Strawberry Snack Cake
This fresh Strawberry Snack Cake is an 8×8 cake recipe made from scratch with fresh strawberries and not cake mix or Jello. Serve it with a homemade cream cheese frosting on top.
When it comes to baking cakes, I take a lot of pride making them from scratch. No cake mix. No Jello. No canned frosting.
All homemade with love.
Way back in the day when I first published my Strawberry Layer Cake, I was one of the few people who figured out how to bake a strawberry cake from scratch.
Most recipes back then used a box of Jello for the strawberry flavor so I developed how to add fresh strawberries without compromising on my from scratch philosophy.
Fast forward to today and I’m still using that method for my strawberry cupcakes with cream cheese frosting.
I thought it was fitting to add another strawberry cake to the list with Strawberry Snack Cake.
Snack cakes are always fun to make because you don’t need a specific reason to bake one other than having a craving for cake.
Topped with small batch cream cheese frosting, this strawberry snacking cake recipe is 100 percent made from scratch.
And unlike my small strawberry cake, you don’t need to frost the whole thing and make it look pretty.
In fact, all you do is frost the top then serve it straight from your 8×8 pan. It’s perfect for traveling to potlucks, a friend’s birthday party, Valentine’s Day, or even Mother’s Day coming up.
What is the difference between a cake and a snack cake?
Not to be confused with a Little Debbies snack cake, a strawberry snack cake (or I guess technically a snacking cake) is a no-fuss sheet cake with frosting only on the top and is served straight from the cake pan.
Most snack cakes are 13×9, but because I make small desserts I opted for an 8×8 square pan.
Ok technically not dessert for two but it does make a smaller quantity which you can share with friends and family when the occasion calls for it (such as birthdays, anniversaries, and Mother’s Day).
Ingredients For Strawberry Snack Cake
To make your strawberry cake from scratch, gather the following ingredients:
- Strawberries: Fresh is best, but you can also use frozen after thawing.
- Water: Helps the strawberries cook down
- All-purpose flour: Since most people don’t have cake flour in their pantry, I used all-purpose flour. Make sure you’re spooning it into your cup. Using the scoop and pack method means you’ll end up with more flour than directed. Learn how to measure flour from My Baking Addiction.
- Cornstarch: Since we’re not using cake flour, cornstarch helps with a more tender crumb.
- Baking powder: Leavening agent that helps the cake rise
- Salt: No bland cake batter here!
- Butter: Not only does it add flavor, butter helps the cake rise from its steam when it melts, trapping carbon dioxide in the batter as it bakes. This creates a tender crumb texture.
- Sugar: Sweetens the cake
- Egg and egg whites: In order for the pink color to shine through, too many egg yolks will muddy the color.
- Vanilla: Really brings out the strawberry flavor
- Milk: Helps smooth out the batter and create a moist batter
- Red food coloring: You’ll need a few drops as this cake is not naturally pink.
Since you’ll have extra egg yolks, I have a list of recipes showing you what to do with leftover egg yolks.
How To Make Strawberry Snack Cake
To make your strawberry snacking cake:
- Add strawberries, water, and sugar to a saucepan and cook down until jammy. This maximizes the strawberry flavor without using Jello and without adding too much liquid to the batter.
- Cream together butter and sugar until smooth, about 1 minute then scrape down the bowl.
- Beat in egg, egg whites, and vanilla. You do NOT need to whip whites separately into a meringue.
- Add the dry ingredients alternately with the milk, adding the flour in 3 additions and the milk in 2 additions (begin and end with dry ingredients).
- Add strawberries then transfer batter to a greased 8×8 pan.
- Bake at 350F for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Best Frosting For Strawberry Snacking Cake
I paired my strawberry snack cake with homemade cream cheese frosting, but my strawberry cream cheese frosting is also an excellent choice.
Love strawberry lemonade? Pair it with lemon buttercream frosting!
How To Store Strawberry Snack Cake
To store strawberry cake, leave it in the 8×8 pan then cover with plastic wrap.
Store at room temperature for up to 2 days (unfrosted or buttercream) or refrigerate for up to 1 week (unfrosted, buttercream, or cream cheese).
If refrigerating, let sit at room temperature for about 15-30 minutes before serving to get rid of the chill.
Do you need to refrigerate strawberry cake?
Technically strawberry cake (either unfrosted or with buttercream) doesn’t need to be refrigerated; however due to the fresh fruit, it only lasts a few days at room temperature.
You do need to refrigerate cake with cream cheese frosting.
- 1 + 1/2 cups chopped fresh strawberries
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 + 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon table salt
- 1/2 cup (4 ounces or 8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 2 large egg whites, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup whole milk, room temperature (do not use low fat or fat free)
- Few drops of red food coloring
Frosting (Pick One)
- Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease an 8x8 pan.
- In a medium saucepan, add 1 cup strawberries, water, and 1 tablespoon sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Boil for 5 minutes or until the strawberries cook down and thicken. Remove from the heat and cool at least 15 minutes.
- In a large bowl, sift together the flour and cornstarch. Stir in the baking powder and salt.
- In another large bowl (with the paddle attachment if using a stand mixer), beat together the butter and remaining 3/4 cup sugar until creamy, 1-2 minutes.
- Beat in the egg and egg whites, one at a time, until mixed in then add the vanilla. You do NOT need to whip the egg whites. Just add them like a regular egg.
- Add the flour mixture alternating with the milk, adding the flour in 3 additions and the milk in 2 additions (begin and end with dry ingredients).
When you add the final addition of flour, switch to a rubber spatula and gently stir in by hand. You do not want to overmix this part.
- Stir in the cooked strawberry mixture and remaining 1/2 cup chopped strawberries. Add a few drops of food coloring until your batter is pink as desired (make it brighter than you want because it'll dull a bit after baking).
- Transfer the batter to the pan then bake 30-33 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely.
- Decorate with frosting of choice. Cover and store in the pan at room temperature for up to 2 days (buttercream only) or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week (buttercream and cream cheese).
For best results, let the refrigerated cake sit at room temperature 15-30 minutes before serving.
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