This strawberry vanilla cake is a layered vanilla cake packed with strawberries. It is like a strawberry shortcake! The vanilla cake layers are extra soft and it is topped and filled with strawberry cream cheese frosting and a strawberry filling.
This strawberry vanilla cake is the perfect cake to make this summer when it's strawberry season! It has a fresh strawberry filling that you would use in a strawberry shortcake.
This cake would be great to make for a special occasion! The best part is the strawberry cream cheese frosting. It uses both freeze-dried strawberries and strawberry jam to make the frosting.
Why This Recipe Works
- Fluffy Vanilla cake- The vanilla cake is super soft that uses butter and oil to make it full of flavor and extra moist.
- Strawberry filling- The filling has fresh strawberries, sugar, and strawberry jam. The filling is packed with flavor!
- Strawberry frosting- The frosting is full of strong strawberry flavor!
- Layered cake- This is a three layer cake, when you cut into it, the strawberries really stand out.
Here are some notes on the ingredients. For a full list of ingredients, check out the recipe card below.
- Unsalted butter- For the cake batter, the butter needs to be pulled out 2 hours before baking so it is room temperature. For the frosting, the butter needs to be slightly cold. So, pull it out 30 minutes before using.
- Oil- Use canola oil or vegetable oil.
- Sour cream- Use full fat sour cream. Pull this out 2 hours before baking.
- Eggs- Pull the large eggs out 2 hours before baking.
- Buttermilk- Use full fat or reduced fat buttermilk. Pull this out 2 hours before baking.
- Cream cheese- Use full fat cream cheese. Pull this out 2 hours before baking.
- Powdered sugar- Make sure to sift the powdered sugar to avoid a gritty frosting.
- Freeze-dried strawberries- You can get them on Amazon or I found them in the dried fruits section at my grocery store.
- Strawberry jam- Use your favorite strawberry jam!
- Strawberries- Use fresh strawberries.
Sour cream- Use plain greek yogurt.
Buttermilk- Use 1 cup of milk and 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice. Let it sit for 10 minutes before using.
Freeze-dried strawberries- You can increase the strawberry jam to ¼ cup and decrease the heavy cream to 1-2 Tablespoon.
Berries- You can also use fresh blueberries as well in this recipe.
Step By Step Instructions- Cake Layers
Here is how to make and bake the vanilla cake. For this recipe, you will need a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or a hand mixer (electric mixer).
STEP 1: Mix the dry ingredients. First, in a large bowl, sift the all-purpose flour to avoid any flour lumps from getting into the batter. Then, add baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
STEP 2: Beat butter, oil, and sugar. Using a mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter, oil, and white sugar on high speed for 3 minutes. It will appear almost white in color.
STEP 3: Add in wet ingredients. Next, add in vanilla extract and sour cream and mix this in on medium speed. Then, add in the eggs one a time. Beat the eggs on high speed for 1 minute.
STEP 4: Alternate between flour mixture and buttermilk. Add these in and mix on low speed. Be careful not to over mix. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the sides of the bowl.
STEP 6: Cool. The cakes need to cool on a cooling rack completely before decorating.
Step By Step Instructions- Filling and Frosting
These are the instructions to make the strawberry filling and the strawberry cream cheese frosting.
STEP 1: Prepare the ingredients. Pull the butter out for 30 minutes to get slightly cold. Also, make sure to sift the powdered sugar. Use a food processor to ground the freeze dried strawberries.
STEP 2: Beat the butter and cream cheese. Using a mixer in a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and cream cheese on high speed for 3 minutes. It needs to be very fluffy.
STEP 3: Add the powdered sugar. Next, mix in the powdered sugar and grounded freeze-dried strawberries in on low speed. It will be very thick.
STEP 4: Add the wet ingredients. Now, add in the strawberry jam, vanilla extract, salt, and heavy cream. Mix this on low until it is combined, then switch to high and beat until creamy for 1-2 minutes.
STEP 5: Strawberry filling. In a medium bowl, mix the cut strawberries, strawberry jam, and sugar. Let it sit for 5 minutes.
While it sits, the sugar will pull out the juices. That is why you need to make the filling right before decorating the cake.
Assembling the Cake Tips
- Pipe a small amount of frosting on the board you are decorating on. This will lock the cake on the board and keep it from sliding around.
- Place the first cake layer down, spread ¾ cup of frosting over the cake using an offset icing spatula. Pipe a border around the edge of the cake using the frosting in a piping bag. Use half of the filling and spread it evenly over the cake.
- Repeat with the second layer of cake. Place the final cake layer down with the bottom side facing up. This gives it the flattest surface possible when decorating.
- Frost the cake in a very light layer of frosting on the sides of the cake. Freeze for 15 minutes to lock the crumbs in.
- Frost the rest of the cake in the strawberry buttercream.
Decorating The Cake
I took a spoon and created swirls in the strawberry frosting. Then, I decorated with fresh strawberries on the top of the cake.
This cake will make: three 6-inch cake pans, two 9-inch cake pans, 9X13-inch cake pan. If you have half the recipe, it will make: two 6-inch cake pans, 1 9-inch cake pan, 8X8-inch cake pan, and 9X9-inch cake pan.
Yes it can! Half the recipe to make 12 cupcakes.
Yes you can. If you want to not have fresh strawberries as the filling, use strawberry jam.
Storing and Freezing
This strawberry vanilla cake needs to be store in an airtight container like a cake carrier. Store in the fridge. Since there are fresh strawberries, it will be good for a max of 3-4 days.
The cake will taste best if you let it come to room temperature for 1-2 hours.
The strawberry shortcake cake layers can be frozen ahead of time. After they are cooled, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and freeze up to 30 days. Thaw for 1 hour before decorating.
The cake slices can be frozen individually. Store in an airtight container and freeze up to 30 days. Thaw for 1-2 hours before eating.
Other Cake Recipes To Try
Strawberry Vanilla Cake
- 3 ½ cups All-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoon Baking powder
- 1 teaspoon Baking soda
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- ¾ cup Unsalted butter room temperature
- ¼ cup Oil canola or vegetable oil
- 1 ½ cups White granulated sugar
- ½ cup Sour cream room temperature
- 1 tablespoon Pure vanilla extract
- 4 Large eggs room temperature
- 1 cup Buttermilk room temperature
- 1 ½ cups Strawberries washed and quartered (measure the quarters not the whole berry)
- 1 tablespoon Strawberry jam store bought is fine
- 1 teaspoon White granulated sugar
Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting
- 8 oz Cream cheese room temperature
- 1 ½ cups Unsalted butter slightly cold
- 6 cups Powdered sugar sifted
- 2 oz Freeze-dried strawberries grounded to a fine crumb
- 1 teaspoon Pure vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- 1 tablespoon Strawberry jam
- ¼ cup Heavy cream
- Fresh strawberries for decoration
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray three 8-inch cake pans with baking nonstick spray. Line the bottoms of the pan with 8-inch parchment paper circles. Spray again.
- In a mixing bowl, sift the flour. Add the baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.3 ½ cups All-purpose flour, 2 teaspoon Baking powder, 1 teaspoon Baking soda, 1 teaspoon Salt
- Using a mixer, beat the butter, oil, and sugar on high speed for 3 minutes. It will be light and fluffy. Add the sour cream and vanilla and mix on medium until combined. Scrape the bowl.¾ cup Unsalted butter, ¼ cup Oil, 1 ½ cups White granulated sugar, ½ cup Sour cream, 1 tablespoon Pure vanilla extract
- Add the eggs one at a time on medium speed. Switch to high speed and beat for 1 minute.4 Large eggs
- Add ⅓rd of the dry ingredients and half of the buttermilk and mix on low speed. Add another ⅓rd of the dry ingredients and the rest of the buttermilk. Finish with the rest of the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined. Don't over mix. Scrape the bowl1 cup Buttermilk
- Pour the cake batter evenly throughout the three cake pans. Bake for 22-25 minutes. Bake until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Let the cakes sit in the hot pans for 10 minutes. Then, transfer to a cooling rack. Cool the cake layers completely.
Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting
- Pull the butter out and sit on the counter for 30 minutes. This will get the butter slightly cold. Then, sift the powdered sugar while you wait. Also, ground the freeze-dried strawberries using a food processor and add that to the powdered sugar.1 ½ cups Unsalted butter, 6 cups Powdered sugar, 2 oz Freeze-dried strawberries
- Using a mixer, beat the butter and cream cheese on high speed for 3 minutes. Scrape the bowl and slowly add in the powdered sugar/ freeze-dried strawberries. It will be very thick.8 oz Cream cheese
- Add the strawberry jam, salt, vanilla, and heavy cream. Mix this on low speed until just combined. Switch to high speed and beat for 1-3 minutes until fluffy.1 teaspoon Pure vanilla extract, ½ teaspoon Salt, 1 tablespoon Strawberry jam, ¼ cup Heavy cream
- Make this right before using.
- In a large bowl, add the quartered strawberries. Add the sugar and strawberry jam and let it sit for 5 minutes before adding to the cake.1 ½ cups Strawberries, 1 tablespoon Strawberry jam, 1 teaspoon White granulated sugar
- Place a small amount of frosting on the board you are decorating on to lock the cake in place.
- Place the first cake layer down. Spread ¾ cup of frosting on top of the cake layer. Pipe a layer of frosting around the border of the cake. use half of the strawberry filling and spread evenly.
- Repeat with the second layer. The last layer of cake should be placed with the bottom of the cake facing up.
- Frost the cake in a very light layer of frosting. Freeze for 15 minutes to lock the crumbs in place.
- Frost the rest of the cake. Top the cake with fresh strawberries.Fresh strawberries