Strawberry-Lemon Cardamom Brunch Cake

5 from 1 vote
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Strawberry-Lemon Cardamom Brunch Cake offers dairy-free, whole-grain elegance. Enjoy this healthy cake for a spring-inspired brunch or evening sweet treat.

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Slice of brunch cake on a white plate with a strawberry resting on the side.

Why You’ll Love this Brunch Cake

Today, we’re making dessert healthy enough for breakfast, which is always a fun challenge.

Now that it’s warm enough to entertain outdoors again, I was determined to create a treat that emulates the fruity, floral essence of spring.

So, I give you, the most delicious Strawberry Brunch Cake.

Whether you’re celebrating Easter or Mother’s Day, this brunch cake will round out any celebratory menu. (Much like this beautiful Strawberry-Lemon Bread.)

It’s incredibly moist from the olive oil, perfectly sweet, and boasts warm, earthy undertones from the cardamom. Not to mention the creamy coconut glaze that really takes it over the top.

And if you happen to have an abundance of strawberries on hand this time of year, try my Strawberry Fruit Crisp next!

The Ingredients

Strawberries being hulled and diced.
  • Whole-Wheat Pastry Flour: The lower protein content of this flour makes it perfect for creating tender, whole-grain baked goods.
  • Coconut Sugar: A great alternative to granulated sugar that is unrefined and with richer flavor.
  • Lemon: You need both the zest and juice of 1 lemon.
  • Cardamom: One of my favorite spices for adding a fresh, floral lift to baked goods.
  • Yogurt: Look for coconut milk yogurt, such as So Delicious brand. If you’re not making the cake dairy-free, Greek yogurt will also work well.
  • Eggs: For creating structure and stability in the cake.
  • Olive oil: This heart-healthy oil is liquid GOLD in cakes. It lends superior moisture, which keeps cake fresh far longer than butter ever could.
  • Baking Soda + Baking Powder: This leavening agents lighten the texture of cakes by enlarging air bubbles within the batter.
  • Strawberries: Fresh strawberries encompass every bite of this beautiful brunch cake. I like to reserve a few to top the cake batter with before baking.
  • Glaze: The coconut glaze calls for extra coconut yogurt, coconut milk, and powdered sugar.

See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.

Additions and Substitutions:

  • Use Different Fruit: In place of strawberries, blueberries or raspberries are also delicious in this brunch cake.
  • Add Poppy Seeds: In place of cardamom, make a lemon poppy seed cake by adding 2 Tbsp. poppy seeds to the batter.
  • Add Nuts: Garnish the glaze with sliced almonds to add some crunch!

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1: Combine Wet Ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk well until the mixture is smooth.

Wet ingredients being whisked until smooth in a large clear bowl.

Step 2: Combine Dry Ingredients in a separate bowl. Whisk until they are well-combined. Pour dry ingredients into bowl with wet mixture.

Dry ingredients being whisked until combined, and poured over wet ingredients.

Step 3: Fold in Strawberries and spread mixture in a greased 9″ round baking pan. Bake cake at 350ºF for 45 minutes.

Cake batter being emptied into a round cake pan.

Step 4: Prepare Coconut Glaze and drizzle over cooled cake. Garnish with lemon wedges or strawberry slices, if desired.

Coconut glaze drizzled over brunch cake after being baked.

Recipe FAQs

Why Are Olive Oil Cakes so Good?

Some may not realize, but olive oil is liquid GOLD in baked goods. Olive oil lends superior moisture, which keeps cake fresh far longer than butter ever could. Additionally, it contributes a pleasant fruity flavor with peppery, grassy notes, which complement the floral spice of cardamom beautifully.

How Do I Make Cake Dairy-Free?

In place of butter, I suggest using a mix of olive oil and coconutmilk yogurt for a dairy free, super moist cake.

What Does Cardamom Taste Like?

Cardamom is super aromatic, and can lend a floral lift to both sweet or savory recipes. This warming spice also boasts heart-healthy and anti-inflammatory benefits.

You can purchase cardamom in the spice section of most grocery stores, or the bulk spice section of Sprouts Farmers Market at a lower cost.

How to Keep Olive Oil Cake Fresh:

Your cake will keep well for 4 days in an airtight container at room temperature. If frosted, it should be refrigerated. Let the cake cool fully before storing.

A slice removed from strawberry brunch cake, which is positioned on a white cake stand.

More Healthy Brunch Recipes to Try:

5 from 1 vote

Strawberry-Lemon Cardamom Brunch Cake

Strawberry-lemon cardamom brunch cake offers dairy-free, whole-grain elegance to be enjoyed for a spring-inspired brunch or evening sweet treat.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 12


  • 9" round cake pan
  • Mixing bowls


  • 1 ½ cups whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
  • 1 ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 3 eggs
  • ¾ cup coconut sugar
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 (5.3-oz.) container coconutmilk yogurt (such as So Delicious brand)
  • 2 tsp. lemon zest plus 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 12 oz. fresh strawberries hulled and roughly chopped
  • Optional garnish: thinly sliced lemon

Coconut Glaze

  • 1/4 cup plain coconutmilk yogurt (such as So Delicious brand)
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp. coconut milk (or milk alternative of choice)
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  • Preheat oven to 350°F and grease a 9” round cake pan.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, cardamom, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; stir with a whisk.
  • In a separate larger bowl, combine eggs, coconut sugar, olive oil, yogurt, lemon zest and juice, and vanilla; whisk well until mixture is smooth.
  • Add flour mixture to bowl with wet ingredients; stir until just combined. Fold in two-thirds of the strawberries.
    Pour mixture into prepared baking pan and sprinkle remaining strawberries over top. Bake until top is golden brown and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes.
  • Let cake cool in pan for 1 hour. Run a thin knife around edges of cake and remove from pan and transfer to a wire rack to let cool completely.
  • Prepare glaze by combining all glaze ingredients and whisking until smooth. Pour over cooled cake and spread to the edges, letting some glaze drizzle over. Garnish with lemon slices, if desired.


  • The cake alone will keep well for 4 days in an airtight container at room temperature. If glazed, however, it should be refrigerated after day 1. 
  • You can omit the cardamom if you’re not a fan of the flavor.


Serving: 1slice | Calories: 228kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 185mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 16g

I calculate these values by hand to ensure accuracy, however expect up to a 10% variable depending on food brands.

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  1. Terry Eliason says:

    Do you think I could use King Arthur gluten free flour?

    1. Jamie Vespa says:

      Hi Terry – I havent tried this recipe with GF flour, so I can’t say for sure it would work.