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Strawberry Crunch Cake

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This strawberry crunch cake is beautifully pink and perfect for spring! Made with crushed vanilla cookies, fluffy strawberry jello cake, and the creamiest frosting ever.

A slice of strawberry crunch cake on a rustic plate

This homemade strawberry crunch cake is gorgeous, delicious, and super easy to make! Every bite has a delightful contrast of textures between the fluffy strawberry jello cake, creamy frosting, and crunchy strawberry topping. Add a few slices of fresh strawberries for an extra pop of color when serving.

Why You’ll Love This Strawberry Crunch Cake Recipe

  • Easy. Crush up some cookies, make a simple cake, and then mix up a frosting. That’s it! You won’t need any complicated ingredients or special tools to make this delightful strawberry cake.
  • Full of strawberry flavor. We’re going to use strawberry jello to infuse both the cake and the crunch topping with strawberry flavor. See what I mean? Easy!
  • Totally gorgeous. The finished strawberry crunch cake is beautifully pink. Take this 9×13 cake to potlucks, BBQs, and get-togethers. It’s the ideal spring and summer dessert!
Spatula lifting Strawberry Crunch Cake slice out of the pan.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Strawberry Crunch Cake?

A strawberry crunch cake is a pink dessert inspired by the strawberry shortcake ice cream bars made by Good Humor. A fluffy cake is made with strawberry jello, then topped with a crunchy strawberry topping.

What is the Strawberry Crunch Topping Made Of?

The strawberry crunch topping is made of crushed shortbread cookies, unsalted butter, and strawberry jello. You can also use golden Oreos, Nillas, and even graham crackers in place of the shortbread cookies.

How to Make a Strawberry Crunch Cake

Here’s a quick overview of how to make a strawberry crunch cake. Be sure to scroll down to the recipe card for a full list of ingredients and detailed instructions.

Strawberry crunch topping on a baking sheet

Make the Strawberry Crunch Topping

  • Heat your oven and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Mix crumbled cookies with strawberry jello mix and melted butter.
  • Bake for 7-8 minutes until crunchy, then set aside to cool.

Make the Strawberry Jello Cake

  • Make the strawberry cake batter and pour it into a prepared 9×13 baking dish. Bake it for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool completely before frosting.

Make the Frosting & Assemble the Cake

  • Let your cake cool completely.
  • Make a simple vanilla frosting and spread it over the cooled cake.
  • Top with the strawberry crunchies you made! Tada. You just made a strawberry crunch cake. 🙂
Side view of a Strawberry Crunch Cake in a 9x13 baking pan

Is There No Powdered Sugar in the Frosting?

That is correct folks, that’s not a typo. This simple frosting recipe is made without powdered sugar. Instead, the sweetness comes from sweetened condensed milk and the firmness comes from block cream cheese. The end result is an ultra-creamy frosting that has a luscious, velvety texture. Make sure you let the cake chill for at least an hour after you have frosted it so that the frosting has time to firm up.

Tips for Success

  • Find your favorite cookie. The strawberry crunch topping is a great place to experiment and see what kind of cookie you like best here. I have used shortbread cookies, golden Oreos, Nilla cookies, and graham crackers. All of them work and have a great crunch after baking the topping.
  • Can I use freeze-dried strawberries for the topping? 100%. You can use the strawberry crunch topping I made for my strawberry shortcake ice cream bars instead. It is made with freeze-dried strawberries and doesn’t require any baking time.
  • Can I use different jello flavors? Yes, you can use a different flavor of jello if you want to mix things up a bit. For instance, you could use lemon jello for the cake and strawberry jello for the crunch topping to make a lemon cake topped with strawberry crunchies.
  • Can I use boxed cake mix? If you are in a hurry you can use boxed strawberry cake mix to bake a 9×13 strawberry cake, then top it with frosting and homemade strawberry crunchies.
  • Don’t skip the chill time. Since the frosting does not have powdered sugar in it you need to give the cake time to chill in the fridge. This gives the cream cheese and butter time to firm up and will result in prettier slices of cake.
A slice of Strawberry Crunch Cake with a bite taken out.

Can I Make This Recipe Into Strawberry Crunch Cupcakes?

Yes, you can bake the strawberry jello cake batter in a muffin tin lined with paper cupcake liners. Fill each liner about 3/4 full, then bake the cupcakes for about 25 minutes. You can tell the cupcakes are done when the tops spring back after gently being pressed with your fingers and a toothpick comes out clean (no wet batter).

Let the cupcakes cool, then add your frosting. For cupcakes, I usually place the strawberry crunch topping on a large plate and then invert each frosted cupcake into the topping to add the crunchies.

How to Store a Strawberry Crunch Cake

Cover your cake with saran wrap and store it in the fridge for up to 4 days. When you are ready to enjoy a slice, you can either eat it cold (lovely on a hot day) or you can let it come to room temperature by letting it sit on the counter for a bit.

Note that the texture of the strawberry crunch topping will change over time. It will become less crunchy the longer the cake is stored because the cookie mixture will absorb moisture from the frosting.

Can I Freeze It?

Yes, you can freeze this cake. If your baking dish is freezer friendly, then you can wrap the chilled cake in saran wrap, then aluminum foil, and store it in the freezer for up to 3 months. You can also place slices of cake in airtight, freezer-safe containers and freeze single servings.

Thaw overnight in the fridge or on the counter for a few hours when you’re ready to dig in.


Strawberry Crunch Cake

Slice of a Strawberry Crunch Cake with a bite taken out.

This strawberry crunch cake is made with strawberry jello and crushed cookies! An easy 9×13 pink dessert that’s perfect for spring and summer.

  • Author: Rustic Family Recipes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 12 slices
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American


For the Cake:

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup half and half, at room temperature
  • 1 package (3 oz) strawberry jello
  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

For the Frosting:

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 10 oz sweetened condensed milk
  • 8 oz block of cream cheese, at room temperature

For the Crunch Topping:

  • 1 ½ cups shortbread cookies, crushed (or Golden Oreos, or graham crackers)
  • 1 package (3 oz) strawberry jello
  • 4 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • Fresh strawberries, for garnish


Make the Strawberry Crunch Topping

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line the baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a medium bowl, mix together the crumbled cookies with strawberry jello and melted butter.
  • Spread the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet, and bake for 7-8 minutes. Take it out of the oven and let it cool.

Make the Strawberry Cake

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×13-inch baking pan and set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter until smooth, then add sugar and eggs, and beat until fluffy, for about 2-3 minutes on high speed.
  • Pour in half and half, jello, and beat until combined. In a separate large bowl, mix together all-purpose flour with baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and beat on low speed until just combined.
  • Pour the batter into the baking pan and bake it for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool completely before frosting.

Make the Frosting & Assemble the Cake

  • Beat the butter and sweetened condensed milk together on high speed for approximately 5-7 minutes until it appears lightened in color and fluffy.
  • Then, add the softened cream cheese gradually, one tablespoon at a time, while mixing on medium-high speed. Beat for an additional 3 minutes or until the mixture becomes smooth with no lumps.
  • Spread the frosting evenly over the cake’s top, then sprinkle the crunch topping over the frosting.
  • Chill the cake for at least 1 hour to allow the frosting to firm up.
  • Once the frosting has set, slice and serve! I recommend topping each piece of cake with fresh strawberry slices.

Last Step:

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Keywords: strawberry crunch cake, strawberry crunch, strawberry jello cake

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    1. Rustic Family Recipes

      Happy you liked it! Thank you for letting me know how it turned out. 🙂