Strawberry Crunch Cake
Strawberry crunch cake is a twist on the classic strawberry shortcake ice cream bars. I took all the iconic flavors of the popular ice cream bars – sweet strawberry, creamy vanilla, and strawberry crunch topping – and turned them into a cake!
If you’re like me, you can remember the excitement of ripping open Good Humor strawberry shortcake ice cream bars and biting into that creamy vanilla with strawberry crunch crumbles. It’s a core childhood memory!
Now, I’ve turned a favorite ice cream bar into one of my favorite cakes! This delicious treat is perfect for any season and any occasion, from birthdays to casual get-togethers, and sometimes just because your family needs a special treat. Plus, the recipe is so easy to follow, you’ll be able to make this cake in no time.
If there are some traditional cake lovers in your family, make vanilla sheet cake as another option!
Why You’ll Love This Strawberry Crunch Cake
- Classic strawberry shortcake flavor
- Easy recipe
- No professional baking experience needed!
- Bright & colorful
What You’ll Need
This moist and delicious strawberry crunch cake with fresh crunchy toppings made from nilla wafers and freeze-dried strawberries will be a huge hit with your family and friends! Get the full measurements in the recipe card below.
- Unsalted butter – Make sure it’s melted.
- Strawberry jello mix
- Strawberry cake mix
- Unsalted butter – Be sure to leave time to bring butter to room temperature.
- Vanilla extract
- Powdered sugar
- Dash milk or heavy cream – In case the frosting becomes too thick.
- Nilla Wafers
- Freeze Dried Strawberries
- Unsalted butter
How to Make Strawberry Crunch Cake
This strawberry crunch cake is incredibly easy to make, and results in a gorgeous cake that will seriously impress your family and friends. Get the full recipe in the recipe card below.
Preheat oven. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Spray a 9×13 inch pan with non-stick cooking spray.
Combine cake ingredients. In a large bowl combine the eggs, melted butter, milk, strawberry gelatin mixture, and strawberry cake mix. Use an electric mixer to combine.
Add batter to prepared pan and bake. Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan, and bake for 23-28 minutes. Allow the cake to cool completely before adding the frosting.
Combine butter and vanilla extract. In a large mixing bowl, combine the butter and vanilla extract, beat using an electric mixer until fluffy, 1-2 minutes.
Add powdered sugar. Gradually add the powdered sugar, mixing on low until combined.
Taste test. Taste as needed to determine if you want more powdered sugar. If the frosting becomes too thick, add a dash of milk or heavy cream.
Cool. Once the cake is cool, spread the frosting over the cake.
Prepare Toppings. In a ziploc bag or other plastic bag, combine the nilla wafers and freeze dried strawberries. Zip close and use a rolling pin or similar to crush the mixture.
Add butter to the toppings mixture. Once the mixture is crushed, add in the melted butter, and shake to combine.
Add toppings. Sprinkle the topping mixture evenly over the cake. Slice and serve.
Tips for the Best Strawberry Crunch Cake
- Let the cake cool completely before frosting. Be sure the cake has cooled completely before frosting or the frosting will melt off the cake, and you’ll have nothing to stick your crunchy toppings to.
- Your oven’s baking times may vary. Use a toothpick to check the cake for doneness. If the toothpick comes out clean, the cake is done.
- Make sure your eggs are at room temperature before adding them to the ingredients. Room-temperature eggs mix more easily into the cake batter and also allow the cake to rise more easily.
Substitutions & Variations
More layers. Go even bigger by adding more layers of strawberry cake with frosting and strawberry shortcake crumbles between the layers.
Store bought frosting. Use store bought vanilla frosting, vanilla buttercream frosting, or cream cheese frosting if you don’t want to make your own.
Homemade cake. Cake mix is the easy way and the fastest way to make this recipe, but you can make a homemade version of this cake if you prefer.
Use white cake. If you don’t love strawberry cake, you can always substitute white cake mix or make your own homemade white cake.
Golden Oreos. Use golden oreo cookies in the topping instead of nilla wafers for even more vanilla flavor.
Strawberry crunch cake is made of a strawberry cake topped with frosting, crunchy nilla wafers, and freeze-dried strawberries.
Freeze-dried fruit works best for the crunchy topping of this strawberry crunch cake recipe. Freeze-dried strawberries have tons of strawberry flavor with all the moisture removed, so they have a crisp texture. If you are making homemade strawberry cake, you can add fresh strawberries to the cake batter for even more fresh strawberry flavor.
You can add crunch to the cake with crumbled cookies, crispy cereal, or chopped nuts like hazelnuts. What you add for crunch will depend on the flavor you’re going for. In this strawberry crunch cake, freeze-dried strawberries and nilla wafers give it its crunchy texture.
Box cake mix is awesome for making baking faster and easier. Sometimes you might feel like it’s missing something. If you want to add a little more moisture or fluffy texture to your box mix, try adding an extra egg yolk, instant pudding, instant jello, or milk to give your cake a little boost of flavor and better texture.
This cake can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days.
Serve strawberry crunch cake on its own or pair it with vanilla ice cream. Serving this cake with ice cream with make it even more reminiscent of strawberry shortcake ice cream bars!
More Cake Recipes
Strawberry Crunch Cake
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup unsalted butter, melted (2 sticks)
- 1 ¼ cup milk
- 1 box strawberry jello, 3 oz
- 15.25 oz strawberry cake mix
- 3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature (1 & 1/2 cups)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2-3 cups powdered sugar
- Dash milk or heavy cream if frosting becomes too thick
- 2 ½ cups Nilla Wafers
- 1 cup Freeze dried strawberries, equal to 1 oz
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Spray a 9×13 inch pan with non-stick cooking spray.
- In a mixing bowl combine the eggs, melted butter, milk, strawberry jello powder, and strawberry cake mix. Use an electric mixer to combine.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and bake for 23-28 minutes. Allow the cake to cool completely before adding the frosting.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the butter and vanilla extract, beat using an electric mixer until fluffy, 1-2 minutes.
- Gradually add the powdered sugar, mixing on low until combined.
- Taste as needed to determine if you want more powdered sugar. If the frosting becomes too thick, add a dash of milk or heavy cream.
- Once the cake is cool, spread the frosting over the cake.
- In a ziplock bag combine the nilla wafers and freeze dried strawberries. Zip close and use a rolling pin or similar to crush the mixture.
- Once the mixture is crushed, add in the melted butter, shake to combine.
- Sprinkle the topping mixture evenly over the cake. Slice and serve.