Strawberry Crunch Cake

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Inspired by a classic ice cream popsicle, this Strawberry Crunch Cake combines a strawberry-flavored cake, homemade cream cheese frosting, and a strawberry cookie crunch topping. This easy-to-make cake is full of strawberry flavor and will certainly impress at any celebration. 

slice of strawberry crunch cake on a plate.

Please tell me you remember (or still enjoy) those strawberry shortcake popsicles – the ones with the strawberry center, wrapped in ice cream and then coated in a crunchy strawberry topping. This popsicle has always been a favorite treat of mine, so I wanted to turn it into a Strawberry Crunch Cake.

Best decision ever! 

strawberry crunch cake in a pan.

Strawberry desserts are one of my favorites. I couldn’t be more pleased with how this Strawberry Crunch Cake turned out and how well the flavors and textures mimic that classic strawberry shortcake popsicle.

This cake recipe is easy to make by design. I used a box cake mix but elevated it with butter, milk, and (of course) strawberry gelatin. I also used my homemade cream cheese frosting; it’s a go-to recipe for me and works perfectly here. 

Why You’ll Enjoy This Recipe

  • It’s approachable but elevated. This is my favorite type of recipe because it has the comfort of something familiar but still feels special. 
  • With classic flavors, most people will enjoy it. I get that not everyone enjoys strawberries, but it’s typically a winner among crowds. 
  • With only about 30 minutes of hands-on time, you can have this cake ready at a moment’s notice. 
  • It can be prepared in advance. If you’re short on time, you can prepare 95% of this cake the day before and still have a delicious dessert. 
  • It’s perfect for all occasions. Whether you’re celebrating a birthday, Valentine’s Day, the 4th of July, or anything in between, this cake will be a welcomed addition to your festivities. 
slice of strawberry crunch cake on a plate.

Ingredients

You’ll need a few special items to make this strawberry crunch cake, but the rest of the ingredients should be pretty straightforward. 

Basic Ingredients: 

  • white cake mix
  • strawberry gelatin
  • eggs
  • butter
  • milk
  • cream cheese
  • confectioners’ sugar
  • vanilla extract
  • kosher salt
  • fresh strawberries

The only thing to note here is that I typically reach for a Betty Crocker cake mix and Jell-O strawberry gelatin. However, feel free to use what you love. 

Key Ingredients: 

  • Golden Oreos – Any vanilla sandwich cookie will work here. I personally enjoy the Golden Oreos, so that’s what I used in this recipe. 
  • Freeze-dried strawberries – It’s amazing how much strawberry flavor is tucked into these freeze-dried berries. They are essential in this recipe. 
slice of strawberry crunch cake on a plate on a napkin.
slice of strawberry crunch cake on a plate.

How To Make

Ready to bake? Let me walk you through the recipe. For your convenience, there is a full ingredient list and detailed instructions in the printable recipe card below.

Bake the Cake: 

  1. Mix together the white cake mix, strawberry gelatin, eggs, butter, and milk until smooth. Pour into a greased 9×13 pan and bake for about 28-30 minutes. 
cake batter ingredients in a bowl.

Make the Crunch Topping: 

  1. Pulse the cookies in a food processor to create crumbs. Transfer to a large bowl. Pulse the freeze-dried strawberries in the food processor and then add them to the cookie crumbs. Drizzle with melted butter and stir to combine.
golden Oreo cookies in a food processor.
strawberry crunch in a bowl.
  1. Spread out this mixture onto a piece of wax or parchment paper. Allow it to dry for about 20-25 minutes. 

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Whip the Frosting: 

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer beat together the cream cheese, butter, and salt until light and smooth. This will take about three to five minutes. Add in the vanilla extract and beat to combine.
cream cheese frosting in a mixing bowl.
speaking frosting onto a strawberry cake.
  1. Add the confectioners’ sugar slowly, about one cup at a time, and beat until smooth. Add milk to achieve desired consistency.

Put it all Together:

  1. Once your cake is cooled, evenly spread the cream cheese frosting over the top. Finally, sprinkle with the prepared strawberry crunch topping.
sprinkling strawberry crunch topping on cake.
slices of strawberry crunch cake on a plates on a table.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use a homemade cake recipe? 

Of course. Any white cake recipe should work here. You’ll just need to add the box of strawberry gelatin for the flavor and color. 

You could also use a boxed strawberry cake mix, but the resulting cake won’t be as bright and flavorful. 

Can I make this cake in advance?  

You sure can! You can make the cake, frosting, and strawberry crunch topping the day before. Frost the cake, cover it with plastic wrap, and refrigerate. On the day you plan to serve it, sprinkle it with the strawberry crunch topping. 

strawberry crunch cake in a pan.

How long will this cake last?

You can keep this cake refrigerated for about two to three days. Do note that the crunch topping will become less crunchy over time. 

Can I freeze this cake? 

Yep! You can freeze it as a whole cake or individual servings. Place it in a freezer-safe container or wrap it in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil. Thaw at room temperature. You can store this cake in the freezer for up to three months. 

slice of strawberry crunch cake on a plate.
slice of strawberry crunch cake on a plate with a fork.

More Easy Cakes You May Enjoy

I hope you’ll try this flavorful Strawberry Crunch Cake. If you do, please leave a comment and a 5-star rating below. 

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slice of strawberry crunch cake on a plate.

Strawberry Crunch Cake

Inspired by a classic ice cream popsicle, this Strawberry Crunch Cake combines a strawberry-flavored cake, homemade cream cheese frosting, and a strawberry cookie crunch topping. This easy-to-make cake is full of strawberry flavor and will certainly impress at any celebration.
5 from 6 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cake, cream cheese frosting, strawberry
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 12
Calories: 609kcal

Ingredients

Strawberry Crunch Topping*

  • 1 package vanilla sandwich cookies (Golden Oreos)
  • 1 ounce freeze-dried strawberries
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter

Cream Cheese Frosting

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9×13 baking pan with baking spray.
  • In a large bowl, add the white cake mix, strawberry gelatin, eggs, butter, and milk. Use a hand mixer to blend until smooth. (About two minutes.)
  • Pour into your prepared baking pan.
  • Bake for 28-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
  • While your cake bakes and cools, prepare the strawberry crunch topping. Add the cookies to a food processor. Pulse to create crumbs. Remove and transfer to a large bowl.
  • Add the freeze-dried strawberries to the food processor. Pulse to create a fine powder. Add this to the bowl of cookie crumbs and mix to combine. Drizzle the melted butter over this cookie mixture and stir to combine again.
  • Spread out this mixture onto a piece of wax or parchment paper. Allow it to dry for about 20-25 minutes.
  • Next, mix up the cream cheese frosting. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl using a hand mixer), beat together the cream cheese, butter, and salt until light and smooth. This will take about three to five minutes. Add in the vanilla extract and beat to combine.
  • Add the confectioners’ sugar slowly, about one cup at a time, and beat until smooth. Add milk, a splash at a time, to achieve desired consistency.
  • Once your cake is cooled, spread the cream cheese frosting evenly over the top. Sprinkle with the prepared strawberry crunch topping. The topping should completely cover the frosting.
  • The cake can be served immediately or refrigerated until ready to serve.

Notes

*With this recipe you will have extra strawberry crunch topping. I used about two-thirds for this cake. If you do not want extra, adjust the recipe accordingly.
Any leftover cake should be refrigerated. It is good for two to three days in the refrigerator, but the crunch topping will become less crunchy over time.
If you’re making this cake in advance, wait to add the crunch topping until closer to the time of serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 609kcal | Carbohydrates: 64g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 37g | Saturated Fat: 20g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 137mg | Sodium: 309mg | Potassium: 143mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 51g | Vitamin A: 1077IU | Vitamin C: 29mg | Calcium: 78mg | Iron: 2mg

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Recipe Rating




20 Comments

  1. I like strawberries, and this recipe is a new one for me!
    You have such great ideas, Michael with your favorite kitchen recipes!
    Thank you for sharing your recipes with all of your fans!!! Keep up the great ideas
    that you share with the world.

    Mary (Paris)
    (My grandfather was French)

  2. Made for Easter 2023. Absolutely delish. We kept the crunch separate and sprinkle on pieces as cut so that it doesn’t get soft. The cake is soft, moist and yummy. My daughter told me she “loves when I buy this icing” and I told her I made it. She said it’s her favorite. Highly recommend.

  3. This is going to be my new go-to dessert for summer! I made it the other day because I was looking for something strawberry flavored… and this was perfect. Thank you!

  4. Where can I buy freeze dried strawberries? My 3 y/o granddaughter has a birthday coming up and loves strawberry anything. Thank you for the recipe.

  5. Hey Michael— this looks delicious! One question: does the 1/4 cup unsalted butter go with the topping directions? Butter is listed twice under frosting, and I just want to use the right amount for topping and for frosting. Thank you!

  6. Michael, strawberry scooter crunch was my FAVORITE ice cream treat as a kid! I love that you created a cake based on it – and it’s so pretty! I don’t eat most of these ingredients anymore, but as a kid, this would have been my requested birthday cake for sure!