This homemade Strawberry Cake Recipe is bursting with fresh strawberry flavor and made completely from scratch! Layers of soft and fluffy vanilla cake filled with a strawberry buttercream and a layer of fresh strawberry filling. A perfect cake for spring and summer!
This homemade cake recipe is every strawberry lovers dream! Made with a fluffy European sponge cake that only needs 5 ingredients and is made without butter or oil yet is so airy and delicious. Sponge Cakes are the base for many traditional European cakes like Black Forest Cake. The main leavening agent for this type of cake is the air that’s incorporated during whisking the eggs and sugar for a long time until the mixture is voluminous and airy.
A light and fluffy sponge cake is the perfect base for this strawberry layer cake. I not only use fresh strawberries in the buttercream but also for the filling that is super easy to make and bursting with fresh strawberry flavor. The filling can be made a few days in advance, perfect for times when you have ripe strawberries at home and don’t know what to do with them. Just make a few of these fruit fillings and you always have one on hand for making beautiful layer cakes.
This strawberry cake is made completely from scratch without any added artificial flavors, colors or cake mixes. All you need is a pint of fresh, ripe strawberries to make this delicious homemade strawberry cake!
Tips for Making Homemade Strawberry Cake
- This fresh strawberry cake looks fancy but is actually easy to make! My biggest tip when it comes to making a homemade cake recipe is to follow the instructions and ingredients that are called for.
- Prepare the cake pans with parchment paper at the bottom, do not grease the sides!
- The batter should not sit too long or it will deflate! Bake the cakes in the center of a fully preheated oven using the conventional setting and don’t open the oven door while the cakes are baking.
- When the cakes are done slide a thin spatula or knife around the edges and transfer the cakes to a wire rack. Let them cool to room temperature.
How to make Homemade Strawberry Cake
To make this strawberry cake from scratch we start with the strawberry filling. The filling needs to chill in the freezer for at least 30 minutes but you can also make it in advance (see note on the recipe card below). The first step is to make a fresh strawberry puree.
How to make strawberry filling for cake
The homemade strawberry filling for this layer cake is especially delicious! It’s made with a fresh strawberry puree that is reduced to a thick consistency and then mixed with a little bit of gelatine or agar-agar powder. This way the layer stays in shape and the strawberries don’t go bad or make the cake soggy. Making fruit layers like this is a great way to incorporate all kinds of fruit into a cake.
How to make fresh strawberry puree?
It’s super easy, just wash, dry, and stem the berries then process them in a food processor or blender until liquid. One pint of strawberries should give you 1 and ½ cups of strawberry puree. You’ll need 1 cup for the strawberry filling.
Now we reduce the strawberry puree to intensify the flavor and cook out most of the moisture. In another small saucepan mix a little bit of gelatine powder or agar-agar powder with water and let it gently simmer for a few minutes. Gelatine will make the fruit filling hold its shape.
Whisk the gelatine mixture into the strawberry puree reduction and pour it into an 8-inch springform pan prepared with plastic wrap. You can also use a plate with a base of the same size. It’s important that the diameter is less than the diameter of the cake pan you use for the sponge cake. Freeze the filling until you are ready to decorate the cake.
What is a biscuit cake?
Making a classic European Sponge Cake is easy and it makes a great base for many different cakes. This kind of cake is called Biscuit cake and the special thing about it is that the leavening agent of the traditional version is only air. Today many bakers add baking powder to the recipe to help leaven the cake and make it more foolproof.
This cake is very different from American cakes so if you try this cake for the first time make sure to follow the instructions carefully. It’s really important to whisk the eggs and sugar for a long time, the volume of the mixture will increase a lot like you see in the pictures below. If you don’t have a stand mixer you can use a hand mixer but it will take a few more minutes to get the same volume.
More of my favorite Berry Recipes:
- Easy Lemon Raspberry Cake
- Raspberry Lemon Curd Cupcakes
- No Bake Strawberry Cheesecake
- Strawberry Tiramisu
- Sparkling Berry Champagne Cocktail
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Homemade Strawberry Cake Recipe
For the fresh Strawberry Puree:
- 1 pint fresh strawberries, plus more for decorating
For the Strawberry Filling:
- 1 cup fresh strawberry puree, (see instructions above)
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- ¼ cup water
- 2 tsp gelatine, or agar agar powder
For the Sponge Cakes:
- 6 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
For the Strawberry Buttercream:
- ½ cup fresh strawberry puree
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 6 oz cream cheese, room temperature
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
To make the Strawberry Puree:
- You need about 1 pint of fresh strawberries to make 1 ½ cups fresh strawberry puree. You'll need 1 cup for the strawberry filling and ½ cup for the buttercream.
- To make fresh Strawberry Puree wash, dry, and stem berries then place them in a food processor or blender and process until liquid with pulp.
- Set aside ½ cup for the buttercream. Use 1 cup for the strawberry filling.
To make the Strawberry Filling:
- Cover the bottom of an 8-inch springform pan with plastic wrap or use a cake ring set on a flat plate or board. You could also use a plate with a base of the same size and cover it with plastic wrap.
- In a small saucepan cook strawberry puree and sugar for about 5 minutes at medium temperature until most of the liquid has evaporated and the puree is thick.
- In another small saucepan combine water and agar agar/gelatine. Place over low heat, bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes while stirring constantly until granules are completely dissolved.
- Add the agar agar/gelatine mixture to the strawberry puree. Whisk until combined.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared pan then put it in the freezer for at least 30 minutes. This can also be done a few days in advance (Note 1).
To make the Sponge Cake:
- Preheat oven to 350˚F (180°C) and line bottoms of two 9-inch cake pans with parchment paper (do not grease the sides).
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the eggs for 1 minutes on high speed until foamy.
- With the mixer running, gradually add the granulated sugar and continue beating for 15 minutes until the mixture is thick and fluffy. The volume of the eggs should have increased a lot, see pictures above for reference. Add vanilla extract.
- In a small bowl combine flour and baking powder then sift flour mixture into egg mixture one-third at a time. Use a rubber spatula and gently fold in each flour addition just until incorporated and no flour pockets remain. Do not over-mix the batter or you will deflate it.
- Evenly divide the batter between the prepared cake pans. Bake at 350˚F for 25-30 minutes until the tops are golden brown and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Slide around the edges with a thin spatula or knife, remove the cakes from the pans and transfer cakes to a wire rack. Remove parchment paper and let cakes cool down to room temperature.
To make the strawberry buttercream:
- In a small saucepan, simmer fresh strawberry puree for 5 minutes until it is reduced to about 5 tbsp puree. Set aside and let cool to room temperature.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, cream together butter, salt, and powdered sugar on medium speed until white and fluffy about 4-5 minutes.
- Add cream cheese and vanilla extract and mix until combined. Continue to beat for two more minutes until fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- With the mixer running, add reduced strawberry puree one tablespoon at a time then beat another minute.
Assemble the cake:
- Place one cake on a serving platter, frost top with thin layer of frosting. Then place the cold/frozen strawberry filling layer on top.
- Pipe frosting around the strawberry filling disk then top with another thin layer of frosting. See pictures above for reference.
- Place the second cake on top and frost the sides and top with the leftover frosting. Refrigerate cake.
- I garnished the cake with buttercream roses and strawberry halves.
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