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. Jessica jones says:

    Deliciously light and fluffy! Thanks for the challenge! I never would have attempted this on my own!

  2. Angela Falcone says:

    I love this cake! My mom asked for a light cake for her birthday and this was absolutely perfect.

  3. Kelley Warner says:

    This cake was the star of the show for my mother’s birthday party! Not only was it beautiful AND delicious, it was the easiest decoration I’ve ever done. Sally’s whipped cream made a perfect filling between light, fluffy white cake layers. Chilling for a few hours before serving was a great tip, we had no issues with layers shifting or cream squeezing out while slicing. Thanks for such a wonderful recipe!

  4. Great recipe! I made a 6 inch vanilla cake and used strawberries as the filling! My whole family loved it!

  5. Hailey George says:

    This recipe was absolutely fantastic. I used the lemon cake as the base and it turned out perfect! The cake was super moist and soft. I served it to my family and everyone loved the cake. I will definitely be making this again!

  6. Elizabeth Johnson says:

    I don’t have a lot of experience making cakes from scratch(my first was your strawberry cake, and this is my second), but this was so easy and satisfying…I mean it just looks fantastic with the three layers, and was so easy to put together. I used your white cake recipe, but used the 9″ rounds I already had. It was a little thinner than yours but still nice height with the whipped cream. I especially loved the almond flavor in the whipped cream, heavenly! We used this to celebrate a July birthday and it was a big hit! Thank you!

  7. The main comment I got was that this was the best whipped cream I have ever made. I used blueberries and rasberries, and everyone agreed that it would have been better with strawberries, instead. This would be really good with lemon or coconut cake, but try the original first. This cake was super easy to make. No structural issues at all. definitely a must make in the summer time.

  8. My daughters made this recipe and it was delicious! The directions and details are excellent and easy to follow. This is the most moist white cake we have found and can’t wait to make this one again!

  9. I went with Sally’s recommendation and made this with her white cake recipe – very easy to make and tastes delicious! Loved the hint of almond in the cream.

  10. Amazing Sally! Thank you for a wonderful recipe! You helped me accomplish a goal of mine for baking a moist homemade cake

  11. Another wonderful recipe!!
    Absolutely delicious and fresh with the lightness of the cake and fresh berries. I did make a whipped cream cheese frosting, only adjustment. But I am always AMAZED with how my cakes turn out from Sally’s recipes! I have loved them all….adding this one to the list!

  12. The cake is easy to make & so delicious! The whipped cream frosting w/ the berries is the perfect compliment and a delicious ending to a summer meal!

  13. Mary Jo Carson says:

    What a fun summery dessert! Your instructions are the best!! Delicious! Thanks once again Sally!

  14. So so good. A perfect summer dessert. Mine came out red white and blue with berry choice. I used the white cake – so light. Perfect results. It was easy to decorate. I had fun with it. Tastes amazing too. The almond in the whip cream is stunning. I can eat a fairly good size piece and not feel overly full – which is decadent! Yum.

  15. Shelby Sandlin says:

    So good! Moist and delicious and simple to make! Will be making again! Perfect summer dessert!

  16. Great summer cake to make and decorate with the kids!

  17. Kim Everett says:

    This cake is So Good! I made it last night. I used Sally’s White Cake Recipe, I could eat this cake all by itself (and did while assembling my cake). I won’t be buying whipped cream from the store anymore either. Why haven’t I made it before?! I have added this recipe to my “Keeper’s” recipe book.

  18. Tara Bruckmann says:

    This was so delicious! This cake was light and refreshing, perfect for the summer months!

    1. Kathy Buber says:

      Made this for my mother in law’s birthday party, and it was a huge hit. Aside from being delicious, it also turned out beautiful. Even the kids were impressed! Perfect summer cake!

  19. This cake was super light and fluffy! The berries gave the cake a very refreshing and summery feel. Great cake, 10/10

  20. Hey Sally,
    Are there any substitutions for the sour cream? I don’t have have it at home, but if there are no subs, that’s fine. If there are substitutions, I’d love if you could let me know 🙂

    1. Plain yogurt is the best substitution. Hope you love this cake!

  21. I love to bake but am admittedly challenged when it comes to aesthetics. This recipe was not only delicious, but produces a beautiful cake that is foolproof for those, like me, who can’t decorate a cake to save their life! Thanks for the fun challenge 🙂

  22. This was SOOOO good! Recipe was delicious, summery, light tasting and I could have eaten it all in one sitting. It was also an easy, straightforward recipe to follow! Thank you Sally!!

  23. This cake screams Summer! It was a major hit for a Birthday dinner. Great directions as usual Sally!

  24. This cake was delicious! I made a smaller version with the six inch vanilla cake, which is super moist even without frosting so perfect for a naked cake. For the filling I made white chocolate whipped cream and I layered it with strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and redcurrants. The combination of the moist yet fluffy cake, soft whipped cream and fresh berries is just heavenly. Thank you for this recipe!

  25. I made this with strawberry cake and chocolate whipped cream!! Strawberries and blackberries were the topping! I also made them as 6” cakes, since it was just two of us eating the cake!! It was incredibly good and I’m super happy with how pretty it turned out!!

  26. Great summer cake! I love how light and refreshing it is!:)

  27. Kristin Miles says:

    Delicious and not too difficult. I appreciate the 6in option.

  28. I’ve just begun a longterm love affair with this cake! This is the first time I’ve ever made a cake from scratch. I can eat tge cake with no topping & be perfectly happy forever. The whipped cream & berries were just added awesomeness. I took it to a cookout & everyone raved about it.

    The recipe was easy to follow. I had 9 in rounds, so i did 150% of the recipe to do decent size 9in cakes & 150% of the whipped cream. I could have added a bit more sour cream to the cakes, but truly, it was incredible! The recipe was clear & though I was intimated doing a cake from scratch, everything turned out amazing. Thank you for the drool worthy recipe & for making it clear & simple enough to be a major confidence booster for a novice baker!

  29. Marne Buzzell says:

    My son made this for my birthday due to my love of strawberry shortcake. It was so tasty!

  30. Christine Roses says:

    My family and I loved this. I did a 2 layer cake instead and halfed the whipped cream as suggested. Next time I will make the full amount of whipped cream since I felt like it could use a little more. All in all, this was a great cake and a nice change from buttercream.

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