Strawberry Crunch Cake
This Strawberry Crunch Cake recipe features a moist strawberry cake with a thin layer of tangy cream cheese frosting plus a crunchy strawberry and golden Oreo topping. It’s an easy (and FUN!) standout dessert for all your summer potlucks. Hello, Beautiful!
Easy Strawberry Crunch Cake
If you’re looking for an simple strawberry dessert idea to take to your next summer get together, might I suggest a Strawberry Crunch Cake? This moist cake is so easy to make! It has a creamy whipped frosting on top, then is finished off with crushed golden Oreos and freeze-dried strawberries. The cookie-strawberry combo is what gives each slice of cake a little crunch.
Why You’ll Love This Strawberry Crunch Cake Recipe
I love to make strawberry desserts (see more of our favorite strawberry recipes below the recipe card), and this one is super delightful. Here’s why you’ll love this cake:
- Full of strawberry flavor. This cake pulls in strawberry flavor in three different ways – there’s strawberry Jello powder folded into the batter as well as freeze-dried strawberries in the crunchy topping. Then for the third way, the final delicious strawberry touch, I serve the cake with fresh strawberries!
- Lots of texture. I love the variety of textures happening in this dessert. The cake itself is tender and moist, perfect for sinking your fork into. The sweet and tangy cream cheese filling is smooth and creamy. And the buttery, crunchy topping of crushed golden Oreos and dried strawberries, puts it over the top!
- Unique and pretty. This cake’s vibrant shade of pink definitely makes it stand out. It’s a little like a red velvet cake but think pink rather than red. It’s also a cake you won’t find everywhere, which makes it a big hit at potlucks and gatherings.
- Easy and fun to make. While there are 3 distinct layers to this cake, none of them are hard. It’s easy and FUN to make!
Why is it Called Crunch Cake?
Strawberry crunch cake is a dessert that points to the popularity of strawberry ice cream bars with their crunchy crumbled cake exterior. This cake is now a popular sweet to serve all year long, and especially at summer gatherings.
It’s called a “crunch cake” because the cream cheese frosting is topped with a mix of buttery crushed golden Oreos and freeze-dried strawberries for the perfect “crunch”.
Here’s what you’ll need to make this strawberry cake.
Scroll down to the recipe card at the bottom of this post for the full ingredient amounts and instructions.
- Flour – Flour makes up the base of the cake batter.
- Baking powder and baking soda – This combination gives a nice rise, plus tenderness, to the cake.
- Butter – Use unsalted butter. If you use salted butter, then decrease or eliminate the added salt in this recipe.
- Sugar – Brings a nice sweetness to this strawberry dessert.
- Eggs – These bind the batter together, plus give rich flavor and moist texture to the baked cake.
- Vanilla Extract – Use pure vanilla extract for the best flavor.
- Milk – I use whole milk in this recipe for richness, but you can use 2% milk as well.
- Strawberry Jello powder – This gives fun texture, strawberry flavor, and gorgeous pink color to the cake.
- Cream cheese – I recommend full-fat cream cheese, for the creamiest texture and richest flavor.
- Powdered sugar – For the smoothest texture, sift the powdered sugar before mixing it with the cream cheese.
- Vanilla extract
- Golden Oreos – These are different from the black-and-white chocolate Oreo cookies, as the cookies have a lighter, golden color and vanilla flavor.
- Freeze-dried strawberries – These have become increasingly easier to find over the years. If you can’t find them at your grocery store, they’re available online.
- Butter – Again, I use unsalted butter. This adds a rich, delicious flavor to the crunchy topping.
How to Make Strawberry Crunch Cake
Follow along with my photos and method below to make this amazing strawberry dessert!
- First, prep to make the cake. Prep by preheating the oven to 350°F. Then spray a 9×13-inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
- Cream the butter and sugar. Beat butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the granulated sugar and beat again until creamy.
- Beat in the eggs. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla extract.
- Add the milk and Jello. Add the milk and Jello powder, and beat the mixture until it is fully combined.
- Add the dry ingredient mix. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and mix until just combined.
- Bake the cake. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Cool the strawberry cake completely. Place cake on a wire rack to cool completely.
- Make the frosting. Use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract, and mix until combined.
- Make the crunch topping. Place the golden Oreos and freeze-dried strawberries in a plastic baggie and crush them with a rolling pin or kitchen mallet. Transfer crushed ingredients to a bowl and drizzle the melted butter over it. Mix until combined.
- Assemble the cake. Spread cream cheese frosting over the top of the cake. Sprinkle the crunch topping over the frosting and press it in lightly.
- Chill the cake. Chill the cake in the fridge for at least 1 hour before serving to allow the layers to set.
Tips & Variations
Here are a few ways to ensure that your strawberry crunch cake turns out perfectly each time:
- Soften the cream cheese. Before making the cream cheese frosting, let the cream cheese come to soft room temperature. This will help to eliminate a lumpy frosting.
- Sift the powdered sugar. Similarly, it’s wise to sift the powdered sugar to remove any clumps before adding it into the cream cheese.
- For the crunchiest topping! When the fully assembled cake sits in the fridge for more than an hour or so, the crunchy topping becomes less and less crunchy as time goes by. For the crunchiest topping, wait to add the crunch topping until right before serving – just know that you’ll need to press in the crunch topping just a little firmer.
- Make the cake in advance. If you’d like, you can make the cake a day in advance. However, you will want to wait to add the crunchy topping until right before serving – see the previous note.
- Make it a raspberry crunch cake. Feel like changing the flavor to raspberry? It’s so easy! Simply swap the strawberry Jello powder for raspberry Jello powder and use freeze-dried raspberries in the topping. Then serve the finished cake with fresh raspberries. The rest of the ingredients and method remains the same.
How to Store Extras
Store leftover strawberry crunch cake, tightly covered, in the fridge for up to 3 days. Serve slices of cake straight from the fridge.
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For the cake
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 package (6 ounces) strawberry Jello, just the powder
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon Morton kosher salt
For the frosting
- 10 ounces cream cheese, softened
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
For the crunch topping
- 10 golden Oreos, separated with cream middles removed (use only the crunchy cookie portion)
- 1½ cups freeze-dried strawberries
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- For the cake: Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray a 9x13-inch baking pan with non-stick spray and set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the granulated sugar and beat again until creamy.
- Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla extract.
- Add the milk and Jello powder, and beat the mixture until fully combined.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture, and mix until just combined.
- Transfer cake batter to prepared pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out just clean.
- Let the cake cool completely on a wire rack.
- For the frosting: In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract, and mix until smooth.
- For the crunch topping: Place golden Oreos and freeze-dried strawberries in a Ziplock bag and crush them with a rolling pin or kitchen mallet. If you don't want the Oreos to turn pink, crush each ingredient in a separate baggie or keep the two ingredients somewhat separated in one baggie. You could also use a food processor to pulse these ingredients until crumbly.
- Transfer crushed ingredients to a medium bowl and drizzle the melted butter over the top; stir to evenly combine.
- To assemble the cake: Spread cream cheese frosting over the cooled cake. Sprinkle the crunch topping over the frosting, and then lightly press it in.
- Chill the cake in the fridge for 1 hour before serving to allow the cake to set. If making the cake more in advance of serving, wait to add the crunchy topping until right before serving, for the crunchiest texture.
- Serve with fresh strawberries.
The cake can be made a day in advance and stored in the fridge until ready to serve.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 316Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 70mgSodium: 242mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 1gSugar: 21gProtein: 4g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Nutritionix. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your own favorite calculator.