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Strawberries and cream is a classic combination and in this gluten free cake it’s as beautiful as it is delicious. This Gluten Free Strawberries and Cream Cake has layers of moist and tender cake, juicy strawberry filling and fluffy homemade whipped cream. One of my favorite dessert recipes!
Looking for more gluten free cakes? Try this Gluten Free Birthday Cake with Chocolate Frosting.
Homemade Strawberries & Cream Gluten Free Cake
This classic dessert is as beautiful as it is delicious. Start with an easy homemade gluten free vanilla cake. Then combine it with layers of the traditional combination of sweet, juicy berries, and homemade whipped cream for a family favorite spring and summer treat.
The original version of this recipe made with traditional cake flour was my grandma’s favorite cake. Even though her birthday was in January, clearly not strawberry season in New Jersey, this was what she wanted.
If you don’t need a gluten free version of that classic cake recipe, then you can always make the original Strawberries and Cream Cake and get all of my best tips and tricks.
Since it is such a classic, I knew that everyone, myself included, needed to be able to enjoy this favorite strawberry shortcake-inspired treat as a gluten free dessert.
And really, is there anything better than moist, tender white cake layered with fresh berries and homemade lightly sweetened whipped cream? It’s a classic, just like my grandma.
If you want to read more about her (and trust me, you do), then scroll on down past the recipe where I share more about my love for her and our special relationship. I thought of my grandma with every bite, though I do have to wonder what she would think if I tried to sneak a gluten free cake by her 🙂
How Do You Make a Gluten Free Strawberries and Cream Cake?
This cake starts with the Homemade White Cake from Bob’s Red Mill and simply substitutes the all-purpose flour with a gluten free blend. A basic cake recipe, a simple substitution, and my usual strawberry and whipped cream combo, and what you have is absolute perfection!
Be sure to read all labels, especially for things like baking powder, baking soda, and vanilla extract to ensure that they are gluten free. Depending on the brand, these can sometimes be a risk for cross-contamination.
For the Cake
- Gluten Free All Purpose Flour Blend – I recommend Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten Free Baking Flour)
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
- Unsalted butter
- Granulated sugar
- Egg whites
- Vanilla extract – Always be sure your vanilla extract is gluten free. The most common brands are, such as Nielsen-Massey and McCormick. I personally love the flavor of Nielsen-Massey Madascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract, and it is certified gluten free.
- Plain Greek yogurt
For the strawberry filling:
- Sliced fresh strawberries
- Granulated Sugar
For the whipped cream:
- Heavy cream
- Powdered sugar
- Vanilla extract
- Basics – Measuring cups and spoons, two bowls, a sifter or sieve to sift the dry ingredients, and a spatula, and a paring knife.
- Strawberry huller – OK, I may be a sucker for gadgets, and this isn’t necessary, per se. But this OXO Strawberry Huller does make quick work of cutting the centers out of those berries. Perfect when you have to do a lot.
- Mixer – you can use a Kitchenaid stand mixer or a basic hand mixer. For whipping the cream, I like to use my simple Hamilton Beach Hand Mixer with the whisk attachment.
- Cake pans – I use these Wilton 9-inch cake pans, but just to be certain there is no sticking, I always line my pans with parchment paper.
How to Make & Assemble this Cake
Scroll to the recipe card for the full set of instructions
Make the Gluten Free Cake
- Preheat your oven to 350°F and line cake pans with parchment paper.
- Whisk together the dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
- Cream the butter and sugar, then add egg whites and vanilla.
- Add the flour mixture, milk, and yogurt. Beat until combined.
- Divide between the prepared pans.
- Bake for about 20 minutes and cool.
Make the Strawberry Filling
- Toss the sliced strawberries with a bit of sugar and allow the juices to release.
- Chill your bowl, beaters, and cream.
Whip the Cream
- Whip the cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla to soft peaks.
Assemble the Cake
- Top the first layer of cake with whipped cream, berries, and another layer of whipped cream. Top with another layer of cake and repeat. Then place the final layer of cake on the top.
- Cover the entire cake with whipped cream. Garnish with strawberries or even White Chocolate Covered Strawberries, if desired.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve.
This gluten free strawberries and cream cake recipe is truly the epitome of spring and summer, and I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are answers to some common questions I receive about this easy gluten free cake recipe.
What is the best gluten free flour for cakes?
Many people like to use their own custom blend of flours and starches for gluten free baking. But this recipe uses gluten free all purpose flour. Sometimes when you have to give up gluten, you want to be able to take a memory and recreate it without a lot of fuss.
That’s exactly what I did here. It has been tested with Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour. This is not a paid endorsement. It is just what I’ve found to work the best when you want a simply substitute in a recipe without a lot of fuss adjusting ratios.
Gluten free cake vs regular cake: Do gluten free cakes taste different?
Many gluten free flours do have a bit more of a flavor than traditional white all-purpose flour. This is especially true if you are using a nut or bean flour, like almond flour or chickpea flour. However, the Bob’s Red Mill flour I recommend does have a fairly neutral flavor. And when you are combining it with berries and sweet whipped cream (and all the yummy butter in the cake), it actually tastes quite yummy.
As with all gluten free baked goods, you might notice a bit of a grainy texture. But in this case, when it has absorbed the moisture and flavor from the berries and cream, it ends up moist and tender. And it is certainly better than many of the store-bought, commercially produced gluten free cakes.
Can you make gluten free cake in advance?
It is actually recommended to make and assemble the cake just a bit in advance, at least by a few hours or up to a day. This will allow the cake to absorb a bit of the flavor and moisture from the berries and cream.
How to Store this Gluten Free Cake
You MUST keep the cake refrigerated, otherwise, the fresh whipped cream will turn rancid. However, you don’t want to store the leftover cake for more than a day or so because that lovely moisture will ultimately get soggy.
Brianne’s Pro Tips for the Best Gluten Free Cake
- Use parchment paper: Always line your cake pans with parchment paper to avoid having them stick.
- Freeze your bowl: Put the bowl that you’ll use for whipping the cream in the freezer for a few minutes and use very cold heavy cream to help it whip better. Try to whip it just before you are going to assemble the cake.
- Don’t over beat: Be sure not to over beat the whipped cream or it will separate and turn into butter.
- Make in advance: You can serve the cake right away, but I recommend making it a few hours in advance or the night before so that the cake gets super moist from absorbing some of the moisture from the whipped cream. However, I wouldn’t recommend storing leftovers for more than a day or so. It tastes best when fairly fresh.
More gluten free cake recipes
- Gluten Free Yellow Cake with Fudge Frosting is the classic combination of yellow cake and fudgy chocolate frosting.
- Peanut Butter Cup Flourless Cake Roll is one chocolate and peanut butter lovers will adore. Impressive but deceptively easy!
- Gluten Free Apple Bundt Cake is perfect for fall.
- Prefer something cold and creamy? Gluten Free Birthday Cake Ice Cream Cake will delight kids of all ages.
- And there’s even a great collection on the Huffington Post of Gluten Free Birthday Cake Recipes!
More gluten free desserts with strawberries
Strawberries and Cream Gluten Free Cake
For the cake:
- 2 cups 1:1 Gluten Free All Purpose Flour Blend (recommended: Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten Free Baking Flour)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (one stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
- 4 egg whites, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup milk
- 2/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
For the strawberry filling:
- 2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar (or more, depending on how sweet your strawberries are)
For the whipped cream:
- 1 pint heavy cream, well chilled
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and line three 9 inch round cake pans with parchment paper.
- Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl and set aside.
- Using a hand mixer or stand mixer, in a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar on medium speed.
- Add egg whites and vanilla and beat for about 30 seconds.
- Reduce speed to low, and add flour mixture, milk, and yogurt. Beat until combined.
- Beat on high for an additional 30 seconds.
- Divide the batter evenly between the pans.
- Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until lightly golden and toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool pans on racks for about ten minutes, then remove cakes from pans and cool completely.
For the strawberry filling:
- Combine the strawberries and sugar in a small bowl, and set aside to allow the juices to release.
For the whipped cream:
- Place the bowl and whisk attachment for your stand mixer or a metal or glass bowl and beaters for your hand mixer in the fridge or freezer until they are cold.
- Add the cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla to the chilled bowl, and beat on medium-high to high speed until soft peaks form. Do not overbeat.
To assemble the cake:
- Place one layer of the cake on a plate, and spread with about a half cup of the whipped cream. Layer on about half of the sliced strawberries.
- Spread about another half cup of whipped cream on top of the strawberries.
- Top with the second cake layer. Again top this cake layer with about a half cup of the whipped cream, the remaining berries and another half cup of whipped cream.
- Top with the final cake layer, and spread the remaining whipped cream over the top and sides of the cake to cover completely.
- Garnish with the whole and/or sliced strawberries, as desired.
About My Grandmother
For the first twelve or thirteen years of my life, grandma lived five blocks from me. So I spent a lot of time with her. After church on Sundays, we would go to her house for dinner – pot roast or spaghetti or stuffed cabbage for the family (she always made me Grandma’s Polish Meatballs since I didn’t like cabbage). Every now and then, she would honor my special request for chicken noodle soup.
We would frequently drop by in the evening to watch Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy with her and my grandpa. This especially happened if she had made a big pot of Easy Beefaroni (which she affectionately called “junk”). Then we would sit in the breezeway while she puffed away on her cigarettes. Grandma never smoked in the house, only in the breezeway or in the basement. In the dead of winter, if she was at our house, we would send her outside to smoke.
If I was sick or had a day off from school, I’d stay at her house. She would make me toast with cream cheese, or scrambled eggs with American cheese for lunch. I’d watch Sesame Street or The Frugal Gourmet or Bob Ross while she watched her “stories” in the afternoon. If it was a Wednesday, I’d go to Bingo with her, where I’d draw my own Bingo boards and play along. Although more often than not, she would take me to McDonald’s for a chicken nuggets Happy Meal, then to the bakery for a cupcake. Sometimes I’d even get to go to the beauty parlor with her.
I actually used to love sleeping over at her house, too. She and my grandpa had twin beds, a la Fred and Ethel. If I was there, he would sleep in the spare room so I could be in the room with her. We would watch the Golden Girls on her twelve-inch television. Sometimes I might make it to the opening credits of Dallas before falling asleep. In the morning, I was greeted with a bowl of sweet, buttery farina.
My grandma sounds like a pretty lively lady, doesn’t she? Well, she did her best, but she was about forty when rheumatoid arthritis hit. By the time I was born, she already had a hard time using her hands. Those Sunday dinners were a struggle for her and didn’t last very long in my life before she just couldn’t do it anymore. A full set of plastic knuckles didn’t make chopping and mixing very easy for her. And for Easter, my mom always had to knead the Paska while Grandma supervised.
While the simple foods she made for me hold a special place in my heart, I’m told she was actually an amazing cook. But, between her arthritic hands and my childhood pickiness, by the time I was old enough to appreciate and perhaps even learn from her, it was too late. I have a few scrawled recipes I’d like to try sometime, but that stuffed cabbage recipe is now only a memory.
As I grew older, I cooked a lot of Sunday dinners for her and my grandpa. While I think she usually enjoyed my cooking, I had to keep it a secret if I ever used any lighter or healthier ingredients. She insisted that healthy food tasted terrible. And she always seemed a little annoyed if she liked something, and then learned it was healthy.
Grandma was a tough cookie, though. Even though she couldn’t run around with her grandkids, she found a way to connect and be close to us. She taught me how to play solitaire, and we would do puzzles together. She would take me and my cousins to the park, or just sit in the backyard or talk to her backyard neighbor while we played.
Her health problems got worse as she got older, and she was supposed to quit smoking. She never really did though, even though some of the family thought she had. So when we would have family gatherings, as soon as we had dinner, she was ready for her dessert. Because she had to have her dessert before she left. I’m fairly certain it was not because she was tired or losing patience. I’m pretty sure it was because she needed to go have a cigarette but didn’t want to let any of us know she was still smoking. But she was caught on multiple occasions sitting in her car, puffing away in a random grocery store or department store parking lot.
She passed away when The Hubby and I were on vacation in Tuscany. I kind of knew it would happen while we were gone, but I believe in my heart that she truly wanted me to go on that trip. It was a bittersweet trip. But I felt like she and I had our closure on my last visit with her before we got on that airplane. I miss her terribly, though.
She had a tendency to nag me about the fact that her lady friends all had great-grandchildren. I had to remind her that she had my mom, her first child, when she was 23 – a bit older for her generation. Then my mom had me, her oldest, when she was 26 – actually a bit older for her generation too. So really, it wasn’t entirely my fault! But I really wish she could have met my boys. I think she and The Bug would have been best buds, and she would have gotten such a kick out of the Little Dude.
It’s strange, but her birthday and the anniversary of her passing often go by without me having any particularly strong thoughts of her. Yet on random days, I’ll be overwhelmed with thoughts of her. A couple of weeks ago I really didn’t want to go for my long run of the week. But I did and took a different path than I had taken before. It was a tough run. At 4.9 miles, I was overcome by the aroma of a lilac bush and was able to push through to the bitter end of that run.
As I walked the last half mile home to cool down, I was choking back tears, overcome with memories of my grandma. In her backyard was a line of lilac bushes, and the scent of the flowers permeated the air every spring and summer. And that moment and those lilacs just made me feel her presence more than I have in a long while. I knew she was with me and smiling down on me. That’s when I knew I had to make this cake.