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
Can I use a mascarpone cream instead of the whipped cream? Like the one used here: https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/fresh-fruit-tart-vanilla-mascarpone-cream/
Hi Andi, that should work fine!
Made the cakes in 2 8 inch round pans.They are cooling now…however the middle is sunken in tho they did seem done when I removed them.What causes this?
Hi Melanie, sinking cakes are often because the outer edges are fully cooked but the center is not. This can be from simply not baking it long enough, or because your oven is too hot causing it to rise rapidly even though it’s not actually cooked in the center. Sometimes sunken cakes can also be due to over-beating the batter. Be sure to mix until the wet and dry ingredients are just incorporated. You can visit out post on 10 Tips for the Perfect Cake for more troubleshooting. I hope this helps!
May I use regular all purpose flour instead of cake flour…
Would there be a difference?
If I want to make this dairy free, what can I use to replace the milk, butter and sour cream? Will soy milk, margarine and some sort of dairy free sour cream work?
Hi Alexis, we haven’t tested a dairy free version of this cake but let us know if you do!
Hi, I am looking forward to making this! I’d like to be able to assemble it at least the day before serving and I’m worried the berry juice will come out and make the cake soggy or mess with the cream (this happened to me before with another cake recipe). Any suggestions for preventing this? Do you think freeze-dried berries would be any good? Thanks!
Hi Karly, how about omitting the berries between the layers and simply layering them on the very top? That way, you can wait until the day of serving to include the berries and prevent any juices from discoloring the whipped cream. Or, you can certainly try freeze dried berries as you mention, but they still may leave some color behind like real berries do. Let us know what you try!
I want to make this cake this weekend but only have 1 x 8 inch tin.
Do you think I could pour the whole batter into it and then just slice into 3 layers?
Hi Stella, This would be too much batter for one 8 inch round cake pan. You could bake the three layers separately by waiting for the pan to cool after baking the first layer, then baking the next layers in the same pan. You can leave the cake batter at room temperature while you wait. Otherwise you may enjoy this recipe for a one layer sprinkle cake as well. Happy baking!
Hi Sally! Just had a question. What’s the difference between powdered sugar, confectioner’s sugar, icing sugar, granulated sugar, and raw sugar? I see these on your blog and wondered what the difference is. Thanks!
Hi Leah, powdered sugar is the same as confectioners’ sugar and icing sugar — it is very fine and typically used to create buttercreams and icing. Granulated sugar is what we use in cookies, cakes, etc. and has larger granules than powdered sugar. Sugar in the raw is even coarser and is often used for topping muffins or pastries for an extra crunch. As always, it’s best to use whatever type of sugar a particular recipe calls for in order to ensure best results. Hope this helps.
Thanks so much! Very helpful. This is now permanently lodged into my brain. Apart from what brown sugar does
Have not tried this yet, but looks delicious and spectacular! Definitely my type of cake (big and with tons of whipped cream ). I was wondering if you could use your homemade vanilla extract for this? Also please tell me which recipes with the vanilla extract I can use with your homemade one ♥ thanks Sally
Hi Leah, you sure can. You can use the homemade vanilla extract with any recipe that calls for vanilla extract.
It came out really moist! My family loved it!
Could I use egg whites from a carton?
Hi Anika, egg whites from a carton should work just fine here. There should be a conversion chart on the side of the carton to help you determine the amount for five large egg whites as called for in this recipe. Enjoy!
This cake was delicious! It was very soft and delicate. Definitely a make again. I added 8 oz of cream cheese to the whipped cream to make it a little more stable because we were transporting the cake and it was a nice addition. If I were to make it again I would only add berries on the top and as a garnish because the cake plus cream were divine and I felt like the berries took away from it a little.
Do you know if I made this as cup cakes how many it would make?
Hi Betty! We’re unsure how many cupcakes this would yield. Our vanilla cupcakes recipe is essentially this same recipe, only halved. If you want more cupcakes, you can follow this cake batter recipe and use the baking instructions for the cupcakes.
I make the whip cream but not the same the result with your cream.Mind is more liquid.I follow your ing.
Could this be decorated like a buttercream cake? I always worry that whipped cream won’t hold up and be stable. I’d appreciate advice!
Hi Natalie, You could certainly cover the outside with more whipped cream – but you won’t be able to pipe intricate designs like you would with buttercream. You’ll want to chill the cake and serve it within 24 hours of covering (just keep in mind if it’s more than 2 hours the berries will begin to release their juices).
I LOVE this website and all of your recipes have turned out incredibly well for me so far. My best friend wants a fresh fruit cake with cream cheese frosting for her birthday. I have to make the cake the day before so I think cream cheese frosting will probably hold up better in the fridge anyway. Do you think it’ll be too heavy for your spongy vanilla cake recipe though? Any suggestions for which fruits will go best with cream cheese? There aren’t many recipes I can pull inspiration from online and I’m feeling a bit lost. Any help would be wonderful. Thanks so much!
Hi Elizabeth, you can certainly use a cream cheese frosting here instead of the whipped cream. Really any berry — strawberries, blueberries, raspberries — or favorite fruit would be delicious with the cream cheese frosting. Let us know what you try!
I want to make this cake for my boyfriends birthday using “Duncan Hines Classic Cake Mix, Yellow, 15.25 oz” I was wondering if 1 box of this cake mix would be enough, or if I should make 2 boxes? Thanks!
Hi Michelle, It’s really up to you! If the box mix says it makes 2 layers, you can make a smaller cake with only one layer of filling if you wish.
I’ve made this 3 times now to rave reviews! Its really good and forgiving(decoration-wise! ) it looks good without much decorating skill required. Quick question…my whipped cream doesn’t look smooth on the Cake…am I over whipping? Thanks!
Hi Lynne, we’re so glad you love this cake! If the whipped cream isn’t looking smooth, it’s possible it’s over whipped. An easy fix for next time!
I’d like to make this for hubby’s birthday cake, except use pastry cream, with layered banana slices, between layers, and frost top and sides with whip cream. Any suggestions would be most appreciated. TIA
Hi Tavo, for the pastry cream, we’d recommend the pastry cream filling from our Boston Cream Pie. It would be delicious with bananas layered between slices and frosted with our Homemade Whipped Cream!
Many thanks for your help! Unfortunately I lost my Mom’s version, but I know this will be so yummy! He originally wanted Sally’s Pistachio cake,
Which is his fav, but then asked for my Moms cake. Happy Mother’s Day to all!
I’m planning on making this for a wedding this weekend (which was planned very last minute!) I’d like to do a 3-tier cake using a 12 inch, 9 inch and 6 inch tins, with each cake cut into 3 layers (or possibly just 2 depending on thickness). I’m an experienced baker but have never made a tiered cake, so I’m wondering whether the whipped cream filling would hold the weight of the tiers?
Would you say this cake recipe is the best for this purpose or would you recommend a lighter/heavier one?
I realise a buttercream filling might be safer, but would really prefer a simple whipped cream filling if stable enough.
Thank you 🙂
Hi Charlotte, This would be beautiful as a wedding cake! If you do wish to make tiers you need to be sure to properly support them with dowels and cake boards. We explain exactly how to do this in our post for a Simple Homemade Wedding Cake. This will ensure the dowels take the weight of the tiers so the whipped cream filling doesn’t squish out from between the layers. Happy baking!
Hoping to make this cake for my son’s 1st birthday. Would like to double the recipe and bake half in 6” pans for his smash cake and the rest in a Bundt pan for the rest of us. Taking different baking times into consideration, could I just straight double the recipe, or would it require tweaking? Thanks so much!
Hi Emily, For the best results and texture we recommend making this batter two times instead of doubling. Often when cake batters are doubled it leads to over or under mixing resulting in a dense texture.
This cake looks so delicious! Me and my sister just finished whipping up the batter for my mom’s birthday. Right now it’s in the oven and and it smells absolutely divine! I can’t wait to see how it tastes! I used full fat oat milk instead of whole, non-dairy yogurt instead of sour cream, and your homemade cake flour substitute. I’m crossing my fingers that it will still be good but I don’t really have a doubt because everything I’ve made from your site is always delicious!
p.s. I am thirteen years old and totally your biggest fan! Thank you Sally and never stop posting these delicious recipes!
Thank you so much for making our recipes, Maya! We hope you love this cake
Hi there I have a question, I have made my own cake flour (in the UK) with plain flour and cornstarch. When I measure out 2 and a half cups after sifting it is much more than 263 grams. Which one should i go with? Cup measurements or grams? If I go by the cup it comes to 400 and something grams….
Just wanted to add – that I wasnt using your scoop and level method, which I just did now to re-measure. But I’m still coming up about 100grams over (about 365 grams when measuring with cups with scoop/level method). But the recipe calls for 263. Not sure how to proceed, pls help!
Soooo good! I used yogurt instead of sour cream and it turned out fine. I love the addition of almond extract to the whip cream -it’s delicious.
I should have whipped the cream a bit stiffer though-I ended up using bamboo skewers to stabilize the 3rd and 4th layers as my cream was a bit soft and I live in a warm place. Once it chilled though, the cake stabilized and I could remove the skewers.
Loved this recipe! I used buttermilk instead of sour cream as I didn’t have any. Everyone loved it.
I really want to try and make this cake but I really need 4 layers of 8 inch. Is it possible or is there a one layer exactly like this I can bake afterwards ?
Hi Laurene! We don’t have a one layer cake recipe written for this batter. You could try multiplying the ingredients by 1.5 and using the extra batter to make some cupcakes. Let us know what you try!
I saw that the white cake recipe with two layers was recommended instead if I wanted to turn this recipe into a two layer cake instead of a three layer cake, as this would provide too much batter for a 2 layer cake. However that recipe is the exact same as this one with the same portions. So now I am wondering if I can turn this recipe cake into a 2 layer cake with 2, 9-inch pans
Hi Sarah! The alternate white cake recipe is listed for baking instructions purposes. As it is the same batter, you can use this recipe or the white cake recipe in 2 9 inch pans. Follow the baking instructions for the white cake. Would love to hear how it goes.
Can I whip the eggs to make the cake part more fluffy? I definitely loved this recipe but just wanted to see if I did whisked the egg whites and then added to the batter, would it make it even fluffier?
The recipe was delish . I added 1/2 tsp of butter extract in the frosting and yum.
Hi Maricris, if you’d like to take that extra step, you certainly can. Though I haven’t tested it with this particular cake recipe, I recommend if for my red velvet cake— just takes a few extra minutes to whip them. You can fold them into the cake batter after mixing the wet and dry ingredients together.
Could this essentially just be a strawberry shortcake? I wanted to make it a 2 layer strawberry shortcake using 2 9 inch pans. I saw your “One Layer Strawberry Shortcake Cake” but I am not sure if it would work with 2 layers? Sorry for all the questions Sally!
Hi Sarah! For a two layer strawberry shortcake cake you can double that recipe or use the batter from this white cake instead.
I see, thank you! In your opinion, which recipe would be better for a 2 layer strawberry short cake? I have seen a few strawberry shortcake recipes that look very similar to this recipe (fresh berry cream cake) in particular so I am not sure. I know this cake recipe and the one layer strawberry shortcake recipe differ in certain ingredients.
You won’t go wrong with any of these cakes! I love the texture of the strawberry shortcake cake so I would double that batter for a 2 layer cake. But the white cake or this fresh berry cream cake would all be perfect as well (though this cake would make too much batter for a 2 layer cake). Let us know what you end up baking!
I made this cake today for a friends birthday and it was delicious! I find that a lot of recipes don’t use enough vanilla for my tastes and this was perfect. The cake was light and fluffy and the fruit paired with the whipped cream on top was so tasty!! Definitely will make again!
Hey Sally! Excited to give this cake a try tomorrow for my dad’s birthday and had a question — would love to make a 6 inch pistachio cake version of this. Thought a strawberry whipped cream would be nice with this — what do you recommend? Would adding freeze dried strawberry powder to this whipped cream recipe work? Thanks in advance!
Hi Celine, a strawberry whipped cream would be delicious with a pistachio version of this cake! I recommend using the strawberry whipped cream from our strawberry shortcake cupcakes. Happy birthday to your dad!
This recipe was AMAZING – I highly recommend with the lemon curd. Made 2 9’ pans and lowered the temperature a bit and it turned out FANTASTIC!!! So delicious