Indulge in the quintessential flavors of summer with this mouthwatering strawberry shortcake cake. With its airy cake layers, vibrant strawberry filling, and billows of whipped cream, this dessert is an easy version of the classic strawberry shortcake recipe and is bound to impress at any gathering.
There’s nothing quite like a light and refreshing dessert at a hot summer cookout or to finish a summer dinner party.
And this strawberry shortcake cake is just the ticket.
Not only is it an absolute breeze to put together, but also, who doesn’t love strawberries and whipped cream?
Plus, this is the one time when I prefer a cake over individual portions when I’m serving a crowd.
Opting for the cake version cuts down on the prep time compared to the traditional strawberry shortcake made with biscuits.
So you can spend less time in the kitchen and more time savoring the season.
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Here is your shopping list:
- fresh fruit: 1 pint (16 ounces) fresh strawberries
- dairy: 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, 1 pint (2 cups) heavy cream or whipping cream
- eggs: 4 large eggs
- sugar: 1 cup granulated sugar, 2 Tablespoons powdered sugar plus extra for sprinkling on top of the cake
- baking supplies: 1¾ cups all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder
- seasoning: 1 teaspoon salt
- flavoring: 2 teaspoons vanilla extract – we’ll use half for the cake and half for the whipped cream
- filling: 1 8-ounce jar (or 1 cup) strawberry preserves or jam
- You can use a white cake or sponge cake box mix instead of making the cake from scratch if you prefer. In that case, follow the directions on the package. Then you’ll need 1 cup strawberry jam, 16-ounces strawberries, 1 pint heavy cream and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract to put the cake together.
- To make gluten-free strawberry shortcake, use measure-for-measure gluten free flour. I like King Arthur’s.
- For a less sweet version, omit the strawberry jam.
How to make strawberry shortcake cake
Take the butter and the eggs out of the refrigerator a couple of hours ahead of time to allow them to warm to room temperature.
Wash, hull and slice the strawberries.
Line 2 cake pans with parchment paper cut to fit the bottom of the pan. This makes them really easy to remove when they are done baking.
If you don’t have parchment paper, you can grease the bottom of the pan with a little butter or shortening.
Pre-heat the oven to 350℉.
Bake the vanilla cake
Add 1 cup unsalted butter and 1 cup granulated sugar to a mixing bowl.
Beat with a mixer on medium-high speed until the mixture is fluffy and the color is light yellow, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Add in the vanilla and beat until combined.
Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing each one until combined before adding the next one.
In a separate bowl, whisk together 1¾ cups all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder and 1 teaspoon salt.
Add the dry ingredients into the bowl with the wet ingredients and beat on medium speed just until combined.
Do not overmix or the cake will turn out tough.
Divide the batter equally between the two cake pans and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Allow the cakes to cool completely on a wire cooling rack before removing from the pans and assembling the cake.
Make the whipped cream
Putting the bowl and beaters in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes before you start this process will help it go a little faster. (But if you forget, the whipping cream will still turn out without doing this).
Add 1 pint heavy cream, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 2 Tablespoons powdered sugar to a bowl.
Use a whip attachment on a mixer to beat it until you soft peaks form, about 5 minutes.
When you lift the beaters out, the whipped cream should stand up but the tops should fold over.
The standard mixing attachment on most stand mixers doesn’t work very well for this so make sure to use the whip attachment. (The regular beaters for hand mixers are fine.)
Assemble the cake
Place one of the cake rounds on a cake stand or plate.
Top with the strawberry preserves and about half the sliced strawberries.
Then spoon about half the whipped cream on top of that.
Add the remaining cake round.
Dust with powdered sugar using a sifter or a small sieve.
You can also spread the rest of the whipped cream over the top of the cake if you don’t want to add it to individual servings later.
Garnish with the rest of the strawberries.
Serve immediately with an extra dollop of the whipped cream.
The whipped cream will start to melt if left out at room temperature for too long, so put the cake in the refrigerator if you are not serving it right away.
How to make ahead of time
To make strawberry shortcake ahead of time, I like to make the cake and have the strawberries prepared the day before.
Whipped cream starts to lose its texture fairly quickly, so I wait to make it closer to when I’m going to use it.
Store the sliced strawberries in the refrigerator. And the cake in an airtight container at room temperature until an hour or two before you need them.
Then make the whipped cream and assemble the strawberry shortcake.
Put it back in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve.
Left over strawberry shortcake can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a day or two.
Any longer than that and the whipped cream and strawberries aren’t very appetizing.
Other strawberry desserts you might like
- Strawberry lemon cake
- Homemade coconut milk strawberry popsicles
- Strawberry and blueberry yogurt parfait
Or browse all of our fruit desserts.
Strawberry Shortcake Cake
- 2 8" round cake pans
- parchment paper (optional)
- measuring cups and spoons
- 1 mixer with mixing bowl
For the Cake:
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter , at room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs , at room temperature
- 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 16 ounces fresh strawberries , washed, hulled and sliced
For the Whipped Cream:
- 1 pint (2 cups) heavy cream
- 2 Tablespoons powdered sugar , plus extra for sprinkling on top of the cake
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Cake:
- Pre-heat the oven to 350℉.
- Line the bottom of two 8” round cake pans with parchment paper. Or grease with butter.
- Add the unsalted butter and granulated sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer and cream together until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Beat in the vanilla and the eggs, one at a time.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and beat just until combined.
- Divide the batter equally between the two cake pans.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Allow the cakes to cool completely on a wire cooling rack before removing from the pans and assembling the cake.
For the Whipped Cream:
- Add the heavy cream, vanilla extract, and powdered sugar to a mixing bowl.
- Use a mixer with a whip attachment to beat until the cream forms soft peaks, about 5 minutes.
- Place one of the cake rounds on a cake stand or plate
- Top with the strawberry preserves and about half of the strawberries.
- Spoon about half the whipped cream on top of the preserves.
- Add the remaining cake round.
- Dust with powdered sugar and garnish with additional strawberries.
- Serve with an extra dollop of the whipped cream.
- You can use a vanilla or sponge cake box mix if you don’t want to make the cake from scratch.
- To make the cake gluten-free, use measure-for-measure gluten-free flour (such as King Arthur’s).
- Omit the strawberry jam for a less sweet version.
Nutrition values are estimates only, using online calculators. Please verify using your own data.