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.
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 white 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