Skip to Content

Gluten Free Strawberry Cake Recipe from Scratch

Learn how to make the best gluten free strawberry cake recipe from scratch with fresh strawberries. No artificial flavor necessary!

Homemade Gluten Free Strawberry Cake on a white cake stand garnished with fresh strawberries and flowers

Gluten Free Strawberry Cake

A homemade gluten free strawberry cake made with fresh strawberries has been on my to-make list for quite some time now. Since my birthday is next month, I figured now is a great time to start experimenting with cake recipes.

If you’ve made my gluten free yellow cake recipe, the base of this strawberry cake might look familiar. My yellow cake recipe is a rock-solid recipe that makes and outstanding homemade cake so I knew I wanted to use that as my starting point for the strawberry version.

You guys, best decision I’ve made in a while 😉

This strawberry cake is moist, has an amazing sponge cake texture, and the flavor is just, WOW.

It’s definitely way better than anything you’d make from a box AND it tastes like you bought it from a fancy bakery. Maybe even better than a bakery and that’s not an exaggeration 🙌🏼

Make this cake for your next celebration, you won’t regret it!

Overhead shot of a gluten free strawberry cake garnished with fresh strawberries and flowers


What You Need To Know About this Strawberry Cake Recipe with Fresh Strawberries

This gluten free strawberry cake recipe does not rely on artificial flavoring from Jello or even strawberry extract. This cake relies purely on the flavor of fresh strawberries!

What makes this recipe different and how do plain old strawberries give this cake enough flavor?

The answer is simple -it’s in the preparation! Fresh strawberries are puréed and then cooked down on the stovetop. Reducing the strawberry purée by half concentrates the flavor to give your cake a strawberry flavor punch ❤️

I first tried the concentrated strawberry purée method when I made the Pink Lemonade Cake from the Icing on the Cake cookbook for Kelsey’s birthday. After that, I was hooked on concentrated fruit purées. They provide so much flavor with natural ingredients. Just fruit, acid, a bit of sugar, and a pinch of salt. The only hard part is having to wait for the purée to reduce. It takes about 20-30 minutes of mostly inactive time but it’s totally worth it.

Whatever you do, don’t skip this part! Not only does the concentrate provide the flavor in the cake, it also adds moisture so your cakes are nice and moist. No dry crumbs here!

The strawberry concentrate is what truly makes this the best strawberry cake recipe out there. Try it yourself and you’ll see!

Made from scratch Gluten Free Strawberry Cake made with fresh strawberries, no extracts or artificial flavors! This cake is moist and VERY full of fresh strawberry flavor. Finish it off with homemade strawberry cream cheese frosting and garnish with fresh strawberries, a dusting of freeze-dried strawberry powder, and edible flowers for a gorgeous presentation. This makes a 3-layer 8-inch cake or halve the recipe for 2 6-inch layers. #strawberrycake #strawberryrecipes #cake #glutenfree #dessert

Did you make this recipe? Leave a star rating and let me know in the comments! You can also leave a photo/comment on this pin for others to see.

What‘s the Best Frosting for Strawberry Cake?

I absolutely love this cake with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting. I’ve included my recipe in this post just below the strawberry cake recipe card. That way, you can print the frosting recipe out separately in case you want to pair it with other cakes or cupcakes.

This cake would also be fabulous with vanilla buttercream frosting or even regular cream cheese frosting. For a lighter frosting, try it with my white chocolate ganache whipped cream frosting. It’s a stable whipped cream (thanks to the white chocolate) that works well with layer cakes.

If you want a strawberry buttercream, try adding 1-2 tablespoons of the extra strawberry purée concentrate to my vanilla buttercream frosting in place of the heavy cream then add heavy cream as needed a teaspoon at a time. Or you could try 1/4 – 1/2 cup freeze-dried strawberry powder. If you use the powder, you may need a touch more heavy cream than the recipe calls for.


Key Ingredients for Fresh Strawberry Cake

  • Fresh strawberries. And if you can get them in season, even better! The sweeter and more flavorful the strawberries are, the more flavor they’ll bring to the cake!
  • Buttermilk – the little bit of acid from the buttermilk makes the cake tender and moist. It also helps the cake rise by reacting with the baking soda.
  • Separated Eggs – the yolks are beaten into the wet ingredients while the whites are whipped and folded into the batter at the end. The whipped egg whites make this cake lighter and airier.
  • Cornstarch – I add cornstarch to replace some of the flour in this recipe. The higher starch:grain ratio of gluten free flour here mimics cake flour. I started doing this with my Homemade Yellow Cake recipe and I love the results!

Made from scratch Gluten Free Strawberry Cake made with fresh strawberries, no extracts or artificial flavors! This cake is moist and VERY full of fresh strawberry flavor. Finish it off with homemade strawberry cream cheese frosting and garnish with fresh strawberries, a dusting of freeze-dried strawberry powder, and edible flowers for a gorgeous presentation. This makes a 3-layer 8-inch cake or halve the recipe for 2 6-inch layers. #strawberrycake #strawberryrecipes #cake #glutenfree #dessert


Equipment Needed to Make Homemade Strawberry Cake

  • Blender or Food Processor. I prefer using my Blendtec blender with Twister Jar to purée the strawberries for a super smooth finish.
  • Small Saucepan to cook/reduce the strawberry purée into a flavorful strawberry concentrate.
  • Cake Pans – I use 3 8-inch cake pans for this recipe. You can halve the recipe and bake it in 2 6-inch cake pans if you prefer. I prefer baking with metal cake pans that are light in color.
  • Hand Mixer or Stand Mixer – to make both the whipped egg whites and the frosting. The cake batter can be mixed by hand.
  • Parchment Paper – I line the bottoms of my cake pans with parchment paper to make sure they don’t stick. Pre-cut Parchment Paper Rounds cuts down on prep time even more.

How to Make Strawberry Cake from Scratch

Step 1. Make the strawberry puree in a blender or food processor and cook down to reduce by half to make the strawberry concentrate.

Step 2. While the strawberry concentrate is cooling, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare the baking pans.

Step 3. Whisk together the dry ingredients in a large bowl then whisk together the wet ingredients in a medium bowl. Set both aside and then beat the separated egg whites until stiff.

Step 4. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in half of the egg whites until just about incorporated and then fold in the remaining egg whites until no white streaks remain.

Step 5. Transfer the batter to the prepared baking pans, dividing it evenly between the pans. Bake for 20-24 minutes or until a cake tester or toothpick comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached.

Step 6. Cool the cakes in the pans on a wire rack for 25 minutes then remove from the pans and cool completely before frosting with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting.

Made from scratch Gluten Free Strawberry Cake made with fresh strawberries, no extracts or artificial flavors! This cake is moist and VERY full of fresh strawberry flavor. Finish it off with homemade strawberry cream cheese frosting and garnish with fresh strawberries, a dusting of freeze-dried strawberry powder, and edible flowers for a gorgeous presentation. This makes a 3-layer 8-inch cake or halve the recipe for 2 6-inch layers. #strawberrycake #strawberryrecipes #cake #glutenfree #dessert


Tips for Making this Strawberry Cake Recipe from Scratch

Give yourself plenty of time to make the strawberry purée and cook it down to concentrate because it needs to cool to room temperature before adding it to the wet ingredients. If you know you may crunched for time, you can make the strawberry concentrate a day or two in advance and refrigerate it until ready to use.

I use my nightshade free gluten free flour blend in this recipe. If you use a different flour blend, I can’t guarantee the results. But no matter which flour blend you use, don’t skip the added cornstarch called for in the recipe or replace it with additional gluten free flour blend. If you can’t have cornstarch, use Tapioca Flour instead.

Don’t over-measure your flour. Measure by weight for more accuracy or measure using the spoon and sweep method if using measuring cups. 2 cups of my night-shade free blend weighs 264 grams. If you use another flour blend, the weight will be slightly different.


Can I Make This Cake Ahead?

While cakes are almost always the best the day of, you can definitely make this ahead of time. The reduced strawberry purée can be made several days before you need it. Just be sure to let it cool, cover it, and then refrigerate it until you’re ready to use it.

You can make the cakes a few days in advance too. Once the cakes are baked, cool them completely. Then wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and freeze them flat on a sheet pan.

Buttercream frosting can be made a few days in advance, just store it tightly covered in the refrigerator. Bring it to room temperature and mix well before using.

Assemble the cake the day of. You can frost your cakes frozen, just be sure to do it early enough in the day so the cakes have plenty of time to thaw before serving. I frequently frost my layer cakes from frozen and I think frosting frozen cakes is the best way to keep your cakes fresh without having to bake them the day you’re serving them.

If you frost the strawberry layer cake the night before, cover it with plastic wrap as tightly as you can in the refrigerator so that the cake doesn’t dry out. Then bring it to room temperature before serving.

Made from scratch Gluten Free Strawberry Cake made with fresh strawberries, no extracts or artificial flavors! This cake is moist and VERY full of fresh strawberry flavor. Finish it off with homemade strawberry cream cheese frosting and garnish with fresh strawberries, a dusting of freeze-dried strawberry powder, and edible flowers for a gorgeous presentation. This makes a 3-layer 8-inch cake or halve the recipe for 2 6-inch layers. #strawberrycake #strawberryrecipes #cake #glutenfree #dessert


What People are Saying About This Gluten Free Strawberry Cake

I made this cake today. I was blown away with the amazing strawberry flavor. There wasn’t a crumb left. This will be on the monthly dessert list. I definitely agree that the pureed strawberries give the cake the perfect strawberry flavor.😋🍓❤️❤️❤️

Made it today for a girl’s night! OMG…delish! Had an extra layer, so of course I had to try it! 🍓❤️

I LOVE that this doesn’t use jello! I have zero issues with jello poke cakes etc, but nothing beats the taste of fresh strawberries 🍓 outstanding!

Oh my soul!! I made this cake and the frosting yesterday. It is completely gone. So good. I am going to make it again, and often. The strawberry puree is definitely the key to the strawberry flavor. 😋

This is so delicious! I was lucky to sample it!

I have had this cake and it is delicious. The frosting is particularly delightful!

Omg…seriously THE BEST strawberry cake ever! You can’t even tell it’s gluten free. So moist and flavorful. I can’t stop eating it!!! Lol!!! Ended up filling it with a lemon curd to make it more of a strawberry lemonade cake! 🍓❤


Other Fresh Strawberry Recipes To Try


Be sure to follow me on Instagram and hashtag #whattheforkfoodblog or tag @whattheforkfoodblog for a chance to be featured!
If you love this Gluten Free Strawberry Cake recipe, be sure to follow me on social media so you never miss a post:
Instagram | Pinterest || Facebook | TwitterYoutube |

email subscription for What The Fork Food Blog

Homemade Gluten Free Strawberry Cake on a white cake stand garnished with fresh strawberries and flowers

Gluten Free Strawberry Cake Recipe

4.63 from 181 ratings
This is the best gluten free strawberry cake recipe! It's made from scratch with fresh strawberries. No artificial flavor necessary!
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 22 minutes
Additional Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 37 minutes
Servings: 12
Print Rate Pin

Ingredients

For the Concentrated Strawberry Purée

  • 2 cups 300 g fresh strawberries, halved
  • 1 Tablespoon 15 g granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • pinch of fine sea salt

For the Cake

  • 2 cups gluten free flour blend see notes
  • 1/2 cup 70 g cornstarch
  • 3/4 teaspoon 2 g xanthan gum
  • 1 teaspoon 5 g fine sea salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons 7 g aluminum-free baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups 400 g granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs separated
  • 1 cup buttermilk room temperature
  • 1/2 cup 4 oz. unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
  • 1/3 cup avocado oil see notes
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup concentrated strawberry purée
  • 3 drops red food coloring optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

For the Frosting

Instructions

  • To make the concentrated strawberry purée, add the strawberries, 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt to a blender canister or food processor. Blend until completely smooth.
  • Add the purée to a small saucepan. Simmer on medium low heat until the purée is reduced by half, stirring occasionally. It'll take about 20-30 minutes to reduce. Cool to room temperature before making the cake.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray 3 8-inch round cake pans with non-stick spray and line the bottoms with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the gluten free flour, cornstarch, xanthan gum, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and granulated sugar. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, buttermilk, melted butter, oil, vanilla extract, concentrated strawberry purée, and food coloring (if using). Set aside.
  • Add the egg whites and cream of tartar to a separate, clean medium bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on medium-low speed until the egg whites hold a stiff peak. Then set the the egg whites aside.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated. Add half of the whipped egg whites to the batter and gently fold in with a spoon. When it's mostly folded in, add the remaining egg whites. Gently fold in until no white streaks remain. Make sure you're folding and not stirring/mixing so you don't deflate the egg whites. It may take a minute or two to fully incorporate.
  • Transfer the batter to the prepared pans, making sure it's distributed evenly and spread the batter in the pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-24 minutes.
  • Cool the cakes in the pan for 25 minutes then remove them from the pans and cool completely on wire racks. Once the cakes are cooled, frost them with the strawberry cream cheese frosting.

Notes

  1. I use my nightshade-free gluten free flour blend. 2 cups of my blend weighs 264 grams.
  2. Canola oil or vegetable can be subbed for the avocado oil.
  3. I use Americolor Red Red soft gel paste food coloring.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1g | Calories: 282kcal

Disclaimers

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Facts are estimated and aren't always accurate. Please consult a doctor or nutritionist if you have special dietary needs.

Did you make this?Mention @whattheforkfoodblog or leave a comment rating below!

Did you make this recipe? Leave a star rating and let me know in the comments! You can also leave a photo/comment on this pin for others to see.

Leave a comment

If you made this recipe, please consider giving it a star rating when you post a comment. Star ratings help people discover my recipes online.

Sincerely,
Shay

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




  1. Angie says:

    5 stars
    I’m so glad I found your recipe!! Incredibly yummy and not grainy like those store bought mixes! My only issue is it was tight and slightly gummy, should I omit xanthan gum? I couldn’t find white rice flour anywhere so I blended my own white rice and sifted and blended again and fortunately there were no rice bits in the cake. I wonder if that’s what caused the gumminess. Would this recipe work with your brown rice/potato starch flour mix recipe?

    • It could be that it just wasn’t fine enough but it could also have been the type of rice you used. If it was Jasmine rice, I know that is a starchier rice than others. And yes, it would work with my brown rice/potato starch mix!

  2. Cristen says:

    I made this cake for probably the third time this weekend. Huge hit! I also made the frosting with freeze dried strawberries (I bought strawberry powder from nuts.com) and the flavor was amazing! I put the extra frosting on some gf cookies and brought them to work. Everyone raved about the frosting. It was amazing! I’ll definitely be making this again!

  3. Melissa says:

    5 stars
    This cake is a winner! It taste so delicious and is so light. My sons did not think it was gluten-free. I ended up making it into a 9 x 13 Pyrex. It came out perfectly. Thank you so much!

  4. Sandhya S says:

    5 stars
    I absolutely loved your Homemade Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting! It was a delightful combination of creamy, tangy, and bursting with fresh strawberry flavor. It quickly became my go-to frosting for all my baked treats. Thank you for sharing such a delicious recipe!

  5. Todd says:

    Hi there, I just wanted to confirm – Is it 1/4 cup of crushed (freeze dried) strawberries or 1/4 cup as they come directly from the package?

  6. Jill says:

    Can you substitute another starch for the arrowroot starch in the flour blend recipe? Like maybe potato starch?

  7. Jeanine says:

    This cake tastes amazing, but I have one critique. I have made it twice and had to keep it in the oven twice as long as the listed bake time of 20-25 minutes. I need 50-60 minutes in the oven to cook through the center.

    • Shay says:

      Hi Jeanine! Glad you love the flavor of the cake! You may want to get an oven thermometer to see if your oven is the correct temperature. Some flour blends also take longer to absorb liquid and will take longer to bake. Hope that helps!

  8. martina lauer says:

    5 stars
    The intense strawberry flavour is so much fun. Never had such a great strawberry cake, Thank you!

  9. Adriana says:

    2 cups of the flour blend with Seafood city’s white rice flour (Panama)/Bob’s Red Mill brown rice flour came to 229.4 grams

  10. Adriana says:

    Help!
    So, I maybe mis-spoken. My cakes looked great in the oven. Once, baked- (30 minutes)- they had a nice tight crumb, moist, too moist, almost gummy. I did not have any cornstarch, so I added more rice flour. Otherwise, I did not change anything in the recipe except milk instead of buttermilk with lemon juice. They rose very high above tye pans, then sank akmost level with the pans after a couple of minutes.

    Help, please! I need to make 5 of these cake over the next 2 days.

    I made the flour blend with Seafood City brand called Panama. It is a typical Asian rice flour (very fine). But used Bob’s Red Mill for the brown rice. Question:
    What brands of rice flour did you use? Suggestions?

    • Shay says:

      I use Bob’s Red Mill flours and have also used Thrive Market’s brown rice flour, arrowroot, and tapioca flour with great success. Rice flour can not be subbed for starch in the recipe because rice flour is heavier and denser than cornstarch. As far as rising quickly, are you baking at a higher altitude?

  11. Fatemah says:

    Hi! I love your recipes! Thank you! Quick question – to save time can I use a good quality pure strawberry jam instead of making the concentrate?

  12. Amie Burroughs says:

    Can you use the Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1:1 flour in stead of your flour mix?

    • Shay says:

      You can, just omit the xanthan gum called for in the recipe. The taste and texture will be slightly different (my flour blend has a lighter crumb and neutral flavor in baked goods) and it may take a few minutes longer to bake through.

  13. Kelley says:

    I would like to make this cake for my sons birthday. Is it ok to sub fresh berries for frozen?

    Thanks!

    • Shay says:

      I think it could work, but I haven’t tried it. It might take quite a bit longer to reduce them down enough and I wouldn’t drain the liquid that comes out of them as they defrost so you don’t lose that flavor.

  14. Angela says:

    Hello! I am getting ready to try this recipe. My gluten free flour mix already has xanthum gum. Should I omit that in your recipe?? Either way I am going to try it haha

    Thanks!!

  15. Danna says:

    Is your flour a homemade blend? If so how do you make it?

  16. Amy says:

    Would this work to make cupcakes instead?

  17. Heather says:

    I made this cake today with half the sugar. I used strawberry extract rather than vanilla and subbed almond milk buttermilk. (We can’t do dairy so we made a glazed frosting from leftover strawberry puree, powdered sugar, and a little almond milk). It was good, but not as strawberry as I had hoped. I’m the future I think I’ll put an entire layer of sliced strawberries on top before adding the frosting.

  18. Courtney says:

    Loved this cake! Made it with chocolate buttercream icing and served with chocolate covered strawberries!

  19. Kim says:

    I don’t think I have enough flour so could I add almond flour?

  20. Kaly says:

    Hi!! I’m so excited to make this today! My question: if my GF flour blend already has xantham gum in it, do I still need to add it and do I add the full amount?

    • Shay says:

      Hi Kaly! If your flour blend contains xanthan gum, omit what I called for. And yes, use the full amount which will be 2 cups. Still use the cornstarch that’s listed in the recipe because the extra starch will mimic cake flour.

  21. Jen w says:

    Hello! I saw where you had a tip in adding more cornstarch in place of some flour for the cake. In the ingredients next to the flour it says see notes, are the ratios of cornstarch to flour the ones you used and recommended in the recipe for a fluffier cake? Can’t wait to make this!

  22. Jaleese says:

    I’m seriously drooling. I think I want to make this for Valentine’s day! If I don’t have any round cake pans, would it be possible to use a 9×13 or cookie sheet instead? Thanks!

  23. Cbj says:

    5 stars
    This recipe felt a little overwhelming but in all reality it wasn’t . I forgot to add the oil so I had to add it at the end . The cake did not rise as great but that was my fault. The taste was amazing . The color was so pretty. The cake was light and fluffy. I did use king flour gf measure for measure . I did not add any more Xanthan gum. My buttermilk was a 1/2 cup of oatly oat milk with a 1/2 teaspoon of lemon. Awesome ! Can’t wait to make it the right way. Lol

  24. Katie C. says:

    I made this last night and YUM… I don’t think I cooked down the puree enough though. Would you recommend anything else to give it an extra punch of strawberry, like using jam or adding the freeze-dried strawberries to the cake?

    • Shay says:

      Glad you enjoyed it Katie! If you cook the purée long enough, it will have a strong strawberry flavor. I’d also recommend making sure your strawberries are nice and ripe and deep red in color because they’ll have more flavor.

      • Alta Thomas says:

        If I use the pillsbury best gluten free flour I won’t need to add any Xanthan gum – is this right? Since it has it in the blend already?

      • Katie C. says:

        I bought some fresher berries and made a second batch of the puree yesterday (just to use as a filling in a vanilla cake), and it came out perfectly! I definitely didn’t cook it long enough on the stove last week. Thanks!!

  25. Keith Smith says:

    Could I make this cake dairy free and use plant based milk for the buttermilk?

    • Shay says:

      I haven’t tried making a dairy free version of this but I would start with the buttermilk replacement using unsweetened coconut milk beverage + 1 tablespoon white vinegar.
      To replace the butter, I would try using vegan butter but I’m not sure if that would affect the flavor of the cake.
      If you try it, please let me know how it works out for you!

  26. Melissa Bruno says:

    Omg…seriously THE BEST strawberry cake ever! You can’t even tell it’s gluten free. So moist and flavorful. I can’t stop eating it!!! Lol!!! Ended up filling it with a lemon curd to make it more of a strawberry lemonade cake! 🍓❤

    • Kelly says:

      I made this today with a ton of modifications so I thought I would post in case someone else is interested. First I made cupcakes and they turned out yummy! Took around 20 minutes to bake.

      I used King Arthurs Cup for Cup gf flour, I only had 1/2 of the recommended corn starch so I subbed a bit of extra of the above flour. I also used coconut oil for all of the oil as we are dairy free and I didn’t have anything else other than olive oil. Subbed silk unsweetened almond milk with a splash of lemon juice for the buttermilk. I also didn’t have cream of tartar so I left if out.

      They are yummy! Thanks for the recipe!

    • Shay says:

      Thanks so much Melissa! And lemon curd for a filling sounds like a great idea!

  27. Shay says:

    You can, you’ll just have to adjust your baking time. It’ll take about 30-35 minutes most likely