Fresh Strawberry Layer Cake with four layers of soft, moist crumb, and slightly sweet cake with strawberry flavor in every bite. This stunning summer strawberry cake has no artificial flavor and uses nearly 2 pounds of fresh strawberries to achieve a delicious strawberry taste.
The perfect cake for summer cookouts, birthday parties, and holidays like 4th of July, Memorial Day, Labor Day, and Mother’s Day.
July is my favorite summer months to spend back home in the Mid-West. For me, it means family vacations to our summer cottage in Crandon and strawberry picking at many of the farm fields that blanket the region.
I grew up eating fresh strawberry cake as a summertime dessert but the cakes have never been as decadent as this four-layer cake.
What I love about this cake is that it doesn’t have the mess of strawberries between layers. Instead, this cake holds together nicely.
To reduce the amount of liquid fresh strawberries add to the cake, I’ve made a strawberry reduction with just as much flavor, but without all the added liquid. In fact, this cake recipe is perfect to use up all those farmer’s market or grocery store strawberry sales on.
You’ll need to puree the strawberries in a blender then slowly simmer the puree on the stove top to reduce the amount of liquid. This technique from Sally’s Baking Addiction reduces the liquid while doubling the strawberry flavor.
With less added liquid from strawberries, that means that this cake won’t be too dry. I use the same cake recipe base with a few cupcake recipes as cake recipes this past year and everyone just loves how moist it bakes.
Plus, the puree adds great flavor and natural strawberry color to the cream cheese buttercream frosting. It’s evident that reducing the strawberry liquid helps to yield a sturdy frosting that will hold up to high humidity during summer months.
Fresh Strawberry Cake is the quintessential summer dessert. If you’re looking to bring an elevated dessert to a summer or holiday party, try this cake. I promise everyone will love a decadent, moist and flavorful cake made with real strawberries.
This cake even doubles as the perfect dessert for Memorial Day, 4th of July, and Labor Day. Summer birthday parties are deserving of a layer cake this grand, too.
Looking for more cake ideas? Try this Strawberry Shortcake, Berry Chantilly Layer Cake, Churro Cake, Pumpkin Layer Cake, or this super easy Peach Dump Cake.
Strawberry Layer Cake with Strawberry Frosting
- 1 1/2 pounds fresh strawberries
- 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 cups granulated sugar
- 4 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 cup shortening (can be substituted with 1 cup unsalted butter)
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
- 1 1/2 cups sour cream
- 3/4 cup strawberry puree (you'll make this in the 1st step of the recipe)
- 9 large egg whites
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 1/2 teaspoons butter flavoring ( or more vanilla extract, if desired)
For the Strawberry Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting
- 18 tablespoons unsalted butter (that's 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 5 cups powdered confectioners' sugar
- 2 tablespoons strawberry puree *see notes for alternative
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 12 ounces cream cheese, soft
- 1 cup shortening (can be substituted with equal amounts of butter)
- 1 teaspoon butter flavoring or almond extract
For the Garnished Top
- whipped cream
- semi-sweet chocolate bar, grated
- To make the strawberry puree for this recipe, remove strawberry tops then slice and add to a blender. Blend until pureed. Pour liquid into medium saucepan and cook over low heat for 20-25 minutes. Pour puree into liquid measuring cup and fill to 3/4 cup. Place in refrigerator until ready to add to cake. Save remaining strawberry puree concentration for frosting.2. To make the cake, Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spray 4 8-inch round cake pans with cooking spray. Cut parchment paper circles to cover bottom of cake pans then spray again with cooking spray. If using only 2 cake rounds bake cakes 2 at a time then bake the 2 remaining cakes.3. In a bowl fit with paddle attachment, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.4. With the mixer on low, slowly beat in chunks of shortening and butter. Turn mixer to medium and beat until mixture has small crumbs or is at least combined well. 5. In a medium bowl, whisk together honey, sour cream, strawberry puree, eggs, vanilla extract, almond extract, and butter extract flavoring.6. With the mixer on low, slowly pour mixture into dry ingredients. Turn mixer to medium and beat until incorporated; about 1 minute. Whip down sides of bowl with a spatula and stir to mix. If you'd like a deeper pink tone to the cake, red or pink food coloring can be added to the cake batter.7. Evenly pour cake batter into the 4 prepared cake pans. I did about 2 1/3 cups cake batter to each baking pan. Spread evenly with a spatula and tap cake pans on counter top to remove air bubbles. Bake in oven 40-50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.8. Allow cakes to cool then remove from cake pans and place on cooling rack. Level cake tops with a long serrated knife; removing dome tops. Knife should be as parallel as possible.
For the Strawberry Buttercream Frosting1. Cream butter, and powdered confectioners' sugar 1 cup at a time until light and fluffy. Then add the salt, almond or butter extract.2. Once smooth, beat in chunks of cream cheese and shortening. Beat in strawberry puree. Frosting should have a pink hue but red food coloring can be added to frosting to achieve deeper pink hue.Cake AssemblyPlace cake on 10-inch cake board. This will make it easier to chill in the refrigerator.Place 1/3 cup frosting between each cake layer, spreading frosting with evenly with a spatula. Spread remaining frosting over entire cake; covering top and sides. Use an offset spatula to evenly spread frosting around. Chill cake in refrigerator overnight. To garnish, pipe 8 whipped cream dollops on top. Garnish center of cake with grated chocolate. Refrigerate until 45 minutes before serving.