Strawberries and Cream Cake

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A delicious, homemade-from-scratch best ever strawberry cake with a thick cream cheese frosting and garnished with sugared strawberries. The perfect cake for Mother’s Day!

Right in time for Mother’s Day, I’ve got you covered for dessert πŸ™‚ This strawberry cake is relatively simple to make (no worrying about different pans and layering cakes with frosting in between), moist and flavorful, packed with strawberries, and it’s beautiful! And after your mom goes crazy over this cake, then you’ll want to use this recipe for all kinds of occasions – a baby shower (for a girl), a pink-themed party, a gorgeous Spring/Summer cake…there are so many times when you’ll need a delicious-from-scratch pink strawberry cake!

 More strawberry desserts:

Mini Vanilla Cheesecakes with Strawberry Sauce

Frozen Strawberry Ice Cream Pie

 

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Strawberries and Cream Cake

4.74 from 19 votes
A delicious, homemade-from-scratch best ever strawberry cake with a thick cream cheese frosting and garnished with sugared strawberries. The perfect cake for Mother's Day!
Print Recipe

Strawberries and Cream Cake

4.74 from 19 votes
A delicious, homemade-from-scratch best ever strawberry cake with a thick cream cheese frosting and garnished with sugared strawberries. The perfect cake for Mother's Day!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 9 x 13 cake
Calories 312kcal
Author Chelsea, adapted from MyRecipes

Ingredients

Strawberry Cake

  • 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 2 cups white granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 cups + 3 tablespoons white flour
  • 5 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons strawberry jell-o mix, dry (not prepared)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk (or milk mixed with lemon juice--check notes)
  • Optional: 3-4 drops red food coloring
  • 2/3 cup finely diced fresh strawberries

Frosting

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 1 package (8 ounces) full-fat cream cheese at room temperature, don't use low fat
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (OR 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste)
  • 3 to 4 cups powdered sugar (depending on desired consistency; I usually use 3 cups)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

Topping

  • 1 and 1/2 cups sliced strawberries
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons white granulated sugar

Instructions

Cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9 x 13 pan and set aside.
  • Beat the room temperature butter with hand mixers until light and creamy. Slowly add in the sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy.
  • In another bowl, lightly beat the eggs and then add to the butter mixture and mix. Add in the freshly squeezed lemon juice. Beat in the buttermilk. If desired, add in the red food coloring here too and mix that in.
  • In a separate bowl, sift together the flour and cornstarch 2-3 times and then add in the jell-o mix, baking soda, and salt. It is important to separate bowls so the cake isn't over-beaten which will result in a dense cake.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet and beat at low speed until just combined.
  • Remove the stems from the strawberries and finely chop. Add in the finely chopped strawberries to the cake.
  • Pour the batter evenly in the prepared 9 x 13 pan.
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center.
  • Cool the cake for at least one hour and then chill in the fridge for another hour.

Frosting:

  • Beat the softened butter and room temperature cream cheese until completely creamy. Beat in the vanilla and salt. Slowly beat in the powdered sugar until smooth and your desired consistency.
  • Spread the frosting evenly over the cake.

Sugared Strawberry topping (optional)

  • Stir together the sliced strawberries and sugar in a medium bowl. Let them stand at room temperature for about 20-30 minutes. Add them to the cake ONLY when serving and not beforehand.

Recipe Notes

*If you don't have buttermilk, remove 1 tablespoon from your milk and replace it with fresh lemon juice or white vinegar. Mix and allow to sit for 5 minutes before using.

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 312kcal

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133 Comments

  1. This cake looks amazing, I adore the color of it! I couldn’t agree with you more about a sugared strawberry/cream cheese frosting combo… best thing ever!
    Happy early Mother’s Day!

  2. Interesting that you used jello mix, the cake looks very vey good, and I love anything pink especially when it involves cream cheese and is in cake form. the strawberries now are so fresh and fragrant that this would really be the perfect cake for mother’s day.

  3. This is not just perfect for Mother’s day. It’s perfect for the spring season! The cake is amazing! I can see that it’s so moist and soft. And the strawberries are so delightful! This is just so mouthwatering!

  4. 5 stars
    this cake is really tasty and the combination of the cream and strawberries is good but my big complain is the color. It just doesn’t get pink only with the jello mix and some strawberries. How did you do it?

    1. Yep – the strawberries and jello mix is all I added for this recipe! When I edit my photos I do increase saturation of the colors, so perhaps that is the difference in color you are seeing. If you are hoping to get a brighter color perhaps a food coloring or dye could help?

      1. Have you made this cake without the jello? I am looking for a recipe without any artificial color or sweetener. Just wondering how it would turn out and if you had experimented with it?

  5. This looks incredible. Forgive me but do I have to use the dry jelly powder? I never buy it – is it the color or the taste that we are looking for here? Or both? Thank you.

  6. I refuse to cave to the pumpkin mafia just cuz it’s October. I’d like to make strawberry cupcakes for work. Do you think this recipe would work for cupcakes?

    1. Hahahaha!!! You know, I’m not sure since I haven’t ever tried converting this recipe to cupcakes. If you do try it, I would just make sure to bake them for 15-20 minutes at the same temperature. Sorry to not be of more help πŸ™

  7. I love strawberries. Nothing tastes like freshly picked strawberries. Their fruity kick and sweetness add a lovely touch to bakes, drinks, salads and more. This is a lovely cake- sharp, creamy and sweet. This is as pretty as it is delicious.

    Thanks for sharing, Chelsea. Do you have more strawberry recipes?

    1. I couldn’t agree with you more! I LOVE freshly picked strawberries πŸ™‚ Thanks so much for your sweet compliment and for trying out the cake! πŸ™‚ I do have a few more! Here are some to try out next:
      https://www.chelseasmessyapron.com/homemade-strawberry-cream-cheese-toaster-strudels/
      https://www.chelseasmessyapron.com/strawberry-orange-sweet-bread-with-a-strawberry-glaze/
      https://www.chelseasmessyapron.com/strawberry-and-avocado-spinach-salad-with-candied-pecans/

    1. It means either 4 cups or 4 and 1/2 cups — just based off of how thick or thin you like your frosting..sometimes I’ll add an extra 1/2 cup to make it a bit thicker πŸ™‚

    1. I haven’t personally tried it, but I’m not sure why not! I just couldn’t tell you if it will make 2 or 3 round cakes.. I’m leaning towards 3 πŸ™‚

  8. Hi Chelsea, I have just did your strawberries and cream cake this morning for the Valentine’s Day and my boyfriend loved it! I did not have the strawberry jell-o mix (no idea what it is here in Belgium :), so I used a red colorant instead… very good cake!! Thank you for the recipe πŸ™‚

    1. So happy to hear that!! πŸ™‚ Thank you so much for trying the cake and leaving a comment, I’m so glad it was enjoyed πŸ™‚

  9. Can’t wait to try this my hubbys birthday Feb 17, we are both big strawberry cake fans, I googled recipies for homemade strawberry cake recipies and I keep coming back to this one, cannot wait to surprise my husband Wed when he gets home from work, thank you sooo much!

      1. 5 stars
        The cake was absolutely wonderful! My hubby and I loved it, made a wonderful birthday cake! I will make it again!?❀️

  10. Made this for hubby’s birthday and he loved it. Thinking about using all of the jello mix next time instead of only 3 TB per the recipe as the cake didn’t have a lot of strawberry flavor, even with the strawberries in it as well. The batter was a very light pink color and then when cake was cut found that it was white. Where did the pink go??? Also only used 2 cups powdered sugar for the frosting and that was plenty.

    1. Well I’m glad your husband loved it! πŸ™‚ I’m not sure at all, mine was very pink! Definitely feel free to add it all in next time and maybe even a few more strawberries πŸ™‚

    1. I haven’t tried that particular substitution so I can’t say without further recipe testing. Sorry to not be of more help!

      1. Does this cake remain soft in refrigerator or have to keep out of refrigerator for some time for regaining softness, the for help

  11. 5 stars
    Made it for my 15 year old son’s birthday today. Made a layer cake (2 layers) and since my son doesn’t like sweet frosting of any sort I made a whipped cream frosting and it turned out beautifully. Rave reviews and second helpings!

    1. I regularly use frozen strawberries instead of fresh ones when baking strawberry cupcakes (although I have not yet tried this recipe). I set them out in a bowl or measuring cup and then mash them when they are thawed (I use the bottom of a clean glass). Even if you don’t mash them, you probably won’t get the same texture as fresh but I have found that frozen tend to add more color than fresh, especially when used in frosting.

  12. Regarding the substitution for buttermilk – have you tried this with baking? I have found this substitution before but haven’t had an opportunity to actually try it.

    1. I personally like it best chilled in the fridge (tightly covered). Either way just make sure it’s well covered!

  13. Will this recipe double well? I have a friend who wants a large strawberry sheet cake and this recipe sounds tasty! πŸ™‚

    1. I’m sorry Diana, I’ve never tried doubling this recipe so I really don’t know. However I think just the regular recipe could spread well in a 9 x 13 for a sheet cake. I’m not certain though without trying it. Wish I could be of more help. :/

  14. 3 stars
    I just substituted a 1:1 gluten free flour and the mixed cake is super thick not “runny” like boxed mixes. Is that how it normally comes out???

    1. It shouldn’t be super thick. I wonder if the gluten free flour is causing such a difference.

  15. 4 stars
    Is the batter supposed to be thick? I didn’t alter anything, as far a i know. It baked a little strange looking,but the taste was Amazing.

    1. It is a little thicker than typical cake batter, but nothing too crazy! As long as the taste is great I wouldn’t worry about it πŸ™‚ Glad you enjoyed it!

  16. 4 stars
    Hi Chelsea, I am currently baking the cake right now and i’ve baked it for like 45 minutes now but there are like pink parts that are still soft and mushy. Some parts are fine but like I said there are mushy pink parts. Is this normal? Do I keep cooking it?

    1. That doesn’t sound normal. Do you know if your oven is calibrated? It sounds like parts of your oven may be running hotter than other parts?

  17. 5 stars
    I just made this cake for the first time and am waiting for it to cool. I am not a baker, but pretty proud of myself for duplicating your creation. It looks delicious and I can’t wait to share it with family and friends! Thanks for the recipe Chelsea!

    1. Hey Heather! Thank you so much for the comment, I’m so glad that you tried this recipe πŸ™‚ You are so welcome!

  18. I was searching for a strawberry cake recipe to make for my husband for our anniversary today. It’s currently in the oven and is a gorgeous deep pink (I used sugar free jello mix but not on purpose). My house smells amazing! I can’t wait to try it.

    1. Happy Anniversary Mindy! So glad you gave this cake a try and have been enjoying the smell of it πŸ™‚ Hope you love it!!

  19. I want to make this for my daughter’s birthday. We live at 7500 ft., so I know some altitude adjustments should be made. Any ideas?

  20. Has anyone tried baking round layers using this recipe, and then cover with fondant? Wondering if, with the high acid content in the strawberries, it would “bleed through” the fondant or cause any puckering with the fondant… sounds like a delicious recipe and I want to try it!

    1. I’m so thrilled you loved this cake!! Your photo is stunning — you did an amazing job! Love it!

  21. So yummy! Made this cake for my sons first birthday. The adults had seconds and the kids gobbled up their piece. Everyone raves over it. I used 5tbsp of jello after reading comments about the colour not being bright enough. The colour was beautiful.
    I also made a layered cake. Thanks for the great recipe!

    1. Hey Kat! Thanks so much for your comment and review; I’m so thrilled this cake was a huge hit! πŸ™‚

  22. How fine should the strawberries be chopped. Im concerned that if I chop them too much the juice may add more liquid. Did you chop by hand or use processor?

  23. Do you think this recipe would work with cupcakes? If so, any suggestions on altering the baking time? Is the frosting a good consistency for piping? I want to do this for my 2 year olds birthday in cupcake form πŸ™‚

    1. I’m not totally certain if the cupcakes will work since I’ve never tried with this recipe, but if you do try I would bake them around 17-22 minutes. I think you’ll want a different frosting though or just add extra powdered sugar to make it a little thicker. Good luck Amanda! πŸ™‚

  24. This cake is decadent, rich, memorable, tasty (very), yummy, sweet and so many more descriptive adjectives!
    Made this for mothers day this year then again for the 4th of July and one word comes to mind, scrumptious! Thank you so much Chelsea for sharing! Take care ?

    1. Hi Mariama! So thrilled this cake was such a huge hit! πŸ™‚ I can’t thank you enough for your kind comments!

  25. I just made this cake for my sons birthday. His favorite is strawberry! ?It tastes great, but sank in the middle.? What did I do wrong? Thanks!

    1. So happy to hear that! πŸ™‚ I’m glad the taste was good! As far as the sinking; are you at a higher altitude? Are your baking agents fresh? And did you for sure measure all the ingredients correctly (particularly the flour)?

  26. I’m planning on making this cake for New Years Eve, but just wanted to check, on the frosting did you mean 1 8oz package of cream cheese? Thx

    1. Yes, sorry Carol! I just switched to a new kind of recipe box and it changed the formatting on some of the recipes; it was supposed to read 1 package (8 ounces). I’ve updated it now. Thank you!

  27. 5 stars
    I made this for a coworker’s birthday. I wanted to change the layers, and this recipe makes three perfect 6”-round layers! I frosted mine with homemade white chocolate-vanilla ermine buttercream. And let me tell you, this was so unbelievably delicious. I discovered halfway through that I was out of lemon juice, but I threw in a tablespoon or so of crushed freeze-dried raspberries, and that really brought out the strawberry flavor too. I had tried a different recipe the night before, and the failure was so humiliating that I almost didn’t want to try again. Then I found this recipe, and I’m so glad I did. I think it’s one of the best cakes I’ve ever tasted, and I’m not that big a fan of strawberry. Absolutely wonderful, thank you so much!

  28. 5 stars
    Can you make this cake without egg. What would you substitute the eggs with? For someone with an egg allergy. Thank you

    1. I’m sorry I don’t think this cake would turn out without the eggs. Wish I could be of more help.

  29. I am going to make this cake tomorrow to bring to my co workers on Monday. It says to cool the cake for an hour and then another hour in the fridge. Do I take it out of the pan to cool or in pan?
    After I frost it does it have to go back in the fridge since I am not serving it the same day?
    Looking forward to baking this cake and to your suggestions!!

  30. 5 stars
    I made this tonight for my boyfriend’s birthday. It was WONDERFULβ€”it got rave reviews from everyone. I’m definitely keeping this recipe. Thanks so much!

  31. Made this cake and while the taste was delicious, it is dense, more like a “cake” brownie than light and fluffy as a cake should be. Next time I will try using purchased cake flour to see if it can be lightened up.

    1. It’s definitely a denser cake! Sorry it wasn’t for you, but hopefully store bought cake flour can get you the result you’re looking for πŸ™‚

  32. 5 stars
    I’ve twice made this cake in abbreviated form, cutting down the ingredients to about 1/4 total recipe and baking in individual-serving ramekins. As my family only includes 3 of us, I didn’t want to have leftover cake, so this is how I generally modify recipes. It baked up beautifully and was such a hit at Easter that I repeated for Mother’s Day, again, getting rave reviews from my husband and son. I did add a touch of strawberry extract and a drop or two of red coloring to the frosting to make it extra pretty and served with fresh strawberries and Reddi-Wip on top. Such a pretty dessert, and so perfect for spring events!

    1. So happy to hear you’ve enjoyed this cake! What a great idea to cut it down into individual sized servings πŸ™‚ Thanks for the comment Karen!

    1. I haven’t ever tried making this in an 8 x 8 pan or any other way. Unfortunately a 9 x 13 doesn’t perfectly halve so I’m not sure what to recommend without further testing.

  33. I’ve made this cake 4 times now. First time was perfect and amazing! Next 3 times (were in a different oven) and sunk every single time! Why? Please help!!

    1. Did you move (different altitude?) Have you had your new oven calibrated? (Potentially your oven is running cooler or unevenly)

  34. I made this recipe twice and it came out bad both times. I don’t blame the recipe but I don’t know how to make it right. The cakes kept sinking in the middle and sticking to the pans. The middle of the cakes almost had a hole from sticking to the pan. Do you know why that happened?

    1. Shoot I’m so sorry; would love to trouble shoot with you though!! Do you live at a high altitude? Did you make ANY changes to the recipe?

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