Sourdough Strawberry Cake with Fresh Berries

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This lightly-sweetened sourdough strawberry cake is made with fresh berries, lemon juice, yogurt, and sourdough discard. Filled and topped with juicy strawberries and creamy yogurt, this cake is perfect to welcome the bright days of spring. Plus, this is a no-wait recipe that’s finished in just over an hour.

Sourdough strawberry cake on plate

It might be an unpopular opinion, but I think spring baking–in some ways–is better than fall baking. Spring’s bright colors and seasonal produce offer a fresh array of flavors and aesthetics.

And nothing says spring more than fresh strawberries. Every year, we go to our local strawberry field to pick berries. To stock our pantry, I usually freeze dry our freshly-picked strawberries. But to celebrate spring, I like to make this sourdough strawberry cake.

This cake is a no-wait recipe meaning that you don’t have to let it ferment overnight (although you can if you prefer). Plus, you can make the batter in one bowl, so clean up is a cinch.

Close up of fresh strawberries

Why You’ll Love Sourdough Strawberry Cake

It’s not too sweet.

After winter, my tastebuds needs a reset. So for my spring baked treats, I often prefer lighter recipes. For instance, this cake calls for only 1 cup of sugar, which in the world of cake, isn’t much. Of course, you can always increase the sugar or use a sweetened yogurt if you want a sweeter cake.

Fresh strawberries!

Fresh strawberries are the star of this sourdough cake. With strawberries in the middle and top of the cake, each bite has a burst of fresh strawberry flavors. It looks fancy, but it’s as simple as it gets.


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    A quick and easy cake.

    This sourdough strawberry cake is a breeze. The batter can be made in one bowl, and you don’t need a stand mixer or a hand mixer. So in just a few minutes you can whip it up without a mess and without fancy equipment. As such, no-wait sourdough recipes like this one are some of my favorites. If you also like no-wait recipes, you’ll love this sourdough carrot cake recipe, too.

    It’s like sourdough strawberry shortcakes, but…

    This recipe is similar to sourdough strawberry shortcakes, but without the work of finding your biscuit cutter, cutting sourdough biscuits, and assembling shortcakes. To mimic strawberry shortcake, top with whipped cream (so easy to make with sugar and heavy cream) and fresh strawberries.

    Slice of strawberry sourdough cake

    Tips for Making Strawberry Sourdough Cake

    • Use active or inactive starter – Because this recipe doesn’t need starter for leavening, you can use either active sourdough starter or inactive sourdough discard. This is a great way to use up extra starter you have in the fridge. Just make sure it’s been fed within the last week or so.
    • Let the cake cool completely – If you are planning on dusting the cake with powdered sugar, topping it with whipped cream, or serving with ice cream, let it cool completely. Otherwise, the heat from the cake will melt the toppings.
    • Use neutral oil – Oils with strong flavors, like olive oil, can contrast with the mild cake flavor. With that in mind, I recommend using a neutral oil. I used avocado oil for my sourdough strawberry cake.

    How to long ferment sourdough strawberry cake

    When fermenting, the lactic acid in sourdough predigests phytic acid, making it easier to digest. As such, this cake can be a great choice if gluten intolerance–not celiac disease–is an issue.

    However, if you have a gluten intolerance, I always recommend talking to your healthcare professional to see if this a good option for you.

    To long ferment sourdough strawberry cake, mix together the sugar, oil, starter, and flour. Then, cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap. Allow to sit at room temperature for 8-12 hours. When you are ready to bake, combine the remaining wet and dry ingredients, respectively. Add them to your flour mixture.

    Watch More Sourdough Baking Tutorials

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    Tools You’ll Need

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    • Large mixing bowl – One bowl will do the trick. Mix together the wet ingredients, add the dry. And that’s it for dirty bowls!
    • Large spoon or Danish dough whisk – I like to use a Danish dough whisk because it is more efficient, works the flour less, and is easier to clean.
    • Knife – You will need a small knife to slice and hull the fresh strawberries.
    • Round cake pan – I used a standard 9″ round cake pan for this recipe.
    • Parchment paper – Generally, I butter and flour my cake pans. But lining them with parchment paper makes for easier clean up and no sticking.
    Close up of baked sourdough strawberry cake

    Sourdough Strawberry Cake Ingredients

    Wet Ingredients

    • 1 lb (500 g) strawberries, hulled and tops removed – If possible, I recommend using fresh strawberries. Fresh fruit adds an aesthetic appeal, especially on the top of the cake.
    • 1 cup (200 g) sugar – If you need a sugar substitute, I recommend using a granulated type like coconut sugar. Maple syrup or honey, for example, may add too much moisture to this recipe.
    • 1/2 cup (125 ml) neutral oil – Oils with strong flavors, like olive oil, can contrast with your cake. I recommend using a neutral oil. I used avocado oil for my sourdough strawberry cake.
    • 2 large eggs – Reconstituted freeze-dried eggs, farm fresh, or store-bought will do the job.
    • 1/2 (30 ml) lemon, juiced – Fresh lemons are always better, but use what you have. You can also add lemon zest if you prefer. Pro-tip: Use some of the leftover lemon after garnishing creamy lemon chicken.
    • 3/4 cup (200 g) plain greek yogurt or sour cream – I made mine with plain greek yogurt, but sour cream will also work in this recipe.
    • 1/2 cup (100 g) sourdough starter, active or inactive – Make sure your starter has been fed within the last week or so. If you notice gray liquid on the top, I recommend feeding your starter once or twice before using it.
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract – A dash of vanilla adds depth of flavor. Homemade or store-bought will work.
    Bowl of fresh strawberries

    Dry Ingredients

    • 2 1/4 cups (285 g) all-purpose flour – I like to use simple ingredients, so don’t worry about cake flour. Regular all-purpose flour works great.
    • 4 teaspoons baking powder – This is why you don’t need worry about cultivating the starter’s wild yeast. The baking powder is the leavening agent is this recipe.
    • Pinch of salt – I used coarse kosher salt in my strawberry sourdough cake.
    • Powdered sugar for topping (optional) – Powdered sugar makes a cake look really fancy and add a touch more sweetness. But you can certainly skip this part.

    How to Make Strawberry Sourdough Cake

    Prepare

    Preheat oven to 350° F.

    Grease a 9″ round cake pan with unsalted butter and flour, or line with parchment paper.

    Dice about 1/3 of the strawberries into bite-sized pieces. Cut the remaining strawberries in half. Keep separate, and set aside.

    Make the batter

    In a large bowl, mix together the sugar, oil, eggs, lemon juice, yogurt, sourdough starter, and vanilla. Then, stir until thoroughly combined.

    Add the dry ingredients, and fold in until combined.

    Cake batter with strawberries on top

    Assemble the cake

    Pour half of cake batter into pan and smooth over. Scatter DICED strawberries over batter in the pan.

    Next, pour the remaining batter in the pan. Smooth over and cover the diced strawberries. Place the HALVED strawberries on the top of the cake batter, cut side down.

    Sourdough strawberry cake with slice cut out

    Bake

    Bake for 50 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean from the center. Check your cake around the 40 minute mark to make sure it isn’t getting too browned. If so, cover with foil.

    Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes in pan. Then, remove from cake pan and cool on wire rack until room temp.

    Use a sieve to dust with powdered sugar (optional). Serve with whipped cream or a scoop of strawberry ice cream.

    More Recipes You’ll Love

    Sourdough strawberry cake on plate

    Sourdough Strawberry Cake

    Yield: 12 slices
    Prep Time: 15 minutes
    Cook Time: 50 minutes
    Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

    This lightly-sweetened sourdough strawberry cake is made with fresh berries, lemon juice, yogurt, and sourdough discard. Filled and topped with juicy strawberries and creamy yogurt, this cake is perfect to welcome the bright days of spring. Plus, this is a no-wait recipe that's finished in just over an hour.

    Ingredients

    • 1 lb (500 g) strawberries, hulled and tops removed
    • 1 cup (200 g) sugar
    • 1/2 cup (125 ml) neutral oil
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1/2 (30 ml) lemon, juiced
    • 3/4 cup (200 g) plain greek yogurt
    • 1/2 cup (100 g) sourdough starter, active or inactive
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • 2 1/4 cups (285 g) all-purpose flour
    • 4 teaspoons baking powder
    • Pinch of salt
    • Powdered sugar for topping

    Instructions

      1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
      2. Grease a 9" round cake pan with unsalted butter and flour or line with parchment paper.
      3. Dice about 1/3 of the strawberries into bite-sized pieces. Cut the remaining strawberries in half. Keep separate, and set aside.
      4. In a large bowl, mix together the sugar, oil, eggs, lemon juice, yogurt, sourdough starter, and vanilla. Stir until thoroughly combined.
      5. Add the dry ingredients. Fold until combined.
      6. Pour half of cake batter into pan and smooth over.
      7. Scatter DICED strawberries over batter in the pan.
      8. Pour the remaining batter in the pan. Smooth over and cover the diced strawberries.
      9. Place the HALVED strawberries on the top of the cake batter, cut side down.
      10. Bake for 50 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean from the center. Check your cake around the 40 minute mark to make sure it isn’t getting too browned. If so, cover with foil.
      11. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes in pan. Then, remove from cake pan and cool on wire rack until room temp.
      12. Use a sieve to dust with powdered sugar. Serve with whipped cream or a scoop of strawberry ice cream.

    Notes

    Oven temperatures vary. Be sure to adjust the time as necessary for your oven.

    Nutrition Information:
    Yield: 12
    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 270

    Nutrition info is auto-calculated and may not reflect your finished product.

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