A luscious strawberry sheet cake with fresh strawberries and cream cheese frosting that’s always a crowd-pleaser and easy to take along for potlucks.
The arrival of spring is heralded by daffodils, dogwoods, do-it-yourself projects, and one of my favorite loves, strawberries. Since we’re so close to Florida, we start getting beautiful fresh strawberries in February and March.
And when the Florida strawberries are through for the season, the Georgia strawberries are just getting started and begin to show up in our local farmers markets. So we have fresh, seasonal strawberries from early February through the middle of summer.
Strawberry sheet cake awakens childhood memories of the local Lion’s Club festivals with cakewalks. Do you remember cakewalks? Walk when the music goes and stop when it stops and if you land on the right number you win a cake…I never won a cake but I always tried!
Another occasion for special cakes was Sunday dinner after church. The ladies would bring out their prettiest cakes set on their prettiest dishes. (Not their cardboard cake holders. But hey, you have to use what you’ve got. On that note, I’m on the lookout for a pretty platter to hold a sheet cake if you have any suggestions.)
Strawberry Sheet Cake
I adore this Strawberry Sheet Cake version because it’s a little easier than my Fresh Strawberry Layer Cake but still enough to feed a small gathering.
We had it last weekend for Easter brunch with David’s family and everyone loved it.
You can’t go wrong with a buttercream frosting, but my favorite frosting is nearly always cream cheese. I prefer the tanginess and flavor over just plain buttercream.
This cake would be lovely at a spring picnic or bridal shower, or even just to make a family dinner a little more special. It’s not at all complicated and the flavor is wonderful. The buttermilk makes it moist and tender, and the fresh strawberries lend the perfect amount of strawberry taste.
I did not add the strawberry gelatin and just added a few drops of red food coloring to give it a pink color—but you could totally skip the food coloring and either puree the strawberries or not worry about the color.
Strawberry Sheet Cake
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups cake flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon table salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup full-fat buttermilk
- 3-4 drops red food coloring (optional)
- 2/3 cup chopped fresh strawberries
Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 stick unsalted butter, slightly softened
- 1 8-ounce package Philadelphia cream cheese - not low-fat, slightly softened
- 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
- 1/2 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 3 cups sifted confectioner's sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh strawberries
Preheat oven to 350.
Lightly grease 9 x 13-inch baking pan or dish and line with parchment paper so that 2-3 inches extend over sides. Lightly spray the parchment paper.
Beat butter at medium speed until creamy. Gradually add sugar and beat 5-7 minutes until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, and mix just until blended. Mix in lemon juice, vanilla, and red food coloring if using.
Whisk together flour, soda, salt, and baking powder. Add flour mixture to butter alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour, beating on low speed just until blended.
Stir in strawberries. Spread batter evenly into prepared pan or dish.
Bake 30-40 minutes, until tester inserted in middle comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack for thirty minutes, then lift cake from pan using parchment paper sides and invert onto platter. Gently remove parchment paper and allow cake to cool completely before frosting.
Cream butter, cream cheese, shortening, salt, and vanilla. Add lemon juice. Gradually add confectioner's sugar. Gently stir in the chopped strawberries.
If frosting is too runny, place it in the refrigerator for half an hour.
Frosting recipe from my Fresh Strawberry Cake.
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