Vegan Strawberry Cake Recipe

The best Vegan Strawberry Cake Recipe ever celebrates deliciousness! Fresh Strawberry Cake From Scratch boasts tender, delicate strawberries in every bite. You’ll love the rich, dense and oh-so-delicious moist cake too. This Vegan Cake is topped with a vegan strawberry frosting recipe also made with fresh strawberries. More proof that you can be vegan and have your pink strawberry cakes too!

If you love vegan cakes as much as I do, this vegan coconut cake should be on your list too!

A layered vegan strawberry cake sits on a plate. There are strawberries behind it and the rest of the cake.

My mom makes the best strawberry cake recipes. When I became vegetarian (and then later vegan) I regretted not being able to eat that pretty cake anymore.

However, I’ve fine-tuned this recipe over the years and am pleased to present you the best dairy free strawberry cake recipe!

There isn’t a better flavor in the world than strawberry so making that the hero ingredient of a vegan cake is simply divine. I like to have some fresh strawberries as a topping with my cake.

A slice of vegan strawberry cake on a plate with another slice and a bowl fresh strawberries behind it.

However, there’s nothing like the flavor in this homemade strawberry cake!

I used fresh strawberries to make this beautiful vegetarian strawberry cake recipe even more delicious. I love this tip from Bon Appétit on how to cut fresh strawberries without wasting any fruit.

Looking down on a bowl of fresh strawberries in a bowl.

Wouldn’t this make an amazing vegan strawberry birthday cake recipe? So festive…especially with sprinkles!

Key Ingredients

You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time!

Here are some of the ingredients you’ll need for this homemade strawberry cake:

  • flour (a simple all-purpose flour works great)
  • sugar
  • fresh strawberries
  • vegetable oil
  • strawberry extract (substitute vanilla if you can’t find strawberry)
  • apple cider vinegar

I used some food coloring to make this fresh strawberry cake with a slight pink hue to it. You can find natural food coloring or you can add a teaspoon or two of my favorite beet puree. It adds color to vegan recipes!

How to Make Vegan Strawberry Cake

It’s easy to make this recipe for strawberry cake. Beyond the strawberry reduction, this sponge cake is pretty easy to prepare. You want your strawberry cake to deliver a moist, sweet cake with lots of fresh strawberries flavor in every bite.

Here’s the quick guide to this recipe:

  • Strawberry Reduction — we’ll take a pound of fresh strawberries and cook it down to 1/2 cup for an intense strawberry flavor.
  • Mix Dry Ingredients — whisk together four, baking soda, sugar, and salt
  • Combine Wet Ingredients — combine water, vegetable oil, apple cider vinegar, extract, and the strawberry reduction
  • Make the batter — pour the strawberry mixture in with the dry flour ingredients and stir until you don’t see any clumps of flour in the batter.
  • Pour and Bake — Pour the batter into prepared pans (or pan) and bake.

Strawberry Reduction

To make the strawberry reduction, wash the fresh strawberries and cut off the the ends. Then pulse the strawberries in a food processor. Then add the strawberry puree to a saucepan and cook it down until it’s reduced to about a half cup.

A red sauce is in the bottom of a food processor. There's a knife on a cutting board with freshly cut strawberry bits on the cutting board.
Fresh strawberries are an important ingredient for this cake.

Mix Dry Ingredients

You can leave your mixer on the counter — you won’t need it for this recipe. Simply mix together the dry ingredients, like flour, baking soda, and salt. Use a whisk to combine these ingredients.

Marly’s Tips

When measuring flour, be sure to use a whisk to stir the flour in the canister, before measuring it because it often packs down as it sits. Then lightly spoon the flour into a measuring cup. Use the flat edge of a butter knife to level off the flour in the cup.

Mix Wet Ingredients

Combine the wet ingredients, like vegetable oil, water, extract, and vinegar. If you’re going to use food coloring, add that here. Stir this all together and then add your strawberry reduction. You may need a spatula to help break up the bigger pieces.

A red liquid is being poured into a glass bowl with a flour mixture. This to make batter for a strawberry cake.

Strawberry Cake Batter

Pour the strawberry mixture in with the flour mixture and stir. You’ll want to stir it until the clumps of flour are mostly gone.

Pour that batter into your prepared pans and now you’re ready to bake!

A pink cake batter is being poured into a round baking pan.

Baking Options

Here are three baking options for your vegan strawberry cake:

  • Sheet Cake: Pour the batter into a 9X13 cake pan — bake for 45 – 50 minutes
  • Strawberry Layer Cake — pour the batter into 9″ round cake pans and bake for 30 – 35 minutes
  • Strawberry Cupcakes — pour the batter into muffin pan compartments lined with papers and bake for 18 – 24 minutes.
A layered slice of strawberry cake is sitting on a plate with a fork holding a bite. There are fresh strawberries and the rest of the cake behind it.

Vegan Strawberry Frosting

It’s easy to prepare the vegan strawberry icing. I like to begin by whipping the vegan butter with a mixer until it’s fluffy. Then add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time.

Finally, add a freshly mashed strawberry to the frosting. Mix on medium speed and you should have a delightful frosting to spread across your cake! If it’s not spreadable, simply mash another strawberry and mix on medium speed until it’s combined.

I love adding some chopped dried strawberries to my frosting. It adds more strawberry flavor to the frosting which I love!

A spatula is spreading strawberry frosting on a round cake.

Can I make this cake gluten free?

You can make this into a gluten free strawberry cake by using gluten free baking flour in place of the all-purpose flour in this recipe.

Looking down on a slice of layered strawberry cake with a bite sitting on a fork next to it. There are three fresh strawberries sitting next to it.

What Does a Vegan Cake Mean?

A vegan cake is made without animal products, including cow’s milk and eggs. If you’ve only baked cakes with these products in the past, it may seem impossible to make a delicious cake without them. However, it’s not only possible, it’s actually easy too!

More About Vegan Cake

The thing about making a vegan cake is finding the right balance of ingredients. I’ve studied vegan desserts and tested it a lot and have developed a winning formula that involves the right balance between flour, sugar, fat, and liquids.

The perfect vegan cake requires a thick batter, which is why I call for 3 cups of all-purpose flour. Using water, sugar, and flour in the quantities in this vegan strawberry cake recipe results in a perfectly tender cake with a moist crumb.

How to Tell When Vegan Cake is Done

I look for three clues to let me know when my cake is done, meaning the crumb has set:

  • Use a tester to insert in the middle of the cake, it should come out clean
  • You can gently press the center of the cake and it should spring back
  • The edges of the cake pull away from the pan slightly

These cues indicate the cake is done. If not, you’ll want to bake it for a few more minutes.

Looking down on a strawberry cake with a slice cut out of it. There are two fresh strawberries on top.

Vegan Strawberry Recipes

If you’ve made it this far, it’s proof you’re a fan of the pretty strawberry cake! If so, be sure to check out these amazing strawberry vegan dessert recipes:

And if you’re into moist vegan cake recipes, everyone loves my Vegan Banana Cake!

A sliced strawberry sits on top of a 9X13 strawberry cake. A bowl of fresh strawberries is in the background.

The strawberry reduction in this recipe was inspired by the strawberry cake from Sally’s Baking Addiction.

We hope you love this recipe for the Strawberry Vegan Cake made with Fresh Strawberries. If you decide to make this recipe, snap a photo and share it using #namelymarly on Instagram. We love seeing your photos!

A slice of layered strawberry cake on a plate with fresh strawberries behind it.

Vegan Strawberry Cake

If you need a reason to celebrate, this Vegan Strawberry Cake will help. Lots of strawberry goodness in a rich, dense cake!
5 from 6 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Vegan Strawberry Cake
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Resting Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings: 16
Calories: 391kcal
Author: Namely Marly

Ingredients

  • 1 pound fresh strawberries
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • cups granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups water
  • cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons strawberry extract
  • 3 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 drops natural food coloring (pink or red)

Strawberry Frosting:

  • ½ cup vegan butter , softened
  • 3 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon strawberry extract
  • 2-3 strawberries , stems removed, chopped and mashed
  • ½ cup dried strawberries (optional)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. If using 9X13 baking pan, grease and flour the bottom and sides of the pan. If using two 9-inch cake pans, grease bottoms and sides of pan and cut rounds out of parchment paper to place in the bottom of the pans. Then grease the parchment too.
  • Prepare Strawberry Reduction: Wash strawberries and cut off the stems. Place them in a food processor and pulse in short bursts until the strawberries are broken down in a thick slurry, with some strawberry chunks. Pour this into a saucepan over medium heat until it simmers. Turn heat down to low and cook for 30 – 40 minutes, until this mixture reduces to approximately 1/2 cup. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate while you prepare the rest of the cake.
  • Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.
  • In a separate bowl combine the water, vegetable oil, extract, apple cider vinegar, cooled strawberry mixture, and natural food coloring (if using). Stir to combine. You might need to mash the strawberry reduction to get it to separate a bit.
  • Add the strawberry mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until there are no visible clumps of flour in the batter.
  • Pour the cake batter in the prepared pan(s). For the 9X13 pan, bake for 45-50 minutes. For the two round cake pans, bake for 30 – 35 minutes. A tester inserted in the middle of the cake should come out mostly clean and the edges of the cake should pull away slightly from the pan.

For the Strawberry Frosting

  • User a mixer to whip the vegan butter until light. Add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time and mix together. The mixture will be clumpy. Add the extract and one mashed strawberry. Mix again to combine and add a second strawberry if necessary to get a spreadable consistency. You can also add a drop of red or pink food coloring if you desire more color. Add optional chopped dried strawberries for more strawberry pop.
  • If using a 13X9″ pan: Allow the cake to cool completely before applying a generous layer of frosting over the top. 
  • If using round cake pans: Allow the cakes to cool about 10 minutes. Use a butter knife to score around the edge of the pan, then invert cakes onto separate plates. Set aside to cool completely. Place a layer of frosting on top of one of the cakes, top with the second cake and then do one of the following 1) add more frosting on the top (creaking a “naked” cake with frosting between the the layers and on the top), or 2) frost the top and sides of the cake. 
  • Topping: Add freshly sliced strawberries to each serving for that special touch.
Nutrition Facts
Vegan Strawberry Cake
Amount Per Serving
Calories 391 Calories from Fat 126
% Daily Value*
Fat 14g22%
Saturated Fat 9g45%
Sodium 258mg11%
Potassium 71mg2%
Carbohydrates 65g22%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 46g51%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 273IU5%
Vitamin C 18mg22%
Calcium 9mg1%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

This post may have affiliate links. See our full disclosure for more information.

34 Responses to Vegan Strawberry Cake Recipe

  1. Such a fan of strawberry cake and kuddos to you for adding the whole wheat flour! I try to sneak WW Pastry flour in whenever I can just so I can feel somewhat good about eating something sweet! My strawberries are just coming in to season, so might have to try this recipe out!

    • I saw your tweet today about harvesting your strawberries. I’m heading up to home depot tomorrow to see if they’ve got some plants. Like you say, even if they don’t produce fruit this year, there’s still next year! We actually have a lot of wild strawberries that grow in amongst our grass. I love it! They’re not edible, but they’re beautiful. These little miniature red strawberries growing throughout the yard. Hope you like the recipe!

  2. What a beautiful cake! I also love to add WW flour to my baked goods…it makes me feel a little bit better about eating cakes or cookies. I’m in NYC this week, and I’ve been seeing lots of vegan bakeries, which makes me think of you. I love how pretty the cake sits on those yellow and blue plates. I am excited to give this a try, and I know my vegan friends will be thrilled!

    • NYC is a mecca of vegan (and raw) foods! I’m jealous ( in a very happy sort of way). I bet you’re having a great time and I can’t wait to read about your interesting travels!

  3. Hi Again! This sounds so wonderful, Marly. You make very rich vegan cakes-I might make this version for my Mom when she’s here in a couple of weeks. She’s trying to vegan right now. Oh, and she reads your blog. She just isn’t good about leaving comments. She doesn’t leave that many on mine.
    By the way, I got your e-mail. I’m kind of thinking about it. I’ll try to write you back before the day is over… Otay?

    • I think she’ll love this cake. We zipped through this one way too fast (it was really good though)! I’m honored to know your mom stops by my blog. Hi Stella’s mom!

      I’ll look forward to hearing from you soon.

  4. This cake sounds rich and lovely! The coconut milk is what seals the deal for me. I have been doing the same thing with whole wheat. I discovered White Whole Wheat from King Arthur and today I successful swapped out all the white flour in a chocolate bread. And jell-o has always had a certain ‘ick’ factor for me – before I even knew what it was made of. How neat there is a vegan version now.

    • I like white whole wheat too. I went through a phase where I was using it all the time. I especially like it in pizza dough. It has a texture to it that I really like. Chocolate bread…sounds delish!

  5. I love that last photo! I use whole wheat, and white whole wheat flour a lot too. I like the flavor it gives, though I’ve never dared to use a lot of it in a cake. The coconut milk is intriguing to me – does it give the cake a coconut flavor?

    • I was worried about the same thing too – that it would add too much of a coconut flavor. I love coconut, but didn’t want this cake to taste like that. I couldn’t detect a coconut flavor at all. I also worry about the banana, but I used only one and it seemed fine.

  6. Strawberries are my absolute favourite berry of all time. When I was pregnant with Matt and Liana I had a strawberry sundae with hot fudge sauce every day, and late a night it was always a bowl of fresh strawberries and whip cream. There was many a night that Moe was out at the local grocery store hunting down strawberries for me. I’ve never had strawberry cake, will have to try it especially now that strawberry season is approaching.

    • I used to have a friend named Sundae. Her mom named her that because she had a sundae every day she was pregnant. You’re not the only one!!! I love strawberries. I planted some over the weekend, but I might go out to a berry picking farm this year and get a whole bunch. They’re so good when they’re picked fresh.

    • I usually bake cupcakes about 20 to 25 minutes. These are kind of dense so I would probably lean toward 25 minutes with these. Hope you enjoy!

    • Thanks Roxana! I know it’s all about the cake, but you know…the frosting makes things so special!

  7. Marly, thank you so much for sharing this amazing recipe! I made this for my friends birthday and it is the best cake I’ve ever eaten! Better than any store bought, crummy supermarket, bakery cake, or even traditional homemade recipes with eggs and milk! Hands down, THE best! And I didn’t feel awful after eating it, I felt great :). I used the vegan strawberry jello pkt, and I used frozen, then thawed strawberries. It came out so moist and delicious, I wanted to eat almost half the cake in one sitting! (And I don’t really like cake, just icing, usually) I controlled myself, to just 1 piece and left the rest for my friend. But this is a gem recipe! And you are a gem for sharing it! XO

  8. This is the best thing I have ever tasted….ever!!!!!! My 5 year old son said it’s the best cake he ever ate and said it’s all he wants to eat for the rest of his life!!!! Best recipe I have ever tried. I will cherish this recipe forever and be known as the strawberry cake lady!!!! Thank you!!! And it was so easy!!!!

    • Hi Somer! Your comment made my day! I’m so glad you loved this cake. It’s one of our favorites too and I often make it for Shawn’s Birthday. And your son’s comment. Gah! So adorable! I think being known as the Strawberry Cake Lady is lovely!

  9. Hi Marly,
    This sounds wonderful! Do I have to use the vegan gel dessert? There is none to be found in my town. I’ll have to order online. Is there a substitute?
    Thanks,
    Edna

    • You know, you can put chocolate frosting on this strawberry cake and have the best of both worlds! 🙂

    • Hi Angie! If you’re going to eat it within a couple of days, it can be left at room temperature. But we store it in the fridge with a lidded cake pan to keep it fresh longer. Hope this helps!

    • Hi Janice. Yes, absolutely! When I make the cake I cut the slices and freeze individual slices or maybe half the cake (because I don’t have room in my freezer to freeze the whole cake!).

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