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.
Oh, if you’re a fan of fluffy and healthy desserts, check out those: Vegan Chocolate Cake, Vegan Gluten-Free Carrot Cake, Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes and Vegan Funfetti Cupcakes.
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!
Monica | Nourish and Fete
This cake is truly beautiful! I am definitely going to keep this in my back pocket for future celebrations–so lovely to be able to have one gorgeous, delicious cake that satisfies everyone’s dietary needs. Thank you for this recipe!
Hope you will love it as much as we do! Thanks so much for the feedback, Monica!
This was a simple but very delicious and elegant looking cake. I did use coconut sugar and oat milk (I like the creaminess it adds) and the result was fantastic.
Hi Isabelle – so happy to hear you could modify this recipe to suite your needs. Great ideas!!
This is a delicious cake and I loved that it uses fresh strawberries rather than frozen. I used vanilla almond milk for a bit extra vanilla and it turned out fabulous! Thanks for the recipe!
Thanks for sharing your great feedback and review, Kristina! I’m thrilled you are loving the cake!
Strawberry cake is one of my favorites! I have not tried a vegan free version before, so excited to give this recipe a try!
I know you will love this strawberry cake. Let me know how it turns out for you!
This vegan cake recipe was so incredibly delicious, people didn’t believe it was vegan. Thanks so much for the great recipe, I’ll be making it over and over again.
Hi, Nancy! Thank you so much for your sweet review. I’m thrilled to hear you love this cake! Enjoy!
What is the bake time for two 9 inch round pans?
Hi Gabby, for two 9″ round pans, bake for 30-35 minutes, and test doneness with a toothpick before removing the cake from the oven.
Hi! Will this freeze well? I’m making two smash cakes with this recipe, one for tomorrow and one for two weeks from now. The recipe as is gives me enough to make two four-inch layer cakes, so wondering if I can freeze the individual layers wrapped or frosted and assembled in the freezer!
Hi Mandy! Yes, you can freeze the cakes. I recommend freeze them unfrosted. Once you’re ready to use them, transfer to the fridge the night before and let them thaw. Next day, frost and keep them in the fridge.
Remove 30 minutes before you’re going to serve them.
You can also freeze them frosted, if you need to. You’ll find more details within the recipe.
Let me know how it went! Have a wonderful day!
I made this cake last night and tried some 24 hours later and it was delicious. Thank you for the recipe.
Maggie, it always makes my day when someone sends me feedback about a recipe and really loved it! So happy you enjoyed this cake. Thanks for the sweet comment!
This cake was a hit at my son’s birthday party! I am always a little nervous making a recipe for the first time when serving it for a special occasion/guests, but it turned out great. Happy it didn’t require special ingredients as some GF recipes do, since I always have Bob’s 1 to 1 around and needed this on short notice. Thanks for the recipe!
Hi Dori, I’m thrilled you enjoyed the recipe. It’s one of my favorite cakes to make, it’s easy and, as you said, it turns out fantastic. Thanks so much for your sweet comment! Have a wonderful day!
This cake was out of this world! I can’t wait to make again! <3
Thank you for sharing your review! I’m glad that you like this vegan strawberry cake! XO
Would any of the ingredients need to be altered if I was planning to make cupcakes with this recipe? Thanks in advance!
Hi Katie, I haven’t tried making it into cupcakes, I can’t help you with that. Let me know if you do it as I would love to know how it turned out.
Loreto and Nicoletta
What a lovely cake. just looking at it makes me feel it is one of those labor of love desserts, however after reading how to make it, super easy, and we love strawberries! This is a win win in my eyes!
So happy that you love the cake, it’s one of our favorites. I appreciate your feed back!
Woww! This is a cake I have no problem enjoying every day. It’s the most beautiful and delicious strawberry cake I’ve tried and love that it’s plant based and gf.
Hi, Michelle! Thank you so much for your sweet review. I’m thrilled to hear you love this vegan strawberry cake! Enjoy!
Loving this recipe! Not only is it beautiful, it tastes amazing!
So happy that you loved this vegan strawberry cake, Kayla. I appreciate your feed back! ❤️
Wow this strawberry cake looks amazing! I hope I can make mine as beautiful as yours. Thanks for the recipe. I will be making it for my family this weekend!
Hope you will love it as much as we do! Thanks so much, Joshua!
This strawberry cake will be a great celebration cake for us – we need to avoid milk and egg for allergies, and gluten intolerance in another family member, so this will be perfect! It looks spectacular!
Hi! You will have no issues with this cake, it has no eggs, no dairy and no gluten. I hope you like it, Let me know how it turns out for you! XO
Wow! This strawberry cake was absolutely stunning and I love that it is both vegan and gluten free. Your recipe does NOT disappoint and is a new favorite. Thanks for the delicious recipe!
Hi Anaiah, I’m thrilled that you enjoyed making this strawberry cake and that you loved it! Thanks so much for letting me know!