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slice of fresh strawberry cake on a white plate with strawberries behind it

Fresh Strawberry Cake With Strawberry Buttercream Recipe

This fresh strawberry cake is made from FRESH strawberry reduction! The cake is moist and tender with a beautiful pink color. The perfect cake for summer! This recipe makes three 8"x2" cake rounds with strawberry buttercream and strawberry filling.
4.94 from 935 votes
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 50 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 10 mins
Serves: 24 servings
Calories: 603kcal


Fresh Strawberry Cake Ingredients

  • 14 ounces (397 g) all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces (226 g) unsalted butter room temperature
  • 10 ounces (284 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon strawberry emulsion or extract, I use LorAnn oils bakery emulsion
  • zest one lemon
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice fresh
  • 6 ounces (170 g) egg whites room temperature
  • 4 ounces (113 g) strawberry reduction room temperature
  • 6 ounces (170 g) milk room temperature, whole milk is best
  • 1/2 teaspoon Pink food color I use Americolor electric pink gel

Strawberry Reduction

  • 32 ounces (907 g) fresh or frozen strawberries thawed
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 4 ounces (113 g) sugar optional

Easy Strawberry Buttercream Frosting

  • 4 ounces (113 g) pasteurized egg whites
  • 16 ounces (454 g) unsalted butter room temperature
  • 16 ounces (454 g) powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 ounces (113 g) strawberry reduction room temperature


  • Stand mixer with whisk and paddle attachments (or a hand mixer)
  • Food Scale
  • Three, 8"x2" round cake pans
  • Wire rack


Strawberry Reduction Instructions

  • I recommend making this reduction the day before you're ready to make your cake.
  • Place fresh or thawed, frozen strawberries into a medium saucepan. Optional: blend strawberries with an emersion blender if you prefer a smoother texture of strawberry reduction.
  • Heat on medium-high and add in sugar (if desired), lemon zest, lemon juice and salt. Stir occasionally to prevent burning.
  • Once bubbling, reduce heat to medium-low and slowly reduce until berries begin to break up and the mixture has reduced by about half. This will take about 20 minutes. If your mixture has reduced by half and is still watery, continue to cook until all of the liquid is out.
  • Occasionally stir the mixture to prevent burning. You should end up with about 2 cups of thick strawberry reduction that looks like tomato sauce. Transfer to another container and let cool before use. 
  • You will use some of the reduction for the cake batter, some for the frosting and the rest for filling between the cake layers for extra moisture. Leftover reduction can be stored in the fridge for up to one week or frozen for 6 months.

Strawberry Cake Instructions

  • NOTE: It is SUPER IMPORTANT that all the room temperature ingredients listed above are room temperature and not cold or hot.
  • Make sure to take your strawberry reduction out of the refrigerator 1 hour before making your cake so that it comes to room temperature.
  • Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat to 350ºF/176ºC.
  • Grease three 8" cake pans with cake goop or preferred pan release
  • In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the milk, strawberry reduction, strawberry emulsion, vanilla extract, lemon extract, lemon zest, lemon juice, and pink food coloring.
  • In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  • Add room temperature butter to your stand mixer with the paddle attachment and beat at medium 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 one at a time, beating 15 seconds in between. Your mixture should look cohesive at this point. If it looks curdled and broken, your butter or egg whites were too cold. 
  • Mix on low speed and 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. If it looks like ice cream, you did it right!
  • Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Smooth the tops with a rubber spatula.
  • Bake cakes at 350ºF/176ºC until they feel firm in the center and a toothpick comes out clean or with just a few crumbs on it, about 30-35 minutes.
  • Place pans on top of a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes. Then flip your cakes onto the racks and cool completely. 
  • Once cooled, wrap each layer in plastic wrap and refrigerate or freeze before assembling your cake.

Buttercream Instructions

  • Place egg whites and powdered sugar in a stand mixer bowl. Attach the whisk and combine ingredients on low and then whip on high for 5 minutes 
  • Place pasteurized egg whites and powdered sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer. Add the whisk attachment and combine ingredients on low, then whip on high for 5 minutes.
  • Add in your softened butter in chunks and whip on high for 8-10 minutes until it's very white, light and shiny. It may look curdled and yellow at first, this is normal. Keep whipping.
  • Add in strawberry reduction, vanilla extract and salt and continue whipping until incorporated.
  • Optional: Switch to a paddle attachment and mix on low for 15-20 minutes to make the buttercream very smooth and remove air bubbles.

Decorating the cake

  • Place your first layer of strawberry cake onto a cake plate or cake board. Trim off the dome if needed with a sharp knife so the top of the cake is flat.
  • Add a very thin layer or your cooled reduction over the cut surface. This helps soak into the cake and adds moisture and strawberry flavor.
  • Add a layer of strawberry buttercream, I shoot for about 1/4". Smooth it with your offset spatula until it's flat.
  • Frost the outside of your cake with the leftover buttercream and decorate with some fresh. strawberries if desired.


Cake Notes: 
  1. Make sure all your ingredients (egg whites, milk, butter, reduction) are room temperature or a little warm so that your batter doesn't curdle.
  2. For the best success, use a food scale to weigh your ingredients. Converting this recipe to cups could lead to failure. Read my blog post on how to use a scale for more information.
  3. I use Americolor electric pink food coloring to get my beautiful pink color. It may seem like cheating, but if you don't add it, the color from the strawberries will bake out and your cake will turn out gray.
  4. I'm using my Bosch Universal Plus mixer for this, but you can use any KitchenAid stand mixer or a hand mixer. 
  5. You must use egg WHITES for this recipe, the yellow from the egg could turn the inside of your cake peach. 
  6. I like to use LorAnn oil's strawberry bakery emulsion, but you can also use extract. 
Reduction Notes:
  1. When making your reduction, the goal is to get as much liquid out as possible without burning the strawberries. The mixture should look like thick tomato sauce and will have reduced by half.
  2. You will use some of the reduction for the cake batter, some for the frosting and the rest for filling between the cake layers for extra moisture. Leftover reduction can be stored in the fridge for up to one week or frozen for 6 months.
Strawberry Buttercream Notes:
  1. Make sure your frosting is very light and white before adding in the puree. Give it a taste, if it still tastes like butter, keep whipping it until it tastes like sweet ice cream.
  2. If your buttercream looks curdled, it's too cold. Take out 1/2 cup of buttercream and melt it in the microwave until it's just barely melted. About 10-15 seconds. Pour it back into your buttercream, and mix until creamy.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 603kcal (30%) | Carbohydrates: 63g (21%) | Protein: 3g (6%) | Fat: 39g (60%) | Saturated Fat: 24g (120%) | Cholesterol: 102mg (34%) | Sodium: 222mg (9%) | Potassium: 89mg (3%) | Fiber: 1g (4%) | Sugar: 50g (56%) | Vitamin A: 1190IU (24%) | Vitamin C: 2.9mg (4%) | Calcium: 37mg (4%) | Iron: 0.8mg (4%)