A Farmworker’s Story of Success

Strawberry Farmworker Story

California’s family strawberry farms are a special place where the state’s 55,000 on-farm strawberry workers are united by the core value of hard work for a better life. Read one farmworker’s story about how she started out as a strawberry picker and is now thinking about how she plans to send her children to college.


Simple California Strawberry Smoothie

Refreshing California Strawberry Smoothie

Sometimes you just need something quick and easy to give you that much-needed energy boost. This Simple California Strawberry Smoothie is perfect for a lazy Sunday morning or busy weekday. It’s not complicated at all and contains simple ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen. If you don’t have fresh strawberries, frozen work just as well. The good news is that frozen strawberries have the same nutritional value as fresh!


Simple California Strawberry Smoothie
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 smoothies
  • 1-2 cups fresh strawberries, stems removed
  • 1 cup vanilla non-fat yogurt
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 1 medium banana
  • 4 Tbsp granola (optional)
  1. Combine the first four ingredients in a blender and blend on high until smooth.
  2. Pour into two tall glasses. Top each with about 2 Tbsp of granola (optional).
You can also use your favorite milk instead of orange juice for a creamier blend.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 smoothie Calories: 272 kcal Fat: 4 g Saturated fat: 1 g Trans fat: 0 g Carbohydrates: 55 g Sugar: 35 g Sodium: 59 mg Fiber: 6 g Protein: 8 g Cholesterol: 10 mg

Coconut Strawberry Cake

Coconut Strawberry Cake

This recipe for Coconut Strawberry Cake continues to be the most popular recipe on our site. We made it recently in our test kitchen to see if it needed any updates but found that it is perfect just the way it is.

Coconut Strawberry Cake
One of the things we love about this recipe is how clear the instructions are. Also, the frosting is like biting into sweet, fluffy clouds. There is an added step of boiling down the sugar water for a few minutes, but it’s worth it! While sweet to taste, it’s not overly sweet like traditional frosting made with butter and lots of powdered sugar.

This coconut strawberry cake is perfectly moist with the subtle flavor of coconut. The bright red, juicy strawberries add that extra color and sweetness to make this cake so irresistable. Pin it now so you don’t forget to make it!

Coconut Strawberry Cake
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12-16 slices
Nutrition per Serving: 527 calories; 22 g fat; 101 mg cholesterol; 254 mg sodium; 79g carbohydrate; 3 g fiber; 6g protein
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • All-purpose flour for dusting
  • 2 cups sifted cake flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 1 cup "lite" coconut milk
  • ½ tsp coconut extract
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup water
  • ¼ tsp cream of tartar
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1 tsp coconut extract
To serve:
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, toasted
  • ½ cup strawberry preserves
  • 4 cups (about 1¼ pounds) whole stemmed California strawberries
To make Cake:
  1. Place oven rack in bottom third of oven; heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray two 8-inch cake pans with nonstick cooking spray Line bottom of each pan with a circle of parchment paper, spray the paper and dust inside of each pan with all-purpose flour, tapping out excess. Sift together cake flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
  3. In bowl of electric mixer with paddle attachment, cream butter at medium speed until soft and light. Add sugar and continue to mix about 5 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks one at a time, beating after each addition until completely mixed. On low speed, alternately add flour mixture in 3 additions and coconut milk in 2 additions, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Add extract and beat at low speed until completely mixed.
  4. In clean bowl with whisk attachment, beat egg whites at high speed to soft peaks. Gently fold one third of the egg whites into the batter; fold in remaining egg whites gently but thoroughly.
  5. Divide batter between prepared cake pans and bake about 35 minutes or until cake springs back when touched and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
  6. Cool on rack 5 minutes; run a small knife around edge of each pan and carefully invert cake onto rack. Remove pan and cool cake completely; remove paper before assembling cake.
To make Icing:
  1. In small saucepan combine sugar, water and cream of tartar. Bring to a boil, covered, over medium heat; do not stir. When sugar is completely dissolved, uncover and boil 5 minutes longer.
  2. In bowl of electric mixer with whisk attachment, beat egg whites at high speed to soft peaks. Continue to beat while slowly pouring hot syrup onto egg whites; add extract and beat until cool.
To assemble:
  1. Spread ¼ cup of the preserves on top of 1 cake layer. Thinly slice 2 cups of the strawberries and arrange in 1 layer on top of preserves
  2. Spread remaining ¼ cup preserves on bottom of second cake layer and invert onto first layer. Spread icing on top and sides of assembled layers; pat coconut onto sides of cake. Arrange remaining strawberries on top of cake, stem side down.
Substitute white cake made from a mix; add ½ teaspoon of coconut extract to batter.
Substitute pre-made white frosting; add coconut extract to taste.
Nutrition facts calculated based on a 16 slice yield.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 slice Calories: 284 kcal Fat: 13 g Saturated fat: 8 g Trans fat: 0 g Carbohydrates: 40 g Sugar: 24 g Sodium: 185 mg Fiber: 1 g Protein: 4 g Cholesterol: 58 mg


Black Pepper Sponge Cake with Strawberry Balsamic Whipped Cream

Strawberry Black Pepper Sponge Cake

This delightful recipe for Black Pepper Sponge Cake with Strawberry Balsamic Whipped Cream, created by Running with Tweezers, is one of those must-bake strawberry layer cakes.

Not only is this naked cake beautiful, it’s a lot easier than covering the whole cake with traditional frosting. Also, the strawberry balsamic addition to the filling is a wonderful twist on classic whipped cream, pairing perfectly with sweet strawberries.

Black Pepper Sponge Cake with Strawberry Balsamic Whipped Cream
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12-16 slices
Black Pepper Sponge Cake
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup caster (very fine) sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups self-rising flour
  • 1 large vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped from pod
  • 2 tsp finely ground black pepper
Strawberry Balsamic Whipped Cream
  • ⅔ pound fresh California strawberries
  • 1 pint heavy whipping cream
  • 1 Tbsp powdered sugar
  • 2½ Tbsp good quality balsamic vinegar
To serve:
  • ⅓ pound fresh California strawberries
To make Black Pepper Sponge Cake:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 8" springform cake pans and line bottoms with circle of parchment paper.
  2. Beat butter and sugar together with electric mixer until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time until just incorporated. Fold in flour gradually until smooth.
  3. Stir in vanilla bean and black pepper and pour batter into prepared cake pans.
  4. Bake 30-35 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean from center of cake. Cool in baking pan for 8-10 minutes; remove and place on rack to cool before assembly.
To make Strawberry Balsamic Whipped Cream:
  1. Rinse all whole strawberries and gently pat dry. Divide into thirds. Cut tops off of two-thirds of the strawberries and cut into ¼"-1/2" slices. Reserve remaining third of whole strawberries to decorate top of cake.
  2. In large mixing bowl, combine heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar and balsamic vinegar. With electric mixer, whip until stiff peaks are formed.
To assemble:
  1. Place one cooled cake layer on cake stand or serving plate. Spread sliced strawberries evenly across the cake.
  2. Layer the strawberries with half the balsamic whipped cream. Top with the second cake layer. Repeat with whipped cream mixture and top with whole strawberries. For an interesting styling trick, leave some strawberries whole and cut some halves to add dimension to the garnish.
Nutrition information calculated based on a 16 slice yield.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 slice Calories: 343 kcal Fat: 24 g Saturated fat: 15 g Trans fat: 1 g Carbohydrates: 29 g Sugar: 16 g Sodium: 215 mg Fiber: 1 g Protein: 4 g Cholesterol: 111 mg


How to Make Strawberry Hearts

How to make strawberry hearts

It’s so easy to learn how to make strawberry hearts from fresh strawberries! In just a few minutes you can transform a few strawberries into an even more special treat that can be shared as-is, or dipped in chocolate. Think special treats for mom on Mother’s Day, or a little strawberry bouquet for that special someone on Valentine’s Day – or just any time you want to make someone feel loved!

How to Make Strawberry Hearts

  1. With small, sharp knife cut out the stem of the strawberry as shown in the photo.

How to make strawberry hearts

2. Slice the strawberry in half.
How to make strawberry hearts

3. At the top center of the berry, cut a small V-shape. See photo below.
How to make strawberry hearts

4. To serve or for easy chocolate-dipping, insert a toothpick at the bottom.

How to make strawberry hearts

5. To cover in chocolate, melt chocolate chips for one minute in the microwave and stir. Microwave in 30-second intervals (stirring in-between) until soft and creamy. Add a little coconut oil for a softer consistency. Let cool on parchment paper.
How to make strawberry hearts


Strawberry Dream Cake

Strawberry Dream Cake

Our Strawberry Dream Cake definitely lives up to its name – it is soooo dreamy! This strawberry cake paired with pink buttercream strawberry frosting was created by Jennifer Farley at Savory Simple. There are a few extra steps to make this beautiful strawberry layer cake so it takes a bit more time to prepare, but if you’re looking for that special dessert that makes a statement, it is so worth it!

Strawberry Dream Cake
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 15 slices
Strawberry Cake
  • ¼ cup strawberry puree, room temperature (made from frozen strawberries, see below)
  • 1 cup half and half, room temperature
  • 1½ Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp fresh orange juice
  • 10 oz all purpose flour
  • 3 oz potato starch
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • Zest of 2 oranges (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 12 oz sugar
  • 8 oz (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3-4 drops red food coloring
Strawberry Buttercream Meringue Frosting
  • 16 ounces sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tsp light corn syrup
  • 6 large egg whites
  • 20 oz (5 sticks) butter, cubed at room temperature
  • ½ cup strawberry puree
  • 1½ Tbsp fresh squeezed orange juice
  • Optional: 1-2 drops red food coloring
To make Puree:
  1. Place a handful frozen strawberries in a blender and puree on high speed until smooth. Divide the mixture into ¼ cup for the cake and ½ cup for the buttercream.
To make Strawberry Cake:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare 3, 8-in. cake pans. One way to ensure that the cake never sticks is to spray the pans well with baking spray, then line each pan with a parchment round, and then again lightly spray the parchment. Butter or shortening and flour are an alternative to the baking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the puree, half and half, vanilla, and orange juice. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, potato starch, baking powder, salt and zest.
  3. In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium-high until light and fluffy, approximately 7-8 minutes. Slow down the speed and add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the side of the bowl after each egg.
  4. Alternate between adding the wet and dry ingredients, beginning and ending with the dry. Scrape down the bowl as needed and don’t over-mix.
  5. Divide the mixture in half. In one bowl, add a few drops of red food coloring and mix well (gel food coloring works best). Next, divide the 2 mixtures between the 3 cake pans, adding large dollops of each color without mixing. Use a teaspoon to draw swirls in the batter (a figure 8 motion works well). Be careful not to over-swirl or the result will be a pale pink cake. Give the pans a gentle shake to help disperse the batter evenly.
  6. Bake for 22-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  7. Allow the cakes to cool for several minutes in the pan. Carefully invert them onto a cooling rack or onto cardboard cake rounds lined with parchment.
  8. Allow the cakes to cool completely. Once cool, they can be wrapped in plastic and stored at room temperature for two days, the refrigerator for five days, or the freezer for several months.
To make Strawberry Buttercream Meringue Frosting:
  1. Add the sugar, water and corn syrup to a medium sauce pot. Cover and turn the heat to high. Once the liquid begins to simmer and some steam has developed, remove the cover (this step helps prevent crystallization).
  2. While the sugar is coming to a simmer, whisk the eggs on high in a stand mixer with the whisk attachment until a soft peak has formed.
  3. Using a candy thermometer, cook the sugar to the soft boil stage, 235-240 degrees F.
  4. Turn the mixer speed down to medium and very slowly pour the syrup down the side of the bowl into the meringue. Don’t pour the hot syrup directly into the meringue or the egg whites will scramble.
  5. Once the syrup is incorporated, turn the speed up to high and allow the meringue to continue to form a stiff peak. Mix on high until the mixture has reached room temperature. To speed up this 10-15 minute process, ice packs or cold towels can be placed around the bowl.
  6. Once the meringue is room temperature, slowly begin incorporating the soft butter on medium speed. Once all of the butter has been incorporated, turn the mixer speed up to high and very slowly add the strawberry puree, orange juice and food coloring, a few tablespoons at a time.
To assemble cake:
  1. Place the first layer of cake on a revolving cake stand. Remove the parchment paper.
  2. Spread approximately one cup of frosting on the cake and spread it around evenly with an offset spatula. Add more frosting as needed to reached the desired thickness.
  3. Repeat with the second layer.
  4. Place the 3rd layer on top. Top with a thin layer of frosting. Use an offset spatula to apply a thin layer of frosting to the sides, taking care to make sure the top and sides are even. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to set this first layer of frosting.
  5. Cover the entire cake with a final layer of frosting in a decorative pattern.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 slice Calories: 730 kcal Fat: 46 g Saturated fat: 28 g Trans fat: 2 g Carbohydrates: 75 g Sugar: 55 g Sodium: 284 mg Fiber: 0.6 g Protein: 6 g Cholesterol: 169 mg

Strawberry Easter “Eggs”

Strawberry Easter EggsDipping strawberries in chocolate, or just about anything, is both fun and delicious. This week we had some fun dressing up juicy California strawberries in the colors of Spring and then decorating them to be Strawberry Easter “eggs!” While it may look like it took a long time to make these cute treats, with candy melts, a few Ziploc bags, sprinkles and a microwave, it only took about 30 minutes to create a couple dozen!

These treats are great for Easter or anytime – and a wonderful DIY activity project for kids and grownups. There are so many different colors and techniques, so feel free to be as creative as you want!

Strawberry Easter "Eggs"
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 24 strawberries
  • 1-2 pounds California strawberries
  • 2 (or more) 12 ounce bags of Wilton Candy Melts
  • Sprinkles
  1. Rinse strawberries with cool water; pat dry with paper towels.
  2. Place candy melts in small microwavable bowl. Heat for 1 minute and stir well. Continue to microwave and stir at 30 second intervals until smooth and completely melted.
  3. Dip dry strawberries into the melts to about halfway and then place on parchment-covered cookie sheet.
  4. Repeat heating/melting procedure with accent color(s). Once melted, spoon into small Ziploc bag or piping bag. If using a Ziploc, just snip off a tiny tip of the bottom corner and then drizzle on the coated strawberry.
  5. To add sprinkles, make sure the coating is still wet when applying so that the sprinkles stick.
  6. If needed, refrigerate until firm.



Strawberry & Veggie Flatbread

Strawberry Brussels Sprouts Flatbread

This Strawberry and Veggie Flatbread, by Kristina LaRue, RD, CSSD, of loveandzest.com, will excite your taste buds and be gone in a flash. Flatbreads are as versatile as strawberries because they can be sweet or savory and served anytime of the day!

Not only does this recipe deliver a unique pairing of flavors, the strawberries provide a boost of vitamin C. In fact, one serving of eight strawberries packs 110% of your daily recommended value. Who can say no to that?

Strawberry & Veggie Flatbread
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 servings
  • 1 (4.4 oz) naan flatbread
  • 3 Tbsp Mascarpone cheese, softened
  • 2 tsp strawberry preserves
  • ½ cup shredded Brussels sprouts (2 large Brussels sprouts)
  • 1 large strawberry, sliced
  • 1 oz (¼ cup) crumbled goat cheese
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp balsamic glaze, for garnish
  • 2 fresh basil leaves, chopped for garnish
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper, and place flatbread on sheet.
  2. In small bowl, mix together mascarpone cheese and strawberry preserves. Spread strawberry cheese mixture evenly on flatbread.
  3. Top flatbread with shredded Brussels sprouts, strawberry slices and goat cheese. Drizzle with olive oil and season with freshly ground pepper.
  4. Bake in 400-degree oven for 12 minutes. Allow to cool slightly. Drizzle with balsamic glaze and garnish with fresh basil. Slice flatbread into 4–8 pieces.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ½ flatbread Calories: 367 Fat: 21g Saturated fat: 9g Carbohydrates: 37g Sugar: 7g Sodium: 636mg Fiber: 2g Protein: 11g Cholesterol: 42mg


Layered Strawberry Tres Leches Cakes

Looking to put a fresh spin on dessert? Try this Layered Strawberry Tres Leches Cake from Mami Talks. Fresh California strawberries are used in two of the layers in this dessert, making this treat a strawberry-lover’s dream come true. Layering the ingredients in 4-oz mason jars shows off the beautiful combination of colors and ingredients, and would make great individualized desserts for cookouts, picnics, or even a summer time wedding.


Layered Strawberry Tres Leches Cakes
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 8 servings
  • 6 large eggs (yolks and whites separated)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1½ cups flour
  • ½ cup 2 percent milk
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • 1 10 oz can condensed milk
  • 1 10 oz can evaporated milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup 2 percent milk
Strawberry Sauce
  • 2 cups fresh, quartered California strawberries
  • ½ cup water
  • Juice of ½ a lemon
  • ⅔ cup sugar
To serve
  • 20 fresh, quartered California strawberries
  • 8, 4 oz mason jars
To make Cake:
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Whip the egg whites until they form stiff peaks then add the sugar little by little, then the yolks and the vanilla. Turn off the mixer and alternate folding in the flour and milk so that the volume is not lowered. Mix them in slowly to integrate everything.
  3. Pour mixture into a greased 11" round cake mold
  4. Bake for 30 minutes. Allow cake to cool for about 20 minutes; remove from mold and set aside.
  5. Using a round cookie cutter or jar, cut the cake in circles and place them on a deep platter.
  6. Combine all milks together in a bowl and slowly pour over the mini cakes. Allow the cakes to absorb the milk mixture for about 1-2 hours in the fridge.
To make Strawberry Sauce:
  1. In a blender, blend strawberries on high speed until smooth.
  2. In a medium saucepan, heat water and sugar until boiling. Carefully add to blender with the strawberries. Add the lemon juice and blend.
  3. Pour the sauce mixture back into the saucepan and heat on medium-low heat for about 30 minutes, mixing occasionally. You may want to discard the foam that forms in the beginning. Heat sauce until desired consistency. Turn off the heat, and let cool in the refrigerator for about an hour before making the jars.
To assemble:
  1. Start with a layer of fresh strawberries in each 4 oz mason jar
  2. Add about 4 teaspoons of strawberry sauce.
  3. Add one mini tres leches cake.
  4. Layer more fresh strawberries
  5. Add another mini tres leches cake.
  6. Top with whipped cream and a strawberry.
Plan to make the cake the day before, or at least 4 hours ahead of, the time you want to serve it.

Add the whipped topping right before serving; otherwise, it will melt quickly.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1, 4-oz jar Calories: 664 kcal Fat: 23 g Saturated fat: 13 g Trans fat: 0.6 g Carbohydrates: 101 g Sugar: 80 g Sodium: 180 mg Fiber: 2 g Protein: 16 g Cholesterol: 204 mg


Fennel Roasted Strawberries Labneh Crostini

Fennel Roasted Strawberries Labneh Crostini

We love a savory spin on strawberries. Check out this Fennel Roasted Strawberries Labneh Crostini from Playful Cooking for a new and exciting appetizer that’s packed with vital nutrients like vitamin C, potassium, and fiber.

Labneh is a creamy, tangy, Middle Eastern style yogurt that has been strained until it is extra thick; so thick, in fact, that it is actually referred to as yogurt cheese. You can enjoy labneh the same way that you would cream cheese – spread on crusty, toasty breads like bagels, grilled pita, or crostini, as in this recipe.

Fennel Roasted Strawberries Labneh Crostini
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 servings
  • 1 lbs fresh California strawberries
  • 2 cups non-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp honey to drizzle
  • 2 Tbsp roughly chopped pistachios
  • A few fresh mint leaves
  • 4 Baguette bread slices
  1. Fold a cheesecloth in half, and layer it on a colander. Place the colander in the sink or a bigger bowl. Drop the Greek yogurt on the cheesecloth, and tie the edges of the cheesecloth to drain out all the excess water from the yogurt. Leave the colander aside for 4 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 F/175 C.
  3. Trim the top of the strawberries, and the slice them in half or quarter. Layer them on a baking pan.
  4. Roughly crush the fennel seeds, and sprinkle them evenly on the strawberries, along with salt.
  5. Bake it for 15 minutes. (The roasted strawberries can be made in advance, and stored in an airtight glass jar in the refrigerator.)
  6. To prepare the labneh dip/spread, untie the cheesecloth and put the labneh on a serving plate. Spread it on the plate, and then, placing the back of your spoon against the labneh, press it down lightly as you rotate the plate to create swirls. Spoon the roasted strawberries on top, along with the juice. Don’t cover the labneh completely. Sprinkle the pistachios, drizzle honey and garnish with fresh mint.
The bread slices could either be toasted using the broil setting on your oven or a hot pan. Or, you could grill the bread slices.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 crostini with spread Calories: 281 kcal Fat: 3 g Saturated fat: 0 g Trans fat: 0 g Carbohydrates: 44 g Sugar: 11 g Sodium: 549 mg Fiber: 4 g Protein: 18 g Cholesterol: 6 mg