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Roasted Strawberry Sheet Cake

Renée Robinson

Roasted Strawberries Ensure This is Packed Full of Berry Flavor!

I’ve tried my hand at making a strawberry sheet cake and wasn’t at all satisfied with the result. The strawberry flavor didn’t transfer well. It had a dullness to it that didn’t strike me as particularly delicious. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great. 

Then I got to thinking about how intense the flavor of strawberries becomes when they’re roasted. Perhaps this was the answer. I didn’t want them to be roasted for too long because they can become leathery, but they needed enough time in order for the flavor to intensify.

I only added a couple tablespoons of sugar to 1 pound of strawberries, roasted them for 15 minutes, stirred them up, and roasted them for another 15 minutes. This seemed to be the sweet spot for getting the berries to the right stage. They gave up some of their juices and the flavor was both bright and deep.

I strained the berries from their juices, added them to a blender with half a lemon and proceeded with the rest of the very easy recipe. I used buttermilk in both the cake and the icing because it’s what I always use in my sheet cakes. I love how it tenderizes the cake and the tangy flavor is the perfect foil in the sweet icing. The cake itself takes on a light beige/pink color when it bakes. If you wanted to, you could add a little food coloring in order to make it pink, but I see no reason to not let it be its natural color.

Now, on to the icing. I used all the syrupy juices from the roasted strawberries, lemon juice, buttermilk, melted butter, and powdered sugar. And guess what? It tasted flat. Again, not horrible, but not that punch of strawberry flavor I was going for.

So, the next time I made it I pulverized a half cup of freeze dried strawberries * in my spice grinder and sifted them with the powdered sugar. Oh, yeah. Now we had a strawberry cake that screamed strawberries and I was thoroughly satisfied. Plus, the freeze dried strawberries * contributed a beautiful color to the icing.

As you can see, I topped each piece with a sliced strawberry and tiny mint sprig. The fresh strawberry slice reinforced the strawberry flavor and while it’s not absolutely necessary, I think it’s a very good addition. 

Well folks, here’s another sheet cake I thoroughly love. It’s easy, packs a wallop of flavor, would serve a crowd, or just your family if it’s anything like mine. It will stay fresh and moist for at least 3 days, but it didn’t last that long here.

*Disclosure: I only recommend products I use myself and all opinions expressed here are my own. This post may contain affiliate links that, at no additional cost to you, may pay me a small commission and help support the costs of this website. Read full privacy policy here.

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Roasted Strawberry Sheet Cake

Recipe by Renée Robinson



An easy dessert filled with strawberry flavor. Buttermilk is added to the cake for tenderness and then added to the icing for tanginess. Roasted strawberries go into the cake, while their syrupy juices and pulverized freeze dried strawberries are added to the icing. This guarantees plenty of strawberry goodness. And that's the point, right?

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  • Cake
  • 1 pound strawberries, caps removed, and trimmed, plus a few extra for topping each slice

  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

  • 1/2 whole lemon (peel and all), seeded and cut into chunks

  • 3/4 cup buttermilk, approximately

  • 2 sticks (226g) salted butter

  • 2 large eggs, room temperature

  • 350 g (1 3/4 cup) granulated sugar

  • 278 g (2 cups) unbleached all purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/8 teaspoon table salt

  • A few tiny fresh mint leaves, optional

  • Icing
  • 10 g (1/2 cup) freeze dried strawberries ,* ground to a powder in a spice grinder

  • 1 pound (454g) powdered sugar

  • 1 stick (113g)salted butter

  • Syrup from the roasted strawberries, approximately 3 tablespoons, plus 1 teaspoon

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, room temperature

  • 3 tablespoons buttermilk, room temperature

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Cake
  • Preheat oven to 375° with a rack in the center. Slice the larger strawberries in quarters and the smaller ones in half. You want all the pieces to be close to the same size. Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper. Add the strawberries and sugar to the pan. Toss together and bake for 15 minutes. Stir the strawberries and bake for another 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, and scoop the strawberries into a small bowl, leaving behind the juices. Pour the juices into another small bowl. Set aside in order to cool. Pour any juices that pool in the bowl containing the strawberries into the bowl containing the juice.
  • Reduce the oven temperature to 350° and spray a half sheet pan with cooking oil. Add 1/2 lemon to a blender, along with all the roasted strawberries. Blend to a puree. Pour the mixture into a glass measuring cup and add enough buttermilk to bring the measurement to 1 1/2 cups.
  • Melt the butter in a large bowl in the microwave. Whisk in the strawberry/buttermilk puree, eggs, and sugar. Add the flour, baking soda, and salt and either whisk to combine or use an electric hand beater on low speed. Pour the batter into the prepared sheet pan and bake for 18 - 20 minutes. Test for doneness by gently pressing your finger into the center of the cake. The cake should almost bounce back all the way. Another good way to test for doneness is to see if the cake has started pulling away from the sides of the pan. Be careful not to over bake the cake. It bakes quickly. Let cool for 10 minutes.
  • Icing
  • As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, make the icing. Sift together the freeze dried strawberry powder and the powdered sugar. Set aside. In a medium size bowl, melt the butter in the microwave. Add all the strawberry syrup, lemon juice, buttermilk, vanilla extract, and the sifted powdered sugar and freeze dried strawberries. Using an electric hand mixer, beat everything together on high speed until completely smooth. When the cake has cooled for 10 minutes, pour the warm icing all over the top of the cake. If you need to spread it, do so quickly or else the icing will start to set and the top will not be perfectly smooth.
  • Let cool, cut into slices and top each slice with a couple slices of fresh strawberries and if you’d like, add a tiny mint sprig to each one. Serve and Enjoy!

4 Responses

  1. My daughter loves strawberries so I am considering this recipe for her 32nd birthday.
    I’m confused about the pan. Is a full sheet pan what is required for this recipe? Size?

    1. Hi, Ann. Sorry for the confusion. I stated in the recipe that a half sheet pan is required. A half sheet pan is 13 x 18 inches. Full sheet pans are only used by professional bakers as they are too large for home ovens. Hope this clears things up. Please let me know if you make the cake. I’d love to hear how you and your daughter like it!

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