This fresh Strawberry Cake is absolutely bursting with fresh berries. And the sheet cake is my go-to dessert for a potluck or picnic since you can make it up to one day ahead and serve it straight out of the fridge. Easy, fresh and delish for the win!
Strawberry Sheet Cake
This delicious dessert was the product of my need to bake for a potluck, yet having little time to bake on the day of the event…which is often the case when it comes to baking with kids in the house—our schedules are not always our own!
In turn, this Strawberry Sheet Cake can be made ahead and hang out in the fridge, better yet, it’s even best served chilled. The ingredients are straightforward, there are fresh berries right in the batter of the cake, and the combination of the strawberry flavor with the Strawberry Cream Cheese is just the most delicious.
We love this for potlucks, first birthday parties, Mother’s Day, Easter, and more.
(You may also like my Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes.)
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Ingredients You Need
To make this cake you’ll need the following ingredients on hand and ready to go.
- All-purpose flour: This forms the base of the cake to ensure that it’s tender, moist, and fluffy.
- Baking powder, soda, and salt: To help ensure that the cake tastes great and rises properly.
- Unsalted butter: I like to bake with unsalted butter so I can adjust the salt myself.
- Strawberries: We use fresh berries in the cake and on top of the cake. You can use frozen berries for the batter if that’s what you have access to.
- Sugar: I use granulated sugar to sweeten this cake. If you prefer, you can use honey or maple syrup.
- Eggs: Large eggs help to ensure that the batter holds together nicely and the cake bakes up with a tender crumb.
- Vanilla extract: This adds extra flavor to the batter in addition to the fresh strawberries.
- Fresh lemon zest: The zest of one lemon adds extra flavor to the batter and it pairs so nicely with the flavor from the strawberries.
This is a basic cake without any fancy ingredients or steps, and here’s a look at what’s involved in making the recipe. Scroll down to the bottom of the post for the full recipe.
- Add the berries to a blender to make a quick berry puree.
- Fold the berries into the rest of the wet ingredients.
- Add the rest of the dry ingredients to the strawberry mixture and whisk gently to combine.
- Pour into a prepared pan. Bake until just firm to the touch and baked through when tested with a cake tester or a toothpick.
TIP: Try not to over bake to ensure that the final cake is nice and moist.
The strawberry cake is complemented by the Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting, which is made with a combination of cream cheese, butter, freeze-dried strawberries, vanilla extract, and powdered sugar or honey to sweeten to taste. It has a deep berry flavor and pairs so well with the berry flavor of the cake. It’s also easy to mix together with an electric mixer.
How to Store
This cake can be made the day before you plan to serve it. Let the cake cool completely in the pan place on a wire rack, then cover tightly with plastic wrap and place in the fridge. You can frost it ahead or just before serving, depending on your personal preference. If you plan to top it with berries, I recommend adding them as close to when you plan to serve it if possible.
Store frosted cake fully covered in the fridge for up to 24 hours before serving. Let sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes before serving. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Best Tips for Success
- Use fresh or frozen strawberries in the cake. Let frozen strawberries thaw before blending them if using.
- Check the cake for doneness with a cake tester. Insert it into the center of the cake and look for it to come out cleanly. Do not overbake.
- Let the cake cool before frosting. You can add the frosting to the cake in the pan or invert the cake onto a platter or cutting board and frosting the bottom of the cake.
- Dairy-free: Use vegan butter or melted coconut oil.
- Gluten-free: Use a 1:1 style of gluten-free flour blend in place of the all-purpose flour.
- Divide the recipe in half to make one 8×8-inch cake.
- Bake in two 9-inch round cake pans and reduce the baking time to 16-18 minutes.
I’d love to hear your feedback on this recipe if you try it, so please comment below to share!
Fresh Strawberry Sheet Cake
- 2 cups diced strawberries (1 cup puree)
- ½ cup unsalted butter (melted and cooled slightly)
- 4 eggs (lightly beaten)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- zest of one lemon
- Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting (double the recipe)
- Fresh strawberries (optional to top)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9×13-inch baking pan.
- Add the berries to a blender and blend into a puree. Measure out 1 cup.
- Add the strawberry puree to a large bowl with the eggs, melted butter, and vanilla.
- Add the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and lemon zest. Gently fold the batter together.
- Add the batter to the prepared cake pan, spreading evenly over the top.
- Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, the edges are lightly golden brown and the center is set. Let pan cool fully on a wire rack.
- Spread Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting over cooled cake. Top with fresh berries if desired to serve.
- 9×13-inch cake pan
- Handheld Mixer
- Store frosted cake fully covered in the fridge for up to 24 hours before serving. Let sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes before serving. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- Make the Strawberry Puree up to 3 days ahead if desired.
- Gluten-free: Use a 1:1 style of gluten-free flour blend.
- Dairy-free: Use melted coconut oil and desired dairy-free icing.
- Egg-free: Use your favorite liquid egg replacer to make up for the volume of 4 eggs (which is typically about 1 cup).
- Find the full Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting recipe.
This post was first published June 2019.