Old Fashioned Strawberry Cake

My grandmother always made the most delicious old fashioned strawberry cake for my birthday when I was a kid. The recipe has been in our family for generations and it’s one of those desserts that you can’t really find anywhere else anymore. It might seem like an old fashioned dessert, but this is one that will be passed down to your kids as well!

The Perfect Summer Cake

This is the perfect summertime dessert because it has such a light flavor with just enough sweetness. It’s perfect for those hot summer days and it’s also great to make when you want something that isn’t too heavy.

The cake itself is bursting with flavor and perfectly moist. The addition of the strawberry-infused frosting adds the perfect finishing touch. It’s not only a delicious dessert to eat, but it looks so pretty too!

A Family Recipe for Generations

The recipe for old fashioned strawberry cake comes from my grandmother’s own mother, who was an avid baker. She always had a passion for cooking and passed that on to her daughter when she got married.

I’m sure this cake will become a family favorite in your household too. Because my grandmother always made it for me on my birthday, I now do the same thing with my own son. It’s now one of his favorites as well!

old fashioned strawberry cake in a rectangular cake pan

The recipe is simple, but the taste is something that you won’t forget. This old fashioned strawberry cake will be a favorite for generations to come and it’s delicious enough to enjoy as an anytime treat!

Recipe Tips and Variations

  • Strawberries: Fresh strawberries are a must. Do not use frozen, as they contain too much water.
  • Cake Pan: I like to make this in a rectangular cake pan, but round works too. You may, however, need to adjust the cook time. The rectangular pan makes for cutting easy slices, and easy is what we all want in the summer!
  • Techniques: There’s a few old-fashioned techniques used to make this cake that are not as commonly used anymore. Just go with it! The cake is worth it!
  • Drain Well: Be sure to drain the strawberries well to avoid excess moisture in the baked cake. Let the excess water drain through a sieve, then blot with a paper towel.

How to Make The Cake

old fashioned strawberry cake ingredients text overlay

Mash the strawberries in a sieve and allow the extra water and juice to drain from them.

Stir together the dry ingredients and set aside.

The next technique is one I’ve never done before – melt the butter in a saucepan, then add oil and water. I dare not mess with my granny’s recipes, so I’ve always made it as-is!

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and blend with an electric mixer or stand mixer. Then, the egg and buttermilk mixture will get combined, and finally the mashed strawberries.

The resulting batter will be a pretty pink color. Once baked, it is a little less pink. If you want to cake to have more color, feel free to add a drop of food coloring.

The frosting is a simple (but delicious!) mixture of cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, strawberries and a dash of vanilla. It’s one of my favorite frosting recipes and is the perfect topping for this delightful summer cake.

To make the pretty strawberry garnishes, simply cut slits three-quarters of of the way up each strawberry, and slightly fan the slices out.

Then all that’s left is to enjoy!

Old Fashioned Strawberry Cake

strawberry cake in pan with slices removed
This old fashioned strawberry cake will be a summer favorite for generations to come and it's delicious enough to enjoy as an anytime treat!
Jenna Shaughnessy
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Serving Size 12



  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons of baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups mashed strawberries


  • 1 8 oz block cream cheese, softened
  • 1 stick butter sliced in chunks, softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar may need more if icing is too thin
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup mashed strawberries drained well


To Make The Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 13 x 9 pan.
  • Stir together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a mixing bowl. Set aside.
  • Melt butter in a saucepan, then add oil and water.  Bring to a boil for 1 minute.
  • Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients in mixing bowl.  Blend with a mixer on medium speed for 1 minute.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk eggs and buttermilk together. Pour into contents in mixing bowl.
  • Add mashed strawberries and mix batter for 1 minute on medium speed until combined
  • Pour batter into the pan.
  • Bake for 40 minutes until cake springs bake in the center (or a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean).  
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.

To Make Icing

  • Place cream cheese in a mixer and blend until smooth.  Add slices of butter gradually and continue to blend until creamy.
  • Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time and mix until thickened. Mix in vanilla.
  • Drain strawberries well, and soak up an excess moisture with paper towel. Add to mixture.
  • Blend until icing turns pink.
  • If icing is too thin, add more powdered sugar to thicken.
  • Pour icing on top of cooled cake and spread with a knife or spatula.
  • Top cake with additional strawberries for decoration.

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