Fresh Berry Cream Cake

Using any soft/light cake recipe of your choice, you can create a delicious fresh berry cream cake. I recommend using my white cake recipe below or you could even try chocolate, pistachio, or a 6 inch cake instead. This minimally decorated naked-style cake is layered between fresh and fluffy whipped cream and piled high with juicy berries.

fresh berry and whipped cream cake

Channeling my strawberry shortcake cake with this one!

Tell Me About This Fresh Berry Cream Cake

Using practically any soft/light cake recipe of your choice, you can create a naked-style cake with three lovely layers of whipped cream and fresh berries. If decorating layer cakes makes you nervous, this cake is FOR YOU; no complicated decorating involved!

I chose my vanilla flavored white cake because it’s ultra soft and sponge-like, which pairs beautifully with light whipped cream and summer berries. Heavier cakes would make this difficult to cut and serve. I have a list of other cake flavors you can use below.


This cake is:

  • Towering tall with whipped cream and berries
  • Light, fresh, and naked-style
  • Very easy to decorate– less is more!
  • Celebrating the season’s fresh flavors
  • Adaptable to many cake flavors

fresh berry and whipped cream cake

fresh berry and whipped cream cake

Use Any Cake You Love

Let’s talk cake flavors. As I mentioned above, I use my white cake recipe. I divide the batter between 3 round cake pans. I used 8-inch cake pans for the pictured cake. Three 9-inch pans work too, but the cake layers will be pretty thin. I love using this white cake recipe because it’s soft, moist, and doesn’t overpower the delicate whipped cream or fresh berries. It’s made with cake flour, egg whites, and sour cream to guarantee the softest crumb. Highly recommended! If white cake isn’t your ideal choice, I have a few other flavor ideas. Most are actually adapted from my white cake recipe:


You Could Also Make a 6 Inch Cake

Don’t want to make such a large cake? You can use this exact decorating technique on a 6 inch cake. I have plenty of 6 inch cake flavor ideas in my 6 Inch Cake Recipes post. (Use any cupcake batter!) Simply halve the amount of whipped cream and berries.


Prepare the Cake Pans

No matter which size round cake pans you use, I always recommend lining them with parchment paper rounds. Cakes release seamlessly from the pans this way:

  1. Make a parchment paper round. Trace the bottom of the cake pans on a large piece of parchment paper. Cut out the parchment circles.
  2. Very lightly grease the baking pans.
  3. Place the parchment round inside.
  4. Grease the parchment round too. Using butter or nonstick spray, I grease the pan AND the parchment. This promises an ultra non-stick environment for your cake. Never any sticking.

3 lined round cake pans

3 cake pans with cake batter

Garnishes for Fresh Berry Cream Cake

  • Whipped Cream: I recommend the whipped cream recipe below, which yields plenty for a 3 layer 8 or 9 inch cake. (See recipe note about a 6 inch cake.) It’s a slightly scaled up version of my vanilla whipped cream. I add a little almond extract for extra flavor, but that’s optional. You know what would be equally tasty? The mocha whipped cream from my flourless chocolate cake— double that whipped cream to ensure you have enough for a 3 layer 8 or 9 inch cake. Interested in chocolate whipped cream? Add 3 Tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder and 1 extra Tablespoon of confectioners’ sugar to the recipe below. You could also flavor the whipped cream with various extracts such as lemon extract, orange extract, coconut extract, etc. Leave out the almond extract, replace with 1/2 teaspoon of your desired flavor, taste the finished whipped cream, then fold in more extract if desired.
  • Fresh Berries: Layer fresh berries into the cake on top of the layers of whipped cream. You can use blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, or even fresh sliced cherries.
  • Florals: Use edible flowers or flowers that haven’t been sprayed with pesticides. Avoid strong-smelling flowers as the smell may linger on the cake. The pictured white flowers here are called kalanchoe flowers.

3 Final Success Tips

  1. Level your cakes. Level off the top of each cake layer so both sides are flat. This is important because flat and even layers add stability to your finished cake. You can use a cake leveler or large serrated knife. I always use a serrated knife.
  2. Keep it simple. Make it easy on yourself! I’ve seen many naked cake recipes that call for a soak in simple syrup to prevent it from drying out. You can absolutely take this route, but I don’t find it necessary if your cake is moist to begin with (like the white cake below or any others listed above).
  3. The refrigerator is your friend. Chill this assembled cake in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before slicing and serving. Why? This stabilizes all of your hard work! It helps the whipped cream adhere to the cake layers and ensures a neater slice.

whipped cream in bowl and on whisk attachment

decorating a fresh berry cake

top of fresh berry whipped cream cake

Video Tutorial: Decorating the Cake

Print
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fresh berry and whipped cream cake

Fresh Berry Cream Cake

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 22 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 hours, 30 minutes (includes cooling and chilling)
  • Yield: 12 servings
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This minimally decorated naked-style cake is layered between fresh and fluffy whipped cream and piled high with juicy berries.


Ingredients

  • 2 and 1/2 cups (285gsifted cake flour* (spoon & leveled – sift before measuring)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (1.5 sticks; 170gunsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 and 3/4 cups (350ggranulated sugar
  • 5 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (120gsour cream, at room temperature*
  • 1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract (yes, Tbsp!)
  • 1 cup (240ml) whole milk, at room temperature*

Whipped Cream & Berries

  • 2 cups (480ml) cold heavy cream or heavy whipping cream
  • 1/3 cup (5 Tablespoons; 40g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
  • 2 cups fresh berries (any berry or mix of berries)
  • optional: dusting of confectioners’ sugar and/or fresh florals

Instructions

  1. Make the cake: Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Grease three 8-inch or 9-inch cake pans, line with parchment paper rounds (see #6 in Cake Baking Tips), then grease the parchment paper. Parchment paper helps the cakes seamlessly release from the pans. I recommend using nonstick spray for greasing. I also recommend 8 inch cake pans as the 9 inch cakes will be pretty thin.
  2. Whisk the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Set aside.
  3. Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the butter on high speed until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Add the sugar and beat on high speed for 2 minutes until creamed together. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add the egg whites. Beat on high speed until combined, about 2 minutes. Then beat in the sour cream and vanilla extract. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl as needed. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients until just incorporated. With the mixer still running on low, slowly pour in the milk until combined. Do not overmix. You may need to whisk it all by hand to make sure there are no lumps at the bottom of the bowl. The batter will be slightly thick.
  4. Pour batter evenly into cake pans. Bake for around 22-24 minutes or until the cakes are baked through. To test for doneness, insert a toothpick into the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, it is done. Allow cakes to cool completely in the pans set on a wire rack. The cakes must be completely cool before assembling.
  5. Make the whipped cream: Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the heavy cream, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla extract, and almond extract on medium-high speed until medium peaks form, about 3-4 minutes. Medium peaks are between soft/loose peaks and stiff peaks and are the perfect consistency for decorating cakes. Use immediately or cover tightly and chill in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Yields about 4 cups.
  6. Assemble cake: If cooled cakes are domed on top, use a large serrated knife to slice a thin layer off the tops to create a flat surface. This is called “leveling” the cakes. (Discard thin layer or crumble over ice cream.) Place 1 cake layer on your cake stand or serving plate. Evenly spread 1 heaping cup of whipped cream on top. I always use an icing spatula to spread. Arrange a single layer of mixed berries on top. Top with 2nd cake layer. Spread another 1 heaping cup of whipped cream on top, then a single layer of berries. Top with 3rd cake layer. Spread remaining whipped cream on top and garnish with fresh berries. Add a dusting of confectioners’ sugar on the berries, if desired, and/or garnish with fresh florals.
  7. Chill the assembled cake, uncovered, for at least 2 hours and up to 1 day before slicing and serving. This time in the refrigerator helps the whipped cream thicken and makes cutting neater and easier. If chilling for longer than a few hours, you can carefully cover it with plastic wrap or use a cake carrier for storing in the refrigerator (what I always store my cakes in!). *Note that the berries could begin to release their juices if kept in the refrigerator for longer than 2 hours. For cutting, I recommend using your sharpest knife and cutting slowly.
  8. Cover leftover cake tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Prepare cake through step 4. Wrap the individual baked and cooled cake layers tightly and keep at room temperature for 1 day or freeze up to 3 months. Bring to room temperature (if frozen) then continue with step 5. See How to Freeze Cakes if desired. Whipped cream can also be made 1 day ahead of time. Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight. If it’s too stiff after refrigerating, stir in 1 extra Tablespoon of heavy cream or even milk to help thin out. I don’t recommend freezing the assembled cake as the whipped cream and berries won’t thaw very nicely. However, you can wrap and freeze leftover individual slices for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator, then bring to room temperature before enjoying.
  2. Cake Flour: If you can’t get your hands on cake flour, use this cake flour substitute. I suggest doing this 3x, then remove 1/2 cup since you need 2 and 1/2 cups in this recipe.
  3. Leftover Egg Yolks: Make some lemon curd! You can add thin layers of it between the cake layers on top of the whipped cream and under the berries. Here are other recipes where you can use leftover egg yolks.
  4. Whole milk and sour cream are strongly recommended for the best taste and texture. A full fat plain yogurt would work instead, though the cake may not be as light. Same goes with a lower fat milk.
  5. Other Flavor Cakes: See above for alternative flavor ideas. Each cake listed yields a 3 layer 9-inch cake. If you want a 3 layer 8 inch cake instead, add about 2 minutes of bake time to its recipe. If using chocolate cake, see those recipe notes about turning into a 3 layer cake.
  6. 2 Layer Cake: I highly recommend sticking to a 3 layer cake for this look. A 2 layer cake would be pretty short. If desired, though, use this white cake recipe (which is 2 layers) or turn any 3 layer cakes listed above into a 2 layer 9-inch cakes by extending the bake time. Use a toothpick to test for doneness. Halving the whipped cream should leave you with plenty for a 2 layer cake. Use a heaping 1 cup of fresh berries.
  7. 6 Inch Cake: You can use this exact decorating technique on a smaller 6 inch cake. I have plenty of 6 inch cake flavor ideas in my 6 Inch Cake Recipes post. Halve the ingredients in the whipped cream recipe and use only about 1 cup of berries.

Keywords: naked cake, fresh berry cake, whipped cream

 

 

Like pound cake with fresh berries and cream, but much lighter!

slice of white cake with whipped cream and berries

247 Comments

  1. I made this for the 4th of July and it was perfect! I made the lemon cake and it had a wonderful lemon flavor that was refreshing and matched the other flavors perfectly.

    I don’t eat processed sugar so I subbed honey for the sugar in the cake. (I know, it’s crazy, but I’m experimenting with how to still have baked goodies and it was worth the risk to know if it could possibly work!) I’d done it once before in a cake but it was a much simpler and less sweet (and smaller) cake so I was quite apprehensive about how this would turn out. It’s probably fluffier done the way it’s written but it still turned out great. I also made a honey and vanilla whipped cream.

    Sally, your recipes are great. I’ve long been a proficient baker with family standbys but it’s hard to know which recipes to trust when branching out. I’ve been branching out more in recent months and have consistently found that your recipes work great and the notes are always really helpful. Now when I search for something new I want to try, when your website comes up, I just use it. Thanks for all the work and love you put into them!

  2. Perfect summer recipe, especially for around Independence Day because you can make this a patriotic cake! Recipe is well written as usual and the steps were easy to follow. The cake came out pretty much as advertised and pleased everyone at our gathering! I’d describe it as a heavier angel food cake. Oh, and the almond extract in the whipped cream was DELICIOUS with the berries and sponge. Another bonus is the cake isn’t super rich, just light and refreshing even after a heavier meal on a hot day.

    Note: I learned a lesson with the whipped cream… definitely follow Sally’s advice to apply right after making. I tried transporting it 5 minutes in a hot car to assemble at my in-laws, and it liquefied slightly. Everything was still delicious, but clearly the whipped topping did not hold it’s form, so it got a little runny down the sides. Get that cream on and in the fridge ASAP.

    1. Amy Wilkinson says:

      I completed the July baking challenge by adapting this recipe to a 6-in cake. I wasn’t able to figure out how to properly reduce the white cake in this recipe so I chose one of Sally’s cupcake recipes, the one she made for her wedding. My only critique is that the cake turned out much more dense than I hoped but I didn’t have sour cream and I had to use Greek yogurt so that’s probably why. I did however take her suggestion of using the leftover yolks for making a lemon curd and I loved that part! Everyone really enjoyed it and so did I but next time I would like to try a lighter fluffier cake like the recipe intended. And I might have over whipped my cream because it didn’t look silky smooth like hers. Mine was a little more stiff so I’ll be more careful with that next time, too!

  3. I made this with my 3 year old and my whole family loved it! I made lemon curd with the leftover egg yolks and added a thin layer on the cakes (as Sally suggested) and it was an amazing addition. Highly recommend this recipe, I’m looking forward to making (and eating) it again and trying different varieties.

  4. Kristin Joy Leong-Fern says:

    I made this and it was amazing!!! I would definitely make it again! Sally’s recipes are what I like to call idiot-proof! I feel like no matter how much I mess it up it still works out somehow!

  5. This is such a great recipe, I totally recommend making it! It was fun and not too difficult. It was perfect for the Fourth, very festive. My family loved it too! Thanks, Sally!

  6. This cake was a hit! I made it for a small 4th of July gathering and I got 2 great compliments! One person told me it was the best cake they ever ate, and the other person told me that they don’t normally like cake and they loved this one! This was really fun to make, too!

  7. Kinsey Rings says:

    I made this cake for the 4th of July! It was phenomenal. I enjoyed that it was light and fluffy, and not too sweet! The fresh whipped cream and berries together made this the perfect summer cake!

  8. Kayla Glover says:

    I made this cake for the 4th and my whole family loved it! I used an olallieberry whipped cream for one of the whipped cream layers using your recipe for blueberry whipped cream on your vertical lemon and blueberry cake. I’m 33 weeks pregnant send I’ve been in the kitchen almost daily trying out your recipes! Every single one has been a hit, thank you Sally!

  9. Rach Ferrell says:

    Love it!! Got stuck with only two 7″ pans but used the cupcake measurements and it still worked like a dream. Another huge win using a Sally’s recipe 🙂 Thank you!!

  10. Jean Duchesneau says:

    We had a family reunion on the 4th of July and I made this for them. It was beautiful and delicious! Thanks for such a wonderful recipe!

  11. The adults loved it, and the kids devoured it. No leftovers! Safe to say this will be repeated often.

  12. I’m so glad I made this!!! The BEST white cake recipe ever!! The moment I tasted the batter, I was in love!!! I love boxed cake mix flavor and many homemade cakes can’t match that. This was even better than that! This will be my go-to from now on! The whole family loved it, and that never happens!!

  13. First time making a layered cake and it came out perfect! My whole family loved this festive cake! We’ve had it for dessert, breakfast, and a mid-day treat. Thank you for sharing your recipes with us—you’ve certainly brightened our quarantine!

  14. I’m usually lazy when it comes to making cakes and like to cheat with quick box mixes, but this recipe was absolutely worth the effort! Easy to follow and tasted delicious, and came out looking pretty as well! This was a hit with my family! I will definitely be saving this recipe to make it again

  15. We loved this month’s challenge! We substituted your cream cheese frosting recipe for the whipped cream….YUM!!!

  16. Hi I have left over egg white from separating eggs in previous recipes but I lost count of how many egg white I have do you by any chance know how many grams of egg white are used in this recipe along with your angel cake(I have a lot of egg whites to use xD)

    1. Hilari @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Sofia, 1 large egg white is approximately 30 grams, so for 5 eggs you would need 150 grams.

      1. Sofia Colella says:

        Thank you so much 🙂

  17. Another winner! Thanks Sally. A perfect challenge recipe for the middle of the summer – light, refreshing, tasty!

  18. I made this cake for the 4th of July and made it with red velvet cake since 4th of July is my niece’s birthday and red velvet is her favorite cake. It was absolutely delicious and a real crowd pleaser. The fresh cream is so light and with freshly picked berries made it the perfect summer treat. Definitely a recipe keeper. Thank you so much!!!

  19. I shouldn’t be surprised, since all Sally’s recipes are super winners, but this was another slam dunk. I’m not usually one to miss a chance to slather buttercream on a cake, but this whipped topping made for a light and refreshing dessert that still satisfied my very very sweet tooth. It was a hit at the cookout I went to last weekend!

    Thanks again for making me look like a great baker, Sally! 😀

  20. Sara Pareja says:

    So yummy! The perfect 4th of July treat!

  21. I made this yesterday…and it was the perfect way to end the Holiday weekend! This is my new go-to Summer sweet, thank you!

  22. This was delicious! So light and refreshing. I made it for a family gathering and it was a huge hit. I used the lemon cake recipe you suggested and was so pleased with how easily it all came together and how smoothly it popped out of the cake pans with the parchment lining. This was a great confidence boost for baking layer cakes! Which is good, because after eating this cake, all 3 of my children are requesting layer cakes for their next birthdays! Thanks, Sally!

  23. This cake baked up beautifully. It was light and perfect for summer. It kept well in the fridge too. Gave me an excuse to use my frozen egg whites.

  24. Delicious! I used the lemon cake recipe and it was the perfect complement to the fresh berries and whipped cream. This is probably the best cake I’ve made yet.

  25. I’m usually a chocoholic so wasn’t sure how much I’d like this cake, but I loved it!! It’s light and easy to eat a lot of it. We halved the cake recipe and make 2 thin layers with plenty of berries and whipped cream. Highly recommend!

  26. Allyson Campbell says:

    Delicious! My 14 year old says the recipe was very easy to follow. She took Sally’s tip by dusting the top with powdered sugar and it looked beautiful! She made it as written, with the vanilla cake. We brought it to a family dinner and it was a huge hit!

  27. Soooo YUMMY! I did only strawberries, because that’s all I had and I also added a bit of strawberry puree to the batter. Delicious!!

  28. I also made this for the 4th of July, but instead of eating it( I wanted too) I gave it away as a “Thank You” gift. I used my grandmother’s hot milk sponge cake. I can’t wait to make it again for myself!

  29. Can this cake be made with butter milk instead of whole milk?

    1. Hilari @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Doug, The best way to use buttermilk is to have it replace both the sour cream AND milk in this recipe. Use 1 and 1/2 cups of buttermilk, then leave out the sour cream and whole milk.

  30. Stacy Hower says:

    Beautiful & delicious! Perfect summer cake and the red white & blue made it a great July 4th dessert. The white cake is so light and delicious. It’s not angel food but my husband said it tastes like angel food cake. The only downside is the whipped topping reduces quite a bit after only a couple of days so you may want to make extra to top the cake when serving a few days later. This cake would be best when it can be eaten the first day.

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