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 (285g) cake flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 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. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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

248 Comments

  1. 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.

  2. 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!!

  3. 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!

  4. 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!

  5. 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!

  6. 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!

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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!

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

  11. 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!!

  12. 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!

  13. 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!

  14. 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!

  15. 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!

  16. 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!

  17. 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!

  18. Super easy to make, and so light and refreshing for summer!!! Thanks to Sally, I always make fresh whipped cream for everything now!! 🙂

  19. Michele Scala says:

    Hi Sally!
    I made this beautiful cake today and it was truly delicious!!….my family said it was one of thee best cakes I ever made.
    Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe❤
    Michele

  20. I made a strawberry shortcake with this recipe and it was a huge hit. I love out light and airy the cake feels. Thank you! Sending you a picture now for the challenge!

  21. I rarely bake white cake as my children love the chocolate cakes. But they devoured this one. Took it for a barbecue gathering with friends and they all loved it.
    Thank you for another great recipe!

  22. OH MY GOODNESS!!! This cake is as delicious as it is pretty. Knocked the socks off my friends with this beautiful, tasty cake! A great way to highlight our local berries. I am going to try it with chocolate cream next!

  23. I tries this and it turned out so good thanks for the recipe

  24. Hi Sally!

    I did the challenge, but used your yellow cupcake recipe into a 6 inch cake. Question about that- it ended up a bit denser than expected…is that due to me refrigerating it? It reminded me of pound cake. Not dry, just dense. Any ideas?

    I used frozen berries, since it’s what I had- it works perfectly fine, just a bit more color bleed than normal. I absolutely love the whipped cream, though!

    I’ll try the white cake at some point. I didn’t feel like separating eggs, hence the yellow cake route. Thanks for the recipe! 🙂

    1. Hilari @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Lydia! Thank you so much for participating in this baking challenge! Refrigerating cakes can dry them out and create a denser crumb. We always like to keep cakes at room temperature (if possible) before serving. Sally also has a blog post written with tons of tips and tricks to help avoid a dense cake if you’d like to review it: How to Prevent a Dry or Dense Cake.

  25. Heather Watson says:

    I was truly excited to try July’s Baking Challenge. I am an aspiring experienced baker. I read all the directions and watched the video – this makes such a difference for a successful outcome. I substituted Sally’s lemon cake for the white cake included in original recipe and added strawberry slurry to the whipped cream icing. The lemon cake wasn’t as light as I had hoped for especially for a 3-tier cake – it was really filling. The strawberry whipped cream was awesome. A definite do-over. I refrigerated the cake for 4 hours prior to slicing and it sliced perfectly. This cake was impressive when I brought it to a dinner party – Sally you made me look good! Can’t wait for next month

  26. Jennifer Siegel says:

    This is an amazing white cake recipe. Works beautiful every time. Sally, what is your POV on cake strips – the ones you wet and put on the outside of the pan in order to keep the cake from doming? I used it with this recipe and the cake looked absolutely beautiful straight from the pan. But I’m wondering if you ever use them – like them or don’t? You’re my go to bake gal so would love to know! Thanks.

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Jennifer, Sally doesn’t use them when testing recipes but many other readers tell us that they use them and love them! If they work for you then go for it!

  27. Alexis Roberts says:

    This recipe is super easy to make. It is a light and refreshing cake!

  28. Mindi rogers says:

    My family LOVED this cake, super easy to make and so fresh. My 8 year old twins both agreed (a feat in it’s own rite) that it was better than the birthday cakes we get from the store. I used Sally’s white cake recipe, which is now going to be my go to for everything cake! Sally – your blog and recipes have truly helped me and my family get through this crisis, I for sure don’t know what I’d do without the pizza dough recipe – another fave of the twins!

  29. Andrea Gustain says:

    This is such a great midsummer cake idea. I made a 6 inch pistachio cake using the cupcake recipe and infused lemon into the whipped cream and topped with blueberries. It was easy and a great cake for those who do not want to do a lot of decorating.

  30. This cake is absolutely wonderful. I baked them as cupcakes for 20 minutes and they turned out light, tender and delicious. Everyone loved them. Makes a great base for Strawberry Shortcake and I can vision it being a go to for a delicious white cake topped with my favourite buttercream frosting.

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