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❤️ Why you'll love it
- Easy decorating (you don't even need a piping bag!)
- The perfect dessert to use up your fresh berries all summer long
- Pretty enough for a special occasion, but easy enough to make for no occasion at all
This strawberry chantilly cake recipe is simple to make but tastes like you spent all day on it.
The layers of delicate vanilla cake are filled with sweet, fresh fruit and finished off with a rich cream cheese frosting. It's lick-the-plate good!
How to fold in egg whites
It isn't difficult to fold egg whites into a batter but you have to be gentle. Put about a third of the egg whites on the batter and then gently pull the batter over the egg white.
Continue to do this until the first third is mixed in.
Now, do the same thing with the rest of the egg whites. This will help keep them from deflating and it will keep your cake lighter and higher. Just remember to be gentle!
You will need to slice the berries so that they lie flat on the filling.
Spread the bottom layer with frosting. Lay the berries on evenly and then add the next layer. Repeat.
Once you have the Italian cream cake layers put together poke a few straws or wooden skewers down through the layers to stabilize the cake while you frost it.
You will be taking these out before you serve the cake but it is a real help when you want to keep your cake from sliding around.
Cream cheese frosting and strawberries require refrigeration, so you'll have to store this delicious cake in the fridge. It'll last for about three days.
Once you've cut into your chantilly cake, you can portion the leftovers into airtight containers. Alternatively, press a piece of plastic against the exposed section of the cut cake to prevent it from drying out as quickly.
If you want to bake one day and assemble the next, I recommend covering each of your cake layers with plastic wrap and keeping them at room temperature. (It's only the frosting and fruit that require refrigeration, after all.)
- Feel free to use whatever fresh berries you prefer, or a combination! Sweet raspberries and juicy blueberries would also taste great.
- If you're out of vanilla extract, the best substitute is vanilla bean paste.
- Make it taste a little wedding cake-like by subbing almond extract for the vanilla. You could also use lemon to lean into the summer flavors.
- The cream cheese frosting in this recipe is thick, creamy, and luscious—it stands up to flavorful berries very well. However, if you want something a little lighter, use stabilized, whipped cream cheese frosting or a classic chantilly frosting (also known as whipped cream frosting).
- You can use 3, 8-inch cake pans if they're the only size you've got. However, they'll fill up a bit more, so watch bake time carefully.
- Make chantilly cake cupcakes by portioning the batter between three standard (dozen-count) cupcake tins. Again, watch the bake time—start checking for doneness around 20 minutes.
- If you like more zing, add a pinch of fresh lemon zest to the frosting.
- Used up the last of your buttermilk in the cake batter? You can thin the frosting with heavy whipping cream, instead.
💭 Things to know
Expert Tip: Use a gentle touch when adding egg whites to batter. It's best to plop about ⅓ of the egg whites on top of the batter. Then, carefully pull the batter up from the bottom of the bowl, moving around the whites. Keep going until it's all combined.
- Pull all of the wet ingredients out of the fridge about an hour ahead of time so they can come to room temperature. This makes the cake lighter and prevents it from tasting gummy.
- Eggs are easier to separate when they're cold, so do so straight out of the fridge. Then, let them warm up with the rest of the ingredients.
- Before whipping egg whites, wipe the whisk attachment(s) and the bowl of a stand mixer with vinegar or lemon juice. Residual fat prevents the whites from whipping into stiff peaks.
- Don't start adding the sugar to the egg whites until they have come to soft peaks. Otherwise, they can deflate. (Soft peaks will hold their shape, but just barely.)
- Perfectly beaten egg whites cling to the beaters and the bowl. You should be able to turn it upside-down over someone's head without anything falling out—it's a fun test to do with your kids!
- After adding the egg yolks, beat well! The consistency should resemble whipped cream. You really need to get a lot of air in it.
- Cake flour and all-purpose flour have different amounts of protein, so I don't recommend swapping them. This chantilly cake needs AP.
- For best results, use a rubber spatula to fold in the egg whites—not a stand or hand mixer.
- Don't open the oven until you think the cakes are close to done. Letting out hot air can deflate the sponge before it has time to set.
- Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick or cake tester in the center of each cake. You should see no wet batter, but moist crumbs are okay.
- Let the layers cool completely before assembling the chantilly cake. Otherwise, the cream cheese frosting will melt into a puddle!
- This cake recipe is even better if you let it chill overnight. During that time, the berries get a little juicy and the filling soaks up their flavor.
- Chantilly cake tastes best at room temperature—it's scientifically proven! (Well, almost. It is a well-tested theory, though!) Pull it out of the fridge an hour or so before you want to enjoy it.
I don't recommend it. They tend to get really mushy after thawing, and the presentation won't look as pretty, either. If you really want to use frozen berries, turn them into a yummy jam, instead! Strawberry and raspberry jams make a great cake-filling alternative.
No, the cream cheese frosting and strawberries won't thaw well. However, you can freeze the undecorated cake layers. Wrap them tightly in plastic wrap, then place them in another airtight container. Freeze for up to three months, thawing at room temperature.
Fluffy chantilly cream is made with heavy cream and vanilla—it's basically a sweetened whipped cream. Whole Foods makes a popular berry chantilly cake, which is similar to this one. However, I like to use whipped cream cheese frosting—it's based on a family recipe we used to call "Italian cream cake" growing up!
📚 Related recipes
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- Deliciously dense and so moist, Strawberry Cream Cheese Pound Cake tastes like the best memories of summer—in dessert form, of course.
- This Cherry Almond Cake has fabulous flavors and a texture that's so decadent, just one bite will have you begging for more!
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- If you like Oreo cookies, you'll love this Chocolate Cake with Cookies and Cream Filling. All you need to serve with it is a cold glass of milk!
🍽️ Serve with...
- Leftover strawberries? Here are 10 delicious ways to use 'em up.
- Make it a berry party with mouthwatering Vodka Strawberry Lemonade!
- Chantilly cake is a great ending to celebratory brunch, especially when it started with Tex-Mex Eggs Benedict. (A good idea for Mother's Day!)
📞 The last word
This chantilly cake recipe is three layers of moist, vanilla cake with plump, juicy strawberries and ultra-rich cream cheese buttercream in between. Then the whole thing is covered in the same buttercream. I grew up calling it Italian cream cake!
No time to bake? Try this amazing no bake strawberry angel food cake!
If you click on the number of servings in the recipe card you can adjust the measurements up or down for the exact number of servings you need. Don't forget that you can click on "add to collection" to save it to your own, private recipe box!
If you love this recipe please give it 5 stars! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Chantilly Cake with Strawberries (Italian Cream Cake)Print Pin Recipe Save Saved!
- 2 quarts Strawberries, washed, stemmed, and sliced
Cream Cheese Frosting
- ¾ cup Butter, softened
- 16 ounces Cream cheese, softened
- 1 ½ teaspoons Vanilla
- 1 ½ pounds Powdered sugar, you may need a little more
- A little buttermilk to thin if needed
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- Preheat oven to 325F.
- Grease and flour 3 9-inch round cake pans.
- Separate eggs.
- Beat egg whites until soft peaks form.
- Add ½ cup sugar gradually, beating until egg whites form stiff peaks.
- Set egg whites aside.
- Cream butter, remaining sugar (1 ½ cup), vanilla, and salt together.
- Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each.
- Beat until the mixture resembles whipped cream.
- Stir baking soda into buttermilk.
- Stir flour and baking powder together.
- Add to the butter mixture alternately with the buttermilk mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
- Fold in the egg whites carefully. Fold in ⅓ of the whites to lighten the batter then fold in the rest.
- Spoon the batter into the baking pans evenly.
- Bake for 40 minutes.
- Remove from oven and cool in pans for 5-10 minutes.
- Turn out and cool completely.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- Beat the cream cheese and the butter together.
- Add the vanilla.
- Add the powdered sugar until you have a creamy consistency.
- Add a tablespoon of buttermilk if necessary to thin it down.
- Place one cooled layer on a cake plate.
- Spread with cream cheese frosting.
- Place a layer of sliced strawberries on the cream cheese and top with another cake layer.
- Stabilize layers with straws or wood skewers and frost with remaining cream cheese frosting.
- Place halved berries around the edge of cake and chill for three hours.
- Bring to room temperature before serving.
- It isn't difficult to fold egg whites into a batter but you have to be gentle.
- Put about a third of the egg whites on the batter and then gently pull the batter over the egg white.
- Continue to do this until the first third is mixed in.
- Now, do the same thing with the rest of the egg whites. This will help keep them from deflating and it will keep your cake lighter and higher.
Nutrition information is estimated as a courtesy. If using for medical purposes, please verify information using your own nutritional calculator. Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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✍🏻 A note from Marye...
I know y'all don't always like the stories bloggers tell so when I have one I try to put it at the very bottom so you can read or skip as you like.
I don't know why but I associate strawberry desserts with Mother's Day. Maybe it is the white-pink-red theme that just looks feminine?
Maybe it is the fact that the berries come into season about the same time as Mother's Day hits?
I don't know. It is one of those things that I think about in the middle of the night when I can't sleep.
When I was growing up this recipe was always called Italian cream cake. It was lovingly pulled out from a pocket in the back of her Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook, smoothed out carefully, and followed down the the last detail.
When I became an adult I ordered an Italian Cream Cake in a restaurant and image my surprise to find coconut!
After many arguments with many people I finally came to the conclusion that this must be a Chantilly Cake.
Call it what you want - just make it!
This chantilly cake recipe is... FABULOUS. Perfect for Mother's Day or any other celebration, including the fact that you got through the day without harming your teenager.
If you don't have a teenager that might sound appalling but if you do - well you certainly understand.
I've raised 8 teenagers. The fact that I can put two words together in a clearly written sentence is nothing short of miraculous.
First published 2011. Last updated May 8, 2023 for readability and editorial changes.