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Strawberry Shortcake Cake

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This single layer strawberry shortcake cake recipe is so simple to make and tastes like a classic strawberry shortcake. It's one summer dessert you don't want to miss!

single layer strawberry shortcake cake on a wooden cake stand

Strawberry Shortcake Cake

This one layer strawberry shortcake cake is the first cake to start off my birthday month. I don't typically celebrate my birthday. I'm not one to want to be the center of attention.

But this month is more about birthday cake than about my actual birthday. All month long, I'm sharing cakes that are worthy of celebrating!

I love strawberry shortcake! It's definitely a childhood favorite of mine. My family would make little cakes out of vanilla dessert shells, which is what inspired today's version.

Instead of individual servings, I made one single layer cake, like my fresh strawberry cake, that can be served 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 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.
slice of strawberry shortcake cake on a pewter plate

Strawberry Shortcake Cake Recipe

I can't get enough strawberry shortcake cake! It's one of my favorite desserts. Not to mention how stunning it is.

When I asked my Instagram followers what I should turn this fluffy vanilla cake into, I had quite a few requests for strawberry shortcake. So it's first on the list.

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.


Strawberry Shortcake Cake 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.
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.

While the ingredients are coming to room temperature, preheat the oven to 350°F.

And prepare the cake pan with a light layer of grease and flour. Tap out any excess flour. Line the bottom of the pan with a piece of parchment paper that has been cut to fit. Lightly grease and flour the parchment paper as well.

Cream the butter and sugar together on medium speed for 5 minutes until it's light and fluffy. 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 the point. This is perfectly okay. It will smooth at once you add the flour.

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.

Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan and bake it for 20-25 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the center should come out with only a few moist crumbs attached.

cake batter in cake pan
baked cake in pan

Step 2: Make the strawberry shortcake filling

Remove the green parts from the tops of the strawberries. Chop the berries into quarters and place them in a bowl. Sprinkle sugar over them gently stir until the berries are evenly coated.

Let the strawberries sit for about 20 minutes at room temperature until they begin to release their juices.

chopped strawberries and sugar in bowl
sweetened strawberries in glass bowl

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.

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 it's shape longer and stay put on the cake.

whipped cream in glass bowl

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.


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.

How to store?

Keep the cake covered tightly and store it in an airtight container. It will keep up to 3 days in the refrigerator or up to 3 months in the freezer.

close up of slice of strawberry shortcake cake with a bite missing

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.

Tips for making the best strawberry shortcake cake recipe from scratch

  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.

If you like strawberry shortcake cake, you’ll love these other cake recipes:

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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 single layer strawberry shortcake cake recipe is so simple to make and tastes like a classic strawberry shortcake. It’s one summer dessert you don’t want to miss!

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

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.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 107Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 42mgSodium: 206mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 3g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the values shown are just an estimate.

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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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