This Vanilla Strawberry Cake has alternating layers of soft eggless vanilla cake and sweet strawberry buttercream. It's then topped with a white chocolate drip, fresh strawberries and white chocolate chips. If that wasn't enough, it's also gluten free, nut free and can easily be vegan!
The flavors of this beautiful Vanilla Strawberry Cake are subtle and soft. No one flavor overpowers the rest; they blend together in a harmonious manner just like my Strawberry Filled Cupcakes.
Reasons to Love this Cake
- Allergy Friendly- This cake is gluten free, nut free, egg free and can easily be dairy free (vegan).
- Soft & Fluffy- This cake is super soft and delicious just like my Gluten Free Birthday Cake.
- Strawberry Buttercream- Layers of strawberry frosting ensure you get lovely sweetness in every bite!
For the Cake
- Gluten Free Flour- If you also have nut allergies, make sure to use a brand that’s made in a nut free facility. I really love to use this one because it’s nut safe but it does contain dairy.
- Milk of choice- If there are no dairy allergies or if you’re not vegan, you can use regular whole milk. For non dairy, use a non dairy milk of your choosing.
- Pure Vanilla Extract- Make sure the vanilla you use is pure and gf.
- Vegetable Oil- Adds moisture into this cake; there is no butter or vegan baking stick.
- Strawberry Buttercream- This is a homemade buttercream frosting made from fresh strawberries just like in our Strawberry Red Velvet Cake!
Click here for the strawberry buttercream ingredient list and recipe. You will need to double the recipe.
See my recipe card below for a complete list of the ingredients with measurements.
Substitutions and Variations
How to Make this Vegan
- Use a gluten free flour that’s free from dairy.
- Only use a non dairy milk of choice.
- Make sure to use vegan baking sticks instead of butter in the frosting recipe.
- Use allergy friendly white chocolate chips.
- Only use a vegan heavy cream or use my vegan ganache recipe from my strawberry red velvet cake. If using that recipe, simply swap out the chocolate chips for white chocolate chips.
This recipe has not been tested with these substitutions and/or variations due to celiac disease and food allergies. If you change any of the ingredients, please let us know how the recipe turned out in the comments below!
Step by Step Instructions with Pictures
Here are the steps to make this cake!
Step 1: Whisk Together the Dry Ingredients
In a large bowl whisk together the gluten free flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
Step 2: Mix Together the Wet Ingredients and Brown Sugar
In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk of choice, light brown sugar, vegetable oil and the vanilla.
Step 3: Add the Wet Ingredients into the Dry
Slowly add the milk mixture into the dry ingredients and whisk to combine. It if gets too thick, switch to a spatula but it should be fairly liquidy.
Step 4: Scoop the Batter
Using a spatula, divide the batter equally between two greased and parchment lined 8 inch cake pans; smooth the tops with a butter knife.
Step 5: Bake the Cakes
Bake the cakes in the center rack at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 35 minutes until golden on top and slightly springy when carefully touched.
Step 6: Cut the Cakes
Remove cakes from the oven and let them cool in the cake pans.
Once the cakes have cooled completely, take them out of the pan and slice them in half horizontally to create 4 thinner layers of cake.
If the tops of your cakes have domes, you can very carefully slice them off to make the tops flat.
Step 7: Make the Frosting
For this cake, I use my strawberry buttercream recipe. You will need to double the recipe.
Assembling the Cake Tips
Step 1: Divide the Frosting
Separate the frosting into 5 equal sections.
Step 2: Frost One Layer
Place one layer of cake on a cake plate/stand. Scoop ⅕ (about 1 cup) of frosting on top of the layer and use an icing spatula to spread it around.
Step 3: Repeat the Process
Place another layer of cake on top; repeat this same process. Do this with 3 layers of cake.
Step 4: Keep the Top and Sides Thin
Once you get to the top layer of cake, place it bottom (or flat) side up so the top of the cake is nice and flat.
Use an icing spatula to frost the top and a thin layer on the sides.
You should only use ⅕th of the frosting on the top and sides combined.
Step 5: Chill the Cake
Pop the entire cake in the fridge uncovered for 15-20 minutes. This will make it more stable to work with.
Make the Ganache
Step 1: Place the White Chocolate Chips in a Heat Safe Bowl
Set the bowl with the chips aside.
Step 2: Heat the Heavy Cream
Set the heavy cream in a saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly.
When it begins to simmer around the edges, immediately pour the cream over the white chocolate chips.
Step 3: Let it Sit
Do not whisk the heavy cream and white chocolate chips together yet!
Let it sit for one minute and then whisk until combined and smooth.
Make the Drip
Step 1: Spoon the Ganache
Take the cake out of the fridge and immediately spoon almost all the liquid ganache on top of the cake.
Step 2: Push the Ganache
Using an icing spatula, push the ganache around the edges of the cake so it drips down the sides.
Work quickly because the cold cake will quickly stop the ganache from dripping too much.
Decorate the Top
Step 1: Make Swirls
Put the remaining ⅕th of the frosting into a piping bag.
Make swirls all around the edge of the top of the cake.
Step 2: Add White Chocolate Chips and Strawberries
Sprinkle some more gluten free/nut free/vegan white chocolate chips on top of the frosting swirl.
Place 3-5 strawberries in the center of the top of the cake.
Expert Baking Tips
- Smoothing the Batter- Many gluten free flour batters have a way of staying exactly as they are placed, when baked. If you leave it misshapen, that’s how it will remain when baked. When the batter is in the cake tins, gently smooth the tops with a butter knife.
- Use Fresh/Frozen Strawberries When Making the Buttercream- Many people make strawberry frosting with freeze dried strawberries. When I was looking for freeze dried ones I discovered many companies make them in facilities that also process gluten and nuts. The safer route is to use fresh or frozen. See how to make the buttercream here.
Most gluten free baked goods are best made the same day, but you can make this cake the night before and then do the ganache and pipe the extra buttercream in the morning.
If making the night before, keep the cake in the fridge under a dome or wrapped in foil until ready to decorate.
Yes this recipe makes 18 cupcakes.
Bake them at the same temperature for 24 minutes until tops are golden and springy when gently and carefully poked.
To decorate the cake, if you don’t have a piping bag you can use your icing spatula or butter knife or the back of a spoon to make swirls or marks all over.
You can look at my Vegan Vanilla Cake for inspiration.
Yes! You can make the frosting the night before.
Store it in a bowl covered with plastic wrap in the fridge.
When ready to use, bring the frosting to room temperature and rewhip if you want to regain that creaminess.
Yes! Just simply replace the white chocolate chips with whatever chocolate chips you desire.
Storing and Freezing
Since gluten free and eggless baked goods are best the first day, we want to try to keep this vanilla strawberry cake as fresh as possible.
Once the cake is cut into, it’s best to cut the entire cake into slices, wrap each slice in foil and store in a zip top bag in the fridge.
This is if you will be eating all the slices the next two days.
Also, I would remove any strawberries on top of the cake prior to wrapping the slices and use fresh when reserving. They can make the icing very wet.
When ready to eat, let the slices sit on the counter, in the foil for about an hour or until the cake is room temperature and soft.
I like to warm each slice in the microwave for 10 seconds.
If not eating all the extra slices in the next two days, take the slices wrapped in foil and in the zip top bag and freeze them.
I would remove any strawberries on top of the cake prior to freezing and use fresh when reserving. They can make the icing very wet when they defrost.
You can keep the slices frozen for up to 30 days.
When ready to eat, put the slices in the fridge the night before or leave them out on the counter for 2 hours prior to eating or until the cake is room temperature and soft.
Warm each slice in the microwave for 10 seconds.
Other Strawberry Recipes You'll Love
Did you try this recipe? Please leave me a ⭐ review below!
Vanilla Strawberry Cake
For The Cake
- 2 ¼ cups gluten free flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 ½ cups milk of choice
- ½ cup packed light brown sugar
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
For The Strawberry Buttercream
- Make the strawberry buttercream with this recipe. You will need to double the recipe.
For The Ganache
- 6 oz white chocolate chips about 1 cup
- ½ cup heavy cream *see note for vegan
- 2 tablespoons white chocolate chips
- 3-5 whole strawberries, washed
For The Cake
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease and line two 8 inch cake pans with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the gluten free flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk of choice, the light brown sugar, the vegetable oil and the vanilla.
- Slowly add the milk mixture into the flour mixture and use a spatula to combine as it gets thick.
- With a spatula, scoop half the batter into one pan and the other half into the other pan. Smooth the tops with a butter knife.
- Bake both cakes in the center rack of the oven for 35 minutes.
- Let them cool in the pan and then transfer to a cooling rack.
- Once the cakes have cooled completely, cut them in half horizontally. Now you will have 4 thinner layers of cake. If the cake tops are domed, you can carefully cut the tops off to make them flat.
For The Buttercream
- Make the Strawberry Buttercream using this recipe. You will need to double the recipe.
- Divide the frosting into 5 equal servings.
Assemble The Cake
- Place one layer of cake on the cake stand. Take ⅕th of the frosting and frost the top. Place another layer of cake on top and repeat. Do this process 3 times.
- Frost a thin layer of frosting on the top of the cake and sides of the cake. Use a cake scraper or an icing spatula to scrape excess frosting off the sides of the cake. This should be a semi naked cake.
- Pop in the fridge uncovered for 15 min to harden.
Make The Ganache
- Place the white chocolate chips in a heat safe bowl. Place heavy cream in a pan on the stove over medium heat.
- Whisk constantly until the edges begin to simmer. Immediately pour on top of chips and do NOT mix!
- Let sit 1-2 min then whisk until fully combined and smooth
Make The Drip & Decorate
- Take the cake out of the fridge. Spoon almost all of the liquid ganache on top of the cake. Take an icing spatula and push the ganache around to the edges of the cake so it drips down the sides. Work quickly since the cold cake will harden the ganache fast.
- Put the rest of the frosting into a piping bag and pipe swirls all around the edge of the outside of the top of the cake.
- Top with extra white chocolate chips and 3-5 washed whole strawberries.