Peanut Butter-Swirled Strawberry Cake


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This is one of the best cakes I’ve ever made. There’s one pound of strawberries in an 8-inch cake.

Along with swirls and valleys of peanut butter. Need I say more.

Peanut Butter-Swirled Strawberry Cake - Easy Recipe at

The cake is based on the recent Blueberry Muffin and Buttermilk Pancakes Cake ,Peaches and Cream Fluffy Muffin Cake, and the Cream Cheese-Swirled Cherry and Mixed Berries Cake.

I used the same cake base here as I did for those because it doesn’t disappoint. It’s exceedingly moist and soft, and it’s fast and easy.

Like PB & J in decadent cake form.

Peanut Butter-Swirled Strawberry Cake - Easy Recipe at

The batter comes together with a whisk, and is as easy as making muffin batter. A bowl of dry ingredients, a bowl of wet ingredients, fold wet into dry, and pour in a pan. So easy.

The cake is springy, soft, and fluffy. It’s got just the right amount of density to leave you feeling satisfied.

There’s Greek yogurt (or sour cream) in the batter, along with buttermilk and oil, all of which keep cakes moist and soft.

Peanut Butter-Swirled Strawberry Cake - Easy Recipe at

There’s an abundance of big, juicy berries woven throughout. I used one 16-ounce bag of frozen strawberries. I always bake with frozen and save my fresh berries for eating. Feel free to substitute with cherries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, peaches; fresh or frozen.

If you’re using fresh fruit, the baking time will likely be dramatically less, by as much as 20 minutes or so. When I used this cake base with fresh peaches, my baking time was a solid 10 minutes less. With all cakes and baking in general, watch your cake and not the clock. Bake until it’s done.

Peanut Butter-Swirled Strawberry Cake - Easy Recipe at

I suggest tenting your pan at about the 40 minute mark. That simply means laying a sheet of foil across the top of the pan so the surface of the cake doesn’t become overly browned before the interior fully cooks through.

With a pound of juicy fruit inside, it takes awhile to cook through completely.

Peanut Butter-Swirled Strawberry Cake - Easy Recipe at

As much as I like cream cheese swirls, peanut butter trumps cream cheese. The slight saltiness of the peanut butter complements the juicy, sweet fruit wonderfully well. It’s a cake that reminds me of a PB & J sandwich, but with actual strawberries rather than jelly.

The peanut butter sinks and ‘disappears’ to some extent while baking, so don’t go too crazy with the swirling and start off with thin, wispy swirls. You’ll never see them after the cake is baked.

Embrace those big patches and blobs of peanut butter because they’ll turn into lovely peanut butter valleys during baking.

Peanut Butter-Swirled Strawberry Cake - Easy Recipe at

I loved this cake so much. I tried to forget about it and put it deep inside my cupboard, thinking out of sight, out of mind. Wrong. I found myself going back to the lightly sweetened cake, with just a fork, straightening out the rows. Again and again.

The wall of soft strawberries that inevitably sink to the bottom of the cake, despite flouring them before baking, is the best part of cake. Dense walls of fruit are the best. Okay, they’re tied with peanut butter valleys.

Peanut Butter-Swirled Strawberry Cake - Easy Recipe at

It’s good that it’s a small 8-inch cake, and perfect to use up summer fruit or for a shower, brunch, or event you need a fast and fabulous cake.

I said last time that this cake batter has yet to let me down, and that I’d be making more cakes with it. I’ve happily kept my word.

Peanut Butter-Swirled Strawberry Cake - Easy Recipe at

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Yield: one 8x8 pan, 9 generous squares

Peanut Butter-Swirled Strawberry Cake

Peanut Butter-Swirled Strawberry Cake

This is one of the best cakes I’ve ever made. It’s soft, tender, and exceedingly moist. There’s a pound of juicy strawberries baked into an 8-inch cake, creating an abundance of berries in every bite. It’s like PB & J, in decadent cake form – with actual berries rather than just jelly. The peanut butter swirls are the perfect slightly salty complement to the lightly sweetened, buttery, juicy cake. The cake is fast and easy to make and comes together with just a whisk. Fresh or frozen strawberries may be used; or substitute with other fruit, fresh or frozen, you have. It’s one of the best cakes I’ve ever made.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour + 1 tablespoon for tossing with strawberries
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch salt, optional and to taste
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup thick, full-fat Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 16 ounces strawberries, halved or quartered (I used one 16-ounce bag frozen strawberries; don’t unthaw and add them to the batter frozen; see below in item 6 about using fresh. Optionally, substitute cherries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, or peaches; fresh or frozen.)
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter, melted


  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-inch square pan with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together 1 cup flour, 3/4 cup sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, optional salt; set aside.
  3. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the next 5 wet ingredients (through vanilla).
  4. Add the wet mixture to the dry, mixing lightly with a spoon or folding with a spatula until just combined. Lumps will be present and this is okay. Don’t overmix or try to stir them smooth; set aside.
  5. In a small bowl, toss the strawberries with 1 tablespoon flour. The flour helps to prevent as much sinking while baking, although given the sheer quantity, some will sink to make room for them all.
  6. Gently and briefly fold the fruit into batter. I used frozen berries and added them frozen; do not thaw because frozen fruit runs and bleeds less than if thawed. I let them warm up for about 5 minutes in order to slice them. If using fresh fruit, baking time will be significantly (possibly drastically) less because the fruit is much warmer and won’t chill down the batter overall, nor will it release any where near the water into the batter that frozen fruit does. Optionally, substitute cherries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, or peaches; fresh or frozen.
  7. Turn batter out into prepared pan; set aside.
  8. In a small microwave-safe bowl, add the peanut butter and heat on high power to melt, about 30 seconds.
  9. Evenly drizzle peanut butter over cake. With a toothpick, gently and lightly swirl the peanut butter, but don’t overdo it. The peanut butter ‘disappears’ a bit while baking, so don’t start out with thin lines because you’ll never see them. Some larger patches and ‘blobs’ are welcome.
  10. Bake until done. I hesitate to give a baking range because you must watch your cake, not the clock. Bake until center is slightly domed and set, golden in color, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs, but no batter. I baked for 60 minutes total. At the 40 minute mark, I tented with foil (lay a sheet of foil over the top of pan) and recommend this so cake doesn’t become too browned on top before the center cooks through fully. Baking times will range dramatically based on if baking with fresh or frozen berries; possibly ranging from 35 to 65 minutes depending on the temperature of the berries going into the batter and how much water they release.
  11. Place pan on a wire rack and allow cake to cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing and serving. Optionally, drizzle more peanut butter over the top or try this vanilla cream cheese glaze, this buttery vanilla glaze, this browned butter glaze.
  12. Cake will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Related Recipes:

Peanut Butter Honey Buttermilk Cake with Chocolate-Peanut Butter Streusel – This is a one-bowl, easy cake, ready in about 30 minutes that’s so moist and soft

Peanut Butter Honey Buttermilk Cake with Chocolate-Peanut Butter Streusel

Cream Cheese-Swirled Cherry and Mixed Berries Cake

Cream Cheese-Swirled Cherry and Mixed Berries Cake - Easy Recipe at

Blueberry Muffin and Buttermilk Pancakes Cake

Blueberry Muffin and Buttermilk Pancakes Cake

Peaches and Cream Fluffy Muffin Cake

Peaches and Cream Fluffy Muffin Cake - Recipe at

Strawberries and Cream Coffee Cake with Vanilla Cream Cheese Glaze – The best coffee cake I’ve ever had or made. Use your favorite fresh, frozen, or seasonal fruit this incredibly moist and soft cake batter

Strawberries and Cream Coffee Cake with Vanilla Cream Cheese Glaze

Blueberry and Jam Buttermilk Coffee Cake with Buttery Vanilla Glaze – One of the best coffee cakes or cakes I’ve ever made. Highly recommended – tied with the one above

Blueberry and Jam Buttermilk Coffee Cake with Buttery Vanilla Glaze

French Almond Cookie Cake with Apricot Cream Cheese Glaze

French Almond Cookie Cake with Apricot Cream Cheese Glaze

Strawberry Sweet Rolls with Vanilla Cream Cheese Glaze

Strawberry Sweet Rolls with Vanilla Cream Cheese Glaze

Creamy Mixed Berry White Chocolate Crumble Bars

Creamy Mixed Berry White Chocolate Crumble Bars

Strawberry and Sprinkles Buttermilk Pancakes

Strawberry and Sprinkles Buttermilk Pancakes

Strawberry Jelly Rolls – You’d never guess these start out as white dinner rolls and within 15 minutes, are transformed into little jelly rolls

Strawberry Jelly Rolls

12 Favorite Blueberry Recipes

Favorite Blueberry Recipes - Easy, fun recipes using blueberries at

Do you have a favorite cake that never lets you down? What do you bake with fruit?

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  1. Another amazing recipe from Averie Sunshine!I always go to your website for a guaranteed crowd pleaser, The Peanut Butter-Swirled Strawberry Cake was a success.Followed the recipe exactly thanks for the advice, made the browned butter glaze and made special trip to the grocery store for frozen strawberries.Your foodtography is always so beautiful.You inspired me to take a photo of this cake.By the time i went to grab the camera half the cake was gone, i was little disappointment but thats what i call a success!

    1. Oh wow, thanks for the detailed report & glad that it was a success! Thanks for LMK I’m your go-to. That’s nice :) And the fact that half the cake was gone in a flash, awesome!

  2. OOpps i have one more question, out of the three glazes you suggested for the PB&J cake which one would you recommend? Im having a hard time choosing,they all sound soo scrumptious!

  3. Hey Averi soo excited to try this recipe! There was nothing better than a PB&J as a child, perfect compromise for a peanut butter lover and a jam lover aka my father and mother lol.I was wondering if i could substitute 16 ounces of strawberry jam instead of the 16 ounces of frozen strawberries that the recipe calls for?

    1. I think that would make it awfully sweet! I would stick with the frozen berries and maybe do half berries, half jam.

  4. I could eat this all day long. LOVE it! This cake is so good, I made a another one after my husband and I finished the first one. Great recipe!

  5. I almost missed this and just wanted to say it looks awesome! Like pbj but better. Love cakes with tons of fruit.

  6. Outstanding cake, I can’t even imagine all of those berries in this cake, so delicious! Thanks for linking up with What’s Cookin’ Wednesday!

  7. I “straighten” my bars and brownies with a fork too – for the sake of photos, of course. ;)

    Each cake you make looks better than the last! I think I’d fall head over heels for this strawberry-peanut butter combo!

  8. I love this cake base Averie! It certainly doesn’t disappoint ;) And personally, I would never have thought of a pb strawberry cake. But now that you’ve done it, you’re right, it is like pb & j. How classic! This looks so wonderfully dense it’s crazy. Can’t wait to try it!

  9. This sounds HEAVENLY. I love how you described it as PB & J in cake form. Yum!

    1. Also, is there a reason you line the pan with foil? Is it just for ease of removal? And will it effect browning or bake-time if I don’t use foil?

  10. I love this cake, Averie! So many swirl recipes for you lately (those Nutella blondies are still on my mind from Sunday!) and so many yummy cake recipes too. This has to be the best sounding cake I’ve seen in awhile! And with so many strawberries, too. Amazing! I love to pack as much fruit as I can into muffins and the like, so I know I would adore every strawberry packed bite there is! PB&J at its finest. Amazing!

    1. It’s totally like PB&J with real fruit and tons of it. I know you like your berries and this is just loaded with berries. And it’s probably the moistest cake I’ve ever made! I wish I could have shared this cake with you b/c I bet we would have had a great time straightening the rows together :)

  11. A pound of strawberries? I’m sold. I’ve never had PB and strawberries, but what a great-sounding combo!

  12. You had me at “PB & J in decadent cake form” and “peanut butter valleys”, Averie! I just adore PB & J everything, but never thought of using fresh or frozen fruit, like strawberries or raspberries, in place of the “J”. Fabulous concept in a coffee cake! You also had me at “straightening the rows”. Hahaha! I do the same thing! (Lest anyone know I went back for a few more sneak tastes.) Thanks for sharing, girl! xo

  13. Noooo! I just used the last of the strawberries! Now I need to get more even though the season down here is seriously waning. This cake looks amazing. For some reason I can’t get enough pb these days…

  14. The only thing better than PB&J is PB&J in cake form. The only thing better than PB&J cake is PB&J cake made by someone else.

    When can I come over for dessert? ;)

  15. Oh my lord, Averie, this cake looks like a dream! All those strawberries! All that peanut butter! You’re brilliant!

  16. I LOVE my pb cake base recipe, it is so versatile with add in’s.
    I have yet to add berries in it, or did I? LOL!
    But this is a good mix, just in time for back to school pb&j craze!

    1. I do that with blondies. I have my base recipe. And then I can’t even remember how/if/what I tweaked it with :)

  17. One of the best cakes you’ve ever made?!? That’s all you needed to say…I’m sold!! <3

  18. I love/hate when a cake makes you go back to “even out the rows”. They just can’t be uneven :) and you can’t have a glob of pb on the edge, or it’ll fall, so you have to eat that bite…then even out the row…and it continues!

  19. At first, from the title, I didn’t think peanut butter and strawberries would go well together. But after you described it, it definitely sounds like a delicious pb & j cake! Have you ever tried adding some chocolate chips to the mix?

    1. haven’t tried choc chips just b/c I wanted the berry flavor to come thru and it was already going to fight with PB (not that that’s bad!) but held off on the choc. For now.

  20. With a pound of strawberries and valleys of peanut butter, I can understand why you’d say this is one of the best cakes you’ve ever made! Those swirls of peanut butter look amazing. Usually I need some sort of frosting/topping with my cakes, but I think this one would be perfect on its own!

    1. And I read your cocoa brownies in stealth. I need those.

      Frosting. Yes – this cake took care of that, I purposely made sure the swirls would help me avoid the extra step of frosting a cake :)

  21. I love PB + SBJ. I can’t believe I have never thought to combine PB with actual strawberries. Brilliant!

    I don’t have a favorite cake. I am constantly baking something new. That being said I don’t think I’ve ever tried a cake that I didn’t like. :)

  22. Oh, I need to make this one stat! And I ‘m so relieved to know that I’m not the only one who loves to “straighten out the rows”. Love that.

  23. You can’t go wrong with peanut butter and strawberries…it’s like a classic PB & strawberry jam sandwich but BETTER.

  24. Amazing! Strawberries in anything is delicious, add peanut butter and you have a win-win. Love it.

    1. Thank you. I really liked the pics, too. They were so bright and cheery. I don’t know if they fully represent how much I love the cake though. I mean, I LOVED this cake.

  25. “Walls of strawberries and vallies of peanut butter”- beautiful descriptions that have me craving this cake right now! I really need to stop reading your blog right after breakfast, it just makes me want to bake and bake and bake! (Which might not be a bad thing…)

  26. Oh my goodness, yum! Such a fun idea. And I’m so glad I’m not the only one who tries to help the cake by straightening out the rows with a fork… we’re just being thoughtful! ;)

  27. I can REALLY get down with buttermilk in a cake. It does amazing things to cake batter!!!!! This is awesome. A PB + Strawberry J Cake!! You’re so smart Averie. But now I’m sorta bummed that I ate all the strawberries…

  28. Um, I don’t know what had me first – the strawberries or the PB! Might sound like an odd combo to some, but love it. I actually put PB in my greek yogurt with fresh strawberries.

  29. Confession: I’ve never been a big fan of cream cheese swirls in coffee cake. HELLO swap for PB. Averie, I don’t know why this never occurred to me, but I’m soooo happy it did to you! And 1 pound of fresh juicy berries? DONE!

  30. Ieat peanut butter and strawberry preserves all the time – but have never thought of putting them together in a cake! muffins yes – but never a cake as fantastic as this!
    Brilliant idea! Thanks shaing!

  31. Peanut butter and jelly cake! I know someone in this house who would LOVE this. :)

  32. I can see why this is one of the best cakes you’ve ever made! Holy yum! And I’m with you – as much as I love cream cheese swirls, I think pb swirls are better :)

  33. Strawberries and peanut butter. Yes all the way. And peanut butter totally trumps cream cheese. Every time.

  34. This is like PB&j in a decadent cake form! I love those flavors together and the abundance of strawberries. A pound seems like a lot…so I think I can conclude that I’m having my cake with something healthy in there too!! Looks yummy for any time of the day!

    1. PB&J in decadent cake form – you got that right! And 1 lb is a ton for a cake this size, but as long as I was going for it, I went for it, big time :)

  35. I bet you that this cake will be moist for ages! one pound of strawberries is luxury around these parts but I think next time I am going to have to splurge a bit! Too yummy to put a price on it

    1. And since I made it with frozen berries, I know it works that way – so if you can’t find fresh (or want to be more frugal like I always am even if I can find fresh) I always bake with frozen to save some $$ :)

  36. Peanut butter and jelly! This is one of the winning combinations ever, your photos look amazing!

  37. WOW, 1 lb of strawberries in this cake! Along with all of your related cake pictures, I cannot sleep. I’m so excited and hungry looking at your recipes! :D

  38. What a fantastic combo!! This cake looks so moist and delish that I’d be a fool if I didn’t give it a try. I love it :-)

  39. I would have never considered strawberry and peanut butter together, but after seeing this delicious and fluffy cake I am totally sold!