This Strawberry Cream Cake is made with ripe, fresh strawberries that are mixed with lemon juice, vanilla, and sugar and sandwiched between lightly sweetened homemade whipped cream and light, fluffy, moist layers of a buttery vanilla cake. If there’s one last summer recipe you’re gonna make, make a Strawberry Cream Cake.
I’m obviously stuck in summer mode. We’re on week three of 90 degree weather. It’s so humid outside that my shirt gets soaked when I walk up the driveway to our mailbox. And , nope, my kids haven’t started school yet. And nope, we haven’t done our back to school shopping. And yes, I still feel summer is in full swing.
To be fair, I’ve reigned in our summer schedule. My husband and I have managed to get the kids back to their school-year sleeping schedule. They’re in bed by 7 and up by 7. That’s a huge feat. If you only knew the craziness that ensued this summer with their sleeping. Let’s just say that sleep was low on their list of priorities this summer. Low. Like at the very bottom of the list. Or maybe not even on the list.
So, when you feel like it’s still summer, why not whip up a Strawberry Cream Cake with local fresh, ripe strawberries? It’s such a simple cake: fresh strawberries, homemade whipped cream, and a vanilla cake, but when you eat all three components together in one bite, it’s combination is way more delectable than each of its parts (in consultant speak it’s called synergy).
I’ve been making a version of this Strawberry Cream Cake for years, but recently I reworked the cake portion of the recipe. In the older recipe, the cake was a little too firm. Generally speaking, cream cakes have a denser cake portion so that the cake can absorb the juice from the fruit without getting soggy, but there’s a little more dense and too dense. So when I reworked the cake recipe I added an egg, reduced the flour, and increased the milk. It resulted in a fluffy, delicious cake that was still firm enough to hold up to the moist strawberries and tender enough to enjoy on its own.
While my body and brain may be stuck in summer, I’m slowly coming to terms with the idea of autumn. My knitting will soon be emerging from summer storage, and I’m sure before I know it, my fruit basket will be filled with honey crisp apples and acorn squash. Until then, I’ll be serving myself a huge slice of this Strawberry Cream Cake and enjoying the 90 degree weather!
- For the Cake!
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1tbs baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1¾ cup granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1¼ cups milk
- 1 tbs vanilla bean paste
- For the Filling!
- 2 cups fresh strawberries, sliced (I left about a dozen strawberries whole for the top of the cake)
- 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 1½ tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ cup granulated sugar (you could put more or less depending on the sweetness of the strawberries)
- For the Cream!
- 1¾ cups heavy whipping cream
- 3 tbs powdered sugar
- For the Cake!
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Line the bottom of 3, 8-inch circle pans with parchment paper. Grease the pans and parchment with butter or cooking spray.
- In a medium bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy (about 5 to 6 minutes on medium speed).
- Once fluffy, add the egg yolks one at a time. Mixing between each addition until just combined.
- Add the whole eggs one at a time. Mixing between each additional egg until just combined.
- Add the vanilla bean paste and mix to combine.
- Alternate between adding the flour mixture and milk. Add the ingredients in 3 steps, starting and ending with the flour mixture.
- Once the batter is just combined, evenly divide it between the 3 prepared pans.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the centers of each cake layer spring back when gently pushed.
- Allow the cakes to cool in the cake pans on a cooling rack for about 15 minutes.
- Remove the cakes from their pans, and allow the cakes to cool completely on a cooling rack.
- For the Strawberry Filling!
- Fold the strawberries with the lemon juice, vanilla, and sugar. Allow the filling to sit for about 15 minutes.
- For the Cream!
- In the bowl of a standing mixer, using a whisk attachment, beat the cream until frothy. I like to chill my bowl and whisk before whipping the cream.
- Gradually add the sugar about 1 tbs at a time.
- Whip until stiff, but make sure not to over-whip or you'll end up with butter.
- To Assemble the Cake!
- Trim the tops of each cake layer so that each cake is flat.
- Place the first cake on a cake stand. Place ½ of the berry mixture over the cake.
- Layer ⅓ of the cream on top of the berries.
- Repeat with the next layer.
- For the final layer, place the last third of the cream on top of the cake. Top with fresh, whole berries.
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