Easy Fresh Strawberry Cake
This is a lovely light strawberry cake recipe with fresh strawberries baked into the batter. The batter is scented with lemon zest, vanilla and almond extract which all work so nicely with strawberries. Jump to the Fresh Strawberry Cake Recipe or read on to see our tips for making it.
We love this simple strawberry cake with it’s tender, light crumb. We add fresh halved strawberries to the top of the batter so as the cake bakes, they fall slightly into the cake. Not only is this cake stunning on the table, it’s absolutely delicious. If you love strawberries, take a look at our fresh strawberry pie! It’s full of sweet strawberries coated in a light strawberry glaze, and then topped with whipped cream.
How to Make Simple Strawberry Cake with Fresh Strawberries
This strawberry cake recipe couldn’t get much easier. The batter is made in one bowl. You do need a hand mixer (you can also use a stand mixer if you don’t have one).
To make the batter, we cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy — the same way we make cookies. Next comes egg yolks and lots of flavor from lemon zest, vanilla extract, almond extract and cinnamon.
The recipe calls for two eggs, but we add them at different times. This is pretty common in cake recipes. By adding the yolk first, it helps to emulsify the batter which really just means it won’t separate later on and makes for a luxurious rich batter.
It’s only after we add the flour that the egg whites come into play. Once the flour is incorporated into the batter, we mix in sour cream and egg whites. The sour cream adds richness, flavor and provides a tender crumb when the cake has baked. The egg whites add structure to the cake, allowing it to rise nice and tall in the baking pan without flowing over the edges.
The cake bakes for a while in the oven — just use a toothpick to check on doneness. If it comes out clean, you’re good to go. When it’s baked and cooled, we love dusting a little powdered sugar over the top, but serving with whipped cream or ice cream is also an excellent plan.
Since we gently press the strawberries into the top of the batter, they fall into the batter over time in the oven. The cake looks amazing when you slice into it and having the baked berries in the middle of the cake keeps things light and full of flavor.
If you loved this recipe, you should take a peek at a few more of our easy cake recipes:
- Buttery Lemon Blueberry Cake — Inspired by pound cake, this blueberry cake has a tender, rich and buttery crumb.
- Upside-Down Pineapple Cake — We love this cake. The batter for this strawberry cake is very similar to the pineapple cake. Instead of adding fruit to the top, the batter is smeared over a layer of softened butter, brown sugar, warm cinnamon, and fresh pineapple slices. Amazing!
- Incredible Moist and Easy Carrot Cake — You will love this incredibly moist carrot cake with its ultra-creamy cream cheese frosting. This is a must make!
Easy Fresh Strawberry Cake
This is a lovely light cake with fresh strawberries baked into the batter. The batter is scented with lemon zest, vanilla and almond extract which all work so nicely with strawberries. Since the cake is so flavorful, we love serving it simply. Try a dusting of powdered sugar on top or next to a bowl of whipped cream. (Ice cream would work, too!)
You Will Need
8 tablespoons (115 grams or 1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar plus 1 teaspoon for strawberries
2 large eggs, separated, see notes
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 ½ cups (195 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (125 grams) sour cream or plain yogurt
8 ounces fresh strawberries, hulled and halved (about 1 1/2 cups)
Powdered sugar for serving, optional
- Make Batter
- To Finish
Position an oven rack in the lower third of the oven and heat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour an 8-inch by 2-inch round pan. Place the pan on an insulated baking sheet or on two regular baking sheets stacked on top of the other (this helps even baking).
In a large bowl, beat the butter and granulated sugar with an electric mixer on high speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the egg yolks, lemon zest, vanilla and almond extract. Beat until smooth and blended. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl then beat in the cinnamon, baking powder and salt.
Mix in a third of the flour until only a few streaks of flour remain then mix in the remaining flour. Add the egg whites and sour cream and mix on medium low speed just until smooth.
Spread the cake batter into an even layer in the baking pan. Gently press strawberries into the top of the batter in a circular pattern so that the strawberries are covering most of the top of the cake. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar over the strawberries.
Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, 35 to 45 minutes.
Cool cake in the pan for 5 minutes then run a knife around the edges and remove from the pan. Place strawberry-side-up on the cooling rack and allow to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature with powdered sugar sprinkled on top.
Adam and Joanne's Tips
- Eggs: It’s common in baking to add the egg yolks at a different time than the whites. Egg yolks help to emulsify the batter and add richness. Adding the whites at the end of the recipe adds some structure to the batter so when it rises in the oven, it does not overflow over the sides of the cake pan.
- Recipe adapted and inspired from Alice Medrich’s upside down cake in “Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts”
- Nutrition facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the VeryWell Fit recipe calculator to calculate approximate values.