Strawberry Cake with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

I’ve never been a great fan of Spring. Living in the South, I knew all too well that it would last a few weeks, and then we’d be mired in Summer for what seemed like years. Since our move last fall to New York, though, it seems I’ve had a change of heart. I am actually excited about Spring! I stop on the streets and in the parks to take pictures of flowers and blooming trees. I have happily put away my scarves and boots until cooler weather.

This Easter, as I was basking in the early Spring-ness of New York, I decided that our meal should include something befitting of this beautiful season. In an unusual turn of events, I went with a non-chocolate dessert. You’re shocked, I know.

If you're looking for a strawberry dessert, Strawberry Cake with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting delivers in a big way! - Bake or Break

This cake features strawberries, and it does so quite boldly, I might add. It is also perhaps the sweetest cake I’ve ever made. Small slices are your friend. It’s absolutely beautiful in all its pink glory. It’s also very sweet. Did I mention that? It was also just the right ending to our Easter meal.

Strawberry Cake with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting uses shortcut ingredients to make a simple cake with big flavor. - Bake or Break

While I do like baking from scratch, I’m not one to turn up my nose at a recipe that uses a cake mix. Some of my favorite cakes have started that way. You baking purists may want to move on to the archives and find something else like this or maybe this. The rest of you, hold your head high and add cake mix, Jell-O, and frozen strawberries to your shopping lists.

Strawberry Cake with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

Prep Time: 35 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 12-16 servings

Strawberry Cake with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting


    For the cake:
  • 1 18.25-ounce box white cake mix
  • 1 3-ounce box strawberry-flavored instant gelatin
  • 15 ounces frozen strawberries in sugar, thawed and pureed
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • For the frosting:
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 3 ounces frozen strawberries in sugar, thawed and pureed
  • 6 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • strawberries for garnish (optional)


To make the cake:

Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly grease/spray 2 (or 3) 9-inch round cake pans.

Combine cake mix and gelatin in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat in pureed strawberries, eggs, oils, and water until smooth. Pour batter into pans, dividing the batter equally between them.

Bake 25-30 minutes, until a wooden pick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Cool in pans 15 minutes. Then, remove from pans and cool completely on wire racks.

To make the frosting:

With an electric mixer, beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed until creamy. Beat in strawberries. Gradually add confectioners’ sugar and beat until smooth.

Spread frosting on cake, covering between layers, on top, and on the sides. Garnish with fresh strawberries.

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  1. Erin April 29, 2011 Reply

    Oh how I miss Upstate NY int he Spring! I moved to Memphis, TN 4 years ago for graduate school and I now have the feelings you used to when you lived in the south. Oh yay it’s spring and nice out but that just means in a week it’ll be over 80 degrees and so muggy you’ll think you’re swimming. But I’ll probably have to make this cake anyway :-)

  2. Stephanie April 29, 2011 Reply

    I literally gasped when I saw these photos — this looks AMAZING. My birthday is coming up and I will definitely be having this cake, whether someone bakes it for me or I end up baking it for myself.

  3. Sense of Home April 29, 2011 Reply

    I am thoroughly enjoying spring, and nothing says spring like strawberries. Your cake is beautiful.


  4. paddleattachment April 29, 2011 Reply

    This is bursting with berries and spring. Perfect!

  5. Joe Hernandez April 30, 2011 Reply

    What a beautiful cake…Sometimes the simplest dish is the best! Great photography!

  6. Martha May 1, 2011 Reply

    I’ve seen this cake recipe around and always been curious about it. Like you, I don’t turn up my nose at recipes that begin with a mix. They’re often more reliable than cakes made from scratch, especially for beginning bakers. Wondering if using less of the jello, would help to make it less sweet. May give it a try since, while I love cake, I’m not a big fan of overly sweet ones.

  7. I simply love strawberry cake with cream cheese frosting. This cake looks so delicious! I am really enjoying your blog. Everything you bake looks amazing.

  8. This recipe looks so good. I love strawberries and the color pink. I’ll have to try this for sure.

  9. olgalopez May 5, 2011 Reply

    looks so good.
    Can I have a piece.



  10. Gabriel May 6, 2011 Reply

    My girlfriend loves strawberries & loves cake. I am sure she’d love this… Heck I’d probably like this and I am more of a pie person.

    …my first comment didn’t go through due to an error?

  11. Mathew May 7, 2011 Reply

    Spring is very important up north. Only the most fervent of winter lovers do not anticipate and celebrate the advent of spring once it finally comes! The cake looks delicious!

  12. ErinMelko May 9, 2011 Reply

    I tried this recipe for mothers day. I definitely got a really great, sweet, strawberry flavor, but i also had an overwhelming canola oil flavor as well. Is there a substitute for the oil?

  13. The Food Hunter May 9, 2011 Reply

    Bursting with berries..perfect for spring

  14. chris May 9, 2011 Reply

    Made this cake last week. It came out perfect. Moist and not too sweet (I used frozen strawberries frozen without sugar).

  15. That is a beautiful cake. I have never attempted a strawberry cake before, but it is definitely something to consider. Most of the time I am too busy with chocolate cakes!

  16. Jamie May 11, 2011 Reply

    Very pink, love it! Looks so moist I want to try this recipe now! I’m from WI so I absolutly love the spring time but I have ventured to New York in summertime and as much fun as I had, boy was it hot! Very nice pictures!

  17. betty May 11, 2011 Reply

    this looks amazing thanks so much for sharing!

  18. Caravan Lights May 12, 2011 Reply

    love to eat strawberries. I try to made it few days back but i was failed to bake because i am very poor in baking,but now my mom is going to bake it and now will definitely be great.
    hard to wait :(

  19. amandalee May 13, 2011 Reply

    Am I losing my eyesight or is there no baking temp listed in the recipe???

    • jennifer May 14, 2011 Reply

      Oops. It was kind of there, but my HTML was not quite right. It’s there now. Thanks, amandalee!

  20. Megan May 16, 2011 Reply

    I made this cake this past weekend, it was UN-believably good!!! It was simple to make but soo delicious, and that frosting YUMMM! Thanks so much for a wonderful recipe! :)

  21. Yulree May 17, 2011 Reply

    I want to eat everything on your blog!!!

  22. Linda Brewer May 18, 2011 Reply

    Oh my goodness gracious! I should never have looked at the picture of this cake… now I have an intense desire to go preheat my oven, get my stand mixer out! Yummee!

  23. LunaCafe May 20, 2011 Reply

    Bravo! Strawberry cake is such a good idea. We all need to eat more strawberries. :-) …Susan

  24. Lauren May 22, 2011 Reply

    My mother baked a very similar cake for my tenth birthday and I still remember how tasty it was. I’m looking forward to baking it for myself following your recipe. What a perfect May dessert!

  25. Cat May 24, 2011 Reply

    I like a dense cake. Did this turn out dense? Thank YOU!!

  26. Food as passion June 3, 2011 Reply

    This looks really delicious. Yummy. I just loved your recipe. Keep it up, keep sharing amazing recipes. I have some amazing recipes too. For sure you will love it. Wish you will check it. :-] Have a good day guys.

  27. I have had a strawberry cake for my birthday every year since I can remember! I made a cake very similar to this once. It used frozen pureed strawberries and strawberry jello mix, but the rest of the recipe was from scratch. It was extremely moist and also one of the most dense cakes I had ever had. This year, I will have to try this one! It looks delicious!

  28. tish June 7, 2011 Reply

    my aunt made this cake for me last week….Paula Deen recipe…same one I see..

  29. Yoshi Blade June 13, 2011 Reply

    This looks like a wonderful strawberry cake. The cream cheese frosting sounds like a perfect topping.

  30. Janice S. June 14, 2011 Reply

    I’ve been making this cake for years, just a different frosting.

    Clean at least a pint of strawberries and chop then in the food processor or mash with a potato masher, and then mix with 1 box of powdered sugar and 1 8 oz pkg of cream cheese. This frosting will be soupy. I serve the cake in a bowl and poor the “frosting” over the cake. Always a family favorite!!

    p.s. you can always alter the amount of sugar or strawberries

  31. That looks delish. I could tuck into a slice of that right now. Looking forward to having a nose around for more ideas and recipes. Lovely blog.

  32. Maja July 10, 2011 Reply

    Naaah, althoug it looks nice, and I’d sure be tempted to take a bite, for my baking I’ll stick with the chocolate :) with strawberries perhaps 😉
    I only found your blog recently and I love it. I no longer need a recipe box, just a bookmark!

  33. Tomato July 18, 2011 Reply

    It sounds like the perfect idea
    to taste it on a hot summer’s day!

  34. brownsugarandbacon July 20, 2011 Reply

    a close friend of the family used to bake a strawberry cake with luscious strawberry frosting on it when she and her family would come to visit in the summertime. seeing this recipe made me think back to that and makes me want to bake it for a friend!

  35. michele July 27, 2011 Reply

    Spring in the Northeast is very nice. You will like the change of seasons.

  36. wannabesoutherner August 3, 2011 Reply

    I believe this is, if not exactly, a Paula Deen recipe. It’s delicious and my daughter’s go-to birthday cake. What’s more southern than a mile-high super sweet moist cake? LOL.

  37. Miriam @ Overtime Cook September 6, 2011 Reply

    Wow, this looks absolutely delicious! Love the color- it would be so perfect to make for a birthday party for a little girl.


  38. Anela September 14, 2011 Reply

    This is a family favorite for us! Every birthday includes this. We make it in a rectangle glass dish and add icing that’s just butter, powder sugar and more strawberries. Totally melts in your mouth!

    Love the blog!

  39. Hannah September 22, 2011 Reply

    This cake brings back such good memories of my four year old self watching my mom ice a strawberry cake. I always loved the color,(and the taste)!

  40. Sarah September 22, 2011 Reply

    I’ve been looking for a recipes for strawberry cake that is actually PINK. This one looks just divine!

  41. Hayoma September 24, 2011 Reply

    very nice pictures and it seems that is sooooo delicious, but where is the recipe please. I can’t see any recipe for your postings :(

  42. Hayoma September 24, 2011 Reply

    khalas I found it .. thaaaaaaanxxxxxxx .. insha’alla i’ll try it and give you my opinion :):)

  43. Wow! The pinkness of this instantly drew me in. And the cream cheese frosting of course.

    Maria xx

  44. This cake looks delicious! Everything about it draws me in, the texture, how pink it is, the frosting. It just has a “take a bite out of me” look to it. This cake recipe would be a good idea for a nice Spring/Summer day when fruit season begins!
    Will give this one a try for sure.

  45. Jill October 25, 2012 Reply

    Love this cake!

  46. Amanda March 8, 2013 Reply

    what if you have 2 8-inch cake pans or a 9×13-inch pan instead? will it still work? probably won’t look as pretty…

  47. jennifer March 8, 2013 Reply

    Hi, Amanda. You can use 8-inch pans, but you might not be able to use all of the batter if they’re too full. A 9″x13″ should work fine.

    • Teresa June 13, 2015 Reply

      How long would you bake the 9 x 13 cake?

      • Author
        Jennifer McHenry June 14, 2015 Reply

        Hi, Teresa. The time shouldn’t really vary, as the thickness will be about the same. I’d check for doneness after the suggested time.

  48. Kathy March 25, 2013 Reply

    This cake sounds so good! Can you make cup cakes from this recipe?

  49. Mimi March 27, 2013 Reply

    This recipe is absolutely fantastic,thank you so much for sharing it! I was filled with a crazy urge to bake something pink when I stumbled upon this recipe during my subsequent recipe-hunt. I baked it for my sister’s birthday and she [a chocaholic of the highest order] was quite taken with it. I also made a batch of cupcakes using left-over batter and icing[sprinkling white chocolate chips on them]. This is an extraordinarily simple,nearly fail-proof recipe.Very effortlessly pretty ,too.

  50. Sandy Pittman April 28, 2013 Reply

    This cake is AMAZING!! I make it quiet often for my family or friends! I have one question…sometimes my frosting is tooooo runny…what am I doing wrong??? I am planning on making this cake in a few days for my Mothers 77th Birthday…so please let me know asap about the frosting…so it can be perfect!!! Thank You (love your web site) Baking is my passion:)

    • jennifer April 28, 2013 Reply

      Hi, Sandy. If you didn’t make any changes to the recipe, my guess is that your butter is too soft. Happy birthday to your mom!

  51. Stephanie May 5, 2013 Reply

    I made ths last night and it was fantastic! I would make ths again without provocation. Everyone raved and the frosting was perfect. Thanks for your blog. I get the best compliments when I make something from your recipes. (Those peanut butter chocolate chip brownies are beyond awesome.) I look forward to more baking soon.

  52. PEGGY February 27, 2014 Reply

    This is a delicious cake, it always turns out the same every time. FYI, this is the exact recipe for Paula Deen’s Strawberry Cake. Just so you know where it originates from. Enjoy.

  53. Krisbe Chin October 27, 2014 Reply

    I’m new to baking cake. May I ask what is the use of using gelatin in a baked cake? I thought it is only to make non-bake cheesecake or jello that you needed gelatin?? Thank you for all your recipes, I’m picking up bits of knowledge here and there!

    • Author
      Jennifer McHenry October 28, 2014 Reply

      The gelatin adds flavor (as it’s strawberry-flavored) and gives the cake a bit more structure.

  54. Krisbe Chin October 27, 2014 Reply

    Sorry, more questions, I’ve noticed that you tends to use the UNSALTED BUTTER + SUGAR combination for your cake frosting… may I ask how do you store your cake? I live in a warm/hot climate country and I don’t think the butter would hold it as nicely as it should.

    • Author
      Jennifer McHenry October 28, 2014 Reply

      I’d refrigerate the cake after it’s frosted, especially if you aren’t serving it immediately.. Then, you can either serve it chilled or let it stand at room temperature for 20-30 minutes before serving.

  55. CW December 2, 2014 Reply

    Do all 10 oz of frozen strawberries, pureed, go in the cake?
    Do you drain the strawberries before they are pureed?
    Do you use a blender on puree speed?
    Thanks so much.

    • Author
      Jennifer McHenry December 3, 2014 Reply

      There are 15 ounces of pureed strawberries in the cake and 3 ounces in the frosting. I didn’t drain them. A blender should work just fine. Enjoy!

  56. Lynette April 25, 2015 Reply

    Can you use sugar free jello??

    • Author
      Jennifer McHenry April 26, 2015 Reply

      Hi, Lynette. I’ve not used sugar-free gelatin in this recipe, but I think it should be fine.

  57. Cheryl July 16, 2015 Reply

    Do you think it would work if I doubled the recipe for a 10 inch round pan? Would I need to bake it longer?

    • Author
      Jennifer McHenry July 17, 2015 Reply

      Are you wanting to make a single layer 10-inch round? If so, you’d likely only need about half of the cake batter and frosting. If you’re going for 2 layers, I wouldn’t alter the recipe. You’ll just have thinner layers, which will likely bake a few minutes faster.

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