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Best Strawberry Shortcake Birthday Cake
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5 from 6 votes

Best Strawberry Shortcake Birthday Cake

This Strawberry Shortcake Birthday Cake is the perfect rendition of traditional strawberry shortcake with a twist! Not only is it completely soft + fluffy, but it’s rich in flavor from vegan vanilla cake layers and comes loaded with a velvety cream cheese buttercream that when paired with this sweet strawberry filling, it’s absolutely irresistible and is sure to become the newest celebratory tradition for the entire family.
Course Dessert
Keyword baked, birthday, cake, cakes, classic, cream cheese, dessert, easy, fluffy, healthy, holidays, homemade, indulge, plant-based, recipe, shortcake, soft, southern, spring, strawberry, summer, sweet, traditional, vanilla, vegetarian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Author Shanika | Orchids + Sweet Tea

Ingredients

Vegan Vanilla Cake:

  • 1 cup organic all purpose flour (I use Bob's Red Mill; See Notes!)
  • 1/2 cup Super fine cake flour (I use Bob's Red Mill; See Notes!)
  • 1 1/2 tsps baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 3/4 cup organic pure cane sugar (I use Wholesome Sweets)
  • 1 cup Almond milk (I use Califia Farms; You can use your fave plant-based milk)
  • 1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar (I use Bragg's Products)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil (See Notes!)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

For Cream Cheese Buttercream:

  • 8 oz. organic cream cheese, softened at room temp. (I use Organic Valley)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4-5 cups organic powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2-3 Tbsps organic heavy cream (I use Organic Valley)
  • 6 Tbsps unsalted butter, softened at room temp. (I use Land O'Lakes)

For Strawberries:

  • 1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled + sliced (That's about 4 cups!)
  • 1/4 cup organic pure cane sugar

Instructions

  • 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).*

Assembly:

  • 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!
  • Bon Apettit!

Notes

FLOUR: If you don’t have cake flour, you can always just use all-purpose flour entirely instead.
LAYERS: For THREE 6-inch layer cake, just DOUBLE the ingredient measurements; for THREE 8-inch layer cake or TWO 9-inch layer cake, just TRIPLE the ingredient measurements.
STORAGE: Keep cake tightly wrapped using plastic wrap and refrigerated for about 1 week.
CUPCAKES: This recipe yields about 30 cupcakes. Simply bake for 18-20 minutes instead, until centers come out clean.
OIL: Instead of vegetable oil, you can also use Coconut oil, if preferred.