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Strawberry Upside Down Cake

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This Strawberry Upside Down Cake is a unique twist on a summer classic dessert. A hint of lavender transforms a delicious strawberry cake into something magical.

Side view of a slice of Strawberry Upside Down Cake with a dollop of whipped cream.

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What I Love About This Strawberry Cake

If you love strawberry cake and upside-down cakes, this is a treat you won’t want to miss. The cake layer is incredibly buttery and tender, with just a hint of lavender, providing a perfect compliment that makes it extra special and noteworthy. The strawberry layer is not only beautiful but delicious, too.

The cake is deceptively easy to make, as I try to do with all of my cakes. The upside down aspect makes it fun and perfect for fancier dinner parties or casual backyard eating.

You may also enjoy the Rhubarb Upside Down Cake, a similar cake recipe made using fresh rhubarb, or later in the season, I love the Maple Pear Upside Down Cake when pears are in season.

For a completely different take, we also love Orange Upside Down Cake and the 2-Minute Pineapple Upside Down Mug Cake, which is a quick microwave treat.

Top view of Strawberry Upside Down Cake in a white wire serving platter.

Strawberry Upside Down Cake Ingredients

The complete ingredients and their measurements are in the recipe card at the bottom of this post, but here is a quick list of what you will need:

  • Fresh Strawberries: Look for bright red berries that are not overly ripe. Frozen strawberries do not work in this recipe because of their added moisture.
  • Butter: Both salted and unsalted butter works in this recipe. I’m using salted butter for flavor.
  • All-purpose flour: I haven’t tested this with self-rising flour or gluten-free flour, but I’m sure both will work well if substituted. If using self-rising flour, omit the baking powder and salt in the recipe.
  • Baking powder: Gives the cake its beautiful rise. Be sure to use fresh baking powder.
  • Granulated sugar for sweetness
  • Eggs: I’m using large-size eggs at room temperature, which helps give the cake a light texture.
  • Vanilla: An ingredient that always elevates cake!
  • Dried Culinary Lavender: This ingredient is optional, but if you’re a fan of lavender, I encourage you to try it. It’s one of the flavors that beautifully enhances strawberries.
  • Sour Cream: It’s that secret ingredient that makes a cake so incredibly moist and tender.

How to Make Strawberry Cake

Begin by preheating the oven to 350°F and buttering the sides and bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. Then wrap a layer of foil around the bottom of the pan (to help catch any cake drippings) and place on a baking pan.

Step 1: Create a Strawberry Layer

In a medium bowl, toss together the strawberries, cornstarch, and sugar. Spread the berries evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan. I like to make a pretty pattern with the cut side up as this will be the top of the cake.

Top view of strawberries macerating in a glass bowl.
Top view of the strawberry layer in the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan.

Step 2: Lavender Butter

I mentioned a hint of lavender in this cake. Here’s where that lavender comes in.

Melt the butter and stir in the dried culinary lavender. Let it steep for 10-15 minutes and then strain the butter through a fine-mesh strainer and discard the lavender. Let cool slightly.

Step 3: Make the Cake Batter

In a bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside.

In a separate bowl, whisk the melted butter and sugar together until fully combined. Then whisk in the eggs, one at a time, the vanilla, and the sour cream until the batter is smooth. Finally, fold in the dry ingredients.

Spoon the batter over the strawberries, taking care not to overly disturb the strawberry layer, and then smooth the top with a spatula.

Top view of cake batter over sliced strawberries in a springform pan.

Step 4: Bake the Strawberry Cake

Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the top of the cake is golden, firm to the touch, and a toothpick comes out clean. Ovens vary, but I begin checking with a toothpick around 33 minutes.

Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes then run a knife around the outside edges of the cake. Place a plate on top of the pan and turn it upside down. Release the cake from the pan while it’s still warm. Otherwise, it will stick to the pan and serve!

Top view of a slice of strawberry cake on a white and white plate.

Serving Strawberry Cake (Upside Down)

Once the cake is inverted onto a serving plate, it’s honestly ready to serve. The berries are beautiful and glossy, not to mention utterly delicious. You can dust it with powdered sugar, although I find that it almost immediately absorbs into the strawberry layer. What I do love is serving with a dollop of whipping cream.

How to Store Leftovers

Leftover cake can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days or refrigerated for up to a week. I don’t recommend freezing this cake, as it alters the texture.

Do Lavender and Strawberries go together?

Beautifully! The sweet, fragrant floral flavor of lavender pairs perfectly with fresh strawberries. Driscoll’s Berries agrees and adds that mint and basil are also delicious.

Strawberry Cake Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use frozen strawberries instead of fresh ones?

No. Frozen strawberries do not work in this recipe because of their higher moisture content.

How do I prevent the cake from sticking to the pan?

To prevent sticking, generously butter the cake pan (or use baking spray). If you have access to a nonstick springform pan, this helps ensure the cake comes out evenly when inverting it.

What is the best way to serve Strawberry Upside Down Cake?

This cake is best served slightly warm or at room temperature. It pairs wonderfully with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream.

Side view of strawberry cake on a blue and white plate with a bite missing.
Horizontal side view of Strawberry Upside Down Cake with whipped cream and a sliced strawberry for serving.
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5 from 1 vote

Strawberry Upside Down Cake

This Strawberry Upside Down Cake is a unique twist on a summer classic dessert. A hint of lavender transforms a delicious strawberry cake into something magical.
Prep Time15 minutes
Active Time35 minutes
Total Time50 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: strawberry cake, upside down strawberry cake
Yield: 12 servings
Calories: 337kcal

Materials

Strawberry Layer

  • 1 pound strawberries stems removed and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar divided
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch

Cake Layer

  • 1 cup butter melted
  • 1 tablespoon dried culinary lavender optional but so delicious!
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar plus 2 tablespoons, divided
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/3 cup sour cream

Instructions

Strawberry Layer

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter the sides and bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. Wrap 2 layers of foil under the pan and place it on a baking sheet.
  • In a medium bowl, toss together the strawberries, cornstarch, and sugar. Spread the berries evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan.

Cake Layer

  • Melt the butter and stir in the dried culinary lavender. Let steep for 10-15 minutes and then strain the butter through a fine-mesh strainer and discard the lavender. Let cool slightly.
  • In a bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk the melted butter and sugar together until fully combined. Then whisk in the eggs, one at a time, the vanilla, and the sour cream until the batter is smooth. Finally, fold in the dry ingredients.
  • Spoon the batter over the strawberries, taking care not to overly disturb the strawberry layer and then smooth the top with a spatula.
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the top of the cake is golden, firm to the touch, and a toothpick comes out clean. Ovens vary, but I begin checking with a toothpick around 33 minutes.
  • Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes then run a knife around the outside edges of the cake. Place a plate on top of the pan and turn it upside down. Release the cake from the pan while it's still warm. Otherwise, it will stick to the pan and serve!

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 337kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 89mg | Sodium: 296mg | Potassium: 117mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 23g | Vitamin A: 570IU | Vitamin C: 22mg | Calcium: 62mg | Iron: 1mg

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