August 24, 2022| By

Strawberry Crunch Cake

Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
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Strawberry Crunch Cake is layered vanilla cake with a sweet jam filling, strawberry cream cheese frosting, and a cookie crunch topping. Inspired by the Good Humor Strawberry Shortcake ice cream bars, this cake version is a sweet nostalgic treat!

If you're searching for more childhood-inspired desserts then you have to try my Cookie Monster Cookies, Dunkaroo Dip, and Cosmic Brownies next!

slices of strawberry crunch cake on a plate.
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This Strawberry Crunch Cake is the perfect cake ! Each layer comes with a new element of surprise; the moist, fluffy vanilla cake, the sweet decadence of the strawberry jam filling, the luscious homemade cream cheese icing, and the delectable cookie crunch crumble topping. It's truly an amazing cake.

This Strawberry Crunch Cake recipe is inspired by the ice cream truck treats we used to get whenever Mr Softy would drive through the neighborhood!

Every forkful of this homemade Strawberry Crunch Cake is packed with strawberry flavor so if you love strawberries, this is the dessert for you!

It's no wonder that variations of this strawberry crunch dessert have become popular on TikTok. It's decadent, decorative, divine - it's one of my favorite cakes!

When you're finished with this cake, try my another one of my faves - Black Velvet Cake!

Ingredient Notes

ingredients to make strawberry crunch cake - flour, baking soda, baking powder, sugar, buttermilk, golden oreos, butter, powdered sugar, strawberry jam, buttermilk, freeze dried strawberries, strawberry jam, eggs, strawberry jello, and vanilla extract.

Vanilla Cake

  • Butter: Make sure it's at room temperature.
  • Large eggs: Make sure the eggs are at room temperature. so they mix easily with the other ingredients. This results in a smoother cake batter.
  • Vanilla extract: This is the base of the cake flavor. Use pure vanilla for the best results.
  • Buttermilk: Add this so the cake has a rich, buttery flavor. If you don't have any buttermilk, you can make your own with just two simple ingredients. Here's my guide on how to make buttermilk (here's a secret, it's simply whole milk and vinegar).

Filling

  • Strawberry jam: I love the sweet strawberry flavor, however, you can also use strawberry puree!

Strawberry Cream Cheese Icing

  • Cream cheese: Let this sit out at room temperature for at least 3o minutes before making your frosting.
  • Salted Butter: You guessed it... use it at room temperature! If you prefer unsalted butter, feel free to use that instead.
  • Strawberry jam: For that strawberry flavor that we absolutely need.
  • Powdered sugar & Cornstarch: Both of these ingredients thicken the frosting.

Tasty Strawberry Crunch Topping

For the crumbles, I made my recipe for strawberry shortcake crumbles - it tastes JUST like the crunch topping on the ice cream bars.

  • Butter: Make sure it's melted so it can help bind the other ingredients.
  • Golden Oreo Cookies: Include these with the filling. Alternatively, you can use Nilla Wafers but you may need to use more melted butter since you won't have the moisture from the Oreo filling. Pro tip: if you can't find golden oreos, you can use vienna wafers!
  • Freeze-dried strawberries: This gives the crunchy topping the strawberry flavor.
  • Strawberry Jello Mix / Strawberry gelatin: Provides color and that delicious strawberry zing.


Tips for the Best Strawberry Crunch Cake

  • Measure your flour correctly! Flour scooped right out of the bag can typically be more because the flour is compressed. Fluff up the flour and spoon it into the measuring cup or use a kitchen scale to measure the flour for a more accurate measurement.
  • Don't open the oven door until the cakes are completely done!
  • Do not overmix the cake batter. Instead, stop as soon as the batter is moist and you don't see streaks of the dry ingredients. Overmixing cake batter results in extra gluten development which leaves you with a chewy cake. We want to keep it soft and fluffy!
  • Make sure the cakes are completely cooled before adding the filling or frosting.
  • Don't have a food processor? Crush the strawberry crunch topping in a ziploc bag using a rolling pin.
  • Don't crumble the strawberry crunchies too much. We want the texture to be crunchy, not like dust.
  • Store leftover cake in an airtight container and refrigerate. Enjoy within 2-3 days.

Of note, this recipe does not use boxed cake mix. If you would prefer to use cake mixes as opposed to making this from scratch, skip the instructions for baking the cake from scratch and bake the cake mix according to the package instructions. Then make the strawberry cream cheese frosting and strawberry crumbles as described in the recipe.

How to Make Strawberry Crunch Cake From Scratch

an up close photo of strawberry crunch cake.

Bake the Cake

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Then spray two 9-inch cake pans with non-stick spray and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk together and set aside.

Add butter to the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Cream butter until smooth, then add sugar and continue to cream together for about 3-5 minutes, until pale and fluffy.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add eggs one at a time and then add vanilla extract and mix until combined.

Add half of the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Then pour in half of the buttermilk. Repeat.

Divide the batter in half and pour into the prepared cake pans. Bake for 30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Then allow the cake to cool in the cake pan for 10 minutes and then allow them to cool on a wire rack or plate.

Make the Strawberry Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting

While the cakes are baking, prepare the cream cheese frosting. Add cream cheese and butter to the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. On low speed, cream together until smooth, about 2 minutes, gradually increasing to medium speed.

Add 1 cup of powdered sugar at a time, increasing the speed to high for 10-15 seconds prior to adding the next cup. Then add pink food coloring (optional) and strawberry jam and mix until combined. Place in the refrigerator until cakes have completely cooled.

Assemble the Cake

Place one of the cake layers on a cake stand. Pipe a rim of icing around the perimeter of the cake. Add strawberry jam inside of the icing and smear it across the cake. 

Place the second cake on top and add a layer of frosting onto the cake with an offset spatula. Refrigerate for 30 minutes - this make the crumb coat. It allows for the initial layer of icing to set. When you add the second layer of icing, it will be smooth and won't have any crumbs from the cake.

Add the remainder of the frosting to the cake and top of the cake with the strawberry crunch topping. Be sure to cover the entire cake!

Make the Strawberry Crumble

Make the strawberry crunch topping: add melted butter, golden Oreos, and freeze-dried strawberries to a food processor and blend, until combined but still chunky.

Finally, garnish with fresh strawberries and enjoy with a little vanilla ice cream or by itself. This cake is delicious and SO worth all of the work!

a slice of cake on a plate with a spoon.

FAQs

What is strawberry crunch made of?

Strawberry crunch is a mixture of butter, Golden Oreos, freeze-dried strawberries, and strawberry Jell-O. It's crispy, crunchy, and delicious. You can add it to all kinds of desserts and even enjoy it as is.

Can I make Strawberry Crunch Cake ahead of time?

You can make the cake up to 2 days in advance to save time. Make the strawberry crunch topping the day of though so it doesn't get stale or soggy. The cream cheese frosting is easy enough to make on the day you serve the cake too.

Why is my cake dry?

If your cake is dry, the ingredients were either not properly measured or the cake was overbaked.

More Strawberry Dessert Recipes!

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Let's stay connected on social media and continue to cook together! Also, if you decide to make this recipe, please leave a star rating on the recipe card and leave a comment below! Tag @BritneyBreaksBread on Instagram and hashtag #britneybreaksbread so I can see your creations! I hope that you love this recipe as much as we do!

an up close photo of strawberry crunch cake.

Strawberry Crunch Cake

Strawberry Crunch Cake is layered vanilla cake with a sweet jam filling, strawberry cream cheese frosting, and a cookie crunch topping. Inspired by the Good Humor Strawberry Shortcake ice cream bars, this cake version is a sweet nostalgic treat!
Serving: 12 slices
Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Resting Time 30 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 30 mins
Calories: 1154kcal

Equipment

  • 2 9 inch cake pans
  • Stand Mixer

Ingredients

  • 3 cups All purpose flour
  • 2 tsps Baking powder
  • ½ tsp Baking Soda
  • ½ tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1 cup Butter room temperature
  • cups Sugar
  • 4 Large eggs room temperature
  • 1 tbsp Vanilla extract
  • 1 cup Buttermilk

Filling

  • 1 cup Strawberry jam

Strawberry Cream Cheese Icing

  • 8 oz Cream cheese room temperature
  • 1 cup Butter room temperature
  • 7 cups Powdered sugar
  • 1-2 tsp Pink or Red Gel Food Coloring (optional)
  • ¼ cup Strawberry jam

Strawberry Crunch Topping

  • 8 tbsps Butter melted
  • 25 Golden oreos
  • 1 oz Freeze dried strawberries (about 1 ¼ cups)
  • 1 tbsp Strawberry Jell-O Mix
  • pinch Salt

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray two 9-inch cake pans with nonstick baking spray and set aside.
  • In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk together and set aside.
  • Add butter to the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Cream butter until smooth, then add sugar and continue to cream together for about 3-5 minutes, until pale and fluffy.
  • Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add eggs, one at a time, and then add vanilla extract and mix until combined.
  • Add half of the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Then pour in half of the buttermilk. Repeat.
  • Divide the batter in half and pour into the prepared cake pans. Bake for 30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool in the cake pans for 10 minutes and then turn them onto a wire rack or plate to cool completely.
  • While the cakes are baking, prepare the cream cheese frosting. Add cream cheese and butter to the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Cream together until smooth, about 2 minutes.
  • Add 1 cup of powdered sugar at a time, beginning on low speed, increasing the speed to high for 10-15 seconds prior to adding the next cup. Then reduce the speed back to low and add the next cup of powdered sugar and repeat. This makes for a very fluffy icing.
  • Add red or pink gel food coloring (optional) and strawberry jam and mix until combined. Cover the icing with plastic wrap or a towel and place in the refrigerator until cakes have completely cooled. (If icing becomes hard, mix with the paddle attachment to loosen it up prior to adding to the cake)
  • Assemble the cake. Place one cake on a cake stand or plate. Add about a ½ cup of icing to a piping bag or a ziploc bag with about a 1 inch cut into the corner. Pipe a rim of icing around the perimeter of the cake. Add strawberry jam inside of the icing and smear across the cake. 
  • Place the second cake on top and add a layer of frosting onto the cake. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Then add remainder of the frosting to cake.
  • Make the strawberry crunch topping: add melted butter, golden oreos, strawberry jell-o powder, and freeze dried strawberries to a food processor and blend until combined but still chunky. Cover the cake with the crunch topping and garnish with fresh strawberries.

Notes

Tips
  • Measure your flour correctly! Flour scooped right out of the bag can typically be more because the flour is compressed. Fluff up the flour and spoon it into the measuring cup or use a kitchen scale to measure the flour for a more accurate measurement.
  •  
  • Do not overmix the cake batter. Instead, stop as soon as the batter is moist and you don't see streaks of the dry ingredients. Overmixing cake batter results in extra gluten development which leaves you with a chewy cake. We want to keep it soft and fluffy!
  • Make sure the cakes are completely cooled before adding the filling or frosting.
  • Don't have a food processor? Crush the strawberry crunch topping in a ziploc bag using a rolling pin.
  • Don't crumble the strawberry crunchies too much. We want the texture to be crunchy, not like dust.
  • Store leftover cake in an airtight container and refrigerate. Enjoy within 2-3 days.

Nutrition

Calories: 1154kcal | Carbohydrates: 166g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 52g | Saturated Fat: 30g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 177mg | Sodium: 731mg | Potassium: 202mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 124g | Vitamin A: 1545IU | Vitamin C: 32mg | Calcium: 120mg | Iron: 3mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: African-American

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  1. 5 stars
    This cake is amazing. It taste just like a strawberry shortcake ice cream bar!!! Do yourself a favor and make this ASAP!!