Strawberry Shortcake Cake

4.75 from 4 votes
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This luscious strawberry shortcake cake has soft, spongey cake layers filled with juicy strawberries and the fluffiest whipped cream frosting. It’s a light and fresh layer cake that’s perfect for warmer weather!

A slice of strawberry shortcake cake on a white plate, next to the base of a cake stand.


This strawberry shortcake cake is a cross between traditional strawberry shortcake and a fluffy homemade layer cake. It’s filled with whipped cream and juicy strawberries, giving us all those classic flavors we know and love. The cake is rich and buttery, made with cake flour and lemon juice for the softest crumb.

This cake is SO GOOD! Two slices were demolished in 5 minutes. With warmer weather on the way, this light, fruity strawberry shortcake cake is perfect for all your summertime shindigs.

Why You’ll Love This Strawberry Shortcake Cake Recipe

  • Soft cake layers. With a few simple techniques and the right ingredients, the batter bakes into a cake that’s ultra-moist and oh-so-soft. You’ll love the way that every bite melts in your mouth!
  • Strawberry pie filling. Instead of fresh strawberries, I fill this cake with strawberry pie filling. It’s sweet and tangy and totally winning next to the pillowy whipped cream.
  • Homemade whipped frosting. Also, a moment for the frosting!? All it takes is 4 ingredients to make the perfect whipped cream frosting from scratch. It’s smooth, creamy, and just sweet enough.
  • Easy to assemble. Even if you’re new to making layer cakes, I promise, you can make this strawberry shortcake cake! It’s super easy to prepare the cakes and assembling is a breeze.
Overhead view of a strawberrry shortcake cake topped with whipped cream and fresh strawberries.

Ingredients You’ll Need

Here are my notes on what you’ll need to make this easy strawberry shortcake cake. Scroll down to the recipe card for a printable list of ingredients.

  • Cake Flour – Cake flour is lower in protein than all-purpose flour, with a lighter, more velvety texture. It’s the best choice for vanilla cake recipes, where you’re after a soft, fluffy crumb.
  • Dry Ingredients – Baking powder and salt.
  • Milk and Butter – You can use whole milk or 2% milk, whichever you prefer, and salted or unsalted butter. 
  • Vanilla – For the best flavor, stick with pure vanilla extract.
  • Lemon Juice – Similar to making buttermilk, the acidity in the lemon juice thickens the milk in the recipe. It enriches the flavors of the cake and gives it a hint of tang.
  • Eggs – Brought to room temperature before you start. Don’t skip this step!
  • Strawberry Pie Filling – I use Lucky Leaf pie filling, but choose your favorite canned or jarred filling from the store.
  • Whipped Cream – You’ll make homemade whipped cream from fridge-cold heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. If you’d prefer, you can use store-bought stabilized whipped cream, or Cool Whip.
  • Fresh Strawberries – For garnish.
Strawberrry shortcake cake filled with strawberry filling and topped with whipped cream and fresh strawberries on a white cake stand, with a slice missing.

How to Make Strawberry Shortcake Cake

This moist strawberry layer cake comes together in just a few steps. Let’s walk through them here! You’ll find printable instructions in the recipe card below the post.

  • Mix the dry ingredients. Whisk together cake flour with baking powder and salt. 
  • Mix the wet ingredients. Combine milk and butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil. Then, take the pan off the heat and stir in the lemon juice and vanilla. 
  • Combine. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the eggs and sugar together. Slowly add the cooled milk mixture until it’s well combined. Finally, fold in the dry ingredients.
  • Bake. Transfer the cake batter to two greased 9” springform cake pans. Bake the cakes at 350ºF for 15-18 minutes. Move the cakes to a cooling rack and release them from the pans.
  • Make the frosting. Meanwhile, combine whipping cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate the ingredients for 30 minutes. Afterward, beat the frosting into stiff peaks.

Assemble the Cake

  • Create the layers. Once the cakes are cooled, you’ll slice one of the two cakes horizontally through the middle. You’ll be left with 3 round cake layers. 
  • Stack the cakes. Starting with one of the thinner layers, spread frosting over top. Add the second thin cake layer over the frosting. Top this with strawberry pie filling, and finally, the third cake layer.
  • Frost the cake. Use the remaining frosting to frost the top of the cake. I like to garnish this strawberry shortcake cake with fresh berries. 
  • Chill. Chill the finished cake in the fridge for 1 hour before slicing and serving. 
A strawberrry shortcake cake topped with whipped cream and fresh strawberries on a white cake stand.

Tips and Variations

Keep these final tips along with some easy recipe variations in mind when making this strawberry shortcake cake:

  • Use room-temperature eggs. Your eggs must be at room temperature before you add them to the batter. Very important! If you forget and need to quickly bring your eggs to room temperature, place them in a bowl of warm (not hot) water for 5-10 minutes.
  • Don’t overmix. Overmixing the cake batter can lead to a dense, tough cake. Make sure to only mix the dry ingredients into the batter until they’re just combined.
  • Don’t overbake. If you leave your cakes in the oven too long, they’ll end up dry and crumbly. Test the cake for doneness by sticking a toothpick into the center. If it comes out clean, your cakes are ready to come out.
  • No cake flour? You can substitute cake flour with all-purpose flour in a pinch. Another option is to turn regular flour into a cake flour substitute using cornstarch! Measure out 1 cup of flour, scoop out 2 tablespoons, and replace them with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch. You can use this ratio to scale your substitute as needed.
  • Add a garnish. Top this strawberry shortcake cake with sugared champagne strawberries for a fun, shimmery twist. You can also drizzle over some homemade strawberry sauce.
Overhead view of a slice of strawberry shortcake cake on a white plate, next to the rest of the cake on a white cake stand.

Serving Suggestions

This shortcake cake is a delicious after-dinner treat with a cup of coffee or tea. I love a warm cortado or a creamy homemade London fog. It’s also the BEST cake to bring out for dessert at a backyard BBQ in the summer, paired with scoops of strawberry ice cream. And if you’re looking for the perfect dessert to serve for Mother’s Day or Easter brunch, the fresh strawberry flavors in this cake pair great with a sunrise mimosa or rosé float!

How to Store

  • Refrigerate. Store this strawberry shortcake cake in an airtight container or cake carrier in the fridge for up to 4 days. 
  • Freeze. While I don’t recommend freezing the frosted cake, the cake layers can be frozen before assembling. Wrap them tightly in a double layer of plastic wrap, with sheets of parchment paper between the cakes. Freeze for up to 2 months and defrost the layers in the fridge before assembling the cake.

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4.75 from 4 votes

Strawberry Shortcake Cake

This luscious strawberry shortcake cake has soft, spongey cake layers stacked with juicy strawberry filling and the fluffiest whipped cream frosting.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Cooling Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 12 to 14 servings


For the Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature (very important!)
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 container fresh strawberries,, halved

For the Filling

  • 1 (21 oz.) can of strawberry pie filling, (I used Lucky Leaf)

For the Whipped Frosting

  • 2 cups cold heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
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Make the Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350ºF. Position the rack in the middle of the oven.
  • Lightly grease 2 (9-inch) springform cake pans with baking spray and set aside.
  • In a mixing bowl, whisk cake flour, baking powder and salt; whisk until combined.
  • Set a small saucepan over medium-high heat and add milk and butter; bring to a boil.
  • Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and lemon juice. Set aside to cool.
  • In your mixer’s bowl, combine eggs and sugar; beat until pale yellow, fluffy, and doubled in size.
  • With the mixer on, slowly pour in the cooled milk mixture (I suggest stirring the milk mixture before adding to the mixer); mix until well incorporated.
  • Turn off mixer and gently fold in the flour mixture.
  • Spread the batter in the prepared pans and bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean. Remove from oven and set pans on a cooling rack.
  • Snap open the springform pans and turn out the cakes; let completely cool.

Make the Frosting

  • In the meantime, prepare the frosting. In a mixing bowl, combine the whipping cream, powdered sugar and vanilla. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  • When chilled, beat the frosting until stiff peaks form.

Assemble the Cake

  • When cakes are completely cooled, cut one of the cakes crosswise so you end up with 3 round layers. One will be bigger than the other two.
  • Spread half of the whipped frosting over one of the thinner cake layers. Add the second thin cake layer over the whipped frosting.
  • Spread the strawberry pie filling over the cake. Top with the last cake layer.
  • Spread the rest of the whipped frosting over the cake. Top with fresh strawberries. Chill finished cake in the fridge for 1 hour.
  • Serve.


Cake Recipe heavily adapted from Food Network.


Serving: 1slice | Calories: 248kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 104mg | Sodium: 159mg | Potassium: 87mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 755IU | Vitamin C: 1.3mg | Calcium: 57mg | Iron: 0.2mg

Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.

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  1. Orpha says:

    Did you allow the milk mixture to cool down? If you added the hot mix. The recipe didn’t specify at what temperature to add the milk mixture, if you added the hot mixture you can be assured that was the reason for the flat cakes.

  2. Liz says:

    Made this cake twice because the first time it came out really flat. My eggs were room temp and I used fresh baking powder. I beat the eggs and sugar until it was pale and twice in size. The batter seemed more abundant than the first time but sadly I pulled it out of the oven and it was flat. Won’t be making this again. Yours looks great though!

    1. Katerina Petrovska says:

      Oh no 🙁 Sounds like you did all the right things, so I’m truly truly sorry it didn’t turn out. And I really don’t know why… ugh. 🙁
      Did you try assembling the cakes even though they weren’t as tall as they should have been? Did it taste okay?

    2. Marisol says:

      Sometimes if you keep opening the oven heat escapes, or if you are cooking while you have a cake in the oven those two thingss will cause the cake to flatten. Also if the eggs are to small add 1 more egg. Instead of melting the butter first beat the butter with the sugar until fluffy then add one egg at a time then add vanilla mix, make sure ingredients are not expired. whisk all dry ingredients in one bowl. In another mix all wet ingredients you now add half of flour to your butter sugar egg mixture and mix. when well combined add half of the liquid mix while mixer is on slowly so it can combine itself better once combine add the rest of the flour mix well n then the liquids like before. Baking according to directions do not open oven constantly you can check it half way into the baking however every ovens temperature is different so yours can take a little longer to bake or it might bake faster it just depends once you check on the cake rotate it slowly put the front of the cake to the back so it can have an even baking most ovens are hotter to the back of the oven also bake in the center rack if at the bottom might be to cold or to hot if you have an electrical stove on the top rack to hot heat rises. I hope this helps you.

      1. Katerina Petrovska says:

        Thanks SOOO much, Marisol, for chiming in!! Amazing tips! So much goes into creating that perfect cake and I’m shocked that 99% of the time, the cakes DO come out as perfect as possible! 😀

    3. Marisol says:

      Forgot to add to the last post also fill your pans about 3/4 full and slightly tap or band the filled pan on the counter rotate as you let it hit the counter this will get tid of any airpockets in the batter make sure you preheat the oven before you place your cake batter in. Have a Good Day

    4. Olivia says:

      The same happened to me – it came out so flat that both cakes only equate one layer in the photo. I should have tested it before trying to make it for my son’s birthday. I did everything as instructed.

    5. Jenna says:

      This just happened to me… however this is the first time I baked a cake in Colorado… and I am used to Ontario, Canada… so I am wondering if the elevation played into it. Either way my daughter is thrilled she is having strawberry shortcake for her birthday! Thanks for the recipe!

  3. Rowan says:

    Hi, I don’t know if this will help you, (or if you’ll even see this at this point!) but I have ALWAYS struggled with cutting cakes, let alone cutting them level. The best thing that ever happened to me was combining the toothpick and dental floss methods.

    Take a ruler and measure out a level line around the cake with toothpicks, then take a long strand of dental floss, loop it around the cake on top of the toothpicks cross and pull through. No crumbs and the toothpicks leave such tiny holes that you don’t notice them if it’s an open side cake, and if you are frosting the sides the rough crumb fills them right in!

    1. Katerina Petrovska says:

      Hi Rowan!! OH my goodness! Dental floss! What a brilliant idea!! Thanks so much for chiming in and THANK YOU for the tips!! Now I want to go make a cake just so I can use your method. LOL! 😀

  4. Megan says:

    I am having a rough time with this recipe. No matter how I do it, the lemon juice is curdling the milk mixture. What is the secret trick I am missing here!?

    1. Katerina Petrovska says:

      Hi Megan!!

      A bit of curdling will happen and that’s nothing to worry about. It won’t hurt the cake, either. I would suggest maybe taking a whisk and whisking it a bit faster.
      I hope the cake works out for you! It’s really, really good! My suggestions? Have the eggs at room temperature and use cake flour and take your time. Please let me know how it goes.
      Have a great 4th of July!

      1. Megan says:

        Oh! Thank you so much for replying! I made it last night and just put a tiny bit of lemon juice in it because the curdling was weirding me out. Lol. But, we had it today and it was delicious!! Perfect 4th of July dessert!

    2. Alicia Rambaran says:

      Keep mixing until fairly smooth

    3. Marisol says:

      The reason the milk curdled is because it’s turning into buttermilk it’s still good so no worries this is a substitute I use milk and lemon to make buttermilk all is good

  5. Roslin Leverette says:

    How long can this cake stay in the refrigerator before you cut it and after you cut it ?

    1. Katerina Petrovska says:

      Hi Roslin! Going by all I’ve read, you can refrigerate this cake for up to 4 days, cut or not. I hope that helps!

  6. sue says:

    I have tried this cake twice now. Both times it has not risen & is about 3/4 inch thick. Never had that problem with a cake before. Any ideas? It doesn’t seem like enough batter when poured into 9 inch springform pans…..:(

    1. Katerina Petrovska says:

      Hi Sue! I’ve been trying to figure out why the recipe isn’t behaving for you and I honestly have no idea. This recipe is from Food Network and I have not had any issues with it. Are you using fresh baking powder? As in not expired? And, are you using cake flour?
      In any case, here’s the link to the original recipe: You can also find it at the bottom of my recipe.

      1. M says:

        This recipe belongs to Food Network. It is wrong to publish it as yours.

        1. Katerina says:

          If you scroll down to the recipe card, you will see that I’ve clearly stated, “Cake Recipe heavily adapted from Food Network”.

    2. Amanda says:

      Did you use cold eggs?

      The first time i tried the recipe the cake was very thin, I remembered reading something about how room temperature egg whites whip better so I took some time to let my eggs warm closer to room temperature and this time the cake rose double the size than it was the first time, I had been in a rush and wasnt able to let the eggs completely get to room temperature I think that If I had that it would have worked even better.

      1. Katerina Petrovska says:

        Hi Amanda! I do always use room temperature eggs. I will make a note in the recipe about that – thank you so much for bringing it to my attention!!

    3. Alicia Rambaran says:

      Is this a versatile butter cake? Does it hold up to heavier icings and buttercream? Beautiful cake, thank you.

  7. Elaine says:

    When I read the directions when taking pans out of oven to cool it says snap open and to turn our? We turn them upside down to cool, is that what you mean?

    1. Katerina Petrovska says:

      Hi Elaine! Yes, just turn them out to cool. The reason I said snap open is because I used springform pans…makes it easier to pop the cakes out. 🙂

      1. Elaine says:

        Awesome thank you!! Making this for my God-daughter!

      2. Elaine says:

        Btw is 8inch springform a ok? Only have 2 of those. Thanks!

        1. Katerina Petrovska says:

          Hi Elaine!

          So, you’ll have to use less batter for an 8-inch pan. In fact, you will need to use 20% less to ensure that the height of the batter is approximately the same as the original recipe intended, and your cake won’t spill over. If you have a kitchen scale, make the batter, weigh it, and then scoop out 20%. Make sense? I hope! 🙂

          1. Elaine says:

            Lol thank you, I will do my best!

  8. marla says:

    This cake looks amazing!! Lovely photos too 🙂