Strawberry Shortcake Cake

by Melissa on May 27, 2009

I recently made a couple of cakes for Teacher Appreciation Day at our local elementary school. The theme was “comfort food” so I immediately knew I wanted to make this Peanut Butter Cup Cake, but I wanted to non-chocolate cake for those crazy people who don’t like peanut butter/chocolate. It just so happened that The Pioneer Woman had recently posted this recipe for Strawberry Shortcake Cake, and very rarely can you go wrong with PW recipes. I am told that this cake was a huge hit at the luncheon! Though I did not try the actual cake myself, the scraps were very good and who doesn’t love fresh strawberries and cream cheese frosting?!

PW bakes her cake in an 8-inch pan, but I wanted to have a good size cake to feed all of the teachers, so I doubled the cake portion of the recipe and baked it in two 9-inch pans as reflected below. Click the link to see the 8-inch version.


Strawberry Shortcake Cake


  • 3 cups flour
  • 6 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 18 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

Sift together flour, salt, baking soda, and corn starch.
Cream butter with the sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well each time. Add sour cream and vanilla and mix until combined. Add sifted dry ingredients and mix on low speed until just barely combined. Divide batter between 2 greased and floured 9-inch cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. The cake will be very golden. Remove from cake pans as soon as you pull it out of the oven, and place on a cooling rack and allow it to cool completely.

Strawberry Filling

  • 1 pound strawberries
  • 4-5 tablespoons sugar, divided

Stem strawberries and slice them in half from bottom to top. Place into a bowl and sprinkle with 3 tablespoons sugar. Stir together and let sit for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, mash the strawberries with a fork. Add an additional 1-2 tablespoons of sugar and let sit until sugar is completely dissolved. Mash any remaining large pieces of strawberries and set aside.

Cream Cheese Icing

  • 1/2 pound cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted butter, room temperature.
  • 1 1/2 pounds powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine cream cheese and butter on medium speed until smooth. Add sifted powdered sugar and vanilla into the  mixing bowl. Mix until very light and fluffy.

Assembling the Cake

Level the cakes with a cake leveler or a very sharp serrated knife. Spread strawberries evenly over the bottom layer(cut side up), pouring on all the juices (you may not use all of the strawberries).

Place the second layer on top. Spread cream cheese icing over the top and sides of the cake. You may need to stop icing and refrigerate the cake for a bit if the icing starts to get too soft. Leave plain or garnish with fresh strawberries.

Important note from PW: Cake is best when served slightly cool. The butter content in the icing will cause it to soften at room temperature. For best results, store in the fridge!

Source: The Pioneer Woman Cooks.


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{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

Erin May 27, 2009 at 9:38 am

Great job! I love how smooth the frosting is!


Kate May 27, 2009 at 11:28 am

Ditto Erin – that frosting looks incredible!


Colleen May 27, 2009 at 11:38 am

This looks beautiful – great job!


snooky doodle May 27, 2009 at 1:57 pm

oh this looks wonderful. It’s perfect and it must taste delicious :)


McKenzie May 28, 2009 at 9:22 pm

Wow! I saw this on the PW’s site, but honestly, yours looks much more beautiful! Great job!


gaga May 28, 2009 at 10:44 pm

That’s so pretty! I’d never have the patience (or the skills) to pull that off. Looks great!


Carrie May 30, 2009 at 3:54 pm

That cake looks awesome! I don’t remember seeing this on PW’s site, but I am going to have to make it thanks to you!


lovestoeat May 31, 2009 at 5:58 pm

i am making this tomorrow! is it 2 9 inch pans?


Melissa May 31, 2009 at 6:13 pm

Yes, the recipe above is for two 9-inch pans. I have fixed the instructions, thanks!


lovestoeat June 1, 2009 at 2:24 pm

one more question..can this be made ahead of time like the night before or will it get too soggy? should i wait until tomorrow afternoon at the earliest? what do you think??


Melissa June 1, 2009 at 2:49 pm

It shoud be ok if you make it the night before, but if you are using strawberries to decorate the top, don’t add those until shortly before you are going to serve it. I already want to make this cake again! :)


lovestoeat June 1, 2009 at 2:57 pm

thanks..i was just worried that the strawberry juice would be too much..glad to know it would be ok..
i will wait to top it tomorrow afternoon..
thanks for all your help! :)


Molly Jean June 3, 2009 at 11:23 am

Your presentation is stunning!


Holly June 5, 2009 at 9:05 pm

What a beautiful cake! Now that strawberries are finally coming into season, I can’t wait to make shortcake!


Steph June 12, 2009 at 11:38 am

This is an amazing cake! I made it for my boyfriends birthday last week and it was a HUGE hit. I soaked the strawberries in Amaretto liquer with some splenda. I made it Friday night and on Saturday we were too rushed to eat it, so we saved it for Sunday. The cake was delicious! The Amaretto flavours soaked into the cake and it was not soggy at all — just delicious!


Melissa June 15, 2009 at 4:21 pm

Ooohhh the strawberries and Amaretto sounds amazing!


Cassie February 27, 2011 at 12:17 pm

Hey, I was wondering – can we use whip cream instead of cream cheese? I love your presentation; I saw this while looking for the recipe and was /amazed/. It looks like a poinsetta or something! I want to make this cake next year on my birthday and share it with my friends at school, but I’ve never tried cream cheese and wanted to know if I could use whip cream icing, instead. Thanks for posting this, I am faving this page so I can find it again! ^^.


Melissa February 28, 2011 at 3:00 pm

I think you could definitely use whip cream, but I would not add the strawberries until the last minute. Good luck!


Cassie April 1, 2011 at 3:46 pm

Thank you SO much for the info! I think I may end up making it at the end of this year instead – our poor teachers have to put up with so much crap from us students, I feel sorry for them. Or at least, I feel sorry for the teachers I like. Some of them honestly act like they want the crap that high schoolers can dish out. Again, thank you so much for posting this recipe, and answering my question!


Cassie April 2, 2011 at 8:08 pm

O.o. Is the cake supposed to turn out domed? Cause… that’s what happened on mine. I made it just now, and took it out of the oven… and it’s domed at the top. Maybe because of air bubbles or something? *spazzes while waiting for help*


Melissa April 5, 2011 at 8:55 pm

I don’t remember the cake being domed, but it should still taste good! You can carefully level off the top with a serrated knife if it bothers you too much. :)


Linda March 11, 2011 at 8:10 pm

That is one gorgeous cake. I am assuming you do this professionally??? It is “strawberry season” in FL, so I will definitely make this while the berries are at their peak. No way I can make it this beautiful though.


Melissa March 11, 2011 at 8:33 pm

Thank you! I do not do this professionally, I just love to bake! :) If you have fresh, ripe strawberries, just slice them thin and layer around the cake. Take your time and the cake will be beautiful!


Giuli March 17, 2011 at 12:18 am

This looks fantastic and the amount of strawberries means everyone gets enough. Great work.


Suzy April 17, 2012 at 3:33 pm

Hi there,
The cake looks gorgeous!! Questions – would the batter be okay for Two 8 inch pans? I don’t have 9 Inch pans, but I want a bigger cake to feed more people. Also, I see you didn’t double the frosting – was it enough?

Finally! How did you start decorating that way? Did you slice each strawberry three ways vertically? It looks stunning!


Melissa April 22, 2012 at 3:02 pm

Hi Suzy!
I made the cake as written, including the frosting and there was enough. For the strawberries, I sliced them thinly and only used the “inner” slices. Then I started at the bottom and layered them on top of each other. Good luck!


Paula May 30, 2012 at 5:14 pm

Hi Melissa! The cake looks delicious! Do you think a hardcore typical whip cream Strawberry Shortcake lover would like the cream cheese frosting just as good, if not better? I want to make this for my guy, who says all he wants for his birthday is Strawberry Shortcake cake. Also, do you have a pic of the inside of the cake? Maybe a pic of a slice? Would love to see! Thanks!


Melissa June 1, 2012 at 7:08 am

I love fresh whipped cream, but it is not stable enough to use as frosting for any length of time, so I think this cream cheese frosting is a great substitute! I don’t have a picture of the inside, but it is a typical layer cake. You can click the link above for The Pioneer Woman’s website and see more pics of how she did her cake. :)


Paula May 31, 2012 at 7:48 pm

Hi, I wrote you the other day with a question, but I have another. You mentioned that you double the cake batter recipe, but not the filling or icing. Do the filling and icing still come out to be enough to fill and cover the cae even though it is doubled? Just want to make sure so I dont run short and find out after Im almost finished. Thanks!


Melissa June 1, 2012 at 7:11 am

Doubling the cake and baking it in 9-inch pans instead of 8-inch only increases the surface area of the cake slightly, so you should still have enough frosting and filing.


Paula June 1, 2012 at 8:35 am

Thanks so much! Look forward to giving it a try!


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