Easy Fresh Strawberry Cake
I love this simple strawberry cake recipe made with fresh strawberries. Thanks to lemon zest, vanilla, and almond extract, the batter tastes light and flavorful. There’s no need for frosting with this cake. It’s excellent served plain or with a dollop of freshly whipped cream. Jump to the Fresh Strawberry Cake Recipe
You will love this simple strawberry cake with its tender, light crumb. We add fresh halved strawberries to the top of the batter so that they fall slightly into the cake as the cake bakes. This cake is stunning on the table, and it’s delicious.
More: 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.
Perfect Strawberry Cake with Fresh Strawberries
This strawberry cake recipe is easy; here’s why:
- You only need a hand mixer, not a stand mixer.
- It’s quick to make and made in one bowl.
- It calls for a simple list of ingredients.
To make the batter, we beat softened butter and sugar together until light and fluffy — the same way we make cookies. Next come 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. Adding the yolk first helps emulsify the batter, keeping the cake tender. Then, after folding in the flour, we add the egg whites and some sour cream.
The sour cream adds richness and guarantees 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 or sinking in the middle.
The cake bakes for a while in the oven — use a toothpick to check on doneness. If it comes out clean, you’re good to go. We love dusting a little powdered sugar over the top when it’s baked and cooled, 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 impressive when you slice into it, and all of the baked strawberries in the middle of the cake keep it 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, buttery crumb.
- Upside-Down Pineapple Cake — We love this cake. The batter for this strawberry cake is very similar to the pineapple cake. However, 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. A must make!
Easy Fresh Strawberry Cake
You will love this simple, light, and lovely strawberry cake recipe! We bake halved fresh strawberries into a batter flavored with lemon zest, vanilla, and almond extract. Serve slices of cake plain, dusted with powdered sugar, or a dollop of fresh whipped cream.
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 fine sea 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 the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter and flour an 8-inch by 2-inch round cake pan. (Optional: Place the pan on an insulated baking sheet or use 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.
Fold half of the flour into the batter until only a few streaks of flour remain, then fold in the remaining flour.
Add the egg whites and sour cream and mix on low speed just until the batter is smooth.
Spread the cake batter into an even layer in the baking pan.
Arrange the strawberry halves on top of the batter in a circular pattern, covering the top of the cake. Sprinkle one 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.