Strawberry Shortcake Cake

I had the perfect Mother's Day dessert in mind this year and couldn't find a recipe with everything I wanted in a cake.  I envisioned a moist vanilla layer cake filled with pastry cream and strawberry sauce, topped with clouds of whipped cream icing.  I wanted it to be called "Strawberry Shortcake Cake", yeah...  Nope, no such recipe that I could find.

I set out to gather recipes for all the imagined components to layer myself.  Here is what I collected:

Vanilla Bean Cake

-Sky High Cakes

3 cups cake flour
2 cups sugar
4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 whole vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
2 sticks, plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
1 1/3 cups milk
5 egg whites
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Heat the oven to 350. Butter the bottoms of three 8-inch round cake pans. Line each with a round of parchment paper, and butter the paper.

Place the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large mixer bowl. With the mixer on low speed, blend well.

With the tip of a small knife, scrape the tiny seeds from inside the vanilla bean into the bowl. Discard the outer pod or reserve for another use.

Add the butter and 1 cup of the milk. Mix to blend. Raise the mixer speed to medium and beat until the better is light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

In a mixing bowl whisk the egg white with the vanilla extract and the remaining 1/3 cup milk. Add this to the batter in 2 to 3 additions, scraping down the bowl well and mixing just enough to incorporate the ingredients. Divide between the 3 pans.

Bake for about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cook in the pans for 10 minutes. Then invert onto wire racks, remove the paper and cook completely.

Pastry Cream

2 1/4 cups whole milk
6 large egg yolks
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

In medium bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup milk, egg yolks, 1/3 cup sugar, and cornstarch.

Transfer remaining 1 3/4 cups milk to heavy medium saucepan. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; add pod. Sprinkle remaining 1/3 cup sugar over, letting sugar sink undisturbed to bottom.

Set pan over moderate heat and bring to simmer without stirring.

Whisk hot milk mixture, then gradually whisk into egg yolk mixture. Return to saucepan over moderate heat and cook, whisking constantly, until pastry cream simmers and thickens, about 1 minute.

Remove from heat, discard vanilla pod, and whisk cream until smooth. Transfer to bowl and press plastic wrap directly onto surface. Chill until cold, about 4 hours.

Strawberry Coulis

adapted from -Sky High Cakes

1 1/2 pounds individually quick frozen strawberries, thawed, with their juices
1 cup sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 star anise pod  (I omitted this ingredient)
1 inch piece of vanilla bean, split lengthwise

Puree strawberries and juice in food processor until smooth.

Add strawberries and remaining ingredients to saucepan and bring to a simmer. Stir to dissolve sugar.

Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until visibly thickened and reduced by half.

To check for thickness, place a teaspoonful onto a chilled plate.  Set in freezer for a minute then run your fingertip through the coulis - the track should remain.

Remove vanilla bean and anise pod and cool.

Whipped Cream Frosting

(adapted from)-Food.com
  • 2 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
  • 8 teaspoons cold water
  • 2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup sifted confectioners sugar

  1. In a small pan, combine gelatin and cold water; let stand until thick.
  2. Place over low heat, stirring constantly, just until the gelatin dissolves.
  3. Remove from heat; cool (do not allow it to set).
  4. Whip the cream with the icing sugar, until slightly thick.
  5. While slowly beating, add the gelatin to whipping cream.
  6. Whip at high speed until stiff.

I made and cooled all of the components then simply layered - cake, strawberry sauce, pastry cream and repeat! After the final layer of cake I coated the entire cake in the strawberry sauce then covered and refrigerated overnight to let all the ingredients set up. The next morning I spread a thick layer of whipped cream icing on top and piped a border around the top. I filled the entire top with sliced berries that macerated in sugar for about an hour.


  1. That looks really good with the creamy filling - I have been wanting a Boston Creme Pie lately. Maybe i will do like you did and research each layer to make my own master recipe!

  2. Yum! This looks so good! Thanks for sharing.

  3. This looks like rich, delicious heaven.

  4. I just made a cake flavored with real strawberries, and now I am hooked. Gotta try your recipe now.

    Even though it was the first time I tried making strawberry cake, it turned out great! I cut it in plain simple squares with a side of strawberries. a most zen-like way of eating cake and it was .. divine.

  5. thanks for the recipe... the social club that I used to visit on a regular basis always had a fresh cream strawberry shortcake as a part of the dessert buffet... I have been craving it, and your recipe is the only one I could find that even came close. I just made it and it is AMAZING! Great work and thanks for sharing!


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