Gluten-Free Fresh Strawberry Cake {no xanthan gum}

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This easy Gluten-Free Fresh Strawberry Cake is made with fresh strawberries baked into the cake using a vibrant strawberry reduction. The same reduction is used in the gorgeously creamy Strawberry Cream Cheese Buttercream making every bite taste of hazy lazy summer days.

strawberry cake on wooden board surrounded by strawberries

You have never tasted a Gluten-Free Strawberry Cake quite like this one. It’s fresh, light with the bountiful taste of summer’s juiciest sweetest strawberries. If you love eating strawberries and cream in the sunshine with friends and family then this is the perfect cake for you.

Why is this recipe so brilliant?

  • We use a strawberry reduction which is made from puréed strawberries to give the most intense and vibrant strawberry flavour.
  • The cake is glorified by this heavenly Cream Cheese Strawberry Buttercream which tastes of Wimbledon and garden parties.
  • It is beautiful with its naturally pink strawberry hue and no food colouring in sight.
  • A gluten-free strawberry cake is made with a blend of alternative flours which amplify the fresh delicate flavours within the cake.
  • There is no xanthan gum. The cake is still light and fluffy thanks to the choice of gluten-free flours – this post explains why I never bake with xanthan gum.

strawberry cake on wooden board surrounded by strawberries

How do you make strawberry cake taste of actual strawberries?

We use actual fresh summer strawberries which are puréed and added to the batter of the cake.

However, there is a little extra step which is incredibly necessary to really infuse that strawberry flavour without adding an excess of liquid.

We reduce the strawberry purée.

And it sounds more of a faff than it is. Because the rest of the cake is so easy then this tiny little step before we get started isn’t any trouble.

strawberries in a bowl

How to make strawberry reduction

For the whole recipe you need 900g strawberries. It’s a lot but it’s necessary as we are taking all of the flavour of those strawberries and infusing it straight into our cake. We want as much strawberry flavour as possible.

hulled strawberries on a board with strawberry stalks and whole strawberries in separate bowls

  1. Place the strawberries in a blender and whizz until they are smooth.
  2. Pour the strawberry soup into a medium/large saucepan and turn the heat on.
  3. Bring the strawberries up to a gentle simmering boil and keep at that heat, making sure it doesn’t boil too fiercely.
  4. Simmer the strawberries for 25-30 minutes until the strawberries have completely reduced. The purée will be very thick so that you can dollop it off a teaspoon and it’s barely runny.saucepan of strawberry puree
  5. Place the purée in the fridge to cool completely before using. It will thicken up even more as it cools. Either leave in the fridge overnight or place in the freezer for 15 minutes to speed up the process.

close up of strawberry puree

Baker’s Tips

  • This cake is best made with strawberries that are in season which will always have the freshest fruitiest flavour.
  • Use a strawberry huller for removing the stems of the strawberries. You will not regret buying this little gadget!
  • Don’t worry about straining the strawberries their seeds are light and will get lost within the cake once its baked.
  • Keep an eye on your purée and keep stirring from the bottom of the pan every so often. It will burn if left unattended.
  • Leave overnight to cool in the fridge or put it in the freezer for about 15 minutes before using. The purée needs to be cold before adding to the sponge batter or to the buttercream.
  • After I have blended and poured out the strawberries I pour a little bit of milk into the blender and whizz it up. It will gather the scrapings of strawberry purée from the sides which produces a small glass of delicious strawberry milk.

ingredients for strawberry cake

Gluten-Free Flours

The following choice of alternative flours here really amplifies the flavours of this gluten-free strawberry cake providing a lovely backdrop for the strawberries.

Sweet Rice Flour – excellent for binding, a lovely delicately floral taste which pairs beautifully with the strawberries. Adds structure and bounce to the sponge. For an in depth look on how you can further use sweet rice flour in your baking go to this post here.

Oat Flour – Gives the cake a light fluffiness as well as a light buttery flavour. For an in depth look on how you can use oat flour in your baking go to this post here.

If you are intolerant to oat flour then sorghum flour is a good alternative.

Tapioca Flour – this is another starch and it’s good to sub in a little of this as sweet rice flour can be a little overpowering and make the cake too chewy if used in excess. Tapioca flour evens it out. For an in depth look on how you can use tapioca flour in your baking go to this post here.

close up of strawberry cake batter in mixing bowl

strawberry cake on wooden board surrounded by strawberries

It’s all about that buttercream

This strawberry cake is essentially complimented by this light creamy and, let’s face it – indulgent, Strawberry Cream Cheese Buttercream. A mere lick will conjure up visions of croquet on a freshly laid summer lawn, a glass of Pimms in hand and the scent of a laden bowl of juicy strawberries and cream.

It’s also very easy to make since you have already made the strawberry purée for the cake. You just need:

Unsalted butter
Icing sugar
Full fat cream cheese
Strawberry purée
Vanilla extract
Salt

Beat the butter and sugar together until very light and fluffy – about 6 minutes with an electric beater. Then add the rest of the ingredients and beat until the cream cheese and strawberry purée are just combined, smooth and with no lumps.

overhead view of strawberry cake on wooden board surrounded by strawberries and slices of cake

Cream Cheese Buttercream Tips

  • If you are based in the UK then you must use Philadelphia and use it straight out of the fridge. The cream cheese should be super cold since as soon as it warms up it goes quite runny. Philadelphia full fat version is the firmest cream cheese available.
  • For the same reason make sure you don’t overmix the buttercream. As soon as the cream cheese is added you want to mix it until just combined.
  • Fill and cover the cake with the buttercream immediately.
  • If you are in the US then use the blocks of cream cheese which has less water content and so won’t go as runny in the mixing process. You lucky things as your buttercream will be much more forgiving and a lot easier to work with. This kind of cream cheese unfortunately isn’t available in the UK.

FAQs

Can you use frozen berries? – You can but they wouldn’t be my first choice. This cake really is superb with fresh seasonal strawberries which give the best flavour.

Can you freeze this cake? – Yes, you can freeze the cake whole or if it has been cut into you can freeze the cake in slices. My husband is addicted to eating the cake straight out of the freezer.

How do you store this cake? – In the fridge. The cream cheese buttercream does not stand up to hot summer weather. In an ideal world though you would serve the cake immediately after covering with the buttercream. Once the cake has been in the fridge the sponge gets a little more dense.

How long does it keep for? Up to 3 days.

Suggested Equipment

Electronic scales
Strawberry huller
Blender
Food mixer
Silicone spatula
Cooling racks
8 inch cake tins
Cardboard cake round
Offset spatula

close up slice of strawberry cake on wooden board

Variations

This cake can be made with any berries. I have made the purée with a mixture of summer berries when I have a few odds and ends which need using up.

However, if you are using berries with slightly harder seeds, like raspberries or blackberries, then you will need to strain the purée. I usually do this after I have reduced it.

If you like this recipe then you might also like:

Lemon Raspberry Cake
Strawberry Sweet Pesto Cake
Hummingbird Cake
Raspberry Pistachio Cake
Lemon Curd Cake
Apple Blueberry Maple Cake

If you make this Gluten-Free Fresh Strawberry Cake then please leave a comment below and give the recipe a rating. If you then go on to use this recipe as a launch pad for your own baking creation then I’d also love it if you’d share it and tag me on Instagram. It is so lovely for me to see your versions and variations of my recipes.

strawberry cake on wooden board surrounded by strawberries

Gluten-Free Fresh Strawberry Cake {without xanthan gum}

This easy Gluten-Free Fresh StrawberryCake is made with fresh strawberries baked into the cake using a vibrantstrawberry reduction. The same reduction is used in the gorgeously creamyStrawberry Cream Cheese Buttercream making every bite taste of hazy lazy summer days.
Print Pin Rate
Course: Cake
Cuisine: British
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 16 people
Calories: 612kcal

Ingredients

Strawberry Purée

  • 900 g fresh strawberries hulled

Strawberry Cake

  • 225 g unsalted butter
  • 350 g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs medium
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 160 g sweet rice flour
  • 140 g gluten-free oat flour
  • 40 g tapioca flour
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 75 ml whole milk
  • 75 g strawberry purée
  • Extra strawberries for decoration

Strawberry Cream Cheese Buttercream

  • 350 g unsalted butter
  • 400 g icing sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 250 g cream cheese
  • 75 g strawberry purée

Instructions

Strawberry Purée

  • Prepare the strawberry purée by placing all the strawberries in a blender. Blend until smooth.
  • Pour the strawberry purée into a medium/large saucepan and turn the heat on.
  • Bring the strawberries up to a gentle simmering boil and keep at that heat, making sure it doesn’t boil too fiercely.
  • Simmer the strawberries for 25-30 minutes until the strawberries have completely reduced. The purée will be very thick so that you can dollop it off a teaspoon and it’s barely runny. It should weigh about 150g. Half the amount is for the cake and half is for the buttercream.
  • Place the strawberry purée reduction in the fridge to cool completely before using. It will thicken up even more as it cools. Either leave in the fridge overnight or place in the freezer for 15 minutes to speed up the process.

Strawberry Cake

  • Pre-heat the oven to 160°C/140°C fan assisted oven/gas mark 3/320°F and line and grease 2 x round 8 inch cake tins.
  • Beat together the sugar and butter until pale, light and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, beating on a low speed, followed by the vanilla extract.
  • Whisk together the flours, baking powder and sea salt in a large mixing bowl until completely combined.
  • Add half of the flour and mix in until well combined.
  • Pour in the milk and mix again.
  • Add the rest of the flour and combine, scraping down the sides so that every
  • Finally add 75g of the strawberry purée. Mixing until completely combined.
  • Divide between the cake tins and bake for 45 minutes or until an inserted cocktail stick comes out clean.
  • Remove the sponge cakes from their tins and leave to cool before filling and covering with strawberry cream cheese buttercream.

Strawberry Cream Cheese Buttercream

  • To make the cream cheese buttercream, cream the butter until soft then add the icing sugar and mix for about 10 minutes until very light and fluffy.
  • Add the salt and vanilla and mix again to combine.
  • Finally add the cream cheese and strawberry purée. Mix thoroughly until just combined.

Assembly

  • To assemble the cake place one of the sponge cakes on a serving plate or cardboard cake board round.
  • Spread about a third of the buttercream evenly over the top of the cake.
  • Add the second sponge layer and then use the rest of the buttercream to cover the top and sides of the cake.
  • Decorate with extra strawberries.

Notes

  • This cake is best made with strawberries that are in season.
  • You can use a strawberry huller for removing the stems of the strawberries – it’s a great little gadget.
  • Keep an eye on your purée and keep stirring from the bottom of the pan every so often. It will burn if left unattended.
  • Leave the purée overnight to cool in the fridge or put it in the freezer for about 15 minutes. The purée needs to be chilled before using.
  • You can substitute sorghum flour for oat flour if you are intolerant.
  • In the UK only spreadable cream cheese is available (unlike the US where you can buy it in blocks) so for the buttercream use full fat Philadelphia which has a lower water content and will be much easier to work with.
  • The cake is best served straightaway but you can make ahead of time and keep in the fridge.
  • It will keep up to 3 days.
  • The cake can be frozen whole or in slices.

Nutrition

Calories: 612kcal | Carbohydrates: 68g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 37g | Saturated Fat: 22g | Cholesterol: 136mg | Sodium: 184mg | Potassium: 216mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 50g | Vitamin A: 1182IU | Vitamin C: 33mg | Calcium: 66mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @FromTheLarder or tag #FromTheLarder!

Comments

  1. Hi,
    I love the look of all your recipes, especially as they are free of Xantham gum.
    Unfortunately my daughter is intolerant of oat and sorghum flour as well as wheat flour- do you have any other suggestions for a substitute flour?

    Tracy

    • I haven’t tried the cake with any other substitutions so you will need to experiment. You might need a couple of flours in the oat flour’s place. Millet flour is a good one to try but too much and I find it tastes bitter so you might want to add white rice flour too to balance it out.

  2. Can I omit the sweet rice flour? I only have almond flour, oat flour, corn flour & tapioca flour at home

  3. Paul Wilder says

    This looks incredible, and I have everything on hand except tapioca flour. Instead of going out and purchasing it for this recipe (I bake gluten-free only on occasion) could I add a mix of more oat and rice flours? Would you have a recommendation?

    • Hi Paul – Do you have potato starch? That would be a better substitute if so. Too much sweet rice flour and the cake starts to get a little gummy but you do need a little more starch. If you just have the oat flour then I would go with more of that one although the crumb will be a little more crumbly. Not unpleasantly so and still ultra delicious!!

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