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!

a bite taken from a piece of pink cake with strawberry on the side of the plate

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!

Do you love strawberries as much as I do? If you do, make sure to check out my Vegan Strawberry Pie, Strawberry Rolls and Vegan Strawberry Shortcake.

slice of cake taken out of a vegan strawberry cake

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.

cake batter, pink, in a glass mixing bowl

Pour the cake batter evenly into the greased and parchment lined pans.

cake batter in silver pans

Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the edges are golden and a toothpick comes out clean. Let the cakes cool completely before frosting.

cooked pink cakes in silver pans

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!

pink frosting in glass bowl

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.
frosted pink cake with strawberries, on marble cake stand

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.
piece of pink cake on white plate, cake stand in background on grey board

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.

fork cutting into piece of vegan strawberry cake on white plate

Want more incredible vegan cakes?

square image of a piece of pink cake with a strawberry on the side
4.84 stars (102 ratings)

Vegan Strawberry Cake

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!
Prep: 40 minutes
Cook: 35 minutes
Total: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 16 slices

Ingredients 
 

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

Strawberry Frosting

Instructions 

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.

Video

Notes

  1. 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.
  2. Milk – You can substitute any plant based milk for the soy milk.
  3. 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.
  4. Can’t find freeze dried strawberries? Go make the fresh strawberry frosting from my Vegan Strawberry Cupcakes recipe instead.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 527kcal | Carbohydrates: 76g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Sodium: 177mg | Potassium: 370mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 53g | Vitamin A: 623IU | Vitamin C: 199mg | Calcium: 72mg | Iron: 5mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Nora Taylor
Did you make this recipe?Mention @nora_cooks_vegan_ or tag #noracooks!

*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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Comments

  1. The cake was so light and delicious, probably the best I’ve ever eaten. I want to adapt it to make a non-vegan lemon-rose cake for my family. If replace the strawberry purée with 3 eggs and lemon juice or rose water how much liquid should I add? Or would it be better to base it on a different recipe? Thank you!

    1. Thanks so much for your kind words and amazing feedback, Ruby! You could try using this Lemon Cake as a guide instead – just add about 2 tablespoons of rose water to the batter and swap the aquafaba for the eggs. Hope this helps!

    2. With the 1 cup freeze dried strawberries, is it 1 cup before they are turned to powder or 1 cup after they are powdered?

  2. Hi! I made this last night and it was delicious! I just had a question for you! Your batter looks thin enough to pour in the photos… mine was very thick like pudding. The. Cake was delicious but it didn’t rise very much and was dense. I loved it I was just wondering if this was how it was supposed to come out! Thank you!

    1. I’m so glad you liked it! Yes, the batter should be somewhat thin and pourable, and the cake should be light and fluffy. It’s really important to measure the flour properly so you don’t accidentally add too much and end up with a thicker batter. Simply spoon the flour into the measuring cup, then scrape the excess off the top with a knife. It’s also possible the batter was overmixed, which caused all of the air to be knocked out and resulted in a dense cake. I hope this helps you for next time!

  3. Hi Nora!! What kind of butter did you use for this recipe both in the cake and icing? I want to make this for a galentines night I’m attending soon. I typically use “I can’t believe it’s not butter-vegan” but I’m wondering if stick butter would be better?

    Thanks so much! You are always my go to when I need a yummy recipe!

    1. I don’t personally like the “I can’t believe it’s not butter”, it does not work as well or taste good like other brands. You want sticks of vegan butter if at all possible. I like Miyoko’s, but I often use Country Crock, Earth Balance or Melt. I hope everyone enjoys the cake for galentine’s!

      1. hi nora, maybe a silly question but can i just mix this by hand? i don’t have a stand mixer. thanks!

        1. Not a silly question at all. 🙂 You could, it will just take a bit of arm work to mix the softened butter/sugar mixture by hand.

  4. I made this for my sister’s birthday everyone loved it! I used frozen berries bc fresh are out of season and it still exceeded my expectations. I used the frosting recipe from the cupcakes and it was a beautiful pink color just from the purée. Between the layers I used a mixture of puree and frosting, to cut the sweetness a bit, and it was perfect. Used maybe 1/4 less sugar in the cake and it was perfect for me 🙂 thanks for the recipe! Will def make again

    1. You are welcome, Dale. I’m glad the cake was a hit! Happy birthday to your sister! Thanks for your wonderful review and fun feedback!

  5. Hello. I am in charge of making a cake, or cupcakes for my granddaughters birthday. I plan to try this one due to it looks delicious, she loves strawberries, and your recipe has such great reviews. She is allergic to soy and dairy. She drinks ripple milk. I have tried to find information about if ripple milk would work with the vinegar to make buttermilk or is that would mess it up. Do you know?

    1. You can use Ripple milk, it works quite well for vegan buttermilk and should work just fine in this recipe. Hope she has a lovely birthday!

  6. So good! Made this for my daughter’s birthday because she has a severe egg and dairy allergy. We all loved it! Mine collapsed just a little in the center but I think it’s cause I’m at high altitude in CO and I didn’t make any adjustments for that. 😬 Seriously delicious and pretty cake though. You have become my new go to for all allergy safe baking

  7. Absolutely delicious! My freeze dried strawberries were already in powder form so how much should I use? Also after simmering my strawberries for 30 mins I still I had about a cup of sauce. Thanks.

    1. I think about 1/2 cup, you can add a little, then more to taste for the frosting. I don’t have that much strawberry sauce left after reducing, perhaps the heat wasn’t high enough? Hopefully it worked out okay if you already made it.

  8. I made this cake into a vegan and gf Yule log /swiss roll cake and it was the best cake I have ever made! And I’ve made a lot of vegan and GF cakes. My husband has now requested this cake for his birthday! Delish!

  9. Hi Nora, I’ve loved every recipe of yours that I’ve made. Do you think you could use the same method with mangos for a mango cake?

    1. Thanks for loving my recipes! Hmm I’m not sure, you probably could but I’m not sure mango will cook down the same way. You might need to cook it a bit and then blend it for the cake. It would be fun to test it out though, and it sounds delicious.

  10. So delicious! I used 1lb frozen strawberries and it turned out beautifully. Everyone loved it. I used earth balance baking sticks for the icing and it was great! Thanks for the recipe!

    1. You are welcome, Nicole! Your cake sounds beautiful and delicious! Thanks for your wonderful review and feedback!

  11. Just made this cake using cake flour and it turned out quite amazing. Soft and a nice strawberry flavor. The 1x recipe made me 3 6” layers and 11 cupcakes. I used red dye and it came out a bright pink. Thanks Nora, hoping it works well with All Purpose flour for next time. If anyone has made it this way please lmk how it went. Thx

    1. I’m thrilled you loved the recipe, Zayri! All purpose flour works well too but the cake won’t be as light and fluffy as when you use cake flour.

  12. Hi, cake flour box says to replace each cup of AP with 1 cup and 2 Tbsp of Cake Flour but your instructions don’t specify that. Do I just do the 3 cups of cake flour from your recipe?

  13. Hi Nora,

    I found your recipe last year for my vegan son. I made it as directed the first two times I made it, and it came out FABULOUSLY! We are celebrating bosses day tomorrow at work with a potluck, and I’ve altered your recipe to use blueberry puree and freeze dried blueberries for the frosting. I know it will be a hit! Thanks for your recipe!

    1. Hi Heather. The blueberry sounds amazing! I wish I could see a picture! Thanks for your fabulous review and feedback! I hope everyone enjoys the cake!

  14. ME AGAIN, Elizabeth.
    Nora, I KNOW this cake is going to be deliciousm but this recipe is so confusing. You have to scroll up and down and up and down to go from directions to recipe (not easy!) and WHERE THE HECK does it say what temperaturemthe oven shouild be preheated to?
    ADVICE:
    1.
    Tell your cake bakers here WHAT the preheat is first (so the can PREHEAT, duh).
    2. Proceed to the INGREDIENTS (so your cake bakers can go shopping, wihtout scrolling forever to “find” the recipe)
    3. NOW it is time for the instructions…step THREE.
    4. Stuff like “how to store, etc. is almost immaterial. We are grown-ups (probably) and know how to store a dang cake. We came here for your sage instructions on how to bake one. And it was really rough. like detective work.

    I vote you go back to online cake school and take the FIRST class…how to layout a recipe clearly and simply so people can MAKE A CAKE.
    Pictures are great. Sure. But we want a clear recipe. And we want the INGREDIENTS. And then, we want instructions. In that order.

    I have to veto Nora here, this caused me much consternation. Not what you want when making your daughter a birthday cake. It should be fun and joyful, yes?

    1. Hi Elizabeth – I think you are missing the fact that there is a recipe card near the bottom of the post (there is also a jump to recipe button at the top so you can skip all the photos and writing if desired) with complete information. This is how all my recipes are, so feel free to use that jump to recipe button if you don’t need to see how I make it with photos or an extra information/questions. Some folks really appreciate the extra information and you wouldn’t believe how often I get asked how to store a recipe… But no worries if you don’t like my recipes, I’m no offended, the internet is big with many yummy recipes, so you do you!

    2. This is the most obnoxious and unnecessary review that I have ever read. “Detective work”?? So obnoxious. Nora, recipe is delicious. You hit it out of the ballpark every single time!!! Your recipes never disappoint!!

    3. Hahahaha yuck. What a joke of a review. I’ve made your amazing chocolate cake. I can’t wait to try this one for my daughter’s 3rd birthday. 💕

    4. Wow Elisabeth pretty much every online recipe has a recipe card at the bottom. You are completely in the wrong here and very rude.

  15. Hi! I want to make this cake for my husband’s birthday because I love your other recipes, and I was wondering, is it 1 cup of freeze dried strawberry powder, or 1 cup of freeze dried strawberries before grinding it? Thanks!

  16. We’re not vegan here but my 6 year old has an egg allergy, and I make most of our birthday cakes, so I’ve made several of your cake recipes. They’ve all been good, but this year she asked for strawberry cake for her birthday and I made this one, and I’m not exaggerating when I say this is the best tasting cake I have ever made. Not just the best vegan cake, the best period. It was one of those cakes that has to be cut into shape so I have a bunch of cake scraps and I can’t stop eating them. The birthday girl was thrilled with it too.

    A few more specific notes, for anyone like me who likes to read through recipe comments for tips: I knew I’d be cutting it and sticking pieces together before frosting, so I cooked it a little longer to make sure it was nice and firm, until it got a little golden on the edges, and those edges got a little caramelized and crispy and so good. I recommend giving it a little extra time if you’re into that but I’m sure it’s delicious as soon as it’s cooked through. I used defrosted frozen strawberries because produce prices are absurd here right now and they worked great, I’d do it again to save time prepping berries. It held up well to having the sides cut and didn’t fall apart when I did my crumb coat.

    I’ve been happily eating this unfrosted but the strawberry buttercream is a great addition too. I made the one from the linked cupcake recipe since I had the puree anyway, and the strawberry flavor really comes through. My puree took longer than stated to reduce but I doubled the recipe and started with cold defrosted berries instead of fresh so I’m sure that contributed. Doing that the day before I made the cakes worked out well. If you’re planning to get fancy with decorations, the puree adds a little too much texture for very fine piping tips (as expected, it did not work with my grass tip) but did ok with a writing tip (I think I used a Wilton 3).

    I could write more but I gotta go eat more cake scraps.

    1. Lindsay, I can’t thank you enough for the kind words and shining review! And thank you for sharing your feedback and tips as well 🙂 I’m thrilled you and the birthday girl loved the cake!

  17. Hello there,
    I intend to make the cake on this Saturday without frosting. Can I add a few drops of beet juice in cake batter to get the dark pink color or will the strawberry puree do the trick?
    Many thanks.

    1. Hi Shuchi. The cake will be a slight pink color from the strawberry puree. Though I have not tried it, many bakers have indicated that adding beet juice did not really enhance the color. I hope this helps! Enjoy the cake!

    2. I have to agree with Nora. I’m currently making the cake now and used beet juice. I actually doubled the amount and used 1tsp. It’s ok, but honestly the color from the strawberry puree is enough.

  18. Hiii! this looks wonderful and im gonna make it for my birthday in a couple of days. But I can’t find freeze dried strawberries. Can I dry some in the oven and make those into powder? or perhaps reduce some more strawberry puree? what do you suggest? Thank you

  19. I was so excited to make this cake for my friend’s birthday tomorrow, because his favorite cake flavor is strawberry. The first issue I ran into was that the strawberries made over a cup of cooked puree. I simmered for at least 45 minutes too. No biggie, I thought, and just measured out 1/2 cup and let it cool all the way. The second thing that concerned my was that the recipe called for 1 Tablespoon of baking powder. That seemed like too much, but I decided to trust the recipe. The cakes looked so fluffy and beautiful while baking, but fell as soon as they came out of the oven. They deflated even more upon transfer to the cooling racks. It’s all over and I’m so sad. I’m just going to buy a cake mix and veganize it tomorrow before the party as I can’t risk another disaster. What do you think went wrong?

    1. It’s normal to have a little too much puree to use for the cake; I use the leftovers on oatmeal or ice cream or anywhere else. The baking powder amount is correct; I often use more than you would in a recipe with eggs, to make up for the leavening effect eggs bring. It works well! If the cakes fell immediately, they most likely were not cooked enough. Did you check with a toothpick to make sure they were done? I’m guessing that was the issue. Also, make sure to measure everything accurately, as this can also result in a fallen cake.

  20. We made this for my daughters first birthday, and it was AMAZING! She loved it and so did we- my husband requested that I make it for his birthday this year, too. Followed the recipe other than leaving out the food coloring. The cake itself still had a lightly pink color that I preferred and the frosting was so vibrant! Using the leftover strawberry puree as a filling was a hit, too.

    1. Happy birthday to your daughter! 1st birthdays are so fun! I’m thrilled you guys loved the cake! Thanks for your fabulous review and feedback!

  21. My granddaughter wanted a strawberry cake for her birthday. The cake was good, but the frosting was absolutely amazing! I used regular butter because she only needed the cake to be egg free. I’ll be making this again. Thanks for the recipe.

    1. You are welcome, Apri1. I’m so glad the cake was loved! Happy birthday to your granddaughter! Thanks for taking time to share your awesome review and feedback!

  22. Thank you so much for this delicious recipe. I’m curious about the measurements of the strawberry purée when doubling the recipe. Does the qty increase or does it remain 1/2 cup

  23. Hi Nora. As strawberry season is over here for this year could I use frozen strawberries,
    reducing them down, for the cake also?

  24. You never fail me! Everything I try of yours I love. Made the frosting today for some chocolate cupcakes and it’s fantastic. I need your input tho…. I’m going to make this cake with the strawberry icing from your cupcake recipe (with the purée) for my daughters first birthday. To cut the heaviness / sweetness I was thinking of using something other than the icing between the layers… do you think whipped cream would be good or would it be too much going on? Or any other suggestions ? Thank you

    1. Hi Jill, thank you so much for loving my recipes! That makes me so happy. To make this particular cake less sweet and heavy, you could probably use some sort of vegan whipped topping in the middle layer. My only fear is that it will melt quite easily and make your cake slip so I’m not sure, I haven’t tried that before. Or you could make a 9×3 inch cake instead of top with vegan whipped cream instead of the frosting. Or just use a thin layer of frosting instead, and maybe layer in some fresh sliced strawberries or something like that. I hope it’s a hit whatever you decide!

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