Fresh Strawberry Cake

This Fresh Strawberry Cake features loads of ripe berries and a light whipped cream frosting…making it the perfect summer dessert!

Fresh Strawberry Cake | This cake features loads of fresh strawberries and a light whipped cream topping.  It's PERFECT for summer!!Some of the best food I’ve ever eaten was cooked in a parking lot.  I kid you not.  After college, I moved down to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and holy cow do they know how to cook down there on the bayou!  I was born in Texas and grew up in the Carolinas, so I’ve tasted my fair share of delicious Southern food.  But I was in for a surprise when I moved to southern Louisiana.  I was in Cajun food heaven!  To this day, the best fried fish I’ve ever eaten was cooked in the parking lot outside of LSU’s Tiger Stadium.  That same parking lot was also where I first tried alligator. LSU was playing the Florida Gators, so it was entirely appropriate that we fried up some alligator bites that day.  It was pretty good actually.  It tasted like chicken.

Fresh Strawberry Cake | This cake features loads of fresh strawberries and a light whipped cream topping.  It's PERFECT for summer!!One of the coolest things about living in the deep South is how well everything grew.  I planted some pepper seeds outside of my apartment during my first year there.  That plant grew to about 4 feet tall and was loaded with hundreds of tiny, red peppers.  I have no idea what the pepper was, but I know that just touching a sliced edge of the pepper to your tongue would make your tongue go numb for at least 10 minutes.  But on the other end of the spicy scale, Louisiana is known for its’ strawberries.  Thanks to the warm weather, strawberry season starts early down there…and this Fresh Strawberry Cake is one of my favorite uses for fresh strawberries!

What do I miss the most about southern Louisiana?  I’m tempted to say it’s the weather since I now live in upstate New York where the winter seems like it lasts longer and longer every year.  I remember wearing shorts on New Year’s Day in Baton Rouge.  Shorts!  But I’d have to say that the food is hands down the thing I miss the most.  I developed a serious love for Cajun food, and I’ve posted some of favorites here in the past.  (Shrimp Etouffee, Creole Red Beans & Rice, Mardi Gras Cinnamon King Cake…the list goes on…a classic New Orleans Muffaletta Sandwich…and on…)

Fresh Strawberry Cake | This cake features loads of fresh strawberries and a light whipped cream topping.  It's PERFECT for summer!!But one of my favorite treats from Louisiana that I miss the most was actually not Cajun at all.  A local bakery in Baton Rouge made a famous strawberry cake that folks would go crazy about every Spring!  This cake was every bit as good as advertised, too.  It featured layers upon layers of white cake topped with a light strawberry frosting made with chopped, fresh strawberries.  It was basically the best strawberry shortcake I’ve ever eaten!  Not surprisingly, the bakery kept the recipe for this cake closely guarded, so this is my attempt at recreating this delicious dessert.  To be honest, it’s not far off.  I should know.  I ate a few of those strawberry cakes during my years in Louisiana.

Baker’s Note: The cake pictured in this post actually has 3 layers.  I normally make this cake in 2 layers, and the recipe below is for the 2-layer version.  If you’d like to make the 3-layer version, just make 1.5x the recipe.

Fresh Strawberry Cake

Ingredients

    For the Cake
  • 3 cups cake flour (see note)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 2 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup milk
  • For the Strawberry Frosting
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 3 pints (~2 pounds) strawberries, stems and hulls removed

Instructions

    For the Cake
  1. Grease and flour 2 9” round cake pans; set aside. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir until well combined; set aside.
  3. Using a countertop mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  4. Add about ½ of the flour mixture to the bowl; mix on low speed until well combined.
  5. Add the sour cream, vanilla, and approximately half of the milk to the bowl. Mix on low until well combined.
  6. Add the remaining flour mixture; mix on low until well combined.
  7. Add the remaining milk; mix on low until well combined. (Tip: Don’t forget to scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure all ingredients are fully mixed.)
  8. Divide the batter evenly between the 2 cake pans. Bake at 325°F for 34-36 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  9. For the Strawberry Frosting
  10. In a medium bowl, beat the heavy cream until stiff peaks form; set aside. (Make sure to beat until whipped cream is very stiff, but take care not to overbeat.)
  11. In the bowl of a countertop mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the softened cream cheese on high speed until light and fluffy. (Tip: Stop and scrape the sides of the bowl once or twice during this step.)
  12. Add the sugar and vanilla, and beat on medium speed until fully combined.
  13. Meanwhile, chop about 3/4 of the strawberries into 1/3"-1/2" cubes.
  14. Add the chopped strawberries to the bowl and mix until fully combined. (Note: The frosting will turn pink; mix until frosting is uniform in color.)
  15. Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the whipped cream. Stir until well combined.
  16. To Assemble the Cake
  17. Place one layer of cake on a large plate. Frost the top of the layer with Strawberry Frosting. Place the second layer of cake on top and frost the top of the cake.
  18. Using an offset spatula, frost the sides of the cake. (Note: It is helpful to refrigerate the frosting for about 20-30 minutes before frosting the sides of the cake.)
  19. Slice the remaining strawberries and garnish the top of the cake with the slices.

Notes

If you don't have any cake flour on hand, you can substitute 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp of all-purpose flour and 2 Tbsp cornstarch for every 1 cup of cake flour. Sift the cornstarch and all-purpose flour together 2-3 times before using in the recipe.

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Comments

  1. This looks great. We made a strawberry cake for my hubby’s birthday a few years back, and my mother still talks about it. (We cheated and used a box mix….don’t tell anyone…we all know scratch cakes are best!)
    We put strawberries in the middle, like you did here. It was great.

    (I think I will skip the alligator though….)

    • Haha…thanks, SueAnn! Strawberry cakes are amazing…they’re the perfect way to welcome in the warmer temps! But you totally need to try gator…it’s actually pretty good.

  2. Dude, this cake looks AMAZING! And that top photo is stunning! Love that you made a strawberry cream cheese frosting. Man, I want this cake right now!

    …and about that cold upstate weather. You COULD always move down to Long Island!

    • Thank you so much, Chris! I made my wife get in there and be a hand model for that slice of cake. Her first response: but I didn’t paint my nails. Ah, things the wolfpack never needs to worry about! (Unless you’re into painting your nails. If you are, I won’t judge you too much.) And didn’t we settle this whole moving idea? I’m waiting to see your moving truck roll down my street any day now!

  3. I love Cajun food too, although I am a total northerner! I also did not know that aside from Cajun food, Louisianna was strawberry country! David this cake is beautiful. It is absolutely perfect. While stawberries are usually fantastic on their own, this might be my favorite way to eat them up!

    • I know, Tanya! The hardest part about making this cake is using all of those delicious strawberries that I could just eat plain. And yes, strawberries grow like crazy down there in Louisiana. I think it has something to do with the coast and sandy soil. In fact, Abita (a Louisiana brewery) makes a Strawberry Beer that comes out in late-March/early-April every year. If you like beer, you should totally look for it next year…I’ve found it in a couple places here in upstate New York…and I always grab up as much as I can!

  4. This looks incredibly good. I could do some damage with that nearby!

    • Thank you so much, Jennifer! I’m pretty sure I did some damage on that bad boy already…I had to send 1/2 of it with my wife to her work so that I didn’t eat the whole darned thing!

  5. It’s true, Louisiana food is arguably one of the best in the country. I adore the Muffaletta, it’s like my fave sandwich.
    Great looking cake man BUT ….LSU Tigers? Seriously? :/

  6. This cake looks absolutely delicious! I love strawberry season :)

  7. Alice Cruz says:

    I don’t get rich flavor in cakes, I always get something wrong in my Mom ‘s birthday I used all-purpose flour with cornstarch , and sift both 4 times, but I do not know why my cakes not taste like cake, have a dry appearance , and taste like bread, is unfortunately nothing wet , I tried various recipes, but if I add yeast the cake tastes like pizza, if I use the box of cake flour already prepared, the cake is crumbling, if I use all-purpose flour, the cake be dry and tastes like a bread, if I use large cake pan the cake is wet at the center , I use small cake pans, but some of the cakes are dry much , one of the cakes was very stale, and I had to use it in tiramisu, for moisten the cake . might not are adequately cakes recipes because USA have a different sea level unlike in the north of Mexico, or what type of flour should be used, because in the pictures of the recipes cakes are soft and spongy , but I don’t get cakes same, you could give me some tips please, thanks so much

    • Hey Alice! Great question. I highly recommend using cake flour for cakes. It sounds like you’ve tried making your own cake flour, so I would check your proportion of flour to cornstarch. (I have a tip in the recipe above for that.) Better yet, try to purchase cake flour and use that instead of making your own. (I personally recommend King Arthur Flour, but I don’t know if you can get King Arthur in northern Mexico.) Also, it sounds like your cakes are almost always dry. This could be a lot of things, but I would double-check your baking temperature and time. Also, you might consider adding sour cream to the cake…this really helps to moisten it and keep it from being too dry. Give that recipe above a shot and see what you think. It’s a little bit on the denser side (almost pound cake-ish), but I like that because it works really well with the very light frosting. I hope this helps…good luck!!

  8. Wow, that looks awesome! So light and fluffy and filled with fresh fruit. Will have to try it sometime this season! :)

  9. Wow! This looks amazing, David! Love strawberry and cream cakes, so I definitely need to try this one out! Love how buttery the cake layers are and that strawberry cream cheese frosting looks so delicious!

    • Thank you so much, Jess! This cake is one of my absolute favorite cakes ever…I suspect it will be appearing in my house at the beginning of every summer! :-)

  10. OMGah! Your layers are so PERFECT! That’s it… now I KNOW I have to move in next door! I need to borrow your steady hand and knife skills… and your smoker, and your rib sauce, and your… etc. ;)

    • Haha! Thank you so much, Becca! I could totally use a hand finishing off some of this food, too. (I often have to send stuff with Laura to work just because we can’t eat it all here…and I HATE wasting food!)

  11. David, this cake looks beautiful! I love your photos. Those layers look perfect! Now, I’m craving some cake :D I love strawberries! We lived in Pensacola and would go to a Strawberry Festival every year. They had the best strawberry shortcakes. They would set up right along side the fields. It was awesome!

    • Thank you so much, Cindy!! Man, I miss strawberry festivals…they had them all over the South. We can still get yummy strawberries up here, but it’s just not the same as the festivals. :-)

  12. what a gorgeous cake!

  13. Your cake looks great. We like strawberries here too. Our family has a strawberry cake but it is made with angel food cake and whipped cream with strawberries. You can also use raspberries. This is our favorite. Strawberry are very versatile.

  14. This looks yummy – I made something which looked similar last summer using fresh cream mixed with crushed meringue & chopped strawberries as filling – I’m looking forward to trying this one :)

  15. Mary Ann says:

    This was delicious. I didn’t think you could improve on whipped cream on strawberries and shortcake, but you did. The whipped topping with the cream cheese was amazing. Thank you!

    • Wow, you already made it!! Thank you so much for coming back and letting me know, Mary Ann. I’m so glad you enjoyed it. Now I think I need to make another round…I’m craving it again! :-)

  16. That is definitely one reason why I love living in the South, lots of strawberries! Your cake looks amazing, love the strawberries in the frosting! Gorgeous, Take care, Terra

  17. Caitlin says:

    On the frosting, is it powdered or granulated sugar?

    • Hey Caitlin! I used granulated sugar in the frosting. The sugar is mixed with the cream cheese, so you shouldn’t have any trouble getting them to mix together. Great question though! I’m updating the recipe right now to clarify the type of sugar. Thanks for visiting!

  18. This cake looks AMAZING!!

  19. Rebecca says:

    I have eaten the cake from the very bakery you speak of in Baton Rouge and I also recreated it because it is my daughters favorite!! Was born and raised in Louisiana! <3

    • Haha! Awesome, Rebecca! I love that cake from Baton Rouge…but Baton Rouge is a bit of a drive from upstate New York. When in doubt…just make it yourself, right? :-)

  20. shashi @ runninsrilankan says:

    Bowls of strawberries and whipped cream are (apart from the sweltering temps – fingers crossed we hit 100) are some of my favorite things about summer! And David, your cake is exceptional – the frosting with whipped cream and cream cheese sounds phenomenal! I could just eat that without a cake involved…oh boy!

    • Oh man, this cake was awesome, Shashi! I had to send about half of it in with my wife to work so that I wouldn’t eat the whole thing myself. I agree with you about whipped cream and strawberries…nothing beats it in the summer! But you want to hit 100°?!?!

  21. Jennifer says:

    This cake is amazing and the directions are super easy to follow. I absolutely loved the cake and my 5 year old daughter said it was the BEST cake ever. Thank you

    • Wow! Thank you so much, Jennifer. I can’t tell you how much it means for you to come back and let me know how much you enjoyed it. This cake is one of my favorites for the summer…and I’m honored that you and your daughter loved it!! :-)

  22. I’m planning to make this cake for my friend as a birthday present. Just one a quick question: How is the frosting? Is it soft or normal whipped cream consistency? It’s not too runny?

    • Hey Ernesta! The frosting is mostly whipped cream, but I did use a little bit of cream cheese to thicken it up slightly. It is a loose frosting for sure, but I whipped the cream to heavy peaks and that worked well. Just make sure that you stir the whipped cream a bit before you stop whipping it…sometimes I find that it can be somewhat looser down at the bottom of the bowl. It’s a loose frosting, but certainly not too runny as long as you whip it long enough (just don’t whip so long that it turns into butter!) I hope this helps, and I hope you enjoy this cake…it’s one of my favorites!!

  23. Ambrosia for the win ;)) thanks for the recipe!

  24. What if you use peaches or cherries? Would you have to modify the recipe?

    • Great question! There is nothing specific about strawberries, so I would think other fruits could work, too. My only concern is that peaches and cherries both have more juice in them. You may have to drain a bit of the juice out or balance it with more whipped cream to keep the frosting easier to work with. If you do try it with another fruit, let me know how it turns out! I love this cake, and I’m always down to try another version. :-)

  25. Just picked fresh strawberries recently. Kept about 5 lbs to play with. This will certainly make the list of things to make. Beautiful!

    • Thanks, Phillip! I’m jealous that you were able to get out there and pick so many strawberries…I think this cake is an excellent use of them, though! :-)

  26. The cake shows three layers though…

  27. Does anyone know if I don’t have a paddle or a stand mixer (just a regular hand mixer) will it still turn out? Or can I use my hand mixer instead?
    Thanks
    R

    • Hey Rene! You can totally make this cake with a hand mixer or even mix it by hand. (I’d recommend the hand mixer just to make life a bit easier on your arm! You can indeed make whipped cream by hand, but it would take a LOT of whipping…)

  28. Hi David …. I made this cake today and it was SO awesome! I especially love the icing ….. my husband who normally doesn’t eat sweets ate 2 slices! It was a hit in my house to say the least ….. I have found my new favorite. Thanks for sharing the recipe! ;0)

    • Wow! Thank you so much, Tonya…your comment just made my night. :-) That’s actually one of the reasons I love this cake so much, too…it’s sweet, but not too sweet at all. I’m so happy this is now a favorite for you. Enjoy!!

  29. Great recipe. I know the cake and bakery of which you speak. You really got it! I love Louisiana strawberries and my Tigers!

  30. This might sound like a stupid question, but this recipe is for a two layered cake, what if I wanted to make a three layer cake just like your absolutely gorgeous picture
    Cannot wait to make this!!!!

  31. Hi! My almost 5 year old has requested a strawberry cake for her birthday and I am going to recreate this beauty tomorrow! I was planning on making three layers and 1.5 times the dry ingredients but will I have to do the same with the frosting? You know, since so many times you make frosting and it is just way too much. Thanks for your help!

    • Hey Kate! I would recommend going 1.5 times on both the dry ingredients and the frosting, too. You *might* have a little left over, but I usually end up using it all…and I don’t feel like it’s over-frosted. Plus, this is a very light frosting (so different than standard “grocery-store birthday cake” frosting)…and I’m pretty sure I could eat it with a spoon if there was any leftover! Good luck with the cake today…and please let me know if your daughter liked it! I know it’s one of my favorite summer cakes. :-)

      • Hi David-the cake was fantastic. So fantastic. If I could only eat that frosting for the rest of my life I think I would be ok. I did not 1.5 times it (not enough ingredients) but I still had plenty of frosting leftover. Maybe I’m just a light froster? :) My daughter loved it and my husband…oh my gosh, my husband has been eating it for breakfast the last couple of days. My youngest daughter turns 1 at the end of the month and there is a pretty good chance I will be making this cake again. So good!

        • Yay! I’m so glad you enjoyed it. Good to know about the 1.5x on the frosting. I thought I had made extra frosting, but I could totally be mistaken about that, too. Either way, that frosting really is good enough to eat with a spoon…so light and flavorful! I love that your husband and daughters loved it, too. You totally made my day with this comment! :-)

  32. ShannonPinNo says:

    I am VERY familiar with Ambrosia’s version of this cake. I have 2 Daughters who graduated from LSU. The oldest one used this cake as the groom’s cake at her wedding. Actually, Ambosia did her wedding cake as well…and delivered both of them to New Orleans. So….I’m making your recipe tomorrow for her birthday cake since it’s her favorite. Sounds delish. Thanks for sharing. Oh, and Geaux Tigers!!!!!

    • Yes!! Geaux Tigers!! It’s awesome to hear from someone who knows this cake! It’s not Ambrosia’s recipe (that one is probably locked in a safe somewhere), but it’s a delicious strawberry cake. One of my favorite summer desserts. I hope you enjoy it! :-)

  33. Annette says:

    I really want to make this! I live at a high alltitude and was wondering if the cake would require high altitude adjustments?

    • Hey Annette! This is a super delicious cake, so I hope you give it a shot! I’ve never tried baking it at a high altitude, though, so I can’t say for certain what (if any) changes would be needed. I am, however, a huge fan of King Arthur Flour, and they have a great High Altitude Baking Guide on their site (http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipe/high-altitude-baking.html) Perhaps check it out to see? If you do end up giving it a shot, come back and let me know how it turned out in case other folks have the same question! (I’d probably start with the recipe as is at first…and then adjust if needed for the 2nd time. But that’s just me!) Thanks for stopping by. :-)

  34. Hi David. I want to make this cake for a friends birthday, and wanted to make a quarter or half double layer sheet cake. How much batter for each layer would I need, or would I need to double recipe for each layer. Also, how long would I bake the cakes for. Can’t wait to make this cake, it looks awesome. Thanks, Audrey.

    • Hey Audrey! I’ve actually never made this cake in sheet layer form. The recipe makes about 12 cups of batter (2 9″ round pans) and a standard jelly roll pan (10″x15″x1″) uses around 14-15 cups of batter. So to be safe, I would probably make a 1.5x version of this recipe…you’ll probably have more than you need, but it’s better to be safe than sorry! As far as baking time, it will certainly be shorter than baking in the round cake pans, but I’m not sure what the exact time will be. I’d recommend starting with about 13-15 minutes and just keep a close eye on it while it bakes. I hope this helps! I’ve never made this cake in that form, but this is a close guess to at least get you started on the right path! Let me know how it turns out!!

  35. Liz Sako says:

    Hi! I made this cake today (well, I made the cake last night and the frosting today) and I’m wondering if I may have done something wrong or maybe there is a trick I don’t know about because my frosting came out waaaaay to runny to spread on a cake. Had to start over again with the cream cheese steps and then just add some of the whipped cream mixture in until I had the right consistency which was still pretty loose (as you said above). I refrigerated the finished cake to help it set up some. Did I maybe not whip the cream long enough? It was definitely pretty stiff but there was just so much of it. Anyway, once I messed with my frosting it was delicious!

    • Hey Liz! I’m sorry you had trouble with the frosting. It’s kinda hard to estimate the problem without being there to see the consistency of the frosting. I do know that you have to make sure the whipped cream is fully whipped…and not just loosely whipped. You want it to be really good and stiff (not whipped all the way to butter…haha…but stiff enough that it holds its shape easily). The recipe does make a lot of frosting, but I found that it worked well to balance out the thicker cake. This really is one of my all-time favorite summer recipes, and I feel terrible that it caused such difficulties on your first attempt at it! I guess the silver lining is that it worked out in the end? :-) Thanks again for visiting Spiced…I really appreciate it! Don’t hesitate to ask questions or leave comments if anything else comes up!

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