Vegan Strawberry Cake
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This is the best Vegan Strawberry Cake ever! Made with plenty of fresh strawberries, it’s simply bursting with flavor. The pretty pink frosting is to die for!
This wonderful Vegan Strawberry Cake is adapted from my Vegan Vanilla Cake recipe. It’s incredibly moist, fluffy and made with plenty of fresh strawberries! I took a lot of tips from Sally’s Baking Addiction, and used reduced strawberry puree in the cake batter and freeze dried strawberries in the frosting.
If you’d rather use fresh strawberries in the frosting as well, you can easily make the frosting from these Vegan Strawberry Cupcakes instead. You can’t go wrong with either recipe!
How to make vegan strawberry cake
Find the complete recipe with measurements below in the recipe card.
First, prepare the reduced strawberry puree
The first step in making the cake is to prepare your reduced strawberry puree. You will need 1 pound of fresh, ripe red strawberries. Rinse and hull them, then add to a food processor or blender and blend. Transfer the puree to a small pot and simmer for 25-30 minutes. The mixture will thicken and reduce to just over 1/2 cup.
Why not just use strawberry puree that is not reduced? It’s too much liquid, and not enough flavor! By reducing, you get a very concentrated strawberry flavor without adding a ton of liquid to the cake batter. Perfection.
Mix the cake batter and bake
In a large bowl (I used my stand mixer), cream together the vegan butter, oil and sugar. Mix in the vanilla and food coloring, if using. In another medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
With the mixer on low speed, alternate adding the dry ingredients and the vegan buttermilk (this is simply soy milk mixed with apple cider vinegar) until combined each time. Do NOT over mix. Finally, mix in the reduced strawberry puree until just combined.
Pour the cake batter evenly into the greased and parchment lined pans.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the edges are golden and a toothpick comes out clean. Let the cakes cool completely before frosting.
Make vegan strawberry frosting and frost the cake
Why use freeze dried strawberries instead of fresh in the frosting? Fresh strawberries can cause the frosting to curdle, and freeze dried strawberries add a ton of concentrated flavor. You may also go make the frosting from my cupcakes recipe if desired.
Using a food processor or blender, blend freeze dried strawberries into a powder. Using a mixer, beat the vegan butter until creamy. Gradually add in the powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, until it’s all incorporated. Now add in the strawberry powder, then the vanilla and milk as needed.
Once the cakes are completely cooled, frost as desired and decorate with fresh whole strawberries. Enjoy!
Tips for success
- To prepare your pans, please use a small circle of parchment paper and place it in the bottom. Then spray or grease the pans all over, including the sides. Trust me, I’ve had many cakes ruined by not properly preparing my pans!
- Use both the vegan butter AND oil. This makes the cake super moist and fluffy, while giving it the best possible buttery flavor.
- Make sure to cool the cakes COMPLETELY before frosting. If it’s warm at all, you will have a big melty mess on your hands. Trust me, I’ve been there… If I’m in a rush, I’ll put the cakes in the refrigerator to speed up the cooling process.
- Let your reduced strawberry puree cool a bit before adding to the cake batter. I stuck mine in the refrigerator while I prepared the cake batter, and it was just fine.
- Use deep red, sweet and delicious strawberries for the best results! Frozen strawberries will work in a pinch, but fresh seasonal strawberries are best.
Frequently asked questions
- Can I turn this into a sheet cake or bake as cupcakes? Yes, for cupcakes, fill liners halfway full and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. For a 9×13 inch cake, bake for 40-45 minutes. Or make it a true sheet cake with an 11×17 inch pan, and bake for 20-25 minutes.
- Can I add strawberry extract for more flavor? Sure! It already has a lot of flavor, but you could add 1-2 teaspoons strawberry extract in the batter when you add the vanilla.
- Is the food coloring essential? You don’t have to add any food coloring, but your cake will not be pink. Make sure to look for a vegan friendly pink or red color. Or make your own DIY pink food dye!
- Can I make a gluten free strawberry cake? Try substituting an all purpose gluten free mix for the cake/regular flour. It won’t be quite the same, but it works pretty well.
How to store leftover cake + freezing
Store the cake at room temperature for about 4 days. Make sure to cover the cut parts to prevent the cake from drying out.
You can also keep it in the refrigerator if you prefer, but when served straight from the fridge, it will be a bit crumbly and dry. So try to let it sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before serving if possible.
The whole cake or individual slices can be frozen. Or prepare the cakes ahead of time, wrap and freeze, then later make the frosting, frost and serve.
Want more incredible vegan cakes?
- The Best Vegan Chocolate Cake
- Vegan Tres Leches Cake
- Vegan German Chocolate Cake
- Vegan Red Velvet Cake
- Vegan Carrot Cake
- Vegan Lemon Cake
Vegan Strawberry Cake
- 1 pound fresh strawberries (1/2 cup reduced, see instructions)
- 1 1/4 cups soy milk
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup vegan butter, softened to room temperature
- 1/2 cup canola oil, or other neutral flavored oil
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon pink food coloring, optional
- 3 cups cake flour, or all purpose flour, but cake flour is best
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Make the Strawberry Cake
- Prepare the reduced strawberry puree: Rinse and hull the strawberries. Using a food processor or blender, puree them. Pour the puree into a small pot and simmer for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it reduces to about 1/2 cup. You might have a little more than that; save for topping ice cream or waffles. Allow it to cool for several minutes before adding to cake batter.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and prepare 2 8-inch round cake pans by lining the bottom with a circle of parchment paper and spraying with oil.
- Make the vegan buttermilk: Combine the soy milk and apple cider vinegar. Stir a little, then set aside.
- In a large bowl with an electric hand mixer or the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, cream together the softened butter, oil and sugar until creamy. Mix in the vanilla and pink food coloring, if using.
- In a separate medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
- With the mixer on low speed, alternate adding the flour mixture and vegan buttermilk to the bowl with the butter/oil/sugar mixture, mixing until just combined each time.
- Now add in the reduced strawberry puree with the mixer on low and mix until combined, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
- Pour the cake batter evenly into the prepared pans, and bake for 30-35 minutes, until the edges are golden brown, the surface looks and feels set and a toothpick inserted comes out mostly clean with no wet batter.
- Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for 15 minutes, then carefully invert them onto a cooling rack. Allow them to cool completely before frosting.
Prepare the Strawberry Frosting
- Using a food processor or blender, blend the freeze dried strawberries into a powder. Set aside.
- Using your hand mixer or stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the softened vegan butter until creamy. Gradually add the powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, until all the powdered sugar is mixed in.
- Now add in the strawberry powder and mix in. With the mixer on low speed, add in the vanilla and 2-3 tablespoons of soy milk as needed to thin the frosting to a desirable consistency. If it gets too thin, add more powdered sugar. If it's too thick, add more milk until it's just right.
- Once the cakes are completely cooled, frost, decorate with more strawberries and enjoy!
- The cake will keep at room temperature for up to 4 days. Make sure to cover the cut part to keep it from drying out. The whole cake or individual pieces also freeze well.
- Flour – Cake flour is the best choice for a light and fluffy cake, but all purpose flour works pretty well. For gluten free, try substituting a gluten free all purpose flour.
- Milk – You can substitute any plant based milk for the soy milk.
- Different sized cakes/cupcakes – You can also make this cake as a 9 by 13 inch cake. It will need to bake more like 40-45 minutes though. Or to make cupcakes, fill liners 2/3 of the way full and bake for 20-25 minutes.
- Can’t find freeze dried strawberries? Go make the fresh strawberry frosting from my Vegan Strawberry Cupcakes recipe instead.
*This cake was originally published July 2019 and has been updated with new photos. The original version called for half vegetable shortening/half vegan butter in the frosting, but I have since found I like using all vegan butter and no shortening.
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