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Lower Sugar Vanilla Cake with Fresh Strawberry Frosting


This delicious cake recipe makes a perfect light but super moist vanilla cake with the most fluffy fresh strawberry frosting you will ever make! 

Chocolate lovers, be sure to check out our Double Chocolate Banana Cake.

overhead view of vanilla cake with a slice taken out and strawberries on top overhead view of vanilla cake with a slice taken out and strawberries on top

The next time that you’re looking for a classic vanilla cake, whether for a birthday, holiday, or a special event, you must try this one! It’s easy to mix up, has a wonderfully delicate crumb, and it boasts the rich flavor that you expect from a vanilla layer cake. It also has less sugar in both the cake and the frosting than similar cakes. This makes it a nice choice to share with your entire family.

Lower Sugar Cake

This cake has a small amount of granulated sugar for sweetness. Coconut sugar has a lower glycemic index than regular granulated sugar and is a great choice for baked goods. In a lighter cake however, regular coconut sugar produces a much darker product. If you prefer to use coconut sugar, try using blonde for a cake that is the classic vanilla cake color. (If you’re looking for a perfect fruit-sweetened first birthday cake, check this one out. Or this Banana Birthday Cake. Or this Sweet Potato Apple Cake.) It also manages to maintain the flavor and texture that you want from a classic cake, while also including less sugar—especially since it features a cream cheese frosting, rather than a classic buttercream.

Double layer vanilla cake with sliced strawberries on a cake stand

Fluffy Homemade Strawberry Frosting

A small slice of this cake is perfect for a birthday party or a special event. It also goes a long way towards satisfying a craving for dessert. The fresh berries add a nice contrast to the rich cake. The frosting, made with cream cheese, fresh pureed strawberries, Greek yogurt and a little powdered sugar, is creamy and fluffy without being overly sweet. In short, the elements combine to make a delightfully fresh tasting dessert with real ingredients that everyone  will love.

A slice of vanilla cake with strawberry frosting and strawberries on a plate

My daughter, who generally prefers vanilla ice cream over any other dessert, loved her little slice of this cake. And she got her little fingers into the icing when I wasn’t looking. I took it to be a sign of homemade dessert success!

This vanilla layer cake is best served on the day that it’s made, though we had no problem eating up the leftovers on the day after. (Just be sure to cover the cake so that the frosting doesn’t dry out.)

overhead view of a vanilla cake with whole strawberries on top

Delicious Lower Sugar Dessert Recipes

Vertical image of low sugar vanilla cake with homemade strawberry frosting
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3.8 from 377 votes

Lower Sugar Vanilla Cake with Strawberry Frosting

Super moist, dense and low in sugar with a light and airy fresh strawberry frosting.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 16 1 slice
Calories: 307kcal





  • Preheat the oven to 350 F and grease two 8-inch round baking pans well. Use the pans to trace rounds of parchment paper, cut out, set inside the pans, and grease again. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, beat together yogurt, butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and honey and milk until well mixed.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and salt together. Add the dry ingredients into the wet, and stir until combined.
  • Divide the batter evenly between the two pans, shaking gently to ensure that the batter is spread to the edges. Bake for 24-26 minutes or until golden brown around the edges and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out cleanly. Let cool in pans on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then invert carefully onto a wire rack and let cool completely.
  • To make frosting, in a large bowl beat cream cheese until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and beat until fluffy and creamy.
  • Place one cake onto a serving plate and top with about 1/3 of the frosting. Layer on sliced strawberries. Add another 1/3 of the frosting onto the second cake and invert on top of the strawberries, sandwiching the berries between the frosting. Add the remaining frosting to the top of the cake and spread evenly to the edges. Top with whole berries if desired. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Serves 12-14.


* You can use coconut sugar in this recipe.  If you use regular brown coconut sugar, your cake will turn out darker.  If you use blonde coconut sugar, it will turn out a lighter color typical of vanilla cake.  


Calories: 307kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 96mg | Sodium: 192mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 25g
Keyword : Lower Sugar Vanilla Cake with Strawberry Frosting


*We have updated this recipe. The cake recipe is almost the same but if you are looking for the original frosting recipe, here it is:

Strawberry Frosting

  • 1 1/2 cup cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoon butter, unsalted
  • 1/4 cup jam, all-fruit
  • 3 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Natalie Monson

I'm a registered dietitian, mom of 4, avid lover of food and strong promoter of healthy habits. Here you will find lots of delicious recipes full of fruits and veggies, tips for getting your kids to eat better and become intuitive eaters and lots of resources for feeding your family.

Learn More about Natalie

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Recipe Rating


im just trying this recipe just now- is the batter supposed to be so wet? ive just added about another half cup of flour…. there really doesnt seem enough mixture for 2×9″ tins either?

Can I make these into cupcakes? How long do you think I need to put it in the oven and at what temperature? Thanks!

I made doubled the recipe and made these into cupcakes today. They were not very sweet at all and I could hardly taste the vanilla. Mine also came out a bit wet/moist in the inside. I think the frosting will help it taste a little sweeter.

I tried this recipe the other day, I know I’m a little late to the party. The taste was very good, but the texture came out incredibly bready. Is that how the cake usually turns out or did I maybe do something wrong? I’m considering adding crushed raspberries for extra flavor and liquid content–maybe that would help the texture? Any idea how much extra liquid I could add without making the batter useless?

What should I mix first butter and sugar or butter with eggs? or it doesn’t matter I won’t be putting baking powder since I don’t want the cake to expand

This cake is DEVINE!! Thankyou so much for posting. Ny while family loves it. Will definitely be making it again soon.

i would love to make an icing that is cream cheese free, do you think i could use coconut cream? i don’t know much about baking lol i am DEF making this cake though thank you so so much!

looking at the nutrition facts for this per serving — I thought at first they were typos! This is supposed to be a healthy alternative. no way.

Hi Mary, I’m really glad you caught this! The number of servings shown on the recipe was incorrect, which caused the nutrition facts to be inaccurate. We’ve updated the recipe to have the correct number of servings, and nutrition facts to match. Thank you!

Hi Leah! Yes, you can freeze this cake just fine. I’d wrap the slices in plastic wrap and then store them inside a gallon zip-top bag.

5 stars
Hi if I wanted to do a 3 layer naked cake with 8in pans would I 1.5 the recipe do you think? Thanks!

Hi Ashley, yes! I think making 1.5 times the recipe is a good idea if you want to make three layers. Good luck!

This recipe is amazing! We have switched to a cleaner eating lifestyle, but a 6 year old still needs cake for his birthday. This cake was delicious without using refined sugars or other junk ingredients. My son loved it! This will be the go-to cake recipe from now on!

I saw nutrition info mentioned in the comments, but couldn’t find it anywhere. About how many calories per serving would there be in this? Would really like to try this out for my birthday!

Hi Kristen! Thanks for reaching out. We don’t calculate nutrition facts directly on the site anymore, but we DO have them calculated for all our recipes in the Prepear app. I just checked this one, and if you cut the cake into 12 slices, each slice contains 307 calories. You can see the full nutrition facts for this and thousands of other recipes in Prepear, here: https://www.prepear.com/ Oh and have a happy birthday!

Hi Barbara! We like “white whole wheat flour” which is a delicate, light-colored, 100% whole grain flour. You get the lightness of cake flour but the nutrition of whole wheat.

Hi – could you use maple syrup instead of honey for the cake and frosting? If so, how much would you use for each? Thank you!

Hi Amanda, good question! You can definitely sub maple syrup in the cake batter using a 1:1 ratio Your cake should turn out the same. It might be a little trickier to make that substitution in the frosting, because syrup has a runnier texture than honey and that might create a frosting that’s too loose. If you’re avoiding honey altogether you could try just using extra jam in the frosting. (I haven’t tried this for sure, so I can’t say 100% how it will turn out!) Happy experimenting!

5 stars
Made it with sprouted whole wheat flour, added a tsp of almond essence and baked the whole batch it in one silicone mold. I had to increase cooking time by 15 minutes but the result was EXCELLENT! Moist, just sweet enough, a new family fave!

Hi there, I’m not totally sure how best to scale up the recipe for a bigger pan, but 1.5 times the recipe sounds like a good bet to me!

Hi Paola, if you’re looking for a dairy-free version of this cake, you can just use your favorite dairy free yogurt.

This cake is DEVINE!! Thankyou so much for posting. Ny while family loves it. Will definitely be making it again soon.

1 star
I made this cake and followed the instructions carefully. Unfortunately it came out flat as a pancake and tasted horrible.

4 stars
Super delicious. I really like that you used coconut sugar. I added more vanilla because I wanted a seriously vanilla cake. I just wanted to know what the baking powder does for the cake. I used 3 flax eggs (and 1 “baking soda and vinegar“ egg to help it rise) but I also put the baking powder because I’m not a pro baker and I didn’t want to change up the recipe too much. I’m wondering if I can reduce the baking powder if I add in the soda. I felt like I could really taste the baking powder. Also, mine went slightly down in the middle…I’m sure it had to do with the lack of eggs. Any suggestions on how to avoid that next time? Thanks for the delicious recipe!

Hi Sahar! The baking powder helps the cake rise. You can probably reduce it by a 1/2 teaspoon without any negative effects. (In general, most recipes have baking powder in teaspoons roughly equal to the number of cups of flour.) I’m guessing the slight sagging in the middle was due to using the flax eggs. I hope this helps!

I’d like to make this for my daughter’s 1st birthday party! Can I use regular white flour instead? If so, is it the same amount?

Going to try make this cake for my niece who’s type 1 diabetic so random but how many carbs would be in the full cake and roughly in a slice? Any help is appreciated x

I cut this cake into about 16 slices and calculated about 41g of carbs per slice. That is definitely a rough estimate though!

I’m sorry to hear that! We haven’t had this issue- but you can also try dehydrated strawberries to add all the flavor without adding additional moisture! Thanks for sharing your feedback.

Just put this cake in the oven as a dry-run for a 1 year olds birthday party next week, but only just now reading the nutrition facts. 25g of sugar per slice, and 16 slices out of a cake that’s just two thin layers? A Snickers bar has 22g of sugar, so I’m not sure how this qualifies as a lower sugar cake … is that sugar content amount definitely right?

A standard cake recipe has 2 cups of sugar- so this is definitely a lower sugar option. 🙂 You might want to check out our Baby’s First Birthday Cake recipe. It is sweetened with fruit and no refined sugar.

5 stars
My kids love to eat vanilla flavoured cakes and pastries whenever we visit any bakery shop. I would really appreciate your recipe for lower sugar vanilla cake with strawberry frosting. A perfect frosting is an essential part of baking a yummy cake at home.

5 stars
I love to eat vanilla low sugar cake , but whenever i tries to make this at home it taste not well but when I read your recipe, I try to make again and guess what every one love it.

5 stars
First of all thanks for sharing this recipe. you know everyone like vanilla cake. Every time we go in Bakeries and eat vanilla cake but they contains very high sugar.
But I like your recipe of low sugar vanilla cake. and your idea of frosting with strawberry, very artistic. this is very delicious cake.

Would u recommend subbing all purpose flour or cake flour for this if we aren’t doing the one listed? Thanks!

My cake came out super dense, not at all light and fluffy. Why?!?! Was butter supposed to be melted first? Do I creams the butter and sugar as first step? I didn’t beat well. Maybe that’s why?