Strawberry Cake

Recipe by Anna Bowlin

It’s hard to beat ripe, juicy strawberries at the height of their season, but this cake does just that. This delicious dessert is studded with strawberries and covered with a blanket of strawberry icing that permeates the entire cake, yielding a sweet, strawberry-infused dessert. Genius, you say? So do we, and our thanks go to Anna Bowlin – a baker featured in our Let Good Things Rise series – for sharing this extra-special recipe with us.

20 mins
37 to 43 mins
9 hrs 55 mins
one 9” x 13” cake
Strawberry Cake - select to zoom
Strawberry Cake - select to zoom
Strawberry Cake - select to zoom


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  1. To prepare the strawberries: Combine the sliced strawberries (you should end up with between 375g and 400g after trimming the tops of their leaves) with the sugar and lemon juice and set aside.

  2. To make the cake: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9” x 13” pan.

  3. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer.

  4. Add the butter to the dry ingredients and mix on slow speed with the paddle attachment until the mixture is crumbly.

  5. Add the eggs, gelatin, vegetable oil, and water, mixing until combined.

  6. Add about half of the strawberries (no need to be exact here) and mix until thoroughly combined.

  7. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

  8. Bake the cake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 37 to 43 minutes.

  9. Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool slightly (10 to 15 minutes) while you make the icing.

  10. To make the icing: Combine the butter, about half the confectioners’ sugar, and salt and mix until smooth. Add the remaining strawberries and the remaining confectioners’ sugar, and continue to mix until smooth. The icing will be on the runnier side and may look separated; that’s OK, it’s this separation that allows the cake to soak up some of the icing for more intense flavor.

  11. Pour the icing over the cake while it’s still warm, allow it to cool until it’s lukewarm, then refrigerate it overnight or for at least 8 hours, to allow the icing to completely soak the cake.

  12. Store the cake in the refrigerator. Take it out and let it rest at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours before serving.

Tips from our Bakers

  • If fresh strawberries aren’t available, substitute 16 ounces (454g) frozen, sliced strawberries. Thaw the strawberries at room temperature before using, but don’t drain the liquid.

  • If you’re using naturally flavored and colored gelatin, the color of the cake itself will be more yellow than pink. If you’d like your cake to be pink, simply tint the batter with natural food coloring until it’s the color you want.