Nothing makes me feel more nostalgic than strawberry sheet cake. It’s something my sister and I made for my dad’s birthday when we were little, although that was with a strawberry cake mix and canned frosting. It only felt right to redeem ourselves and create a fresh strawberry cake from scratch! No mixes, just fresh strawberries, cream cheese, and everything in between. It’s moist, flavorful, and all homemade!
How to make strawberry sheet cake using fresh strawberries
Before my mom told me that we actually just used a cake mix for my dad’s cake, I was scouring the internet trying to find the recipe I thought we might have used.
Through my deep dive, I found that most strawberry cake recipes out there rely on some sort of mix and hardly any actual strawberries. I just couldn’t accept that!
I made it my mission to create a flavorful and moist strawberry sheet cake that was also easy to make. To do so, I decided to use freshly pureed strawberries in the cake AND the strawberry cream cheese frosting.
The key is to get the perfect puree consistency. It should be thin enough to blend with the batter but not too thin to where you can’t see those pretty strawberry specks.
When running the strawberries through a food processor, stop right before they reach the point of a completely smooth puree. I’ve found this is the perfect way to bake with strawberries as I also did something similar with my Roasted Strawberry Cupcakes – they turned out to be a huge hit!
And because this is an oil-based cake, which is what makes it so moist, it’s important to use enough strawberries to cancel out the oil flavor. Using fresh strawberries helps to not only cancel out the oil, but also balance out the sweetness of the cake.
Why you should make strawberry cake from scratch
If you’re going to make a homemade strawberry cake, using fresh strawberries is the only way to go!
The main reason being that it’s easier than it might seem and doesn’t take that much more effort compared to using a jello or cake mix. The only extra step is to puree the strawberries which, in the grand scheme of things, isn’t that big of a deal especially when this cake is the outcome!
Many strawberry cake mixes have strawberry flavors and dyes to get that “strawberry” taste.. but why bake the fake stuff when you can have the real deal??
Finally, you probably already have all the ingredients you need to make a strawberry sheet cake from scratch. It doesn’t require anything fancy, unless you don’t keep cake flour in your kitchen. If that’s the case, using all all-purpose is totally fine. Your cake won’t turn out as tender but it will still be just as moist and flavorful.
Ok, I rest my case. Just know that baking with a fresh strawberry cake is so worth it.
How to remove a strawberry sheet cake from the pan
There are a few ways you can serve a sheet cake. The most popular route is to keep it in the pan which makes it easy to frost and store in the fridge. All you have to do is cover the top in plastic wrap.
If you prefer to ditch the pan completely, there’s two ways you can remove the cake. The first way is to grease the cake pan and cover just the bottom in parchment paper.
When the cake is completely cooled, flip it out onto a cooling rack then flip that back on to a serving surface.
The other way, which is what I chose, is to line the bottom and sides with one big strip of parchment paper (also greasing the pan). Letting the paper hang over the edges along the length of the pan allows you to lift it out later.
The cake must in the fridge for at least an hour for this step. Then simply lift and place the cake on a surface, frost, and slice!
To store the strawberry sheet cake, it’s easiest to slice the cake then place the pieces in an air tight container. Keep the strawberry cake in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.
Silky strawberry cream cheese frosting
Arguably the best part about this strawberry sheet cake recipe. The strawberry cream cheese frosting is so smooth and flavorful. I could easily eat it by the spoonful.
It’s also so easy to make and consists of just 4 ingredients:
- Cream Cheese
- Powdered Sugar
First and foremost, make sure the cream cheese and butter are at room temperature to get the perfect silky consistency. Cream the two together using an electric mixer then mix in the powdered sugar one cup at a time.
Once combined, mix in the strawberry puree.
The frosting will seem very thin, almost like pudding, which is why it’s made right when the cake is removed from the oven. This way, the two can chill alongside each other so that the cake cools completely and the frosting thickens up.
After the cake is completely cool to the tough, smear on the entirety of the frosting. Just know that as the frosting warms up, it will soften into a super silky consistency.
How to store fresh strawberry sheet cake
Since the frosting softens quickly, I don’t suggest leaving the cake out at room temperature for more than an hour. So to store, cover the cake and keep it in the refrigerator. It will keep fresh for up to 7 days!
For more delicious strawberry dessert recipes, check out my:
- Strawberry Cupcakes (made with roasted strawberries!)
- Fresh Strawberry Cake (layer cake)
- Strawberry Pizza
- Strawberry Pop Tart Shortbread
- Strawberry Pretzel Tart
Make sure to tag me @butternutbakery on Instagram or leave a comment below if you make this Fresh Strawberry Sheet Cake. I love seeing my recipes come to life in YOUR kitchen! To pin this recipe and save it for later, you can use the button on the recipe card, the buttons above or below this post, or on any of the photos above. Happy baking!Print