Strawberry Sheet Cake

$11.72 recipe / $0.78 serving
by Marsha - Budget Bytes
4.75 from 4 votes
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Summer is here and one of my favorite fruits to buy during this season are fresh strawberries. This is the time when they’re ripe, juicy, super sweet, and perfect to incorporate into recipes like this homemade Strawberry Sheet Cake! This strawberry cake is fluffy, moist, and made with fresh pureed strawberries that have been reduced for a more concentrated strawberry flavor. And the best part…it’s topped with an absolutely dreamy, irresistible strawberry cream cheese frosting! This strawberry sheet cake is perfect for almost any occasion including birthdays, potlucks and holiday gatherings. It definitely stands out from any boxed cake and is always a crowd-pleaser!

Side view of a slice of strawberry sheet cake on a small white plate with fresh strawberries on the side.

Ingredients For Strawberry Sheet Cake

Here’s everything you need to make this delicious strawberry sheet cake recipe:

  • Strawberries: fresh strawberries are pureed and then reduced and added to the cake batter and frosting.
  • All-Purpose Flour: creates the structure for the cake.
  • Baking Powder & Baking Soda: both leavening agents to help the cake rise.
  • Granulated Sugar: to sweeten the cake and the strawberry puree.
  • Eggs: provide structure to help leaven the cake.
  • Vegetable Oil: adds moisture to keep the cake moist and helps the cake bake evenly.
  • Vanilla Extract: adds rich flavor to the cake batter and the frosting.
  • Strawberry Gelatin: adds more strawberry flavor and gives the cake that beautiful pink color. I actually tested this recipe with and without gelatin. Adding the gelatin was definitely the winner! It simply added more flavor and color to the cake.
  • Milk: whole milk adds more moisture to the cake and helps the ingredients blend smoothly together.
  • Cream Cheese Frosting: Cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, vanilla and strawberry puree makes the delicious strawberry frosting for the cake.

Making The Strawberry Puree

The fresh strawberry puree is a key ingredient in this cake. I tested this recipe by just adding pureed strawberries straight from the food processor; then a second test by reducing the strawberries in a saucepan with a little sugar over medium heat. The strawberry reduction was the winner! It removes a lot of the extra liquid and adds a more concentrated strawberry flavor to the cake. And it tastes ahh-mazing in the homemade strawberry frosting!

Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

The strawberry frosting on this cake is my absolute favorite part! The intense strawberry flavor from the reduced strawberries, mixed with the cream cheese and powdered sugar is just heavenly. And if you’ve never made your own homemade cake frosting, then you’ll be surprised by just how easy it is to make. It only requires a few ingredients and it tastes wayyy better than store-bought icing.

Overhead view of strawberry sheet cake with strawberry icing and fresh strawberries on top.

Recipe Tips!

  1. Once you add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, be careful not to overmix the batter. Overmixing can cause the cake to become dense instead of light and fluffy. Mix the dry and wet ingredients together until they are just combined and there are no traces of dry flour left in the bowl.
  2. Grease your baking dish well. I used a 9×13” glass baking dish and greased it generously with butter. This helps prevent the cake from sticking to the dish. You can also line your baking dish with parchment paper to help the cake release easily from the pan.
  3. Don’t skip the homemade strawberry frosting! The strawberry infused cream cheese frosting is a must have! It’s what really takes this strawberry cake over the top. I seriously had to stop myself from just eating this tasty frosting by itself.

How to Store Strawberry Cake

You can easily store any leftover strawberry sheet cake in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, or you can freeze it for longer storage. To freeze, wrap the cake slices in a double layer of plastic wrap and foil, then freeze for 2-3 months. To thaw, simply let the cake come to room temperature for about 30 minutes then enjoy!

Side view of a slice of strawberry sheet cake on a small white plate with a fork cutting down the middle.
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Strawberry Sheet Cake

4.75 from 4 votes
This Strawberry Sheet Cake is fluffy, moist, and made with fresh strawberries and a simply irresistible strawberry cream cheese frosting. Perfect for any occasion!
Close up view of strawberry sheet cake on a white plate with fresh strawberries on top.
Servings 15 slices
Prep 25 minutes
Cook 1 hour
Total 1 hour 25 minutes

Ingredients

Strawberry Puree

  • 1 lb. fresh strawberries ($2.50)
  • 2 Tbsp granulated sugar ($0.05)
  • pinch of salt ($0.02)

Cake

  • 2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour ($0.60)
  • 2 tsp baking powder ($0.12)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda ($0.02)
  • 1/2 tsp salt ($0.02)
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar ($0.60)
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil ($0.45)
  • 4 large eggs ($0.66)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract ($1.00)
  • 3 oz. strawberry gelatin ($1.00)
  • 3/4 cup strawberry puree ($0.00)
  • 1 cup whole milk ($0.20)

Strawberry Frosting

  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened ($1.89)
  • 1/2 cup salted butter, softened ($1.07)
  • 3 cups powdered sugar ($1.02)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract ($0.50)
  • 1/4 cup strawberry puree ($0.00)

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and start by making the strawberry puree. Wash, remove the stems, and quarter the strawberries. Add the strawberries to a food processor and pulse for several seconds until the strawberries have broken down into a puree.
  • Add the pureed strawberries along with 2 Tbsp of sugar and a pinch of salt to a small pot over medium-low heat. Simmer the strawberries for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the strawberry puree has reduced by about half. You should end up with 1 cup of reduced strawberry puree. Transfer the reduced strawberry puree to a bowl and allow it to cool.
  • While the strawberries are simmering, in a large bowl whisk together the dry ingredients (all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt).
  • In a separate large bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar, vegetable oil, eggs (2 at a time) and vanilla extract until well combined.
  • Now add in the strawberry gelatin and ¾ cups of the strawberry puree. Stir together until combined (save the rest of the strawberry puree for the frosting).
  • Next add the dry ingredients to the same bowl as the wet ingredients and pour in the milk. Stir together until just combined. Be careful not to overmix at this point.
  • Pour the batter into a greased 9×13” baking dish and bake in the preheated oven for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool completely at room temperature before frosting.
  • To make the frosting, combine the cream cheese and salted butter in a large bowl using a handheld mixer until smooth. Then add the powdered sugar (1 cup at a time), vanilla extract, and ¼ cup of the strawberry puree. Blend together until creamy and smooth.
  • Once the cake has cooled, spread the fresh strawberry frosting on top. Feel free to garnish with extra fresh strawberries (optional) and enjoy!

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Notes

*Make sure your cream cheese and butter are softened at room temperature before mixing them together.

Nutrition

Serving: 1sliceCalories: 526kcalCarbohydrates: 72gProtein: 6gFat: 24gSodium: 339mgFiber: 1g
Read our full nutrition disclaimer here.
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Close up view of strawberry sheet cake on a white plate with fresh strawberries on top.

How to Make Strawberry Sheet Cake – Step by Step Photos

Fresh chopped strawberries added to a food processor.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Next wash, remove the stems, and quarter 1 lb. strawberries. Add the strawberries to a food processor and pulse for several seconds until the strawberries have broken down into a puree.

Strawberry puree and sugar added to a saucepan.

Add the pureed strawberries, 2 Tbsp of sugar and a pinch of salt to a small pot over medium-low heat. Simmer the strawberries for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the strawberry puree has reduced by about half. You should end up with 1 cup of reduced strawberry puree.

Reduced strawberries in a saucepan.

Transfer the reduced strawberry puree to a bowl and allow it to cool.

Cake dry ingredients added to a bowl.

While the strawberries are simmering, in a large bowl whisk together 2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, 2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp baking soda, and 1/2 tsp salt.

Cake wet ingredients added to a bowl.

In a separate large bowl, whisk together 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, 3/4 cup vegetable oil, 4 large eggs (2 at a time) and 2 tsp vanilla extract until well combined.

Strawberry puree and strawberry gelatin added to the bowl.

Now add in 3 oz. strawberry gelatin and ¾ cups of the reduced strawberry puree. Stir together until combined (save the rest of the strawberry puree for the frosting).

Dry ingredients added to the bowl with wet ingredients.

Next add the dry ingredients to the same bowl as the wet ingredients.

Milk added to the cake batter bowl.

Then pour in 1 cup of milk. Stir together until just combined and there are no traces of dry flour left in the bowl. Be careful not to overmix at this point.

Cake batter added to greased baking dish.

Pour the batter into a butter greased 9×13” baking dish and bake in the preheated oven for 40-43 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. You can also line your baking dish with parchment paper if you prefer.

Finished baked strawberry cake

Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool completely at room temperature before frosting.

Strawberry cream cheese frosting ingredients added to a bowl.

To make the frosting, first combine 8 oz. softened cream cheese and 1/2 cup softened salted butter in a large bowl using a handheld mixer until smooth. Then add 3 cups of powdered sugar (1 cup at a time), 1 tsp vanilla extract, and ¼ cup of the strawberry puree.

Strawberry frosting blended together.

Blend together with the hand mixer until creamy and smooth.

Strawberry frosting being spread on to strawberry cake.

Once the cake has cooled, spread the fresh strawberry frosting on top.

Overhead view of strawberry sheet cake with strawberry icing and fresh strawberries on top.

Feel free to garnish with extra fresh strawberries (optional) and enjoy with a glass of milk or some vanilla ice cream. Serve this delicious strawberry cake at your next potluck, holiday, or family gathering!

Side view of strawberry sheet cake with one slice removed.
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Comments

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  1. This is a really yummy recipe! The cake turned out just like your picture but my icing was more runny than fluffy. I think it was the strawberry puree. I tried reducing it to half but even after 40 minutes I had more than a cup of sauce 🤷🏼‍♀️ I have never mastered the art of reduction so it’s me not the recipe. The icing still tasted great! Will make it again!

  2. Can you use dehydrated strawberries ground to a powder instead of strawberry gelatin?

  3. I made this for a 4th of July party and it was a huge hit!! I used a 1:1 gluten free flour and it was delicious. I want to make it again as cupcakes for an upcoming baby shower–any recommendations on cooking time?

  4. Fantastic strawberry cake! =) I took this into the office and it was a major hit! People loved and 2 excitedly took extra home. I actually cut the recipe in half (baked in an 8×8 pan) and made it dairy-free with pea protein milk, daiya cream cheese and earth balance “butter.” The only issue I had was with the frosting not hardening up due to the vegan replacements. I think you need to add extra sugar if you try it dairy-free, as the thickening agent. I will absolutely make this again. I was also wondering, would this recipe work making cupcakes?

    1. You can store for a few hours at room temp and then any leftovers should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator!

  5. My first time making a strawberry cake from scratch. I followed the recipe to a T, and it has a wonderful, strong strawberry flavor and a pretty color. It came out a little too dense for my liking. I made sure not to over mix. I’m not sure where I went wrong or if I just like fluffier cake than this recipe.

  6. For the strawberry gelatin is that just powdered jello in strawberry flavor??

    1. Simply Delish makes flavored vegan gelatin powders and you can usually find them at Kroger and other big grocers! You could also try freeze dried strawberries that have been blitzed to a powder in the food processor, but we haven’t tested it that way so I can’t give you an exact amount to add.

    1. We only tried it with fresh, but I think as long as you let the berries thaw and then drain away any liquid before pureeing them that it should be fine!