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 cake for my SIL’s birthday yesterday. I followed the recipe exactly and added a little bit of whipped cream to the sides which made it look like your vanilla naked cake. My SIL loved the cake. It was light and fresh and with the whipped cream frosting, it was not overly sweet. Will definitely make it again!

  2. Thank you so much Sally for this amazing blog! I made the cake, and I absolutely loved it even though I accidentally left it in the oven a little too long. I love your blog and am always looking to see if you’ve posted something new. Thank you for the effort you put into the challenges to make this a place that pushes us to try new things. I’m sure you must be excited about a new little one joining the family and I wish all the best to you.

  3. Anna Stanek says:

    This cake is the delicious! The recipe is easy to follow and the end result was great. The cake, whipped cream and berries all pair wonderfully together, making a perfect summer dessert.

  4. This was such a fun cake to make! I chose to make the lemon cake version of this cake and instead of almond extract I used coconut extract in the whipped cream. It was so perfect and light and was wonderful for a hot summer day.

  5. I made this for the 4th of July with a flag design on top with the berries! It was so good!!

  6. So yummy, light and refreshing. Perfect cake for summer time!
    My boyfriend even commented on how it’s not overly sweet.

    I made this with only two layers, because I only own two 8 in. cake pans, and it came out great still. It didn’t feel like there was too much cake vs. whipped cream.

    I also made this using gluten free flour and 3/4 tsp of xanthan gum.

    I look forward to more!

  7. I made this cake this week and it was fantastic!!! I used two 9 inch pans and baked them at around 325 for 16ish minutes, one pan at a time (my oven is abnormally hot) and it turned out perfectly!! And being more of a cake person as opposed to frosting, this recipe was ideal for me because it wasn’t too sweet! Absolutely love it! Would make it again and would definitely recommend!

  8. This is now my ‘go-to’ summer cake. Unbelievable! I only had 9 inch pans; they worked fine. I over-whipped my heavy cream a little but it still held up! Absolutely delicious, Sally! You knocked it out of the park, again. 🙂

  9. I made this cake today and it came out fantastic. I’m so glad to have found your blog. With all your tips and simple instructions, I fell in love with baking all over again. My roomates all thank you too.
    I only made one change kn the recipe, maple whipped cream. Maple syrup makes everything better.

  10. This was an incredible cake. The sponge is heavenly, the best white sponge I had. My husband kept asking for more and asking what is in it that the cake is so good. 🙂 Thank you for sharing this excellent recipe with us. I will continue to make this for many occasions.

  11. Eileen Moore says:

    Such an easy recipe and delicious summer treat! I used chocolate cake, and made a mini version using my 3” pans. Simply perfect!

  12. This cake is really amazing! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! My husband and I really loved it! He almost finish the whole cake in just one sitting! Your blog really helped me to made this delicious cake! Looking forward to more baking challenge! More power to you!

  13. Abby Nauman says:

    I just made this recipe today, and it was soo much fun to make! I absolutely love baking and so when I found out about this challenge I was sooooo excited! I am not a huge fan of super sweet frosting, so the whipped cream with the berries made it perfect! My siblings and my parents were also very excited that I was making it! Thanks sooo much for the recipe!

    1. Abby Nauman says:

      Oh, and 5 stars! Great recipe!

  14. Delicious recipe! I made this for the Fourth of July and it was perfect. The combination of the light cake, whipped cream, and fresh berries was top notch.

  15. Christina Kurtz says:

    I made this for the challenge this month and it was excellent!! I thought I had ruined it because I totally forgot to add the milk to the cake but it was fine! The cake reminded me a lot of pound cake (probably because of the missing milk) but my whole family absolutely loved it and I will definitely be making it again!!

  16. I made this fresh berry cream cake for a friend for her birthday. She absolutely loved it! She said it was the perfect birthday cake. It was very light and refreshing. I absolutely loved it with all the fresh berries. I put some culinary lavender on to and it gave it really nice flavor. Very easy to do recipe. Light cake and light whip cream. Love it!

  17. Letitia Maynard says:

    I made this delicious cake for a friends birthday. She said it was the best birthday cake ever! It was so refreshing with the fresh berries. I put some culinary lavender on top. It was so delicious. The lavender went perfect with the cake. The cake was very easy to make. My daughter helped me put the cream and berries on it. Very fun and delicious summer treat!

  18. Emily Lowman says:

    Made this for dinner with friends. It was a hit! Everyone wanted a slice to take home. I didn’t love the whipped cream on its own but it was perfect once the cake was put together. I had a little bit of whipped cream leftover so I decided to add a crumb coat too. Next time I’ll probably add even more fruit to the layers, but overall loved the recipe!

  19. This cake was easy and delicious! The perfect summer treat! I made it for my dad’s birthday, and it was a huge hit. They berries and whipped cream make for a light and fresh cake. I used the leftover egg yolks to make egg yolk sugar cookies that were also delicious, highly recommend putting those yolks to good use!

  20. Esther Flores says:

    I made this recipe using the vanilla cup cake recipe, i didn’t have cake flour so I did the substitute but my cake didn’t come out light (it’s somewhat dense)…the flavor is good. Other than that it’s easy to follow. I guess next time I’ll just go get cake flour.

  21. I’m thinking of making this with peaches and mangoes….But are these fruits too wet? What will that do to the whipped cream after sitting for a day or so? Thanks, Sally!!

    1. Hi Lauri, both peaches and mangoes are pretty wet. You can definitely assemble this cake with either, but I would serve soon after assembling since they will release their juices pretty quickly.

  22. Holly McElroy says:

    This cake wasn’t too sweet and it was a perfect combination with the cake and whipped cream. Great recipe! Thanks again Sally! The handpicked berries made it even better!

  23. A perfect summer dessert! Light and bursting with fresh flavour.

  24. What a fun challenge! I made the cake recipe as suggested but in a 6” version. I gave it to a family member to enjoy as this is her favorite cake. She absolutely loved it! It was light, refreshing with a great balance of sweetness. Your recipes are always a huge hit! Thanks!!

  25. Made this for 4th of July! Looked amazing and tastes like a berry shortcake! I think I whipped my heavy cream too long so it wasn’t as smooth as I wanted but it tasted fine. Everyone enjoyed the cake!

  26. I made this cake for a dinner party. It was delicious! The cake is very light but not an angel food cake, very vanilla smelling and tasting, and is the perfect cake paired with fresh fruit and whipped cream. The 3 tiered cake is tall and impressive but very easy to make. Perfect for a summer dessert.
    Also, congratulations Sally!

  27. I’ll be making this cake again soon! It was the perfect balance of sweetness. I added lemon curd which was the perfect addition and used 9in pans because that’s what I have (shortened bake time to about 17 min for 3 pans). I omitted the almond extract in the whipped cream and used a little more vanilla which was perfect. Thank you for another fantastic recipe, Sally!

  28. I made the cake yesterday but opted for the pistachio version, which is essentially the white cake with ground pistachios. As well a looking so lovely and summery with the cream and berries the cake taste divine!! Gorgeous flavour and light crumb – gave it away to my friends today (I’m on a diet ) and they literally all raved about it! I can’t wait for another excuse to make this cake!

  29. This is such a great idea and it is perfect for summer! Instead of vanilla cake I used 2 angel food cake layers using this recipe: yogaofcooking.co/strawberry-angel-food-cake-with-honey-marcarpone-cream/ I sweetened the whipped cream by increasing the powdered sugar to 2/3 cup and I added a pinch of salt for more flavor. It was great, Sally! I couldn’t help but notice your beautiful plate in the last picture! Were did you get it? Thank you so much! Next month will be 2 years since I have been on your blog! One of my first recipes here was the layered cookie cake!

    1. Hi Zoe, sounds like a delicious version and I’m so excited you’ve been trusting and baking my recipes for so long. Thank you! The plate is from Pier 1 🙂

  30. I loved it, and so did my parents! It was super fun to make and assemble and I had a lot of fun doing it, even as a 13 year old. This is also my new favorite vanilla cake recipe! Thanks for sharing this awesome recipe Sally!

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