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Strawberry Shortcake Cake

This single-layer strawberry shortcake cake recipe features a moist vanilla cake topped with strawberries and whipped cream. It's one summer dessert you don't want to miss!

Single layer strawberry shortcake cake on a wooden cake stand.

This one-layer strawberry shortcake cake is a fun twist on the classic strawberry shortcake dessert.

Instead of individual servings, I made one single-layer cake, like my fresh strawberry cake, that can be sliced and served. This makes transporting the cake much easier and it looks splendid.

This strawberry shortcake cake recipe celebrates summer ripened strawberries by layering them over a tender vanilla cake topped with homemade whipped cream.

It's pretty simple to make and tastes exactly like the ones I grew up with.


Why this recipe works

  • The cake is incredibly soft and spongy due to the buttermilk and baking soda.
  • Fresh strawberries coated in sugar will release their juices creating a sweet strawberry syrup that can be drizzled over the finished cake.
  • Homemade whipped cream with a touch of sweetness balances the cake and leaves you wanting more.

This truly is an incredible strawberry shortcake cake recipe that is so easy and perfect for summer.


Watch how to make it

Slice of strawberry shortcake cake on a pewter plate.

What you need

The cake is made completely from scratch with simple ingredients. You will be able to enjoy this berry-filled cake at home in just a short time.

Ingredients

I adapted my basic vanilla cake to create a moist, fluffier version. It's so soft and almost spongy. The strawberry syrup soaks right into the cake making it even more desirable. Let's discuss the ingredients...

  • Butter: Unsalted butter is what I always recommend.
  • Sugar: Regular granulated sugar will give you the best results.
  • Eggs: Make sure the eggs are at room temperature.
  • Buttermilk: Will give you the softest texture!
  • Vanilla: Use a high-quality pure vanilla extract.
  • Cake flour: Cake flour has a much lower gluten content than all-purpose flour and will yield a delicate cake.
  • Leavening: I used baking powder and baking soda to give the cake rise and make it ultra-tender.
  • Salt: To balance the sweetness.

Equipment

These tools are recommended to make the cake.


Can I use a box cake mix?

Yes, you can make the cake layer with a boxed cake mix if you wish. Keep in mind that you only need 1 layer, so with a box mix, you'll have an extra cake layer.

You could bake the entire box in a 9x13-inch pan according to the package directions. Top the cooled cake with the strawberries and whipped cream.

Overhead of one layer strawberry shortcake cake.

How to make Strawberry Shortcake Cake

It's super easy to make this single-layer strawberry shortcake. It takes just a few minutes to whip up the cake batter then the cake bakes for about 20 minutes. Once it has cooled, top it with homemade whipped cream and sweetened strawberries.

Step 1: Make the cake

Start by making sure all the cold ingredients are brought to room temperature. Do this by setting them out for 1 hour before you begin making the cake.

  1. Cream the butter and sugar together on medium speed for 5 minutes until it's light and fluffy.
  2. Add the eggs one at a time and mix for 2 seconds after each addition. Add the vanilla and milk then mix on low speed until combined.

The mixture may look curdled at this point. This is perfectly okay. It will smooth at once you add the flour.

  1. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Add it to the butter mixture and beat on low speed just until no visible streaks of dry flour remain.
  2. Spread the batter evenly into a greased 9-inch cake pan and bake at 350°F for 20-25 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the center should come out with only a few moist crumbs attached.

Step 2: Make the strawberry topping

The strawberries are the star of the show here so make sure you have fresh, summer ripened berries.

  1. Remove the green parts from the tops of the strawberries. Chop the berries into quarters and place them in a bowl.
  2. Sprinkle sugar over them gently stir until the berries are evenly coated.
  3. Let the strawberries sit for about 20 minutes at room temperature until they begin to release their juices.

Step 3: Make the whipped cream

I like to use stabilized whipped cream for this cake so it doesn't break down so quickly. This is best when you need to transport the cake or it has to sit out for a few minutes before serving.

whipped cream in glass bowl
  1. Whip heavy cream, confectioners' sugar, clear piping gel, and vanilla together in a large bowl until stiff peaks are about to form.

I like the cream to be a little firmer than soft peaks but not quite a firm as stiff peaks. This way it will hold its shape longer and stay put on the cake.

Step 4: Assemble the cake

The order that you add the strawberries and cream is completely up to you. The juices from the strawberries will seep into the cake and can make it soggy if you let it sit too long.

My recommendation is if you plan to serve it right away, layer the strawberries first then top with whipped cream.

If you're not planning to serve the cake immediately after assembling it, layer the whipped cream first, then top with the strawberries.

Jen's best tips

  1. Properly measure the flour. Don't scoop the flour directly out of the bag with the measuring cup. Since flour compacts, this method will add too much flour to the recipe.
  2. Use cake flour. Don't try to make the recipe with all-purpose flour. Cake flour will give you the best results.
  3. Don't overbake the cake. This could cause the cake to become dry.

I'm certain if you have a July birthday, you will love to celebrate with this strawberry shortcake cake. It's so light, flavorful, and doesn't feel overly heavy.

Close up of slice of strawberry shortcake cake with a bite missing.

Storage & Freezing

To store: Keep the fully assembled cake covered in an airtight container. It will keep for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.

Or wrap the baked and cooled cake layer in plastic wrap and store it at room temperature for up to 2 days. You can also place it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

The strawberries can be made 1 day in advance. Keep them covered tightly and store them in the refrigerator.

To freeze: The cake layer can be baked, cooled, and frozen for up to 2 months. Wrap it tightly in a few layers of plastic wrap followed by a few layers of aluminum foil.

Thaw the frozen cake in the refrigerator overnight.


More delicious strawberry cakes

If you enjoyed this strawberry shortcake cake you may also like these other delightful desserts.

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single layer strawberry shortcake cake on a wooden cake stand

Strawberry Shortcake Cake

Yield: 10 servings
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

This strawberry shortcake cake is a new fun spin to the old classic shortcakes we see during summer. Instead of a biscuit base, this recipe features a single vanilla cake layer, juicy strawberries, and homemade whipped cream!

Ingredients

For the cake

  • ½ cup (113 g) unsalted butter, softened
  • ¾ cup (150 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • ¾ cup (180 ml) buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups (180 g) cake flour, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt

For the strawberry filling

  • 2 ½ cups (360 g) strawberries, stems removed and sliced into quarters
  • ¼ cup (50 g) granulated sugar

For the whipped cream

  • 1 cup (240 ml) heavy whipping cream, cold
  • 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tablespoon clear piping gel
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

Make the cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°Lightly grease and flour one 9-inch round pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper then lightly grease and flour the paper. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla followed by the buttermilk.
  4. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir with a whisk and add it to the butter mixture. Beat on low speed just until combined.
  5. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with few moist crumbs attached. Take care to not over-bake or the cake will be dry.
  6. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes then invert onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Make the strawberry filling

  1. Add the strawberries and sugar to a large bowl. Gently stir until the strawberries are evenly coated with sugar.
  2. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the mixtures sit on the counter for 20-30 minutes, until the strawberries begin to release their juices.

Make the whipped cream

  1. In a medium bowl, beat the cream and sugar together with an electric mixer on medium speed just until sugar has dissolved and the mixture is foamy.
  2. Add the piping gel and vanilla. Beat on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form.

Assemble the cake

  1. Place the cake layer on a serving platter. Spread the whipped cream over the top. Top with strawberries.

Notes

Cake flour: I don't recommend substituting the cake flour in this recipe. It offers a tight crumb that's also very tender and light. You can't replicate this with any other flour.

Buttermilk: If you don't have buttermilk, you can make it at home. I have a detailed post on how to make homemade buttermilk.

Piping gel: I prefer to use piping gel as a stabilizer for whipped cream. It helps keep it thick and fluffy. You can omit this if you wish not to use it but keep in mind, your whipped cream may not hold up as well without it.

Make ahead tip

  1. The assembled cake will keep for up to 3 days stored in the refrigerator.
  2. The cake layer can be made ahead of time. Wrap the cooled layer tightly in plastic wrap and store at room temperature for up to 2 days, in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
  3. The strawberries can be prepared up to 1 day in advance. Cover tightly and refrigerate until ready to use.

Recommended Products

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 358Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 89mgSodium: 244mgCarbohydrates: 42gFiber: 1gSugar: 25gProtein: 5g

* Nutrition information is provided as a courtesy by an online nutrition calculator and is not guaranteed to be accurate. Always seek advice from a nutritionist or medical professional.

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Christine Meuser

Tuesday 12th of May 2020

I made this over the weekend for my husband's birthday it's his favorite, I just wanted to tell this is absolutely the BEST recipe I've tried and have tried many!!!

Nancy

Monday 1st of July 2019

A full cake is the best way to enjoy strawberry shortcake! Thanks for sharing!!

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