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Vegan Strawberry Cake

This easy vegan strawberry cake is everything a fruity cake should be: it’s light, fluffy, packed full of sweet strawberry flavor, and makes the perfect summer treat, birthday cake, or any occasion cake! It’s baked in 20 minutes with additional time needed to frost it with your vegan strawberry buttercream.

A birdseye view of a pink vegan strawberry cake topped with bright red strawberries. A slice has been cut out of the cake and sits on a plate to one side.

I’ve had a fair amount of practice in perfecting this vegan strawberry cake recipe considering my daughter’s brief for her birthday cake for the past two years has been, simply, “strawberry cake”. This year, I went an extra step further and made some little marzipan strawberries to stick all over it – but forgot to take a picture! Food blogger’s nightmare!

If you like strawberry recipes, make sure you’ve checked out this easy strawberry cupcake recipe and this divine strawberry and rhubarb crumble recipe.

Ingredient Notes

  • Fresh strawberries: In this recipe, we use fresh strawberries to make a strawberry puree which will then flavor the cake and buttercream. It does take a bit more effort, but it’s worth it for a delicious-tasting strawberry cake!
  • Plain flour: Use plain all-purpose flour for this cake. I wouldn’t recommend substituting the flour for any other ingredient.
  • White granulated sugar: If you don’t have granulated sugar available, caster sugar will also work just fine.
  • Baking soda and baking powder
  • Oil: I use a neutral oil such as olive oil or vegetable oil for this cake. You could also use coconut oil or, if you prefer, a vegan butter instead although the texture of the cake may change slightly.
  • Plant-based milk: My go-to plant-based milk for this bake and other vegan recipes is either almond milk or oat milk. Soy milk would also work though!
  • ACV: Apple cider vinegar! Mixed with the milk, this creates a vegan buttercream which helps to give the cake a deliciously fluffy, soft texture.
  • Red food coloring (optional): While not completely essential, a dash of red food coloring does give the cake a beautiful strawberry-esque color! Without the food coloring, your cake will be a slightly paler pink.
  • Vanilla extract

For the strawberry buttercream:

  • Vegan butter: My go-to vegan butter for vegan cakes and baking is the Flora plant-based block (unsalted).
  • Strawberry puree: This is what we’ll make from the fresh strawberries listed above!
  • Icing sugar/powdered sugar: Make sure your icing sugar is suitable for vegans, as some (especially in the US) are not!

How To Make Your Vegan Strawberry Cake

This is actually the first recipe I tried out in my new kitchen stand mixer, and it was an absolute dream to just have one bowl to wash up at the end! You could use a mixing bowl and a wooden spoon or a hand mixer if that’s all you have, though.

Step 1) Make The Strawberry Puree

To start, cut the ends off your strawberries and blend them. Add the strawberry puree to a saucepan and simmer for 20 minutes until it’s reduced (this gives you a more potent strawberry flavour and a less watery consistency). Set aside.

Step 2) Prepare Your Tins & Make The Vegan Buttermilk

You’ll start by lining two cake tins with parchment paper and greasing the sides. I used 23cm tins, but you could use slightly smaller tins for smaller, thicker cakes – just be sure to check they’re cooked through by inserting a skewer and making sure it comes out clean.

Preheat your oven, and then mix your soy milk and apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice). Note, it will curdle! That’s supposed to happen.

Step 3) Combine The Wet Ingredients

After that, combine your sugar, oil, strawberry puree, and vanilla extract, then pour in the milk mixture. If you’re using red food coloring to make the cakes extra pink, add that in now. I actually wanted my cakes to be even pinker in the photos, so I’d recommend adding a little more than you think you need!

Step 3) Add The Dry Ingredients

Sift in your flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and gently combine.

Step 4) Bake & Cool

The cakes take about 20 minutes to bake, and then you can allow them to cool for around 10 minutes in the tins before turning them out onto a wire rack to cool completely to room temperature.

Make sure the cakes are fully cooled before icing with your buttercream – I’d recommend placing your vegan strawberry cakes in the fridge for an hour or two, as this really helps the buttercream stick!

Making Your Strawberry Buttercream

To make vegan strawberry buttercream, you will need vegan butter, icing sugar, strawberry puree, and vanilla extract. Start by placing the vegan butter in a large mixing bowl and beat it with an electric mixer on medium speed until it becomes creamy, this should take about 2-3 minutes.

Slowly add the icing sugar to the butter, one cup at a time, while mixing on low speed. Once all the icing sugar has been added, increase the mixer speed to medium-high and beat the buttercream for 2-3 minutes until it becomes light and fluffy.

The next step is to add the strawberry puree and vanilla extract to the buttercream and mix on low speed until well combined. The strawberry puree will give the buttercream a beautiful pink colour and a fresh strawberry flavour.

Taste the buttercream and add more sugar or strawberry puree as needed to achieve your desired sweetness and strawberry flavour. If you prefer, you can use frozen strawberries that have been thawed and pureed instead of fresh strawberries.

Once the desired consistency and flavour is reached, use the buttercream immediately or store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Remember to bring the buttercream to room temperature and re-whip it before using it.

A birdeye view of a pink Vegan Strawberry Cake with pink buttercream and two whole strawberries on top.

Expert Tips For Icing Your Strawberry Cake

You may want to do a crumb coat before adding a final layer of buttercream to your cake. A crumb coat literally just coats the cake in buttercream, filling in any gaps, but you don’t need to be overly neat as you’ll put another layer over the top after refrigerating your cake for an hour or so.

This can really help the strawberry buttercream stick to your coat and create a super smooth, beautiful appearance.

This cake can also be turned into vegan strawberry cupcakes!

Storing Your Cake

Store this cake in the fridge for up to 5 days. I would recommend taking it out of the fridge about an hour before serving so the buttercream can soften up slightly!

This vegan strawberry cake is also suitable for freezing for up to three months. Wrap it in clingfilm or foil, and defrost fully in the fridge before serving.

FAQs

Is this cake suitable for vegans?

Yes, this cake is 100% vegan and does not contain any animal products.

What kind of flour do you use in this cake?

We use all-purpose flour in this cake.

Can this cake be made gluten-free?

This cake can be made gluten-free by substituting the all-purpose flour with a gluten-free flour blend – it’s not something I’ve tried yet, however, so I’m not sure how it would affect the texture and taste of the cake.

How should I store this cake?

This cake should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Can this vegan strawberry cake be frozen?

Yes, this cake can be frozen for up to 3 months. Just wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and then in foil, and thaw it overnight in the refrigerator before serving.

Other cakes and treats you’ll love:

A side on view of a Vegan Strawberry Cake topped with two strawberries. A slice has been cut out the cake so you can see the inside - two layers with strawberry buttercream in the middle.
Vegan Strawberry Cake

Vegan Strawberry Cake

Yield: 1 cake (2 layers)
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Additional Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

Your new go-to recipe for a light, fluffy, fruity vegan strawberry cake that's minimum effort and maximum flavour! This cake feels like spring in cake-form - it's flavoursome, fresh, light, and a real treat. With a beautifully fluffy strawberry buttercream to compliment the strawberry-infused cakes, you'll love this recipe.

Ingredients

  • 450g fresh strawberries / 115g strawberry puree
  • 300g plain flour
  • 250g white granulate sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 125ml oil
  • 80ml plant-based milk
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp pink or red food colouring
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt

Strawberry buttercream

  • 120g vegan butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 450g icing sugar
  • 4 tbsp strawberry puree

Instructions

  1. Cut the ends off your strawberries and blend them. Add the strawberry puree to a saucepan and simmer for 20 minutes until it’s reduced (this gives you a more potent strawberry flavour and a less watery consistency). Set aside.
  2. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C and grease and line two baking tins.
  3. Add your apple cider vinegar to your milk and set it to one side.
  4. Add the strawberry puree, oil, vanilla extract, red food colouring, sugar, and milk, and combine.
  5. Add in your sifted flour, baking powder, baking soda, and a pinch of salt, then gently combine the batter together.
  6. Pour the batter evenly into your two baking tins, and bake for 20 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted.
  7. Allow the cakes to cool in the tins for at least ten minutes after removing them from the oven, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool fully.
  8. Make sure the cakes are completely room temperature before icing - placing them in the fridge for a couple of hours is optimal for icing your cake, however.

To make the buttercream:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, beat vegan butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until creamy, about 2-3 minutes.
  2. Slowly add icing sugar to the butter, one cup at a time, while mixing on low speed.
  3. Once all the icing sugar has been added, increase the mixer speed to medium-high and beat the buttercream for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy.
  4. Add the strawberry puree and vanilla extract to the buttercream and mix on low speed until well combined.
  5. Taste the buttercream and add more sugar or strawberry puree as needed to achieve your desired sweetness and strawberry flavour.
  6. Once the desired consistency and flavour is reached, use the buttercream immediately or store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Remember to bring the buttercream to room temperature and re-whip it before using it.

Notes

This cake will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 - 5 days. It will keep fine in the fridge but note this might dry out the buttercream. To freeze, wrap the cake in plastic wrap and then foil - defrost on the counter or in the fridge fully before eating!

You could also make the cakes ahead of time and freeze them, then decorate them just before serving.

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