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Strawberry Cake

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I’ve been wanting to add a Strawberry Cake to the site for a really long time. It’s summery, fresh, super soft and creamy. Every bite is a melt in your mouth experience. The layers are made of soft sponge cake, silky smooth strawberry sauce that sets to utter perfection and whipped Chantilly Cream that adds a delightful creaminess to every forkful.

Strawberry Cake - a tall slice of cake on a plate showing neat layers of sponge and strawberry sauce
Strawberry Cake - cake with neat layers showing

There’s no shortage of Strawberry Cakes on the internet so I wanted to come up with a truly unique one that had a strong strawberry flavor, looks delightful and is easy to make. I think what elevates this to a truly GREAT cake is the addition of toasted almonds on the outside which ads crunch, flavor and makes this cake classic looking, which I love. I love a classic looking cake.

Before we get stuck into today’s recipe, I’ve got loads of great cake recipes here on the blog you should check out like my Hungarian Chocolate And Hazelnut Cake (Esterhazy Torte), Easy Chocolate Cake and my Raspberry Lamington Sponge Cake!

What makes this Strawberry Cake Irresistible!

This cake is like nothing you’ve ever had before! It looks like a lot of steps, but honestly, broken down and made over multiple days to let things cool and set, putting it together is actually super easy!

  • Soft and luscious sponge! – I tested this recipe 5 times and I have to say the sponge is simply irresistible and soft like store bought bakery cakes! I’ve been on the hunt for a great sponge and I’m happy to say I’ve mastered it!
  • Packed full of juicy strawberries! – This cake has an easy to make silky smooth strawberry sauce which has a gorgeous fresh flavor.
  • Dreamy Cream Frosting! – My Chantilly Cream frosting is soft and creamy but stiff enough to hold the weight of this cake. The result is a creamy, silky-smooth frosting that is perfectly light for this cake!
  • Toasted Almonds: just make this cake extra special, add crunch and give it a classic Italian cake look!

Houston, we ALMOST have a Continental Cake Recipe!

Strawberry Cake - sponge cake layers wide image

There’s this cake in Australia called a Continental Cake and it’s honestly my favorite store-bought cake. It’s often found in Italian, Greek and European cake shops and it’s basically at every family birthday gathering. It is also known as an Italian Rum Cake.

One of my favorite things about this cake, other than how soft the cake sponge is and the pastry cream filling (both chocolate and vanilla mind you, is the frosting. It’s called mock cream, and the texture is somewhere between whipped meringue and whipped cream and it’s phenomenal. I’ve yet to find a recipe though because what these bakeries use is sold to them wholesale and not to the public.

I bring this up because this cake, specifically the sponge cake is exactly like a bakery sponge cake they use to make the Continental Cakes. So we’re on our way to making this cake!

Ingredients You Need To Make Strawberry Cake

Note: the whole recipe, including the ingredient quantities, can be found at the bottom of this page – just scroll down to the bottom, or click the ‘Jump to Recipe’ button at the top of this post.

Strawberry Cake - ingredients image
  • Fresh strawberries – I opted in for fresh strawberries because I like the flavor and the bite they add in the sauce. But you can use frozen strawberries if you’re on a budget, just cook them whole and add them all at once rather than half first and half later.
  • Corn starch – also known as corn flour is what’s going to thicken the sauce so you can spread it. Corn starch sauces will develop a skin when they’re set aside to cool so make sure you cover the sauce with plastic wrap as it cools. You also want to make sure you decorate only a couple hours before serving as the top of the cake will loose it’s sheen and develop a bit of a skin. All in all, I opted to use this instead of gelatin because it has a silky-smooth texture compared to the bouncy texture of gelatin which I’m trying to use less of in my recipes.
  • Granulated sugar – or caster sugar.
  • Salt – I used fine salt
  • Lemon juice– helps this sauce stop from being too sweet
  • Red food dye – not foo gel, but liquid food dye. This is optional but a little goes a long way into making the sauce a little brighter.
  • Cake flour – this truly helps give this cake a soft and melt in your mouth texture. Cake flour is a low protein flour that is used to make desserts light and moist. You can use store bought which has a much finer flour consistency, or simply make your own with my simple recipe. Click here to get the recipe and learn all the tips and tricks.
  • Baking powder – will help the cake rise.
  • Eggs – make sure your eggs are at room temperature. When separating your eggs, do them in a separate bowl before diving amongst two large mixing bowls. That way you don’t risk contaminating your egg whites with egg yolk which will prevent them from whipping.
  • Cream of tartar – you can substitute with lemon juice. This helps stabilize the egg whites when you’re whipping them to prevent them from overwhipping.
  • Caster sugar – also known as superfine sugar is best when making the cake. Granulated sugar isn’t as fine and you risk overwhipping.
  • Vanilla ExtractAlways use good quality vanilla extract when baking, it makes a huge difference. I have a great recipe here for it if you’d like to try your own!
Strawberry Cake - a slice of cake being held up by a serving spatula.

How to make an AMAZING Strawberry Cake!

Strawberry Cake - steps 01
  1. Chop up your fresh strawberries
  2. Combine water and corn starch together, set aside.
  3. Add to saucepan with sugar, lemon, salt and red food dye.
  4. Bring to a boil.
  5. Add corn starch slurry and mix until thickened and translucent.
  6. Add to a bowl with more fresh strawberries
Strawberry Cake - steps 02
  1. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside to chill and set in the fridge.
  2. Let’s make the cake: Whip egg whites and sugar together
  3. Until a meringue forms. Shiny stiff peaks!
  4. Cream together the egg yolks and remaining sugar until thick and pale.
  5. Add the dry ingredients and fold
  6. Add the meringue and fold.
Strawberry Cake - steps 03
  1. Divide between two cake tins and bake.
  2. Allow to cool and trim the tops off before trimming in half.
  3. Add your first layer on to a serving plate
  4. Add cream and spread evenly
  5. Pipe a perimeter of cream around the cake
  6. Fill with the set strawberry sauce
Strawberry Cake - steps 04
  1. Repeat this until you get to the final cake layer.
  2. Cover the cake in cream
  3. Pipe another perimeter at the top
  4. Use a spatula to flatten.
  5. Fill with more strawberry sauce
  6. Add the toasted almonds around the sides
Strawberry Cake - steps 05
  1. Pipe swirls of cream on top
  2. Finish with fresh strawberries

Tips and Tricks For Recipe Success!

  • When making the cake, make sure you don’t overwhip the meringue. You want it to be thick and glossy, but not overaerated because the cake may deflate or shrink when it’s baked.
  • When mixing in the dry ingredients don’t overmix! In fact, a little bit of dry ingredients showing is ok before you add the meringue.
  • When making the strawberry sauce, make sure you give it enough time to set. I would recommend making it the day before. Once set, use a spatula to mix vigorously until smooth.
  • Keep the cake chilled once decorated. That cream shouldn’t be stored at room temp.
Strawberry Cake - cake slice being taken out of the whole cake shot from the front showing neat cake layers

Frequently Asked Questions about Strawberry Cake

How do I store this?

Store this cake in the fridge, in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

How do I toast my own flaked almonds?

It’s bizarre that toasted flaked almonds cost monumentally more than untoasted. Toasting them yourself is so easy and honestly, they’re way crispier. Toasting your own is better, they come out crispier. Simple preheat a fan forced oven. To 140C / 285F. Toast for 10 minutes or until lightly golden. Allow to cool completely before using.

Can I use this sponge to make cupcakes or a different sized cake?

I have a great Angel Food Cake Cupcake recipe which will give you a similar texture to this cake, as for different sized cakes, if making a 6-inch cake version halve the recipe and bake in two 6-inch cake tins. If making a bigger version, use a 10-inch cake tin and triple the recipe. If making a larger cake, don’t stack this cake. The sponge and cream cannot hold it’s own shape. This is a very soft cake.

Can I use different berries?

Yes! Blackberries, blueberries, any berry you like will work!

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Strawberry Cake - a slice of cake on a plate from the side.

If you loved this recipe, check these out!

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Strawberry Cake - sitting on a serving plate with cream and strawberries on top

Strawberry Cake

This layered Strawberry Cake is soft, creamy, and packed full of fresh strawberries. A true melt in your mouth experience in every bite!

Serves 12

4.9 from 7 votes
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Cool: 2 hours
Total: 4 hours
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Australian, Italian
Calories: 667kcal

Ingredients

Strawberry Filling

  • 2 lbs / 600 g fresh strawberries, tops chopped off, washed and dried
  • 1 1/3 cups / 375 ml water
  • 8 tbsp corn starch/flour
  • 2 cups / 420 g granulated sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tsp red food dye, optional

Sponge Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups / 225 g cake flour, (see notes)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 8 large eggs, room temperature and divided.
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 cup / 210 g caster sugar, divided
  • 2 tbsp warm water, just above room temp
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Chantilly Cream

  • 1 1/2 cups / 375 ml heavy cream, cold (see notes)
  • 1/3 cup / 65 g powdered sugar, sifted (see notes)
  • 1 1/2 cups mascarpone cheese
  • 1 tbsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract, see notes

To Decorate

  • 12 fresh strawberries, cleaned and dried to decorate
  • 2 cups / 100 g almond flakes, toasted if you can get them


Instructions

Strawberry Filling

  • In a medium sized mixing bowl, add 1/2 the water and corn starch and use a whisk to combine. Set aside.
  • Chop the strawberries into small pieces and add half to a large saucepan along with the sugar, water, lemon juice and salt. Set the other half aside for later. Stir continuously and bring to a boil on medium high heat. Then lower to medium heat and simmer for 3 minutes.
  • Add the corn starch mixture and stir through until the mixture turns glossy and thickens. Stir for another 2 minutes then turn the heat off and add the remaining strawberries. Stir through and transfer to a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to cool at room temperature. His mixture can be made up to 5 days in advance and stored in the fridge.

Sponge cake

  • Preheat a fan forced oven to 150C / 300F (conventional oven to 170C / 340F). Spray only the bottom (not sides) of two 8-inch cake tins with oil spray and line the bottom with baking paper.
  • To a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together the cake flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  • To a separate large bowl add the egg whites and cream of tartar. Use an electric hand beater to whisk until frothy. Slowly add 1/2 cup (105g) of the sugar while the mixer is on high speed. Once all the sugar has been added continue mixing for 90 seconds. The mixture will thicken and become glossy. Take care not to overwhip the mixture otherwise it will result in large air bubbles in your cake.
  • To a separate bowl, add the egg yolks, remaining sugar, water, and vanilla extract and use your electric hand mixer to whip until pale, thickened, and creamy, about 5 minutes. The mixture should fall off in ribbons when you lift the beaters.
  • Sift 1/3 of the dry ingredients into the egg yolk mixture and use a spatula to fold through. Then repeat with another 1/3 of the dry ingredients until all of it is combined. Take care not to overmix.
  • Add half the meringue and gently fold through with a spatula. Then add the other half and repeat.
  • Divide the mixture between the two cake tins and bake in the middle rack of your oven for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Once baked, allow to cool in the tins for 10 minutes before carefully running a knife around the sides to release them. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Chantilly Cream

  • Add all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl (glass or metal, not plastic) and use an electric hand mixer fitted with beaters or a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment to whip until you reach stiff peaks. This usually takes about 3 – 4 minutes to achieve. What you’re looking for is a smooth but stiff whipped cream, not one that looks split. If it looks split or separated, congratulations, you’re on your way to making butter!

Let’s build and decorate!

  • Add your first layer of cake to your serving plate and add about 1/4 cup of Chantilly cream. Fit the end of a piping bag with an open star tip and pipe a tube of Chantilly cream around the top of the cake. Add 1/4 of the strawberry mixture and spread evenly using a spoon. Then add the next layer of cake and repeat until all cake has been laid on.
  • For the top of the cake repeat this process. Cream and the remaining strawberry filling. Coat the sides of the cake with cream. You should have cream left over to pipe on top of the cake. Spread the cream around the sides of the cake as evenly as you can. Stick the almonds to the side of the cake.
  • To finish, pipe swirls of cream on top of the cake and add strawberries on top. You want to do this part no longer than 2 hours before you serve the cake as the strawberries will begin to look old.

Notes

Cake Flour – Cake flour is a low protein flour that is used to make desserts light and moist. You can use store bought which has a much finer flour consistency, or simply make your own with my simple recipe. Click here to get the recipe and learn all the tips and tricks.
Cream – make sure you use cream labelled heavy cream for this recipe. Whipping cream will work but won’t be as stiff as heavy cream. Low fat cream will not work.
Powdered sugar – I don’t like my cream too sweet, but if you like yours on the sweeter side you can use up to 1/2 cup. Make sure you sift it!
Mascarpone – is an Italian cheese that is similar in flavor to sour cream, but more creamy and less sour. Opt in for a better brand one as they tend to be thicker and make sure it’s cold straight out of the fridge! Use a spoon or spatula to mix the mascarpone cream a little before adding to the cream to ensure it’s not lumpy as some brands can be thicker than others.
Vanilla – I have a great recipe for Vanilla extract here on the blog which is alcohol based. It can be used for most recipes. However, I would advise against using it for whipped creams (yes, even stabilized ones like this one) or meringues as it can muck around with the air whipped in the mixtures. Instead use a syrup based vanilla extract. I find vanilla bean paste is best.
Storage – … can be stored in an airtight container for up to three days.
Nutrition – is based on per slice. This cake makes 12 generous slices.
A note on measurements – all ingredients in this recipe are offered in Australian cup measurements and weight measurements. Weight measurements are created by me, in my kitchen here in Melbourne Australia. The best way to get recipe success is to measure ingredients by weight, using kitchen scales.

Nutrition

Calories : 667kcal
Carbonhydrates: 67g
Protein: 13g
Fat: 35g
Saturated Fat: 16g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g
Monounsaturated Fat : 9g
Trans Fat : 0.003g
Cholesterol: 186mg
Sodium: 136mg
Potassium : 391mg
Fiber: 4g
Sugar : 46g
Vitamin A: 1017IU
Vitamin C: 56mg
Calcium: 148mg
Iron: 2mg
Nutrition Disclosure
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1 comment

Nick Makrides June 9, 2023 - 1:09 am

5 stars
This cake is so soft and delicious! N x

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