Vegan

Vegan Strawberry Cake

An easy, no-fuss, pretty-in-pink Vegan Strawberry Cake infused with the flavor of fresh strawberries and doused in a scrumptious strawberry glaze.

Photo of a slice of vegan strawberry cake with pink strawberry glaze with full cake in background on glass plate.

Here’s a vegan Strawberry Cake that’s perfect to make this time of year when strawberries are at their most delicious, seasonal best.

I am somewhat weird with strawberries in that I love strawberries in desserts but I can take ’em or leave ’em when it comes to eating them fresh. It’s because strawberries, even ones that look ripe and lovely, can sometimes be tart, and I don’t love biting into tart fruit.

In desserts, however, that tartness can be an asset (think rhubarb). And strawberries, baked with sugar into flour, are magical.

This vegan Strawberry Cake in incredibly easy to make and unless you have never baked a cake before or are challenged when it comes to following instructions, you are not likely to mess up. But there are some caveats to keep in mind and I’ll cover them below in greater detail.

There are also no artificial colors or flavorings, as you might find in other strawberry cake recipes. All you need to flavor this cake and make it stunning are the berries themselves.

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Partial photo of the vegan strawberry cake with strawberry glaze on glass plate.

Why you will love this vegan Strawberry Cake

  • It is packed with the fresh flavors of strawberries and lemons–the flavors of Spring.
  • It is a sweet cake but with a hint of tartness from the berries–an addictive combination.
  • It is easy to make. The berries need no special treatment or cooking before going into the batter. All you need to do is chop them and stir them in.
  • The fresh berries make the crumb very tender and moist.

Ingredients

  • Strawberries
  • Lemon juice and zest
  • All purpose flour
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Salt
  • Tapioca flour
  • Vegan Butter
  • Sugar
  • Vegan yogurt
  • Nondairy milk
  • Strawberry extract (optional)
  • Pure vanilla extract
  • Powdered sugar
Overhead photo of vegan strawberry bundt cake with fresh strawberries, strawberry glaze and a serving spoon on a glass plate.

FAQs

Can I use frozen or canned strawberries?

Frozen strawberries could work here, but make sure they are thawed and any excess water sticking to them drains out. You can also use canned strawberries after draining them.
However, do not use freeze-dried strawberries because that will change the amount of moisture needed for the cake.

Can I bake the cake in regular cake pans or loaf pans?

Yes. I baked this as a bundt cake, but you can divide the batter and bake it in two 9-inch or 8-inch cake pans. Bake the cakes for 30 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out dry or with a few crumbs. Layer the glaze between the layers and on top.
You can also bake it as a loaf cake and drizzle the glaze on top once the loaves are cool.

Why is the cake batter so thick?

The cake batter should be quite thick–thicker than your average cake batter–because remember the strawberries will ooze out their moisture as the cake bakes.

Can I make this whole wheat?

You can make this with whole wheat pastry flour, but keep in mind that the crumb will not be as light and could be even more tender.

Can I make this gluten-free?

I haven’t tested this cake with a gluten-free flour, but I think it would work with a few adjustments. For now, I have a delicious Vegan and Gluten-Free Berry Almond Flour Cake on the blog that you can make with strawberries and strawberry preserves.

Why is the strawberry extract optional?

I tried the cake with and without the extract and while Desi, my chief taste tester, did not think the extract made a huge difference, I did think the version with the extract had more strawberry flavor. It’s purely subjective, I suppose, so add it if you have it and want to, but leaving it out won’t hurt.

Slice of vegan strawberry cake with fresh strawberries on a white plate with fork with rest of cake in background.

Tips and steps for making the strawberry cake

  • Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder and tapioca starch before using. This adds lots of lightness and airiness to the flour and therefore the cake.
  • Beat the sugar, butter and lemon zest in a stand mixer or with a hand mixer until incorporated, about two minutes.
  • Toss the strawberries with the lemon juice first, and put them in a strainer over a bowl to let the juice drain out. Then add the juice to the batter. This might seem like an unnecessary step, but the reason I do this is that the lemon helps the strawberries keep their color when they bake. But because I add the strawberries only to part of the batter I don’t want all of the juice to go into just that portion of the batter, which would make the moisture in the batter uneven. Sorry if that’s confusing and hopefully it will be clearer in the instructions below. If you aren’t very keen on preserving the color of the strawberries in the cake you can certainly skip this step and just add the lemon juice directly to the batter along with the yogurt.
  • Add the yogurt, lemon juice and nondairy milk to the flour and sugar mixture and beat it in.
  • Add all of the flour mixture to the bowl and beat in until just incorporated. The batter is really thick but that’s okay — the strawberries will express more moisture as they bake.
  • Before you add the strawberries to the batter, spread about a fourth of the batter evenly into the bottom of a thoroughly oiled and floured bundt cake pan. This will keep the strawberries from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  • Now stir the strawberries into the rest of the batter and scoop it out into the bundt pan. Smooth out the top with a spatula.
  • Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 50 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean or with some crumbs (not wet batter) sticking to it.
  • Unmold the cake after 30 minutes by running a knife along the edges, then placing a plate over the opening of the bundt pan and flipping it quickly. If it doesn’t release tap the pan slightly. The cake is not hard to unmold but remember that bit about oiling and flouring the pan thoroughly? This is why we do it. If a few small bits of cake stick to the pan that’s fine. The beautiful glaze will hide any imperfections. Let the cake continue cooling on a rack.
  • As the cake cools, make the glaze by placing the strawberries, powdered sugar, vanilla extract and lemon juice in a food processor. You can just mash the berries with a fork and mix the glaze in a bowl but the reason I like to put it in the processor is that it creates a prettier, stronger pink for the glaze by breaking down the berries without pureeing them completely.
  • Once the cake is cool pour the glaze over the cake. Serve as is or with more fresh strawberries.

More vegan berry dessert recipes

Overhead shot of a slice of vegan strawberry cake on a white plate with fresh strawberries and a fork.

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