Guaranteed to produce sweet dreams, this cake-inspired twist on strawberry shortcake nestles succulent strawberries between layers of a delicate buttermilk-infused cake and perfectly whipped cream. Forget seconds – your guests will want the whole thing!
Everyone loves holidays, both for the gatherings of friends and family and for the food (honestly, it’s mostly the food 🙂 ).
As a foodie, though, there are so many other special days on the calendar that justify cooking, and baking, and recipe experimenting! There’s practically a national month or day for all your favorite treats:
National Chocolate Mousse Day in April, National Hot Fudge Sunday Day in July, or even National Chocolate Milkshake Day in September (I think I see a pattern here). Check out foodimentary.com to see what’s coming up on the calendar and what celebration you may be missing out on today!
As a little diversion from chocolate (sad, I know, but stay with me), I’m offering a recipe for Strawberry Shortcake Cake.
Technically National Strawberry Shortcake Day isn’t until June 14, but I’m all about being prepared! This cake is light and rich at the same time and gets an A+ for the beautiful visual contrast between the soft white cake and frosting and the vibrant red strawberries.
It will make you tremendously grateful for a little detour on the chocolate train, I promise.
We’re all familiar with strawberry shortcake – a “short” (meaning heavy in the butter department) bread, similar to a sweetened biscuit, sprinkled with sliced strawberries, soaking up the sweet berry juice, and topped with a generous dollop of whipped cream. It’s expected at your first summer BBQ and the perfect way to showcase the seedy, succulent fruit.
But what if you love it so much you want a strawberry shortcake birthday cake?? Well, my homemade Strawberry Shortcake Cake recipe includes all the things you love about strawberry shortcake but with a uniquely cake-like twist on those traditional recipes.
There are three carefully and lovingly selected layers – an ethereal, delicate cake with just a touch of vanilla; a fluffy frosting of whipped cream; and red, ripe and juicy berries.
The cake itself has the most incredible texture I’ve ever tasted in a made-from-scratch cake.
Part of the moisture in the batter comes from buttermilk, which provides a tangy offset to the sugar and the other layers in this recipe. It also helps ensure the tender quality of this cake since the acid inhibits gluten development. When it reacts with the baking soda, the result is tiny little air bubbles that lighten the cake even more – it almost floats right off the plate! Just be sure to bake it right away so the bubbles get set by the cooking process before they have a chance to pop.
The overall texture reminds me of a lightened coffee cake, like a Strawberry Shortcake Crumb Cake recipe. Keeping the strawberries out of the baking process preserves their texture, though, which I prefer to strawberry Bundt-style cakes, like the strawberry shortcake cake Walmart sells, where the cake stands out as the main flavor.
I specifically chose the frosting for this Strawberry Shortcake Cake recipe to bump up the richness, which all frostings should do, without overpowering the cake and berries.
Whipped cream, stabilized with a little cream cheese, is the perfect complement. The cream cheese also adds a little bit of that tangy component that, if you close your eyes, makes you think of a strawberry shortcake cheesecake cake.
Even though there are three components to this cake, the ingredients are simple, and I believe I succeeded in making this Strawberry Shortcake Cake recipe easy.
The flavors and textures combine into a scrumptious and impressive dessert that you can whip up on a Saturday afternoon. I definitely suggest making it several times between now and June 14, you know, just for the sake of perfecting the recipe. 😉
- To make sure you experience the awesome texture of this cake, you should definitely use cake flour. The lower protein content produces a very specific lightness and crumb. Also, plan on serving it the day it’s baked since the texture just isn’t as good on the second day. You can substitute all-purpose flour, noting the end result will be different but still delicious.
- This recipe has very specific instructions for preparing the cake batter. Honestly, it’s really not any more difficult or complicated than a standard homemade cake; it’s just detailed, and I urge you to follow the directions as closely as possible for wonderful results.
- After the cake is baked, it’s very fragile, particularly while it’s warm. Be careful when you transfer the layers from the baking pans to your cooling rack. Using parchment paper and letting the cake cool a few minutes in the pan will help stabilize it a bit.
- I like to assemble the whole cake then let it sit in the fridge to marry all the ingredients for an hour or so before serving.
I love this recipe for whipped cream! It produces a slightly stabilized result that can sit in the fridge for an hour or even a few more if you need it to. You can actually make the whole cake up to four hours ahead of time, but the strawberries, depending on their ripeness and juiciness, might weep a bit. Honestly, that just adds some moisture and a pink hue to the cake, which doesn’t bother me at all, but if you prefer a little less mingling of the layers, stick to no more than an hour before serving.
Did you know strawberries are part of the rose family? That means if they smell good, they’re ripe! You definitely want them at their peak for this recipe.
- Wash the berries and set them on layers of paper towels to dry. Give them ample drying time to avoid excess moisture in the cake.
- Choose five or six perfect specimens for garnishing the top (and maybe a few extra to enjoy while you’re making this cake!).
If you have a craving for Strawberry Shortcake Cake ice cream, skip the cake part of this recipe, and simply mix the berries and frosting together and freeze. If you want to put a little more effort into your dessert, you can also make a Strawberry Shortcake Crunch Cake by baking your favorite graham cracker or cookie crust and spooning in the berry/frosting mixture. Sprinkle the top with about a ¼ c. of reserved crust mix before freezing, slicing, and bringing on the “Mmmmm.”
This cake is also delicious with mixed berries or a different single berry, like blackberries. The sky is the limit!
Cake Source: NY Times
- Yield: Serves 12
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
Strawberry Shortcake Cake
- Cake Flour - 2 1/3 Cups
- Baking Powder - 1 1/2 Teaspoon
- Baking Soda - 1/2 Teaspoon
- Salt - 1/4 Teaspoon
- Eggs, At Room Temperature - 3 Large
- Vanilla Extract - 2 Teaspoons
- Unsalted Butter - 6 Ounces
- Sugar - 1 1/3 Cups
- Buttermilk - 1 Cup
- Whipped Cream Frosting
- Cream Cheese, At Room Temperature - 4 Ounces
- Heavy Cream - 3 Cups
- Powdered Sugar - 1 Cup
- Vanilla Extract - 2 Teaspoons
- Fresh Strawberries, Sliced - 5 Cups
- Fresh Strawberries-Left Whole - 5-7
Make the Cake:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Set the oven shelf to the bottom third of the oven. Butter two 9-inch diameter cake pans. Line the bottom of pans with parchment then butter the parchment.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
- In a small mixing bowl, add egg and vanilla and whisk until combined.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer on medium speed, cream butter until light and fluffy. Over the course of 3 minutes, beat in sugar. Over the course of 2 minutes, beat in the egg mixture. Lower mixer speed to low add flour alternately with the buttermilk, starting with and finishing with the flour mixture, scraping down the bowl.
- Pour the batter evenly into prepared pans. Bake in preheated oven, 25-30 minutes, or until tops are begin to become golden and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool in pans on a baking rack for 15 minutes, then carefully remove cakes from pan and cool completely.
Make the Whipped Cream Frosting:
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with a whisk attachment, add cream cheese, sugar and vanilla and mix until combined. While the mixer is still whipping, slowly pour in the heavy cream. Scrape down the sides of the bowl a few times and continue to whip until util the cream holds a stiif peak.
- Wash and dry (on paper towels) strawberries. Set aside best looking whole berries for garnish the top of cake. Cut the remain berries, just before ready to assemble, in thick slices.
- Carefully place the first layer of the completely cooled cake on serving plate. Spread half the whipped cream frosting on top of strawberries. Arrange a layer of strawberry slices on cake. Repeat with second layer, adding whole strawberries with sliced strawberries.
- Place in fridge for one hour to allow frosting to firm up a bit for easier andneater slicing. Serve.