Make this naturally-flavored fresh strawberry sheet cake from scratch whenever you need a quick and easy dessert! It presents beautifully with no fancy technique and don't forget the cream cheese frosting to set it off.
Simplicity wins out most days in my kitchen. And this strawberry cream cheese sheet cake is exactly that. Let's get into the delicious details!
And if you enjoy this recipe, you'll love my Strawberry Champagne Cake Donuts.
What's a Sheet Cake?
Sheet cake is a single layer rectangle shaped cake typically baked in an oblong or sheet pan. And sheet cakes are easy to decorate because there's only one layer to frost--no stacking, leveling, or crumb coats needed.
Just a single, thick layer of naturally-flavored strawberry cake topped off with luscious cream cheese frosting and adorned with more fresh strawberries. We love a low maintenance dessert recipe!
What does it taste like?
This simple summer cake recipe is bursting with fresh berry flavor and it's moist, light, and sweet. You'll taste juicy, fresh strawberry notes and mellow vanilla. And the cream cheese frosting is tangy, rich, and sweet. Think strawberries and cream vibes!
What You'll Need for this Recipe
Fresh Strawberries add flavor and subtle reddish color to this cake. If you want a brighter pink color and more intense flavor, you can supplement with a half ounce of freeze-dried strawberries.
All-Purpose Flour works just fine in this recipe. But you can use cake flour instead for a more delicate final texture in the cake. Add six tablespoons of cake flour to the recipe measurements
Granulated Sugar is my sweetener of choice in this recipe but you can also use coconut sugar, brown sugar, or even a lower glycemic index sweetener like monk fruit syrup or honey. Just note that the level of sweetness in the cake will vary and brown sugar will add a caramelized molasses-like flavor note.
Butter You can use salted or unsalted butter here, just be sure to adjust the amount of sea salt in the recipe card, if you use salted butter. Rich oils like coconut or avocado will also work in a pinch.
Check out the recipe card below for full ingredients list, measurements, and step-by-step instructions!
Substitutions & Variations
Baking Powder helps the cake rise. What if I don't have baking powder for this cake? You can substitute ¼ teaspoon of baking soda plus ½ teaspoon vinegar.
Berries - You can add raspberries, blueberries, and/or blackberries for a mixed berry flavor profile.
How to Make a Homemade Berry Sheet Cake
Step One: You can customize this flavored sheet cake by prepping the strawberries in different ways: Puree for the most consisted color throughout the cake or mash and muddle them to get small strawberry chunks.
Step Two: Whisk the dry cake ingredients together until combined.
Want more color in your fresh strawberry cake? Add one or two drops of red food coloring for extra pink color, if desired. And you can use an ounce of freeze dried strawberries instead of fresh strawberries if you don't have access to fresh ones.
Step Three: Combine the wet cake ingredients and dry mixture then stir until just combined and no dry pockets of flour remain.
Step Four: Transfer the batter to an oblong (rectangle) pan and spread it to make sure it reaches the edges of the pan.
PRO TIP: Do not over mix the batter as it can result in a tough cake.
Step Five: Bake the cake on the middle oven rack until golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out dry.
Making the Cream Cheese Frosting
Cream Cheese should be softened the room temperature for easy blending. If you try to blend cold cream cheese, it can leave solid hunks in your frosting.
Butter should be softened or melted. Use either salted or unsalted here.
Vanilla Extract helps meld the flavors together and you might not think it's necessary in cream cheese frosting, I promise you'll miss it in the final product so don't skip it!
This easy fresh strawberry cake recipe is made into a kind of strawberries & cream cake with scratch-made cream cheese frosting. I like mixing diced strawberries into the cream cheese frosting for extra flavor, color, and fun. Here are the steps!
Step Six: Dice a few strawberries and slice the others. This is an optional but lovely addition that I highly recommend for presentation points.
Step Seven: Combine the remaining frosting ingredients with a mixer and beat until combined.
PRO TIP: Be sure to sift the powdered sugar into the mixing bowl so that it blends smoothly and completely.
Step Eight: Fold the diced strawberries into the frosting by hand.
Step Nine: Spread the frosting over top of the baked cake, stopping just short of the edges.
Step Ten: Cut cake into squares for serving and garnish each square with a strawberry slice, if desired.
Do you love cream cheese frosting? Try my Praline Cream Cheese Frosting recipe!
How to Serve a Sheet Cake
This strawberry cream cheese sheet cake is the fully-evolved (aka glowed up) version of a cake I used to make back in my undergrad days but I've kept the broke student tendency of doing more with less.
Once fully cooled, feel free to decorate this cake in the pan for easier transport and storage. If you do turn the sheet cake out of the pan, don't flip it over to serve.
Spread the cream cheese frosting almost to the edges using an offset spatula or butter knife then lay strawberry slices over top. This doubles as decoration and denotes the number of pieces!
Most recipes designed for home bakers typically require the use of multiple round cake pans, ranging from 6 to 9 inches in diameter. However, a sheet pan has the versatility to mimic any of these sizes. Use a half sheet pan or an oblong pan.
Store this cake refrigerated in an airtight container and it will keep for up to one week. Note that the red color of the strawberries might bleed into the cream cheese frosting over time but it's still ok to eat.
Yes! Wrap the unfrosted cake tightly in plastic wrap followed by aluminum foil and place in the freezer. It will keep for up to three months. To thaw the cake, leave it wrapped and transfer to the refrigerator overnight.
If you want to freeze this cake, I recommend freezing the frosting and cake separately. Freeze the cream cheese frosting in an airtight container. It will keep for up to three months.
More Favorite Easy Cake Recipes
I hope this Texas strawberry sheet cake soon and very soon. And sharing is caring so be sure to pin the recipe for later and follow me over on Pinterest. Thanks for reading!
Fresh Strawberry Sheet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
- 2 mixing bowls
- 1 whisk
- 1 rectangle cake pan
- 1 stand mixer or hand mixer
For the Fresh Strawberry Sheet Cake
- 1 ½ cup sugar
- ¾ cup butter melted
- ¾ cup milk
- 4 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon sea salt
- 6 strawberries
- ½ ounce freeze-dried strawberriers optional
For the Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar sifted
- 8 ounces cream cheese softened
- ¼ cup butter melted
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 strawberries
Making the Fresh Strawberry Sheet Cake
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a rectangle cake pan and set aside.
- Combine sugar, butter, milk, eggs, and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl and stir until uniform.
- In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and sea salt. Add this dry mixture to the wet mixture and stir until just combined. Do not over mix.
- Mash or puree strawberries to your desired consistency then stir into cake batter. If adding freeze-dried strawberries, crush or pulse in a blender to form a powder then mix into batter, as well. Batter will be thick.
- Spread cake batter into prepared pan. Place on middle oven rack and bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Meanwhile, prepare the frosting.
Making the Cream Cheese Frosting
- Sift powdered sugar into a bowl then add in cream cheese, butter, and vanilla extract. Beat for about 1 ½ minutes or until smooth, glossy, and uniform.
- While frosting mixes, dice strawberries into about ⅓ inch pieces. Fold diced strawberries into frosting by hand. Slice additional strawberries to decorate cake, if desired.
- Frost cake once it cools to room temperature. Spread frosting over top almost to edges then place strawberry slices over top.