This Strawberry Shortcake Birthday Cake is the best celebratory sweet treat for such a special day and is actually my second year baking myself a cake for my Birthday. The first one is a super popular cake—this Vegan Funfetti Cake + Vanilla Buttercream. It’s a healthier option to your classic childhood favorite—funfetti!.
It’s my Birthday and I’m the big 31!
Prior to last year’s cake, I usually made Cheesecake Bites to ring in another year. I know. So untraditional, but cheesecake is one of my faves so it was perfect every time.
There’s nothing like a bite of this velvety and creamy Mango Cheesecake + Chocolate Graham Cracker Crust. Unlike the traditional cheesecake, these bites are the perfect spin on flavor meets bite-sized goodness! Oh how delicious these are! Bursting with tropical flavor and topped with a mango glaze and fresh strawberries for a nice balance of fruitiness and tartness; and made atop a sweet and crisp chocolate-y crust.
Now that I’m officially settling into my 30s, I must say that my journey to this point has carried some very valuable lessons.
Relationships have been my biggest lesson for the past few years, which often times felt pretty uncomfortable and painful in most retrospects.
However, I can say that this year has birthed some pretty amazing relationships that I am excited to continue to cultivate, despite the many people that I’ve lost along the way.
I am a big believer that God’s hand has been in it all and it has allowed me to grow in ways that I didn’t know that I could.
Another lesson for me has been in business and my own self worth.
If you’ve been an avid follower of Orchids + Sweet Tea, then you’re already aware of the fact that I’m pretty transparent about my journey, both in Food + personally.
When it came to business, I can honestly say that I didn’t push myself as much as I could’ve in the beginning because I wasn’t as confident in my own capabilities.
However, I began to realize that this is reflected in my work and entire brand, therefore, I had to do a lot of reflecting, digging, and transforming which later trickled over into Orchids + Sweet Tea itself.
Now, I’m learning the different dynamics of what I want this blog to be, how I want my brand to be reflected, and the many facets that I hope to unlock in the future.
To kick things off, I had to make some pretty big changes (COMING SOON!) and self-improvements to help me better understand my personal stumbling blocks and how to overcome them. Thankfully, therapy has been truly a lifesaver along with my Faith.
So, for my Birthday this year, I’m choosing to gift myself with things that are more life-changing instead of materialistic.
More info to come on some of those things, however, one of them is my enrollment in Broma Bakery’s Advanced Foodtography School, which I’m super thrilled about.
I’ve been wanting to take one of Sarah’s courses because she’s entirely BOMB in the Food Photography world and I’m finally getting to do so. You know that that means?—-better food photos for you to scroll through on Orchids + Sweet Tea. Haha.
But I say all of this to say—-if you’re just starting out or you’re half way to your dreams—-don’t give up! Things will get better in time. Consistency is important and remaining resilient is even more important. You got this.
Vegan Vanilla Cake: This part of the cake is the soft, fluffy component that just melts in your mouth. Personally, I chose to create a vegan cake to limit the amount of dairy, however, you can feel free to create a non-vegan version if that’s your thing.
Cream Cheese Buttercream: Normally with shortcake, you would have whipped cream instead, however, because I love to create a beautiful twist to most things, I chose to make a cream cheese frosting because who doesn’t go crazy for a creamy cheese frosting, right? Haha. Plus, this buttercream is so velvety and pieces everything together so beautifully that you couldn’t make this without out, to be honest.
Fresh Strawberries: OK, so this is my other favorite part—-the strawberries. It’s Summer, therefore, you can’t NOT have strawberries, right? Exactly. Point proven. Haha.
5-Ingredient Strawberry Cheesecake Milkshake
Cream Cheese Pound Cake + Strawberry Glaze
Maple Whole Wheat Oatmeal Strawberry Shortcake
Strawberry Sweet Rolls with Lemon Cream Cheese Glaze
Lemon + Strawberry Layer Spring Cake
Mini Vegan Strawberry Peach Galettes
Perfect Whole Wheat Strawberry Pancakes
Can you tell that strawberries are my FAVE yet? Haha. OK, good.
It’s super fluffy and moist.
Bold strawberry, cream cheese, + vanilla flavors.
Delicious and comforting in every bite.
Melt in your mouth goodness!
Can be made as a traditional 2 or 3-layer cake, sheet cake, or cupcakes. Your choice!
Not too sweet, but perfectly sweet at the same time.
That Whipped Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting is EVERYTHING. Literally!
The perfect Birthday Cake!
Another thing that I’ve learned about baking a cake is having the right tools. As a basic—-you should have a cake stand (preferably one that has a turnstile table), spatulas (big + small), piping bags + tips, correct baking pans and parchment paper.
One of the essential ingredient combos for a light, silky cake texture is baking soda/baking powder and acid ingredient (usually apple cider vinegar + plant-based milk for vegan cakes). When acid and baking soda/baking powder reacts, it creates bubbles and helps to create a nice rise for your baked goods, leaving an airy texture.
One of my latest tricks to a perfect cake has been to ensure that ALL of my dry ingredients are sifted. Trust me, ya’ll—-this works!
Making all the dry ingredients fully sifted makes things airy, as you’ve guessed it and allows everything to combine faster.
Never Over-mix! When creating a cake, it’s so important to add the dry ingredients and wet ingredients alternately and as soon as everything is combined very well, THAT’S IT!
Over-mixing creates a more dense cake.
Absolutely! The other awesome thing about this sheet cake is that it CAN be turned into something like a layer cake or even cupcakes, if preferred!
That way, it fits for any occasion or event needed.
Let’s start with cupcakes—when following the steps to this recipe, simply line your cupcake pan with liners and fill each cavity about 3/4 full. All of the batter should be used (which yields about 24-30 cupcakes), however, if you find that there’s extra, just add the rest to additional cavities (if you have another pan) or refrigerate your batter until you’re first batch is done and bake the rest!
Now, when making a layer cake, you’ll need to either DOUBLE or TRIPLE your ingredients depending on the size and amount of layers. Please know that the measurements for this recipe only calls for a 1-layer, so again, doubling or tripling your ingredients will give you a bigger cake like what I’ve made.
For a THREE 6-inch layer cake—-just double your ingredients.
For a THREE 8-inch layer cake or TWO 9-inch layer—–just triple your ingredients.
Of course, it also varies depending on how thick you enjoy your layers. Just note that my suggestions are for a nice thick layer/slice.
Now, let’s dig right into this recipe shall we?
Begin by preheating your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease (with vegan butter) AND line with parchment paper the following cake pans: THREE 8-inch round cake pans or TWO 9-inch cake pans. **JUST REMEMBER TO DOUBLE CHECK MY RECIPE NOTES FOR MEASUREMENTS OF INGREDIENTS DEPENDING ON YOUR CAKE SIZE.**
In a medium bowl, whisk together the Almond milk and Apple Cider Vinegar. Set aside for 5-10 minutes.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, baking soda, baking powder, sugar, and sea salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer (attached with a whisk), add the Milk-ACV mixture and add the oil and vanilla. Mix for a minute or two before turning off the mixer and changing the attachment to a paddle.
On low speed, add in the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and continue to mix until well incorporated and batter is smooth, about 3-4 minutes.
Pour batter evenly into prepared pans, spreading everything around for a perfect roundness.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the center of the cakes come out clean using a toothpick.
Prep Your Strawberries:
Add sliced strawberries to a medium bowl along with sugar and stir together. Once combined, place them in the refrigerator and let them sit for 15 minutes at least.
Once done, remove cakes from the oven and let cool completely. **NOTE: I often let my cakes cool for 30 minutes or until them are very cool when touched and then place them in the refrigerator to cool completely for another hour or so; this makes icing easier.**
To Make Cream Cheese Buttercream:
Simply combine the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer & beat together on medium-high speed until fluffy. Add powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and milk, continuing to mix on medium speed until you reach the desired consistency. **Add more milk (1 Tbsp at a time if too thick) or powdered sugar (for more thickness).*
Using a large knife (or cake slicer), slice a thin layer of cake off the tops of each cake to create a flat surface (**NOTE: Skip this step if you used the Bake Even Cake Strips or if your cakes baked perfectly leveled; not needed).
At this point, remove the strawberries from the refrigerator and drain them of their juices before adding to cake.
Place first cake layer on your cake stand and evenly cover the top with buttercream. Add slices of strawberries until layer is covered. Now, top with 2nd layer and evenly cover the top with buttercream followed by sliced strawberries. **NOTE: Repeat another step if using 3-layers.**
Once fully layered, add remaining buttercream atop cake and spread it over the tops and sides of cake, evenly and thinly. **NOTE: Adding a thin layer of buttercream around cake and chilling it for 30 minutes to 1 hour before adding remaining buttercream does the trick for an easier frosting of cake; this called a ‘crumb coat’.**
Once fully frosted, add small little designs of the buttercream using a piping bag + tip and add sliced strawberries to the top of cake. Chill for 5 minutes to ensure that buttercream sets. Slice and enjoy!
If you choose to make this Strawberry Shortcake Birthday Cake recipe or any other recipe from us, be sure to tag us on Instagram at #Orchidsandsweettea so that we can share the love!
Best Strawberry Shortcake Birthday Cake.