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Light and Fluffy Strawberry Shortcake Cake with Strawberry Buttercream
Strawberry Shortcake Cake – tender and light vanilla cake layers with a whipped cream filling, fresh strawberries and strawberry buttercream.
Happy belated Easter, friends! Today I am so excited to talk about my Strawberry Shortcake. I love seeing everything you baked up this weekend for your Easter dinner yesterday. From cakes, to cupcakes, to bars, to cookies, to bread… in other words, you were busy! I’m so glad you like my Classic Carrot Cake as much as I do!
Strawberry Shortcake Cake
For my new recipe this week, I am going to introduce you to my Strawberry Shortcake. I love how this is made up of tender and fluffy vanilla cake. I fill it with homemade whipped cream and fresh strawberries and cover it in a strawberry buttercream. Top it with a dollop of whipped cream, lemon zest, and fresh juicy strawberries if you want to go the extra mile. This really is the perfect shortcake for the season!
I went a little untraditional with the addition of the strawberry buttercream, but I think it was a risk well worth it! The flavor is light and awesome!
To start, the cake layers for this one come from my Classic Vanilla Cake. Remember, with a tender, fluffy vanilla cake, it’s easy to over bake the layers and therefore get a dry cake. Here’s what I do in my Strawberry Shortcake recipe to make sure that doesn’t happen:
- First reduce the temperature to 325 degrees F.
- Next add sour cream to increase fat in the batter, which helps create and maintain moisture.
- Keep your eye on the shortcakes as they bake. Don’t forget to use a toothpick to check when they’re done. When you insert the toothpick in the center of the cake, it should come out with a few moist crumbs on it.
- Don’t over mix the cake batter.
Whipped Cream Filling for the Cake
After starting the layers, I move on to the filling. The whipped cream filling is simply stabilized whipped cream. I’ve used it in several recipes, and I have a full tutorial on IGTV that you can watch HERE to help you make the recipe below. A few dollops of this cream will send your bake over the top!
Most importantly, I add gelatin to this Strawberry Shortcake recipe because the gelatin is what helps stabilize the whipped cream. This helps it hold up better between cake layers. However, it can sometimes be tricky to use. The key to making sure you don’t get clumps in your whipped cream filling is to not let the gelatin mixture cool too long in the fridge. Above all, you don’t want the gelatin to set too much as it cools and you also don’t want it to be too warm. If it is the wrong temperature when you add it to your whipped cream, the whipped cream will soften.
To top this shortcake off, I add a delicious strawberry buttercream, made with a little strawberry jam and freeze-dried strawberries.
The flavor is out of this world delish.
Assembling the Strawberry Shortcake
You want to be sure your cake is staked properly, so take a look at the tips below to refresh your memory.
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Tender and fluffy vanilla cake layers with a whipped cream filling, fresh strawberries and strawberry buttercream.
FOR THE CAKE
- 3 cups (340 g) cake flour
- 1 tbsp. (10 g) baking powder
- 1 tsp. (6 g) salt
- 1 cup (226 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 3/4 cups (350 g) granulated sugar
- 6 egg whites, at room temperature
- 2 tsp. (8 g) clear vanilla extract
- 1 cup (240 g) buttermilk, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup (120 g) sour cream, at room temperature
FOR THE WHIPPED CREAM
- 2 cups (462 g) heavy whipping cream, cold
- 3 tbsp. (44.3 g) water, cold
- 1 tbsp. (9.25 g) unflavored gelatin
- 1/2 cup (62.5 g) powdered sugar, measured and then sifted
- 1 tsp. (4.2 g) vanilla extract
- Diced fresh strawberries
FOR THE BUTTERCREAM
- 1 1/2 cups (327 g) unsalted butter, slightly cold
- ¼ cup (40 g) freeze dried strawberries, pulverized
- 1/3 cup (76 g) heavy cream
- 2 tbsp. strawberry jam
- 4 cups (500 g) powdered sugar, measured and then sifted
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- *This buttercream recipe makes enough to fill and cover your cake. If you want to add additional piping, you’ll want to make an extra ½ batch.
FOR THE CAKE
- Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Spray three 8-inch or four 6-inch round cake pans with non-stick spray and then line with parchment. Spray again. Set aside.
- In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together the cake flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and the sugar for two minutes on medium-high speed.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl and begin to add the egg whites on medium speed, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl between addition. Once all of the egg whites are added, mix for about 1 to 2 minutes on medium speed.
- Add vanilla extract and beat until incorporated.
- With the mixer on low speed, add ⅓ of the flour mixture, followed by ½ cup of the buttermilk. Repeat the additions, ⅓ cup flour mixture, ½ cup buttermilk and the final ⅓ cup flour mixture. Only mix until the flour mixture is incorporated, about 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix again for another 20 to 30 seconds on low.Fold in the sour cream.
- Pour about 18 ounces of cake batter into each of the three 8-inch cake pans or 13 ounces in each of the 6-inch pans and bake for 25 to 28 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out with a few moist crumbs on it. Let cool in the pans for about 15 minutes and then invert onto a wire rack to cool completely. (Tip: spray your wire cooling racks with nonstick spray).
FOR THE FILLING
- In a small bowl, place the cold water and sprinkle with the gelatin. Let sit for at least 10 minutes. In a small saucepan, bring ⅓ cup heavy cream to a simmer and then stir in the gelatin mixture. Refrigerate, stirring frequently, until cool but not set, about 5-7 minutes.
- In a chilled stainless steel bowl with a chilled whisk attachment, beat the remaining whipping cream, icing sugar, and vanilla until it thickens and soft peaks begin to form, about 1 to 2 minutes. Very gradually add the gelatin mixture and continue beating until medium-firm peaks form.
- Keep covered and chilled until ready to use.
FOR THE BUTTERCREAM
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter for about 2 minutes. This will soften the butter without it having to be warm.
- With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the sifted powdered sugar, one cup at a time, mixing a little in between each addition.
- Add the freeze dried strawberries and the strawberry jam.
- With mixer on medium speed, add whipping cream and vanilla.
- Turn the mixer to medium-high speed and beat for an additional 5 to 7 minutes. The frosting will become lighter in color and texture.
- Spread a small dollop of frosting on your cake board. This will act like glue to hold your cake in place.
- Place your first cake layer, top side up, on your cake board. Pipe a rim of strawberry buttercream around the edge of the cake.
- Spread about ½ cup of the whipped cream filling over the cake. Placed diced strawberries on the whipped cream and pat into place with your hand. Spread another ½ cup of the whipped cream filling over the strawberries.
- Place the next cake layer on top of the filling and repeat steps 2 and 3.
- Set your final cake layer, top side down, on your second layer of filling. Apply a thin crumb coat over your entire cake. This does not need to look pretty or be even. This coat of frosting is simply to lock in the crumbs. Freeze your cake for about 10 to 15 minutes to set the crumb coat.
- After the crumb coat is set, finish frosting your cake with the strawberry buttercream
WOW!!!! This looks unreal!! My husband gets your emails and the second he saw this he yelled “WE HAVE TO MAKE THIS CAKE”. Can’t wait to try this over the weekend!!
I love that!
What is the difference between your vanilla cake and funfetti cake recipes? I find that the funfetti cake is much lighter and fluffier in texture. Im wanting to make this recipe and was hoping to swap the recipes. Is that possible?
Thanks! Im in love with all of your cakes, they are my go to!
Feel free to swap!
Due to a miscommunication of my groceries delivered I only have extra large eggs. Should I just leave one egg out of the 6 egg whites?
You can use all of them! It will be fine.
Hi-looks amazing! Can’t wait to make!! I’m assuming it requires refrigeration prior to serving, and after???
Oh-also, would this be a recipe that could be used under fondant? Sounds divine as a summer wedding cake.
You want to keep it lightly wrapped in the freezer and then put it in the fridge the night before serving. Take out of the fridge a couple hours before serving. After I like to slice individual slices and keep them wrapped in saran in the freezer.
Is the butter supposed to be 3/4 cup? or 1 and 1/2 cups? 3/4 cup would equal the amount of grams listed… Thanks!
It should be 1 1/2 cups of butter. I fixed the grams. Thanks!
Hi, we love making your cakes! On the freeze dried strawberries, I’m assuming you measure the 1/4 cup after you pulverize? I measured a 1/4 cup and then pulverized it but it was only 10 grams! And it says 40! Is that right?
Yes after you pulverize.
Hi I pulverized the strawberries, then measured a packed 1/4 cup and still only came out to 19 grams??!? Should I aim for the 40 grams or 1/4 cup?
Sorry, one more question–is it a tsp of vanilla in the buttercream? It’s mentioned in the directions but not on the ingredient list.
I can’t wait to make this cake for Mother’s Day!! I just noticed that I only have 9 inch pans. Can I still use them? I’ll just have to take them out of the oven a little sooner? Do you have any tips?
Bake at 325 instead and keep your eye on them!
I can’t wait to make this for Mother’s Day this weekend !! I only have 9inch pans would this work? Should I tweak the recipe at all?
Bake them at 325 and keep your eye on them!
I made this for Mother’s Day and everyone was absolutely raving. It is so fresh, light, and delicious! I’ve made many cakes for the same crowd and the consensus was that this was the best one yet.
Yay! Thanks for letting me know!
I wanted to assemble this cake the day before it’s being served and keep it in the fridge overnight. Should I omit the fresh strawberries in the layers or will they hold up okay overnight?
The cake had way too much baking soda resulting in an after taste. The whipped cream did NOT hold up in the least bit.
If you pour the gelatin cream in too fast, it can cause the whipped cream to fall. And your baking soda might be old!
Are you sure the gelatinous cream goes in the fridge for 5-7 minutes? I left it in for a little over seven minutes and my whipped cream still fell when I poured it in. And your IGTV tutorial says at five minutes it was still warm. When we take it out of the fridge, are we looking for room temperature or a little cool or what?
You want it to be cool! Make sure that you slowly stream the gelatin cream because doing it all at once can make it fall.
For the whipped cream filling, how long in advance can you make it? Would it still be fine if I make it the night before I want to assemble the cake?
Yes just keep it in the fridge!
Hello, Courtney! Should I use an 8×2 or 8×3 pan?
Either is fine!
Would I be able to halve this recipe?
If you wanted to, you would need to make it in 2 6-inch pans.
I’m making this strawberry shortcake for a baby shower tomorrow night. I have 3 – 10” cakes baked so far. Was wondering if I finished it tonight, would the filling be ok for tomorrow?
About how long will this cake keep in the fridge? I’m trying to make it ahead of time.
Only a little bit. It will dry out.
Have you made this Gluten free before? I use Bobs 1to1 and wasn’t sure since it was cake flour? Should I use almond flour instead?
I haven’t but it should be fine!
Hi Courtney, I made this cake today for my husband’s birthday and it is amazing. It is so delicious and everyone loved it. Thank you so much for these great cake recipes :-).
Thank you so much!
After decorated should this be stored at room temp or fridge?
This cake is divine! My husband loves strawberry shortcake so I made this cake for his birthday to have something more celebratory. It was a hit among everyone. I wouldn’t change a thing. Delicious!
Thank you so much!
Hey Courtney love your cake recepies. This recepie calls for 3 8inch cakepans but I only have 2 pans and 2 6inch pans , how can I divide the batter and bake?
You can do two 8 inch cakes or make the 6 inch in two batches!
Help why didn’t the cake rise. Followed it to the t.
You might have overmixed your batter or had old ingredients!
Hi Courtney! I have just finished baking the cake for this recipe and found that my cake layers didn’t rise! I triple checked the recipe, and it calls for 1 tbsp baking powder, but in the comments section someone previously commented that there was too much soda in the recipe… can you please clarify? Have I put in the wrong ingredient?
Thanks in advance! Love your work! You rock!
It should be 1 tbsp baking powder!
I would double check how fresh your baking powder is. And did you mix your sugar eggs and butter to be really fluffy?
I’m so excited to make this for my sister’s upcoming 40th birthday! I was wondering if you have a recommendation on how to get a smoother in color/ solid pink rather than have the specs of the strawberry in the buttercream? I love the look of your strawberry lemonade cake but we can’t do Red Dye 40 in our family so can’t use the strawberry emulsion. Any suggestions? Thanks 🙂
You would have to google a natural food dye and use that.
Is this one you can make ahead of time and freeze? The whipped cream between layers is what makes me unsure. Thanks!
Hi i have a question can i make this recipe in two 10″ pan
I would 1.5x the recipe.
I whipped the heavy cream till a stiff peak formed and then I added the cooled gelatin mixture and it curdled. 😭 What did I do wrong? Did I mix it too long?
If it curdled the cooled gelatin might have been too warm. Try using EZ gel. It’s so much easier to use.
Could you use pectin instead of gelatin? Trying this cake for the first time!
What would you recommend?
I have never used pectin but if you are familiar with it and blooming it then give it a try! I also recommend EZ gel
How much ez gel would you use?
best one yet!
How much EZ gel would you substitute for the gelatin?
Can you make cup cakes out of strawberry cake
Can I use E-Z gel for the filling?
This looks amazing Courtney! I was just wondering if I were to make it as a sheet cake, would I do the vanilla cake topped with the whipped cream a layer f strawberries then freeze or 15mins and ice the whole cake with the strawberry butter cream? Or what would you recommend?
Delicious! Made this for a party and everyone raved about it. Thank you for the great recipe, Courtney!
Courtney! I just wanted to say thank you SO MUCH for this recipe! I made it for my sons first birthday party and it was such a hit! It was gobbled up and I got so many compliments! It turned out perfectly and tasted absolutely amazing! Especially the strawberry frosting! I was so nervous about making the stabilized whipped cream but it all turned out so well. Thank you so so so much!
This makes me so happy!
Very good cake, taste and presentation were a hit
Can this be assembled and kept in the fridge the day before serving?
Yes, just make sure to cover it well so it doesn’t get dry.
This recipe was so good and used well describing words. I loved how the recipe stated what kind of mixing tool to use with the hand mixer.
Is there a substitute for freeze dried strawberries? I can’t find them in my towns grocery stores. Would sliced frozen work? Or fresh?
I wouldn’t use fresh, unless you create a reduction with them – to do that, add the strawberries to a saucepan and cook over medium-low heat. As they soften, smash them to help release juices. You’ll want to puree the mixture and then continue to cook it on low heat until it thickens and reduces to about 1/4 cup. Let it cool and chill and then you can add that to the buttercream.