Vanilla Layer Cake with Strawberries and Cream

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 25 min (plus cooling)
  • Active: 40 min
  • Yield: 8 servings
This dessert is like a large format strawberry shortcake. Homemade strawberry syrup flavors and moistens the split cake, which is then sandwiched with a creamy strawberry filling and topped with glazed berries.


For the Cake:

For the Toppings and Filling:


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 ̊ F. Butter an 8-inch round cake pan and line with parchment paper. Butter the parchment and dust with flour, tapping out the excess.
  2. Make the cake: Whisk the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, whisk the melted butter, vanilla bean paste, eggs, milk and lemon zest until smooth. Add the butter mixture to the flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until combined.
  3. Pour the batter into the cake pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let cool 10 minutes in the pan, then turn out of the pan onto the rack and let cool completely.
  4. Make the toppings and filling: Halve 16 strawberries. Whisk the strawberry jelly and water in a bowl until smooth. Add the halved strawberries; toss to coat.
  5. Thinly slice the remaining strawberries, then toss with 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar and the lemon juice in another bowl; set aside. Beat the heavy cream, remaining 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar and the vanilla extract in a large bowl with a mixer on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Refrigerate the whipped cream until ready to assemble.
  6. Carefully cut the cake in half horizontally with a serrated knife. Place the bottom half cut-side up on a platter. Drizzle the juices from the thinly sliced berries over the cut sides of both cake halves. Fold a few tablespoons of the whipped cream into the sliced berries; spoon over the bottom cake layer. Cover with the other cake layer, then top with the remaining whipped cream and the halved strawberries and their juices.