A thick cream cheese frosting covers a beautifully moist vanilla cake cooked from scratch with a handmade strawberry filling.
This is now one of my favorite cakes. It starts with THE BEST buttery vanilla cake and is filled with a cooked strawberry filling.
Whipped cream cheese buttercream icing is the ideal finishing touch that transforms this cake into strawberry and cream nirvana.
Hello there! Before you browse, there’s a lot of vital information in this article!includes the FAQ section, which may help you with any queries you have regarding this recipe. Enjoy!
This cake looks stunning, and with everything created from scratch, it tastes much better. It’s not difficult, but you should start on the filling a couple of hours or the day before you want to create the cake.
The vanilla cake has an outstanding soft and moist texture, and the icing virtually melts in your mouth. All of this, along with the tangy and sweet strawberry filling, makes this cake delicious.
This wonderful layer cake is ideal for birthdays, weddings, or any other occasion when you want delicious vanilla cake with strawberries. This dish will undoubtedly be a success every time it is served.
Strawberry cake filling may also be used to make cupcakes or other layer cakes such as chocolate or white cake.
- Ingredient notes:
- How to make this cake:
- Tips & FAQs:
- Supplies used:
- Moist Vanilla Cake with Strawberry Filling (+ cream cheese frosting)
- Other posts you might like:
- What kind of frosting goes with vanilla cake?
- How to make a box cake better?
- What flavors go best with vanilla cake?
- What is the most stable frosting for cake?
- Is cake filling the same as frosting?
- Which buttercream is best for filling cakes?
- How do you keep filling from soaking into cake?
- What can I add to my box cake mix to make it moist?
Let’s speak about some of the components in this strawberries and cream cake. (The printable ingredient list is included in the recipe card below.)
Ingredients for the filling:
Frozen strawberries: Because this recipe asks for frozen strawberries, you don’t have to wait till strawberries are in season.
Of course, if you like, you may use fresh strawberries.
Sugar and lemon juice: Sugar is required to sweeten things, while lemon juice gives a dash of flavor.
Cornstarch and water: This is what thickens the strawberry filling, so don’t miss it.
Ingredients for the cake:
All-purpose flour: This recipe does not need any special cake flour. All-purpose flour is the only flour you’ll need, and it works flawlessly.
Baking soda and powder: Both are required for this recipe. However, do not replace them since they are not the same item and do not sub equally.
Oil, sour cream, and milk: These three ingredients, particularly the sour cream, will bring a lot of moisture to the cake.
Nothing beats a thick buttery cake, and this recipe asks for a whole cup of butteryum. This will result in a rich, buttery, and moist cake.
Sugar: This, of course, is what makes a cake sweet, but it also adds moisture to the cake. Don’t scrimp on this component.
Eggs: You’ll certainly need eggs to help firm and lift everything.
Ingredients for the frosting:
This icing’s foundation is cream cheese and butter, which gives it a buttery taste with a tiny tang from the cream cheese.
Confectioners sugar: This adds sweetness and thickens the icing.
Vanilla and salt: Vanilla adds a nice taste to everything, while salt helps to offset the sweetness.
(For inquiries about ingredients and substitutions, see the FAQ section at the bottom of this page.)
How to make this cake:
Let’s have a look at how to make a vanilla cake with strawberry filling. (Printable directions are included in the recipe card below.)
Step 1: Make the strawberry cake filling:
You should create the filling at least 4 hours before you want to bake the cake since it will need to cool and chill before you assemble it.
To begin, combine the strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice in a large saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Allow this to boil for several minutes, or until the strawberries break down and the sauce thickens.
You’ll want to stir constantly, and you may mash up the strawberries with a potato masher while it’s cooking.
Next, in a measuring cup, whisk together the warm water and cornstarch until smooth, then pour into the strawberry mixture. Allow the mixture to softly boil for about a minute, stirring occasionally, until it thickens.
At this stage, you may add additional red food coloring to make the filling a darker or brighter red.
Allow the filling to cool to room temperature before covering and refrigerating it until ready to use.
Step 2: How to make the homemade vanilla cake layers:
Preheat the oven to 325°F and butter and flour two 8-inch round cake pans. Set aside.
In a medium-sized mixing basin, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set away after thoroughly whisking.
In a separate medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the oil, sour cream, milk, and vanilla essence. Set away after thoroughly whisking.
Now, in a large mixing bowl, combine the room-temperature butter and sugar and beat on medium-high for several minutes, or until the mixture is light and fluffy.
Next, add the eggs one at a time, mixing on low-medium just until barely incorporated after each addition.
Following the addition of the eggs, alternately add the dry combination and the liquid mixture to the butter mixture, beginning and finishing with the dry mixture.
Always make sure not to mix the batter too long.
Next, equally distribute the mixture between the two prepared 8-inch round cake pans.
Bake the cake layers for 45-50 minutes at 325 degrees F on the center rack.
Remove the cake layers from the oven and cool for approximately 15 minutes on a wire rack, still within the pans.
Next, remove the cake layers from the pans and place them on cooling racks to cool fully before adding filling and frosting.
Step 3: How to make the cream cheese buttercream frosting:
To create the frosting, place the room-temperature cream cheese and butter in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer on medium-high until smooth.
Mix in the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla extract, and salt until smooth.
Now, if necessary, add milk to get the appropriate consistency and thoroughly combine.
Finally, whisk the buttercream on medium-high for several minutes until it is frothy.
Step 4: How to assemble the cake:
Make sure the cake has fully cooled and the strawberry filling is cold before assembling it.
If necessary, level the tops of the cake layers.
Place a layer of cake on a cake plate, followed by a dollop of cream cheese frosting.
To prevent the strawberry filling from squishing out, pipe an icing dam only around the inside of the cake layer.
Then, within the icing dam, add the strawberry filling to the cake layer.
Now add the last layer of cake.
Then, using the remaining frosting, cover the whole cake.
At this stage, you may either add the leftover strawberry filling to the top of the cake or leave it coated with frosting alone.
Serve at room temperature to keep the cake moist, but refrigerate cold since it is topped with cream cheese frosting.
(Keep in mind that the directions will also be included in the recipe card below.)
Tips & FAQs:
Yes, you can use fresh strawberries instead.
Its best to defrost the strawberries.
Sour cream is ideal for this dish, but if you don’t have any on hand, full-fat plain yogurt may be substituted.
Unsalted butter is usually preferable since you can anticipate the quantity of salt that will be applied, and salted butter has a different water content than unsalted butter.
If you can’t find unsalted butter, you may use salted in the cake and buttercream, but be sure to leave out the extra salt that each recipe asks for.
This is done to improve the mixing of the components. When the ingredients are cold, the batter might clump and produce textural problems.
Be cautious not to over-mix the batter. Scratch cakes should not be combined for more than a few minutes at a time, otherwise they will become excessively thick and rubbery, and the cake may sink. When all of the ingredients are thoroughly combined, stop mixing.
You can if it’s lumpy, but it’s not really required unless it’s something you want to do.
The strawberry filling must be refrigerated before constructing the cake. The cake layers should also be at room temperature or slightly colder. They don’t have to be chilly, but they shouldn’t be heated either.
When a toothpick put into the middle of each layer comes out with a few moist crumbs on it or clean, the cake is done. The edges of the cake layers will also peel away from the pans somewhat.
If desired, the cake layers may be created ahead of time and frozen. Allow the cooked cake layers to cool fully before wrapping them in plastic wrap and foil and freezing them for up to two months.
Place the covered cake layers on the counter at room temperature to defrost thoroughly before removing the wrapper. Once the cake has been defrosted, assemble it with the filling and icing.
Because this cake is topped with cream cheese frosting and has a fruit filling, it should be kept in the refrigerator covered or in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
If the cake has to be stored without the icing or filling, it may be kept covered and at room temperature for up to 5 days.
I have not tried this recipe as cupcakes, but it should work nicely. Fill 2 cupcake pans (24 cupcakes) halfway with cupcake liners and fill with batter. Bake at 350°F for 15-20 minutes, testing for doneness after that, but it may take a little longer.
I haven’t tried making this cake in a bundt pan, but it may work. Bake at 325°F and begin testing for doneness at approximately 50-55 minutes, however the cake will likely take longer to bake all the way through due to the deeper pan. Check with a toothpick poked into the cake to ensure that no uncooked batter remains on the toothpick.
Most cakes, particularly those prepared with butter, are best served at room temperature. Because this cake must be refrigerated, lay it out (or cut off a piece and set it out) for approximately 20-30 minutes before serving to get it closer to room temperature.You may also reheat up a slice in the microwave, but just for around 10 seconds.
Yes, you may stack this cake like you would any other cake as long as you utilize adequate supports.
There are affiliate links in this post. I earn money as an Amazon Associate by making qualifying purchases.
- Mixing bowls
- Electric hand mixer or stand mixer
- Small saucepan
- Wooden spoons
- Silicone spatulas
- 8-inch round cake pans
- Oven mitts
- Cooling racks
- Icing spatulas
- Piping bags
***I write recipes in volume (cup) measures since that is what people in the United States are accustomed to seeing and using. Click the metric button beneath the ingredients in the recipe card to get weight in metric measures. The weights are converted by a software, not by me, and the results are an educated approximation. Please keep in mind that while I prepare recipes in cups, I cannot guarantee that weighing the components will provide the same results.
Moist Vanilla Cake with Strawberry Filling (+ cream cheese frosting)
For the strawberry filling:
- 3 cups frozen strawberries, thawed and diced
- cupwhite sugar
- 1tablespoonlemon juice
- 2 tablespoonscornstarch
- Red food coloring(optional)
For the cake:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (Measured correctly: spooned into the measuring cup and smoothed out, not scooped and packed)
- teaspoonbaking soda
- 1 teaspoonsbaking powder
- 2tablespoonsvegetable oil(or canola oil)
- 1cupsour cream, near room temperature
- cupmilk, near room temperature
- 2teaspoonvanilla extract(or vanilla bean paste)
- 1cupunsalted butter, room temperature(2 sticks)
- 2cupsgranulated sugar
- 3large eggs, near room temperature
For the frosting:
- 1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, room temperature
- 1cupunsalted butter, room temperature
- 5cupsconfectioners sugar
- 1teaspoonvanilla extract
- Pinchof salt
- 1 teaspoon milk or cream (extra teaspoon may be used to get desired consistency)
For the filling:
- Make the filling at least 4 hours ahead of time, since it will need to cool and chill. It may also be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated until ready to use.
- In a large saucepan, combine the strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Allow it to boil for a few minutes, until the strawberries break down and the mixture thickens. Frequent stirring is required. While the strawberries are heated, mash them up with a potato masher.
- In a measuring cup, combine the warm water and cornstarch until thoroughly combined, then pour over the strawberry mixture.
- Allow the mixture to softly simmer for approximately a minute, or until it thickens, before removing from the heat.
- You may add red food coloring to make this filling a deeper or brighter crimson.
- Allow the filling to cool to room temperature before covering and refrigerating it until ready to use.
For the cake:
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
- Set aside two 8-inch round cake pans that have been greased and floured.
- Set aside the chilly ingredients so they may come to room temperature before mixing the batter. This prevents the batter from clumping and improves mixing.
- Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a medium-sized mixing basin. Set away after thoroughly whisking.
- Combine the oil, sour cream, milk, and vanilla extract in a separate dish. Set away after thoroughly whisking.
- Mix the room-temperature butter and sugar in a large mixing basin for several minutes on medium-high with an electric mixer until light and creamy.
- Add the eggs one at a time, mixing on low-medium speed until barely incorporated after each addition. Take care not to combine for too long. Mix just until each egg is completely integrated.
- Scrape down the sides and bottom of the basin, then mix on medium until everything is combined.
- Alternately add the dry and liquid mixtures to the butter mixture, beginning and finishing with the dry. (Mix in the dry ingredients on medium just until incorporated. Mix in the liquid mixture just until mixed. Mix in another of the dry ingredients just until incorporated. Add the last of the liquid mixture, mixing just until incorporated, followed by the last of the dry mixture, mixing only until blended.) Make sure to just mix until everything is mixed. Mixing for too long and at too high a speed might result in a thick, rubbery cake that falls in the center.
- Scrape down the sides of the basin and mix for another 7-10 seconds. At this stage, the cake batter should be thick and fluffy.
- Pour the mixture into the two prepared 8-inch round cake pans, spread the batter evenly, and bake for 45-50 minutes at 325 degrees F on the center rack. When a toothpick put into the middle of each layer comes out with a few moist crumbs on it or clean, the cake is done. The edges of the cake layers will also peel away from the pans somewhat.
- Remove the cake layers from the oven and cool for approximately 15 minutes on a wire rack, still within the pans. As the cake layers cool, they will flatten out. After 15 minutes, remove the cake layers from the pans and place them on cooling racks to cool fully before adding filling and frosting.
For the frosting:
- Mix the room-temperature cream cheese and butter in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high until smooth.
- Mix in the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, and salt until blended, then on medium-high until smooth. (To prevent a sloppy mess, add the confectioners sugar half at a time.)
- If necessary, add milk to get the appropriate consistency and thoroughly blend.
- Whip on medium-high for several minutes, or until fluffy.
- Cover and put away until the cake has completely cooled. If you won’t be using it for a few hours, keep it in the refrigerator until then. Take it out of the fridge about an hour before using it to let it to warm up to a more spreadable consistency.
Timeline and How To Assemble:
- Check that the cake has fully cooled and that the strawberry filling has chilled. The cake does not need to be refrigerated, but it should not be served warm.
- If necessary, level the tops of the cake layers; however, these cake layers should have already cooled flat on the tops.
- Next, place a layer of cake on a cake plate and top with a dollop of cream cheese frosting. To protect the strawberry filling from squishing out later, create an icing dam only around the inside of the cake layer.
- Make the strawberry filling. Avoid putting the filling too near to the edges of the cake layer so it doesn’t squish out. There will be some strawberry filling left over, which you can either put to the top of the frosted cake or keep in an airtight container and use as a jam on toast, etc. Just remember to utilize it within 5 days.
- Add the last layer of cake, then cover the sides and top with the remaining frosting.
- Feel free to add extra strawberry filling to the top of the cake, or just leave it coated with icing.
- See the notes section for the best methods to keep this cake, how to serve it, and any other queries you may have.
If the cake does not include the frosting or the filling, then it can be stored covered well at room temperature for up to 5 days.
This cake can also be frozen. See the FAQ section of the post for more information on freezing the cake layers.How to serve: Most cakes are best served closer to room temperature, especially when made with butter like this one. Since this cake must be stored in the fridge, set the cake out (or cut off a slice and set the slice out) to come closer to room temperature for about 20-30 minutes before serving.
You can also pop a slice in the microwave to warm up a bit, but only for about 10 seconds or so.For other questions: Make sure to check out the TIPS & FAQs for this recipe in the blog post, which should answer other questions you may have about ingredients, substitutions, other pan sizes, etc.Nutritional values are an estimate.*This recipe card may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Other posts you might like:
- White Forest Cake
- Favorite Vanilla Bean Cake
- Strawberry Bundt Cake
- Cake Filling Ideas
- Berries and Cream Poke Cake
- Lemon Raspberry Bundt Cake
What kind of frosting goes with vanilla cake?
Vanilla Cake Frosting Flavors Complementary
Vanilla. A vanilla bean buttercream or icing is a natural option for a vanilla cake.
Flavors of flowers.
Fruit Flavors are mild.
Fruit from the tropics.
Flavors of tart berries.
Flavors of citrus.
How to make a box cake better?
8 Different Ways to Make Boxed Cake Mix Taste of Home
Replace the oil with melted butter.
Swap Water for Dairy.
Supplement with extracts.
Mix with some sour cream or mayonnaise.
Mix in the nuts.
Make your own icing.
Fillings should be layered on top.
Make a Poke Cake out of it.
What flavors go best with vanilla cake?
Sweet spices such as cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves are examples. Mild fruit tastes like fig, pear, and strawberries will enhance vanilla.
What is the most stable frosting for cake?
People choose Italian meringue buttercream because it is the most stable and least sweet of all buttercreams. If you reside in a warm climate, such as Florida, California, or Texas, Italian meringue will be ideal.
Is cake filling the same as frosting?
You would believe that cake frostings and cake fillings are two entirely different things, yet most can and are used to accomplish both. The buttercream family is by far the biggest ‘family’ of frostings.
Which buttercream is best for filling cakes?
Buttercream in the United States
This is the most often used ‘frosting’ and the easiest to prepare. American buttercream, made with butter, icing sugar, and a dash of milk or cream for consistency, is ideal for filling cakes, coating cakes, and decorating cupcakes.
How do you keep filling from soaking into cake?
Spread the icing evenly on the cake layer. As seen in the image above, some frosting should be placed on top of each cake layer to function as a barrier between the cake and the filling. We want to avoid having the filling leak into the cake layers.
What can I add to my box cake mix to make it moist?
Pour in some milk, coffee, or soda.
Boxed cakes sometimes ask for water, but substituting equal parts milk, coffee, or even soda will result in a moister, more delicate, more delicious cake. You may use whole milk or your preferred nondairy milk in place of the white cake mix.