This Vegan Gluten Free Strawberry Cake is a classic turned into vegan and gluten free. It can’t be moister and fluffier and it’s not at all overly sweet. Both the cake and the buttercream are made with fresh strawberries. It’s the perfect spring and summer dessert!
WHY MAKE THIS RECIPE
It’s made with fresh strawberries, no artificial flavour added. Both the cake and the buttercream use just fresh strawberry puree. Looking for a healthy cake with real fruit that can be made all year? Look no more, this is it! Strawberries are available year-round.
It’s moist, fluffy and healthy at the same time. This Vegan Gluten Free Strawberry Cake has a very tender crumb thanks to the addition of the strawberry puree. Also, it’s not overly sweet and just perfect to pair it with this addictive Vegan Strawberry Buttercream frosting.
It’s a show stopper in any party, with its beautiful pink frosting and its fresh and natural toppings. There is a perfect balance of sweetness and texture between the vegan strawberry cake and the buttercream, so there is no need for adding complicated toppings to this perfectly balanced cake.
It’s as easy as it looks in the step by step images below. It truly is! No fancy or difficult-to-find ingredients, minimal equipment needed and easy to follow instructions. I never want to make a recipe more difficult than it needs to be.
Oh, and it ticks all the boxes, it’s vegan, gluten-free, egg-free and dairy-free.
INGREDIENT NOTES AND SUBSTITUTIONS
Strawberries. Fresh strawberries is the best option here for the strawberry puree. I haven’t tried with frozen, but if you do, keep in mind that frozen strawberries are more watery so add an extra ½ cup of flour to balance the extra juice.
Flour. Gluten free all-purpose flour is what I usually use here. If you happen to run out of it, substitute all-purpose gluten-free flour for all-purpose flour at a ratio of 1:1.
Vegetable milk. Almond milk, oat milk or soy milk are the best choices for baking, although you can perfectly use rice milk, hemp milk, flax milk, cashew or coconut milk.
Sugar. I either use cane sugar, brown sugar or granulated (white) sugar, what I have on hand. Cane sugar and brown sugar are moister than granulated. This is a super moist cake, so don’t worry at all if you only have granulated sugar, the cake will turn out equally tender and fluffy.
STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS TO MAKE THE CAKE
- To make the cake: Preheat the oven to 350ºF / 180ºC and line three 6-inch cake pans with parchment paper.
- Puree the fresh strawberries, using an immersion or stand blender. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, mix the vegan milk with the lemon juice to make the vegan buttermilk. Gently stir and let sit for two minutes.
- In a large bowl, beat the butter for 3-5 minutes, until pale and fluffy.
- Sift in the flour, sugar, baking soda and baking powder.
- Whisk gently for 30 seconds to combine. The mixture will look crumbly.
- Add the buttermilk, strawberry puree and vanilla.
- Mix on high speed for 30 seconds, until fully combined.
- Divide the batter evenly between the three lined pans.
- Bake at 350ºF/ 180ºC for 25-30 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes before unmolding. Let cool completely before frosting.
STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS TO MAKE THE BUTTERCREAM
- To make the Buttercream: First, puree the strawberries. Then, In a large bowl, beat the butter until creamy and pale.
- Add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time. Mix at low speed. Add the strawberry puree and vanilla. Mix until your buttercream is smooth.
- Once the cakes are cooled, frost the top of each cake and stack them. Place in the freezer for 15 minutes.
- Remove from freezer and apply a crumb coat (thin layer) of frosting. Freeze for 30 minutes to help set the crumb coat.
Remove from the freezer and frost the sides and top of the cake. Decorate with fresh strawberries.
Although I think nothing beats the taste of fresh strawberries, you could substitute the strawberry puree for one cup of jam, and adjust the sugar in the recipe by removing ¼ cup of sugar.
Cake layers can be wrapped and stored at room temperature overnight. Make sure they have completely cooled before wrapping them. If you make them more than 24 hours in advance, just wrap and store in the fridge until you’re going to frost them.
The Vegan Strawberry Buttercream can be prepared 1-2 days ahead and stored in the fridge. Cover it with plastic wrap to prevent the frosting from drying out on the surface. It thickens when it cools down, but you don’t need to bring it to room temperature before using it.
Because life’s busy you may need to prepare your cakes in advance.
Freezing unfrosted cake layers can’t be easier. Bake and completely cool the cakes, and double wrap individually in plastic wrap. Place the cakes in a freezer bag. If you don’t have big enough freezer bags, wrap them with aluminum foil. Freeze for up to 3 months.
To freeze a frosted cake, first place it in the freezer until the frosting is hard. Double wrap in plastic wrap and place in a freezer bag. It can last up to 3 months.
Sure! This recipe will also make a 2-layer 8-inch cake or a 2-layer 9-inch cake.
If you try this recipe don’t forget to rate it and let me know how it went in the comments below! You can also FOLLOW ME on Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram to see more delicious food and what I’m getting up to.
Vegan Gluten Free Strawberry Cake
- Three 6-inch round cake pans
- Immersion blender, stand blender or food processor
- Hand mixer or stand mixer
- Big mixing bowl
- Silicone spatula
For the Vegan Gluten Free Strawberry Cake
- 2½ cups all-purpose gluten-free flour
- 1 cup cane sugar (or granulated sugar)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- ⅔ cup vegan butter , at room temperature
- ½ cup plant-based milk (almond, oat, soy or rice milk)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1½ cups strawberry puree (2 cups fresh strawberries)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Additional strawberries, for garnishing , optional
For the Vegan Strawberry Buttercream
- 1 cup vegan butter , at room temperature
- 3½ cups powdered sugar
- ¼ cup strawberry puree (¾ cup fresh strawberries)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Red food colouring , optional
For the Vegan Gluten Free Strawberry Cake:
- To make the cake: Preheat the oven to 350ºF / 180ºC and line three 6-inch cake pans with parchment paper. I use round parchment paper to line the bottom of my pans. Lightly spray with cooking spray so that the cakes don’t stick.
- Puree the fresh strawberries, using an immersion blender, stand blender or a food processor. Set aside. I don’t normally strain the puree, but you can do it if the seeds bother you.
- In a small bowl, mix the vegan milk with the lemon juice to make the vegan buttermilk. Gently stir and let sit for two minutes. The milk curdles and reaches a buttermilk-like texture and taste.
- In a large bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer, beat the butter for 3-5 minutes, until pale and fluffy.
- Sift in the flour, sugar, baking soda and baking powder. Whisk gently for one minute to combine. The mixture will look crumbly.
- Add the buttermilk, strawberry puree and vanilla. Mix on high speed for 30 secons, until fully combined.
- Divide the batter evenly between the three lined pans.
- Bake at 350ºF/ 180ºC for 25-30 minutes. Insert a tooth pick in the centre of your cake, if it comes out clean the cakes are done.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes before unmolding. Let cool completely before frosting. If you need to speed the cooling process, place the cakes in the refrigerator or freezer.
- Once the cakes have cooled down, frost with the Vegan Strawberry Buttercream and top with fresh strawberries. I like to refrigerate my cakes before frosting, it makes it easier to assemble the cake.
For the Vegan Strawberry Buttercream
- To make the Buttercream: Using an immersion or stand blender, puree the fresh strawberries. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat the butter until creamy and pale, using an electric or stand mixer.
- Add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time. Mix at low speed. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula after each addition.
- Add the strawberry puree and vanilla. Mix until everything is well combined and your buttercream is smooth. Add in food coloring if using, two drops will be enough.
- If you want your buttercream to be firmer, place it in the freezer for 15-30 minutes or refrigerate for one hour, before filling your cake. Keep it refrigerated until you frost your cakes.
For Frosting and Assembling the Cake
- You can frost the cakes as they are, those are very moist and the top of the cake will get even moister once you frost them with the buttercream. Anyway, I like to level my cakes with a cake leveler, but a serrated knife will do the job too. Leveling your cakes is a matter of minutes and it looks beautiful when you slice the cake to serve it.
- Once your cakes are cooled and levelled, line the edges of a cake plate with pieces of parchment paper that can be easily removed when the cake is finished.
- Start spreading the buttercream on each cake and stack them on the prepared plate. Place in the freezer for 15 minutes.
- Remove from freezer and apply a crumb coat (thin layer) of frosting to seal the crumbs. Freeze for 30 minutes to help set the crumb coat.
- Remove from the freezer and frost the sides and top of the cake with a pallet knife or a spatula. Decorate with fresh strawberries. Enjoy!