Vegan Strawberry Cake
This best vegan strawberry cake recipe is a celebration of deliciousness! This cake boasts tender, delicate strawberries in every bite. You’ll love the rich, dense, and oh-so-delicious moist cake topped with a vegan strawberry frosting made with fresh strawberries. More proof that you can be vegan and eat cake too!
If you love vegan cakes as much as I do, this vegan coconut cake should be on your list.
I’ve fine-tuned this recipe over the years and am pleased to present you with the best vegan 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.
Wouldn’t this make an amazing vegan birthday cake? It’s so festive…especially with sprinkles!
How to Make Vegan Strawberry Cake
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.
Beyond the strawberry reduction, this cake is pretty simple to prepare. In fact, you don’t even need to get out your mixer. We won’t be using it!
- Prepare the 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.
- Frost and Serve — Let the cakes cool completely and then top with strawberry frosting.
Here are some of the ingredients you’ll need for this vegan strawberry cake:
- Flour — A simple all-purpose flour works great, but you can substitute whole wheat pastry flour or 1:1 gluten-free baking flour.
- Fresh strawberries
- Strawberry extract — substitute vanilla if you can’t find strawberry.
I used organic food coloring to give it a slight pink hue. 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.
What Strawberries are Best for Strawberry Cake?
Fresh strawberries should be bright red up to the cap and they should be firm (not mushy). They should have a healthy green cap and they should be fragrant (an indication they are ripe). Bigger strawberries may look nice, but they’re often spongy and soggy. Choose smaller strawberries for better flavor and texture.
To measure flour, use a whisk to stir the flour in the canister before measuring it because it often packs down as it sits. Then spoon the flour into a measuring cup. Use the flat edge of a butter knife to level off the cup.
Why This Recipe is a Winner
- Fresh strawberries are simmered and cooked down until it’s a thick sauce, adding strawberry deliciousness to every bite
- This cake recipe is based on my successful wacky cake, which means it’s easy to make
- A vegan strawberry frosting is made with fresh strawberries and adds the perfect touch of pink on top of this cake.
- A 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 described in this vegan strawberry cake recipe results in a perfectly tender cake with a moist crumb.
Here are four baking options for this easy vegan strawberry cake:
- Sheet Cake: Pour the batter into a 9×13 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.
- Vegan Strawberry Cake Pops — Use this cake recipe and follow my Vegan Cake Pops recipe as a guide. It’s perfect for birthday parties!
Vegan Strawberry Frosting
You want the best, creamy strawberry icing for your cake! Here’s how to make it:
- Whip the butter — place the vegan butter in a mixing bowl and use either a hand-held or stand mixer and mix on medium speed until it’s fluffy.
- Add Sugar — Then add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time and mix on medium speed until it’s all combined. This mix will be crumbly.
- Make it Spreadable — Add a freshly mashed strawberry to the frosting. Mix it on medium speed and the juice from the berries should thin the frosting out. 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 even more strawberry flavor to the frosting, which I love.
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!
Can You Make a Vegan Gluten-free Strawberry Cake?
You can make this into a gluten-free vegan strawberry cake by using gluten-free baking flour in place of the all-purpose flour in this recipe.
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:
- Tester — Insert a tester in the middle of the cake, it should come out clean
- Press — You can gently press the center of the cake and it should spring back
- Edges — The edges of the cake should be pulling 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.
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!
Vegan Strawberry Recipes
If you’ve made it this far, it’s proof you’re a fan of the vegan 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.
The strawberry reduction in this recipe was inspired by the strawberry cake from Sally’s Baking Addiction.
Vegan Strawberry Cake
- 1 pound fresh strawberries
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups water
- ⅔ cup vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons strawberry extract
- 3 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 drops natural food coloring (pink or red)
- ½ cup vegan butter , softened
- 3 ½ cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon strawberry extract
- 2 to 3 strawberries , stems removed, chopped and mashed
- ½ cup dried strawberries (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350°F/175°C. If using a 9×13 baking pan, grease and flour the bottom and sides of the pan. If using two 9-inch cake pans, grease bottoms and sides of the 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 to 40 minutes, until this mixture reduces to approximately ½ 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 into the prepared pan(s). For the 9×13 pan, bake for 45 to 50 minutes. For the two round cake pans, bake for 30 to 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 9×13" 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 for 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 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.
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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.
36 Responses to Vegan Strawberry Cake
Hi, I cooked my strawberries down for over 50 minutes and there’s still much more than just 1/2 cup left. It’s more like 1 cup. Should I just use 1/2 cup of the reduction?
Hi Sehar. I think in your situation I would use the full cup of strawberries and reduce the water by 1/2 cup. That way you’ll get the full strawberry flavor. I’ll add this as a note to the recipe card in case others experience this same situation.
Hi there! Would cake flour work with this recipe?
Hi Leah. I have not tried cake flour with this recipe, but usually when substituting cake flour for all-purpose flour, you’ll want to add an additional tablespoon or two of cake flour for every cup of all-purpose flour. So for this recipe, you’d want to add 3 to 6 additional tablespoons of cake flour.
Can you freeze this cake/ cupcakes frosted?
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!).
How should u store this cake? In fridge?
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!
This cake looks delicious! I’m more of a chocolate person but I”d love to give this a try, thank you!
You know, you can put chocolate frosting on this strawberry cake and have the best of both worlds! 🙂
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?
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!
Oh my goodness, this cake looks amazing! That frosting!!!
Thanks for the shout out to my Strawberry Cupcakes! 🙂
You’re welcome Jenn. ❤️
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
Do you mix the Strawberry Jel Dessert Mix with the dry ingredients?
Yes, add the vegetarian jello with the dry ingredients. Thanks for your comment Narsc!