Strawberry layer cake is made with two layers of moist cake bursting with pieces of fresh strawberries and a sweet strawberry frosting. This delicious, fruity cake is perfect for summer!
I love single-layer cakes, bundt cakes, and sheet cakes because they’re so quick to make and don’t require any assembly.
But once in a while, an occasion just simply calls for a layer cake!
This strawberry layer cake is super moist thanks to bits of fresh strawberry throughout the cake batter. The strawberry flavor gets leveled up again with a coating of strawberry frosting.
It’s a great cake for spring and summer and don’t be intimidated by assembling a layer cake. I’ve got some tips to help you with that!
STRAWBERRY LAYER CAKE WITH FRESH STRAWBERRIES
I’ve seen a lot of strawberry layer cake recipes out there. A lot of them are a yellow cake with fresh strawberries in the middle – almost more like a strawberry shortcake.
That style of cake is delicious, but sometimes I feel like the amount of strawberries isn’t quite enough, ya know?
I want strawberries in every single bite. Like how you get banana in every single bite when you make my moist banana cake.
So I decided to take my easy strawberry cupcakes and turn them into a layer cake!
Since there are pieces of fresh strawberries mixed into the cake batter and fresh strawberry puree in the frosting, you get strawberries in every single bite that you take.
And best of all? It’s an easy cake to make!
HOW TO MAKE STRAWBERRY LAYER CAKE
I know that layer cakes can feel intimidating, but I promise that they’re not bad at all once you get the hang of it and learn a few quick tips!
Plus, this one is even easier because it starts with a cake mix.
Ingredients you’ll need
This strawberry layer cake recipe is a take on my doctored cake mix. That means that you need fewer ingredients and less time to make this cake than fully from-scratch recipes, but no one would guess that it started with a cake mix!
You will need:
- 1 (15.25 ounce) package French Vanilla cake mix
- ½ (3.4 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
- 1 cup strawberry greek yogurt
- ¾ cup vegetable oil
- ½ cup water
- 4 eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup diced fresh strawberries (about 10 medium berries)
If you can’t find a big container of strawberry greek yogurt, grab two of the individual cups – the greek yogurt ones tend to be around 5-6 ounces.
Regular strawberry yogurt will work, too. I just tend to prefer the thicker texture and the tanginess of greek yogurt when I’m baking.
You will also need a batch of my strawberry frosting, which makes enough to fully frost this double-layer cake.
Making the cake
This cake makes two 9-inch layers, so grab two 9-inch round cake pans and grease and flour them. Set those aside.
Using a mixer, mix together all of the cake ingredients except the strawberries. Beat the batter for about 2 minutes on medium speed until well combined.
Gently fold in the diced strawberries so they’re evenly distributed throughout the batter.
Divide the batter between the two prepared cake pans and bake for about 30 minutes. The cakes are done when the tops spring back lightly when touched and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
I like to let the cakes cool in the pans for about 20 minutes before I turn them out onto wire racks. Let them cool completely before assembling the cake.
Frost with the strawberry frosting. If you want to give the cake a chocolate-covered-strawberry feel, you could even top it with a ganache, similar to chocolate-covered strawberry cupcakes.
Tips for assembling your layer cake
I’ve learned a few things over the years that may be helpful as you put together your strawberry layer cake.
Keep your cake plate clean with pieces of parchment paper or waxed paper. Place one of the cake layers on your cake plate or a cardboard round and tuck pieces of parchment or waxed paper under the edges.
Frost the cake and once finished, remove the papers. They will keep the cake plate nice and clean!
Use a cake decorating turntable or lazy susan. Being able to spin the cake as you work makes it easier to frost all of the sides of the cake evenly.
You can get a cake decorating turntable specifically for this purpose, but you can also simply set your cake plate on a lazy susan if you already have one.
Pipe the frosting on for the most even coverage. Place the frosting in a bag fitted with a big, round piping tip. You can then pipe it around the edges of the cake and onto the top, then spread it using an offset spatula, icing smoother combs, or even a bench knife.
Of course you can spread the frosting on instead of piping it, but I sometimes find that it’s harder to get that perfect, even coat of frosting.
If you want to make the cakes the day before you plan to assemble the cake, let them cool completely. Wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and keep them at room temperature overnight.
You could also wrap them in plastic, then a layer of heavy-duty foil, and freeze them for up to a month.
You could also make the frosting the day ahead. Store it in an airtight container in the fridge. Before decorating, let it come to room temperature and whip it for a minute or two with your mixer.
Once the strawberry layer cake is decorated, I recommend storing it in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 3 days. Let the cake come to room temperature before serving it.
Strawberry Layer Cake
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat together the cake and pudding mixes, Greek yogurt, oil, water, eggs and vanilla. Beat for about two minutes on medium speed until well combined. Fold in diced strawberries.
- Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, rotating the pans about ¾ of the way through baking, until the tops spring back when lightly touched and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Let the cakes cool in the pans for at least 20 minutes before running a knife around the edges of the pan and turning the cakes out onto wire cooling racks to cool completely.
To assemble the cake
- Place one of the cake layers onto a cardboard round or cake plate. Tuck pieces of parchment paper or waxed paper under the edges of the cake to keep the cake plate clean while frosting.
- Spread some of the frosting on top of the first cake layer, spreading to the edges. Place the second cake layer on top; I recommend placing the top layer bottom-side up to give a very smooth, flat surface for frosting the top of the cake.
- Spread or pipe the remaining frosting on the top and outside edges of the cake.