Strawberry cake from scratch made with freeze dried strawberries makes for a cake full of flavor and a tender crumb
During my strawberry cake recipe experiments, I tested out a strawberry cake from scratch recipe using freeze dried strawberries. I honestly did not think this cake would turn out at all but I was surprised by the texture and the flavor that came through. The thing I liked most about this cake is that it cuts really cleanly making for some nice slices so I have decided to also include this recipe in my “successful strawberry cake recipes” list because it’s a really great option for professional cake decorators who don’t want to use fresh strawberries but still want all the flavor.
The differences between fresh strawberry cake and freeze-dried
This strawberry cake from scratch had a totally different type of flavor than the cake made with fresh strawberries. More tart, like a ZING to it. The crumb is very fine and there are no visible pieces of fruit in the batter. Not necessarily a good thing or bad thing but makes for some very nice cake slices.
The other thing I noticed is the color was a little bit lighter pink. This is probably due to the fact that when you bake fresh strawberries, the flesh tends to turn brown. Even when you’re using a strawberry reduction. The lemon juice helps a little with the browning problem but doesn’t get rid of it completely.
I think the process of freezing those little berries actually helps preserve the color as well.
How does freeze dried strawberry cake taste?
The strawberry cake recipe from scratch has a crumb that is very tender and soft although not quite as moist as the fresh strawberry cake recipe which made it a winner in my book. But as far as easy goes, this one is a snap. Just grind down your strawberries into flavor dust and add in with the dry ingredients.
No muss. No fuss.
I paired my strawberry cake with strawberry buttercream but used more ground up freeze-dried strawberries in place of the puree. The nice thing about that is that again, there are no fresh fruit lumps in the frosting so you’re able to get a very smooth outer layer of frosting.
I topped this cake with water ganache colored with pink food coloring from Artisan Accents which actually works really great for coloring SMBC and chocolate because both are oil based!
Which is best? Freeze-dried or fresh strawberries?
So whatever tastes best to you is what you should go with. Not everyone can get freeze dried strawberries in their area so that might not be so great of an option if that is the case. The other thing is they are a little expensive. Mine cost about $4 from target for 1oz which was enough to make one strawberry cake but if you where making more, the cost might be too much. Make sure you factor that in when you’re pricing your cakes out for your clients.
Overall I think this is a great option for strawberry cake and worth a try!
Cake Batter and Frosting Calculator
Select an option below to calculate how much batter or frosting you need. Adjust the servings slider on the recipe card to change the amounts the recipe makes.
Choose a pan type
Choose a cake pan size
(based on 2" tall cake pan)
Choose a cake pan size
(based on 2" tall cake pan)
Choose a cake pan size
(based on 2" tall cake pan)
Cupcake Tin Size
Choose number of pans
Cups of Batter Needed
Cups of Frosting Needed
Note: measurements are estimated based off the vanilla cake recipe using standard US cake pans and sizes. Measurements used are for 2" tall cake pans only. Your results may vary. Do not overfill cake pans above manufacturer's recommended guidelines.
Freeze dried strawberry cake recipe
- 10 oz (284 g) AP flour
- 1 oz (28 g) freeze dried strawberries ground to a fine powder
- 1 1/2 tsp (1 1/2 tsp) baking powder
- 1 tsp (1 tsp) baking soda
- 8 oz (227 g) unsalted butter room temp
- 1/2 tsp (1/2 tsp) salt
- 10 oz (284 g) granulated sugar
- 1 tsp (1 tsp ) vanilla extract
- zest 1 (zest 1) lemon
- 1 tsp (1 tsp) strawberry extract
- 6 egg whites room temp
- 8 oz (227 g) milk room temp
- 2 oz (57 g) vegetable oil
- 1 drop (1 drop) pink food coloring
- 1 drop (1 drop) red food coloring
- NOTE: It is SUPER IMPORTANT that all the room temperature ingredients listed above are room temperature and not cold so that the ingredients mix and incorporate correctly.
- Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat to 350ºF/176ºC.
- Add butter to stand mixer and beat at medium-high speed until smooth and shiny, about 30 seconds. Gradually sprinkle in the sugar, beat until mixture is fluffy and almost white, about 3-5 minutes. Add the egg whites approximately two at a time, beating 30 seconds between.
- Place freeze dried strawberries in a spice grinder or food processor and pulse until they become a fine powder. It may be necessary to sift the strawberry powder to ensure that there are no large pieces remaining.
- Whisk the flour, sifted strawberry powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and lemon zest in a medium bowl.
- Combine the milk, oil, vanilla extract, strawberry extract and food coloring in a separate medium bowl.
- With the mixer at the lowest speed, add about a third of the dry ingredients to the batter, followed immediately by about a third of the milk mixture, mix until ingredients are almost incorporated into the batter. Repeat the process 2 more times. When the batter appears blended, stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
- Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Smooth the tops with a rubber spatula. Bake cakes until they feel firm in the center and a toothpick comes out clean or with just a few crumbs on it, about 35-40 minutes.
- Transfer pans to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes. Invert cakes onto the rack and pop cakes out of pans. Cool completely before frosting.
41 comments on “Freeze Dried Strawberry Cake Recipe”
What size pans?
Two 8″ cake pans or three 6″ cake pans
It can be decorated with fondant or fondant details or just buttercream?
What are the best freeze dried fruit brands that you recommend? I’m interested in experimenting with mango and banana.
I prefer the brand from target because it’s inexpensive haha
Why AP flour instead of cake flour? Does it affect the crumb with the berries? I’m about to do it with cake flour so wish me luck
I found that cake flour was too delicate 🙂 let me know how your experiment turns out!
How did it turn out? It’s a year later I know lol but I want to make this 🙂
I made this cake for my granddaughters birthday and she loved it, it’s soooo good! ??
Genius to use the freeze dried. Perfect Strawberry cake has eluded me in the past but I tried this and the results are amazing.
This is my go to strawberry cake. I’m deathly allergic to strawberries and this makes it so much easier avoiding handling actually wet, raw strawberries. (I have someone else grind them) I sometimes let them have little bits of larger pieces. My customers love it!
I would love to make this cake looks so delicious. I have a freeze dryer and have made many batches of strawberries. The FD is a bit expensive but the meals, vegies and fruits are worth the cost. Can’t wait to try your recipe.
I was very happy to see a recipe using freeze dried strawberry powder!! I am going to try this.. but I have a question. I see that the recipe calls for 1tsp of strawberry extract… how important is that? or is there a workaround for it? I ask because I dont have any strawberry extract. 🙁
you can leave it out but it just wont have as much strawberry flavor 🙂 They sell strawberry extract at most grocery stores in the spice aisle
I want to make this cake, but 10 ounces of flour (1.2 cups) seems like a very small amount. Is this correct? Thank you!
Yes that is correct. That’s actually 2 cups of flour which is pretty standard for a cake recipe 🙂
Do I need a food scale to measure ounces of flour, sugar etc?…If so, what are the “cup” amounts of 10oz AP flour? 10 oz sugar?
strawberry? butter? milk? oil? Please advise on “cup” amounts….
There are no cup amounts. All my recipes are by weight only for accuracy. I have a blog post about using a scale if you search “scale” which explains why I use a scale and how to use one for accurate baking.
Can you double the recipe to use it on tray bake ?
There’s no strawberry extract where I am , would it be okay purchasing strawberry flavouring ?
Yes you can double the recipe and use strawberry flavoring
This looks amazing! I want to try it with freeze dried cherries. What does the oil add to the party? I’ve never made a sponge with both oil and butter x
Oil and butter adds moisture 🙂 Yes you can definitely try it with the freeze dried cherries
Hi liz can i use whole eggs instead of egg whites?
If you do it will affect the color the in the interior of the cake and make it more orange
I’ve been looking at this recipe and your fresh strawberry cake recipes. Would you suggest one over the other for covering with fondant and/or modeling chocolate? I wouldn’t be stacking multiple tiers (at least not this time), but could they hold up to that? Could I make a version with freeze-dried strawberries AND fresh strawberries, or am I just being greedy?
(BTW, after all but giving up, I watched/read your modeling chocolate tutorials and something about your instructions/recipe/vibes, got through to me where so many others had failed and I FINALLY got a good batch of modeling chocolate! So thanks! Now I just have to make a cake to put it on!)
Either cake will work for stacking, just make sure the layers are well-chilled before handling.
Hi Liz! I’m hoping to make your strawberry buttercream with freeze dried strawberries. Did you replace the strawberry purée with just a 1 oz. bag of freeze dried strawberries, no extra liquid?
No extra liquid, just the ground up strawberries
Which of your recipes fresh or dried strawberry would be best for cupcakes? Thanks for all your great recipes!
I haven’t tried either in cupcake form so I can’t say for sure 🙂 I would guess freeze-dried since they have less moisture.
Can I use boxed egg whites? 🙂
Yes you sure can
I was wondering if it is possible to have the best of both worlds and use the recipe with the fresh strawberries, but also add some powdered freeze dried strawberries to the mix? Have you ever tried that? I love the idea of both fresh berries and the extra tangy flavor of the freeze dried berries.
I haven’t tried that but it sounds like a brilliant idea 😀
What would happen if I omit the lemon zest?
Lemon zest just intensifies the strawberry flavor. Its ok to leave it out.
Hi Liz If I have already powdered freeze dried strawberries how much do I need to use? Please let me know. Thank you in advance
The recipe calls for one ounce of freeze dried strawberries.
I made this cake two times already for my strawberry-lover daughter and it came out delicious. I have to add that I had not baked cakes before but the recipe is very easy to follow. I frosted with strawberry flavored whipped cream and everybody loved it. I also made some cupcakes with the batter and all they came out good too. My only problem is that the color was not as pink as I hoped but it could have been the quality of my food colors.
Best strawberry cake recipe I ever had in my life its addictive delicious and the frosting awesome I give this recipe 10 stars