Strawberry Shortcake Cake
Vanilla cake filled with layers of whipped cream frosting and juicy strawberries. The classic flavors of strawberry shortcake in a rustic and elegant layer 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.
*TO PROPERLY MEASURE FLOUR: Fluff the flour with your measuring cup, scoop a heaping portion and level it off with the back of a knife.
**CAKE PANS: Using three cake pans produces cake layers that are on the thinner side (my preference for filling and stacking). If you'd prefer the cake layers thicker, or you do not have three 8-inch round cake pans, you can divide the batter between two 8-inch cake pans. Increase the bake time to 22-27 minutes.
EGGS AND MILK: To quickly bring eggs and milk to room temperature place the four eggs in a bowl of really warm tap water for about 5 minutes. Microwave the milk to take the chill off, about 15 seconds.
FROSTING: This frosting is stabilized with cream cheese, so it tastes like cheesecake whipped cream. If you don’t want the flavor of cream cheese you can use 8-oz of mascarpone cheese instead. Just be aware that the frosting will be softer than if you use cream cheese. Alternatively, you can use vanilla buttercream frosting or freshly whipped cream. Note: the homemade whipped cream will not be as stable, so you’ll want to add the frosting right before serving.
STORING: This cake is best served the day it is made. After assembly, refrigerate the cake, then bring to room temperature before serving.
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.
Calories: 585kcal | Carbohydrates: 60g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 23g | Cholesterol: 117mg | Sodium: 228mg | Potassium: 248mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 37g | Vitamin A: 1043IU | Vitamin C: 22mg | Calcium: 125mg | Iron: 2mg