This homemade strawberry jello cake recipe offers a delicious, sugar-free spin on jiggly jello. With only 4 ingredients, this beautiful treat contains real strawberries and zero-calorie monk fruit sweetener. So, it’s a great way to enjoy jello without all the refined sugar normally found in packaged strawberry jello. Enjoy this healthy cake as a snack or dessert. This cake can be made with gelatin or, if you’re vegan, with plant-based agar-agar.
Why I’m SO obsessed with jello cakes
There’s no denying it. I love making jello cakes, since they bring back childhood memories. The bright colors above all grabbed my attention as a kid, and I always enjoyed picking out one of the iconic little boxes of flavored Jello at the supermarket. I haven’t changed much, since orange and strawberry are still my favorites.
Well, the times have changed, and if you’re also health-oriented, then you no longer eat processed foods. So, if you’re craving jello, this sugar-free, homemade strawberry jello cake is one way to go. Moreover, make it in a pretty cake pan and you have a gorgeous dessert.
Why you’ll love this homemade strawberry jello cake
- Made with real fruit
- Sugar-free if you make it with a natural sugar substitute such as monk fruit
- Can be made with gelatin, which is good for you due to its protein and amino acid content
- Can be made with plant-based agar-agar (for vegans)
- An excellent option for keto, paleo, vegan and diabetic diets, since it’s sugar-free and contains real ingredients
- Only 37 calories per serving
- Kid-approved and a great way to get kids to eat fruit
- Quickly turns into an elegant dessert, for instance, in a beautiful cake mold
The ingredients for homemade strawberry jello cake
- Frozen strawberries or fresh strawberries – I use frozen strawberries since they melt and mush quickly.
- Granulated sweetener of choice – I use Lakanto Classic Monk Fruit.
- Gelatin or plant-based agar-agar for vegans
How to make homemade strawberry jello cake
This section shows how to make sugar-free homemade strawberry jello with photos and instructions. For full recipe, see the recipe card below.
1. Cook strawberries 5-7 min. until mushy.
2. Puree with blender or hand-held immersion blender and strain to remove seeds.
3. Stir in vanilla and sweetener.
4. Prepare gelatin by stirring it into water and waiting 5-10 min. for it to thicken and gel.
5. Heat puree and stir in gelatin until it dissolves.
6. Spray a non-stick cake pan with spray-on canola oil to help ensure a beautiful release.
7. Pour the strawberry jello into the cake pan and chill upwards of 4 hours. I like to let it set overnight.
8. Flip the cake and decorate with fresh strawberries, if desired.
How to make the vegan version with agar-agar
1. Follow the above steps.
2. After stirring in the vanilla and sweetener in step 3, stir in the agar-agar. Use 1 tablespoon of agar-agar per cup of fluid, so it should take about 6 tablespoons of agar-agar. Gently bring the jello to a boil and simmer 5 minutes or until flakes have dissolved. Then continue with step 6 above. Agar-agar produces a jello with a heavenly silky, smooth texture that’s almost like eating gelato. I recommend letting the cake set overnight in the pan, since a cake made with agar-agar is more delicate. Since agar-agar is more fragile than gelatin, I do not recommend using agar-agar to make layer cakes (a variation I suggest below).
F&Qs about Homemade Strawberry Jello
- Is sugar-free jello keto friendly? Sugar-free jello is keto friendly if it’s made with real fruit and a natural sugar replacement such as monk fruit or stevia.
- What do you sweeten homemade sugar-free jello with? If you no longer eat refined sugar, you can, for example, sweeten homemade sugar-free jello with natural sugar substitutes such as monk fruit or stevia.
- Is gelatin keto? Yes, gelatin is keto. In fact, it is a healthy source of protein and amino acids.
- How do you make easy healthy homemade jello? You basically combine fruit, a sugar-free sweetener, and gelatin or plant-based agar-agar. Moreover, if you select a fruit that doesn’t contain seeds, the process is quicker since you don’t have to strain seeds.
- Can you use jello for a cake? Yes, you can pour jello into a cake mold to make a pretty jello cake. I recommend spraying a non-stick cake pan with spray-on canola oil to ensure a smooth release. In addition, before flipping the cake, place the cake pan in hot (not boiling) water for 5 seconds, since this further ensures a smooth release.
- Can I add milk to jello? You can actually make milk jello which is a yummy milk-based gelatin dessert.
What to serve with strawberry jello cake
- Fresh strawberries
- Whipped cream
- Ice cream such as my favorite, Enlightened Keto Ice Cream – a sugar-free ice cream that only contains one gram of net carbs per serving.
Berry and fruit variations
- Mixed berries (requires straining to remove seeds)
- Blueberries (requires straining)
- Raspberries (requires straining)
- Blackberries (requires straining)
- Tip: Reduce the carbs by adding some water, but remember that it’s 1 packet (1 Tbsp) of gelatin per 2 cups of liquid or 1 Tbsp of agar-agar per 1 cup of liquid. In addition, adjust the sweetness, if needed.
Kitchen equipment for homemade strawberry jello cake
How to make a jello layer cake
Make a layer cake by adding a layer of mixed-berry jello. I do not recommend doing this with agar-agar, since cakes made with agar-agar are more delicate.
How to make strawberry & mixed-berry jello layer cake
This cake is best made on a day when you have time on your hands.
- Make a second batch of jello. This time use mixed berries and make half the amount.
- Grease a nonstick cake pan that holds at least 10 cups to ensure a smooth release. Pictured is the non-stick Nordic Ware 10-cup Jubilee Bundt Cake Pan.
- Use a soup ladle to pour in 3 scoops of mixed berry jello.
- Put the cake in the refrigerator and set your timer for 45 minutes, i.e., give it enough time to form a skin that supports the next layer.
- Ladle in 4 scoops of strawberry jello and set your timer for 45 minutes.
- Repeat, alternating 3 scoops of berry and 4 scoops of strawberry until you run out of jello.
- Refrigerate overnight.
- Remove from refrigerator.
- With your fingers, gently pull the jello away from the sides of the pan.
- Pour hot (not boiling water) into a pan (I use a wok for this) and put the cake pan in the water for 5 seconds. Make sure that no water splashes into the cake. Don’t put the cake pan in the hot water for more than 5 seconds because you risk melting your jello cake.
- Remove from water and immediately flip. After flipping your cake, you won’t be able to move it, so make sure you use the serving platter you wish to serve it on.
How to store your jello creation
To store: Jello cakes require refrigeration. It’s not a good idea to leave one out for more than 30 minutes. It will, however, keep for 5 days in the refrigerator.
Do not freeze: Jello cakes do not freeze well.
Other popular dessert recipes
- Mexican Milk Jello (Gelatina de Leche)
- Vegan Fruit Tart with a Lemon-Cashew Filling
- Sugarfree Pecan Pie
- Vegan Chocolate Cake
Homemade Strawberry Jello Cake
- 1 A blender or hand-held immersion blender to puree the fruit
- 1 non-stick cake pan that holds at least 5 cups
- 3 pounds frozen strawberries It's easiest to make with thawed frozen strawberries but you can also use fresh strawberries.
- 1 cup white granulated sweetener of choice I use Lakanto Classic Monk Fruit; adjust to taste.
- 3 Tbsp (3 packets) gelatin or 6 Tbsp agar-agar for vegans.
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tsp vanilla
Decorate the cake
- Fresh strawberries, if desired
- Put strawberries in pot.
- Cook 5-7 min. until mushy. Then puree with a blender or immersion blender.
- Strain with a fine- or medium-mesh sieve to remove seeds. When done, return to pot and gently heat.
- Add vanilla and sweetener gradually and stir until sugar is dissolved. Adjust for sweetness. When sugar is dissolved, remove from heat.
- IF USING GELATIN: Put 1/2 cup of water in a bowl and add 3 packets of gelatin. Stir it in with a fork and make sure the gelatin is covered with water. Wait 5-10 min. for it to thicken and gel.Heat puree. Then turn off heat and stir in the gelatin until it dissolves.
- IF USING AGAR-AGAR (VEGAN): Stir in agar-agar. Use 1 tablespoon of agar-agar per cup of fluid, so it should take about 6 tablespoons of agar-agar. Gently bring the jello to a boil and simmer 5 minutes or until flakes have dissolved.
- Pour into a nonstick cake pan sprayed with canola oil so the cake releases easily. You need a cake pan that holds at least 6 cups.
- Refrigerate until set. This takes upwards of 4 hours for gelatin. I recommend letting it set overnight, especially if you are using agar-agar because agar-agar is more delicate than gelatin.When you remove it from the refrigerator, use your fingers to gently pull the jello away from the sides of the pan.Put hot (not boiling) water in a large pot and put cake pan in hot water for 5 seconds. Don't leave the cake pan in the hot water for more than 5 seconds, because you could melt your jello. Also be careful not to spill hot water into the cake pan.Flip the cake onto a serving platter. I would like to point out that you won’t be able to move the cake anymore so select the platter on which you would like to serve the strawberry jello cake. Decorate with strawberries, if desired.Refrigerate until ready to serve.