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Strawberry Cake with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

This light and fluffy strawberry cake is layered with tangy strawberry cream cheese frosting for an ethereal springtime dessert!

Slice of strawberry cake on plate with remaining cake in background

An Easy Boxed Cake Mix Hack

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—a strawberry cake. Strawberries are one of the first fruits available in the spring, and not only does this cake feature strawberries, but it also does so quite boldly. This is a cake for berry lovers, to be sure. 

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? This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but if you’re looking for a strawberry dessert that leans more tart, this strawberry cake isn’t it.

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, as does this recipe. Baking purists may want to move on to the archives and find something else, like my Strawberry Sheet Cake. The rest of you, hold your head high and add cake mix, Jell-O, and frozen strawberries to your shopping lists.

Closeup of strawberry cake

What You’ll Need

One of the benefits of using a baked cake mix for this recipe is that there’s no need to measure flour, baking powder, sugar, and such. 

For the cake:

  • White cake mix – Use any brand you like.
  • Strawberry-flavored gelatin
  • Frozen strawberries in sugar – You’ll thaw and puree these before baking.
  • Eggs – I recommend letting them come to room temperature, which yields a fluffier cake.
  • Canola oil
  • Water

For the frosting:

  • Butter
  • Cream cheese – Let both the butter and cream cheese soften a bit so you can whip them into a smooth, creamy frosting.
  • Frozen strawberries in sugar – These will also need to be thawed and pureed.
  • Confectioners’ sugar – This is also known as powdered sugar.
  • Strawberries – An optional garnish.
Closeup of strawberry cake tip

How to Make Strawberry Cake With Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

This is a simple, minimalist layer cake, with only two layers to stack and frost. It’s definitely the kind of cake you can make with a free afternoon!

To make the cake:

Prepare. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Lightly grease or spray two 9-inch round cake pans.

Make the batter. Combine the cake mix and gelatin in a large mixing bowl. Beat in the pureed strawberries, eggs, oil, and water using a mixer on medium speed. Divide the batter into the prepared pans.

Bake. Place the pans in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool. Let the cakes cool in the pans for 15 minutes, then carefully remove them and let them finish cooling directly on the wire racks.

To make the frosting and assemble:

Prepare the frosting. Use an electric mixer on medium speed to beat the butter and cream cheese until smooth and creamy. Beat in the strawberries, then slowly add the confectioners’ sugar, beating until smooth.

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

Inside of strawberry cake

Tips for Success

If you’re looking for an easy cake, this strawberry cake recipe is it! Here are some hints and tips to help you along the way, though.

  • Using three pans. You’ll notice in the recipe below that I mention you can use two or three pans. If you use three, you’ll have thinner layers; the baking time will need to be adjusted accordingly. I’d check after 15 minutes.
  • Other frosting ideas. Not a fan of cream cheese frosting? Try using the frosting from my Strawberry Cupcakes with White Chocolate Frosting recipe.
  • Decorating tips. This pretty pink cake is great for a birthday, Valentine’s Day, or just because! While I usually garnish it with strawberries, you could use an array of fresh spring berries, sprinkles, or even edible flowers.

How to Store

Because this strawberry cake has cream cheese frosting, it will need to be stored in the refrigerator. Place leftover slices in an airtight container and refrigerate them for 3 to 4 days. I recommend letting the cake come to room temperature before serving.

Can This Be Frozen?

Yes, this recipe freezes well! To keep the frosting looking its best, I recommend placing the cake (either whole or slices) on a parchment-lined baking sheet and placing it in the freezer uncovered. Once frozen through, wrap the cake with plastic wrap and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw the cake in the refrigerator before serving, removing the plastic wrap so the frosting doesn’t stick.

Closeup of strawberry cake with knife

Strawberry Cake with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Slice of strawberry cake on plate with remaining cake in background


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:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly grease/spray 2 (or 3) 9-inch round cake pans.
  2. 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.
  3. Bake 25-30 minutes, until a wooden pick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  4. Cool in pans 15 minutes. Then, remove from pans and cool completely on wire racks.

To make the frosting:

  1. 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.
  2. Spread frosting on cake, covering between layers, on top, and on the sides. Garnish with fresh strawberries.


Recipe slightly adapted from Paula Deen.

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    81 Comments on “Strawberry Cake with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting”

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


  4. This is bursting with berries and spring. Perfect!

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

  6. 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.

    • It’s not the cake that’s so sweet it’s the frosting ! 6 cups of sugar ! Whaaaa ! I made it twice and added more cream cheese and strawberries ! Then it was to thin so I add whipping cream ! And it was much better !

  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. looks so good.
    Can I have a piece.



  10. 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. 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. 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. Bursting with berries..perfect for spring

  14. 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. 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. this looks amazing thanks so much for sharing!

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

  20. 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. I want to eat everything on your blog!!!

  22. 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. Bravo! Strawberry cake is such a good idea. We all need to eat more strawberries. 🙂 …Susan

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

  41. 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. 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. 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…

  46. 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.

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

  48. 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.

  49. 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:)

  50. 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.

  51. 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.

  52. 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!

  53. 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.

    • 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.

  54. 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.

  55. Can you use sugar free jello??

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

    • 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.

  57. I made this cake for my boyfriend’s birthday. I’m usually not much of a baker so I rarely make cakes from scratch. I wanted to change it up a bit this year so I went to Google. I came across this recipe and decided to give it a try. It turned out great. It turned out looking just like the pictures. Easily the prettiest cake I’ve ever baked and tasted wonderful. I’ll definitely be making this again.

  58. I need to make this cake for my sons birthday ,I can’t find cake mix in that big of a box, will I need to alter the recipe ? My box is 16 instead of 18,also can you freeze it after making , I’m having surgery on fab 24th but my sons birthday is in March, I wanted to make it ahead of time and freeze, do you think this will work?

  59. Can you make the day before you are serving?

  60. Could you do this same recipe but with chocolate cake mix instead of white?

  61. How long can unfrosted layers be stored? I’d like to bake them 2 days ahead of when I frost them 

  62. Hubby isn’t a fan of overly sweet cakes so I’m trying this with sugar free hello and unsweetened strawberries with a strawberry compote poured over each slice. I’ll let you know how it comes out.

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