Strawberry Layer Cake with Italian Meringue Buttercream
If you’re looking for a recipe for a beautiful cake with amazing flavor and texture, you’ve just found it!
This Strawberry Layer Cake with Italian Meringue Buttercream will leave anyone asking for a second slice. Happens every time!
I found the white cake recipe in Bon Appetit years ago and it is light, fluffy, tender, moist and fabulous in flavor.
For my family this is the BEST. STRAWBERRY. WHITE. CAKE. EVER!
This is not a cake to indulge in if you’re worried about your waistline . . . it’s buttery and sugary!
This recipe is perfect for those special occasions when you want to serve something outstanding for dessert or simply enjoy with a friend with a cup of coffee or tea any time of the day!
Between each of the three layers, sliced fresh strawberries peak out of thick layers of the meringue buttercream, giving the cake more visual appeal! We eat with our eyes first after all, don’t we?
Why spend loads of money on expensive cakes when you can bake one right in your own kitchen. It doesn’t get any fresher than that?
I love to use strawberries whenever they first appear in the farmers’ markets every spring. I don’t need strawberry patches on our acreage when I know that I can find superior strawberries locally. Plus I feel good knowing that I’m supporting the local producers and not paying for the gas to truck in less-fresh berries from other parts of the country.
Not fresh enough either!
These strawberries are so fresh, the aroma just fills my car with their sweet scent as I drive them home!
Raspberries are my other favorite fruit and would be absolutely lovely with this perfect white cake too.
Strawberry Layer Cake with Italian Meringue Buttercream
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This cake may well become your next favorite for those special celebrations in life. Tucked in between the layers of fluffy white cake are huge chunks of strawberries and more Italian Meringue Buttercream. Heavenly!
For the Cake
- 3 cups cake flour
- 1/2 tsp.salt
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 3 cups sugar
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened to room temperature
- 7 large eggs, yolks removed, use egg whites only
- 2 Tbsp. pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2 1/2 lbs strawberries
For The Italian Meringue Buttercream
- I double this for a thicker frosting
- 1–1/4 cups sugar
- 2/3 cup water at room temperature
- 7 jumbo egg whites
- Pinch of cream of tartar
- 2 cups unsalted butter at room temperature, cut into tablespoons
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
For The Cake
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- Butter and flour two 9-inch round cake pans or 3 8-inch round cake pans.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
- In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
- Add egg whites, one at a time, beating after each addition.
- Beat in vanilla.
- Add sour cream, and beat for 30 seconds.
- Add flour mixture in three additions, beating to blend after each addition.
- Divide batter into prepared pans.
- Bake cake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 50-60 minutes.
- Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes.
- Run a sharp knife around the edges of the pans, then turn cakes out onto a rack to cool completely.
- If using two 9-inch cakes, take a serrated knife, and slice each of the two cakes in half horizontally. If using three 8-inch cakes, as I did, there is no need to slice any of them in half.
- Place first layer of cake on a cake plate.
- Spread a thick layer of frosting over the first cake layer.
- Slice strawberries, leaving enough unsliced to decorate the cake.
- Arrange sliced strawberries all over the frosting in a single layer.
- Place the next cake layer on top and press down gently so that the strawberries are firmly set into the frosting.
- Frost this second cake layer and repeat laying sliced strawberries on top of the frosting.
- Repeat until the top cake is finally placed.
- Generously frost the entire cake on top and sides, beginning with spreading two cups of frosting over the top and sides of the cake in a thin layer, then frost with remaining frosting.
- This recipe makes a very big 4-layer cake or a thick 3-layer cake!
For The Italian Meringue Buttercream
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring sugar and water to a boil.
- Continue to boil until sugar syrup reaches 240 – 244 degrees F, soft-ball stage on a candy thermometer. As it cooks start step 2, the meringue.
- While sugar syrup is cooking, separate eggs placing whites in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and beat on low to medium speed until foamy.
- Add cream of tartar, and whip on medium to high speed until medium to stiff peaks form, but not dry.
- With mixer running, add cooked syrup to whites in a slow but steady stream, beating on high speed. Always be careful when working with hot sugar.
- Beat on high speed until steam from hot syrup stops, about 5 minutes.
- Add butter a tablespoon at a time, beating until smooth, approximately 4-5 minutes.
- Beat in vanilla, scrape down sides gently and beat again for 1 minute.
- The cake is slightly altered from a recipe I found years ago in Bon Appetit magazine from which I scribbled the recipe down on a recipe card and so I don’t have the actual date of the issue. The Italian Meringue Buttercream is from the famous Italian “Cake Boss”. If he prefers this recipe for his famous cakes, then I knew that it would be a winner. It is certainly a winning recipe!
- Recipe: https://www.italianbellavita.com/2015/05/strawberry-layer-cake-with-italian-meringue-buttercream/
The simple fresh sliced strawberries are perfect . . . no extra sugar added so this cake is not over-sweet . . . just right!
The incredible Italian Meringue Buttercream frosting is from The Cake Boss! That obviously guarantees a winner if he makes this frosting. Buddy Valastro is right! This buttercream tastes wonderful and is very versatile for decorating cakes. This Italian meringue buttercream is made with egg whites only so it has a pretty shines. It has very few bubbles and lumps and holds its shape wonderfully . . . and that’s a good thing if you’re like me and like to make lots of swirly-do’s in your frosting.
One of these days I’m really going to learn how to pipe and decorate cakes correctly, because this buttercream is truly perfect for keeping the shapes you design.
This cake is so pretty when presented outside and enjoyed “al fresco”. Today was a perfect afternoon in May with a gentle breeze flowing over our porch. It’s a beautiful spring green outside this time of year and the contrast of the red and white of the cake against the green trees is beautiful.
Just add some pretty napkins and plates and you’re set to serve this spectacular spring cake!
I hope that you enjoy this special spring cake! How do you enjoy fresh strawberries?
Do you have a special recipe that you’d like me to share with others here? Just let me know!
I hope that you enjoy this incredible Italian cake!
This is a to die for cake, Roz! And, I’m all for it regardless of the calories! My hubby doesn’t care for meringue but I’m sure he’d go for this Italian version. Your cake is beautifully decorated! My MIL baked cakes for every occasion for friends and family, and I watched her many times, but never got the hang of it like she did. Your cake has to be delicious, it’s so pretty, and your photos are the best! Take care
Thank you so much Pam…..your kind comments mean so much to me!
This is an outstanding cake and perfect for Mother’s Day brunch!
Thank you Angie! We love strawberry cakes and desserts! Always so pretty to look at too!
Oh My Goodness, what a beautiful cake! The butter cream meringue looks so light and fluffy, more like whipped cream than frosting. I can only imagine how wonderful it tastes!
Thank you Jan….it’s so much fun to bake! To me, it’s like therapy because I have so little time to bake. So when i do, it almost feels like being on vacation!
Roz, this cake looks so delicious! Your photos set such a beautiful scene too. Gorgeous! I’d love to sit on the porch and eat this cake. Pinning.
Andrea, and I’d love to have you over to sit out on the porch or deck to enjoy cake and coffee or tea!
Thanks for stopping by,
This cake looks amazing. I would love to have some.
I would also love to share some of this cake (or anything) with you!
What an impressive dessert! So beautiful and I can imagine how delicious it is.
Thanks Susan! It was a yummy cake, that my husband ate 3/4ths of! I would gain so much more weight if I ate these cakes that I bake for him!
I saw your tantalizing photos of this cake on your Instagram, and I was cursing you. White cake is my favorite cake of all time. I’m searching for the ultimate white cake, so this one gets a shot from me. Italian meringue also my fave frosting….it’s so billowy and creamy. I could eat the whole bowl. Well, maybe half. You said you don’t like sweets. Really? Soooooooooo, you didn’t eat a slice of this? I think you did! I would have. A HUGE slice. Beautiful cake, my friend.
You’re too funny Debby! Oh yes, I had a few bites, but because I have no will power for savory carbs, I have to say no to sweet carbs or I’d be twice the size of a whale!
Hope you’re doing well!
I’m sure… I found my favorite cake… 🙂
Oh Ilaria, you are so kind and sweet! I hope that you are doing well this summer!
If I could reach through the screen and grab a slice of this, I would. Those photos are making me drool. I’m pinning this and will get to it at some point — about five pounds less from now.
You’re too funny Linda! If I waited to bake a cake when I was five pounds less, then nothing would ever get baked around here. Those pounds are so stubborn on this old body!
I saw this cake when you posted it on Instagram and loved it immediately. It is such a beautiful cake! I am all about sugar and butter, especially if it looks like this! 🙂 I have never made an Italian Merange Buttercream. Is it very difficult? I tend to shy away from recipes that call for a thermometer, but I want to get over that. Thank you so much for sharing your gorgeous recipe, Roz!
Hi Shari, I don’t think making an Italian Meringue Buttercream is hard, but that’s just an opinion. Like anything in baking, I think it’s just about patience and precision. Maybe that’s another reason why I don’t bake as much as I’d like . . . sometimes its just easier for me to just throw something together quickly!
you had me at strawberry! pinned this yumminess. xo
Thank you so much Katie! When I have time, I just love baking ‘statement’ cakes.
Hi Roz, quick question…I assume the Italian meringue buttercream frosting is… ALREADY …. DOUBLED in the recipe ?? Hope you answer this soon… planning on making it this Friday. It’s a beautiful looking Southern Cake !!!😋 Actually I believe you do… Double the recipe above…which means you’d use 14 egg whites etc ?!?!?!?!?
Yes, you’re right . . . that many egg whites sincre it’s a meringue. I’m so sorry that I didn’t answer quickly. . . . too many problems at my workplace that was way too stressful. PLEASE let me know how the cake turned out. It’s so delicious!
Hi Roz, your cake was wonderful, everyone loved it…it’s now in my Special Recipes Folder !!!! Thanks for sharing with us !!!❤️
I’m so glad that your family/friends and you loved the cake. It’s a special cake and now I want to make it right away! Let me know if I can help you with anything that I’m capable of in the kitchen.