4.50 from 54 votes

Strawberry Passion Fruit Sheet Cake

Strawberry Passion Fruit Sheet Cake Recipe | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Strawberry Passion Fruit Sheet Cake! A sheet cake may be the simplest of cakes, but done right, it can be perfectly elegant.

A special occasion doesn’t always require a piping bag (although that’s really fun too)! This classic, white cake is made Mother’s Day worthy with a big messy pile of perfect strawberries resting on passion fruit buttercream. It is super easy to put together but looks like sunshine and happiness, so no one will care that you didn’t have to work that hard. It will make the perfect dessert to bring to a party or just make you happy as you stand at the counter with a fork (which I can attest to because that’s exactly what happened right after these photos were taken). I baked the white cake from Zoë Bakes Cakes in a 9×13″ pan (instead of the layers I make in the book), covered it with my Swiss Meringue Buttercream that I mixed with fresh passion fruit (you can go with any flavor you love), and then tossed the fresh strawberries with lime zest, a touch of sugar and mint. Sometimes slathering together delicious, but simple flavors are all it takes to create something gorgeous.

Recipes found in Zoë Bakes Cakes, which is a wonderful Mother’s Day Gift IMHO, along with some flowers and maybe a blowtorch!

Classic White Cake In A Baking Dish | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François
White Cake With Passion Fruit Swiss Meringue Buttercream | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François
Strawberry Passion Fruit Sheet Cake Recipe | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Tropical Fruit Resources

Tropical fruit and purees can sometimes be hard to find locally, so I often order mine online.
Fierce Fruit (for Fruit Purees)
Melissa’s Produce
Miami Fruit
Rincon Tropics
Tropical Fruit Box
Vanilla Beans – here is more info on using vanilla beans

Strawberry Passion Fruit Sheet Cake Recipe | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François
Strawberry Passion Fruit Sheet Cake | ZoeBakes by Zoë François

Strawberry Passion Fruit Sheet Cake

Based on recipes from Zoë Bakes Cakes.
Classic, white cake, with a big messy pile of perfect strawberries resting on passion fruit buttercream. It is super easy to put together, but looks like sunshine and happiness, so no one will care that you didn't have to work that hard.
4.50 from 54 votes
Course: cake


White Cake*

  • 1/2 cup (112g) unsalted butter room temperature
  • 7 tbsp (80g) vegetable shortening
  • 2 cups (400g) sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 tsp almond extract
  • 1 cup (240g) egg whites (from about 6 eggs) room temperature
  • 3 cups (330g) cake flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) buttermilk room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (175ml) heavy whipping cream

Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  • 1 cup (240g) egg whites (from about 6 eggs) room temperature
  • 2 cups (400g) sugar
  • 3 cups (660g) unsalted butter room temperature
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/3 cup fresh passion fruit

Fresh Strawberry Topping

  • 2 pounds fresh strawberries sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup (100g) extrafine sugar
  • 3 tbsp thinly sliced fresh mint
  • 1/2 tsp lime zest


Make the Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350°F /175°C
  • Butter a 9 x 13 inch cake pan lined with buttered parchment or a pan you can serve the cake in with NO parchment (that's what I did here).
  • In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, shortening, sugar, vanilla, and almond extract on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. 
  • Turn the speed to medium-low and mix in the egg whites in 6 additions, mixing until smooth after each one. Wipe the sides of the bowl after each addition. 
    In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Sift to remove any lumps.
  • Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the butter/egg white mixture, mix until combined. Scrape bowl and add half the buttermilk, mixing until combined. Repeat with another 1/3 flour, the remaining buttermilk, and then the final 1/3 flour. Scrape after each addition. 
  • In another bowl, whip the heavy cream until medium peaks. Fold the whipped cream into the batter with a rubber spatula until there are no streaks of cream. Spread the batter into the prepared pan.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes, until set. (the timing may take more or less time depending on the pan you use.)

Make the Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the sugar and egg whites and beat on medium speed to mix. The mixture will be very thick and grainy.
  • Put 1 inch / 2.5cm of water in the bottom of a double boiler or a medium saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer over medium-low heat. Place the bowl with the sugar mixture over the simmering water and stir the mixture with a rubber spatula until the sugar is completely melted. Brush down the sides of the bowl with the spatula to make sure all the sugar is melted. Feel the mixture between your fingers to check for graininess. Once all the sugar has melted and the mixture is smooth, the syrup is hot enough (140°F / 60°C) to be safe to consume.
  • Return the bowl to the stand mixer fitted with a clean whisk attachment and beat on medium-high speed until the egg foam is light, fluffy, and glossy and the bowl feels just about room temperature. (If the egg foam isn’t cooled sufficiently, the butter will melt when you add it.)
  • Once the egg foam is whipped and cooled, turn the mier speed to medium, add the butter, 2 tablespoons at a time, and beat until incorporated. Turn the speed to low, add the vanilla and salt, and mix until incorporated. After the buttercream is whipped, add the passion fruit a little at a time until it is smooth.

Make the Fresh Strawberry Topping

  • Toss the strawberries, sugar, zest and mint together and let sit 15 minutes or until sugar dissolves.

Assemble the Cake

  • Once the cake is completely cool, spread the passion fruit buttercream evenly over the top. Leave it at room temperature until ready to serve and then add the strawberry topping.


*You can also make this cake with the Yellow Cake, Devil’s Food Cake, Hummingbird Cake or any other cake that sounds delicious to you.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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20 thoughts to “Strawberry Passion Fruit Sheet Cake”

  1. 3 stars
    I’m a fan of Zoe’s 5 minute bread books and decided to try making this for a family Mother’s Day dinner (I found frozen passion fruit puree at Whole Foods, btw). The cake and strawberries were delicious, but the buttercream was super heavy, I noticed a lot of people left big lumps of it on their plates. The Swiss Meringue phase of the frosting took an unexpectedly long time to cool from the 140 degree “safe to eat” temperature. After a half hour of whipping it in my 74 degree kitchen it was still 90+ degrees! I ended up submerging the bowl in an ice water bath in an attempt to get to the event on time. Next time I’ll make some whipped cream just before serving with a dollop of passion fruit puree mixed in, I think it will complement the cake and strawberries better.

  2. 3 stars
    The cake part is delish! The buttercream seems too heavy – I thought it would be more meringue-ish – I made 1/2 of the recipe and will just add dollops of whipped cream and the berries on a thinner layer of the buttercream.

    1. Good catch! Yes, all those ingredients are mixed together. I’ve updated the recipe to make it more clear. Thank you!

    1. Hello! It is listed in the recipe as Swiss Meringue Buttercream. The passion fruit is the last ingredient on the list for that section!

  3. I was reading the recipe and number 8 (swiss meringue buttercream) starts telling us to beat w whisk attach and number 9 tells to put the misture over a bath so I guess we should skip number 8 and start w number 9. Is this correct? Thanks

    1. Hi Cristina,

      Oh, thank you for letting me know, it is just a mistake in the language and I will fix it. You combine the eggs and sugar with a rubber spatula and place the bowl over the double boiler, then put it on the mixer once it is melted.

      Thanks, Zoë

  4. 5 stars
    I made this and it was delicious! The passion fruit really elevates it. I substituted some almond flour for the regular flour in the white cake (in a 75% ratio, not 1:1), and it worked great.
    It was my first time using Swiss Meringue Buttercream, and I found the amount of butter absolutely overwhelming… Will try to tweak it to reduce that amount significantly.

  5. hi Zoe, I love your recipes I love your energy i really love this strawberry cake, it looks so delicious pls tell me if thers any substitute for shortening? where i live this product is not available thanks a lot, can’t wait for your reply

    1. Hi Nava, You can use all butter, but the texture will be slightly different. Happy baking!

  6. Do you have recommendations to replace passion fruit? I don’t know that I can find any. Is passion fruit fresh or frozen?

    1. Hi Vickie, the passion fruit Zoe used was fresh, but you could use passionfruit puree (frozen) or go with another flavor. You could use strawberry or raspberry preserves, marmalade. Zoe offers lots of other suggestions in her book!

      1. Yes, I am making it tomorrow for myself for mother’s day, but no passion fruit, frozen or otherwise, so I will add homemade strawberry preserves I made last year.

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