This strawberry naked cake has fresh pureed strawberries in both the cake layers and the strawberry cream cheese frosting. The strawberry flavor really shines in this simple, but beautiful cake!
This strawberry cake starts with moist vanilla cake layers that have fresh strawberries folded into it. It's decorated with that naked cake style, so it's super easy to assemble and decorate.
Each bite is soft, tender, and so moist! This is a must-bake cake for Mother's Day or anytime during the summer!
Looking for more strawberry desserts? Then check out these: strawberry swirl ice cream, strawberry apple crisp, and strawberry pie.
Why You'll Love This Cake
- Strawberry puree is used in both the cake layers and frosting.
- It's easy to decorate with a semi-naked look on the outside.
- The cream cheese buttercream is so smooth and creamy.
- The cake layers are soft and moist.
- You can make this with either fresh or frozen strawberries!
I am a big fan of naked cakes because they're so simple to assemble and decorate.
With the extra buttercream frosting, you could easily decorate the top of the cake like I did.
Here are some notes on the ingredients we'll be using. For the full ingredients list, look at the recipe card below.
- Strawberries: Use fresh or frozen.
- Flour: I used all purpose flour. Be sure to properly measure your flour (check out "Expert Baking Tips" above).
- Butter: Use unsalted butter. This needs to be at room temperature before baking.
- Oil: Use either vegetable oil or canola oil. This helps the cake to be moist.
- Yogurt: You could also use sour cream.
- Milk: I used 2% milk. Feel free to use your milk of choice.
- Cream Cheese: Always use the block-style cream cheese for baking.
Here are the step-by-step instructions on how to make this strawberry layer cake.
Step 1: Strawberry puree. Using a food processor, puree the strawberries. Pour into a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat until thickened.
Then, cool completely in the refrigerator.
Step 2: Dry ingredients. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
Step 3: Creamed butter. In the large bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, cream together the sugar, butter, and oil on high speed until light and fluffy.
Step 4: Wet ingredients. Reduce to medium speed and mix in the yogurt and vanilla extract.
Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. And then for 1 minute.
Step 5: Combine the ingredients. Reduce the mixer speed to low and alternately add the flour mixture, strawberry puree, and milk, starting and ending with the flour (flour, puree, milk, flour) and mixing just until combined.
Step 6: Bake the cake. Divide the batter amongst the three prepared cake pans and bake for 25-30 minutes.
Step 7: Make the frosting. Beat the butter and cream cheese on high speed until smooth in a large mixing bowl. Add the powdered sugar, strawberry puree, heavy cream, and vanilla extract and mix on low speed until combined.
Then beat on high for an additional 1-2 minutes until smooth and creamy.
Assembling The Cake
Make sure the cake layers are completely cooled before assembling and decorating.
First, level off the tops of each cake layer to create a flat surface using a serrated knife. Place one cake layer on a cake stand or plate and spread about ⅔ cup of frosting (I use my offset spatula to make it easier).
Repeat with the second layer. Top the cake with the last layer and spread on about ¼ cup of frosting.
Next, frost and smooth the outside of the cake with a thin crumb coat (use a bench scraper). Place in the freezer to chill for 10 minutes.
Finally, decorate the top of the cake with the rest of the cream cheese frosting (I used the Wilton 1M piping tip).
Keep any leftover cake slices in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
You could also wrap the individual pieces of cake in plastic wrap before placing it into the refrigerator. This helps to keep the cake moist and not dry.
Expert Baking Tips
- Cake Pans: This recipe calls for three 6-inch cake pans. Line each pan with parchment paper and non-stick spray.
- Measuring Flour: To help ensure you don’t add extra flour, follow these three simple steps: 1) Fluff up the flour using a fork. 2) Spoon the flour into your measuring cup. 3) Scrape a knife across the top of the measuring cup to level out the flour.
- Strawberry Puree: This can be made ahead of time if needed.
- Room Temperature Ingredients: Any ingredient that needs to be at room temperature should be taken out of the refrigerator at least 1 hour before you want to bake. Do not skip this step!
- Dividing the Batter: To make sure I evenly divide up the batter amongst the cake pans I use a ½ measuring cup to scoop the batter into each pan. I count as I go and then switch to a tablespoon as I get less and less batter.
You could also use two 8-inch or two 9-inch cake pans instead. Just note that the bake times may be different.
It depends on the type of cake you're making. This recipe uses a combination of both. The oil adds extra moisture while the butter provides tenderness and flavor. It makes the cake so so good!
Although I always prefer fresh fruit when I can, frozen strawberries will work too!
It brings me so much joy to see you make my recipes. 🙂
More Cake Recipes
Strawberry Naked Cake
- Three 6-Inch Cake Pans
- Electric Stand Mixer
- Mixing Bowls
- Cake Decorating Tools
- 3 cups strawberries
- 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ¼ cups sugar
- ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- ¼ cup vegetable oil (or canola)
- 3 tablespoons yogurt (plain or vanilla), room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- ½ cup strawberry puree
- ½ cup milk, room temperature
Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 8 ounces block-style cream cheese, room temperature
- 3 ½ cups powdered sugar
- ¼ cup strawberry puree
- 1 tablespoon heavy whipping cream (or milk)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Cut the tops off of the strawberries and slice them in a half. In a blender or food processor, puree the strawberries for about 5 seconds.
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, cook the pureed strawberries. Stir occasionally until the mixture starts to thicken (10-15 minutes).
- Once thickened, place the strawberry puree in a small bowl and cool completely in the refrigerator. I place mine in the freezer to speed up the process. Just be sure to mix in with a spoon every 10 minutes.
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric stand mixer using the paddle attachment, cream together the sugar, butter, and vegetable oil on high speed until fully combined and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes). Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Reduce the speed to medium and mix in the yogurt and vanilla extract just until combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Then mix for 1 minute.
- Reduce the mixer speed to low and alternately add the flour mixture, strawberry puree, and milk, starting and ending with the flour (flour, strawberry puree, milk, flour) and mixing just until combined. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and fold in any loose ingredients with a silicone spatula.
- Divide the batter amongst the three prepared cake pans and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cakes come out clean. Let the cakes cool in the pan for 25 minutes before removing and placing them on a wire rack to cool completely.
Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting
- In the bowl of an electric stand mixer using the paddle attachment, beat the butter and cream cheese on high speed until light and creamy (1-2 minutes). Add the powdered sugar, strawberry puree, heavy whipping cream, and vanilla extract and mix on low speed until combined.
- Increase the speed to high and beat the frosting until smooth and creamy (1-2 minutes).
- If needed, use a serrated knife to level off the tops of each cake layer to create a flat surface. Place one cake layer on a cake stand or plate and spread about ⅔ cup of frosting. Repeat with the second layer. Top the cake with the last layer and spread on about ¼cup of frosting.
- Frost and smooth the outside of the cake with a thin crumb coat. Chill the cake in the freezer for 10 minutes.
- Decorate the top of the cake with the rest of the cream cheese frosting. I used the Wilton 1M to pipe a border on top of the cake.
- Keep any leftover cake slices in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.