Pineapple upside down cake was always on the table for Mother's Day, since it was one of my Grandma's favorites. For Father's Day, we always had strawberry shortcake for my Grandpa. The shortcakes consisted of those little yellow cakes you can buy in packages at the grocery store, chopped strawberries (mixed with a bit of sugar), and Cool Whip. (In my case, an *obscene* amount of Cool Whip.) This Strawberry Shortcake Layer Cake is my nod to those strawberry shortcakes that are engrained in my memory as a Father's Day tradition.
I have a hard time choosing favorites when it comes to food, but strawberries are definitely one of my favorite fruits. (I'd say they're tied with cherries.) As such, strawberry shortcake has always been a summer staple at my house. Sometimes I make angel food cakes, sometimes pound cakes...but there are always fresh whipped cream and strawberries involved. When I was heavily pregnant (overdue!) with our oldest, my husband told me I needed to stop eating strawberry shortcake or the baby would never come out. 😉 (Spoiler: he totally did.)
But...in all these years I've never ventured back to the little yellow cakes. Until now. 🙂
The cakes are light and tender with the delicate flavor you'd expect in a yellow cake. Cake flour lends the light texture to the cake. If you can't find cake flour in your local grocery store, you can find it [here]. You can also substitute with all-purpose flour, the cakes just won't be quite as tender. I used 6-inch cake pans for the cake (like this one [here]). While I like the smaller size of this cake, I realize that not everyone has 6" pans. You can also bake the cake in two 8" pans, but the bake time will be longer.
I use a kitchen scale (like this one [here]) to weigh the cake batter to ensure the batter is divided evenly between the pans. This helps ensure even baking and layers that are equal in size. This is especially handy if, like me, you only have two 2" cake pans.
This cake is so good, it deserves a spot in the strawberry shortcake rotation with the angel food cakes and pound cakes. I'm enjoying my recent surge of nostalgic baking. It makes me wonder what foods will spark memories for my kids when they're grown. Maybe I make too many recipes for that to happen. 😀
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Recipe adapted from Sky High (link here).
Strawberry Shortcake Layer Cake
- 1 ½ cups heavy (whipping) cream
- 2 tablespoon sugar
- 1 lb fresh strawberries
- Preheat oven to 350F. Spray three 6" cake pans with nonstick spray (see note).
- In a small bowl, combine dry ingredients (cake flour, baking powder, and salt). Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine butter, sugar, and vanilla extract. Beat until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Add eggs, one at a time, allowing the first egg to fully incorporate before adding the second. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- With the mixer on low, add half of the dry ingredients. Mix until just incorporated, then add the buttermilk. Once combined, add the remaining dry ingredients, mixing until just incorporated.
- Divide batter among prepared pans (see note). Bake 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow cakes to cool in pans 5 minutes, then turn out onto wire racks to cool completely.
For Whipped Cream:
- Combine cream and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment, beat the mixture on medium-high until stiff peaks form (be sure not to overbeat!).
- Place one cake on plate or cake stand, and top with about one cup whipped cream. Slice berries and arrange on top. Repeat with second layer.
- Place third cake layer. Top with remaining whipped cream, and arrange remaining berries as desired.Enjoy!