A tender vanilla cake filled with layers of whipped cream frosting and juicy strawberries. The classic flavors of strawberry shortcake in a layer cake.
What tastes like a strawberry shortcake, looks like a beautiful layer cake, and is sure to impress anyone and everyone you serve it to?
Answer: STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE CAKE!
If you’ve been around these parts for a while you know that I absolutely love baking with strawberries (I kinda like drinking ’em, too). During spring and summer, there are always strawberries in our kitchen. They are my favorite fruit to bake with, and they go well in so many recipes.
I’ve had a Strawberry Shortcake Cake on my summer “to-bake” list for years. My goal was to come up with a cake that had all the flavors of strawberry shortcake stacked high in a gorgeous layer cake.
My main criteria were that the recipe needed to be fairly easy, completely from scratch, and it needed to taste AMAZING (duh). I fully expected to have to play around with this recipe multiple times until I got it right, but, somehow this came out perfect – just the way I wanted it – on the first try.
Strawberry Shortcake Cake
- Vanilla Cake: I made three layers of a fluffy vanilla cake. The cake layers are light, yet sturdy enough to hold our filling and topping. If you’d prefer a two layer cake, you can bake the cake in two pans, rather than three. Your layers will be slightly thicker than mine.
- Stabilized Whipped Cream Frosting: Strawberry shortcake has to have whipped cream (and not the kind in a can or that questionable whipped topping in a tub). This is the real deal – freshly whipped cream, lightly sweetened with powdered sugar, and flavored with a touch of vanilla. In order to keep our whipped cream firm, I also add cream cheese to it. This stabilizes the cream and helps it hold its shape. You will have enough frosting to frost the sides of your layer cake, if you desire. I like the rustic look of leaving the sides exposed.
- Strawberries: Find the best strawberries you can and toss them with some strawberry jam (this makes them glossy and sweet). Strawberries go in between our cake layers, as well as on top of the cake. You can decorate the top of the cake however you like: I used a combination of diced strawberries and whole strawberries. I used thinly sliced strawberries for layering in between the cake (see below).
What I love about this cake is its versatility. It’s pretty enough to be served at a dinner party, yet casual enough to be part of a summer BBQ. If you know someone with a summer birthday, this cake would be extra pretty studded with candles and served to your loved ones. However/whenever you choose to make it – just make it! Grab those beautiful summer strawberries before they are gone.
- More STRAWBERRY RECIPES:
- Strawberry Cupcakes
- Warm Strawberry Crumb Cake
- Strawberry Cream Cheese Pie
- Strawberry Orange Margaritas
- Strawberry Jam
- Strawberry Crisp
**RECIPE UPDATED AUGUST 2020 – After receiving mixed reviews on the cake itself I have changed the cake portion of this recipe. Originally I used a “hot milk sponge cake”, which is a bit fussy. I have updated the recipe with a more traditional (almost foolproof) vanilla cake. If you’d prefer the previous recipe you can access that here.
Strawberry Shortcake Cake
- 2½ cups all purpose flour*
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1¾ cups granulated sugar
- ½ cup vegetable or canola oil
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 large egg whites, room temperature
- 2½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon almond extract , optional, but highly recommended
- ⅔ cup sour cream
- ¾ cup milk , preferably whole or 2%, room temperature
- 3 cups sliced or diced fresh strawberries , divided
- 2 tablespoons strawberry jam
- additional whole strawberries , for garnish, optional
- 8 ounces cream cheese , softened to cool room temp
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2-¼ cups heavy whipping cream , chilled
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and salt until combined. Set aside.
- Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (preferred) or a hand mixer, beat sugar, oil, eggs, egg whites, and extracts until combined. Add the sour cream and beat until combined. Add half of the flour mixture, beating until just combined. While still beating, slowly add milk, then the remaining flour mixture. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Be careful not to overmix it.
- Line three 8-inch cake pans** with parchment paper and grease the pans. Evenly divide the batter between the three pans. Tap/gently drop the pans on the countertop a couple times to remove any air bubbles.
- Bake for 18-22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. If necessary, rotate the pans once during bake time to ensure even browning. Place the pans on a rack to cool completely.
- Combine the strawberries and jam and set aside (these will be used for the filling and topping). Note: I sliced the strawberries for the filling (about 2 ½ cups), and I diced the strawberries for the top of the cake (about ½ cup). You can slice or dice, your choice. You'll need about 3 cups total.
- Place the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl. Using a stand mixer or hand mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the mixture on medium speed until smooth. While the mixer is still whipping, slowly pour the heavy cream down the side of the bowl. Stop and scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl periodically. Increase the speed and continue whipping until the cream can hold a stiff peak.
- Place one layer of cake on a platter. Top with one-third of the frosting, then top with about 1 ¼ cups of strawberries. Place another layer of cake on top and repeat. For the third/top of layer of cake, top with remaining whipped cream frosting, then place the remaining strawberries in the center. Decorate the outside with whole strawberries, if desired.