Vintage Strawberry Cake Recipe

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Vintage Strawberry Cake is rich, dense, and packed full of fresh strawberries from top to bottom. However, the strawberry cream cheese icing steals the show!

strawberry cake with strawberries on top in the shape of a star

What's Special About This Recipe?

Old fashioned cakes are truly some of the best desserts out there, and for good reason. Our mothers and grandmothers created cakes that stood the test of time.

Vintage Strawberry Cake will take you back to the days when Granny was baking in the kitchen and the smell of strawberries filled the air!

slice of strawberry cake on a white plate surrounded by strawberries

If you've made Old Fashioned Chocolate Sheet Cake, you'll recognize the method behind this dessert. The addition of buttermilk makes it as moist as it can be.

Throwing in several cups of fresh strawberries doesn't hurt either. Together, the combination will make you click your heels and take you back to simpler days...when Granny was cooking up a storm.

How To Make Vintage Strawberry Cake

Start by stirring together 2 cups of self-rising flour with 2 cups of sugar. Pour into a mixing bowl and set aside.

flour and sugar mixed together in a clear bowl

Mash up 2 cups of strawberries with a potato masher or whatever you have on hand. Leave the strawberries a little chunky and set aside.

strawberries mashed in a bowl

Melt a stick of butter in a saucepan, then add 1 cup of water and 1 cup of vegetable oil. Bring to a boil for 1 minute. Pour into dry ingredients in mixer. Blend on medium speed for 1 minute.

Beat 2 eggs and ½ cup buttermilk together. Pour into dry ingredients. Mix batter on medium speed for 1 additional minute.

Drain the strawberries really well with a cheesecloth, then fold them into the mixture. If you don't want to use fresh berries, freeze-dried strawberries (ad) work great. There's less moisture involved and you don't have to squeeze the water out of them!

Mix for another minute on low speed. The batter will turn a beautiful shade of light pink.

Pour the batter into a 13 x 9 inch greased and floured pan. (ad) Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Let the cake cool and pour on the icing!

strawberry cake baked in a 13 x 9 inch pan

How to Make Strawberry Cream Cheese Icing

The texture of the cake is dense in this recipe, but the cream cheese icing steals the show. Maybe it's because there are real specks of fresh strawberries in every bite. Or, it could have something to do with the fact that everyone loves cream cheese icing.

Place 1 block of cream cheese in a mixing bowl and beat until fluffy. Slice a stick of butter into chunks and add to the cream cheese gradually, beating until smooth.

strawberry icing poured over strawberry cake in a 13 x 9 inch pan

Add 4 cups of powdered sugar to the mixture in the bowl, along with a teaspoon of vanilla. Gradually fold in 1 cup of mashed strawberries (that have been drained well) and beat until icing turns pink.

Again, you can use freeze-dried (ad) or dehydrated strawberries to avoid having to drain the berries. I have found that the freeze-dried berries work nicely.

vintage strawberry cake iced with strawberry cream cheese icing

If the icing is too thin due to the moisture in the strawberries, add more powdered sugar until it thickens enough to spread easily. Pour over cooled cake and spread evenly with a knife or spatula.

Garnish With a Strawberry Star

There's really no right or wrong way to decorate a cake, but I was extremely proud of this one, so I topped it with a star!

If you'd like to top your cake with a star too, start by making a circle in the middle of the cake with sliced strawberries facing up. Then, fill in the middle of the circle with more strawberries facing the same way.

vertical image of a star made out of strawberries on a strawberry cake

Once a star pattern is filled in, layer more sliced strawberries on top by staggering them face down. This gives the design a little dimension and variation in color.

Of course, you can make any design on your cake that you wish, or cover the entire cake with strawberries if that's your style. Heck, you can serve this one plain and nobody will even notice. They'll scarf it down before you can say 'Did you see my Strawberry Star?'

Why You'll Love This Recipe

Old Fashioned Strawberry Cake is totally homemade. There are no artificial ingredients. This easy sheet cake tastes like you bought it at a bakery!

It's made with real butter, real buttermilk, and real strawberries. Did I mention it's topped with strawberry cream cheese icing? It's definitely a keeper!

strawberry cake and icing with a strawberry star garnish on top

More Cake Recipes to Love

Recipe Card

strawberry cake with strawberries on top in the shape of a star

Vintage Strawberry Cake

Vintage Strawberry Cake will take you back to the days when Granny was baking in the kitchen and the smell of strawberries filled the air!
5 from 11 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Desserts
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings12
Calories: 551kcal

*See notes in blog post for detailed tips, photos and instructions.

Ingredients

CAKE

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups self-rising flour
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups mashed strawberries drained well (or use 1 cup freeze-dried berries)

ICING

  • 1 8 oz block cream cheese, softened
  • 1 stick butter sliced in chunks, softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar may need more if icing is thin
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup mashed strawberries drained well (or use ½ cup freeze-dried berries)

Instructions

CAKE

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Stir flour with sugar in a mixing bowl. Set aside.
  • Melt butter in a saucepan, then add oil and water.  Bring to a boil for 1 minute.  
  • Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients in mixing bowl.  Blend with a mixer on medium speed for 1 minute.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk eggs and buttermilk together. Pour into contents in mixing bowl.
  • Add drained strawberries and mix batter for 1 minute on medium speed until combined.  Batter will turn pink.
  • Pour batter into a 13 x 9 inch greased and floured pan. (ad)
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes until cake springs bake in the center.  Remove from oven and cool.  

ICING

  • Place cream cheese in a mixer and blend until smooth.  Add slices of butter gradually and continue to blend until creamy.
  • Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time and mix until thickened. Mix in vanilla.
  • Drain strawberries well and add to mixture. Or, use freeze dried berries. (ad)
  • Blend until icing turns pink. 
  • If icing is too thin, add more powdered sugar to thicken.
  • Pour icing on top of cooled cake and spread with a knife or spatula.
  • Top cake with additional strawberries if desired. 

Notes

  • Make sure strawberries are drained well each time they are used.  Use a paper towel or cheesecloth to squeeze out all the excess moisture. If you want to avoid this step, use freeze-dried (ad) strawberries instead. They work better in my opinion. 
  • You may need more powdered sugar if the icing is too thin. 
  • If you can't find self-rising flour, add 3 teaspoons of baking powder and ½ teaspoon salt to 2 cups of all-purpose flour. 

Nutrition

Calories: 551kcal | Carbohydrates: 92g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 25mg | Potassium: 102mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 75g | Vitamin C: 21mg | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition info is an auto generated estimate.

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31 Comments

  1. Hi I want to make this cake but I need to know for the strawberry's is it 2 cups mashed or measure 2 cups sliced strawberries and then mash them? There is a difference, please advise! Thanks, Lauri

    1. Hi Lauri. Measure 2 cups sliced strawberries and then mash them. Drain well before using.

  2. 5 stars
    I made this cake today and it was delicious! So moist! Tasted like strawberry shortcake. This recipe is a keeper.

  3. 5 stars
    Oh my goodness….best strawberry cake ever! My son-in-law absolutely loves this cake and requested it for his birthday!

    1. Yes! Make sure you buy the right strawberries for this dish! 🙂 Glad you figured it out!

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