Paula Deen Strawberry Cake

This delicious Paula Deen strawberry cake is light, fruity, and totally irresistible. Made with box cake mix and strawberry-flavored instant gelatin, it’s crazy-easy and perfect for summer.

Strawberries are tough to bake with because they’re full of juice. Though that adds a lot of flavor, it can make your cakes and cookies rubbery and dense.

That’s why I love this strawberry cake recipe by Paula Deen so much - it’s a winner from start to finish.

Paula Deen Strawberry Cake Recipe

Paula calls for strawberry extract in the OG recipe, which is fine if you can find it. But I prefer to keep things natural and use a yummy strawberry syrup instead.

And don’t worry, I’ve got the recipe for you below!

To make this delightful strawberry cake, you’ll need:

  • Boxed caked mix - white cake mix works best and allows the color of the fruit to shine.
  • Strawberry jello - it’s where a lot of the flavor comes from and can’t be left out.
  • Frozen strawberries - adding real fruit is what makes this cake so unique!
  • Cream cheese - for the frosting. It adds a beautiful layer of tang against the super-sweet berries.
  • Strawberry syrup - it’s super straightforward and can be used in milkshakes, over pancakes, and even in coffe. 

This recipe keeps it quite simple with just the cake and the frosting, but if you want to jazz it up, try adding a layer of something fun to the middle, such as:

  • Chocolate ganache
  • White chocolate ganache
  • Mango curd
  • Lime curd
  • Crushed shortbread cookies
  • Strawberry jam
  • Chopped strawberries

And to finish, it just needs a few berries on top. Of course, a drizzle of chocolate wouldn’t hurt. Or maybe some cute meringues!

Another terrific option is to add some powdered, freeze-dried strawberries to the outside.

Oh, and feel free to make this recipe into cupcakes!! I mean, how cute do those babies look?!

Strawberry Syrup Recipe

If you want to make a bigger batch, feel free to scale this up. Otherwise, this recipe will make enough for this cake and for brunch on Sunday!


  • 450 grams of Strawberries (1 pound)
  • 450 ml of Water (4 cups)
  • 200 grams of Sugar (1 cup)


  1. Rinse and hull the strawberries - if using fresh. If using frozen berries, simply add them to the pot.
  2. Cut the strawberries into small pieces and transfer them into a medium-sized saucepan.
  3. Add the water and gently stir. 
  4. Bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat and simmer. Stir occasionally and skim off any foam that rises to the top.
  5. Leave the pot to bubble for 20-30 minutes (30-40 if you used frozen berries), then strain into a large bowl.
  6. Add the strawberry juice back to the pot and pour in the sugar. Stir and be careful not to get sugar on the sides.
  7. Bring back to a boil, reduce the heat and let simmer until the sugar dissolves and the liquid thickens. It should take about 10 minutes. 
  8. Pour thick syrup into a heat-proof container and leave to cool.

The longer you leave the strawberry syrup to simmer with the sugar, the more it will condense (thicken).

How to Make Paula Deen Strawberry Cake Recipe

This recipe makes enough for 12-14 servings. You’ll need two 9-inch pans.

Cake Ingredients:

  • 1 box of White Cake Mix (18.25 oz) 
  • 1 box of Strawberry-Flavored Instant Gelatin (3 oz) 
  • 425 grams of Frozen Strawberries (15 ounces, thawed and pureed)
  • 4 large Eggs
  • 120 ml of Vegetable Oil (1/2 cup)
  • 60 ml of Water (1/4 cup)

Frosting Ingredients

  • 55 grams of Frozen Strawberries (2 ounces, thawed and pureed)
  • 60 grams Butter (1/4 cup, softened)
  • 225 grams of Cream Cheese (8 ounces, softened)
  • 2 teaspoons of Strawberry Syrup
  • 900-1,300 grams of Powdered Sugar (7-10 cups, sifted)


  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C/350°F.
  2. Grease two 9-inch cake rounds and line with parchment paper. 
  3. Clean, hull, and puree all of the strawberries. Remove 55 grams/2 ounces for the frosting.
  4. Whisk the boxed cake mix with the strawberry gelatin in a large bowl. 
  5. Make a well in the middle and add the strawberry puree, eggs, oil, and water. Using an electric mixer, beat until smooth and lump-free.
  6. Pour the cake batter into the prepared cake tins and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 
  7. Leave the cakes to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely. 
  8. Meanwhile, make the frosting. 
  9. In another large bowl, beat the softened butter and cream cheese until smooth and lump-free. 
  10. Add the remaining strawberry puree and strawberry syrup and gently beat until well combined. 
  11. Slowly incorporate the powdered sugar, adding a cup at a time. Beat until smooth and fluffy.
  12. Once the cakes are cool, fill with frosting and cover the whole cake. Top with chocolate shavings, fresh berries, or leave plain. 
  13. Enjoy!

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