This fresh strawberry cake is full of strawberry flavor! Soft layers of sponge cake are sandwiched between fluffy whipped cream and heaps of fresh strawberries! It's a beautiful strawberry layer cake everyone will love, especially during the summer!
This fresh strawberry cake is the best way to enjoy sweet, ripe strawberries! Strawberries with whipped cream are the best combination, in my opinion, but it's even better when served with soft, light-as-air sponge cake.
The strawberry flavor shines through in this cake by leaving the strawberries fresh and unheated. Fresh strawberries are the star of this layer cake, so be sure to get sweet, juicy strawberries at their peak.
Serve this strawberry cake for birthdays, Easter, summer gatherings, or holidays. Sprinkle powdered sugar on top for a festive look and serve as a Christmas cake.
Strawberry Cake Ingredients
- Cake flour - Cake flour produces a soft, light sponge cake that's the perfect texture for this strawberry cake.
- Eggs - I used large room temperature eggs.
- Vegetable oil - Use any neutral vegetable oil. This adds moisture and richness to the cake.
- Sugar - Use granulated white sugar.
- Vanilla - Use good quality vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste.
- Strawberries - Dry the strawberries very well to help the cake stay fresh for longer.
- Heavy whipping cream - Use a high-fat whipping cream for the best results.
Step by Step Photos
Steps 1 - 3: Start by beating the eggs, sugar, vanilla, salt, honey, and water in a large mixing bowl. The egg mixture should triple in volume and be light and fluffy.
Step 4: Check to see if the ribbon stage is achieved: lift the whisk and check if thick ribbons flow down and keep their shape for 3 to 4 seconds.
Step 5: Sift in the cake flour in 3 stages, gently folding after each time.
Step 6: Add the vegetable oil to the batter. Tip: to help incorporate the oil better, mix three heaping spoonfuls of batter with the oil before adding it in.
Pour the batter into two 6-inch cake pans lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350 degrees F until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let the sponge cake completely cool on a wire rack before slicing it into even layers.
Brush the bottom layer of the cake with cake syrup, then spread on a layer of whipped cream. Top with strawberries sliced to even thickness. Repeat with the other cake layers.
Decorate the top with more whipped cream and add fresh strawberries. Serve this strawberry cake within 2 days for the best flavor. Enjoy and happy baking!
Strawberry Cake Tips
Fresh Strawberry Cake
- 1 cup cake flour
- ⅞ cup white sugar
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 6 eggs
- ⅓ cup vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 teaspoons honey - or agave
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Strawberries & Whipped Cream
- 3 cups strawberries - wash & dried well
- 2 ½ cups heavy whipping cream
- ½ to ⅔ cup powdered sugar - adjust to taste
Cake Syrup (Optional but recommended)
- ½ cup hot water
- 5 tablespoons sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line the bottom and sides of the cake pan with parchment paper. I used two 6-inch cake pans.
Make the Cake
- Whip the eggs: Using a stand mixer or hand mixer with a whisk attachment, beat the eggs, sugar, salt, water, honey, and vanilla together on high speed until soft, fluffy, and pale yellow, about 8 to 10 minutes. The volume should have tripled. Lift the whisk and check for ribbons that flow down and keep their shape for 3 to 4 seconds.⅞ cup white sugar, ¼ teaspoon salt, 6 eggs, 2 tablespoons water, 2 teaspoons honey, ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Add dry ingredients and oil: Sift the cake flour and baking powder into the egg mixture in three parts, gently folding each time. Next, add the vegetable oil. Tip: To help incorporate the oil better, mix a few spoonfuls of the batter with the oil before adding it in.1 cup cake flour, ½ teaspoon baking powder, ⅓ cup vegetable oil
- Bake: Line two 6-inch cake pans with parchment paper along the sides and bottom. Pour in the batter and bang the pan twice to remove large air bubbles. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the crust is golden brown with a raised center, about 27 to 30 minutes. See Notes section for additional baking times.
- Cool: Remove all the parchment paper and allow the cakes to cool completely on a cooling rack.
- Add the cold heavy whipping cream and powdered sugar into a large bowl. Beat on medium-high speed until soft and fluffy. Avoid over mixing as it can lead to graininess.2 ½ cups heavy whipping cream, ½ to ⅔ cup powdered sugar
Prep the strawberries
- Wash and dry the strawberries very well. Slice the strawberries into ⅓-inch to ½-inch slices while leaving some whole or halved for topping the cake.3 cups strawberries
- Cake syrup: Dissolve the sugar in hot water. Set aside.5 tablespoons sugar, ½ cup hot water
- Slice the cake: Slice even layers using a cake leveler. I cut each 6-inch cake into three layers to make two 3-layer cakes.
- Assemble: Working with the bottom cake layer, brush on the cake syrup (if using), add a layer of whipped cream, and top with strawberry slices. Repeat the same for the remaining cake layers. I recommend using no more than 3 layers per cake. Top the cake with whole or halved strawberries. Serve and enjoy!
✎ Recipe Notes
- Two 6-inch pans: about 27 to 30 minutes
- Three 6-inch pans: about 18 minutes
- Four 6-inch pans: 15 to 16 minutes
- 9x13 inch pan: about 18 minutes
- The most likely reason is improperly beating the egg whites. It's very easy to over or under-beat egg whites. Over-beaten egg whites will look grainy and lumpy.
- Old or expired baking powder. Check the dates on your ingredients.
- Baking temperatures can also affect the rise of sponge cakes. It's important not to open the oven as the temperature drop can cause the sponge cake to collapse and deflate. Use an oven thermometer or calibrate your oven if not done recently.
*Nutritional information is an estimate, calculated using online tools.