingredients will the cake still come out right?

  8. Thank you for this great recipe I am looking forward to trying it and I am ure the gelatib makes all the difference: although I am not sure what kind of gelatin you are using… is the Jello a powder? or cubes of gelatin?
    I live abroad and we only have plain gelatin powder (which we have to moisten first) or gelatin leaves (which we have to soak and squeeze…) ..

  9. I loved the cake! It was my first try baking a cake from scratch and completely decorating it. It had such a great flavor but the cake itself was dense. Do you have any idea on what I may have done to cause it or tips to avoid it in the future? I left it in the fridge decorated overnight and cut the next day.

  10. Do you find that the strawberries between the layers get soggy if you make this one ahead of time? Also assuming you wouldn’t freeze this one…

  11. Hi Courtney I was wondering if I could use egg whites from a container instead of a whole egg for this strawberry cake?

  12. Love your blog! I’m going to make this recipe next week, can I add strawberry purée into the batter for this recipe? Thanks!

  13. Would you say this cream cheese frosting is stable enough to do intricate piping? Or should I use a basic buttercream instead?

  14. This recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of baking powder, but that is more than 4 grams. Is it supposed to be 1 teaspoon of baking powder?

  15. Hi Courtney! I’ve tried so many of your cakes and they’re amazing:) how would I convert this one to a sheet cake for 8-10 people?

  16. This cake is amazing! The first two times I made it, it was extremely DRY. Then I noticed it was because I misread the recipe. I was cooking those poor cakes for 33 minutes instead of 22. Today I did it right and omg! Best cake EVER!! Super moist and the fresh strawberries in between each layer just really sat the cake apart from the others! Thank you for an amazing recipe!

  17. This cake recipe is amazing! So glad I tried it. I’ll be making it for my sisters birthday. One thing I noticed is that there is a tangy note to it, is that from the Jello? It’s making me wonder if I didn’t mix it well enough

  18. Do I sift the cake flour first then measure? And if I’m making a 3 layer 9 inch cake, do I have to double the recipe one time?

      1. Hi Courtney
        I’m planning on making this cake for my toddler’s 2nd birthday. She loves strawberry and I’ve never made a strawberry dessert that I like so this will will be interesting!
        Just had a question re the icing: how would you rate the sweetness? Is it as sweet as American buttercream or more along the lines of SMBC?

  19. I just saw in some comments about the egg whites where you said you’ll need the egg yolk as well. I didn’t see anywhere in this recipe where it mentioned using egg yolks… Maybe that was my problem? Can you help?

  20. Hi Courtney,

    I tried this cake for my daughters birthday. It had a nice strawberry flavor however it turned out very dry. Not sure what I did wrong. I had to bake it close to 30 minutes as the center came out wet until 25. Any suggestions to make it more moist? I have made your biscoff cake and that was so good. Thank you for all your recipe suggestions 😊

      1. I think the extract is incorrect on the cake, is it a tablespoon or teaspoon, the grams are off on what a tablespoon would be.

  21. 5 stars
    Your site is so very helpful…I decided to make this, this evening. It just came out of the oven and smells amazing. I have an issue with my cakes not being as tall and not sure what my problem is. Everything is fresh and I am carful not to overmix and new oven has oven thermometer in them. This might be a silly question but how tall are the cakes when they are done baking?

  22. Probably would be a good idea to specify how much jello. I put 13 ounces of the jello in the mix and after it took 40 minutes to cook and came out super sour I realize it probably meant ONE, 3 ounce package of jello. 😞