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strawberry shortcake cake slice in plate close up head on view (1) (1)

Strawberry Shortcake Cake Recipe

This jaw dropping strawberry cake features layers of soft vanilla sponge cake, light and airy whipped cream, and sweet macerated strawberries! An incredibly beautiful dessert, but surprisingly easy to make.
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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Bake Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 8 to 10 people (approx.)


For the macerated strawberries:

  • 3 cups fresh strawberries, tops cut off and halved or quartered (depending on the size)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

For the vanilla sponge cake:

  • 1 & 1/4 cups cake and pastry flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 6 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (optional but highly recommended!!)

For the whipped cream:

  • 2 cups cold heavy whipping cream
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (optional)


  • Make the macerated strawberries: Combine strawberries and sugar in a large bowl. Mix together until the sugar is dissolved and the strawberries start to glisten. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
  • Make the vanilla sponge cake:
    Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line the bottom and sides of 2 (9 inch) cake pans with parchment paper, and set aside.
  • Sift your flour, salt, and baking powder into a medium sized bowl, and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine eggs and sugar. Using an electric mixer fitted with the whip attachment, beat the eggs and sugar together on high speed for 10 to 15 minutes, or until light, fluffy, and about tripled in size. You should be able to draw a figure 8 with the batter and it should take about 2 seconds to sink away.
    * This will be slightly quicker if using a stand mixer or slightly longer if using a handheld mixer.
  • Add the sifted flour to the egg mixture, and gently fold together until just combined. Some streaks of flour are fine because we are going to mix this again in a second. At this point, it's better to under mix than over mix and risk deflating your eggs!
  • In a separate medium sized bowl, combine melted butter, vanilla, and a bit of cake batter (about 1/2 a cup). Mix together until combined.
  • Pour the butter mixture into the large bowl with the remaining cake batter. Again, gently fold together until just combined. Take care not to over mix! This time you do want to avoid any streaks of flour because it can cause problems while the cake bakes.
  • Divide the batter evenly between your 2 cake pans. Spread into 1 layer, and bake in your preheated 350°F oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean of any batter or crumbs.
  • Cool the cakes for about 10 minutes in your pans, then turn onto a wire rack. Peel the parchment paper off the cakes, and set aside to cool completely to room temperature. (Optional) Place the cakes in the fridge or freezer for 20 to 30 minutes to firm up so they're easier to stack.
  • Make the whipped cream frosting: In a large bowl, combine heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. Beat together using an electric mixer fitted with the whip attachment until it reaches stiff peaks (about 5 to 10 minutes on high speed).
  • Assemble the shortcake: These cakes shouldn't really dome on top, but if they do, just slice the tops off to level the cake layers. Place one of your cake layers on your serving platter. Spread about half of your whipped cream on top of the first layer of cake, leaving a small boarder around the edge to keep it from spilling out. Top with about half of the strawberries. Place your second layer of cake on top, and layer again with the remaining whipped cream and strawberries.
    You can also add some fresh strawberries on top and spoon some of the juices from the strawberries over everything if you like! Serve right away, or chill for 1 hour beforehand to make slicing easier.
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