Old-Fashioned Strawberry Layered Cake

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My dad used to win baking competitions when I was a little girl with this Old-Fashioned Strawberry Layered Cake recipe, also known as a Strawberry Kringle Cake. It takes like a Strawberry Jello salad in cake form … delicious!

Strawberry Layer Cake Recipe

I vividly remember the delicious smell of the vanilla cake wafting through our home whenever he made it. It takes me straight back to being a kid in the summer, often picking the berries to make the sweet, juicy strawberry puree filling.

This yummy cake is perfect for special occasions like birthdays and family reunions. Naturally, it’s best served in summer when strawberries are in season. The assembly work pays off in the presentation, too—this cake looks stunning when sliced for a celebration.

The origins of Strawberry Kringle Cake isn’t clear, though some speculate it evolved from the traditional Danish kringle pastry. It is a variation on a strawberry shortcake with the same basic flavors – vanilla cake, strawberries and whipped cream.

How to make a perfect Strawberry Kringle Cake

While Strawberry Kringle Cake has simple ingredients, the assembly is a bit of an art form and where you spend most of the prep time. Here is a step-by-step for the process of creating this scrumptious dessert, with tips along the way to make sure you conquer each step easily.

A labor of love, the Strawberry Kringle Cake is worth every step and minute spent!

Preparing the ingredients

It is essential to measure and prepare your ingredients accurately. Use exact measurements as noted in the recipe below for the best texture and taste. Sifting your flour and baking powder will remove all lumps for a light and airy cake.

With the eggs, take care when you separate the whites from the yolks. Egg whites whip up better at room temperature, so let them sit for a while before using the whisk.

Before creaming the butter and sugar, make sure the butter is soft and at room temperature so it will blend best. When you alternately add the milk and flour, mix the batter only until combined. Overmixing can make the cake too dense.

Baking the cake

Once your batter is ready, pour it gently into your prepared cake pans in even portions. To avoid air pockets, gently tap the pans on the counter before popping them into the preheated oven. Baking at the right temperature and length of time is crucial, so keep an eye on them.

Preparing the filling

While your cake layers are baking, it’s time to prep the luscious strawberry filling. Dissolve the Jell-O in boiling water, add sugar, and stir until fully dissolved. Let it cool before folding in the crushed strawberries and sour cream. Place it in the refrigerator to chill.

Making the whipping icing

The topping is simply homemade whipped cream, which is so light, fluffy and easy to make. You can always buy 16 ounces of frozen whipped topping in a tub from the store, but it’s so easy to make your own and tastes 1000% better in my opinion!

Cutting the layers

Remove the cake pans from the oven and let them cool enough to gently turn the cakes out onto a wire rack. Once the cake layers have cooled completely, it’s time to assemble your masterpiece. Use a long, serrated knife to cut through each layer horizontally to create four layers for stacking.

Tip: Many people find it easier to freeze cake layers before cutting them into thinner layers. To do this, wrap them in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil. Freeze the layers until they are firm. Let them thaw slightly before cutting.

layers of a strawberry layered cake

Assembling the cake

Pipe a dam of frosting around the edge of each cake layer, then spoon the strawberry filling into the middle. The frosting dam will help keep the filling from oozing out when you frost the outside of the cake. Spread the mixture gently and evenly to cover each layer, carefully stacking and pressing them to hold them in place.

Garnishing and presenting the cake

Once your layers are assembled, frost the entire cake generously, making sure to cover the top and sides evenly. You can use a spatula or an offset spatula to create beautiful swirls and peaks, if you like.

Finally, garnish your Strawberry Kringle Cake with fresh strawberries, dust it with powdered sugar, or drizzle it with melted white chocolate for an elegant finish. Refrigerate the cake for a couple of hours or until the filling is set before serving it chilled.

strawberry layer cake recipe

Ingredients needed to make this old-fashioned strawberry cake recipe

To make this delicious strawberry cake dessert, you will need the following ingredients:

Filling Ingredients

  • Strawberry Jell-O: Provides a sweet strawberry flavor and a delightful texture for the filling.
  • Boiling Water: As it simmers down in your saucepan, it dissolves the Jell-O and sugar, which form the base for the yummy filling.
  • Sugar: Enhances the strawberries’ sweetness and balances the tartness of the Jell-O.
  • Fresh Strawberries: Bring bursts of fresh, fruity flavor to every bite.
  • Sour Cream: Adds an indulgent creaminess to the filling.
Strawberry Layered Cake Filling Ingredients.

Cake Ingredients

  • Egg Whites: Create a light and airy cake with a delicate crumb.
  • Flour: Provides structure and stability to the cake layers.
  • Baking Powder: Leavens the cake in the flour mixture, ensuring it rises and has a tender texture.
  • Salted Butter: Adds richness and depth of flavor to the cake, with a little bit of salt to balance the sweetness. If you only have unsalted butter on hand, add 1/2 teaspoon salt to the butter and sugar mixture.
  • Sugar: Sweetens the cake and contributes to its moist, tender texture.
  • Milk: Provides necessary moisture for the batter and a bit of creaminess.
  • Vanilla Extract: Enhances the cake flavors and has an enticing aroma.
Strawberry Layered Cake Ingredients.

Whipped Topping Ingredients

Check out the ingredients and the recipe to make my easy homemade whipped cream for more details.

Be sure to check out the full ingredient measurements and complete recipe below.

Frequently asked questions about old-fashioned strawberry layer cake

Below are a handful of the most popular questions I receive about making this strawberry cake recipe. If you have other questions I haven’t answered below, please ask in the comments!

How do you keep strawberries from making cake soggy?

The strawberries in this particular cake’s filling are mashed before being mixed with the Jello and sour cream, which help suspend them within the filling without any trouble with getting soggy.

As for whole strawberries or slices you use for garnish, be sure they are completely dry before placing them on the cake.

How do you keep strawberries fresh on top of a cake?

The best way to keep strawberries used for garnish fresh is to wait as close as possible to serving time before adding them to the cake.

How do you keep cake filling from oozing out?

A dam of frosting around the edge of the cake layer can help contain the filling. Also, refrigerate or freeze the cake until the filling is set before frosting. But I’ve honestly not had any trouble keeping the filling in place. It’s ok if it runs down the sides some, because the whipped topping covers the sides very well.

How much filling do you put between cake layers?

A good rule of thumb is to spread about 1/4 cup to 1/3 cup of filling between each layer, ensuring it’s evenly distributed without being too thick or heavy.

Layered Strawberry Cake with filling and whipped cream.

More Grandma-Approved Recipes to Try

If you liked this classic strawberry cake recipe, you should try some other grandma-approved desserts!

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old-fashioned strawberry layered cake

Old-Fashioned Strawberry Layered Cake

My dad used to win baking competitions when I was a little girl with this Old-Fashioned Strawberry Layered Cake recipe, also known as a Strawberry Kringle Cake. It takes like a Strawberry Jello salad in cake form … delicious!
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cake, fruit, summer
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Author: Laura


  • Stand mixer with a whisk and paddle attachments or a hand mixer and mixing bowl
  • 2 9-inch round cake pans
  • Large mixing bowl
  • parchment paper
  • Long serrated knife


Filling Ingredients:

  • 3 ounces Strawberry Jello
  • 1/3 cup boiling water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries mashed
  • 1 cup sour cream

Cake Ingredients:

  • 4 egg whites
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 cup salted butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Whipped Topping Ingredients:

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Make the Filling:

  • In a large bowl, dissolve the strawberry jello in 1/3 cup of boiling water. Allow it to cool.
  • Mash the fresh strawberries until you have 1 1/2 cups.
  • Stir the strawberries, sugar and sour cream into the Jello mixture and chill in the refrigerator while making the cake.

Make the Cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • In a stand mixer, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form, about 3-4 minutes. Set aside in a different bowl.
  • Cream butter and sugar together in the stand mixer.
  • Alternatively add the flour and milk to the butter and sugar. Mix until well combined.
  • Add vanilla and mix well.
  • Fold in the beaten egg whites by hand.
  • Put parchment paper in the bottom of 2 9-inch round cake pans and grease them.
  • Pour cake batter evenly between the two cake pans.
  • Bake on 350 degrees for 30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle. Set aside to cool.

Make the Whipped Topping:

  • While the cake is baking, make the whipped cream.
  • Combine all ingredients into a small mixing bowl or a stand mixer with a whisk attachment.
  • Whip together the heavy whipping cream, sugar, and vanilla on low-medium speed for 3-5 minutes until the whipped cream forms stiff peaks.

Assemble the Layers:

  • Once the cake is cooled, slice each cake in half horizontally with a long serrated knife.
  • Place one piece of cake down on a cake plate and cover with 1/4th of the strawberry filling mixture.
    first layer of a strawberry layered cake with strawberry filling.
  • Repeat with four layers of cake until all are done.
    layers of a strawberry layered cake
  • Ice the cake with whipped topping and garnish with extra strawberries, if desired. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
    Ice the strawberry layered cake with whipped cream.

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