I love this fresh Strawberry Crunch Cake in the spring and summer! It is so light and fresh and makes great use of the season's bounty.
It is the perfect dessert for warm days and will delight all at your next barbeque or backyard party. Mom loves when I make this Strawberry Crunch Cake for Mother's Day and Dad equally loves it for Father's Day too! To narrow it down, it is a great celebration cake during the warm months.
This cake uses the typical ingredients. Sugar, flour, butter, eggs, milk, and vanilla. The addition of oil helps keep the cake extra moist, and the sour cream keeps it tender. The extra yolks add to the richness and deepen the color of this beautiful yellow cake.
To make the topping for the cake, you will whip some cream with a little powdered sugar to sweeten it slightly. Then dice some fresh berries and saute them with some sugar to make syrupy berries and douse the cake with them. Then crunch up some butter cookies and freeze-dried strawberries and toss them with some butter to add the "crunch" to the top of the cake.
This is a bit of a two-part cake, and it uses a larger number of ingredients than I typically like to use, but it isn't overly difficult. The work is worth it in the end, and the nostalgia of the reminisces of a Strawberry Crunch Ice Cream Bar.
Use the JUMP TO RECIPE button at the top of the post, or scroll to the bottom of the post to see the full recipe card with ingredient measurements and instructions.
To make the cake, start by creaming the butter till smooth, then add the oil and sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add in the egg and yolks slowly. Whisk together the milk and sour cream and beat that into the batter. Place it into a greased tin and bake.
While the cake bakes, dice some strawberries and place them in a skillet with some sugar. Cook over medium heat till the berries release some liquid and cook till syrupy. When the cake comes out of the oven, let it cool a little, then poke holes in it with the back of a wooden spoon and pour the cooked strawberries and all their juices over the cake.
Now it is time to prepare the crunchy topping. Crush the butter cookies and freeze-dried strawberries in a food processor. I like to do them separately and then mix because otherwise the whole mixture becomes pink and I like a color contrast. Mix it with a little butter and stir them together.
Lastly, whip a little fresh cream. You could also use a tub of frozen whip topping you you like, but fresh is best. Spread the cream over the cooled cake and top with the crispy cookie and berry topping.
Place the complteted Strawberry Crunch Cake in the fridge to cool and set for a couple of hours at least, then slice and enjoy. Notice how the strawberry syrup has seeped into the holes and make the cake very moist!
Notes & Tips
It is best to butter this tin with real butter as opposed to baking spray. There is no need to line it with parchment as you will serve right from the tin or pan. But a generous buttering will keep the cake from sticking and allow for very clean slices to lift out of the pan.
Call this a poke cake if you must. The best way to do it is to use the end of a wooden spoon. Use a skinny one so the holes aren't too big.
I prefer to chop the cookies and freeze-dried strawberries for the topping separately because the color can quickly get muddied if you blend them together.
I only keep unsalted butter in my kitchen. But if you happen to have salted butter on hand that is ok. Simply reduce the amount of salt in the cake by half if you use salted butter.
Vegetable oil is my go-to for baking because it is a very neutral oil. But any neutral oil will work, corn or canola oil are some other great options.
Vanilla extract makes this a traditional yellow cake. But if you'd like to infuse a little more strawberry flavor into the cake, add some strawberry extract in its place.
For the cookies used to make the crumble topping, I like to use Chessmen or Lorna Doone cookies. A good butter cookie is all that is needed to achieve the crunch and flavor that mimics that on the ice cream bar treat.