Fresh Strawberry Cake

Tested & Perfected Recipes

Jam-packed with fresh strawberries, this strawberry cake is one of the simplest, most delicious cakes you’ll ever make.

Strawberry Cake

This strawberry cake recipe was sent to me by Karen Tannenbaum, a longtime reader, avid baker, and all-around lovely lady. In her email to me, Karen described a dinner she made that ended with this dessert as “just like a night in heaven.” I was sold. Within a few days, I had the cake in the oven — and, sure enough, it was the one of the simplest, prettiest, most delicious cakes I’d ever made.

The beauty of this cake is that it’s made with very few ingredients, and you can have it in the oven in under 15 minutes. What’s more, it’s a great way to use up extra strawberries or salvage berries that are less than perfect, and it keeps well for days. The recipe was originally published in Martha Stewart Living in June 2005, though it has been modified just a bit.

Ingredients For Strawberry Cake

ingredients for strawberry cake

How To Make Strawberry Cake

Begin by combining the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.

dry ingredients in mixing bowl

Whisk to combine and set aside.

whisked dry ingredients in mixing bowl

Beat the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.

creaming butter and sugarAdd the egg and vanilla.

adding egg and vanilla

Beat to combine.

mixing egg and vanilla into batter

Add some of the flour.

gradually adding the flour to the batter

Mix to combine, then add some of the milk.

alternating the flour with the milkAlternately add the remaining flour and milk, beating until smooth. The batter will be quite thick.

finished strawberry cake batter in mixing bowl

Transfer the batter to a buttered 9-inch deep dish pie pan (or 9-inch cake pan) and smooth with a spatula.

spreading batter in pie dish

Arrange the strawberry halves on top of the batter.

topping the batter with strawberries The sprinkle with the remaining sugar. (Don’t be tempted to omit the sugar here; it balances the tartness of the berries and forms a deliciously crisp crust on top the cake.)

strawberries sprinkled with sugar

Bake at 350°F for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 325° and bake for about an hour more.

baked strawberry cake Cool the strawberry cake on a rack. Serve warm or room temperature, either plain or topped with sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Strawberry Cake

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Fresh Strawberry Cake

Jam-packed with fresh strawberries, this strawberry cake is one of the simplest, most delicious cakes you’ll ever make.

Servings: One 9-inch cake, 8-10 servings
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 1 Hour 10 Minutes
Total Time: 1 Hour 25 Minutes


  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus more for greasing the pan
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup milk (low fat is fine)
  • About 3/4 pound strawberries, hulled and halved


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and butter a 9-inch deep dish pie pan or 9-inch square cake pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and 1 cup of the sugar until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and beat on low speed until well combined. Gradually add the flour mixture, alternating with the milk, and beat on low speed until smooth. (Note: the batter will be thick.)
  4. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and smooth with a spatula (if you use a square cake pan, the batter will only come about 3/4-inch up the sides of the pan -- that's ok). Arrange the strawberries on top, cut side down, so that they completely cover the batter (the recipe calls for approximately 3/4 pound of strawberries; use more or less if necessary). Sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar over the strawberries.
  5. Bake for ten minutes, then reduce the heat to 325°F and bake until the cake is lightly golden and a tester comes out clean, about an hour. Let the cake cool in the pan on a rack. Serve with sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, if desired.
  6. Cake can be stored at room temperature for several days, loosely covered.
  7. Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The cake can be frozen for up to 3 months. After it is completely cooled, cover it tightly with aluminum foil or freezer wrap. Thaw overnight on the countertop before serving.

Nutrition Information

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  • Per serving (10 servings)
  • Calories: 241
  • Fat: 8 g
  • Saturated fat: 5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 40 g
  • Sugar: 25 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 3 g
  • Sodium: 185 mg
  • Cholesterol: 38 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Reviews & Comments

  • I have made this cake a few times now and it’s the only recipe I haven’t tweaked in some way. It’s perfect the way it is. The way the sugar crusts on top and the sweet buttery taste of the cake all combined together to form the most moist and delicious desert. I love it with or without some whipped cream on top. It’s my favorite cake. Side note, I picked this recipe because I have the exact pie pan. It was meant to be though. Thank you so much for sharing.

    • — Angela Helms on August 16, 2021
    • Reply
  • I made this today and it was great but it ended up having a bitter taste towards the end. Too much baking powder? I used double acting. What should I do next time?

    • — Dawn on August 11, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Dawn, when you said it had a bitter taste “toward the end” do you mean it left a bitter aftertaste or that it was one of the last pieces that tasted that way?

      • — Jenn on August 13, 2021
      • Reply
  • It was neat to see how quickly and easily this pretty cake came together, but I definitely agree with other reviewers that you could go half the amount on all the sugar in the entire recipe. It’s a nice item for brunch or afternoon tea, but not really dessert alone.

    • — Tara on August 6, 2021
    • Reply
  • Delicious thank you. A very pretty cake or dessert which froze really well. H.

    • — Helen on August 5, 2021
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    This cake is absolutely delicious! I was skeptical that it would be too plain, but boy, was I wrong. All your recipes are my go-to’s. They always come out perfect!

    I have a question for you. I measure all my ingredients using a scale and I find that different brands of flour have different weights. What brand of flour do you use when baking and writing your recipes?

    • — Lucille Barresi on August 5, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Lucille, So glad you enjoyed! You are correct on the flour. I use King Arthur for all of my baking recipes, and it does make a big difference.

      • — Jenn on August 6, 2021
      • Reply
      • Just realized I never rated this recipe. 5 stars for sure!!

        • — LUCILLE BARRESI on August 6, 2021
        • Reply
  • I was hesitant to make this cake. Something about baked strawberries just sounded not quite right. But wow! Was I wrong! This cake really is as delicious as all the other reviews claim. I made mine with strawberries on one side and blueberries on the other. Both were great. But the strawberries were extra special. This is going into my most favorite cake folder. I’ll be making this great cake many times. My husband loved it too. Thanks, Jenn!

    • — Peg Reiter on August 3, 2021
    • Reply
  • I made this recipe and the whole family loved, loved, loved it! Thank you!

    • — Kelly Lynn Martin on July 31, 2021
    • Reply
  • I just LOVE, LOVE this recipe! Strawberries and blueberries with coarse sugar sprinkled on top made a beautiful 4th of July dessert! It’s also a wonderful way to use those extra berries before they go bad. I chop the strawberries into large pieces, fold most into the batter, then sprinkle the remaining berries on top. Sprinkle with sugar and ta-da!! Yummy!!

    • — Melanie on July 31, 2021
    • Reply
  • I make this cake often during the summer. It is wonderful , easy and always loved by my family and guests. I too find that sprinkling 1 TBSP of sugar over the strawberries is sufficient.
    Can you substitute peaches ( peeled and sliced) and or blueberries for the strawberries? Carol 7/29/21

    • — Carol on July 29, 2021
    • Reply
    • Glad you like it! Yes, peaches or blueberries will work here too. Please LMK how it turns out if you try it with either of these!

      • — Jenn on July 30, 2021
      • Reply
    • Can I add vanilla instant pudding powder to this cake?

      • — Kaci on August 4, 2021
      • Reply
      • Hi Kaci, Without trying it, it’s hard to say how it would impact the recipe, so I wouldn’t recommend it — sorry!

        • — Jenn on August 4, 2021
        • Reply
        • Well, trying as we speak. I substituted a quarter cup of the sugar with instant vanilla pudding powder. I added it into the flour mixture. I’ll let you know how it turns out. I also used fresh peaches and fresh strawberries and just almond extract.

          • — Kaci on August 4, 2021
          • Reply
  • Made this for a family get-together last weekend. It was a hit! The cake was so moist and tender. A wonderful cake to serve in the summertime given that it doesn’t have icing on it, just juicy strawberries.

    • — Amy Grimes on July 29, 2021
    • Reply
  • First made this cake years ago based solely on Jenn’s endorsement. My initial concern was it was too simple and perhaps too plain to impress. Was I wrong! All I can say is: “Jenn, THANK YOU!” This recipe has turned out to be one of the most loved. My chocoholic husband whom I thought would give this a polite nod? It’s one of his all-time favorites. The friends I made it for 3 weeks ago? They just told me yesterday: “By the way, that Strawberry Cake? Absolutely delicious, DELICIOUS!” Something magical somehow happens in the oven when these few simple ingredients come together. Thanks again, Jenn!

    • — Diane on July 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • This is a very tasty cake!

    • — Mike on July 25, 2021
    • Reply
  • Easy and tasty recipe

    • — Gita on July 25, 2021
    • Reply
  • This is a very easy and fabulous recipe. I made it for a little dinner party and it got rave reviews. I like how a little crust forms around the edges. I only used 1 tbsp sugar sprinkled over the top and that was plenty. Next time I may try using gluten free flour. Either way I’ll make it again. It’s a keeper.

    • — Mary on July 23, 2021
    • Reply

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