Mini Strawberry Layer Cake

Mini Strawberry Layer Cake

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In February, my boyfriend celebrated his birthday, and I decided to whip up a small cake for our low-key celebration. He loves strawberry cakes with whipped cream frosting, so I went with this simple recipe based on my Brown Butter Yellow Cake. This mini strawberry and whipped cream layer cake is so easy to put together, and the stabilized whipped cream frosting helps it look and taste great for days! It ended up with a flavor a lot like strawberry shortcake — not too sweet, and perfect for a light dessert!

Perfect for a small group

VERY often I get into the situation where I’ve made a full 9-inch layer cake recipe, and unless there are 30 people, we still end up with lots of leftovers. Now, no one over here is complaining about leftover cake! But whether your guests don’t want too to have many sweets, or they’re full from dinner, I’ve found that a smaller cake is usually perfect. But rather than just making one layer, I wanted to keep that layer cake look — only smaller. So I cut my full yellow cake recipe in half, and split it into three 6-inch cake pans, and I loved the result!

6-inch strawberry cake

Stabilized whipped cream?

That’s just a fancy way of saying whipped cream with an added ingredient to help keep its form and prevent melting. Most often, stabilized whipped cream is done with unflavored gelatin, but I recently came across this stabilized whipped cream recipe from Your Cup of Cake, and I had to try it! I loved the idea of using pudding mix to add flavor and sweetness while keeping the whipped cream from melting. And the best part was that it worked!

The whipped cream kept its structure the day I made the cake, as well as a few more days in the refrigerator. It’s definitely a game-changer for whipped cream frosting! I used this Godiva white chocolate pudding. It was so easy and came out so delicious!

How to macerate strawberries

This cake calls for macerated strawberries, which just means strawberries that are softened with sugar or a sweet liquid. There are a lot of ways you can enhance the flavor of strawberries, adding flavored extracts, herbs, citrus, or even balsamic vinegar. But in this case we’re going with the standard strawberries-in-sugar technique that I grew up with. All you’ll do is hull and slice your strawberries, toss them in some granulated sugar, and let it all meld together in the fridge for a few hours, or overnight. The longer they sit in the sugar, the softer they’ll be for the cake filling, so it’s up to you and your preference.

Macerated strawberries are delicious to eat on their own, and even better on cakes, ice creams, waffles and pancakes, or yogurt. Try it out– you’ll love them!

6-inch strawberry cake

Trick to keeping open layer cakes from drying out

Usually, when frosting covers all parts of your cake layers, it’s easier to keep the cake layers from getting too dry. But it’s even more difficult when you have an open cake like this one. So an easy trick I use with all my cakes to keep the layers moist is to spray or brush the cake layers with simple syrup before decorating. Making simple syrup is so easy:

  1. Combine 1 cup of granulated sugar and 1 cup water in a saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil, stirring, for about 2 minutes until sugar is dissolved.
  3. Store refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

Told you it was easy! Then, just spray or brush the syrup all over your cooled cake layer, allow it to soak in for 10-15 minutes, and then decorate your cake as usual!

Putting together this mini strawberry cake

Once your components are ready to go, this cake is a cinch to put together — you just need your strawberries, whipped cream, and your cake layers. Grab an offset spatula and a pastry bag for the whipped cream, if you like, and start stacking!

6-inch strawberry cake

Strawberry and Whipped Cream Cake

Simple and classic — sweetened strawberries and a fluffy whipped cream frosting layered into a brown butter yellow cake for the perfect springtime dessert!
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Cooling Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 3 hours
Course: Dessert
Cuisine :American
Servings: 6 slices
Calories: 522kcal
Recipe Source: Chenée Lewis

Ingredients

Yellow cake layers

Strawberry filling

Simple syrup for cake layers (optional)

Whipped cream

Instructions

Prepare macerated strawberries

  • Combine strawberries with sugar in a bowl or zipper bag. Chill in refrigerator for at least an hour or up to overnight.

Brown your butter

  • Place chunks of butter in a light-colored saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, 6 to 8 minutes or until butter begins to turn golden brown and smell nutty.
  • Remove from heat and scrape into a bowl, being careful to get all those browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Cover and chill for 1-2 hours or until solid. Remove from refrigerator and allow to soften to room temperature.

Prepare your cake batter

  • Whisk together the milk and sour cream together in a liquid measure and let come to room temperature.
  • Grease and flour bottom and sides of three 6-inch cake rounds with baking spray and line with parchment, and then spray the parchment paper with baking spray.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and place rack in the middle of the oven.
  • In a large bowl of an electric stand mixer or with a handheld electric mixer, cream the softened brown butter on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add the sugars and beat for 4-5 minutes on medium speed.
  • Add in the vanilla, and then eggs and egg yolks, one at a time,mixing just until combined in between each addition and scraping the sides of the bowl if necessary.
  • Whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  • Alternate adding flour mixture and milk, beginning and ending with flour (3 additions of flour and 2 of milk), mixing well after each addition.
  • Divide the batter evenly between the two pans. Drop each pan from about 3-inches onto the counter to minimize air bubbles while baking.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, or until lightly golden around the edges and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs. Watch closely after 15 minutes to ensure that the cake does not overbake.
  • Let the layers rest in the cake pans for 10 minutes before gently turning them onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
  • (Optional) Once cooled, spray or brush with simple syrup (see note) and let sit for at least 15 minutes.

Whip up your frosting

  • Beat butter, nutella, and powdered sugar on medium speed for at least two minutes until light and creamy.
  • Add heavy cream and vanilla and beat for an additional two minutes.

Assemble your cake

  • Start with one of your layers on the cake plate or cake board.Top with about 3 tbsp strawberries and their juices.
  • Pipe or spoon about 1 cup whipped cream frosting on top of strawberries.
  • Repeat with second cake layer, more strawberries, and more whipped cream.
  • Finish with third layer of cake, but this time top the cake with a generous amount of whipped cream, followed by strawberries on top of that.

Notes

Make ahead:  You can spray your cooled cake layers with simple syrup and wrap them in plastic wrap to store, refrigerated, for up to a week.  You can also make your strawberries a day in advance, but I would recommend making the whipped cream frosting the day you assemble your cake.
Simple syrup recipe:
  1. Combine 1 cup of granulated sugar and 1 cup water in a saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil, stirring, for about 2 minutes until sugar is dissolved. Allow to cool.
  3. Store refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.
Brown Butter:  For more details and images on browning butter, check out my How to Brown Butter post.

Nutrition

Calories: 522kcal | Carbohydrates: 56.4g | Protein: 6.6g | Fat: 31.5g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Cholesterol: 177mg | Sodium: 316mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 36g | Calcium: 120mg
Nutrition Disclaimer
Tags: best mini cake recipe, best strawberry cake recipe, birthday cake, brown butter cake, cake, cake recipe for two, how to make strawberry cake, how to make strawberry shortcake, mini cake, mini cake recipe, mini strawberry cake, strawberries, strawberry, strawberry shortcake, whipped cream, yellow cake
Did you try this recipe? Rate it below!I can’t wait to see (and share) your results! Follow me on Instagram at @chenee_today and tag #cheneetoday!
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