A rich, moist vanilla pound cake is divided into three layers, and slathered with the most light and fluffy whipped cream and cream cheese frosting, overflowing with fresh strawberries. It’s a light yet filling treat that’s perfect for summer. It’s the best Strawberry Shortcake you’ve ever had!
Out of the blue the other day, my son said to me from the backseat of our truck, “Mom, I want us to bake a cake.” Never one to shy away from baked goods, I replied, “Sure, what kind of cake do you want to make?” “A fancy one. You, know the one with lots of levels that looks like a triangle?” If you’re as confused as I was, let me clarify. It took me until the next day to figure out that he was talking about a tiered cake – like a wedding cake – with eight layers (at least that’s how many he thought it should have).
Obviously I wasn’t about to run to the store and pick up a bunch of cake tiers, so I started showing him photos of cakes on Pinterest. As I scrolled him hemmed and hawed, but was so excited when he saw this strawberry cake from Spiced. It looked gorgeous, so I was almost as excited as he was to test out the recipe.
The cake is dense, almost like a shortcake or pound cake, which is of course perfect for this Strawberry Shortcake type dessert. In his recipe, the author gives instructions for making a two layer cake, but if this cake was going to be fancy enough to satisfy my boy, it had to have three layers. I increased the recipe by 1.5, and made a couple of minor adjustments, which I’ll share in the recipe below. The frosting, oh Lordy the frosting was positively glorious! With fresh, homemade whipped cream and fresh strawberries, it’s light and fresh and creamy, and the perfect way to balance out the heaviness of the cake.
Fresh Strawberry Cake
- 4 1/2 cups cake flour
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 4 eggs + 1 egg white
- 3/4 cup sour cream
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon orange extract (optional)
- 3/4 cup + 6 tablespoons milk
- 3 cups heavy cream
- 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2-3 pints strawberries, finely chopped (= about 2 cups chopped strawberries)
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Prepare 3 round cake pans by spraying liberally with non-stick cooking spray.
- Sift together cake flour, baking powder and salt in a medium mixing bowl and set aside.
- In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar together until smooth and fluffy. Slowly add the eggs and mix well until combined.
- Stir in sour cream, vanilla and optional orange extract, and mix well until combined.
- Scrape the sides of the bowl and add half of the flour mixture. Stir until fully incorporated. Scrape the sides of the bowl again and stir in the milk.
- Add the remaining flour, and stir until the flour is fully incorporated. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and give it one last stir.
- Divide the batter into 3 prepared, round baking pans.
- Bake in 325 degree oven for about 35 minutes. Cakes are done when tops spring back with a light touch, or a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before turning over onto a plate or baking rack.
- In your stand mixer with the whisk attachment, (or with a hand held mixer) beat the heavy cream until stiff peaks are formed. Set aside, preferably in the fridge. (If you have two bowls for your stand mixer, leave it in the bowl, if not, transfer to another bowl before placing in the fridge).
- Fit the paddle attachment on your mixer and beat cream cheese on high until light and fluffy, scraping the sides a couple of times. Add the vanilla and sugar and beat on medium until fully incorporated.
- Stir in chopped strawberries on low speed. Remove the bowl from the mixer. Gently fold in the whipped cream with a spatula until well combined.
- Place the first cake layer on your serving platter and frost just the top with the strawberry frosting (about 1/2" or so thick). Repeat with the next two layers, then frost the sides with an offset spatula (the long and skinny kind). Smooth top and sides until even, then top with sliced strawberries for garnish, if desired.
For more delicious cake recipes, try these:
And for more strawberry recipes, try these: