Strawberry Vanilla Cake

  • Strawberry Vanilla Cake | the little epicurean

    Cake. It’s what’s for breakfast.

    According to Kate Spade, it’s totally acceptable to “eat cake for breakfast”. I keep seeing those tote bags/phone covers/laptop sleeves at neighboring tables at my favorite coffee spots.

    Judging by my recipe index, I don’t make enough cake. Cakes make me the happiest, yet for some reason I haven’t made a cake since January. (!!!) Way back on January 15, I posted this rich, decadent buttermilk chocolate cake with caramel and ganache. It turns out I tend to make cakes whenever I am the MOST stressed out.

    Last cake came about because I spent hours trying to figure out how to fix my blog’s email troubles.  This strawberry vanilla cake was born out of frustration with Google’s new mobile friendly rules.

    Thank goodness for blogging friends. With the help of Sarah (Snixy Kitchen), Jennifer (Kirbie’s Cravings), and Meghan (Cake ‘n’ Knife) I think I have this Google mobile thing down.

    Strawberry Vanilla Cake | the little epicurean

    This brings us to cake. I’m tried of making large 8 or 9-inch layer cakes. They end up teasing me in the fridge until I end up eating all of it. From now on, I’m going to try to use my 5-inch cake pan more often. It’s a small cake that’s big enough to share, yet doesn’t take much up space in the fridge.

    I used a 5-inch cake pan (3 inches high), but this recipe also works for one 9-inch cake pan (2-inch high). When you use the little 5-inch cake pan, the cake will puff up a little over the edge creating somewhat of a muffin top (better known as your snack while you build the cake). Once the cake has completely cooled to room temperature, slice off the little muffin top and level off the cake.

    One thing that cake making has taught me is patience. Ask friends and family; I’m not the patient type. When I want it, I want it now. But you can’t have that kind of attitude with cake. Cake will punish you. Have you tried to slice a warm cake? Sometimes the knife sticks to the cake, or the cake starts to tear apart, or you burn yourself because the inside of the cake is much hotter than the outside. Anyway, regardless of what happens, when you slice into a warm cake, you’ll only end up regret. TRUST.

    A cooled cake is sturdier, stronger, and much easier to cut. I like to use a serrated knife because it does a much cleaner job.

    Strawberry Vanilla Cake | the little epicurean

    Remember the cupcake craze? I was only into it because I liked to spoon off the frosting and just eat cake. I love cakes that don’t require too much frosting.

    This cake uses the tiniest amount of honey cream cream frosting. There’s just enough frosting to stick the layers together and just a touch on the outside to seal in the crumbs. But if you LOVE frosting, don’t worry, the recipe makes plenty. You can slather on as much or little as you like.

    P.S. I finally got the memo that “naked” cakes are cool. Expect a lot of more them.

    strawberry-vanilla-cake-2 Strawberry Vanilla Cake | the little epicurean

    Strawberry Vanilla Cake

    Yield: 5-inch cake


    • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
    • 1/2 Tbsp baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
    • 1/2 cup whole milk
    • 3 large egg whites
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
    • 3/4 cup granulated sugar

    Honey Cream Cheese Frosting:

    • 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
    • 4 oz (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
    • 2 cups powdered sugar
    • 2 Tbsp honey
    • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt

    Strawberry Glaze:

    • 1 cup powdered sugar
    • 4 medium strawberries, hulled
    • 3 raspberries*
    • 1 tsp lemon juice
    • fresh strawberries, as needed to top cake


    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and lightly flour a 5-inch cake pan (at least 3 inches tall). Line bottom with parchment paper. Set aside.
    2. Sift together cake flour, baking powder, and salt.  Set aside. In another bowl, whisk together milk, egg whites, and vanilla. Set aside.
    3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter until smooth. Add sugar and mix until combined. Scrape down bowl as needed to ensure even mixing.
    4. Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients. Mix on low speed while adding 1/2 of the liquid ingredients. Add another 1/3 of dry, follow with remaining liquid ingredients and end with dry ingredients.  Mix until batter is evenly combined.
    5. Spoon batter into prepared cake pan. Level off the top. Bake for 60 minutes, rotating pan midway through baking. If top of cake is browning too much, cover with foil tent. Bake until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cake batter will rise slightly over the 3-inch cake pan.  Let cool in pan for 5 minutes before unmolding. Allow to cool to room temperature on wire rack.
    6. Once cake is cool, use a serrated knife to slice off excess muffin top.  Divide cake into three even layers.

    Honey Cream Cheese Frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together cream cheese and butter. Add powdered sugar, honey and sea salt.  Mix until smooth.

    Strawberry Glaze: Puree strawberries and raspberries with lemon juice. Strain and measure out 2 Tbsp of juice. Combine powdered sugar and 2 Tbsp strawberry juice.  Stir until smooth. If glaze is too thick, continue to add strawberry juice, 1 tsp at a time until desired thickness is achieved.

    *Note: I add the raspberries because they provide a much richer pink color. You can use all strawberries, if preferred.

    The Little Epicurean

    Strawberry Vanilla Cake | the little epicurean

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    Millie | Add A Little

    Oh my gosh this is too cute!! I love the styling!!


    Omg!! This is like my favorite type of cake. I wished we were neighbors so we can make/eat cake everyday!

      Maryanne Cabrera

      Can we PLEASE be neighbors? At the very least, move back to Southern California ;)

    Tina @ Just Putzing Around the Kitchen

    This cake looks gorgeous and insanely delicious! I want ittttttt

      Maryanne Cabrera

      Thanks so much Tina! Hope you are enjoying your birthday weekend!

    ellie | fit for the soul

    Oyyyy yummy!!!! This cake base reminds me of (one of) my favorite cake–Korean style cake!!!! I love making the stuff because it gets so expensive at those cute, albeit painstakingly expensive Korean places. Know which ones I’m talking about? ;) And this is beautiful too, by the way. I’ve been to your site before but haven’t in a loooooong time. So glad that Sarah from SnixyKitchen invited me over here because we’re both Angelenas, yay! <3
    Oh and I'm notorious for sticking my finger into every cake that dares to be around me. I'm patient in other ways but cake? Give it to me in any shape or form! Haha.

      Maryanne Cabrera

      YES! I think I know what the cakes you’re talking about :) Ha, I’m the same way with cakes. Yay, so glad Sarah invited you over. (She’s such a sweetheart!) Since we’re both in LA, let’s get cake together sometime!

    Jocelyn (Grandbaby cakes)

    OMG girlfriend this is ah-maz-ing!!!!!!

      Maryanne Cabrera

      Aw, thanks so much Jocelyn. Just looked at your banana pudding cheesecake blondies and I’m suddenly craving dessert! :)

    Sarah | Broma Bakery

    I’m just loving minimally frosted cakes these days. They’re so gorgeous!


    What a dream!! Love everything about this cake from the minimal frosting (cake lover not frosting lover forever) to that gorgeous strawberry glaze. Not to mention the crumb on that vanilla cake. Swoon.

    ellie | fit for the soul

    That would be lovely, Maryanne! And as a matter of fact, I was just telling Sarah that I reeeeallly want an LA blogger meetup or “alliance” of some sort, lol. Well there probably is one somewhere, I just don’t know how to join in! :P Also, what are some of your favorite cafes in LA?! Mine is Urth hands down.

      Maryanne Cabrera

      I’m part of the LA Food Blogger “meetup” group…but maybe we should start one! :) I’m emailing you right after this!

    Lokness @ The Missing Lokness

    Cake is totally acceptable for breakfast! In fact, my mom used to buy my sis and I cakes to eat for breakfast. I guess since we rarely have cakes, it is ok to serve that for breakfast. This cake is stunning! So want to try the honey cream cheese frosting!

      Maryanne Cabrera

      Wow, that must have been such a treat! :) Perhaps I should make cake breakfast a birthday tradition…

    Thalia @ butter and brioche

    Isn’t this cake just pure perfection?! I am so wishing for a slice.. strawberries and vanilla can never do any wrong.

      Maryanne Cabrera

      Thank you so much Thalia! I agree, strawberries and vanilla are a perfect match :)


    You mean cake, “it’s whats for every meal!”, especially when the cake looks as as gorgeous as this! Drool-fest! Seriously stunning and sounds wonderfully delicious!! I’m totally going to make this for mothers day, is it bad I don’t want to share? Thank you for not being anything like me, and sharing this with us all♡ Cheers ;)

      Maryanne Cabrera

      Cake for every meal! YES, that’s THE LIFE! Make two cakes, one to cake and one to share :)

    Meggan | Culinary Hill

    At the risk of sounding cliche…. what a gorgeous cake!!! OMG!!! What really impresses me is your food styling/photography abilities. You are amazing. I can see why BHG picked you for Top 10 Baking! Nicely done. Pinning the be-jeezus out of this cake.

      Maryanne Cabrera

      Thank you so much Meggan! You are too kind! I’m blushing :)

    Sabrina @ Dinner, then Dessert

    This may be the cutest cake I’ve seen since the epic rainbow one Whisk Kid did. I love it!!

      Maryanne Cabrera

      Thanks so much Sabrina! I love Whisk Kid’s rainbow cake! :)

    Sarah @ SnixyKitchen

    You and Ellie are making me blush! I hope you become besties and make all the cake. Also – you both have my address right? Road trip up. As long as you bring cake (LIKE THIS ONE!), there’s a spare room for you;)

    Brigitte Clark

    Hi Maryanne! it’s Brigitte! I’m new to your blog, just stumbled upon it by accident and WOW I have to say that your creations are out of this world! I’m really inspired to try some of your recipes and this is coming from someone who does not know how to cook or necessarily want to. Thank you! And now I’m going so I can stop drooling over that Strawberry Vanilla Cake. Food can be sooo hypnotic! Whatever! I’m printing this out so I can stare at it all day! Happy weekend!


    Hi, this cake looks stunning! I’m always having trouble making this sort of cakes. I’m from Poland and here are some different kinds of cakes popular (light sponge cake, without butter or with a tiny bit of it). To be honest,I’ve tried countless times to bake such an American, buttery white or yellow cake, like in this recipe, but it always turns out TOO YELLOW or even brown inside… I have no idea, why :( have you ever heard of something like that? If you have, than please, tell me how to achieve this amazing pale-inside cake…

    Alexandra Philipson

    I made this little cake for my mom and sister who both burst out in smiles, explaining, what an adorable cake! I am making it for my boyfriend and his dad hoping for a similar reaction. It tastes as good as it looks!

    I hope you have more strawberry recipes!


    Hi there! I want to make this for my son’s wedding in September (they are having a cupcake display; this will be their “cutting cake”). I have a 6 x 2 inch pan, but figure that will work w/o having to really waste as much by having to level it (hopefully). I’m going to test-drive it soon. Thanks for the wonderful idea – I think it will look perfect on their cake table!

      Maryanne Cabrera

      Hi Dianne! That’s awesome that you’re making your son’s wedding “cutting cake!” The 6-inch cake pan will work, but the cake will rise past the 2-inch sides.


    Hi this cake looks beautiful..
    just wondering if this cake freezes well and can be stacked using a strawberry flavoured butter cream?? Thanks in advance

      Maryanne Cabrera

      Yes, you can freeze the individual cake layers. Be sure to tightly wrap them in plastic wrap to prevent freezer burns.

    Michelle Bowen

    Hi! I’ve made several of your cakes now and they have turned delicious!! Do you have a recommendation for how to change the baking time if I were to use a 8″ pan for this recipe?

      Maryanne Cabrera

      Hi Michelle! I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed some of the recipes! Yes, you can divide the batter between two 8-inch round cake pans. I suggest baking it for 25-30 minutes. Check to see if the center of the cakes are done, if not, bake for another 5-10 minutes. The batter can also be divided among three 8-inch cake pans. Reduce initial cooking time to 20-25 minutes.

      Michelle Bowen

      Hi Maryann! Thank you! I will try it!

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