Hear me out. Strawberry shortcake is delicious as is, but have you had it in the form of a layered cake?! This strawberry shortcake cake recipe switches out the classic sweetened biscuits with poundcake while still keeping the delicious, vibrant flavors of the traditional version we all know and love.
What is traditional strawberry shortcake?
Let’s just say strawberry shortcake is the only dessert you need for summer. Traditionally, it’s a crumbly biscuit that’s been cut open and sandwiched with fresh strawberries and cream. It’s simple, but couldn’t be more delicious!
Why you should make this strawberry shortcake cake:
There’s a few reasons this cake is special but my favorite is that thanks to the store-bought pound cake, this recipe doesn’t even require you to turn on the oven. You can of course make this any time of year, but when fresh juicy strawberries are in season and it’s super hot outside, a no-bake cake sounds pretty perfect! Make this as a light dessert after your family dinner or bring it to your friends bbq! No matter which route you choose, it’s sure to impress anyone you serve it to.
Ingredients you’ll need for this strawberry cake:
- Frozen store bought poundcake: thawed.
- Fresh fruit: ripe strawberries or another fruit of choice.
- Jam: preserves are fine as well. (strawberry jam is ideal but I had apricot on hand and it was great!)
- Fresh lemon juice: no seeds!
- Heavy whipping cream
- Vanilla extract
- Powdered sugar
How to make the best strawberry shortcake layer cake:
- Thaw the pound cake. I just set mine in the fridge the night before I plan to make this dessert.
- Sweeten the strawberries for the strawberry filling. Adding jam to the strawberries not only sweetens them, it adds flavor too! Squeeze in some lemon juice for added acidity and you’ll be ready to rock and roll.
- Whip the cream. It’s super important that the cream reaches still peaks for this recipe. If the cream is too soft, it won’t be able to support the layers of the cake.
- Slice the poundcake and layer. I find that turning the poundcake on its side to slice it gives me more even layers. Don’t forget to use plastic wrap while assembling either!
- Refrigerate. It’s important to let this chill in the fridge before slicing so that everything has a chance to hold together and firm up a but in the plastic wrap. This way you’ll be able to have beautiful layers in between the poundcake.
Sure! I mainly like store-bought poundcake for it’s convenience, but it’s also a little more dense than some homemade versions of poundcake I’ve had. Its density makes it better for slicing and layering.
Definitely. You could make this with any berry you like, sliced peaches, pears, cherries, really any fruit you can think of. The flavors in the poundcake and cream mixture are so light that I can’t think of a fruit that wouldn’t complement this dessert.
You’ll know the cream is done when you can flip the bowl upside down and the cream doesn’t move. You want to be sure the cream is sturdy so that it can support the layers of this cake!
Using the same package the poundcake was originally in just ensures that the layers of the finished cake will be more defined. Since we know that the poundcake fits perfectly in it, there won’t be room for the cream to squish out on the sides. You can use your own loaf pan but I would recommend using something that is a similar size to the poundcake.
The overhang of plastic wrap protects the top and sides of the cake that are not covered by the pan it’s sitting in. Most importantly, the plastic wrap makes it super easy to remove the cake from the pan once it’s been chilled and you’re ready to serve.
The best kind of cake to use for this recipe is definitely pound cake. It’s density and buttery vanilla cake flavor resembles a traditional shortcake very well. But, if you feel so inclined, this recipe with in season strawberries and whipped cream will work with other kinds of the cake as well. Soft white cake, fluffy vanilla cake or sponge cake is what I would recommend. These options are great for someone who is looking to make their cake layers from scratch.
Strawberry Shortcake Cake
- 1 stand mixer or electric handheld mixer
- 1 sharp knife
- 1 10.5 oz frozen poundcake thawed
- 2 cups whole fresh strawberries
- 2-3 tbsp jam any flavor you like
- juice of 1/2 a lemon
- 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp powdered sugar
- Before starting, make sure the poundcake is fully thawed. The best way is by setting it in the fridge the night before I plan on making this dessert. Be sure to reserve the package for later.
- Wash and dry the strawberries, then remove the stems and quarter them so that they're in bite sized pieces.
- Nuke the jam in the microwave for 30 seconds to make it a little more runny. Add the jam and lemon juice to the sliced strawberries.
- Mix well and set aside for later.
- Add the heavy whipping cream, vanilla extract and powdered sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer and whip using the whisk attachment until it reaches stiff peaks (about 5 minutes on medium/ high speed).
- Set the poundcake on its side and cut into 3 even layers. Using a serrated knife is very helpful for this.
- Grab the same package the poundcake came in and line it with plastic wrap. Make sue there is at least 5 inches of overhang on each side.
- Place the bottom layer of the poundcake back into the package on top of the plastic wrap. Add half of the macerated strawberries along with some of the strawberry syrup they've released in the bottom of the bowl.
- Evenly spread 1/3 of the whipped cream on top of the strawberries.
- Repeat this one more time with the middle layer of pound cake.
- Top with the last layer of poundcake as well as the rest of the whipped cream. Fold the plastic wrap overhang over the top of the cake and refrigerate for 6 hours.
- Once the cake has chilled, unwrap the top of the cake and use the plastic wrap as 'handle' to transfer the cake out of the package and onto a serving plate.
- Top with more fresh sliced strawberries and serve. Happy baking!