Fresh Strawberry Cake with Cream Cheese Swiss Meringue Buttercream

I am considering this Lucy’s very first birthday cake.
Okay, okay.. right now, it’s more for Mama than it is for little Lucy, but I will certainly make it for her again some day. Lucille Naomi joined the world a week ago today; at home, in the water, and much quicker than I expected. But that’s a story for another day.
Another thing I didn’t expect: to be baking a cake just days after she was born. I am feeling blessed to have bounced back quickly (and to have a few extra hands around the house).
Little Luce and I have had a great first week. We have some extra help from Daddy and Nana right now; which is the real reason that I was able to get back to baking so quickly. I actually put the strawberries for this cake into the freezer to thaw the night before she was born, so they were staring at me for a few days and I just had to use them up. We have a lot to celebrate, after all- a beautiful, healthy baby girl.
There aren’t too many from-scratch strawberry cake recipes out there that don’t include strawberry gelatin as one of the ingredients. This cake is made with strawberry puree- the only added ingredient is a little bit of pink food coloring. That’s mostly just because I wanted it to look beautifully pink for the photos instead of  pinky-grey. If you want to go all-natural with it, be my guest!
I decided to give Whisk Kid’s Cream Cheese Swiss Meringue Buttercream a try on this cake instead of my own tried-and-true cream cheese frosting recipe. I am so glad I did. I love the subtle tang of the cream cheese, and the fact that it’s not heavy or sickly sweet like many cream cheese frostings. For the filling, I just mixed some of the frosting with the leftover strawberry puree that’s used in the batter. Strawberry jam or a layer of the plain frosting (or both!) could be used as filling, too.
This would make a great Valentine’s Day treat for your sweetheart or for a crowd. If you want to get really crazy, pair it with some homemade strawberry ice cream.
I hope you enjoyed Kristina‘s guest post this week. You have two more to look forward to in the coming weeks, as well as Fridays with Julie. I hope you’re hungry!


4.8 from 13 reviews

Fresh Strawberry Cake with Cream Cheese Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Prep time

Cook time

Total time


adapted from Confections of a Foodie Bride-
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 10

  • 24 oz frozen or very ripe fresh strawberries, hulled (if frozen, thawed)
  • 1-2 tsp sugar (for fresh berries only)
  • ¼ cup milk, at room temperature
  • 6 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2¼ cup cake flour, sifted
  • 1¾ cup sugar
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 12 Tbsp unsalted butter (1½ sticks), softened (not melted)
  • pink or red food coloring, preferably the gel type (optional)

  1. Thaw frozen strawberries in whatever form (sliced, whole, etc) and in whatever container/bag you have them in. Pour into a fine strainer placed over a bowl and let sit. Lightly toss the strawberries occasionally to remove any pockets of excess liquid. Reserve the liquid for another use or discard.
  2. Place strawberries in a food processor or blender and puree. (You can use fresh strawberries if you don’t have a stash of frozen strawberries in your freezer. Just hull, slice and toss with a teaspoon or two of sugar and cover. Let them sit at room temperature for a couple of hours, until nice and juicy. Place strawberries in a food processor or blender and puree.)
  3. Reserve ¾ cup puree for the cake. Use leftover puree to fill the cake or fold into the frosting, if desired.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare two 8 or 9 inch pans: spray inside with baking spray with flour (or use some sort of grease/flour combination).
  5. In small bowl, combine puree, milk, egg, vanilla and mix with fork until well blended. In bowl of stand mixer, add sifted flour, sugar, baking powder and salt and mix to combine. Continue beating at slow speed and add butter. Mix until combined and resembling moist crumbs.
  6. Add liquids and beat at medium speed for about 1 minute or until full and evenly combined. Stop mixer to add food coloring if using and to scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat to combine. Divide the batter evenly among the pans and smooth tops.
  7. Bake for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (time will vary). Let cakes rest in pan for about 10 minutes and turn out onto wire racks. Let cakes cool completely (about 2 hours).


4.8 from 13 reviews

Cream Cheese Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Prep time

Cook time

Total time


Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 10

  • 3 (100g) egg whites
  • ⅔ c (130g) sugar
  • 10 Tbsp (142g) butter, cubed and at room temp
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 oz (113g) cream cheese, cubed and at room temp

  1. In the base of a double boiler, bring water to a simmer. In the top bowl (or just a bowl to place over a pan of simmering water) combine the egg whites and sugar and whisk constantly until the mixture is hot to the touch (160F on a candy thermometer if you want to be completely accurate), about five minutes depending on the original temperature of the eggs. When the mixture has warmed sufficiently, pour it into the bowl of your stand mixer and whip on high speed until the bottom of the bowl is room temperature, ten to fifteen minutes. When the bowl is no longer warm, turn the mixer to medium-low and begin adding the butter piece by piece. Let each chunk incorporate completely before adding the next and don’t rush the process!
  2. After all of the butter has been added, add the vanilla and turn the speed back to high. Whip for about 3 minutes or until the buttercream comes together. Turn the speed down to low and add the cream cheese, then mix on medium to fully incorporate.

91 Responses to “Fresh Strawberry Cake with Cream Cheese Swiss Meringue Buttercream”
  1. This cake is absolutely stunning, Natalie! Strawberry cake is my hubby’s favorite (and, in fact, that’s what our wedding cake was!)… I think I might have to make this for him for Valentine’s Day. He’d love it!

    And, so glad to hear that you and Lucy are both doing well! 🙂

    • Cynthia says:

      What does she mean by cup cake flour??
      Is that strawberry cake from a box?

      • Natalie says:

        Cynthia, cake flour is lighter in texture than regular flour- it just makes a cake lighter and less dense. You can usually find the Swan’s Down brand in the flour section of your grocery store. Do not substitute cake mix!

        • Kimberlee says:

          What makes it lighter? I have to eat gluten free and will have to substitute something. Is it thinned with cornstarch, possibly?

      • Chef Jeff says:

        LOL, it is 2 1/4 cups of “Cake Flour”. Not “cupcake flour”.

      • Hi Cynthia
        The recipe reads 2-1/4 cups cake flour – cake flour is called plain flour in Australia, not sure where you are but it’s cake flour. I am pretty sure you can find other terms by searching the net. Hope this helps.

  2. Julia says:

    I’m so glad your strawberry cake doesn’t have gelatin in it!!! It looks beautiful. And wow, congratulations on the baby girl!!!!!! You didn’t waste anytime getting back in the kitchen, wait to go!

  3. Hi there–I just found this recipe via Pinterest, and this cake looks AMAZING!My friends and I go to a pick-your-own berry farm in May when strawberries are in season, and I’m excited to have a new recipe to try this year. Looking forward to reading thru some of your other recipes.

    And congratulations on your baby girl!

  4. connie says:

    Hi! Found this gorgeous cake on Pinterest. How pretty and perfect is that pink cake? I’ve tried making strawberry cake with fresh strawberries, and it definitely needs a tiny bit of food coloring to boost the color. I used red, which was all I had and the color isn’t as pretty as your cake. Just beautiful.

  5. Tina says:

    I’ve been in search of the perfect strawberry cake for my daughter’s upcoming birthday party. Gave this a trial run last night by making cupcakes instead. (Baked at 350 for 15 mins; yielded 27 cupcakes.) They are to die for! So moist and flavorful – especially with the cream cheese/meringue buttercream!

    Needless to say, I will be making this again. Thanks!!!

  6. Anonymous says:

    This cake looks amazing, I am a restaurant manager and a customer I am doing a party for just asked me to get them a strawberry cake and NO ONE makes them anymore!
    I am going to try to make it myself…wish me luck! Thanks for sharing!

  7. Anonymous says:

    is there anything i can do if the icing curdles? 🙁

  8. Unique Heart says:

    I just made this, and used frozen strawberries. I used the type that doesn’t come in syrup and didn’t put sugar on them, was I supposed to put sugar on these? I’m saving it for a birthday, so don’t know how it came out yet. 🙂

  9. Cammily says:

    This cake looks …incredibly yummy! I think I will try it on my hubby’s birthday ♥. Thank you for charing!

  10. Kim says:

    Congratulations on your baby girl! I have 2 daughters and remember how sweet those first months were. I have to say, I wasn’t baking cakes in those days…way to go, mom! My older daughter loves everything strawberry, so I’m going to make this for her (not that the rest of us won’t eat it too!) It looks beautiful and delicious. Thanks for posting. Found on Pinterest.

  11. Jeff says:

    beatiful and delicious! the only change i made was usimg a heart shaped pan

  12. Breezy says:

    Beautiful cake, and baking a week after giving birth? Wow. I am in awe. 🙂
    I was wondering if you had any guesses as to how one might sub in a different berry (I’m a raspberry gal!)? Hard to guess how much 24 strawberries might be, either by weight or volume.

    Thanks much!

  13. Brandy says:

    Hi Natalie-thank you for a recipe that doesn’t involve J-E-L-L-O as so many of the “from scratch” strawberry cake recipes out there do. I have a quick question for you (or anyone who’s made this cake)-could I make it a couple days in advance do you think or would it dry out? If I wrap it in plastic wrap (yuck) and keep it in the fridge? Thanks!

  14. Amanda says:

    I can’t wait to try this on Sunday! I was wondering if you’d tried the icing with the added strawberry puree? If I were to attempt that, do you know at which point I should add the puree, how much, and if I need to increase any other ingredients?

    Thank you for your lovely non-jello recipe!

    And congrats on the baby girl! Aren’t they just delightful? 🙂 (Still not sure how you were up and at ’em a week later! perhaps I should try a water-birth next go ’round!) 🙂

    Thanks again!

    • Natalie says:

      I’m going to say the most important part of adding the puree is to make sure that it is room temp – if it’s too cold, it will make the frosting seize up. I hope it goes well! You can contact me via the Oven Love FB page if you need any help!

  15. Nina says:

    I just tried your recipe today. I did everything right, except I forgot the baking powder. I was devastated, until I decided to bear with it and cut it into bars and serve without the frosting. It wasn’t cake, but without the baking powder, this becomes a great recipe for delightful strawberry pudding bars! Who knew. Great things are discovered through mistakes. Thanks for sharing the recipe!!

  16. Veronica says:

    Just came across your recipe and want to try it for a bday party. My only question is…..If we are only using 3/4 cup of the strawberry puree, why do we have to puree 24 ounces of it?

  17. Susan Evans says:

    Hi I have been peeping this recipe for about 2 weeks now and want to make it for my husbands birthday the 19th… Kind of nervous though having guests trying new recipe is nerve racking…… Question what is the filling in picture and when do you add the left over straw over filling you talked about? Thanks so much

    • Natalie says:

      The filling is buttercream with some strawberry puree- add it once you’ve made the base of the buttercream and add some more powdered sugar if it seems to break the icing.

      • Snooks says:

        Hello. I want to make this for a baby shower and the recipie for the frosting just says sugar, here you’re mentioning powdered sugar. Is the sugar powdered? I think I’m going to try to add the purée to the frosting, but I’m a recipie needing gal. Lol

  18. Susan says:

    I just made this today, followed the recipe exactly, and OH MY STARS. Best cake that isn’t chocolate EVER.

  19. maria says:

    Great page..thank you for sharing your recipes!..God bless you and your family!

  20. Just wanted to drop in and say that this is my new favorite recipe! I’ve always loved strawberry cake, but did not want to make an old fashioned jello cake. I was elated to come across your blog in my search, and oh my word this cake is amazing! I made it into 28 cupcakes, and added strawberry purée to the icing. It earned rave reviews from my husband, friends, and family! If you’d like to see the cupcakes, you can at – they turned out perfectly! I linked back here, but wanted to say just how much I appreciated your recipe! So thanks! And I’m a new devoted follower of your blog. 🙂

    Natalie (too!)

  21. Jen says:

    What a beautiful looking cake, just seen it on Pinterest, really looking forward to giving it a try. Have my mother in law’s birthday coming up and if I could make this to look as good as yours she would be super impressed!

  22. Condessa says:

    What do I do to fix runny frosting? Help!!

  23. sneige says:

    That is *absolutely* beautiful!!!!

  24. Marissa says:

    I just made this for my mom’s birthday this past weekend and it got rave reviews from my family. It was delicious and I was very pleased with the results. I haven’t mastered the art of greasing/flowering the pan so the cake doesn’t get stuck in the middle yet, but it was nothing that the delicious frosting couldn’t hide 🙂 I’m very glad I stumbled upon this recipe on Pinterest.

    • Natalie says:

      Glad you enjoyed it! My favorite way to keep the cake from sticking is to trace your pan on parchment paper and cut out a circle and put that in the bottom of the pan after you’ve greased it. Works wonders for me! Just don’t forget to peel away the paper before you assemble the cake. 😉

  25. Showsha says:


    I had the same question as Veronica. If you only use 3/4 cup of strawberry puree, why do you need 24 oz of strawberries? Am I misunderstanding part of the recipe? I am going to attempt it with just the 3/4 cup and see how it turns out. Thanks.

    • Showsha says:

      Doh! After mixing the liquid and flour, it was very clear to me that you needed all the strawberry liquid, except for the 3/4 cup in reserve (to use for filling or in the icing). Thanks.

  26. Sorina says:

    SO, SO awesome !!!!
    It’s near the birthday for my son, You give me one gorgeous idea!!
    Many thanks dear Natalie!! 🙂

  27. Try using grated beetroot in 1/2 cup hot water for your colouring, just strain the liquid after 2 minutes for an all natural food colouring.

  28. Liz says:

    The flavor of this cake is amazing! My only complaint is the mixing process. I ended up with a disgusting lumpy mess. I’m not sure why the author does not use the typical cake mixing formula: cream butter & sugar, add eggs & vanilla, then alternate dry and wet ingredients. That would be my suggestion.

    • Natalie says:

      I’m not sure why the original author did it that way, but I’m sure the typical mixing method would work as well- you’d just want to be sure your strawberry puree wasn’t cold so that the butter doesn’t seize.

  29. katie says:

    I am totally making this for Saturday! one question Can I sit it on a table for a couple hours or it has to be refrigerated.

  30. Carolyn says:

    I noticed you mentioned ‘add more powdered sugar’ to several suggestions in comments about the frosting. The recipe calls for white granulated sugar, correct? NOT powdered sugar right??? I am making the cake right now, and don’t want to mess up the frosting! I am making cupcakes for my two year old daughters party tomorrow. I’m turning them into the little minions from despicable me 2 🙂 Thanks!

  31. BeckyC says:

    Hello! Making this cake for my little girl Matildas first birthday party next weekend. Looks beautiful and strawberries are in season here in the UK at the moment!

    I’m just a bit confused by ‘cake flour’ (probably as I’m in the UK). We have ‘plain flour’ or ‘self raising flour’ – any suggestions which one I should use?

  32. Meaghan says:

    The butter for the cake is unsalted, but the ingredients for the icing just says “butter” does this mean it’s salted butter?

  33. Shim says:

    Hi Natalie thank you for sharing the recipe.
    I just want to know it is only egg whites and you don’t beat them before.

  34. Anabel says:

    I don’t have cake flour can I use all purpose flour instead and is it the same measurements?

  35. Ginny says:

    Love this. I’m a serial berry buyer… One week my children will devour them, the next they are left to go soft in the fridge. Am so pleased to have found a great recipe for using up older sifter berries!! I used a mix of strawberry and raspberry… Yummo! Was delicious, thank you for sharing x

  36. sue griffore says:

    is the frosting thick enough to be piped?

  37. sue griffore says:

    can the frosting be piped?

  38. Julie says:

    I just made this recipe and make cupcakes. It’s AWESOME, especially the frosting!!! My question is should I keep them in the fridge to keep because of the frosting? It’s very light and fluffy so more thin than thick. And because of the egg whites, I’m not sure how it will hold up.

    • Natalie says:

      Sorry I missed seeing this! I would say it depends how warm you keep your house. During winter, it would probably be fine outside the fridge, but if it was hot I would definitely refrigerate it!

  39. Catherine says:

    I made this today minus the frosting. Very good. I used regular flour and only 5 egg whites. I used fresh picked strawberries and a hint of food coloring. I think it’s perfect except it came out just a bit too sweet. I think next time I might just cut back on the sugar. Wonderful thank you

  40. Wendy says:

    I am making cupcakes with this recipe. If I am not adding purée to the frosting, I only need 3/4 cup purée for the cupcakes….right?!

    • Wendy says:

      After rereading and some calculating….I need 16 ozs of purée for the cupcakes and 6 ozs if I add purée to the frosting?

    • Wendy Sue says:

      After rereading and some calculating….I need 16 ozs of purée for the cupcakes and 6 ozs if I add purée to the frosting?

  41. Linda says:

    Wonderful cake recipe. I made it for Easter and got rave reviews from my family. It will be a regular in my cake rotation! Thanks for the recipe.

  42. Veronica says:

    I’ve made this cake before and loved it!! I can’t remember if I used egg whites or substituted whole eggs. Would it matter if I used the whole egg?

  43. Hi,

    I tried this cake…and it look wonderfully good and tasted too. However, i felt it left me with a little bit of bitter note at the end.
    I used Fresh Strawberry. Im wondering if its because of 4 tsp of baking powder or could it be something else? I really love this cake and i want to correct what i did. I followed the whole recipe with no deviation.


  44. Lissa says:

    This is the third year my Lucy has requested this fabulous cake. I’ll be making it again tomorrow. Thank you for the best strawberry cake ever! I can’t tell you the number of people to whom I have forwarded your recipe.

  45. Kate says:

    Hi! Sorry to say so, but this recepe is very bad. I made following all the instructions and it just went to trash. The sponge was like a shoe sole. And the mirenge was all gloopy.. Too bad.. So many products were just wasted..

    • Natalie says:

      Sorry it didn’t work out for you! I have never had a problem with it. The frosting can appear to be “gloopy” if the room is too hot- quick fix is to put it in the fridge for 15 minutes and then try whipping again!

  46. tonya says:

    The picture doesn’t show frosting between the layers. Is there enough frosting for between the layers?
    Thanks, Can’t wait to try this recipe.

  47. Andrea says:

    24 oz of strawberries is probably not needed for 3/4 cup of purée. I was also confused why the butter was not added with the sugar and eggs because I had many moist crumbs. Didn’t work for me! Any tips to make it more successful? Thanks!

  48. Grace says:

    Hi Natalie
    I just found your strawberry cake recipe on Pinterest. I am from Australia. I would like to know how many oz or grams is 12 Tbsp of butter or 1 and half sticks? And why don’t you use the egg yolks in the cake so I only need to use 3 whole eggs instead of using 6 egg whites? In the Swiss meringue buttercream, do you mean the meringue mixture needs to feel hot or the base of the bowl? I don’t have a sugar thermometer.
    Thanks for sharing the recipe. The cake looks amazing.

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