Finnish Strawberry Whipped Cream Cake

A real celebration cake, layers of moistened sponge cake with strawberries and whipped cream between and spilling out the sides in joyful berry abandon.

Finnish Strawberry Whipped Cream Cake ♥, a real celebration cake, especially traditional for birthdays and Midsummer.

A Summer Tradition in Finland, Especially for Summer Birthdays and Midsummer. A Summer Celebration of Strawberries 'n' Cream. A Show-Stopping Layer Cake. Works With Perfect Home-Grown Berries and Good Supermarket Strawberries. Budget Friendly. Serves a Crowd.


  • "Wow... I made a mini version ... wish I had gone big!!! Wonderful flavour and texture, not too sweet ..." ~Anonymous

I've Been Wondering ...

Do you ever think about how you'd like to be remembered some day a long, long while down the road? Do you ever wonder what your culinary gravestone will say? Killer Fish Tacos? Chocolate Chip Cookie Queen? Best Biscuits in Texas? So maybe it would take too many letters and maybe too, ahem, sweet.

Me, I think I’d like to remembered as The Cake Lady.

In the last year, it’s been such fun to make one big celebration cake after another, usually birthday cakes.

One birthday, wires got crossed (oops) and so at the last minute, I tossed together a fruit salad topped with a little homemade caramel sauce – it was an unexpected welcome treat!

But usually, birthday cake it is. Layers! Fillings! Frostings! And the Birthday Boy or Birthday Girl gets to choose the flavors.

When the twin grandsons turned five, one requested “vanilla cake with cherries and chocolate frosting”. No kidding, a five-year old with discerning taste!

So far, I’ve finalized “my” recipes for a chocolate layer cake, a banana layer cake and now, this recipe I remember so fondly from the year I lived in Finland as an exchange student, the summer favorite, the Strawberry Whipped Cream Cake.

By all rights, this cake deserves the very best good strawberries, really ripe, really juicy. But when I made it for my birthday last August when local berries are long past, supermarket berries still produced one magnificent cake.

How to Make This Show-Stopping Layer Cake

Make the Sponge Cake A "sponge" cake isn't, haha, made with the loofah you keep in the shower. Instead, a sponge cake is a light but sturdy cake that's made with eggs, flour and sugar but without butter or another fat.

For this Finnish layer cake, the batter is separated into two cake pans and then, after baking, each cake is cut in half. That makes for four luscious layers!

I bake the cake the day before (or at minimum, early in the day) to allow the cake to fully cool which means it's just a little sturdier, that's important because you want all those layers to be stable.

Plus, the cake flavors develop without losing any "freshness".

Whip the Cream This cake is allllllll about strawberries 'n' cream so yeah, there's a lot of whipped cream. Just whip heavy cream with a little sour cream, it gives the whipped cream a lovely tang that's somehow perfect.

Put It All Together! One by one, stack the cake layers. I like to drizzle the bottom three layers with a little milk or clear fruit juice. This helps the cake hold together and makes it oh-so-moist. For the first three layers, you'll mix the whipped cream with chopped fresh strawberries. For the top layer, you'll make the top as pretty as possible, piled up with whipped cream and summer strawberries!

Finnish Strawberry Whipped Cream Cake ♥, a real celebration cake, especially traditional for birthdays and Midsummer.

What's In This Fabulous Strawberry Cake? Pantry Ingredients!

In all my recipes and most well-written recipes, every ingredient serves a purpose. Each one matters. Each one contributes to the overall dish. It's not that an ingredient can't be substituted by something else but when choosing the substitute, it's important to understand why the original ingredient was present in the first place.

  • For the Sponge Cake: No Butter! A sponge cake has nearly all the usual ingredients, sugar + egg + flour + baking powder for leavening. But take note, a sponge cake has no butter! That makes it a great back-pocket cake to make when you find yourself without butter or it's just not available.

  • For the Whipped Cream Whipped cream starts with heavy cream, it's essential. You just can't whip cream with a light cream or half 'n' half, it doesn't have enough butterfat to create the lift and loft that makes whipped cream so tantalizing.

  • Fresh Strawberries! So many people are blessed with easy access to sweet, juicy home-grown strawberries. (My own great-grandfather was known as "Strawberry Bill"! I tell the story here, Strawberry Salsa with Sweet-Cinnamon Baked Tortilla Chips.) But I'm here to say, good supermarket strawberries can be wonderful here. We're big fans of the big containers of Driscoll strawberries we find at Sam's Club, especially because the season is long (watch, there seem to be two) and the price is right.

  • Vanilla + Almond Extract Flavorings Both the cake and the whipped cream are kissed with my favorite combination of flavorings, a 2:1 mix of vanilla and almond extract. No almond extract? Okay, substitute more vanilla. But some time, do try this combo. No vanilla? Stick with the stated amount of almond extract, a light touch is preferred, any more is just too much.

You Might Wonder Be Wondering ...

Could You Use Another Cake Instead of Sponge Cake? Maybe. Hmmm, yes, I think so. You could buy an angel food cake, cutting it up to make layers for individual servings or maybe buying an angel food loaf or a pound cake loaf and create two or three or even four loaf layers. Just thinkin' out loud here! It wouldn't be a traditional Finnish cake but it would be outright delicious!

Can You Use a Can or Two of Whipped Cream? No, at least for the cake layers. Canned whipped cream has so much air, it collapses within a couple of minutes. Could you use canned whipped cream to top off a slice of cake? Of course!

Can You Freeze This Cake? Yes and No. Yes, the cake layers can be carefully wrapped and frozen and then gently thawed to assemble. But no, once assembled, the cake cannot be frozen.

Can You Use Other Fruit? Yes. To substitute for strawberries, I would choose another "wet" fruit like peaches. Naturally, other fruit like blueberries and blackberries can be used to decorate the top layer.

Can You Use Frozen Fruit? I suppose. But this cake is really a celebration of summer strawberries. There's also some risk that frozen berries would be so wet that the cake would fall apart.

Does This Cake Travel Well? Maybe. Let's say you want to make this cake at home and travel a few miles down the road for a party. I think that would work, it's a sturdy cake, especially if the layers are very lightly soaked with milk or juice. But I would definitely put the cake in some sort of box so that if it did tip over, it wouldn't make a mess of your vehicle. Need to travel further than a few miles? My tack would be bake the sponge cake at home, then arrive with the remaining ingredients and assemble on the spot.

What Makes This Recipe So Special

  • No butter! No oil! Sponge cake is made without butter or oil.
  • Looks impressive, surprisingly easy to make!
  • A real extravaganza of strawberries 'n' cream

Bookmark! PIN! Share!

How do you save and share favorite recipes? recipes that fit your personal cooking style? a particular recipe your mom or daughter or best friend would just love? If this beautiful summer cake inspires you, please do save and share! I'd be honored ...

Finnish Strawberry Whipped Cream Cake ♥, layers of sponge cake, fluffy whipped cream and strawberries, a real celebration cake.


Hands-on time: 20 minutes for cake, 30 minutes for frosting
Time to table: about 4 hours, can make ahead
Serves 10
  • 6 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1-1/3 cups (265g) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1-1/3 cups (165g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 – 6 tablespoons fruit juice or milk
  • 2 pounds (900g) strawberries

SPONGE CAKE Heat oven to 350F/175C. Line bottoms of two nine- or ten-inch cake pans with parchment. Spray sides and bottom with baking spray.

In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to blend the eggs until just fluffy. A tablespoon at a time, add the sugar, letting the mixer run the entire time. Add the vanilla and almond extract, then increase the mixer speed to high and mix until eggs have doubled or tripled in volume, about 10 minutes.

Reduce mixer speed to low. Stir together the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl, then pour into mixing bowl, mix just until flour disappears.

Divide cake batter between pans. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes until cakes pull away from edges and the center springs from the touch.

Let cool. Can be made a day before, just wrap and refrigerate.

WHIPPED CREAM Whip cream, sour cream, vanilla and almond extract until just beginning to thicken. Slowly add sugar, then finish whipping until thick.

TO ASSEMBLE With a serrated knife, cut each cake into two layers.

Place one layer cut-side up on a cake platter. Drizzle a tablespoon or two of juice or milk. Chop 1 – 2 cups strawberries, stir in 1 – 2 cups whipped cream. Spread on the first layer, letting cream spill loosely over the sides. (Oh yeah.)

Repeat with second and third layers.

Place last layer on top, this time cut-side down. Mound whipped cream on top, then top with whole berries.

Refrigerate until ready to serve.

To serve, cut the cake in half to form a half moon, then cut four rectangular pieces from the middle of the half moon, leaving two odd-shaped pieces on the outer edges.

PARLOR TRICKS For the cake, skip the measuring cups and spoons! Instead, get out three large drinking glasses. Crack the eggs into one glass, then fill the others with sugar and flour to the exact height of the eggs. It’s kind of amazing! For the rest of the ingredients, just wing it!
ALANNA’S TIPS We won’t go so far as to call this “diet cake” but do take note that there’s no butter in the cake itself. It’s what we call a “sponge” cake. You’ll definitely want to use an electric mixer to make the cake. With a stand mixer, you can let the mixer go to town on the eggs and sugar while prepping the baking pans and measuring the remaining cake ingredients. I like to bake the cake a day ahead and refrigerate; the cake stays fresh but firms up somehow. My cake pans are 9-1/2” in diameter and 1-1/2” tall. The batter fills the pans but rises just a little bit while baking. You can even “frost” the cake a day ahead of time. Just omit the fruit juice and save whipped cream for the top layer until just before serving so that it looks and tastes extra fresh. In Finland, strawberries are traditional but no need to obey tradition when other berries are so good – raspberries, sour cherries, maybe even a rainbow mix of sweet cherries, kiwi, blueberries and mango. Even with strawberries, I always feel tempted to insert a layer of bananas! You can leave out the fruit juice but it does really add, especially if eating the cake within an hour or two of combining the cake layers with the fruit and whipped cream. You’ll want to use a clear or light-color juice. A nearby international market carries banana juice from somewhere in Eastern Europe, I think it would be fabulous!

FOR MORE INFO If you "skipped straight to the recipe," please scroll back to the top of this page for ingredient information, ingredient substitutions, tips and more. If you print this recipe, you'll want to check the recipe online for even more tips and extra information about ingredient substitutions, best results and more. See .
NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Slice: 450 Calories; 22g Tot Fat; 13g Sat Fat; 197mg Cholesterol; 232mg Sodium; 54g Carb; 2g Fiber; 38g Sugar; 8g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS Old Points 10, PointsPlus 12 & SmartPoints 21 & Freestyle 19 & myWW green 19 & blue 19 & purple 19 & & future WW points
Adapted from a recipe brought home from Finland way back in 1976-1977!

Summer Specialties in Finland

A collection of Finnish recipes ♥
~ Finnish recipes ~
Finnish Summer Soup aka Kesäkeitto ♥, perfect new summer vegetables suspended in a milky broth, make it all summer long.

Simple Grilled Salmon, another Quick Supper ♥, how to grill salmon, simply, sumptuously. Weight Watchers Friendly. Low Carb. High Protein.

Finnish Fruit Tart (RahkaPiirakka) ♥, here with blueberries, also try golden raisins, cherries, rhubarb and more. One Bowl. Press-in Crust. Super Easy.

Shop Your Pantry First

(helping home cooks save money on groceries)

~ strawberry recipes ~

~ All Recipes, By Ingredient ~
~ How to Save Money on Groceries ~

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail, you'll find my current address in the FAQs. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, for more scratch cooking recipes using whole, healthful ingredients, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. If you make this recipe, I'd love to know your results! Just leave a comment below.

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  1. Wow...what more can I say? I made a mini version(1/2 recipe) and now wish I had gone big!!! Wonderful flavour and texture, not too sweet but...oh my! I used ginger simple syrup in place of the juice. Definitely my new favorite.Thanks!


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna