Vanilla Cake with Strawberry Filling

When it comes to desserts, there’s something undeniably charming about a classic vanilla cake. Its simplicity, combined with a timeless elegance, makes it a favorite choice for various occasions. But why stop at just vanilla when you can elevate your cake to a whole new level of deliciousness? Enter the delightful world of Vanilla Cake with Strawberry Filling!

The Perfect Combination

Vanilla and strawberries – a match made in dessert heaven. The subtle sweetness of vanilla cake pairs beautifully with the tartness and vibrant flavor of fresh strawberries. Together, they create a harmonious blend of taste and texture that’s sure to satisfy your sweet cravings.

The Ingredients

For the Vanilla Cake:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk

For the Strawberry Filling:

  • 2 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

For the Frosting (optional):

  • 2 cups whipped cream or cream cheese frosting

The Steps

1. Prepare the Vanilla Cake:

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans.
  • In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • In a separate large bowl, cream together the softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Beat in the eggs one at a time, followed by the vanilla extract.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in three parts, alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the dry mixture. Mix until just combined.
  • Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans and smooth the tops.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then remove them from the pans and let them cool completely on a wire rack.

2. Make the Strawberry Filling:

  • In a saucepan, combine the sliced strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice.
  • Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the strawberries begin to release their juices and soften.
  • In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch with a tablespoon of water to create a slurry.
  • Stir the cornstarch mixture into the strawberries and cook until the mixture thickens, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and let it cool.

3. Assemble the Cake:

  • Once the cakes and strawberry filling are completely cooled, it’s time to assemble the cake.
  • Place one of the cake layers on a serving plate.
  • Spread a layer of strawberry filling over the top, leaving a small border around the edge.
  • Place the second cake layer on top and press down gently.
  • If desired, frost the top and sides of the cake with whipped cream or cream cheese frosting.
  • You can also garnish the cake with additional sliced strawberries for a beautiful presentation.

Tips and Variations

  • Fresh vs. Frozen Strawberries: While fresh strawberries are ideal for the filling, you can use frozen strawberries if they’re not in season. Just thaw them and use the same way as fresh ones.
  • Homemade Frosting: While the whipped cream or cream cheese frosting is a fantastic choice, you can also make your own frosting from scratch. A homemade cream cheese frosting can add an extra layer of richness to the cake.
  • Decorations: Get creative with your cake decorations. Consider using edible flowers, chocolate shavings, or sprinkles to add a touch of flair to your creation.
  • Layered or Sheet Cake: This recipe works beautifully for a layered cake, but you can adapt it to a sheet cake or cupcakes if you prefer a different presentation. Adjust the baking time accordingly.
  • Serve Chilled: Vanilla cake with strawberry filling is even more refreshing when served chilled. Pop it in the refrigerator for a couple of hours before serving on a hot summer day.
  • Personalized Touch: Add a personalized touch by writing a special message or name on the cake using icing. It’s a thoughtful gesture for birthdays and special occasions.

Hosting a Strawberry-Themed Gathering

If you’re truly smitten with the combination of vanilla and strawberries, why not consider hosting a strawberry-themed gathering? This could be a charming afternoon tea, a summer picnic, or even a garden party. Here are a few ideas to make your event extra special:

1. Strawberry Shortcake Bar:

Set up a DIY strawberry shortcake bar with freshly baked vanilla cake slices, bowls of strawberry filling, whipped cream, and an assortment of toppings like chocolate chips, nuts, and sprinkles. Let your guests create their own strawberry shortcake masterpieces.

2. Strawberry-infused Drinks:

Complement your dessert with strawberry-infused beverages. Make a refreshing strawberry lemonade, a strawberry and basil sparkling water, or even a strawberry-infused cocktail for the adults.

3. Strawberry Decor:

Decorate your space with a strawberry theme. Use strawberry-patterned tablecloths, place fresh strawberries in decorative bowls, and incorporate strawberry-themed centerpieces or banners.

4. Games and Activities:

Organize strawberry-themed games and activities. Consider a strawberry picking excursion, a strawberry-themed scavenger hunt, or even a strawberry dessert decorating contest for your guests.

5. Party Favors:

Send your guests home with strawberry-inspired party favors. These could be small jars of homemade strawberry jam, strawberry-scented candles, or even strawberry-shaped cookies.

6. Strawberry Recipes:

In addition to the vanilla cake with strawberry filling, prepare other strawberry-inspired dishes. Strawberry salads, strawberry bruschetta, or even savory dishes with a strawberry glaze can add variety to your menu.

7. Music Playlist:

Create a playlist of songs that feature strawberries or have a summery vibe to set the mood for your gathering. It can be a fun and lighthearted addition to the party.

Vanilla Cake Recipes

Recipe NameIngredientsPreparation Time (min)Baking Time (min)Difficulty Level
Classic VanillaFlour, sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla extract1530Easy
Strawberry SwirlVanilla cake mix, strawberries, cream2035Intermediate
Layered DelightVanilla cake layers, strawberry filling2540Advanced
Vegan VanillaPlant-based ingredients3035Intermediate
Vanilla CupcakesCake batter, strawberry jam1520Easy
Vanilla PoundButter, sugar, vanilla, strawberry syrup2050Intermediate
Mini StrawberryMini vanilla cakes, strawberry compote1525Easy
Vanilla CheesecakeVanilla cake crust, strawberry topping2045Advanced
Summer DelightVanilla sponge, fresh strawberries2535Intermediate
Strawberry SwirlSwirled vanilla cake, strawberry filling2040Easy

Strawberry Filling Variations

Filling TypeIngredientsTextureSweetness LevelPairing Suggestions
Fresh Strawberry CompoteFresh strawberries, sugar, lemon juiceChunkyMediumVanilla cake, pancakes
Strawberry JamStrawberries, pectin, sugarSmoothHighToast, pastries
Strawberry MousseWhipped cream, strawberry puree, gelatinLight and airyMediumCake filling, parfaits
Strawberry Cream CheeseCream cheese, strawberries, powdered sugarCreamyMediumBagels, cupcakes
Sliced Fresh StrawberriesFresh strawberriesFresh and juicyHighTarts, pavlova
Strawberry CoulisBlended strawberries, sugar, lemon juiceSmooth and thinHighIce cream, cheesecake
Strawberry CustardEgg yolks, milk, sugar, strawberry pureeCreamyMediumPastries, tarts
Strawberry Whipped CreamWhipped cream, strawberry extract, sugarLight and fluffyHighCupcakes, trifles
Strawberry ButtercreamButter, powdered sugar, strawberry pureeCreamyHighCakes, cookies
Strawberry GanacheChocolate, cream, strawberry pureeSmooth and glossyMediumBrownies, truffles

Cake Presentation Ideas

Presentation StyleDescriptionDecoration IdeasOccasionsDifficulty Level
Naked CakeMinimal frosting, exposed layersFresh strawberries, mint leavesSummer weddings, birthdaysEasy
Ombre CakeGradual color change from top to bottomOmbre rosettes, edible glitterGender reveal partiesIntermediate
Strawberry Drip CakeGanache dripped over the cake’s edgesDripped ganache, chocolate shavingsValentine’s Day, anniversariesIntermediate
Garden Party CakeDecorated with edible flowers and herbsEdible flowers, lavender sprigsBridal showers, tea partiesAdvanced
Strawberry Shortcake CakeLayers mimic classic shortcakeWhipped cream, fresh strawberriesSummer gatherings, picnicsEasy
Vintage CakeVintage-inspired design with lace patternsLace stenciling, edible pearlsVintage-themed weddingsAdvanced
Strawberry Bouquet CakeShaped like a bouquet of strawberriesStrawberry roses, green fondant leavesMother’s Day, spring eventsIntermediate
Watercolor CakeWatercolor painting effect on frostingPastel colors, edible gold accentsArt-themed eventsIntermediate
Strawberry Explosion CakeOverflowing with strawberry fillingStrawberries spilling out, chocolate drizzleCelebrations, partiesEasy
Rustic Buttercream CakeTextured buttercream and a natural lookWood grain texture, burlap ribbonRustic weddings, barn eventsEasy

Popular Cake Sizes

Cake SizeDiameter (inches)Servings
6-inch Round Cake68-10
8-inch Round Cake812-16
9-inch Round Cake918-24
10-inch Round Cake1028-32
12-inch Round Cake1240-48
6-inch Square Cake612-16
8-inch Square Cake824-32
9-inch Square Cake932-40
10-inch Square Cake1040-50
12-inch Square Cake1260-72

Cake Topping Options

Topping TypeDescriptionComplementsOccasions
Fresh StrawberriesSliced or whole strawberriesStrawberry-filled cakes, whipped creamSummer birthdays, brunches
Chocolate ShavingsGrated chocolate curls or shavingsChocolate cakes, ganacheAnniversaries, decadent cakes
Edible FlowersSmall edible blossomsFloral-themed cakes, garden partiesSpring weddings, tea parties
SprinklesColorful candy or sugar sprinklesFunfetti cakes, colorful themesKids’ birthdays, celebrations
Fondant DecorationsSculpted fondant figures or shapesCustom-themed cakes, character cakesThemed parties, special events
Nuts and BerriesChopped nuts and mixed berriesNutty cakes, berry fillingsAutumn weddings, rustic cakes
Gold LeafEdible gold or silver leafElegant cakes, luxury designsBlack-tie events, upscale occasions
Caramel DrizzleDrizzled caramel sauceCaramel-flavored cakes, cheesecakesDessert tables, caramel lovers


Vanilla cake with strawberry filling is not just a dessert; it’s an experience. It’s a taste of summer, a celebration of simplicity, and a sweet indulgence that leaves a lasting impression. Whether you’re making it for a special occasion or simply because you want to treat yourself and your loved ones, it’s a recipe that brings joy to the table.

So, embrace the magic of vanilla and strawberries, and let your culinary creativity shine. Whether you’re baking for a crowd or savoring a slice in solitude, this delightful dessert is bound to be a cherished favorite. Happy baking, and may your kitchen be filled with the sweet aroma of vanilla and the bright, fruity essence of strawberries!


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