This easy vegan strawberry cake is PACKED with fresh strawberries and so simple to make (no gelatin and no freeze dried strawberries!)! Naturally gluten free and dairy free with layers of fresh strawberry buttercream, this will quickly become your favorite vegan cake recipe!
Vegan Strawberry Cake:
- 4 1/2 cups cake flour, oat flour (with 2 tbsp arrowroot powder), or gluten free 1:1 baking flour
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1 1/3 tsp baking soda
- 1 3/4 cup unsweetened dairy free milk, room temperature
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar (to be mixed with dairy milk)
- 1 1/3 cup coconut sugar or granulated sugar
- 1 cup strawberry reduction sauce*, room temperature
- 1 cup unsweetened applesauce, room temperature
- 1/3 cup vegan butter, melted and cooled
- 2 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1–2 drops pink food coloring, such as pitaya powder or a vegan friendly pink liquid coloring
Vegan Strawberry Frosting:
- 1 batch vegan buttercream
- 1/2 cup strawberry preserves, such as Bonne Mamman
Vegan Strawberry Cake
- Make sure that your strawberry reduction sauce is cooled enough to use in the cake. Also, mix together the dairy free milk with the apple cider vinegar to curdle and become a vegan buttermilk. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 350F and line two 8″ cake pans or three 6″ cake pans with parchment paper and lightly oil.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the dairy free milk mixture, sugar, strawberry reduction sauce, applesauce, melted and cooled vegan butter, vanilla extract, and pink food coloring. Mix until combined.
- Sift in the dry ingredients, and mix until there are no more dry streaks (being careful not to over mix the batter).
- Divide the batter evenly into the cake pans, and place the cake pans into the oven. A 6″ cake will take around 28-30 minutes, or until the toothpick comes out clean. If you’re baking an 8″ cake and want four layers, you can still bake the cakes in two pans, and once baked and cooled, you’ll slice each cake in half.
- Once the cakes are baked, remove from the oven and allow the cakes to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then carefully transfer to a cooling rack to fully cool before frosting.
Vegan Strawberry Buttercream
- When the cakes are fully cooled, you can begin to make the strawberry buttercream.
- Follow the instructions for making the vegan buttercream above. Once the buttercream is whipped, add in the strawberry preserves. Cream together again until smooth.
- To assemble the cake, add about 1/3 cup of frosting in between each layer, smoothing to the edges of the cake. Frost the outer edges as well.
- If you have any reserved frosting, you can pipe decoration onto the top and bottoms of the cake as well! Top with fresh strawberries and enjoy!
Gluten free: you can easily make this vegan strawberry cake gluten free by using either oat flour with 2 tbsp arrowroot powder, or gluten free 1:1 baking flour. I will note that the oat flour does not rise as much as the regular cake flour nor gluten free 1:1 baking flour, but you will still get a really beautiful cake.
Strawberry reduction sauce-ish: This isn’t quite a strawberry reduction, but it will help us to reduce the moisture in the strawberry puree just a bit for our cakes. The strawberry reduction should still be thicker than just puree, but it won’t be a paste. Puree 3 cups fresh and hulled strawberries until smooth. Add the puree to a medium sauce pan and heat for 10-12 minutes to help evaporate some of the moisture and caramelize the strawberry sugars. Remove from heat and pour into a glass container. You should yield around 1 cups strawberry reduction. Allow the strawberry sauce to cool fully before making this cake.
Keywords: vegan strawberry cake, homemade strawberry cake, fresh strawberry cake, gluten free strawberry cake