Fresh Strawberry Cake is a must have when berries are in season! This strawberry cake is perfectly balanced with a semi-dense, but moist and buttery yellow cake that's lightened up by fluffy whipped cream icing. It's filled with homemade strawberry filling and sliced strawberries for a sweet and fresh contrast.
9Tablespoongranulated sugar, divided (about ½ cup + 1 tablespoon or to you preference)
For the yellow cake:
Preheat oven to 350°F, and prepare two 8 inch cake pans lined with parchment paper and very lightly grease the sides with oil.
In a bowl, whisk together all-purpose flour and baking powder. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, cream together softened butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Beat in the oil to incorporate. Adding one egg at a time, fulling mix and incorporate each egg before the next addition. Once the eggs are incorporated, stir in the vanilla extract.
Mixing on medium low speed and alternating between the flour mixture and milk, beat in ⅓ of the flour and ½ the milk. Repeat this step until all flour and milk has been incorporated. Make sure to only mix the batter until everything looks just incorporated and no lumps remain. Overmixing will result in tough cakes.
Divide the cake batter into the two prepared cake pans and smooth the batter as evenly as possible. Bake the cake for about 30-35 minutes, until the cake is golden brown on top and an inserted toothpick comes out with just a few crumbs.
Let the cake cool in the pan for about 10-15 minutes, until comfortable to handle. Remove the cakes from the pan and let the cakes cool completely on a wire rack.
For the strawberry filling:
While the cake is baking, hull and roughly chop up 1 pint of strawberries. Place the chopped strawberries and sugar in a medium sauce pan over medium high heat. Stir the strawberry filling every so often, and let it cook until the filling is a thick syrup, about 10 minutes.Transfer the strawberry filling into a clean bowl and let it cool completely before applying on the cake.
For the other pint of strawberries, hull and thinly slice half of them. Save the other half to garnish the cake. Keep the strawberries chilled until needed.
For the whipped cream icing:
In a medium mixing bowl, combine 2 cups of heavy cream and 5 Tablespoons of sugar. Whisk the heavy cream until it becomes stiff peak. Transfer ¼ of the whipped cream into a pipping bag or ZipLoc bag. Keep the whipped creams chilled until needed.
In another mixing bowl, combine the remaining 1½ cups of heavy cream, 4 Tablespoons of sugar, and vanilla. Whisk the cream until it reaches something between a soft and medium peak. The cream should be thick enough to hold its shape but should not be lumpy. Chill until needed.
The fresh strawberry cake assembly:
*Feel free to decorate the cake however you like. The following steps are for assembling the cake to look like the pictures above.*Remove the parchment off the cakes and flatten the cake top, if needed, by trimming of the excessive dome. The cake tops do not need to be perfectly flat, just flat enough for the cake to stack straight.Next, slice each cake evenly in half to create 4 layers.
Starting with the first layer, well the cake by pipping a thick rope of whipped cream to line the edge of the cake. Place half of the homemade strawberry filling inside the well and evenly spread the filing with an offset spatula. Top the filling with the stiff peak whipped cream, enough to fill the well. Spread the whipped cream as evenly as possible. Arrange the fresh sliced strawberries on the whipped cream, keeping a ¼ inch border.
Top the first layer with the matching half of the cake. Gently press down to adhere the cake to the whipped cream. Fill this layer with ¼ of the whipped cream. Spread the cream out evenly to fill the cake, trying to keep it as leveled as possible. Arrange sliced strawberries on the whipped cream, ¼ inch from the border.
For the next layer, use the half of the cake with the leveled top. Place the leveled side down on the strawberries and cream. Repeat the same step as the first layer.
Top the third layer with the last and final half of the cake, bottom side up. Gently press down on the cake to compact and adhere. Make sure the cake is not lopsided. Use the rest of the stiff peak whipped cream to seal up the cake and the crumbs by applying a "crumb coat." The cake should look kind of like a naked cake at time point.
Next, with the soft-medium peak whipped cream, reserve ¼ for pipping and use the rest to coat the cake generously. The cake should have about ¼ inch thick whipped cream icing all around.
Garnish the top of the cake with the remaining ½ pint of strawberries and pipe the border around the cake with the reserved whipped cream icing.Enjoy the cake or keep it chilled until needed.
The yellow cake can be made ahead of time and refrigerated up to 5 days, if properly wrapped. It can also be made and kept frozen for up to 2 months if properly wrapped and stored.
The strawberry filling/ jam can be made head of time and refrigerated up to 5 days. However, the fresh strawberry slices should not be cut until the cake is ready for assembly.
Please do not make the whipped cream icing until you are ready to ice the cake or the whipped cream will deflate and break. Also, try to ice the cake as fast as possible and chill the cake when finished to maintain the integrity of the icing.