Cake & Cheesecake | May 6, 2022

Easy Fresh Strawberry Cake

Strawberry Cake. It’s the cake dreams are made of! This Strawberry cake is exactly what you think of when dreaming strawberry cake dreams. Soft, moist cake, made with fresh strawberries, frosted with a rich, but not overpowering fresh strawberry and cream cheese frosting.

Easy Fresh Strawberry Cake

Here is what makes this cake even more desirable. It is quick. And easy. And tastes like you worked all day to make a cake that took minutes to mix, bake and frost!

Easy Fresh Strawberry Cake

Strawberry cake is one of my favorite springtime desserts. It’s bright and  festive and has a perfect balance of sweet (and a little tart) in the strawberry frosting. I’ve tried for years to perfect a completely from-scratch strawberry cake, and never been completely  satisfied with the results. That cake is still in the works!

This cake on the other hand, is perfection in every sense!  My sister in law, Sheri, gave me this recipe years ago. I’ve always wanted to tweak the frosting, which always turned out runny for me. The cake also gave me trouble, dry one time and wet the next. I was determined to make this recipe fool-proof; without having to guess every time I made it. It finally happened. A few small changes, and this recipe for Easy Fresh Strawberry Cake is now perfection! I think you will fall in love with this simple cake made with fresh berries, freeze-dried berries, and a few other key ingredients…

Fresh Strawberry Cake made with Jello

Freeze-dried berries?? Yes, it’s the secret ingredient to success in this frosting recipe. I made this cake for years before trying crushed, fresh berries. The result? Always a runny or less than set-up frosting. The freeze-dried berries give the strawberry cream cheese frosting intense flavor without adding so much liquid that the frosting breaks down and becomes runny.  Experienced cake experts, such as Sally from Sally’s Baking Addiction and Courtney of Cake by Courtney both use dehydrated strawberries to solve this problem.

Freeze-dried strawberries are found at most grocery stores near the dried fruit. I regularly purchase freeze-dried strawberries at Smith’s (Kroger), Harmons, and Trader Joe’s.

If strawberry cake is your favorite (or your mom’s favorite) this recipe is going to knock your socks off! It is pretty enough for a birthday or holiday celebration, and simple enough for a backyard barbecue with neighbors. I love the versatility of this cake. It can be baked in a 9×13 pan, round cake pans, as well as a bundt pan.

Strawberry Cake with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients for Strawberry Cake with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • Any brand white cake mix. I like Betty Crocker for this recipe. 
  • Small box of strawberry Jello. This adds flavor and the bright color everyone loves in a strawberry cake. 
  • 8-9 ounces fresh strawberries. Enough berries to equal 1 1/2 cups after blended or crushed. 
  • Vegetable or canola oil. This is a necessary ingredient that helps the cake to be extra moist!
  • Butter, unsalted and softened for smooth frosting.
  • Cream cheese at room temperature. This will help in creating the most smooth and creamy frosting. Only use regular (not low fat)  cream cheese for best results.
  • Powdered sugar for the frosting. 
  • Fresh strawberries for garnish. 
Strawberry Cake with freeze dried strawberries in frosting

How to make Easy Fresh Strawberry Cake:

  • Preheat Oven to 325 (350 for bundt) degrees and prepare pans.
  • Combine cake mix, flour and Jello in a bowl.
  • Add pureed strawberries, eggs, oil, water and vanilla, beat for 2 minutes. 
  • Pour into prepared pans and bake, let cool.
  • Prepare frosting while cake is baking. 
  • Place one layer of cooled cake on plate, frost with 1 cup frosting. Place other layer on top. 
  • Carefully frost sides and top of cake with thin layer of frosting to make a crumb coat.
  • Place in freezer for 30 minutes. Remove and frost with remaining frosting and garnish just before serving.

I use this handy little scraper to decorate the sides of the cake and hide any imperfections. I’ve had it for years and it cost me a whole $2!

How to make the best fresh strawberry cake with a cake mix

Recipe for Fresh Strawberry Cake was originally posted in 2012, updated with new content and photos in May, 2022

For other popular cakes made with cake mixes on ABK, see our Best German Chocolate Bundt Cake, Lemon Almond Poppyseed Cake, Nan’s Coconut Cake, Funfetti Birthday Cake, and Fool Proof Chocolate Bundt Cake with Fudge Frosting.

5 from 3 votes
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Easy Fresh Strawberry Cake

Easy cake made with a cake mix, fresh crushed strawberries and dehydrated strawberries in cream cheese frosting.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword birthday cake, cake, cake mix, cream cheese, cream cheese frosting, easy recipe, fresh strawberries, holiday recipe, strawberry cake
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
cool time, refrigeration time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings 12

Ingredients

Strawberry Cake

  • 1 box white cake mix
  • 1 (3 ounce) box strawberry instant Jello
  • 8-9 ounces fresh strawberries or 1 1/2 cups blended or crushed (weight after trimming off tops)
  • 4 large eggs room temperature
  • 1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 4 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 2 ounces freeze-dried strawberries, crushed in food processor
  • 5-6 cups powdered sugar
  • dash of salt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk or cream to thin the frosting if needed
  • additional fresh strawberries for garnish

Instructions

Strawberry Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees and place rack in the center of the oven. Line 2 (9-inch) or 3 (8-inch) round cake pans with parchment paper, grease.

  2. In a large bowl, combine cake mix and dry Jello. Add pureed fresh strawberries, eggs, oil, water and vanilla; beat for 2 minutes at medium speed.

  3. Pour into prepared pans, and bake for 28-30 minutes for 9 inch pans, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached.

  4. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, cool.

Fresh Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed for 2-3 minutes.

  2. Beat in crushed freeze-dried strawberries. Add powdered sugar a cup at a time on low speed. Add a dash of salt and fresh lemon juice. Continue to beat.

  3. Thin frosting with milk or cream. Beat for 4-5 minutes until frosting is light and fluffy.

  4. Place cake on plate or cake stand. Spread about 1 cup of frosting on bottom layer. Place second layer on top. Frost sides and top of cake with thin layer of frosting. Place in freezer for 20 minutes or until frosting is set.

  5. Remove from freezer, spread remaining frosting on sides and top. Garnish with fresh strawberries. Refrigerate until ready to serve, refrigerate any leftovers.

Recipe Notes

  • This recipe can be made into a bundt cake, a 9×13, 2 (9-inch) or 3 (8-inch) round pans. For bundt cake, bake at 350 for approximately 50-60 minutes,  9×13 at 350 about 40 minutes or until top springs back when touched lightly and a toothpick inserted comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. 
  • This frosting can also be made with all butter instead of cream cheese. 

10 thoughts on “Easy Fresh Strawberry Cake

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Recipe Rating




  1. I read thru this a few times and didn’t see anything about the freeze-dried strawbs? I’ve never seen them? Where would you buy them?

    1. Hi Jodi!
      Freeze-dried strawberries are found at most grocery stores near the dried fruit. I regularly purchase freeze-dried strawberries at Smith’s (Kroger), Harmons, and Trader Joe’s. Of course, Amazon can deliver as well! Hope you enjoy this recipe and thank you for reading ABK.
      xo,
      Si

    1. Wow I think is the first review you’ve ever left! 😂🥰 I’m glad you loved this cake so much!
      XO

  2. 5 stars
    This is a very delicious cake and so easy to make. It turned out so beautiful! Thank you so much for this recipe. I will be making this over and over again.

    1. Thanks for your positive comments, Ellen! I love this cake too and appreciate your positive feedback. Thanks for reading ABK.
      xo,
      Si

  3. Thanks for this recipe! So excited to try. Any way to do the strawberry flavor in a buttercream frosting? We aren’t cream cheese fans here.

    1. Hi Sarah,
      Great question. Yes, try the buttercream frosting from my White Cake Recipe (Just click on the recipe title and you’ll be linked to the white cake) and add the crushed freeze-dried strawberries. Let me know how this works for your family. Thanks for reading ABK!
      xo,
      Si

  4. 5 stars
    I made this strawberry cake over the weekend for a friend’s birthday. (He said it was the best cake he has ever tasted!) I doubled the recipe and used three 8″ cake pans for a tall cake. The cake had a delicious strawberry flavor, was so moist and the frosting was a perfect complement. I will make this cake over and over again!

    1. Hi Cindy,
      I bet your cake looked beautiful with three layers of strawberry! What a kind gift to make for your friend’s birthday. Thank you for your comments and positive feedback.
      xo,
      Si