Strawberry Sponge Cake Recipe

Strawberries and cake are truly a match made in heaven. No, we're not talking about that artificially-flavored strawberry cake mix; instead, we're talking about homemade vanilla cake that's adorned with fresh, sweet strawberries. Recipe developer Jessica Morone proves just how well the two go together in her recipe for strawberry sponge cake — a cake she describes as "a fancy strawberry shortcake."

If you aren't necessarily a fan of the dense pound cake that is oh-so common with strawberry shortcake, then this recipe is a winner, as it features a light, spongy cake base. "The cake itself is fluffy and moist; the whipped cream filling is soft and not too sweet because the cream cheese adds a tangy flavor to it, and the strawberries are so juicy and tasty," Morone describes. This cake is ideal as a simple after-dinner dessert, but it also works well for fancier events, like dinner parties or church gatherings. Peanut butter and jelly have had their time to shine — strawberries and sponge cake are the new dream-team in town. 

Gather the ingredients for strawberry sponge cake

To make the sponge cake, you'll need eggs, granulated sugar, all-purpose flour, and baking powder. For the frosting, you'll need cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and heavy cream.

It wouldn't be strawberry sponge cake without the strawberries, so you'll need some of those, along with more sugar and maple syrup to sweeten the deal. "The special ingredient is the maple syrup that goes with the strawberries," Morone explains. "Rather than only using sugar, adding the maple syrup sweetens the strawberries, but also gives them a more balanced, deeper flavor."

Make the sponge cake batter, and bake

Preheat the oven to 350 F, then line 2 8-inch, round cake pans with parchment paper and spray the sides with nonstick spray. Now, add the room temperature eggs into a large bowl, and beat for 1minute, until fluffy. Add in 1 cup of granulated sugar and beat again for 10 minutes, until the mixture is very thick and foamy.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder. Gradually and gently mix the dry ingredients into the egg mixture ⅓ at time. "The main thing to worry about is that, when you are adding the flour mixture to the egg batter, you want to fold everything together really gently so the batter doesn't deflate," Morone explains. "If you mix it too hard, you will end up with denser cakes, rather than lighter sponge cakes." 

Evenly distribute the batter between the 2 pans, bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown. Allow the cakes to cool completely in the pans before removing them.

Sweeten the strawberries, and make the frosting

While the cakes cool, add the sliced strawberries, 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar, and the maple syrup into a medium-sized bowl. Stir to combine, and set aside. 

Now, focus on making the frosting. Into a large bowl, add the softened cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. Beat these ingredients together until combined, then begin to incorporate the heavy cream in, continuing to beat until the frosting is nice and fluffy. 

Assemble the cake, and serve

To assemble the cake, start by placing a cake round on a plate. Slather ½ the frosting on top, followed by ½ of the sliced strawberries. Layer on the final cake round, followed by the rest of the frosting, and finally the rest of the strawberries. And, voila — you're ready to serve and enjoy this strawberry sponge cake. 

"I think this would be a great cake to serve at a spring or summer outdoor party, like a [barbecue] or birthday [party]," Morone suggests. "I feel like drinks like rosé or champagne would go well with the strawberries in this cake, but really anything would taste good with it." Strawberries do provide a summery vibe, but this cake is good for any reason or season. 

Make the cake ahead of time

While some types of cake keep well in the fridge for a few days, this cake isn't one of them. "You can prepare the cake, filling, and strawberries ahead of time, and just put everything together right before you are ready to serve the cake ... Once you assemble the cake, you really need to serve it right away because the filling and the strawberries together will make the cake too mushy [after] a few hours," Morone explains. Hey, it's the price you pay for such a light and fluffy cake, and considering how good this cake is, you really won't have to worry about leftovers anyway.  

Strawberry Sponge Cake Recipe
5 from 69 ratings
Enjoy summer all year long with this light, strawberry-filled sponge cake with cream cheese frosting recipe.
Prep Time
Cook Time
sponge cake topped with strawberries
Total time: 45 minutes
  • 6 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup, plus 1 tablespoon, granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 pound strawberries, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line the bottoms of 2, 8-inch cake pans with parchment paper, and spray the sides with cooking spray, then set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the eggs on high speed for about 1 minute, until they become fluffy. Add 1 cup of the granulated sugar to the bowl, and continue beating for about 10 minutes, until the eggs become thick and foamy.
  3. In a separate, medium bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder. Gently fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture ⅓ at a time, making sure not to over mix and deflate the batter in the process.
  4. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until the cake is golden brown, and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let the cakes cool completely, and then remove them from their pans.
  5. While the cakes cool, in a medium bowl, combine the strawberries, the remaining 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar, and maple syrup. Stir to combine, then set aside.
  6. Add the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract to a large bowl. Beat together until combined, then add in the heavy cream, continuing to beat until the filling is fluffy.
  7. To assemble the cake, place the first cake round on a plate, top with ½ of the frosting, then add ½ of the strawberries on top of the cream. Add the second cake on top, then add the cream and remaining strawberries on top. Cut and serve the cake right away.
Calories per Serving 257
Total Fat 12.7 g
Saturated Fat 6.7 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 127.4 mg
Total Carbohydrates 30.5 g
Dietary Fiber 1.0 g
Total Sugars 20.6 g
Sodium 139.8 mg
Protein 5.8 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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