strawberry vanilla layer cake

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Strawberry vanilla layer cake is perfect for spring! You’ll love this fluffy vanilla cake layered with fresh strawberry filling and strawberry buttercream.

Strawberry Vanilla Layer Cake

Sweet spring strawberries shine here, adding delicious flavor and a naturally pink hue to the whipped strawberry frosting. Fresh strawberry slices are layered between the frosting and vanilla cake layers for the most delicious Mother’s Day or spring birthday dessert!

Strawberry Vanilla Layer Cake

The Best Strawberry Vanilla Layer Cake

Vanilla – Use high quality, pure vanilla extract to flavor the cake (I love Rodelle!). You can also use vanilla bean paste.

Cake Flour – For a soft and fluffy layer cake with a fine crumb, cake flour is the secret. If you don’t have cake flour on hand, it’s easy to make your own cake flour substitute: For every cup of flour called for in a recipe, place 2 tablespoons cornstarch in an empty 1-cup measure, then top up with flour. Sift the mixture several times to evenly distribute the cornstarch and use as a substitute for 1 cup cake flour.

Room Temperature Ingredients – Bring butter, eggs, buttermilk, and Greek yogurt to room temperature before beginning. Room temperature ingredients incorporate more easily and create a velvety cake batter.

Cake Pans – Bake this cake in two 8-inch round cake pans. To prepare the pans for baking, spray the pans with non-stick baking spray and line each pan with a round of parchment paper.

Bake – Bake cake layers for 24 to 25 minutes, until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few crumbs attached. Cool cakes for 15 minutes in pans on a wire rack before inverting onto wire racks to cool completely.

Strawberry Vanilla Layer Cake

Strawberry Frosting – To make the frosting, combine sliced strawberries and 1 tablespoon of sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then simmer until reduced and thickened. Transfer strawberry puree to a bowl and chill for 1 hour.

Beat butter and salt in a large mixer bowl on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Mix in powdered sugar on low speed until incorporated. Gradually mix in 4 tablespoons of strawberry puree until combined. Increase speed to medium-high and beat frosting for 1 minute, until light and airy.

Assembly – I chill the cake during the assembly process for stability and to help the layers settle. To assemble the cake, place one cake layer on a rotating cake stand and use an offset spatula to swirl strawberry frosting over the cake. Pipe a ring of frosting around the outer edge of the cake layer and chill the layer for 10 minutes.

Fill the center of the cake layer with 1 cup of thinly sliced strawberries. Spread a thin layer of frosting on the second cake layer, and place the layer (frosting side down) over the strawberries. Chill the stacked cake for 20 minutes.

Apply a layer of frosting to the top and sides of the cake while you rotate the cake stand, then gently smooth the sides with a bench scraper. If desired, pipe remaining frosting decoratively on the top cake layer. Chill the frosted cake for 30 minutes before serving topped with fresh strawberries.

Strawberries for Filling – Use ripe, firm strawberries between the cake layers. Slice the strawberries 1/8-inch thick and layer the slices over the strawberry frosting.

Make Ahead – The cake can be made and assembled a day ahead and refrigerated overnight. Before serving, let the cake stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Serve topped with fresh strawberries.

Strawberry Vanilla Layer Cake

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Strawberry Vanilla Layer Cake

Strawberry Vanilla Layer Cake

  • Author: Laura | Tutti Dolci
  • Prep Time: 3 hours
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours 35 minutes
  • Yield: 1 8-inch cake
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Strawberry vanilla layer cake is perfect for spring! You’ll love this vanilla cake with fresh strawberry filling and strawberry buttercream.


Ingredients

Vanilla Cake

  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour (see note below)
  • 1 1/2 tsp aluminum-free baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup low-fat buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt, at room temperature

Strawberry Frosting

  • 1 1/2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 5 cups powdered sugar

Assembly

  • 1 cup thinly sliced fresh strawberries
  • 1 cup fresh strawberries (for topping)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and spray two 8-inch round cake pans with nonstick spray. Line the bottom of the cake pans with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.
  3. Beat butter and sugar in a large mixer bowl at medium speed until light and fluffy; beat in vanilla. Add eggs one at a time and beat until combined. Combine buttermilk and Greek yogurt in a small bowl. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with buttermilk mixture (begin and end with flour mixture).
  4. Divide batter evenly between cake pans and smooth with an offset spatula. Tap pans sharply to reduce air bubbles.
  5. Bake cake layers for 24 to 25 minutes, until the top and edges are golden, cakes spring back to the touch, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few crumbs attached. Cool cakes for 15 minutes in pans on a wire rack before inverting onto wire racks to cool completely.
  6. For the strawberry frosting, combine sliced strawberries and sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly with a spatula and pressing firmly on berries to release juices. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 8 to 9 minutes, stirring frequently, until reduced and thickened. Transfer strawberry puree to a bowl and chill for 1 hour.
  7. Beat butter and salt in a large mixer bowl on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Mix in powdered sugar on low speed 1 cup at a time until incorporated, scraping down bowl as needed. Gradually mix in 4 tablespoons of strawberry puree until combined. Increase speed to medium-high and beat frosting for 1 minute, until light and airy.
  8. To assemble the cake, place one cake layer on a rotating cake stand and use an offset spatula to swirl frosting over the cake. Pipe a ring of frosting around the outer edge of the cake layer and chill the layer for 10 minutes.
  9. Fill the center of the cake layer with 1 cup of thinly sliced strawberries. Spread a thin layer of frosting on the second cake layer, and place the layer (frosting side down) over the strawberries. Chill the stacked cake for 20 minutes.
  10. Use offset spatula to apply a layer of frosting to the top and sides of the cake while you rotate the cake stand, then use a bench scraper to gently smooth the edges of the cake and remove any excess frosting. If desired, pipe remaining frosting decoratively on the top cake layer. Chill the frosted cake for 30 minutes before serving topped with fresh strawberries.
  11. Store leftover cake covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 days; bring to room temperature before serving.


Notes

The equipment section above contains affiliate links to products I use and love!

To make your own cake flour: For every 1 cup of cake flour, place 2 tablespoons cornstarch in an empty 1-cup measure, then top up with all-purpose flour. Sift the mixture several times to evenly distribute the cornstarch.

Make Ahead: The cake can be baked, cooled, and frosted one day in advance. Cover the frosted cake and chill overnight. The next day, add the fresh strawberries just before serving.

Keywords: Strawberry Cake, Layer Cake, Strawberry, Vanilla

More strawberry dessert recipes to try:

Fresh Strawberry Sheet Cake
Strawberry Cookie Tart
Fresh Strawberry Loaf Cake

6 comments
  1. Such a delicious cake, my family all loved this for our May birthday celebration!

  2. I made this yesterday! It was a hit and that icing was phenomenal. The sliced fresh strawberries in the middle kind of squished out of the cake I made but I did not pipe an outer layer of icing between the cakes, which I think is key and would have prevented that issue. I plan to make again for sure!

  3. My adult kids brought dinner to my house for Mother’s Day but I made the dessert and decided to make this cake. It was a HUGE hit. Everybody loved it and my son immediately cut off a big hunk and put it in a container to take home before it disappeared. I had texted a picture of it to my brother who texted back right away “Save me a piece!” and we took it to him the next day. Needless to say, the cake disappeared in less than a day. This recipe will make a lot of appearances in the coming months because my son has a huge strawberry patch with all different varietals and colors, all super sweet, and I can’t wait to taste it with his organic berries. Thank you so much for a fabulous recipe.

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