Not your classic strawberry shortcake recipe but a strawberry shortcake cake. Fresh strawberries between layers of a moist vanilla cake topped with a scrumptious cream cheese frosting. A great way to celebrate Spring.
There’s no better way to showcase fresh strawberries then layered between cake and a decadent cream cheese frosting.
We had the best strawberries from the farmers market left over from our Kentucky Derby party and couldn’t wait to add them to our favorite strawberry shortcake cake. It’s one of those recipes I make as soon as we start seeing fresh strawberries, which in North Carolina is in April and then we only have them for a short time depending on how quickly it gets hot.
Check out when strawberries are ripe where you are.
The cake is a little crispy on the outside but soft and moist on the inside. It’s the perfect consistency to hold the strawberries without falling apart when you cut it. All the slices looked perfect, not just the one I photographed.
With a rich cream cheese frosting and a pound and a half of frosting, this is a decadent dessert that’s hard to resist. If you only have a few strawberries or are looking for something a bit lighter, then you’ll love a single layer lemon strawberry cake, topped with whipped cream.
Why you’ll love it
- It’s very forgiving, so if the layers aren’t perfect the strawberries will cover up any unevenness
- It’s a great way to show off fresh strawberries
- It goes good with any meal, decadent but not overly sweet
- Cream cheese frosting bumps any dessert up a level
We’ve tried eating leftovers the next day and while still wonderful, not quite as good as it is fresh as the cake layers gets a little mushy from the juicy strawberries.
What you’ll need
- Fresh Strawberries – frozen will be too watery.
- Cream cheese – a butter or whipped cream frosting will not be sturdy enough to hold the strawberries in place. Not only does a cream cheese frosting taste amazing with strawberries, but it’s heavier texture is needed with the fresh strawberries.
- Pantry ingredients – butter, sour cream, sugar, eggs, flour, baking soda and cornstarch. Powdered sugar and vanilla for the frosting.
How do you make it
Step 1: Make the cake by creaming butter and sugar and then adding eggs, sour cream and vanilla. Next add the dry ingredients of flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt and then pour it into just one cake pan and bake for 30 minutes.
Step 2: Let it cool slightly and remove from the pan and let it cool completely. Once cooled, use a serrated or bread knife and sliced it in half. If your two slices aren’t perfect that’s ok because of the strawberry layer. If this sounds too difficult or you don’t have a long serrated or bread knife, you can use dental floss.
Step 3: Cut up the strawberries and sprinkle with sugar. If you want a smoother layer, you can mash them a bit, but I like it a little lumpy. Spread the strawberries on top of each layer and FREEZE for 15 minutes before frosting.
Step 4: Combine the frosting ingredients and spread ⅓ over the first layer of strawberries, top with the second layer and frost the top and sides with the remaining frosting. Keep refrigerated until ready to eat.
If you want a pink frosting add a ½ cup of dried ground strawberries like I do for this strawberry cake recipe.
How do you choose the ripest strawberries
For this or any strawberry shortcake you need fresh sweet strawberries. There’s nothing like biting into a sweet strawberry. Strawberries are one of those fruits that don’t ripen once picked. The best way to know if your strawberries will be sweet is to taste them, but if that’s not possible, then look for a vibrant red color throughout the entire strawberry and a bright green stem. It should be red all the way up to the stem.
What’s the best way to store fresh Strawberries
Once you find those sweet strawberries, they don’t last long. To store them, remove any smushed ones. Wait until you’re ready to eat to wash them. The flavor will be even sweeter at room, temperature. If you can’t eat them in a day or two then try a vinegar wash it will keep them fresh for over a week.
This is not your traditional strawberry shortcake with biscuits and whipped cream, but I think it may be our new favorite strawberry dessert. The strawberries soak into the buttery cake layers, while not as light as the typical whipped cream frosting, the cream cheese makes it rich and creamy.
This does take a little more time than making biscuits as you have to cook the cake and let it cool, but I assembled it all before dinner and it was ready to go when we had friends over for a homemade dessert. I was inspired for this recipe by one in the Pioneer Woman’s Cookbooks. As always her recipes are sure to please.
FAQ’s and Tips
You can freeze the cake before it has been topped with strawberries. Cut the layer in half horizontally and wrap each layer separately in plastic wrap. Wrap a second time or place in a resealable bag and freeze until ready to top. It will be easier to frost while it’s frozen.
No, they are too watery to put inside the cake.
Strawberry shortcake cake is best eaten the same day as it’s assembled or the next day. After that the juice from the berries will make the cake layers mushy.
It should be kept in the refrigerator due to the cream cheese frosting.
Instead of cutting it in triangles like you would a pie, cut the cake in half and then cut vertical slices down each half.
More strawberry recipes you’ll love
More yummy Springtime dessert recipes
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Strawberry Shortcake Cake
- ½ cup butter softened
- 1 ½ cups plus 3 tablespoons sugar
- 3 eggs
- ½ cup sour cream room temp
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 ½ cups flour
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 ½ pounds strawberries hulled and halved
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 8 ounces cream cheese room temp
- 1 cup butter room temp
- 1 ½ pounds powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 350º. Line the bottom of a 9 inch cake pan with parchment paper and then grease and flour the entire inside of the pan.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the sour cream and vanilla and mix until combined.
- In a small bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, salt and baking soda and add to butter mixture, Mix until just combined. Spread it into prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
- Let cool slightly and carefully remove from pan and let it cool completely. Remove the parchment paper. Once cool, slice in half with a serrated edge knife. Lay the two halves cut side up.
- Mash the strawberries a little and sprinkle with sugar. Let them sit for a few minuets. Spread the strawberries on each half and then place them in the freezer for 15 minutes before frosting.
- Combine all ingredients and mix until light and fluffy. Place ⅓ of frosting over one of the halves and place the other layer, strawberries facing up, on top. Frost top and sides with remaining frosting.
Barbara’s Tips + Notes
- Use fresh sweet strawberries frozen will make it mushy
- You can freeze the cake before adding the strawberries and frosting
- Slice the cake layer with a long serrated knife or use a piece of dental floss and pull it gently through the layer
- The cake will need to be refrigerated
- This is best served the day it has been assembled.
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