Thank goodness it’s strawberry season! I’m making good use of these in-season strawberries today with this easy strawberry crunch cake recipe! This homemade strawberry shortcake crumble cake has three layers of strawberry-flavored sponge with vanilla cream in between. The cake is topped with a creamy layer of strawberry buttercream and lots of easy strawberry shortcake crumbles made with Golden Oreos!
This recipe is also dairy-free and vegan. BUT I promise you won’t be able to tell and it doesn’t use any weird or foreign ingredients.
This post was originally published on May 29, 2021 and has been updated on May 16, 2022.
why you’ll love this recipe
- simple and easy: the strawberry crunchies are made from Golden Oreos and the cake batter is made from simple pantry friendly ingredients.
- moist strawberry cake: the yogurt in the batter keeps this cake super moist.
- vibrant strawberry flavor: fresh strawberries are in the batter and freeze-dried strawberries are in the crumble and frosting for the BEST flavor!
- delicious crunch: the strawberry crunch coating elevates this cake making it perfect for a special occasion
the cake ingredients
- Cake flour or all-purpose flour
- Baking powder & Baking soda
- Vegetable oil, or melted butter (dairy-free to keep it vegan!)
- Granulated sugar or cane sugar
- Plain unsweetened yogurt (I used dairy free like Silk Almond Yogurt)
- Vanilla extract
the main components
This tiered layer cake has a few main components. When thinking of making this cake, I first thought of all the flavors that are in these nostalgic strawberry shortcake ice cream bars.
These cake bars have a strawberry inner, vanilla exterior and shortcake crumbles on the exterior. To capture these flavors in this layer cake, we’ll need to make the following components:
- Strawberry Layer Cake
- Vanilla Whipped Cream
- Strawberry Buttercream
- Strawberry Shortcake Crumbles
- Food Processor: to blend the Golden Oreos and freeze dried strawberries into a coarse crumb for the crunchy topping
- Hand Mixer or Stand Mixer: to beat the whipped cream to stiff peaks for the filling
- Large Mixing Bowl: to make the batter
- Round Cake Pans: to bake the cake!
how to make the cake batter
This easy strawberry crunch cake recipe is great because you can make the cake batter in one bowl! (Fewer dishes, hooray!) The cake batter is made with fresh strawberries that are pureed and reduced down into a concentrated mixture.
This recipe makes 3 six-inch cakes that you can stack on top of one another. This is the perfect sized cake because it still makes 8 large slices, but its small size makes it easy to assemble and store!
STEP 1: Prepare the round cake pans by spraying them with non-stick cooking spray and lining the bottoms with parchment paper. This will help the cakes remove very easily once baked.
STEP 2: Next, you’ll cream the oil or melted (vegan) butter in a large mixing bowl, and add in the sugar. Once it’s lighter in color and fluffy, you can add the dairy-free yogurt, vanilla, and the strawberry puree.
STEP 3: Add in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt on top of the wet mixture. With a fork, sift the dry ingredients together, then mix the wet with the dry until just combined. If you’d like a more vibrant pink color, you can add in a few drops of food coloring now!
STEP 4: After everything is mixed, you can pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake on the center rack for 22-25 minutes. The tops should be golden brown and a toothpick should remove cleanly when inserted into the center of the cake.
STEP 5: After 1-2 minutes, remove the cakes from the pans by flipping them gently upside down. If the cakes don’t remove, gently run a knife around the outside of the pan to help loosen them. Be sure to cool them completely on a wire rack before frosting!
the vanilla whipped cream filling
To get that cold, vanilla, ‘ice cream’ flavor, I chose to put a vanilla whipped cream in between the cake layers. To make this whipped cream dairy-free, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- Coconut Milk or Cream
- Powdered Sugar
- Vanilla Extract
Combine the coconut milk and half of the powdered sugar into a bowl.
Mix them on low speed until combined and then add the remaining powdered sugar, vanilla, and cornstarch. Mix them together until they form stiff peaks.
the strawberry buttercream
I’ve opted for a strawberry buttercream frosting in this homemade cake recipe to help highlight the strawberry flavor. If you’d prefer, you can make vanilla buttercream instead.
Follow the same instructions in this frosting recipe but omit the freeze-dried strawberries to make it vanilla flavored.
Often, when making fruit flavored icings, the acid in the fruit can cause the fat in the butter to curdle. This recipe is fantastic because the freeze-dried strawberries don’t do this but still give us that amazing strawberry flavor!
easy strawberry shortcake crumble
To make this strawberry shortcake crumble coating you only need 2 ingredients! They are:
- Golden Oreos
- Freeze Dried Strawberries
First, you’ll want to remove the cream center from the Oreos. Then you’ll pulse them briefly in the food processor to break them into a coarse crumble. Next, you’ll add the freeze-dried strawberries to the food processor and pulse them with the Oreos until they are smaller in size.
putting it all together
Once your cakes have cooled, it’s time to assemble all the components! Start by flipping the first layer upside down (so the flat side is facing up).
Spread an even layer of the whipped cream on top of the cake and then sprinkle a few tablespoons of the crunch coating on top.
Stack the next layer of cake on the whipped cream with the flat side facing up. Spread more whipped cream and crunch coating on this layer. Top it off with the 3rd cake layer with the flat side facing up.
Next, apply a crumb coat to the cake layers. I chose to leave the cake partially naked, but if you’d like to add more frosting feel free to apply more after the crumb coat.
The more frosting you add, the better the shortcake crumbles will stick to the cake. Once frosted, sprinkle the crunch coating on the top (and the sides if you’d like) and decorate with fresh strawberries!
- Boxed Cake Mix: feel free to use your favorite boxed cake mix to make this recipe even easier.
- Strawberry Cake: you could sub in a layer of vanilla cake or white cake to create flavor variation instead of just layers of strawberry cake!
- Strawberry Crumble: you could sub in another vanilla-flavored cookie (like vanilla wafers) instead of the Golden Oreos.
- Coconut Whipped Cream: sub in your favorite whipped topping from the grocery store (like this Coco Whip by So Delicious)
- Freeze the cake layers: wrap the cakes in plastic wrap and freeze the cake layers prior to frosting and assembling makes the whole process a lot easier.
- Chill the buttercream and whipped cream: Working with very cold whipped cream and buttercream also helps make the assembly easier.
- Prep the frosting and whipped cream while the cakes cool: this will save lots of time!
Here are a few tips & tricks to help make this vegan strawberry crunch cake!
To make this recipe super easy, this crunch topping is only made with two ingredients: Golden Oreos and freeze-dried strawberries.
Strawberry crunch cake is inspired by these nostalgic strawberry shortcake ice cream bars. This cake is strawberry flavored, with a vanilla whipped cream filling, strawberry buttercream, and a sweet strawberry shortcake crunch coating.
Yes, the freeze dried strawberries have the texture that make the crunch coating crunchy. Fresh strawberries will not work for this.
I find that freeze the cake layers before applying the buttercream and whipped cream filling makes assembly SO much easier. The frozen cake helps keep the fillings from sliding around as much. It also helps prevent a bunch of cake crumbs from getting into the buttercream when you’re frosting the cake.
looking for more summery desserts?
- Vegan Brown Sugar Strawberry Shortcake
- Lemon Turmeric Tea Cake
- Lime Drizzle Cake
- Vegan Neapolitan Ice Cream Cake
- Baked Vegan Cheesecake with Strawberry Sauce
Did you make this strawberry shortcake crunch cake with Golden Oreos? I’d love to know! Leave a rating and comment below!
Cake (Or Sub Boxed Strawberry Cake Mix)
- ½ cup (120g) vegetable oil, or ½ cup salted melted vegan butter
- 1 ½ cups (290g) granulated sugar
- 1 cup (230g) plain unsweetened yogurt, dairy free like Silk Almond Yogurt
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup reduced strawberry puree (see notes)
- 2 ½ cups (320g) cake flour, or all purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 2-3 drops of vegan pink food coloring (optional)
Filling (Or Sub More Strawberry Frosting)
- 1 can coconut milk, cold
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 10 Golden Oreos, cookies separated from the cream
- ⅓ heaping cup freeze-dried strawberries
**Video Tutorial Is Below the Notes Section!**
To Make the Cake:
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Prepare 3 6” cake pans by spraying them with non-stick cooking spray and lining the bottoms with parchment paper. (Follow the instructions on the back of the box if using a boxed mix).
- Cream the oil and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Beat until lighter in color and fluffy. Add the dairy free yogurt, vanilla and strawberry puree. Mix to combine.
- Add the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt on top of the wet mixture. With a fork, sift the dry ingredients together, then mix the wet with the dry until just combined. If using, add in the food coloring.
- Pour the batter into the prepared cake pans and bake on the center rack for 22-25 minutes. The tops should be golden brown and a toothpick should remove cleanly when inserted into the center of the cake.
- After 1-2 minutes, remove the cakes from the pans by flipping them gently upside down. If the cakes don’t remove, gently run a knife around the outside of the pan to help loosen them. Cool completely on a wire rack before frosting (see notes).
To Make the Filling:
- In a medium sized bowl, scoop out only the solid part of the coconut milk. Try to get as little coconut water as possible into the bowl. Using a hand mixer, beat the coconut until it’s slightly fluffy (about 1 minute). Add in the powdered sugar and whip the mixture for 1-2 more minutes until all the sugar is incorporated. Mix in the vanilla.
- To thicken up the whip cream, mix in the cornstarch 1 tbsp at a time. Mix until any lumps are removed.
- Chill covered in the fridge while you prep the other components.
To Make the Crunch Coating:
- Place your freeze-dried strawberries into the food processor. Pulse until they are a coarse texture.
- You'll want to remove the cream center from the Oreos. Then, add in the Golden Oreos, and pulse until the mixture is a medium-fine texture but not a powder. Set aside while you prep the other ingredients.
To Assemble the Cake:
- Flip the first layer upside down (so the flat side is facing up). Spread an even layer of the whipped cream on top of the cake and then sprinkle a few tablespoons of the crunch coating on top.
- Stack the next layer of cake on the whipped cream with the flat side facing up. Spread more whipped cream and crunch coating on this layer. Top it off with the 3rd cake layer with the flat side facing up.
- Apply a crumb coat of frosting to the cake layers. I chose to leave the cake partially naked, but if you'd like to add more frosting feel free to apply more after the crumb coat. The more frosting you add, the better the shortcake crumbles will stick to the cake. Once frosted, sprinkle the crunch coating on the top (and the sides if you'd like) and decorate with fresh strawberries!
To Make the Strawberry Puree:
- Blend 2 1/2 cups (315g) of whole strawberries into a puree in your food processor. This should make about 1 ½ cups of puree.
- Pour into a small saucepan and simmer for 25 mins until it is reduced to about 1 cup of puree.
I find that freezing the cake layers prior to frosting and assembling makes the whole process a lot easier. Working with very cold whipped cream and buttercream also helps make the assembly easier.
Store this cake, wrapped well, in the fridge for 2-3 days or freeze for 2-3 months.
Other Cake Pan Sizes:
- This cake makes a 3 tiered 6" cake.
- The recipe will also make a 2 tiered 8 or 9" cake. The baking time will need to be increased by a few minutes if making a 9" cake. Bake the cake for 30-35 minutes if using 9" cake pans.
- To make a 3 tiered 9" cake, you'll need to 1.5x the ingredients.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 550Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 15gSodium: 380mgCarbohydrates: 102gFiber: 3gSugar: 51gProtein: 7g
Nutritional info is an estimate.
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