A moist and buttery vanilla cake sandwiched between layers of fluffy whipped cream and smothered in juicy, fresh strawberries. Fresh, light, and delicious this Layered Strawberry Shortcake Cake is gorgeous! Typically served as a personal size treat, strawberry shortcake is a classic dessert of the summer. This recipe takes that classic and puts a super easy twist on it for when serving a crowd. This cake is sure to impress at all the those summer potlucks, barbecues, holiday get togethers or this Mother’s Day.
Sweet Summer Produce
Mhhhm, how I can’t wait to get out and BBQ again! Anyone else looking forward to all the summer recipes? I mean, bring on all the fresh veggies, fruits and herbs. I’ve already whipped up a quick batch of Homemade Poppy Seed Dressing for drizzling over extra garden veggies and salads. And I’ve got a jar of our Fresh Pesto sitting in the fridge to serve over pastas, pizzas or ripe, thick tomato slices all summer long. And I’ll be sure to save some of the pesto for this Zucchini and Pesto Lasagna. It is a real weeknight dinner hit here. Mhhhhm! There are so many yummy meals and snacks in the works for this summer with produce from our home garden.
But possibly what I am most excited for is STRAWBERRIES. Truly is there anything more delicious than fresh summer strawberries?! When strawberry season rolls around I cannot get enough. Strawberries for breakfast, lunch and dinner please. It is ALL I want to eat. I planted our strawberry plants when we moved here specifically with this jewel in mind. When I’m not feeding our strawberries to Dash and Luna or throwing them in a smoothie like our Watermelon Chia Seed Smoothie they are being saved for this delicious cake.
Growing up this is what I requested at every single birthday. This recipe comes straight from my mom’s tried and true, recipe arsenal. And if you know anything about #GoGrandmaTrish recipes, like Old Fashioned Chocolate Chip Cookies or Baked Oatmeal Casserole … you know they are SO good.
Let’s Talk Layers
First things first. Thinner layers of cake seem to work best for stacking and filling. We like to use two cake pans to divide the batter between. Then after pulling the cakes from the oven we cut them in half to create four thinner layers. If making this for a big group of people you can definitely use all four layers for a super impressive tall cake. Just keep in mind that our recipe is for making a smaller two-layer cake. If using all four layers be sure to double your whipped topping and strawberries to go along with it.
When it is our small family enjoying this Layered Strawberry Shortcake Cake I either wrap and freeze two the extra two layers to save for a future dessert. Or we sometimes use the second cake for a fun breakfast the next day. Before you say anything … we know it’s not the healthiest. In reality though is it much worse than a donut? We call it “breakfast cake” and serve it with fresh fruit or smoothie.
Glossy Sweet Strawberries
Add two tablespoons of strawberry jam to your sliced and diced strawberries to create a glossier appearance. Although not necessary, this simple step helps guarantee those strawberries will be as sweet as can be when it comes time to enjoy. And if you don’t have strawberry jam on hand don’t worry, you can easily macerate your strawberries in just a few quick minutes using sugar instead!
To macerate or soften and sweeten your strawberries, sprinkle 3-4 tablespoons of sugar over them and allow to sit in the fridge for 15 – 20 minutes. The sugar helps to partially break down the fruit and extract some of its natural juices, allowing every berry to sweeten up if not totally ripe yet. Before adding the macerated strawberries to your layered cake be sure to drain off any excess juices. You can totally save the juices for drizzling over a slice of cake when serving if you’d like.
When it comes to cake pans I settle on dividing my batter between two pans. If you want to avoid having to cut each cake in half, you can totally use three or four pans instead to get naturally thinner cake layers. Just be sure to adjust the bake time to 18-20 minutes or when a toothpick comes out clean.
Baking a cake from scratch and allowing it to cool entirely can take some serious time. So, if you find yourself in a time crunch the day of and remember to bake ahead of time you totally can. Divide up some of the work and bake your cake layers a day or two in advance and chill overnight in the fridge. On the day of serving assemble your stunning cake layer by layer with freshly prepared whipped cream and macerated strawberries. I promise it is going to taste as good as it looks!
- ¾ cup unsalted butter
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- ½ teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 cup sour cream
- ¼ cup corn starch
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2½ cups flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 6 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 cups sliced strawberries (18-24oz)
- 2 tablespoons jam or ¼ cup sugar
- Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare two 8" round pans by greasing well and cutting a piece of parchment paper to fit in bottom.
- In a large bowl cream together sugar and butter.
- Add in 4 eggs and mix throughly.
- Add lemon and orange zest, vanilla and sourcream to batter. Mix well.
- Slowly add all dry ingredients to the batter. Be careful not to over mix. Stir until just combined, it is ok if still a little lumpy.
- Divide batter in to the two prepared pans.
- Bake at 350° for 45 minutes. Periodically check doneness with a toothpick. If it comes out clean remove from oven. If needed add an additional 5 minutes till toothpick comes out clean. If you notice uneven browning rotate the pans in the oven as needed.
- Allow the cakes to cool in the pan for 30 minutes before removing to cool entirely on the counter. Do not add whip cream to layers until completely cooled.
- Once cake layers are entirely cooled, use a bread knife or unflavored dental floss to cut both cake rounds in half so you have 4 seperate cake layers. Each cake round will create a double layered cake.
- We make one double layer cake to serve that same day and then tightly wrap and freeze the second cake round for a future dessert or treat.*If using all four layers in your final cake be sure to double the whip cream and strawberry ingredients as these amounts are for one double layer cake.
- In a bowl combine heavy cream, sugar and vanilla. (See note about using all four layers of cake above.)
- Using a hand mixer or whisk attachment whip ingredients together until just stiff and peaking. Be sure to stop before clumps form, otherwise you'll end up with more of a sweet butter than whipped cream.
- Set aside for layering.
- Wash and de-hull your strawberries. Feel free to set aside a handful of beautiful berries for garnishing the top of your cake later.
- Dice hulled strawberries and add to a small bowl.
- If using strawberry jam add it to bowl and gently stir to coat all berries. Or if preferred sprinkle sugar over diced strawberries, give it a gentle stir and put in fridge for 20 minutes to macerate or draw out the natural juices and sweeten the strawberries.
- Drain excess juices from strawberries and set aside to use as an optional sauce for drizzling over cake slices later.
Building the Layers
- When ready to layer the cake begin by placing your first layer of cake on the serving plate.
- Using half of the whipped cream spread topping across cake leaving an inch border around the edges with a knife.
- For next layer add diced strawberries on top of whipped cream layer. Avoid adding excess juices by draining off as much as possible.
- Place next layer of cake on top. Add remaining whipped topping. Garnish with sliced or whole strawberries as desired. *If using all four layers of cake repeat steps to build all 4 layers and decorate top as desired.
- Strawberries can be substituted for any kind of berry you would like. Feel free to get creative with it! So many delicious summery flavor options.
- Once layered, filled and frosted if there happens to be any leftovers after serving they can be kept in the fridge for up to 2 days.
- If making a double layer cake as we did, instead of a four layer cake tightly wrap the two unused layers in plastic wrap and freeze to use later.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 449Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 111mgSodium: 200mgCarbohydrates: 56gFiber: 1gSugar: 37gProtein: 5g