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.
Channeling 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
- Like a fruit pizza in cake form
- Adaptable to many cake flavors
What a beautiful choice for Memorial Day recipes!
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:
- Pistachio Cake
- Coconut Cake
- Lemon Cake
- Chocolate Cake (spongey and delicious!)
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 my vanilla cupcakes batter or 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:
- Make a parchment paper round. Trace the bottom of the cake pans on a large piece of parchment paper. Cut out the parchment circles.
- Very lightly grease the baking pans.
- Place the parchment round inside.
- 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.
If it’s helpful, see this parchment paper rounds for cakes video & post.
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
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
See Your Fresh Berry Cakes!
Many readers tried this recipe as part of a baking challenge! Feel free to email or share your recipe photos with us on social media. 🙂Print
Fresh Berry Cream Cake
- 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
This minimally decorated naked-style cake is layered between fresh and fluffy whipped cream and piled high with juicy berries.
- 2 and 1/2 cups (285g) cake flour (spooned & leveled)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup (170g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 and 3/4 cups (350g) granulated sugar
- 5 large egg whites, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup (120g) sour 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
- 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, then grease the parchment paper. Parchment paper helps the cakes seamlessly release from the pans. (If it’s helpful, see this parchment paper rounds for cakes video & post.) I recommend using nonstick spray for greasing. I also recommend 8 inch cake pans as the 9 inch cakes will be pretty thin.
- Whisk the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Set aside.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Cover leftover cake tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 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!
Reader Comments & Reviews
I searched the entire website but couldnt find it, did you ever published fruit cake recipe?
Hi sally’ thank you for the great recipe,
Can i use fruits other than berries for this cake?
Hi. I’d really like to make this as a 4 layered 6 inch cake. Do I just follow the recipe as is? I’ve seen the tips for 3 layer 6 inch, but wanted to step it up a notch!
Hi Eliah, I haven’t tried this cake as a 4 layer 6 inch cake– just the 3 layer variation linked. I’m sure you could stretch that batter between 4 6 inch cake pans though. Let me know what you try!
My 10 year old ended up making the 3 layer 9 inch cake. She added lemon zest on the top layer!!! It was amazing!!!!
Could I bake this in a large bundt pan?
Hi Connie, You can bake this cake in a Bundt pan. I am unsure of the bake time but the temp will be 350F.
The cake turned out great, thanks for the recipe! I would like to make the cake again soon, but I was wondering how long it would last in the fridge (I am making it a day in advance). I worry that the berries may bleed through the cake or the whipped cream might fall/the cake would soak the frosting up.
really pretty easy to follow pictures and recipe!
Hi Sally, I need your expert advise! My oven is small so I cant put few cake pans in to it for baking. I have seen in lot of your recipes (specially the black forest cake which I really want to try) that you bake the cake in few pans. What if I put the whole batter in to a single pan, bake it and then layer the cake. In that case do I need to bake the cake more than the specified baking time in the recipe. Please advise!
Hi Bimadi, We don’t recommend baking all of the batter at once. Overfilling your pans causes uneven baking and the batter will to be too heavy to rise properly. Instead, you can try baking the first two layers and keeping the remaining batter loosely covered at room temperature until it’s ready to bake.
Made it for my 5 year olds birthday as he likes strawberries and cream. I messed something up with the creaming step but it still came out delicious. It’s his ‘special cake’. Looks like I’ll be making it every year. Thank you!
This cake was so light and refreshing! As always, your recipe was easy to follow and foolproof! Thank you!
I am not usually a whipped cream cake person. But this was AMAZING – light, summery, and gorgeous!!
Amazing recipe! Perfect summer cake, though word of caution for folks who live in very hot places .
I made a smaller version and it was delicious! will definitely want to have again 🙂
These were great! We will definitely make them again soon.
I followed this recipe’s notes. For the base cake I used suzy’s vanilla cupcake recipe with oval pans. Fresh blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and whipping cream to top it off. Absolutely delicious and a wonderfully easy recipe to follow!
I loved this cake it was so delicious! Not only delicious but light as well. Adding the touch of fresh strawberries and blueberries made it even more magnicfgient. My whole family loved it. It’s a great addition for a summer dessert. I can’t wait to try this again with different flavors!
I made the six inch version of this cake, I add a blueberry and rosemary jam and fresh blueberries! It was delicious and easy to follow.
I love all the variations possible with this recipe! I made the cake as written and paired it with blueberries and peaches. It was easy to make and so delicious. It’s a perfect summer dessert!
This cake was delicious! I added lemon curd on one of the layers, with strawberries and blueberries for the fruit. Lovely dessert for summer!
I swapped out an egg white for a whole egg to give the cake a pinch of color and it still came out wonderfully. I thought white cake with just whipped cream would be bland but the almond extract really gave an extra level of flavor along with the different berries. This was a fun one to decorate: so pretty but so simple! I’ve taken to calling it an Ameri-cake for the red, white, and blue colors. 🙂
This recipe was amazing. Light, fresh and delightful. Thanks so much for another great recipe.
Made it just like the recipe, except a smaller 4 inch version with 3 layers. I used strawberries, blackberries and blueberries. It was so light and delicious with the whipped cream and berries! It was the perfect summer dessert! Thanks again Sally for a great recipe!
Congrats on your new family addition and hope you are all doing well.
I am so excited to participate in this month’s baking challenge. I made the fresh berry cream cake (2 layered as I only have 2 cake pans) for my nephew’s birthday to share “virtually” as we live in different countries. I was lucky to be able to share the cake with neighbours and friends and I got rave reviews. THANK YOU so much for a great and easy to follow recipe and I look forward to making more treats using your recipes.
Hi Sally, I made this July challenge as using your Chai Latte cupcake recipe for a 6 inch cake with vanilla whipped cream, mango, blackberries, cherries and a dusting of chai spices, we haven’t tasted it yet but it smells heavenly…thank for a fun challenge recipe! Take care and sweet and safe wishes to you and yours!
I absolutely love this recipe! I used the 6 inch lemon cake recipe for the sponge. It paired wonderfully with the berries, and cream. This is light, and great for summer.
This cake was so delicious with the chocolate version, and so fun to decorate!!
My 9 year old made it all on her own. It was delish. Our only advice is to not skip the parchment paper!
I made the chocolate cake version and it turned out great. The cake was moist and chocolaty and the fruit played very nicely with the creamy frosting. The only thing is that the frosting turned more into a buttercream than a whipped cream, but it was still very good. Otherwise the cake was easy to make. Would make again.
The whipped cream was the perfect consistency (soft, but still set up slightly in the fridge), and we loved that it wasn’t too sweet. We paired it with fresh strawberries + blueberries, and turned Sally’s lemon cupcake recipe into 6-inch cake layers. The berries and cream made for a simple, rustic, beautiful pairing with the cake. The perfect summer dessert!
Loved making this! It was eaten up almost immediately. It is such a fun and easy recipe with excellent results. I will definitely be making it again; in fact, it was requested!
I made your 6 inch vanilla cake for this challenge. Great vanilla flavor, tangy & sweet berries, soft and fluffy whipped cream…… delicious!!!