Easy vegan strawberry cake packed with fresh strawberries and lots of flavor! This eggless cake uses just 7 key ingredients (plus the frosting) and can be prepared in 1 bowl.
This cake is a perfect Valentine's Day dessert just like my vegan strawberry cupcakes! It has been adapted from my very tried and tested vegan mango cake.
Why you'll love this cake
DIFFICULTY RATING: This from-scratch strawberry cake is easy to make! All you need to do is blend the strawberries, mix the dry and wet ingredients in one bowl then bake.
FLAVOR: Incredible strawberry flavor using 4 cups of REAL strawberries! You don't have to use strawberry extract or flavoring!
TEXTURE: Fluffy and not dense! Some strawberry cakes are stodgy due to too much liquid and structural factors. However, I added extra baking agents and minimized the amount of liquid so you get a light and fluffy cake. This cake stays moist for days!
Simple ingredients to make this cake
Even though this cake is eggless and dairy-free, you'll only need a few basic pantry ingredients to make this cake!
Strawberries, either fresh or frozen. I tested both types of strawberries and the final cakes were similar. If possible, choose a sweet and bright-colored variety of strawberries as this improves the final cake. Interestingly, the strawberry puree acts similarly to applesauce and is a wonderful egg replacer!
Dairy-free milk. This recipe uses less milk than other vegan cakes because we have so much moisture from the strawberry puree! That means we don't have to fuss around making a strawberry reduction.
Oil helps the cake stay moist and fluffy, compared to butter which can make a cake feel dry if it's not at room temperature.
Baking powder and soda. We're using double baking agents to counteract the high amount of fruit, which tends to weigh down a cake!
Beetroot powder or pink/red food coloring (optional). Without the powder or food coloring, the cake is a dull and pale pink color.
Brands of beetroot powder vary a lot. When baking with beetroot powder, your cake batter might be a lovely pink color and your baked cakes could be anywhere from vibrant pink to an orange/brown. Alternatively, pink/red food coloring provides more consistent results where the batter is almost the same color as the baked cakes.
A complete list of ingredients, quantities and instructions are in the gray recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Making the strawberry puree
If you're using frozen strawberries, allow them to fully defrost.
Then simply add all the strawberries to a food processor or blender and blend until it forms a puree and there aren't any more chunks!
Preparing the strawberry cake batter
First, I'd recommend making the cake batter in a large mixing bowl rather than using a stand mixer. This reduces the chance of over-mixing the batter!
In a large mixing bowl, add all your dry ingredients and mix until combined. If you're using beetroot powder, mix it in as well.
Then add all your wet ingredients (including food coloring, if you're using) to the flour mixture. Mix the batter until just combined! Some lumps in the batter are fine but make sure your mixture has no pockets of flour.
The final mixture should be quite thick. This helps create a fluffier vegan strawberry cake without dense spots! A runnier batter results in a stodgy cake.
Baking the cake
This vegan strawberry cake bakes in around 30 minutes, give or take 5-10 minutes.
The cake layers are ready when you insert a skewer in the middle and it completely comes out clean. The cakes are very moist so we need to make sure they are completely baked through!
If you used beetroot powder, the cakes may darken after baking - this is normal! The surface of the cake is normally darker so don't stress. The middle of the cake is lighter in color!
This vegan strawberry cake is wonderful when topped with:
- Vegan strawberry buttercream frosting or vanilla buttercream
- Vegan strawberry cream cheese frosting or vanilla cream cheese frosting
- Whipped dairy-free cream only if you're making one layer of the cake. Whipped cream will not hold between layers of cake.
- Chocolate ganache
- A dusting of powdered sugar
Possible decorations for the strawberry cake include:
- Strawberries, either fresh or freeze-dried. Or any complementary fruit!
- Strawberry jam
- Chocolate shavings or shards
- Vegan strawberry cookies
Customizing the cake recipe
I recommend checking out my vegan gluten-free strawberry cake which uses only 6 ingredients! It's easy to make and stays moist for days.
I tried baking the below recipe with 1:1 gluten-free all-purpose flour and a combination of different gluten-free flours. However, I had to completely change the ingredient quantities to make it work. Even still, the gluten-free cake was often too dry or dense or could only be eaten on the day it was baked.
I haven't tried it myself so can't vouch for results. However, if you do, I strongly recommend using a scale to measure the ingredients to minimize the chance of the coconut sugar throwing off the recipe. Also, the cake will be very brown if made with coconut sugar!
I don't recommend beetroot juice as it's much less intense than the powder. The amount of juice/liquid you'll need to add to color the cake is enough to completely change the cake's texture (it'll be dense and might not bake through).
Whilst pink pitaya powder is a lovely color, I haven't had great success baking with it. For me, the color completely faded and it gave the cake a slightly rancid taste and smell.
Other vegan strawberry desserts
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Vegan Strawberry Cake
- ~4 cups (480g) fresh or frozen strawberries, weighed without stems
Dry cake ingredients
- 3 cups (375g) all-purpose plain flour, (note 1 for gluten free)
- 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
- 1-2 tablespoons beetroot powder, and/or 1-3 drops of pink/red food coloring (add with wet ingredients), to color (note 2)
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- Pinch of salt
Wet cake ingredients
- ⅓ cup (85g) dairy-free milk
- ½ cup (125g) neutral flavored oil
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, or lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional
To decorate (or as desired, note 2 for suggestions)
- 1 - 1 ½ batches Vegan Strawberry Frosting, OR
- 1 batch Vegan Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 cup (120g) fresh strawberries, or other fresh berries
- Note: I'd recommend using grams for this recipe, except for the smaller tablespoon/teaspoon measurements. Like all my recipes, this cake was tested using grams so I can't vouch for results using the cups measurement.
Prepare the fresh strawberry puree:
- Add the strawberries to a food processor or blender. Blend until there are no more chunks. Set aside.
Make the strawberry cake:
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Line or grease 2 x 8 inch (20 cm) round cake pans.
- Add all the dry cake ingredients to a large mixing bowl and mix until there are no lumps. Add the strawberry puree and wet cake ingredients (with food coloring if using) to the bowl and fold until just combined. Be careful to not overmix the batter. Lumps in the cake batter are fine, as long as there aren't pockets of flour.
- Divide and pour the cake batter between your 2 cake pans.
- Bake the cakes for around 25-30 minutes. They're ready when you can insert a toothpick in the middle and it comes out clean. Let the cakes cool in their pans for around 10 minutes then remove them to cool on a wire rack.
To assemble the cake:
- When the cakes have completely cooled, slice off the dome of one cake. Place that cake on a serving plate.
- If you chilled your frosting, stir it a few times to make sure it’s smooth and soft. Spread or pipe around 1 cup of frosting on the cake and place the remaining cake on top.
- Spread or pipe the remaining frosting on top. Garnish with fresh strawberries or as desired.
- Store the cake in an airtight container in the fridge until serving. Allow the cake to come to room temperature 30 minutes - 1 hour before serving. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for 5 days or in the freezer (without fresh strawberries) for 1 month.
- I haven't had much success substituting the all-purpose flour with 1:1 gluten free flour blends or a combination of gluten free flours without completely changing the recipe. Instead, I'd recommend my 6 ingredient gluten free strawberry cake which is super easy to make!
- For the most consistent and reliable results, I'd recommend pink/red food coloring. When using food dye, the color of your cake batter will be similar to the color of the baked cake. Alternatively, beetroot powder doesn't always bake well (this depends on the brand and how old is the powder). Cake batter that is colored with beetroot powder may be a lovely pink but the baked cake could be anywhere from vibrant pink to orange/brown in color.
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Made this yesterday for my daughter’s birthday cake in a family of non-vegans and everyone liked it - even the grandsons. I weighed the ingredients as suggested rather than using the cup measurements. Used Trader Joe’s Vegan Buttery Spread and TreeLine cashew cream cheese I had on hand from Purple Carrot. I used frozen strawberries and red gel
Food coloring in the cake and strawberry extract and red gel food coloring in the frosting. The cake was delicious and pretty!
I think strawberry jelly powder can be used to substitute beetroot powder.
Hi Carolyne, yes maybe. However, jelly powder can make a cake more dense if the recipe isn't designed for it.
Your recipes are solid and delicious. The Strawberry Cake is great. I also used this recipe with raspberries which I loved as well.
One small but very important problem. I bake in metrics. If you use the slide bar to adjust the number of servings, the grams do not adjust. If you bake via metric weight, be careful.
I hope you are able to fix this glitch.
Hi Seyel, I'm so glad that you enjoyed this strawberry cake and you loved it with raspberries too!
Yes, unfortunately the sliding bar only changes the cups measurement. At the moment, there isn't way for the grams to be adjusted. If I need to make a smaller or larger portion of the cake, I often do this manually with a calculator.
Hi!! I am wanting to make a 10 inch, 4 layer, 1 tier cake. Obviously I would have to make probably 2 recipes of this cake. But I am curious if this would be a sturdy enough cake to layer this large of a cake, or would it get floppy and lopsided? Thank you so much in advance!
Hi Courtney! That would be an epic cake! Depending on how thick you want the layers to be, you may even have to make 3 quantities of this cake because the volume of an 10-inch cake pan is around 150% of an 8-inch pan. I'd say this cake is sturdy enough for a 4 layer, 1 tier cake if you use the strawberry buttercream rather than the cream cheese frosting. The strawberry puree kinda acts like a egg replacer so this cake isn't as crumbly as a vanilla or chocolate cake. It will also help if you chill or freeze the layers before you stack it :). Let me know how you go and I hope that helps!
I made the cake today and it turned out pretty well. Easy indeed. The only things I did not like it is that the beetroot powder and freeze-dried strawberry powder gave both the cake and frosting an aftertaste. The aftertaste was far less noticeable in the frosting than it was in the cake. The next time I make it I'm going to make it with just the strawberry puree and add up to half a cup of sugar more than the recipe calls for for the cake.
That's interesting about the powders. If they leave a strong aftertaste, maybe try another brand? Also, the cake recipe doesn't ask for strawberry powder and I don't know how it'd react when baked. Alternatively, I recommend using food coloring for the cake and fresh strawberries for the frosting which was mentioned in the recipe.
I used freeze-dried strawberries for the frosting.
I will next time. I prefer a true strawberry taste. I think the beetroot powder changes the flavor. Well, it did in my experience. I used it because I was hellbent on getting the pretty color you got.
I’m going to tag you on IG.
From experience, different brands of beetroot powder vary so much in color and taste and it's worth finding one that doesn't have an aftertaste. For the pictured cake, I used a combination of beetroot powder and food coloring. Thanks for the tag on Instagram as well.
Can I use cake flour instead of plain white flour?
6 inch 3-layer cake conversion? X everything by 57%?
Based on my pink champagne cake which is 3 x 6-inches, you don't need to scale up the recipe but just divide the batter in 3 cake pans.
Ok, thanks. I have two more questions. You said you wouldn’t use beet juice because it will water down the batter but is it possible to make a beet juice reduction with beet juice and a little cornstarch and add it to the batter? How about buying beets and cooking them down to a reduction?
Any additional wet ingredients will affect this cake so I'd err with caution. However, beet powder doesn't provide consistent results with color, let alone a reduction or puree that is less concentrated and potent in color. Let me know how you go.
Say Limpin says
how many grams did the strawberry puree turned out to?
Same as what's in the recipe card which is 480g. Blending the strawberries doesn't change their weight.
Eljay Miller says
This was the most delicious cake I have ever made! It tasted delicious 😋
Aw what a compliment! Thanks for your feedback Eljay 🙂
as a side note for a potential gluten free way...
I didn't have quite enough plain flour, I ended up using 50/50 plain flour, and cornflour. (maybe called cornstarch in the USA?) It was delicious and I didn't notice any adverse effects from this.
So, maybe a simple substitution of cornflour could work for a gluten free version? Just some food for thought.
At any rate, it was delicious! The color of the cake itself didn't quite turn that nice pink color, but the icing did, so I just iced it all over and it looked fine. thanks for sharing this recipe!
Glad that you enjoyed this cake!
That's great that the cake worked with plain flour and corn flour/starch. I tried a combination of different flours to make gluten free strawberry cupcakes, including corn and potato starch but I had to increase the amount of flour by around 150% and add a few other flours! It's so interesting how differently gluten-free flours act!