How to make a strawberry layer cake, made with a soft sponge cake, a creamy diplomat cream and filled with fresh strawberries. This recipe is easy and very delicious, a perfect dessert to enjoy the strawberry season.
Photos and recipe updated on July 07, 2022
This strawberry layer cake is so delicious and perfect for any occasion, like a birthday cake, wedding cake, Mother's Day or any other celebration!
You will find in this cake all the flavor of a delicious French strawberry fraisier cake with seasonal strawberries and a delicious creamy diplomat cream filling, a basic pastry cream with whipping cream.
This strawberry cake is assembled into a layered cake with a buttercream frosting and a pretty piping decoration and fresh strawberries.
Every bite of this amazing recipe is heavenly, the sponge cake is fluffy and light with a generous layer of filling to complement the sliced strawberries.
This is a very easy recipe to make at home even if you are not very familiar with cake design and layer cakes. Just follow my instructions to make this beautiful cake to share with your family.
Strawberry Layer Cake composition
Vanilla cake (molly cake)
You don't know this fabulous sponge cake yet? The molly cake is the perfect cake to make a layer cake. It has an airy crumb that is perfect for the stability of this kind of cake. It is made with heavy cream instead of unsalted butter and here it's a version with egg whites for an even lighter and fluffier cake.
A Diplomat Cream
It is the ultimate fraisier cake filling, smooth, tasty and perfect to enhance the sweet strawberry flavor. It's simply a pastry cream fixed with gelatine leave into which whipped cream is added. In my strawberry cake I slightly adapted the recipe to have an even more stable cream by adding mascarpone.
Swiss meringue buttercream
Who says layer cake says buttercream ! And especially if it's to have a nice smoothness and a beautiful decoration with a piping. I always use Swiss meringue buttercream which is smoother and softer than other buttercream recipes. And my recipe is adjusted to have both a smooth cream but also a less sweet and less fatty cream.
What tools to use to make a successful cake?
This is exactly the same material I use to make this strawberry cake recipe and it's a must have for a successful result:
- Cake pan - Always 6 inch/ 15 cm is the standard diameter for a 8-10 part cake. For cake layers always have at least 2 pans as they are often baked 2 or 3 times.
- Cake leveler: To cut your cakes perfectly !
- Turntable cake stand: Impossible to make a perfect smoothing without a turntable.
- Angled spatula: The small angled spatula is my favorite.
- Cake smoother: In steel or acrylic, large enough and with a right angle.
- Disposable pastry bags and icing tips: Disposable pastry bags are more practical and a set of large nozzles from Wilton, JEM, like the 1B, 1M, 2D etc…
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How to make fresh strawberry layer cake recipe
- Mix and sift together dry ingredients, cake flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
- Place the room temperature egg whites, powdered sugar and vanilla extract in the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment and beat on high speed for 10 minutes until the mixture doubles in volume.
- In the meantime, whip the cold heavy whipping cream with an electric mixer for 3 - 4 minutes until you have a whipped cream and set aside.
- Lower the speed of the stand mixer and add flour mixture into the egg mixture and mix just until they are incorporated.
- Add the whipped cream and fold in gently with a flexible spatula until the mixture is soft and smooth.
- Preheat the oven to 320°F/160°C and prepare 3 round cake pans with parchment paper.
- Divide the mixture into 3 and fill the prepared pans.
- Bake in the oven about 40 - 45 minutes until golden brown on top.
- Let cool completely your baked cake on a wire rack then wrap them in plastic wrap and keep them in the fridge until assembly.
Tip: At the end of the baking time check the baking with a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake and it should come out clean when the cake is done.
- Place milk and vanilla bean in a saucepan and heat until boiling, then remove from heat and let infuse for 10 minutes.
- In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar and cornstarch for 1 minute.
- Then add the hot milk, removing the bean beforehand, and whisk to combine.
- Return to the saucepan and heat over medium heat while stirring constantly with a hand whisk until the mixture thickens.
- Pour into a dish and cover with cling film and place in the fridge until the pastry cream is completely chilled.
- Then place the cold heavy cream with the mascarpone in a medium bowl and beat with an electric whisk for 3 - 4 minutes until you have a whipped cream.
- Take the cold pastry cream out of the fridge and put it in a large bowl and mix with the electric mixer to soften it.
- Add the whipped cream and fold it in gently with a spatula and set aside until you are ready to assemble the cake.
How to fill and stack the strawberry cake
- Place a first layer of cake on a cake board on your turntable and pipe an outline of buttercream to secure the filling inside.
- Add some diplomat cream, then sliced fresh strawberries and cover again with cream.
- Place the second cake layer and repeat the last step until you reach the last layer of cake.
- Cover with a thin layer of buttercream to enclose the crumbs and place in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
How to frost the cake
- Cover the entire cake with the remaining frosting and smooth the excess frosting with a icing smoother until the frosting is smooth.
- Decorate the top of the cake with a piping bag and buttercream and add whole fresh strawberries.
- Place your frosted cake in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before place it on a cake stand and serving it.
You may also like: How to frost a cake for a perfect finish
Tips for a successful layer cake
- Use the right equipment: It is essential to be well equipped and the rest is the method and practice.
- Temperature: It is very important that the preparations are at the right temperature for the assembly. The cake must be cold or completely cooled, the filling too to avoid overflowing and the buttercream must be soft and not too runny.
- Add a border of frosting: This border on the edges will keep the filling in the center.
- Use a cake board: To apply the right amount of buttercream you can use a cake board or an acrylic disc and it should be about 5 mm larger that your cake.
Questions about strawberry layer cake
After setting up and decorating the layer cake, let it sit in the fridge for at least 1 hour. Then remember to take it out of the fridge about 30 minutes before serving so that the buttercream, which has firmed up in the fridge, softens a bit and is creamier in the mouth.
Since the cake is made with fresh strawberries, you can store it in the fridge for 3 to 5 days in a cake box or under plastic wrap.
Yes you can use extra strawberry jam in the filling or make a fresh strawberry puree or a frozen strawberries puree to add a more powerful strawberry flavor.
Yes, by adding only pink food coloring you can make a cake pink and even add a strawberry flavoring to give it a strawberry flavor.
How to cut a layer cake?
1 - Standard method: As you usually cut all your round cakes. This cake is 8 slices but since the layer cakes are quite tall and heavy you can cut up to 12 small slices.
2 - Vertical method: A lesser known method that requires a bit of technique, you can follow this cutting method with this tuto: https://www.tanyasbaking.co.uk/cake-cutting-guide
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