This strawberry shortcake is a layered masterpiece of buttery cake, juicy strawberries, and slightly sweet frosting. Adding frosting makes it more of a layer cake than your typical strawberry shortcake with whipped cream topping. This beautifully rustic cake is perfect for special occasions or just to celebrate strawberry season.

A layer of strawberry shortcake being put on a plate.

OMG This is So Good Strawberry Shortcake

​Fresh strawberries, buttermilk biscuits, and whipped cream—how could a summer dessert get any better? Well, I managed to do it! I took all the best parts of strawberry shortcake and turned it into a layered cake that’s bursting with flavor. Fresh strawberries top both layers so the strawberry juices soak into the buttery pound cake. Then it’s topped off with a cream cheese frosting that makes it a little fancier than strawberries served over a biscuit.

It’s still a little rustic with lumps from the fresh strawberries poking through. 

I was inspired for this recipe by a local bakery that makes a fresh strawberry cake but uses traditional vanilla cake layers and a butter cream frosting. I love the fresh strawberries between the layers but the cake and frosting are just ok. By making a denser cake made with eggs, butter and sour cream, the cake tastes amazing even without any added fruit, and it’s sturdy enough to hold the layer of strawberries.

The tangy but sweet cream cheese frosting goes great with fresh strawberries, try adding a scoop of strawberry ice cream for the ultimate strawberry dessert.

When strawberry season arrives, you have to take advantage! Ruby red and super juicy, these berries are a real treat—just like eating strawberry shortcake! While this recipe would be good using frozen strawberries, I highly recommend heading to your local farmers market or grocery store to get the real deal. 

If you don’t feel like making a cake, you can use those berries for some strawberry cheesecake bars or if you want a layer cake with strawberries in the batter itself, this strawberry layer cake is my favorite.

A bite of strawberry cake on a fork.

How To Choose The Perfect Berries

There are a few key factors to picking the perfect berries, whether you’re picking them off the vine or at the store! Strawberries don’t continue to ripen after they’re picked, so make sure you grab bold, bright red berries! Avoid any with too much yellow or green, they won’t be as sweet. If picking your own, try to find ones that are red all the way up to the stem.

To avoid getting older berries, look for fresh green leaves, and plump firm berries. If they’re too soft, that means they’re on their way to going bad, and absolutely avoid any containers that show a hint of mold. Even one moldy berry means that the others are on their way out. Finally, don’t let the size fool you! If you follow the above tips, big berries are just as delicious as the smaller ones.

Learn how to store all those fresh berries so they stay fresh for two weeks with my helpful guide.

Why This Is The Best Strawberry Shortcake Recipe

  • Time of Year – You’re making this at the right time of year—strawberry season! This means the flavors are bolder and juicier than ever. 
  • Unexpected Twist – Turning the classic biscuit shortcake into a layer cake turns a classic and delicious dessert into a new experience. 
  • Dense rich cake – While the strawberries get all the credit, we can’t forget that a buttery cake serves as the perfect base.

Ingredients For Homemade Strawberry Shortcake

Ingredients for the cake layer.
Cake ingredients.
Ingredients for the strawberry filling.
Strawberry layer ingredients.
Ingredients for a cream cheese frosting.
Frosting ingredients.

Sour Cream – this keeps the cake moist.

Cream Cheese – This makes the most amazing frosting that will hold its shape and goes great with the sweet berries.

Strawberries
– You’ll need about 4 cups of chopped strawberries.

Pantry Staples – flour, sugar, powdered sugar, cornstarch, baking soda, eggs, butter and vanilla.

How To Make A Layered Cake with Fresh Strawberries

Step One: Cream Butter

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter until smooth, then add sugar and beat until well combined. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Then, add sour cream and vanilla and beat until well combined. 

Vanilla and sour cream added to cake batter.
Add sour cream & vanilla.

​Step Two: Whisk Batter

Whisk together the flour, baking soda, cornstarch, and salt in a small bowl. Add dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix until well combined. Then, spread into the prepared cake pan. 

Dry ingredients added to cake batter.
Add the dry ingredients.
Cake batter in a mixing bowl.
Mix until combined.
Cake batter in a cake pan.
Spread into a cake batter.

Step Three: Bake Cake

Bake for 30-35 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove from the pan and let the cake cool completely. 

Step Four: Make Strawberry Mixture

Strawberries covered with sugar in a bowl.
Cover berries in sugar.
Strawberries being mashed with a potato masher.
Mash berries.

Add sugar to the strawberries in a medium bowl and let them sit for 10 minutes. Mash slightly with a potato masher, leaving chunks of strawberries behind! 

Step Five: Freeze Layers

A knife cutting the cake in half.
Slice cake in half.
Cake layers covered with strawberries.
Cover with berries.

Once the cake has cooled, slice it in half with a serrated knife. Lay both layers cut side up. Spread the strawberries on each half and place each cake in the freezer for 15 minutes. (This will help hold the strawberries in place while frosting)

Step Six: Make Frosting

Beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Then add powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt and beat until creamy.

Cream cheese frosting mixed in a bowl.
Mix the frosting ingredients.

​Step Seven: Assemble Cake

Remove the cake halves from the freezer and spoon a third of the frosting over one of the layers of strawberries. Use an offset spatula to spread the frosting over the strawberries gently.

Frosting on top of a strawberry layer.
Frost first layer.
Strawberries on top of the layers before it has been frosted.
Add second layer face up.

Add the second cake layer on top with the strawberry layer facing up. Add the remaining frosting to the top and sides of the cake. Don’t worry about it being smooth! 

Frost top layer.
Slice and enjoy!

Keep refrigerated until it is time to serve! 

Pro Tip: My favorite way to slice a cake is to cut it straight down the middle and then cut each side into horizontal slices. This way you get more frosting to cake ratio and you can easily adjust the width of the slices.

Tips For The Perfect Summer Cake

  • Avoid over-mixing! Cakes should only be mixed until everything is just incorporated.
  • Don’t overcook the cake. Take it out as soon as a toothpick comes out clean.  
  • Use fresh sweet berries for the best tasting layers.

Storing Frosted Cake

In The Fridge: Store this cake in the fridge until ready to serve. If storing leftovers, cut them into slices and store them in an airtight container with a layer of parchment paper between each layer.
In The Freezer: Gently wrap the cake in plastic wrap and freeze for up to two months. 

A slice of cake on a cake platter.

Not so Classic Strawberry Shortcake with Frosting

This strawberry shortcake is a layered masterpiece of buttery cake, juicy strawberries, and slightly sweet frosting. Adding frosting makes it more of a layer cake than your typical strawberry shortcake with whipped cream topping. This beautifully rustic cake is perfect for special occasions or just to celebrate strawberry season.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 20
Calories: 506kcal

Ingredients

  • 8 tablespoons butter room temp
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • ½ cup sour cream room temp
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups chopped strawberries
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 8 ounces cream cheese room temp
  • 16 tablespoons butter room temp
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Instructions

  •  Preheat the oven to 350º. Line the bottom of a 9-inch cake pan with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pan.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter until smooth, add sugar and beat until well combined, 2-3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add sour cream and vanilla and beat until well combined. 
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cornstarch, and salt. Add to butter mixture and mix until well combined. Spread into the prepared cake pan. 
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes then remove from the pan, remove the parchment paper  and let cool completely. 
  • Add sugar to the strawberries in a medium bowl and let them sit for 10 minutes. Mash slightly with a potato masher, leaving chunks of strawberries.
  • Once the cake has cooled, slice it in half with a serrated knife. Lay both layers cut side up. Spread the strawberries on each half and place in the freezer for 15 minutes. 
  • For the frosting, beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Then add powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt and beat until creamy.
  • Remove the cake halves from the freezer and spoon a third of the frosting over one of the layers of strawberries. Use an offset spatula to spread the frosting over the strawberries gently.
    Add the second layer on top with the strawberry layer facing up. Add the rest of the frosting to the top and sides of the cake. It will not be smooth due to the chunks of strawberries. 
    Keep refrigerated until ready to serve. 

Notes

  • You can use frozen berries, but it works best with fresh.
  • You can prep this in advance and freeze the cake layer until ready to assemble. 
  • The frosting will not be as smooth as a traditional cake due to the strawberries. 

Nutrition

Calories: 506kcal | Carbohydrates: 82g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 51mg | Sodium: 289mg | Potassium: 38mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 70g | Vitamin A: 608IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 35mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @easy.southern.desserts or tag #easysoutherndesserts!

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