Fresh Strawberry Cake
This Fresh Strawberry Cake features loads of ripe berries and a light whipped cream frosting…making it the perfect summer dessert!
Some of the best food I’ve ever eaten was cooked in a parking lot. I kid you not. After college, I moved down to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and holy cow do they know how to cook down there on the bayou! I was born in Texas and grew up in the Carolinas, so I’ve tasted my fair share of delicious Southern food. But I was in for a surprise when I moved to southern Louisiana.
I was in Cajun food heaven! To this day, the best fried fish I’ve ever eaten was cooked in the parking lot outside of LSU’s Tiger Stadium. That same parking lot was also where I first tried alligator. LSU was playing the Florida Gators, so it was entirely appropriate that we fried up some alligator bites that day. It was pretty good actually. It tasted like chicken.
One of the coolest things about living in the deep South is how well everything grew. I planted some pepper seeds outside of my apartment during my first year there. That plant grew to about 4 feet tall and was loaded with hundreds of tiny, red peppers. I have no idea what the pepper was, but I know that just touching a sliced edge of the pepper to your tongue would make your tongue go numb for at least 10 minutes. But on the other end of the spicy scale, Louisiana is known for its’ strawberries. Thanks to the warm weather, strawberry season starts early down there…and this Fresh Strawberry Cake is one of my favorite uses for fresh strawberries!
What do I miss the most about southern Louisiana? I’m tempted to say it’s the weather since I now live in upstate New York where the winter seems like it lasts longer and longer every year. I remember wearing shorts on New Year’s Day in Baton Rouge. Shorts! But I’d have to say that the food is hands down the thing I miss the most. I developed a serious love for Cajun food, and I’ve posted some of favorites here in the past. (Shrimp Etouffee, Creole Red Beans & Rice, Mardi Gras Cinnamon King Cake…the list goes on…a classic New Orleans Muffaletta Sandwich…and on…)
Fresh Strawberry Cake
But one of my favorite treats from Louisiana that I miss the most was actually not Cajun at all. A local bakery in Baton Rouge made a famous strawberry cake that folks would go crazy about every Spring! This cake was every bit as good as advertised, too. It featured layers upon layers of white cake topped with a light strawberry frosting made with chopped, fresh strawberries. It was basically the best strawberry shortcake I’ve ever eaten! Not surprisingly, the bakery kept the recipe for this cake closely guarded, so this is my attempt at recreating this delicious dessert. To be honest, it’s not far off. I should know. I ate a few of those strawberry cakes during my years in Louisiana.
**Update** I recently made a similar version of this cake using blackberries instead of strawberries. It turned out great! I used readers’ comments from this post to slightly tweak the recipe. If you love blackberries, then give this Blackberry Cake a shot!
Did you make this Fresh Strawberry Cake at home? Leave a comment! Or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog). Happy baking!
Looking for more tasty cake recipes? Check out some of these other favorites:
Maple Walnut Cake
Southern Pecan Praline Cake
Red, White and Blue Cheesecake Cake
Fresh Strawberry Cake Roll
Fresh Strawberry Cake
For the Cake
- 4½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1½ Tbsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 1½ cups unsalted butter room temperature
- 3 cups granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 7 large egg whites
- 1½ cups whole milk
- ¾ cup sour cream
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 1½ tsp almond extract
- 2-3 pounds fresh strawberries stems and hulls removed
For the Frosting
- See separate recipes for frosting below
For the Cake
- Grease and flour (3) 8” or 9” round cake pans; set aside. Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Using a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir until well combined; set aside.
- Using a countertop mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (~4-5 minutes on medium speed). Add the egg and egg whites; mix on low speed until well combined.
- Add half of the flour mixture to the bowl; mix on low speed until well combined.
- Add the milk, sour cream, vanilla extract and almond extract; mix on low speed until well combined.
- Add the remaining flour mixture; mix on low speed until well combined. (Tip: Don’t forget to scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure all ingredients are fully mixed.)
- Divide the batter evenly between the 3 cake pans. Bake at 350°F for 20-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Let cakes cool in pan for 5 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack until completely cool.
For the Frosting
- Make either the Original Frosting or the Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting (both recipes below). Note: Some readers have had trouble with the Original version being too loose of a frosting. I have personally never had this happen, but I have included a basic cream cheese frosting recipe here as well. Feel free to make whichever frosting you’d like…both are delicious!
To Assemble the Cake
- Slice ⅓ of the strawberries into thin slices; set aside. Dice the remaining strawberries into smaller pieces.
- Place one layer of cake on a large plate. If using the Original Frosting recipe, spread a layer of diced strawberries on top of the cake and then top with frosting. If using the Cream Cheese Frosting recipe, proceed with frosting the top layer of cake. Repeat this step with the 2nd and 3rd layers of cake and more frosting.
- Using an offset spatula, frost the sides of the cake. (Note: If using the Original Frosting recipe, it is helpful to refrigerate the frosting for about 20-30 minutes before frosting the sides of the cake.)
- Slice the remaining strawberries and garnish the top of the cake with the slices.
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 16 oz. cream cheese room temperature
- 3½-4 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
For the Strawberry Frosting
- Using a clean bowl, beat the heavy cream on high speed until stiff peaks form. Place bowl in the refrigerator to chill.
- In a separate bowl, beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla extract until smooth and well combined.
- Fold ⅓ of the whipped cream into the frosting and gently stir until well combined. Fold the remaining whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture; gently stir until well combined.
- 12 Tbsp unsalted butter room temperature
- 12 oz. cream cheese room temperature
- 1½ Tbsp vanilla extract
- 5½-6 cups powdered sugar
- 3 cups strawberries diced
- Using an electric mixer, cream together butter and cream cheese until smooth.
- Add vanilla extract and powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, mixing after each addition.
- Using a spatula or large spoon, stir in diced strawberries.
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I just use whipped cream instead of whippubg cream and this works perfect every time. Any recipe that calls for whipping cream I immediately substitute for cool whip. Hope this helps.
Hey there, Hannah! That’s a great tip. I like the texture of fresh whipped cream better than whipped topping…but I could totally see how whipped topping would hold up better in a frosting form. I’m going to put your tip as a note in the recipe so other readers see it. Thanks so much for the idea. I really appreciate it! 🙂
My fiancé and I love this cake, and today I made it for the third time. The first two times I made it, with the original frosting recipe, I never had an issue with it being too runny. It always maintained it’s whipped texture, even when the strawberries were added.
Today, however, the “original recipe” produced really loose, runny frosting and, although delicious, it was quite difficult to frost the cake. I’m wondering if the very first post of the recipe had a greater amount of heavy cream in the frosting that helped to maintain the whipped texture.
Whatever that very first recipe was worked for me, and my cake DID turn out like the photos. But not today! I will devour it just the same, but would love to have the original original frosting recipe.
Well – I just looked at the comments immediately above and found my answer. Will use that recipe next time!
Hey there, Rachel! I’m so sorry that this 3rd round didn’t work out. I’m glad you noticed the original recipe, though. 🙂
I have made this cake many times and love it! I just came back to the recipe and notice that the recipe for the original strawberry whipped cream frosting has been changed. I loved the old recipe and never had a problem with the frosting. Can you please repost the old recipe as well? Thank you!
Hey there, Michelle! You know, you aren’t the first person that has mentioned having success with that old frosting recipe. Judging by the comments, I thought I was the only one that could get that one to work! But I’m actually really happy to hear from folks who enjoyed that original one. I reposted that original recipe here: http://spicedblog.com/original-strawberry-cake Will you take a look and see if that’s the one you were thinking of? Thanks so much! I really do appreciate you visiting my site!!
I can not tell you how excited I am to make this cake. I know exactly what bakery you are referring to. I myself have gone crazy over it seeing as my grandparents are in Baton Rouge. Can’t wait to bring the southern love to my little Utah kitchen! Thank you!
Hey Madison! Oh man, do I miss those days in Baton Rouge! We’re in upstate New York now, so a long, long way from south Louisiana. So this recipe isn’t a copycat version of the one from BR (I don’t have their recipe!), but it is inspired by that recipe. I do hope you enjoy it, and I hope it reminds you of eating strawberry cake with your grandparents! I do recommend taking a look at the comments and notes in the recipe. Some folks have had trouble with the original frosting which is why I recommend just dicing the strawberries instead of putting them into the actual frosting. (Of course, I’ve had a bunch of notes from other folks who say the original frosting worked perfectly!) Either way, enjoy this one and thanks for leaving a comment!!
Gorgeous pictures. Omfg this fresh strawberry cake looks amazing and delicious. I would try making this cake for sure! Thanks for sharing David!
Hey Jill! Thank you so much for the kind words. 🙂 This cake is indeed delicious, and it’s one of my favorite recipes. It’s been a work-in-progress as I’ve continually tweaked the recipe, but I always make sure to update the post each time. I hope you enjoy this one, and thanks so much for stopping by, my baking friend!
I made this about a year ago for my son’s birthday and I used your original frosting recipe. It was the best frosting I have ever had!! I am not a cake and especially not an icing person, but I loved this one so much that I am making it again for my youngest son’s smash cake. However the frosting… I followed the recipe but it seems it has way too much cream cheese? (I’m making the original) where is the original original recipe?? It worked beautifully and didn’t taste like cream cheese. (I can’t stand cream cheese icing.)
Hey Melinda! Thank you so much for (1) making this cake originally and (2) coming back to make it again. I’ve heard a number of people describe this cake as a cake for folks who don’t like cake. 🙂 As you can tell from the number of comments, I had a bunch of feedback that the original frosting recipe just wasn’t working. I felt terrible about that, so I reworked the recipe into something a bit more foolproof. Then when I updated it, I started getting comments asking for the original recipe again. I should’ve just left it alone. BUT…good news! I managed to dig up the original, original, original version of this post, and I’ve stuck it out here: http://spicedblog.com/original-strawberry-cake I promise I’ll never touch that recipe again. I appreciate the feedback, and I hope your son has a wonderful birthday. Smash cakes are the best…why can’t adults have those, too?? Cheers!
Hi – I just tried making this. Had absolutely no issues with the cake batter, cakes came out great. My problems struck with the cream cheese frosting. I thought I’d try to be clever and set the diced berries to drain some of their juice before I folded them into the frosting. I got nearly 1/3 cup of juice out, and yet the frosting still turned soupy on me. So much for that idea!
I think it would better if you did not dice the berries, but either chunked them or used larger slices for better juice retention, just as a suggestion.
Hey Jenna! Thanks so much for leaving this feedback. You know, I think you might have finally nailed the problem with this frosting…the amount of juice in the berries. I’ve made this cake probably half a dozen times over the years, and while the frosting is looser than say a traditional buttercream frosting, I’ve never had an issue with it being “soupy” as others have commented. But strawberries can certainly vary with how juicy they are…and that could easily impact the frosting. 1/3 cup of liquid is crazy!
Good idea about slicing instead of dicing. It might lead to less liquid overall. I’ll put a note in the recipe here about that idea, and I’ll try it next time we make this cake…likely once it finally starts to warm up here in New York. Thanks again for the feedback!
Has anyone used prepared whipped topping? If so, how much? Love the Ambrosia cake and hope this will rank right up there. Geaux Tigers.
Hey Jo! That’s a great question. To my knowledge, no one has tried prepared whipped topping yet. But I bet it would be a great stand-in here! I believe the problem that some folks are having is the juice from the strawberries is making the frosting too loose. But only some people have this problem…so that’s what makes me think it might be the ripeness of the berries. Either way, a prepared whipped topping might be a great idea as it holds up pretty well. (I’ve just never folded diced berries into topping like that, so I can’t say for sure.) If you try it with whipped topping, will you let me know how it works out??
It’s been years (10+?) since I had a slice of that Ambrosia cake, but I gotta say that this one is pretty darn tasty. And Geaux Tigers!! Thanks, Jo!
Hi, I’ve made this cake 3 times before this and never had a problem with the real “original frosting” recipe. So, I tried the updated version and although it’s good, I like the original one better. Could you send me that one or post the non-updated original recipe so I can use that one next time.
Hey Camrun! Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving a comment. Like you, I’ve never had any trouble with that original recipe, but so many readers were leaving comments with troubles that I decided to rework it to make it more stable. But good news! As soon as I did that, a number of folks (like you!) starting asking for the original one again. So I created a separate page from my archives with that original recipe. https://spicedblog.com/original-strawberry-cake I hope this helps! And don’t hesitate to ask/comment if you have any other thoughts. Enjoy and happy baking!! 🙂
So excited to try this recipe this weekend for my brother-in-law’s birthday based on all the reviews. I’m going to try the original recipe frosting (from the link above May 2014) but just want to double check if the sugar in that frosting recipe is regular granulated sugar or powdered sugar?
Hey Callie! Awesome – I really hope you enjoy this cake. As you can tell, I’ve toyed with this recipe a couple of times over the years in response to feedback from readers. About half of the folks out there love the original recipe while the other half have left comments saying the frosting didn’t work. It has always worked for me! To answer your question, though, it is granulated sugar. If your berries are super ripe and the frosting is too loose, a bit of powdered sugar should help soak up the extra liquid – just a tip! Happy baking! 🙂
I made the cake and put 3/4 cup of diced strawberries in the batter (1/4 in each layer gently folded in the pan) and about the same amount in the icing (original). I also sliced some strawberries and placed between the layers. All diced or sliced strawberries were placed on a paper towel for a few minutes to soak up some of the juice but not all. It was perfect and didn’t last long with company in for the weekend.
Hey Jo! Great tips about soaking up just a bit of that strawberry juice on paper towels. I’m really glad this cake turned out well for you and the company that was visiting. And I really appreciate you coming back and commenting, too! Thanks so much, my friend! 🙂
Looks and sounds yummy, I will have to give it a try. Lots of egg whites, does that make the cake light and fluffy ???
I use to make an angel food strawberry cake
Make angel food cake and cool.
While cake is baking, cut up about a quart of berries and put in strainer over bowl, cover with plastic and put in fridge.
Just before serving cut cake into 3 or 4 layers (depending on how tall your cake is)
Then make stiff whipped cream ( use 1 quart ), adding few tablespoons of the stwby juice before starting to whip, add some Conf sugar and whip to stiff peaks, add in drained berries and stir.
Fill layers with the strawberry filled whipped cream and serve immediately, cutting with serrated edge knife
Put rest of whipped cream in bowl for those that want extra strawberry cream, everyone did 🙂
Yes, there are indeed a lot of egg whites in this cake, Mar, but it doesn’t lead to a super fluffy cake. Instead, the cake is a bit on the denser side…think pound cake, but not a full-on pound cake. This is a cake that I’ve had multiple (many even?) people say that they don’t normally like cake, but they like this one. (On a side note, how do people NOT like cake!? Haha!)
Thanks for sharing those notes for the angel food cake. I love fresh strawberry season, and I like your idea of using a few tablespoons of strawberry juice in the whipped cream…cool concept! 🙂
I see so many prople have tried this recipe and some struggled with the frosting. I made it & used an 8 oz container of Cool Whip Extra Creamy which was much more stable to work with & turned out wonderful. Everyone loved it & I’ll be adding this to one of my favorite recipe. Thank you for sharing. BJ
Hey BJ! You’re indeed correct that a lot of folks have had trouble with the frosting. I’ve never had that same trouble, but I suspect it’s coming from how much juice is in the actual strawberries. I included a different frosting recipe, and I haven’t heard about much trouble there. But with all of that said, I really appreciate your tip about the Cool Whip here. That would be a nice and easy (and stable) way to frost this cake. I’m glad you enjoyed it…and thanks for coming back to comment, too! 🙂
This was a huge hit! I did use 2 tsp of Wilton’s clear piping gel when the cream was whipped, to stabilize it. My cake needed to sit overnight and I was worried the whipped cream would lose water. This helps with that a lot! The icing was perfect and delicious. I used the lesser amount of sugar and the cream cheese flavor with the strawberries was really good!
Strawberries are not yet in season but my sister really wanted a strawberry cake for her birthday so you helped make it happen. Thanks!
Hey there, Mimi! Thank you so much for the tips on stabilizing the whipped cream. I really appreciate it! I’m happy to hear that the cake sat overnight without any trouble at all…and I’m sure other readers will also appreciate these tips! It really does make me happy that your sister enjoyed this cake. 🙂 Happy baking, my friend, and thanks again for taking the time to come back and comment. Cheers!
Another delicious creation, David – how good this looks! Such a pretty colour, and I can almost taste it right now. Strawberry is my favourite – I will have to get some and make this before the season ends.
Hey Alexandra! Thank you so much for the kind comment here. I keep forgetting you are in the opposite season…I was like “wait, it’s almost time for strawberry season to begin!” 🙂 It’s been a long winter here this year, and I can’t wait for some warm weather to return! (P.S. Feel free to send warm weather up my way…thanks.)
Absolutely delicious. Strawberries are my fav fruit and the dessert is the best dessert I have ever had. My family requests me to make this often.
Awesome! Thank you so much, Lisa! I love this cake, too, and we’re heading into fresh strawberry season…I can’t wait to make this one again here, too. Hope you have a great weekend! 🙂
So I’m just now stumbling upon this recipe and as someone who actually worked at that bakery, I can tell you this isn’t it. I’m sure this one is delicious (I plan to make if for my next cake) and I know this was just inspired by the fresh strawberry cake, but if you’re looking for a copycat, this isn’t the one for you. Hoping this one turns out as delicious as it sounds!
Hey Shelby! I appreciate you stopping by and leaving a comment. As I stated in the post, I don’t have the actual recipe from Ambrosia Bakery, and I don’t claim that this is a copycat. I just used that concept to create my own version, and I have to say that this is a very tasty cake! We make this cake a couple times each spring/summer during fresh strawberry season, and it’s a family favorite! If you’d like to share any tips or tricks from an insider, then I would certainly appreciate it! 🙂 Happy baking, my friend!
Hello, it looks like the original frosting recipe does not have strawberries mixed in it? Is that correct? the photo looks like there are strawberries mixed in. I can’t wait to make this cake!
Hey Laura! You are absolutely correct with your guess here. The photos show strawberries mixed into the frosting as that’s how I first made this cake. However, a number of readers reported that the frosting was too loose and couldn’t be spread onto the cake. (The other half of the readers reported that the frosting was fine.) With that in mind, I updated the recipe a bit as I hated that readers were making this cake and it wasn’t working out well.
So now I recommend making the frosting without the strawberries mixed in. My best guess is that the sugar from the frosting was sometimes causing the berries to produce juice (think what happens when you mix strawberries with a little sugar and let them sit). So the easiest way around this possible problem was to make frosting without the strawberries and then sprinkle them on top. The other option is just to go with the cream cheese version that is much stiffer and will frost well. I hope this wasn’t too long-winded of an answer! Happy baking! 🙂
The cake was wonderful! It was light and airy with a beautiful vanilla flavor. Unfortunately the cream cheese frosting called for 1 1/2 tbsp of vanilla and it made the frosting turn brownish and was much too overpowering. Perhaps it was a typo. I’ve since looked up other cream cheese frosting recipes and I have t found any that call for that much vanilla. Fortunately I tasted the frosting before I ruined the cake with it.
Glad you enjoyed the cake, Asha! If you’re worried about vanilla extract turning the frosting an off-white color, you can always use clear vanilla – that’s what many professional bakeries use.
I made this today!! I made it exactly as written and even folded the strawberries into the original frosting. It was the best cake and frosting I’ve ever had. Literally delicious. Not too sweet. Light. Held perfectly. Thank you.
Hey Carly! Thanks so much for the comment. 🙂 I love the original version of frosting, too, and I’ve never had one bit of trouble with it. It’s such a fun cake…perfect for early summer evenings, right?? Thanks again!
Please Help Me, I’m Confused With the Frosting, Which One Of The Frosting Is The Fool Proof One!!!, The Up-Dated (original) Or The Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting!!!This Will Be A Keeper!!!
Hey Carol! I agree that the names are a bit confusing now that I’m looking at them again. The “foolproof” frosting is the 2nd one – the Strawberry Cream Cheese frosting. I hope you enjoy this cake – we’ve always loved it here!
We loved the icing! My daughter did add a little bit more powdered sugar when it was starting to get thin, but we will definitely keep this recipe. Thank you!
Awesome – I’m so glad you enjoyed this recipe, Celia! It is one of our favorites here – especially when the fresh summer strawberries come into season. 🙂 Happy baking!!
I’ve made this before and it was delicious. I’m thinking of trying it again but using flavored shatto strawberry milk! Has anyone tried that yet? If so what was it like?
Hey Cynthia! I’m so glad you enjoyed this cake – it’s one of our favorites, too. As far as the strawberry milk, I think it would work just fine. I looked up Shatto’s strawberry milk, and it’s simply whole milk with strawberry flavor – so it shouldn’t change the baking process at all. Although one thought is that it might turn the cake a bit pinkish – not that it’s a bad thing, though. Let me know if you try that idea out!
I made it for my son’s birthday, everyone liked it, very nice. I put quite a lot less sugar in the icing though and it was lovely!
Awesome! I’m so glad everyone enjoyed this cake, Leyla – it’s one of our favorites here! 🙂
AMAZING!!! I used the original icing recipe. It’s not overly sweet, so it’s really like an amazing strawberry shortcake. I went a little light on the strawberries in the middle, but I know better for next time! It was a hit and I didn’t have any left overs.
I made it the night before serving and refrigerated it, which i think kind of helped it marinate if that makes sense.
Can’t wait to make it again! Thank you so much for sharing this!
Awesome! I’m so glad you loved this cake, Emily – it really is great for spring! (Truthfully it’s great any time of the year, but it’s really good when fresh strawberries are in season!) I really appreciate you taking the time to leave a comment here, too. Happy baking (next time)! 🙂
Hi! Love this cake. Just wanted to mention that I use fresh sliced strawberries in between the layers but use freeze dried strawberries (run through the food processor) in the frosting. Works fabulous and tastes great.
Hey Laura! That’s an awesome tip about using freeze dried strawberries in the icing here. I’ll have to keep that in mind next time I make this cake. I appreciate you sharing!! 🙂
I would love a bite of that cake- it looks absolutely beautiful and delicious. Of course strawberries and whipped cream is one of favorites.
Thanks so much for the kind words, Judee! I do love this cake…especially this time of the year when strawberries are at their peak of flavor! 🙂
This cake us wonderful! I’m going to need a larger cake container. It is just to tall, luckily the strawberries on top keep the lid from resting on the icing. My daughter wanted butter cream icing so that is what we did. I would love to try this again with the whip cream icing.
Ah, that’s a good point about cake containers, Tina! We have a combo cupcake/cake container with a collapsible lid (https://amzn.to/3M2SKkb), and it gives us extra space for storing. Both of the frosting options are quite tasty, and I’m not sure I have a favorite. I’m so glad you enjoyed this recipe – it’s the perfect time of the year for strawberry cake!! 🙂