Strawberry Sheet Cake: The Story Behind the Recipe

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Country Classics - strawberry cake

Click on the photo to go to the strawberry cake recipe.

Find the Strawberry Sheet Cake recipe on our sister site, Farm Flavor. Read on for the story behind the recipe:

Karen Norton, a Mt. Pleasant baker and caterer, reads cookbooks like most people read newspapers and magazines.

Her most popular cake is a cool and refreshing Strawberry Sheet Cake that her sister-in-law, Faye Hallmark, clipped out of a magazine or newspaper around 20 years ago.

“She is like me and collects (recipes),” Norton says.

Members of Norton’s family spend time almost daily cooking up tried-and-true recipes such as the strawberry cake, a variety of cupcakes and muffins, and a unique take on chicken salad at the family’s growing business, Family Bakery and Catering in Mt. Pleasant, which does special orders for delivery or pick-up at the farm.

Norton originally began selling her culinary creations after she and her husband bought a farm in Maury County. In 2001, she set up shop at the Franklin Farmers Market at The Factory, offering vegetables grown on the farm as well as baked goods such as zucchini bread. As the number of crops grew, so did their menagerie of treats – including the strawberry cake.

Four years later, Norton started the bakery and catering service, which gave her another outlet to experiment with dessert concoctions.

“My mother never went by a recipe when she made a cake,” she says. “I like putting something together and not knowing the outcome.”

Norton’s popular Strawberry Sheet Cake isn’t a dessert that needs much tweaking nowadays. It is pretty much the same as it’s been for two decades, except the pink cake is now also baked in cupcake form as a special treat more appealing to children.

The cake is one of her staples at the farmers market. Norton also says she always sells out when the strawberry cupcakes – a portable size of the sheet cake – are put out in the display case.

This recipe is a symbol of spring, she says, but the pink cake with pink frosting is a fan favorite any time of the year. The cold dessert with flecks of strawberry is at its best the longer it is refrigerated.

SEE ALSO: Strawberry Sheet Cake: The Recipe That Went Viral

Get the recipe here.



  1. A. Hayes

    May 20, 2011 at 10:24 pm

    Is 1 cup canola oil correct? It seems like an excessive amount, and it took the cake alot longer to cook.

  2. Katie G.

    May 25, 2011 at 6:56 pm

    I just made this recipe and it is gross. I don’t know if it was the dry jello or the huge amount of oil (or both)… but it turned out extremely heavy and dense. Yuck, I was looking forward to trying this recipe.

    Is there a typo in the article somewhere? This can’t be right…

  3. Julie Ducharme

    May 29, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    Baked this cake for a family dinner. It was excellant. Not a piece left. Great Summer time cake. Will make it again for sure.

  4. Joy Shell

    May 30, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    This cake is delicious. I baked it just this morning and it is a recipe I’ll be keeping, as well as sharing.

    • D. Lewis

      May 31, 2011 at 6:25 pm

      Just made the strawberry cake…it is delicious…will use the recipe again and share with friends…

  5. Amy

    June 8, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    My 15 – year -old daughter made this for us and it was SOOOOOOO goooooood. We all loved it. The only thing she did different was baked a bit longer and added strawberries to the top. I would have liked it even better actually without the frosting. it was a bit too sweet, but everybody else like it with, so it’s up to you how you do it. But otherwise EXCELLENT! We will be having this again.

  6. Jessy Yancey

    June 9, 2011 at 11:25 am

    Thanks for sharing your notes, Teresa. We’d love to use them in the letters section in the next issue of Tennessee Home & Farm. Thanks!

    Jessy Yancey
    managing editor

  7. Betsy

    June 14, 2011 at 6:08 pm

    A heavier, moist cake, but delicious. Lots of compliments after making for my Bunco Party last night. After reading the comments below I made a few substitutions – I added all wet ingredients (used 3/4 oil and 1/2 c mashed strawberries not sweetened) blended with mixer; then added dry ingredients & mixed for about another 2 minutes. Baked for 35 min. Let cool a bit then toped with icing while still warm. For icing: 1/2 stick real butter melted, 1/2 c mashed strawberries – unsweetened, 1 tbsp milk, 3 cups powder sugar – Frosting looks like picture. I think the seasonal strawberries are so sweet that they did not need to be further sweetened. Put in fridge for 24 hours before serving.

  8. Carol York

    June 18, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    Best cake I have baked in a long time. Baked one and shared it with my neighbors they all loved it too. I baked another one for a friend who lost her mom everybody liked it. I am baking my third one to rake to a family reunion next saturday. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  9. Lauren M.

    July 5, 2011 at 5:54 am

    Yum, this was sooo good. But when I first took it out of the oven I wasn’t so crazy about it. Definitely put in the fridge overnight after baked to really enjoy. All the flavors come together after that. This is definitely a recipe I will make again and again. It was a huge hit and so easy. Lots of flavor.

  10. Heather and WT

    August 21, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    Best cake ever! We don’t use the full 2 cups of sugar in the cake mix and only need around 2 cups of icing sugar.
    My young son and I are on a mission to try as many variations as we can think of. So far we’ve done strawberry, raspberry, mixed berry, lemon and blueberry and plain lemon. We substitute applesauce with lemon zest and juice of a lemon for the fruit mix!
    Next up will be orange. Cannot thank the inventor of this cake enough. It’s a great, easy fun project for a 3 year old and a mother who is running out of entertainment ideas in this heat!!!

  11. Pingback: Strawberry Cake | Life at Cloud 9 Ranch -

  12. Darlene

    February 19, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    Hi everyone. Going to make this cake and just wanted to know if you all really enjoyed it. I know with that amount of oil it will make it heavy but it sounds so yummy. Thanks you friend from Texas

  13. Paula

    April 27, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    This cake is so so so good!!!!!! Also easy!!

  14. Amyh

    July 20, 2012 at 10:12 pm

    I made this cake as written. It turned out with an oily dense part in the middle. I think I didn’t mix it long enough or maybe too much oil? Many recipes specify to mix for 2 minutes. Will try again. Worth making if I can fix that problem.

  15. Jimmy Steelmam

    February 23, 2013 at 5:56 pm

    It looks wonderful, would like to have the receipe ploease e-mail

  16. bettycrowe

    February 24, 2013 at 6:53 am

    I have made this cake numerous times. I also do a a variation with peach instead of strawberry that my family loves. This is the best recipe I have had in years. It is always a hit. Not one complaint.

  17. Dianne

    March 21, 2013 at 9:57 am

    Looks like a great recipe if you want to get a LOT MORE oil and sugar in your diet!!

  18. Stephanie

    July 31, 2013 at 9:41 am

    I made this cake for a pitch-in with a group of co-workers. They LOVED it! I bake & decorate cakes for friends and I have had several requests for this cake! Thanks for sharing!

  19. minnie blanks

    August 27, 2013 at 7:49 pm


    • Rachel Bertone

      August 28, 2013 at 8:10 am

      Hi Minnie,

      Thanks for your comment! We’ve included a link to the recipe at the bottom of the story, but you can also find it here: Hope it turns out for you!

      Rachel Bertone

  20. Richard Dowers

    May 30, 2018 at 6:31 pm

    I make a strawberry cake that uses white cake mix normally and it turn out great. I wanted to try this recipe because I was doing a sheet cake for a graduation party. The texture of this cake is dense but it is sooooo freaking smooth, moist and oh so good. The only thing I would change is thinning out the icing with more strawberries and definitely apply it when the cake warm. Excellent cake!!! Definitely will be making this for more events.

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