This strawberry semi-naked cake is a layered vanilla cake filled with diced fresh strawberries. It is topped with cream cheese frosting and extra fresh strawberries. It is decorated for a semi-naked look with lots of filling.
How To Make Vanilla Cake
- Mix dry ingredients- Sift all the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl.
- Beat butter and sugar- This recipe uses slightly less sugar to get a lighter texture in the cake. Beat these two until the butter is light and fluffy.
- Add in sour cream and vanilla- The sour cream adds extra moisture and the fat content breaks down the gluten strands to create a light cake. Use a pure vanilla extract to get the best vanilla flavor.
- Add in eggs- The eggs should be added in one at a time. Scrape the bowl to make sure the butter gets mixed in.
- Mix in dry ingredients and buttermilk- Add these in 3 separate intervals until combined. This will make sure everything is mixed in well. Don’t forget to scrape the bowl and remix to make sure everything is combined.
The butter, eggs, sour cream, and buttermilk should be room temperature before baking. Pull these out 2 hours before starting. This will get a much better rise on the strawberry semi-naked cake
What Size Pans
This recipe was designed for three 8 inch cake layers. However, you can use 6 inch cake pans to get a thicker layer of cake.
Make sure to spray the pans well with baking non-stick spray and place an 8 inch parchment circle on the bottom of each pan to prevent sticking.
Getting actual buttermilk from your local grocery store is best, but I know it is hard to find sometimes.
Instead mix 3/4 cup of milk and 3/4 TBSP of lemon juice and let it sit for 10 minutes. This will thicken the milk and you can use it in the cake batter.
Cream Cheese Frosting
Cream cheese frosting is the best! The little bit of tang pairs nicely with a vanilla cake and fresh strawberries. Here is how to make it.
First, pull out the butter to sit for 30 minutes before using. Slightly cold butter, keep the frosting firm but is a lot easier to beat until fluffy.
Then, sift the powdered sugar. If you have problems with a grainy frosting, it is because the powdered sugar is too lumpy.
Use a mixer to beat the cream cheese and slightly cold butter. The cream cheese should be room temperature even though the butter is cold. Once it is fluffy and the butter is fully mixed in, add in the powdered sugar.
A tip is to place a wet towel over your stand mixer when you pour in the powdered sugar. This reduces the mess.
Next, add in heavy cream, vanilla, and salt. Mix on low until combined before switching to high. Beat the frosting until it is light and fluffy.
For semi-naked cakes, the frosting should be softer and not as firm. That’s why there is extra heavy cream.
Assembling The Cake
- Place small amount of frosting on the board you are decorating on. This will keep the cakes in place.
- Place the first layer of cake bottom side down. Use a serrated knife or a cake leveler to get a flat surface. Spread 1 cup of frosting over the cake and pipe a frosting border around the edges. The border will keep the strawberries inside.
- Fill the cake layer with diced strawberries, They should be compacted in, but flat before stacking the cakes.
- Repeat with the second layer. The last layer should be bottom side up to get the flattest surface for the top of the cake.
- Use a cake scrapper to smooth the frosting around the edges. If there are gaps, pipe in extra frosting and smooth again. Freeze for 10 minutes to set the fillings.
- Apply frosting around the cake. Use the cake scrapper to smooth the cake. To achieve the semi-naked look, there should be peaks of cake poking through the frosting.
- Top with fresh strawberries. I used almost a full container of strawberries to top the cake. The more the better!
Storing The Cake
The cake has cream cheese frosting, so it should be stored in the fridge in an air tight container for up to 4 days. Since there are fresh strawberries, the cake is the best the first day.
Freezing The Cake
You can freeze the vanilla cake layers if you make it ahead of time. Once the cakes are cool, wrap in cling wrap and store in the freezer. They should only be in the freezer for less than a week. Pull the cake out for 1 hour before decorating the cake.
You can also freeze the cake slices of this strawberry semi-naked cake. Wrap each slice in cling wrap and store in an air tight container and freeze up to 30 days.
Pull the cake slices out for 1 hour before eating.
Other Cake Recipes To Try
Strawberry Semi-Naked Cake
- 1 cup Unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups White granulated sugar
- 1 TBSP Pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup Sour cream room temperature
- 4 Large eggs room temperature
- 3 cups Cake flour
- 2 tsp Baking powder
- 1 tsp Salt
- 3/4 cup Buttermilk room temperature
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 8 oz Cream cheese room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups Unsalted butter slightly cold
- 8 cups Powdered sugar sifted
- 1 TBSP Pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup Heavy cream
- Pinch of salt
- 3 cups Diced Strawberries
- Strawberries whole and half strawberries
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray three 8 inch cake pans with baking non-stick spray. Place 8 inch parchment circles on the bottom of the pan. Spray again.
- In a mixing bowl, sift the cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. Using a mixer, beat the butter and sugar on high for 4 minutes. Scrape the bowl.
- Add in sour cream and vanilla. Beat until combined. Scrape the bowl and add the eggs one at time. Once combined, scrape the bowl to make sure all the butter is mixed in.
- Add in 1/3 of the dry ingredients and half of the buttermilk, mix until just combined. Add another 1/3 of the dry ingredients and the rest of the buttermilk. Then, add the rest of the dry ingredients.
- Pour the batter evenly between the three cake pans by using a kitchen scale. Bake for 16-19 minutes. The cakes are done baking when a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Let the cakes sit in the pans for 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Allow cakes to cool completely before decorating
Cream Cheese Frosting
- Set the butter on the counter for 30 minutes. This will let it get slightly cold. While waiting, sift the powdered sugar.
- Using a mixer, beat the cream cheese. Beat on high for 1 minute. Add in the butter and beat for 3 minutes until soft and fluffy.
- Slowly add in the powdered sugar. Then, add salt, vanilla, and heavy cream. Mix on low until just combined. Turn to high and beat for 3 minutes. Use a wooden spoon to beat the air bubbles out.
- Place a small amount of frosting on the bottom of the board you are decorating on. This will keep your cake in place while decorating.
- Place first layer of cake on the bottom side down. Place 1 cup of frosting on the cake and smooth. Pipe a layer of frosting around the border of the cake to keep the filling in. Fill the entire layer with diced strawberries. Repeat with the second layer. Place the last layer bottom side down.
- Fill any gaps between filling and cake with extra frosting and smooth. Freeze for 10 minutes. Then, apply a light layer of frosting around the whole cake. There should be parts of the cake peeking through. Top with fresh strawberries.