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5 from 1 vote

Strawberry Shortcake Cake

Prep Time45 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time1 hr 5 mins
Course: Dessert
Servings: 8 - 10
Author: Tricia


For the strawberries:

  • 2 pounds strawberries
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • juice of 1/2 lemon, about 1 tablespoon
  • pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch

For the cake:

  • 6 tablespoons coarse sugar
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract

For the whipped cream:

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar, sifted


To prepare the strawberries:

  • Clean the strawberries and remove the hulls. Slice each vertically into halves or thirds depending on their size. Place the sliced strawberries In a large bowl and gently toss with the sugar, lemon juice and salt. Lightly cover and set aside for 2 hours or up to 3 hours.

To prepare the cake:

  • Preheat oven to 350F. Grease 3 (8-inch) cake pans. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons coarse sugar into the bottom of each pan. Shake the pan and turn to coat the entire pan bottom. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl combine the butter and sugar. Using an electric mixer beat the mixture until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing just until the yolk disappears.
  • In a small bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  • In another small bowl, blend the sour cream, milk and vanilla together. Set aside.
  • Add 1/2 of the sour cream mixture to the sugar mixture and blend on low until incorporated. Next add 1/2 of the flour mixture and mix on low until blended. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add the remaining sour cream and blend, then all the remaining flour. Blend on low just until incorporated. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl with a spatula and gently stir one more time.
  • Divide the batter equally between the three prepared 8-inch cake pans and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes, rotating the pans after 15 minutes. Do not over bake!!! Cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then turn the cakes out and cool completely on a wire rack.

To prepare the strawberry syrup:

  • Drain the strawberries using a fine-mesh strainer set over a bowl. Remove 1/4 cup of the strawberry syrup to a microwave safe bowl and combine with the cornstarch. Microwave the syrup and cornstarch mixture on high, stirring every 10 seconds, until the mixture is very thick and translucent, about 30 seconds total. Add the thickened mixture back into the bowl with the remaining strawberry syrup and stir until combined. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

To prepare the filling:

  • In a large mixing bowl beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the powdered sugar and beat until blended. With the mixer on low, slowly add the whipping cream mixing until incorporated. Turn the mixture to high and beat until creamy but stiff peaks form. Don’t over-beat.

To assemble the cake:

  • Place one cake layer on a cake plate or platter. Top the layer with 1/3 of the whipped cream cheese mixture spreading almost to the edge of the cake. Top the whipped cream with 1/3 of the sliced strawberries arranging decoratively in a single layer.
  • Top the strawberries with the second layer of cake, then 1/2 of the remaining whipped cream, and 1/2 of the strawberries. Top with the last cake round. Mound the remaining whipped cream on top and then the remaining strawberries. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  • If needed, insert a wooden skewer or two into the cake to help hold the layers in place. To slice use a light sawing motion with a large, thin sharp knife to cut through the strawberries and cake layers. Serve each slice with a drizzle of the strawberry syrup.


Store leftover cake in the refrigerator. Cake will keep for several days but is best served the day it is made. The cake holds up longer than the fresh cut strawberries will.
Do not use frozen strawberries for this recipe. 
Cake may be made in two 9-inch cake pans if desired.