Strawberry layered cake can be prepared in as many layers as you wish; the tender, strawberry flavored cake is layered with cream cheese buttercream frosting and strawberry filling for an effortless, pretty, summer dessert.
You have complete flexibility when it comes to how you want to assemble this strawberry layered cake. Two layers, three layers, four... just prepare your baking pans and adjust baking time accordingly.
If you don't want to use cream cheese in the frosting, there are recipe notes for making a basic white buttercream only.
This recipe calls for fresh strawberries, and the addition of freeze dried strawberries is optional. Similar to the Raspberry Cupcakes, the addition of freeze dried strawberries adds a punch of flavor and color, but it can also be left out.
Vanilla cookies- like sandwich cream cookies, or vanilla wafers.
Preheat the oven, grease and flour the cake pans, and make the strawberry filling since it has to cool.
Make the strawberry filling:
Simmer the fresh strawberries until soft, and broken down. Puree with an immersion blender or hand-held whisk.
Store the puree in the fridge until it's time to frost the cakes.
Make the strawberry cake layers:
Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl; set aside.
Then, in a mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar until lightened in color. This will take about 6-8 minutes by hand, or 5-6 minutes using a mixer.
Add the egg whites, one by one on low speed until combined.
Add the remaining ingredients, including the strawberries.
Pour batter into prepared cake pans of choice, and bake accordingly. Cool completely, before removing from the pan.
See the FAQ section below for how to get cake out of pan.
Make the frosting:
Beat together the frosting ingredients. Don't refrigerate the frosting unless you are saving it overnight, in which case, allow it to come to room temperature prior to frosting the cake.
Always cover the frosting if there will be more than 10 minutes between uses.
Begin to stack the layers, topping first with buttercream frosting, then strawberry filling.
Repeat with the second and subsequent layers. See recipe notes for pan sizes for layers.
To frost the cake, start with a thin layer, called a crumb coat, as shown below. Then, place the cake in the fridge for an hour, or the freezer for 20-30 minutes to firm up that under layer.
This crumb coat will make frosting the cake much easier, and smoother.
Once the first under layer has chilled, finish frosting the cake with the buttercream, as much as little as you wish, then decorate with fresh strawberries.
Notes and FAQ's
In the United States, the best time to harvest strawberries is from April in Southern states, to June in the cooler Northern states.
Wait until the cake is 100% cooled. Run a knife around the edge of the cake to release any stuck edges. Invert the cake pan onto a plate, rack or counter, tap the bottom until the cake releases, and remove the pan.
Store this strawberry layered cake with fresh strawberries at room temperature, covered for two days, or in the fridge, covered for up to five days.
Try these other strawberry filled treats:
If you tried this recipe, or any of the related recipes above, leave a rating in the recipe card!
Strawberry Layered Cake
- cake pans
Strawberry Cake Batter
- 2 ¾ cups cake flour can substitute all purpose four
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 cup butter (2 sticks) salted, softened at room temperature
- 2 cups sugar granulated
- 6 large egg whites room temperature, whites only (or 4 whole eggs)
- 1 tsp clear vanilla extract can substitute regular vanilla extract
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup milk 2% or whole
- 1 cup pureed strawberries rinsed and hulled
- ½ cup freeze dried strawberries pulsed or crushed into a powder
- 2 cups strawberries rinsed, hulled; can substitute frozen
- 2 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tsp lemon juice optional
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 tsp corn starch
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 cup butter
- 8 oz cream cheese full fat
- 1 tsp clear vanilla extract can substitute regular vanilla extract
- 4 cups powdered sugar sifted
- 3 tbsp heavy whipping cream
- Make the strawberry filling first to allow it time to chill. Rinse and remove stems from 2 cups of fresh strawberries (or use frozen), and add to a small sauce pan.
- To the strawberries, add sugar (2 tbsp), and lemon juice (1 tsp).
- In a small cup, mix together the water (1 tbsp), with the corn starch (1 tsp) and stir it into the strawberry mixture to combine everything.
- Heat the strawberry mixture on medium high heat until it simmers and the fruit breaks down. Continue to cook it until it thickens. The mixture can then be left chunky, or pureed smooth.
- Transfer the mixture to a cool container, covered and store in the fridge to cool until ready to use.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit; grease 2, 8 or 9 inch round cake pans, or 4, 6-inch round cake pans, dust with flour and tap off excess.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the cake flour (2 ¾ cups), baking powder (1 tbsp.), and salt (¼ tsp). Set aside.
- Use a stand mixer with a paddle attachment (or hand held electric beaters) to cream together the room temperature butter (1 cup=2 sticks) and sugar (2 cups) for 5-6 minutes on medium high speed, until pale in color and fluffy.
- Add the 6 egg whites one at at time and beat on low speed, followed by the vanilla (1 tsp), vegetable oil (¼ cup), and milk (1 cup) on low speed until combined.
- Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture in portions of thirds, and beat on low speed only until just combined- do not over mix.
- Turn the mixer off and fold in the pureed strawberries (1 cup). For extra flavor and color punch, fold in an additional ½ cup pulverized, freeze dried strawberry powder at the same time as the pureed strawberries.
- Divide the batter equally into the pans and bake at 350 degrees F for 38-43 minutes for 8 inch cake rounds, 35-40 minutes for 9 inch cake rounds, and 18-22 minutes for 6 inch rounds, until top is springy.
- Using a mixer, blend the cream cheese (8 oz) and vanilla (1 tsp) on medium speed until smooth.
- Add the softened butter (2 sticks) and continue to beat on medium speed until incorporated. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula back into the bottom of the bowl.
- Add the sifted powdered sugar (5 cups) one cup at a time, with the mixer on medium speed until every cup has been added. Again, scrape the sides of the bowl.
- Add the heavy cream, and the whipping attachment if available (if not just use the regular attachment), and whip on high speed for 3-4 minutes until fluffy. For a thinner frosting, add another tablespoon of heavy cream.
- When the cakes are completely cooled, invert them to remove from from the pan. If desired, remove the domed top for a level surface.
- Layer the bottom layer with first the buttercream cream cheese frosting, followed by the strawberry filling. Repeat with remaining layer(s) until there is filling and frosting in between each one. The top of the cake does not get strawberry filling, however.
- For a smooth frosting appearance, apply a thin coat of frosting first, called a "crumb coat". Apply frosting to the top of the cake, and around the sides, using a long, offset spatula or bench scraper to smooth. It is not the final layer, and it doesn't need to be perfect, or crumb free. Just thin and level. Then, place the cake in the fridge for 1-2 hours (uncovered) or in the freezer for 30 minutes to firm up the thin layer of frosting.
- Once chilled, frost the cake with the outer layer of frosting, smoothing the edges and top with a long offset spatula or bench scraper.
- Decorate with fresh strawberries, or drizzle with remaining strawberry filling.
- Store cake covered, at room temperature for 1-2 days, or in the fridge, covered, for up to 5 days.
- Soften butter completely at room temperature, until completely soft. Alternatively, you can soften butter sticks in the microwave by cooking on 10% power for 30 second intervals, flipping the stick(s) of butter each time onto the opposite side to evenly distribute heat.
- Soften cream cheese at room temperature, until completely soft. Or, follow the previous recipe note above on 'softening butter' to also soften cream cheese.
- Eggs need to be at room temperature. Allow them to come to room temperature naturally on the countertop, or in a lukewarm bowl of water for 30 minutes.
- Freeze dried strawberries can be pureed in a blender or food processor, or crushed in a zip lock bag with a rolling pin. This can be added to the cake batter for an extra intense color and strawberry flavor. It is optional.
- Keep frosting covered in between crumb coat or steps that take more than five minutes, so that it doesn't develop crusty parts that will contribute to loss of smoothness when frosting. Make sure the frosting is at room temperature before trying to spread on the cake.
- Also, wiping the knife/spatula clean in between frosting applications for smoothing the frosting.