Fresh Strawberry Naked Cake

A slice of this Fresh Strawberry Naked Cake is a wonderful (and tasty!) way to end a warm summer day!

A slice of this Fresh Strawberry Cake is a wonderful (and tasty!) way to end a warm summer day!One of the best cake traditions ever is the groom’s cake.  Groom’s cakes are a southern tradition, but they’ve become more popular across the country.  The groom’s cake is simply an excuse to have another cake in addition to the wedding cake….and more cake is more better, right?

While traditional wedding cakes are often beautiful and elegant, the groom’s cake is typically more fun and whimsical.  For instance, at our wedding, we had a groom’s cake with a tiger paw coming out of a purple and gold striped cake.  (We got married on a Saturday in October, and Saturdays in October are typically reserved for LSU football.  I might not have been watching the game that day, but at least the groom’s cake paid homage to the Tigers!)

A slice of this Fresh Strawberry Cake is a wonderful (and tasty!) way to end a warm summer day!I’ve always admired a beautifully decorated cake.  I took a cake decorating class when Laura and I first moved to New York, and I spent hours practicing roses.  Hours.  I bought a container of store-bought frosting, and I stood in the kitchen making rose after rose…and then scraping it all back in the container and starting over.  You might think I’m a rose expert by now.  I’m not.  I can make a passable rose, but that’s about it.

A slice of this Fresh Strawberry Cake is a wonderful (and tasty!) way to end a warm summer day!Instead of decorating with frosting, I much prefer using fresh fruit or chocolate curls on top of a cake.  It gives a more rustic look, and it also lets me avoid having to make roses.  Speaking of rustic, I’ve become a big fan of naked cakes lately.  What’s a naked cake, you ask?  Simple.  It’s a cake with either minimal frosting (think crumb coat) or no frosting at all on the sides.  As a result, you can really show off the inside of the cake in a fun way.

Take this Fresh Strawberry Naked Cake, for instance.  I used fresh strawberries on top, but I really wanted to boost the strawberry flavor so I filled the inside of the cake with diced strawberries, too.  The unfrosted layers really highlight the fresh berries.  And I can go with a much simpler decorating design…one that doesn’t requite fancy piping skills!

A slice of this Fresh Strawberry Cake is a wonderful (and tasty!) way to end a warm summer day!This Fresh Strawberry Naked Cake was inspired by this Fresh Strawberry Cake that I first made several years ago.  It’s a favorite cake around here during the summer, and we’ve shared many fun nights sitting on the back porch with friends eating a slice of that cake.  I came across fresh strawberries on sale recently, and I wanted to make that Fresh Strawberry Cake again.  But I wanted to put a twist on it, and thus the inspiration for this Fresh Strawberry Naked Cake.

A slice of this Fresh Strawberry Cake is a wonderful (and tasty!) way to end a warm summer day!I also changed up the cake recipe a bit here, too.  The original strawberry cake used my go-to white cake recipe.  That cake is a bit denser but it holds up well with the lighter frosting.  This Fresh Strawberry Naked Cake uses a bit lighter of a cake as there isn’t as much frosting.  To lighten the cake texture, I whipped several of the egg whites to soft peak stage and then folded those into the batter.  The result was a delicious cake that Laura and I enjoyed over several nights while sitting on the back porch watching Robbie run around.  Enjoy the summer, friends!

A slice of this Fresh Strawberry Cake is a wonderful (and tasty!) way to end a warm summer day!

Fresh Strawberry Naked Cake

A slice of this Fresh Strawberry Naked Cake is a wonderful (and tasty!) way to end a warm summer day!
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 355kcal

Ingredients

For the Cake

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • cups cake flour see note
  • ½ Tbsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 5 large eggs room temperature
  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter melted
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice

For the Filling

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4-5 cups fresh strawberries

Instructions

For the Cake

  • Preheat oven to 325°F.
  • Grease and flour a 9” round cake pan. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper; set pan aside.
  • Set aside 3 Tbsp of sugar.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and remaining sugar. Add 2 whole eggs and 3 egg yolks; whisk together until well combined. (Note: Save the remaining 3 egg whites as they will be used later!)
  • Add melted butter, vanilla extract and lemon juice; whisk together until well combined.
  • Using an electric mixer, whip 3 remaining egg whites on medium speed for 1 minute, or until foamy. Increase speed to high and whip for 1 more minute. Add reserved sugar and continue whipping for 1-2 more minutes, or until soft peaks form.
  • Stir ½ of egg white mixture into batter and then gently fold remaining egg white mixture into batter.
  • Transfer batter into prepared pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean. Let cake cool in pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.

For the Filling

  • Using an electric mixer, whip the heavy cream with the powdered sugar and vanilla extract for 2-3 minutes, or until stiff peaks form.
  • Dice 2 cups of strawberries; fold strawberries into the whipped cream; set frosting aside.
  • Using a serrated knife, slice the cake into 2 even layers. Place one layer of cake on a large plate. Using a spatula, frost the top of the first layer with 2 cups of frosting. Place the remaining layer of cake on top and frost center with the remaining 2 cups of whipped cream.
  • Slice the remaining 2 cups of strawberries and arrange on top of whipped cream.
  • {Optional} Dust top of cake lightly with powdered sugar before serving.

Notes

If you don’t have cake flour on hand, an easy substitute is to use all-purpose flour, but replace 2 Tbsp of flour with cornstarch for each cup of flour needed. This recipe calls for 1¼ cups of flour, so you would use 1 cup + 1½ Tbsp of all-purpose flour sifted together with 2½ Tbsp of cornstarch.

A slice of this Fresh Strawberry Cake is a wonderful (and tasty!) way to end a warm summer day!

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26 Comments

  1. I’m sure you’ll put that rose making skill to use one of these times. In the meanwhile, I love the simplicity of pure fruit! There’s nothing better than delicious strawberries this time of year. This cake looks light and refreshing – no roses needed 🙂

    1. Hah! I don’t know about those rose piping skills. Maybe I’ll get bored one of these days and try to actually decorate a cake with roses. Maybe. 🙂 Thanks so much, my friend! I hope your week is going well so far!

  2. This cake is calling me! I can’t wait to try it out! Raspberries, blueberries…it seems so adaptable! I’d love it to be lemony- add a little more lemon juice?

    1. You could totally add more lemon to this cake, Marla! In fact, you could go all in and do a lemon blueberry cake with fresh blueberries and twists of candied lemon peel. Mmmm… 🙂 There are literally hundreds of options for this cake!

  3. This is beautiful! I’ve always been afraid to make a naked cake because I use frosting to cover the cake layers’ imperfections, but you’re inspiring me! I LOVE strawberry cake and now I’m totally craving it. Have a great week, David!

    1. Haha! I totally know what you mean about frosting covering up imperfections in the cake. That’s one of my little tricks, too. But going the naked cake route lets you not worry so much about having the perfect frosting…so it’s a trade-off! Hope your week is going well, Kelsie!

  4. I’ve never heard of a groom’s cake before but I definitely agree that the more cake the better!
    I’ve never made a naked cake before, but I could totally get on board with a naked cake recipe! I’m not very good at icing cakes so this minimalist design is right up my alley! Plus, who needs a ton of frosting/icing anyway? This looks like a perfect way to use those berries that are starting to show up. Beautiful! P.S. Yes, you did see a mortadella sandwich recipe…it’s on my blog now. I had a little clitch and somehow removed from my front page. Oh Monday, lol!

    1. So naked cakes are a ton of fun, Dawn! Not only are they easier in that you don’t have to frost them, but I think the casual vibe totally works for summer parties. Plus, you get to showcase summer fruit…and that’s also a win in my book! My wife might disagree with you about ‘who needs frosting’ as she sees cake as a vessel for frosting. But I agree with you! Perhaps that mortadella sandwich followed up with a slice of naked cake?? 🙂

    1. Interesting! I love hearing about recipes from other countries. There’s something universally delicious about whipped cream and strawberries, right? 🙂 Thanks, Gerlinde!

  5. Did Laura convince you to watch Steel Magnolias at any point? The reason I ask was in that there was a groom’s cake. An armadillo groom cake. it had grey fondant and frosting on the outside and blood red cake on the inside – hacking into that made for a gory looking mess – though if I was eating it I wouldn’t say anything about gore cos I love cake! And gosh – a slice of this would be so awesome! So perfect for summer! Throw in some blueberries and perfect for 4th of july too!
    BTW – your groom’s cake with a tiger paw coming out of a purple and gold striped cake sounds pretty darn fantastic! And, gosh, I was just doing what you spoke of – practicing piping roses with store bought frosting, then scraping it into container and going again! Ha!
    Happy Monday – Hoping you guys had a wonderful weekend!

    1. Yes! I totally remember that scene from Steel Magnolia’s with the groom’s cake. But I didn’t watch that with Laura. Actually, I was a kid and I recall watching it with my parents? Or my parents were watching it, and I was half-paying attention? Either way, I know what you mean. Groom’s cakes are the best! I think Laura and I need to get married again just so I can have another groom’s cake. 🙂

      Also, I’m pretty sure we’re kindred spirits, Shashi, so I’m not surprised one bit that you were just making frosting roses. Haha! I hope yours turned out better than mine!

  6. Before I look at your recipes, I always read the story behind and really enjoy your posts and yes, simple things ( and food) are the best ! 🙂 Thank you !

    1. Why thank you so much! I really take pride in trying to write interesting posts to go along with the recipes, so your comment really means a lot to me. Thank you! 🙂

  7. When I worked for Dell, I remember a colleague I was speaking to in Austin, Texas telling me all about his Groom Cake. I thought it was a great idea. I was just about to get married, here in Glasgow at the time and suggested it to Lynne. She unfortunately wasn’t too keen about it though. We should have had one because our own wedding cake was pretty much finished before we even got a piece! David, this is a wonderful cake for summer. And I can’t wait until there’s fresh Scottish Strawberries in the shops soon to give it a go!

    1. Ah, so Lady Lynne has seen the light regarding groom’s cakes! Maybe you guys just need to go get married again? Haha! Or just find another excuse to have a belated groom’s cake. What would your cake be? I’m guessing a topographical map of the West Highland Way? With 2 hikers on it? 🙂 Thanks so much, Neil!

    1. Yes! Naked cakes are so much fun, Nicole. You don’t have to worry about getting the icing to look perfect, and you get to highlight fresh summer berries at the same time…sounds like a win-win to me! 🙂 Hope your week is going well!

  8. Groom’s cake is new to me. What a fun idea!

    This cake just sings of summer, David! A simple and perfectly delicious crowd pleasing treat!

    1. Yup, groom’s cakes are pretty awesome. The wedding cake itself is meant to be the centerpiece, but the groom’s cake is often off on a side table. It’s a chance to be fun and whimsical…and have more cake! 🙂 Thanks, Marissa…I hope you have a great weekend ahead!

    1. Yes! I agree with you about naked cakes, Dawn. Laura might feel differently as she says cake is just a vehicle for frosting…but I love the idea of keeping it simple like this!

    1. You ask a good question, Jeff. I say you wear whatever you want to wear! I mean it’s cake. And it’s summer. What more do you need?

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