Ultimate Fresh Strawberry Butter Cake or UFSBC

  • Serves: For this tutorial: Makes two 5 x 2-inch cakes. You can use any size pan up to two 9 x 2-inch pans, one 9 x 13-inch pan or 32- 36 cupcakes
  • Baking Temp (degrees F): 325 to 350
  • Views: 24465
  • Comments: 23

Variations: Fresh Strawberries and Cream Cake; "I Heart Strawberries" Cupcakes; Ultimate Fresh Raspberry Butter Cake or UFRBC, below; Ultimate Butter Cake or UBC and VariationsUltimate Chocolate Butter Cake or UCBC and Variations 

For a great strawberry flavor using real strawberries, this cake is perfect. It has been created to have a moist and has a sturdy texture, with lots of strawberry flavor, which is hard to achieve when baking with fresh strawberries! To gild the lily, we filled ours with sliced strawberries and iced the cake with Swiss Meringue Buttercream or SMBC, Strawberry flavor variation. Our homegrown strawberries were perfect on the top. The Master Recipe for this is the Ultimate Butter Cake or UBC

Jane, from another baking forum, Says: "I ran across these new flavors for the butter cake and was intrigued to try them since I love the ultimate butter cake. I made the strawberry cake yesterday, and thought it was divine! It was all gone by this morning! ...This is by far the best from scratch strawberry recipe I have tried so far." 11-27-05


QUESTION: Jimmy Nix: I made the Strawberry Butter cake for a customer Sat. and Iced it Sun.with Italian butter cream. It was delicious but boy was it hard to work with. I used the exact recipe with the fresh strawberry chopped fine in the food prosessor and Hersheys strawberry syrup. Lucky that I made a spare layer because one layer when torted split right down the center. Any suggestions. Thanks Jimmy
SARAH SAYS: Hi, Thanks for letting me know. I am so sorry! The strawberry puree you used - was it thick or runny?

JIMMY NIX: It was thick, but it was fresh, hardly any juice. I didn't cook the puree. The layers were great when frozen but were really crumbly when room temp. But it worked out OK the cake was just a little shorter than I expected. Not the first time. thanks Jimmy
SARAH SAYS: Fresh versus cooked fruit purees are very different. The puree needs to be cooked before using. It helps break down the fruit and also helps cook off a lot of the excess liquid that forms when baking with fresh fruit. It also has something to do with the pectin in the fruit - cooking brings out the pectin in the fruit which helps solidify the juices formed during baking and enhance the recipe. Pectin is a natural substance used to thicken jams, jellies, and preserves. Pectin is naturally present in fruits, but most don't have enough to jell - Raspberries and blueberries, for instance, are low in pectin, but cooking them first helps! The alternative is to cook the mixture until it's reduced to the desired consistency. Pectin will only work when combined with a specific balance of sugar and acid. Sure-jell is pectin and is added to fruit to help solidify it when baking pies.

Jimmy Nix: Dear Sarah I've made the Strawberry Butter cake 2 more times this week and both cakes were fantastic. What I changed was I cooked the puree, I guess our strawberries have a lot of water. Both cakes were great and I froze both until completely decorated and the buttercream set. Live and learn. Been baking cakes since I was 9 years old and I learn something every day I bake. Thanks

4 cups unbleached all purpose flour, spoon into measuring cup and level to rim
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

1 cup strawberries; makes about 1/2 cup strawberry puree
1 to 2 teaspoons lemon peel or 1/4 teaspoon citrus oil or 1 tablespoon grated orange peel

1 cup whole or 2% milk; can be cold from the refrigerator
2 tablespoons strawberry milk syrup, optional
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon strawberry extract, optional
1 teaspoon lemon or orange extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract, optional

2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter; can be cold from the refrigerator, cut into chunks
2 cups sugar or superfine sugar
3 large eggs; can be cold from the refrigerator

1. Position the oven shelf in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (if using two 5 x 2-inch pans)
SARAH SAYS: If you use dark, nonstick baking pans or ovenproof, Pyrex glass pans, for this recipe, DO NOT reduce the oven heat lower than 325 degrees F.

NOTE: If using two 9 x 2-inch pans, one 9 x 13-inch pan or 32- 36 cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
SARAH SAYS: If you use dark, nonstick baking pans or ovenproof, Pyrex glass pans, for this recipe, DO NOT reduce the oven heat lower than 325 degrees F.

2. Grease two 5 x 2-inch, preferably light colored, heavy NOT nonstick pans. (Bake the remaining batter as cupcakes).
KELLY SAYS:To prevent the cakes from sticking to the pans, I like to use a greased circle of parchment on the bottom of my pans. Then I don't have to worry!

3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
KELLY SAYS: After measuring, I like to sift together the dry ingredients.

4. Make the Strawberry Puree
A. Hull the 1 cup strawberries and place them in a food processor fitted with a steel blade.
KELLY SAYS: I like to use the small end of a melon baler to hull strawberries. It works like a charm!

B. Pulse food processor and puree berries until fine, and measure out 1/2 cup and place it in a bowl. Use any extra for another use.

C. Zest one lemon and add the zest to the strawberry puree and stir.


5. In a large mixing bowl, add the milk. Stir in the strawberry milk syrup, vanilla, strawberry, lemon and almond extracts, and the strawberry puree. Set aside.

6. Cream the butter and sugar:
A. Beat the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, on low until softened. (If the butter is cold, it will warm quickly from the beaters - taking about 60 seconds).

B. Add the sugar in a steady stream at the side of the bowl. Increase speed to medium and beat for 1 minute until the butter is lighter in color and aerated.

SARAH SAYS: Another way to tell when the mixture is aerated properly, is when there are ridges of butter and sugar left at the side of the bowl as the beater moves through it. The butter is tacky and not too soft and has not melted.

C. Stop the mixer and scrape the side and bottom of the bowl with a large rubber spatula.

7. Add the eggs:
A. With the mixer on low, add the eggs one at a time and beat for 20 seconds after each addition.

B. After the eggs have been added, increase the mixer speed to medium and beat the mixture for 2 minutes. (If the eggs are cold, the batter will curdle slightly. It's ok. It will come together as the batter warms from the beaters. ) Set the kitchen timer to help you keep track of the time. The mixture will become fluffy and aerated.
SARAH SAYS: Notice that the mixture forms ridges on the side of the mixing bowl after the beaters pull through the mixture; the batter is tacky and not too warm so it sticks to the side of the mixing bowl! The batter has become light and fluffy, as well!

8. Add the flour and milk / strawberry puree mixture to the creamed butter and eggs:
A. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture in 3 equal portions, alternating with the milk mixture in 2 equal portions, beginning and ending with the flour. (If the milk is cold, the batter will curdle slightly. It's ok. It will come together when you add the flour.)
SARAH SAYS: Add the flour and liquid ingredients in increments quickly; do not wait in between additions too long as you don't want to overmix the batter.

B. After completing the last addition of flour, stop the mixer, and scrape the side and bottom of the bowl with a large rubber spatula.
Then, let the mixer run for 30 seconds on LOW. The batter will be very thick and form ridges on the side of the bowl as the beater pulls through the batter. STOP the mixer. Do NOT overmix.

9. Remove the mixing bowl from the mixer. With a large rubber spatula, give the batter ONE or TWO quick folds to incorporate any stray flour or milk left at the sides and bottom of the bowl. Then, STOP!

10. Divide the batter in the prepared baking pans (should fill each one 1/2 full) and lightly smooth the tops.


11. Bake (two, 5 x 2-inch pans) for 30-35 minutes or until the top feels firm and gives slightly when touched and will shrink slightly from the side of the pan. The cake will be slightly browned. If you insert a toothpick in the middle and remove, there should be a few moist crumbs attached, but not batter. The cakes will have a slight dome and small cracks on top right when it comes from the oven, but as the cakes cool, they will flatten on top and the tiny cracks will disappear.

NOTE: Two, 9 x 2-inch pans: Bake for 40 to 45 minutes
9 x 13 x 2-inch, greased cake pan: Bake for 45 - 55 minutes
Cupcakes: Bake for 20 - 30 minutes

12. Remove cakes to cool on wire racks for 10 to 15 minutes. Loosen the sides with a small metal spatula or sharp knife, taking care not to scratch the cake pan. Invert onto cake rack and place upright to cool completely. Be careful, the cakes are delicate when warm.

The cake layers store nicely. They can be stored at room temperature for about 3 or more days. The cake layers freeze well for about a month or more. Keep well wrapped.

Fresh Strawberries and Cream Cake
"I Heart Strawberries" Cupcakes

Raspberry: Use raspberry puree in place of the strawberry puree.
Ultimate Butter Cake and Variations
Ultimate Chocolate Butter Cake or UCBC and Variations

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