If you’ve ever looked for a simple but crazy good cake recipe that you could go to over and over again, this is the one for you. Not only does this “naked” strawberry cake look gorgeous and amazing in all it’s glorious simplicity, it is also moist, honey sweetened, and just plain fabulous.
The best part is that you can dress it up as little or as much as you want. We are so fortunate to have all these gorgeous California strawberries available year-round. This holiday cake can even pass for a summertime cake, depending on when it’s being served.
Since it’s the holidays, we added a little extra powdered sugar to give it that snowy effect. You can also add cranberries for added holiday appeal, like recipe creator Garlic Girl did, or try drizzling chocolate or strawberry sauce over the top. You are the master of your layer cake!
We wish you a delicious and joyful Christmas, holiday season, and happy New Year!
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 1½ cups granulated sugar
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, room temperature, cubed
- 3 eggs
- ¾ cup milk (divided)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 8 ounces cream cheese (preferably Philadelphia brand)
- ½ stick butter
- 2 cups powdered (confectioners) sugar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 pound fresh strawberries, 6-8 halved
- optional: extra powdered sugar
- Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
- With butter, grease two 8-inch cake pans and cover the bottoms with parchment paper. Grease the paper too, and lightly dust both pans with flour.
- Sift flour, baking soda, sugar and salt in bowl of stand mixer. With paddle attachment, blend on slow for 10 seconds.
- In small bowl lightly whisk eggs with ¼ cup of the milk and vanilla extract; set aside.
- To the dry mixture add the butter and beat on low for about a minute until combined. Slowly add the remaining ½ cup milk until incorporated into dry ingredients.
- Increase speed to medium and blend for about 1½ minutes until you have a thick, smooth batter.
- Add egg/milk mixture in three parts on medium speed, scraping down sides and bottom at least once. Beat for another 30 seconds until batter looks a bit airy and smooth.
- Pour equal amounts of batter into both pans.
- Bake for about 25 minutes, until light golden brown and toothpicks come out dry when inserted in the top center. Remove pans, let cool in pan for 10 minutes, and then on wire rack until room temperature.
- For batter, cream together cream cheese and butter; about 3 minutes. Add powdered sugar a little at a time until well-combined and fluffy. Add honey and vanilla extract and continue to beat until desired consistency.
- Place first layer of cake on cake pan, spread desired amount of frosting in center, making sure to add more on the edges.
- Add top layer of cake and frost the top. With a flat knife or frosting scraper, spread frosting around the top and sides to cover as much or as little as the cake as you like.
- Decorate with strawberries. I like to slice only half the berries and add those to the edges. Pile whole berries in the center, and then dust with powdered sugar