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Recipe for Moist and Tender Fresh Strawberry Cake with Strawberry Buttercream

This delectable strawberry cake is made using fresh strawberry reduction, resulting in its moist and tender texture and beautiful pink color, perfect for the summer season. The recipe yields three 8″x2″ cake rounds with a scrumptious strawberry buttercream and filling.

Preparation Time: 20 minutes    Cook Time: 50 minutes     Total Time: 1 hour and 10 minutes
Servings: 24 servings    Calories: 603 kcal


Fresh Strawberry Cake:

14 ounces (397 g) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 ounces (226 g) unsalted butter at room temperature
10 ounces (284 g) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
1 1/2 teaspoons strawberry emulsion or extract (such as LorAnn oils bakery emulsion)
zest of one lemon
1 tblsp fresh lemon juice
6 ounces (170 g) egg whites at room temperature
4 ounces (113 g) strawberry reduction at room temperature
6 ounces (170 g) whole milk at room temperature (whole milk is recommended)
1/2 teaspoon pink food coloring (such as Americolor electric pink gel)

Strawberry Reduction:

32 ounces (907 g) fresh or frozen strawberries, thawed
1 tbsp of lemon zest.
1 tablespoonful of fresh lemon juice.
A tiny amount of salt, approximately 1/16th of a teaspoon
4 ounces (113 g) sugar (optional)

Easy Strawberry Buttercream Frosting:

4 ounces (113 g) pasteurized egg whites
16 ounces (454 g) unsalted butter at room temperature
16 ounces (454 g) powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 ounces (113 g) strawberry reduction at room temperature


Stand mixer with whisk and paddle attachments (or a hand mixer)
Food scale
Three, 8″x2″ round cake pans
Wire rack


Strawberry Reduction:

It is recommended to prepare this reduction one day before making the cake.
Place fresh or thawed frozen strawberries into a medium-sized saucepan. For a smoother texture, you can blend the strawberries using an immersion blender.
Heat on medium-high and add sugar (if desired), lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt. Stir occasionally to prevent burning.
Once bubbling, reduce heat to medium-low and slowly reduce until the berries begin to break up and the mixture has reduced by half, which should take about 20 minutes. If the mixture has reduced by half and is still watery, continue cooking until all of the liquid has evaporated.
Occasionally stir the mixture to prevent burning. You should end up with approximately 2 cups of thick strawberry reduction that resembles tomato sauce. Transfer to another container and let cool before use. You will use some of the reduction for the cake batter, some for the frosting, and the remaining for filling between the cake layers for added moisture. Leftover reduction can be stored in the fridge for up to a week or frozen for six months.

Strawberry Cake:

NOTE: It is essential that all the room temperature ingredients listed above are not cold or hot.
Take your strawberry reduction out of the refrigerator one hour before making your cake so that it comes to room temperature.

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat it to 350ºF/176ºC. Grease three 8″ cake pans with cake goop or preferred pan release.

In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the milk, strawberry reduction, strawberry emulsion, vanilla extract, lemon extract, lemon zest, lemon juice, and pink food coloring.

In another medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Add the room temperature butter to your stand mixer with the paddle attachment and beat at medium speed until it becomes smooth and shiny, for about 30 seconds.

Gradually sprinkle in the sugar and beat until the mixture is fluffy and almost white, for about 3-5 minutes.

Add the egg whites one at a time, beating for 15 seconds between each addition. Your mixture should look cohesive at this point. If it looks curdled and broken, it’s possible that your butter or egg whites were too cold.

Mix on low speed and add about a third of the dry ingredients to the batter, followed immediately by about a third of the milk mixture, and mix until the ingredients are almost incorporated into the batter. Repeat the process two more times. When the batter appears blended, stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. If it looks like ice cream, you did it right!

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans, and smooth the tops with a rubber spatula.

Bake the cakes at 350ºF/176ºC until they feel firm in the center and a toothpick comes out clean or with just a few crumbs on it, which will take about 30-35 minutes.

Place the pans on top of a wire rack and let them cool for 10 minutes. Then, flip your cakes onto the racks and let them cool completely.

Once cooled, wrap each layer in plastic wrap and refrigerate or freeze before assembling your cake.

Buttercream Instructions

Place egg whites and powdered sugar in a stand mixer bowl. Attach the bowl and whisk attachment to the mixer.

Beat the egg whites and powdered sugar on high speed for 5 minutes.

Reduce the speed to medium and add the room temperature butter, a few tablespoons at a time, until it has all been incorporated.

Add the salt, vanilla extract, and strawberry reduction, and beat on medium-high speed for another 3-5 minutes, or until the buttercream is light, fluffy, and smooth.

To Assemble the Cake:

Place one layer of cake on a cake board or plate, and spread a layer of buttercream over the top. Repeat with the remaining layers.

Use the leftover strawberry reduction to fill between the cake layers for extra moisture.

Decorate the cake as desired and serve.

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