Strawberry Cake with Chantilly Cream

Inspired by Swedish Midsummer Cakes

Strawberry Cake with Chantilly Cream, in the garden ready to serve

June is one of my favorite months and not just because it’s my birth month! These early summer days are glorious as they’re not too hot yet, absolutely lovely for outdoor hangouts. Trees are covered in bright green foliage, flowers are blooming in the gardens, birds are chirping everywhere…. And, produce stalls and markets have all kinds of fruits in abundance. As I was shopping for something else the other day, I spied the most enticing looking strawberries. Once I saw them I couldn’t look away – they were luscious, bright red, juicy, in perfect ripe condition. I couldn’t resist and ended up coming home with two pounds! What else is summer for, if not spontaneity and making use of happy opportunities? I had just the thing in mind for them, a light strawberry cake with Chantilly cream, inspired by Swedish midsummer cakes.

Fresh strawberries on a plate, to be used on strawberry cake

I have a fascination for midsummer since childhood. Back then I had read a British children’s book where the main character, a little girl, was able to see fairies that lived in their garden because she was born on Midsummer’s Eve. I was crushed that I had missed that magical opportunity because I was born just a couple of days later. Anyway, somehow even after all these years I still associate midsummer with some special qualities. I like the Swedish Midsummer’s festival in New York that involves wearing crowns of flowers and dancing around a maypole, and I love how the Swedes make use of summer berries for a strawberry cake in honor of the longest day of the year.

People dancing around a maypole at the Swedish Midsummer festival in NYC
Swedish Midsummer Festival in NYC, Battery Park

The strawberry cake is easy to make, it’s simple, light and airy. It doesn’t require time-consuming fancy decorations yet comes out looking beautiful once you whip up some cream, lather it on top and then place those gorgeous luscious strawberries in whatever way you want. You could go all out with fancy decorating of course, but I think in the spirit of carefree summer days simple and rustic works best. Make an easy custard creme and place it in the middle layer, along with sliced strawberries before decorating, and you’ll have the best summer cake!

Slice of Strawberry Cake with Chantilly Cream on a plate

Tips and words of caution:

While you can bake the cake a day ahead of when you’re planning to serve it, I recommend that you not. It’s best eaten the same day. The cake settles a bit the next day and you lose the fresh, light airy quality. If you must bake the day before, leave it outside at room temperature (don’t refrigerate as it will dry out).

The day of, make the custard and whip up Chantilly cream. You can refrigerate these for a couple of hours if needed, and add to the room-temperature cake shortly before you plan to serve it. If you decorate the cake and leave it outside all day before serving, the cream will melt in the heat and your beautiful result may turn into a sad gob.

If you want to add sliced (instead of whole) strawberries to the top, do so a little before you plan to serve the cake so that they’ll stay fresh looking. I used a mix of whole and cut-in-half strawberries.

For the cake itself use cake flour if you’re able to find it easily, as it will produce a softer, more delicate cake with small crumbs. If you can’t find cake flour, substitute all-purpose flour; the cake will still be good, just a little denser.

And lastly, if you’re concerned about using toxic products that might be harmful for your health, pay attention to the parchment paper you use for baking. Many parchment papers are bleached, coated with toxic chemicals like quilon that release harmful chemicals when heated. I used parchment paper from the If You Care brand for baking my strawberry cake.

Strawberry Cake with Chantilly Cream in garden, ready to serve
Ingredients for Strawberry Cake with Chantilly Cream
Prepping pan by lining with parchment paper for baking strawberry cake
step 1 (cake)
Eggs, sugar, vanilla beaten until light & fluffy, for baking strawberry cake
step 3 (cake)
Folding in flour mix to make cake batter, for baking strawberry cake
step 4 (cake)
Cake batter in pan, ready for baking strawberry cake
step 5 (cake)
Baked cake in pan, ready to remove and cool, in prep for strawberry cake
step 5 (cake)
Ingredients for custard in pot, in prep for strawberry cake
steps 1 & 2 (custard)
Whisking custard over low heat, in prep for strawberry cake
step 3 (custard)
Custard is ready, next step will be to cool it in prep for strawberry cake
step 4 (custard)
Ingredients for Chantilly Cream in bowl ready for whipping, to add to strawberry cake
step 1 (chantilly cream))
Cooled cake sliced into 2 layers, in prep for Strawberry Cake
step 1 (assembly)
Sliced strawberries on custard cream on lower layer for strawberry cake
step 2 (assembly)

Strawberry Cake with Chantilly Cream

MAKES a 9 inch cake



  • 1 cup cake flour (or, 1 cup minus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus 1¼ teaspoon baking powder)
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch (or, 3 tablespoons corn starch if using all-purpose flour)
  • 5 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • A little bit of butter for greasing baking pan


  • 2 egg yolks
  • 6.5 tablespoons milk
  • 6.5 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2.5 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp corn starch
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Chantilly Cream

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar (if you want it slightly less sweet use 1/3 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Strawberries for topping and middle layer

  • 1.5 pounds strawberries



  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease the sides of a 9-inch round cake pan with butter and line the bottom with parchment paper.
  2. Add flour, corn starch (and baking powder if using all-purpose flour) to a small bowl. Mix well and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, add the eggs, sugar, and vanilla. With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes).
  4. To the egg mixture, add the flour mix by gently folding in. Make sure there are no lumps, but don’t over mix.
  5. Pour batter into cake pan, and bake for 20 (up to 25) minutes. The cake is done when a knife inserted into the cake comes out clean.
  6. Remove cake from the pan and cool on a wire rack (cooling in the pan may dry out the cake).


  1. While the cake is baking, carefully break eggs separating out the yolk. Add the yolk to a small pot.
  2. Add milk, heavy cream, sugar, corn starch, and vanilla to the pot.
  3. Heat the pot over low heat, while whisking the ingredients constantly (make sure they don’t boil).
  4. After a few minutes the mixture will thicken and become custard consistency. Remove from heat and cool at room temperature. (If planning to decorate the cake later, store custard in a container in the fridge).

Chantilly Cream

  1. A short while before you’re ready to decorate the cake, add heavy cream, icing sugar, and vanilla to a large bowl. (Rinse the bowl with cold water and dry it just before using; the cool bowl will enable the whipped cream to hold better).
  2. Using the medium speed of an electric mixer, whip cream and ingredients until you get firm peaks. When the peaks hold firm (enough to spread cream on the cake without disintegrating), you’re done. You can see the firmness of the cream in the fully assembled cake photos – the cream covering the top of the cake.

Assemble Cake

  1. Slice the cake horizontally in half so that you get two even layers.
  2. Spread custard on the lower layer and cover with sliced strawberries.
  3. Add the upper layer. Spread Chantilly cream on top in a thick layer. Place whole and sliced strawberries in whatever pattern you’d like. Serve your strawberry cake and enjoy!
Print Recipe
Strawberry Cake with Chantilly Cream, decorated and ready to serve
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