Strawberry Refrigerator Cake

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If you are looking for a delicious and strawberry cake recipe, I have the perfect one for you to make!

This is a family recipe that my good friend Kim shared with me years ago. Her husband’s mom and his grandmother have made this cake for years.

This strawberry cake recipe is literally amazing and the most requested dessert at our house.

What I love about family events at Kim’s house is that her mother-in-law generally brings something food related when Kim hosts a cookout or birthday party. I have begged for many of their family recipes like the Indiana Chowder and Apple Upside Down Pie that I’ve shared with you before.

And this my friend is how you make the most amazing strawberry cake. I expect you to make it for your next potluck dinner! (I made it for Anthony’s 12th birthday last weekend and we hauled it with us to the pizza place and devoured it!)


Make the boxed cake mix according to the directions on the back. I could not find the Duncan Hines Supreme Strawberry cake mix, but I could find the Pillsbury version. It worked just fine. I love to use my standing mixer when I make cakes. Makes the process so much easier!

Pour the cake batter into a greased 9×13 cake pan and bake according to the box directions.

box strawberry cake

When it is done take it out of the oven and let it cool 100%.

Once it is cool, use the handle of a wooden spoon to poke rows and rows of holes in the cake.   (I love recipe directions like this, a clear indication this will be amazing!)

poke holes in the cake

Add the thawed strawberries with syrup into a food processor or blender.

Pulse until it is a slushy consistency.

frozen strawberries in syrup

It will look like this with chunks for strawberries.


pulse frozen strawberries

Pour the strawberry puree mixture over the cake and spread it out evenly.

Let it soak in.

pour strawberries over cake

While you are letting the strawberry puree soak in, put 1 cup of cold milk and the instant vanilla pudding mix into a bowl and mix until it thickens.

The box of instant pudding says to use 2 cups of milk, but we are only going to use 1 cup.

instant vanilla pudding

Fold in the thawed Cool Whip.

fold in the cool whip

Once the pudding and Cool Whip are well combined, spread it over the top of the cake.

vanilla pudding and whip cream icing

Spread it evenly.

ice the cake

Take the fresh strawberry halves and place them on top of the cake frosting.

I placed the strawberries in row, do what you like best.

easy strawberry cake

While I was making this all I could think about was one of our local Snow Cone shops and how they make these amazing Strawberry Shortcake Snow Cones and they top it with a layer of chopped pecans and then a heaping of Cool Whip.

Chopped pecans just seemed natural for this cake.

Sprinkle them on, but this is totally optional.

Just look at that!

Now, pop it in the fridge for at least 4 hours.

how to make a strawberry refrigerator cake

When you are ready to serve, slice it up and devour.

We loved this!

Anthony loved it.

This is a perfect birthday cake for an older child.

Even if he is a boy.

Make it this weekend.

You know you want to.

easy cake recipes

(Thank you Kim and family for letting me share this with my readers!)



Strawberry Refrigerator Cake

Strawberry Refrigerator Cake

This strawberry refrigerator cake has all the flavors of summer strawberries and it is moist and delicious!


  • 1 Duncan Hines Supreme Strawberry Cake Mix
  • Ingredients Listed on Back of Cake Box (egg, water, oil)
  • 2 (10 oz) boxes of Frozen Strawberries in Syrup
  • 1 cup of cold milk
  • 1 (3.5 oz ) box of Vanilla Instant Pudding
  • 1 (8 oz) container of Cool Whip, thawed
  • 1 pint strawberries (with tops removed and strawberries cut in half), thawed
  • 1/3 c chopped pecans - optional


  1. Make the boxed cake according to the package directions.
  2. Once done and baked, allow to cool completely.
  3. Once cooled, use the handle of a wooden spoon to make small holes all over the top of the cake.
  4. In a food processor or blender puree down the thawed strawberries.
  5. Pour the strawberry puree over the cake and allow to soak in completely.
  6. In a separate bowl, combine the vanilla pudding and only 1 cup of milk.
  7. Fold in the thawed cool whip into the pudding mixture.
  8. Spread the mixture over the top of the cake.
  9. Top with sliced strawberries and chopped pecans (optional).



  1. Tina Renee Barker says:

    I made this cake today for our Sunday family lunch tomorrow! I goofed a bit by using a 23 oz. tub of strawberries in syrup so my cake didn’t soak all the juice up but I’m sure it will taste fantastic none the less! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!!!!

    1. elizabeth says:

      Well, it looks like I’m the only one who had trouble with this recipe. I made it for a big Bridge/Birthday party and I don’t think I will be serving it. First of all the whipped cream did NOT spread OVER the top of the strawberry puree-it got all jumbled up WITH it. Second, it is completely soggy. I have it in the freezer right now and am hoping that by freezing it I can serve it as a “frozen” dessert. However, I’m not too optimistic and am pretty sure I’ll be heading to the bakery for a store bought cake! Was I supposed to FREEZE the cake BEFORE I put the Cool Whip combo on top so the puree was solid? If so it was not mentioned.

      1. Thanks for your feedback and I am sorry this was a disappointing recipe for you.

        You are not supposed to freeze the cake, just refrigerate.

        Did you poke holes in the cake once it was cooled so the strawberry puree can seep into the cake? This will prevent the puree mixture from sitting on top of the cake and mixing in with the whipped topping.

        Did you run the frozen strawberries through the food processor and pulse them to make a liquid-like mixture?

        How did you apply the whipped topping? If you notice in my picture I dumped all of the whipped topping into the middle of the cake and then spread it out. If you apply the whipped topping in small amounts I image that could make a mess.

        Did you bake the cake in a 9×13 pan? If you baked it in a smaller pan, like a 9×9, that might prevent the puree from soaking up complexly. {I am just trying to run through ideas here. If the directions from my post were followed it should have come out exactly like my pictures. It really is a simple cake.}

        By placing the cake in the fridge for 4 hours once it’s assembled completely, sets the puree so it is not a soggy cake.

        Without seeing pictures of your results and process it is hard to help, but we have made this cake many many times and love it every time. My friend Kim’s mother has been making it for decades and it is amazing.

        I would love to help you.

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  3. mary cunningham says:

    Is there no strawberry jello mixed in with the strawberry puree????????? I’ve made poke cakes before but there has been jello in the mixturel

      1. Rattlebridge Farm -- Foodie Friday says:

        Wow, this cake looks scrumptious! Can’t wait to make it! Thanks for playing with us at Foodie Friday!

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  6. Also great wth the cheesecake pudding flavor

  7. Patti James says:

    We need a printable version, please…

    1. Hi Patti- the printable version has been added to the end of the recipe! Thank you so much for bringing to my attention that it was missing.

      Have an awesome day!

  8. Pamela J Slocumb says:

    This is the first time I’ve seen your site, but I must tell you that I LOVE the fact that you include a printable version with your recipes! What a great idea which is also so very helpful! Thank you!

    1. Pamela- thank you so much for your sweet words. This recipe went viral and we’ve seen lots of new readers. I try to provide the printable at the end of each recipe. I am in the process of adding it to any recipes that are missing it.

      Glad you are here and hope you’ll check out some of the other ideas on my site as well. I love sharing easy recipes for busy families, educational resources and activities for kids, as well as crafts and other mommy solutions!

  9. Phyllis Gerow says:

    do I use strawberries. w/syrup in regular or with sugar added?

  10. Hi Crystal,

    This is the first time I’ve seen your site and i simply love it, i’m planning a dinner party on this weekend and your dessert looks very tempting, i just wanna to ask you if we can use fresh strawberry home made syrup instead of frozen one, as i cant find it here.

    1. You could certainly make your own pureed strawberries by placing some slices strawberries in a bowl and covering them in sugar and letting them turn into a saucy mixture and then run it through the food processor to puree it.

  11. Your cake looks great, and it would be perfect for Valentine’s day!!! Looks delicious!

    1. Maria- it would make an awesome Valentine dessert! Agree 100%!

  12. Hi Crystal,
    Your Strawberry Refrigerator Cake is printed and pinned and soon to be in my oven! Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and have a great weekend!
    Miz Helen

  13. Oh, my, yum!!! I have to try this recipe!

    Thank you for stopping by the Thoughtful Spot Weekly Blog Hop this week. We hope to see you drop by our neck of the woods next week!

  14. Pingback: Easy Strawberry Cake!
  15. Sharon Halmoy says:

    I was wondering if anyone had tried this with raspberries and chocolate pudding?

    1. Sharon- I have no idea, but that sounds AMAZING!

      Let me know if you try it.

  16. Loved it!! love it!!! Thakyou!! I am so following!!!!

  17. Do you think you can freeze this? I’m not sure about the pudding in it. I know everything else is freezable.

    1. Patty, I have no idea. But, if you freeze it and all is well let me know. Good question.

  18. Just wanted to let you know that I made this. It was wonderful! I love how simple it was to make, and everyone enjoyed it.

    1. Yay! That is awesome to hear. I made it today as well for Easter. We love it!

  19. HI…I am making this cake for Father’s Day and it says to refrigerator it for 4 hours, would I be able to make the cake the night before? We are having a 1:00 party. Want it to be a success so don’t know if over night is too long, don’t want to ruin it. Thanks!

  20. Oh my – that looks simply delicious – and it looks like you have to put so much more effort in than you really do, which is my kind of cake lol

  21. Would have to say that it looks absolutely delicious. Would love to bake this for my family as we love sweets especially strawberry flavored

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  23. Hi crystal, I was wondering if you could send me this recipe with an Australian conversion please. The strawberry cake mix isn’t available in Australia, but we have one from Betty Crockers Kitchen called Strawberries and cream, will that be ok to use? Also, I’m not sure about the Cool Whip… Can’t I just whip my own cream and use that?

    1. Yes, the Betty Crocker cake mix will work fine. And you can make your own whipped cream indeed! I have a link at the end of the post for an organic version if you’re interested.

  24. I could only find strawberries in sugar is that the same thing as in syrup?

  25. My husband actually found this recipe and asked me to make if. My daughter picked up the pudding mix for me and its cook and serve. Will this work? I don’t know how different the cook and serve pudding is from the instant kind. Thanks!!

    1. Honestly, I have no idea. But, you’re mixing it in with milk and then with Cool Whip. I bet it would be just fine. I would totally try it if I were you.

      Do come back and let me know how it works. I would love to know.

  26. I had a box of instant white chocolate pudding mix so I used it. the caje is so moist, delicious and a refreshing change from heavy, rich desserts. Thanks so much!!

  27. Great recipe! if vanilla pudding is not available, what can you recommend as a substitute? thanks in advance!

  28. Lisa Rule says:

    I made this today for the Superbowl and it was so delicious. Thank You for the recipe. It is a keeper.

  29. Glenda Cooper says:

    Love the strawberry cake recipe.

  30. WOw the recipe seem so yummy and my mouth is watering to read about it.
    It seems easy as I am fond of making cakes and strawberry is my favorite flavor, I will try this with fresh strawberry puree, as this is new addition for me on cake. I hope it will turn out good from me too.

    Thank you for an amazing recipe.

  31. Will try this over the weekend tks

  32. I can’t find strawberries in syrup anywhere. Can / should I use frozen sliced strawberries in sugar?

  33. Sunday thomas says:

    Love to hve more recipes on dessert n main dinners , well anything really….love to cook

  34. I’m making this for a work brunch for Valentine’s Day. Would it be OK to make the night before, put in the fridge overnight and take it to work the next morning? Thanks!

  35. You need a Pinterest button!

    1. You don’t see it? Post title. Social media buttons. Content. All social media buttons are right under the post title.

  36. Oh my god this looks DELICIOUS. If only we have all the ingredients easily accessible here, I would try this even if its in the middle of the night. Thank you for sharing, photos will do for now. 🙂

  37. Can you serve this immediately after you make it was without having to refrigerate 4 hours? Thanks. Looks delicious!

  38. Oh my goodness, this looks amazing! I am NOT a baker by any means so when I see a cake recipe that I can actually make AND looks amazing?! DONE!

    1. Tara- this cake is life changing. It will become THE cake your family begs you to make!

  39. I served this after Sunday lunch and everyone loved it. It was absolutely delicious!

  40. Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. says:

    This looks so pretty and really yummy! Featured you at our party this morning. Thanks so much for sharing!

  41. Just made this to serve with Easter dinner tomorrow. I made a small sampler for myself to try ahead of tomorrow just in case it didn’t turn out right or if it was too sweet (my mom hates desserts that are way too sweet). This. Is. Incredible!!!!!!! And so easy to make!!!!!!! Thank you so much for sharing, I will definitely be adding this to my list of killer desserts that will have everyone thinking I went through a lot of trouble to make.

    1. Yay! So excited to hear this. Enjoy your amazing Easter Sunday with family and great dessert.

  42. This cake looks delicious! First time to your site and I absolutely am going to be staying;) I think this recipe would also be yummh with lemon pudding don’t you think kinda like a spring/summer strawberry lemonade flavor? Yumm. Can’t wait to buy the ingredients and make this weekend for a family BBQ I’m betting this will be a hit! Thanks!!

  43. This was a soupy mess! Only use half of the strawberry purée, TOPS!

    1. That should not happen. If your holes are too small and if there are too few holes, then the puree will not absorb as well.

  44. Thanks for sharing your recipe at the Sundays Down Under link up. I’ve pinned your post and look forward to trying that recipe soon!

    Best wishes and hope you can join in again this weekend.
    Natasha in Oz

  45. Sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing at What’d You Do This Weekend? I hope you will join us again this Monday!

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  47. Hi, I’ve made this cake a few time, I even made cupcakes and is always a hit. I’m making it again in a couple days. Is there a trick/easier way to poke holes in the cake and not have the bottom of the wooden spoon come up with so much cake on it? I did make sure the cake was cooked and even tried refrigerating the cake before poking the holes.
    That is the hardest part about making the cake, I’ve even tried spraying the end of the wooden spoon with cooking spray, but that didn’t help much. Thanks in advance.

    1. Just make sure it is 100% cooled and then maybe spray the spoon handle with coconut oil or something equivalent.

  48. What a delicious and simple cake! Your recipe received the most clicks last week, over at Simple Supper Tuesday. We’d love for you to join us again, starting Monday night at 8pm EST.

  49. This looks really delicious! We have a local strawberry field right down the road, and this is the perfect excuse to make a stop!

  50. This looks soooo good!!! I am not a huge chocolate person so this is right up my alley. Thanks so much for sharing! I have the ingredients on my shopping list already. Thanks 🙂

  51. Pingback: 20 Scrumptious Dessert Recipes - Making The World Cuter
  52. Deborah Delmonico says:

    Just made this cake for our Sunday dinner dessert and, WOW, was it delicious! I followed your very clear instructions precisely and it came out perfectly! It was moist not soggy, flavorful, easy to prepare, and just so very, very delicious. Thanks so much for sharing this treasure of a recipe!!! 🙂

    1. Deborah this note just made my day! Thank you so much for sharing and I am very excited your family enjoyed it. Such a delicious dessert we enjoy as well!

  53. Perfection! Followed exactly & it’s absolutely delicious!! Had NO problems..

  54. Thank you so much for sharing this delicious recipe! So easy to follow and I am sure everybody will really love to take a bite on this easy to make cake! I love the photos, it is so mouth watering. Again, thank you for sharing!

  55. I’m making this for the 3rd time tonight to have for dessert tomorrow for thanksgiving!!! I’ve used the same recipe everytime . And everytime it comes out just as perfect as the first. THANK YOU SO MUCH ? LOVE IT. SO DOES THE FAMILY

  56. I made this cake today and my family loved it.. we have none left.?

  57. This is the best cake I have ever made!!! Thank you for sharing the recipe!!!

  58. This looks super delicious. This would make the perfect summer pudding. Will have to try it out soon x

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