Summer berry season is here and I am so darn excited. There’s something about snacking on fresh berries all day long during those hot summer months that feels so darn right, right?! Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, whatever your berry of choice is, this fresh and fluffy gluten-free and dairy-free berries and cream cake is exactly what you need to celebrate with this summer.
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Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Berries and Cream Cake
Pillowy soft layers of light vanilla cake that are baked to gorgeous fluffy perfection. Sweet bites and bursts of juicy fresh summer berries in each and every forkful. All gloriously wrapped up in the most delicious dairy-free whipped cream you will ever try! This berries and cream cake will delight every taste bud and have you enjoying it all summer long, time and time again.
What Makes Up A Berries & Cream Cake
With a sweet and fresh fruity flavor profile, this berries & cream cake is made up of 3 different components:
- Vanilla Cake Layers – super soft and fluffy vanilla cake layers made with a tiny bit of pure vanilla extract.
- Fresh Berries – this cake wouldn’t be complete without oodles and oodles of fresh sweet berries.
- Whipped Cream – ever so slightly sweetened, whipped cream is the perfectly light topping for this summer cake.
Berries & Cream Cake Ingredients
As always this recipe is gluten-free and dairy-free. That said, I do test each recipe with “regular” ingredients and make notes of alternatives or swaps so that everyone can enjoy it.
Here are a few key ingredients for this cake but make sure you scroll all the way to the bottom recipe card for the complete ingredient list.
- Gluten-Free Flour: Check to see if your blend contains xanthan gum. This can also be swapped for regular cake flour if you are not gluten-free. Note that gluten-free flour blends can vary in weight so I recommend measuring by the cup. I made this cake with Kinnikinnick all-purpose baking mix. If you are not gluten-free, swap the flour with regular cake flour and omit the xanthan gum.
- Dairy-Free Butter: I enjoy baking with Becel plant-based bricks but any dairy-free butter substitute will work. You can also use regular butter if you are not dairy-free.
- Dairy-Free Milk: I love to bake with unsweetened almond milk but this recipe will work with any type of dairy-free or dairy milk.
- Oil: Use canola or vegetable oil for best results.
- Vanilla Extract: Pure vanilla extract truly is the best. I adore baking with Kirkland’s which can often be found at Costco. If that’s not available or you are on a budget, artificial vanilla extract will work as well.
- Summer Berries: Fresh is best, that’s at least my motto when it comes to fruit. I used fresh strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries for this cake but you could use whatever fresh berries you prefer.
- Dairy-Free Whipping Cream: I used Becel plant-based whipping cream for this recipe. It whips up like an absolute dream and is super user-friendly. Any dairy-free whipping cream will work though or regular whipping cream if you are not dairy-free. Alternatively, you can make coconut whipped cream with this recipe.
- Whip It (Whip Cream Stabilizer): Whipping cream while delicious, is notoriously soft. I used a packet of Whip It to help stabilize the whipping cream. This can be omitted if you will be enjoying the cake right away.
The Fluffiest Vanilla Cake Layers
I am always asked how I am able to bake such soft and fluffy gluten-free vanilla cake layers. The key to uber pillowy and uber delicious vanilla cake layers is by properly creaming the butter, sugar, and oil together. Five whole minutes. Yes, 5! That’s how long I allow that mixture to cream together on high before moving on to the next step.
Don’t get impatient. Trust me when I saw that this is essential to creating those much desired fluffy tender gluten-free vanilla cake layers.
How To Make Dairy-Free Whipped Cream
Whipped cream seems pretty straight and simple, right?! And it truly is, but I’ll break it down a tad bit further to help ensure success.
I start by chilling my bowl and beaters in the freezer for at least 10 minutes. This is going to help that cream whip into a fluffy state of yum heaven in no time.
Remove the chilled bowl and beater and pour in the dairy-free whipping cream. Start the mixer on low and after 30 seconds slowly add in the icing sugar and whip cream stabilizer (if using.) Let this mix until combined and then add in the vanilla extract. Once the vanilla has been incorporated, turn the mixer up to high and let it beat for approximately 4-5 minutes.
Cover your fluffy and lightly sweetened dairy-free whipping cream with plastic wrap and immediately place it in the fridge until you are ready to use it. See, I told you it was simple!
Berries and Cream Cake: Step By Step Instructions
Step 1: Mix the flour, baking powder, salt, and xanthan gum (if using) together and set aside.
Step 2: Cream together the butter, sugar, and oil until light and fluffy, and then add in the eggs and vanilla extract.
Step 3: Combine the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and begin to mix.
Step 4: Slowly pour in the almond milk and mix until just combined.
Step 6: Divide the cake batter into three 8-inch cake pans that have been prepared with baking spray and parchment paper and bake for approximately 20-25 minutes. Cool cakes on a cooling rack.
Step 7: Prepare the whipped cream and store it in the fridge until ready to use.
Step 8: Gently towel dry the fresh berries to absorb any extra liquid or juice there may be. Slice ⅔ of the berries into bite-sized pieces if need be. This will be used in between the layers. The remaining ⅓ can be kept whole and will be placed on top.
Cake Assembly Tips
Stacking a cake with whipped cream such as this berries and cream cake can feel a bit daunting. But, as they say, slow and steady wins the race. Let’s set you up for cake success with a few tips and tricks.
Here are a few assembly tips:
- Fully cooled cake layers: even if a tiny bit warm, layers will slip when warm. Ensure that each cake layer is fully cooled if not even a bit chilled. I will sometimes work with semi-frozen cake layers if I had to bake them a few days before stacking.
- Leveled cake layers: flat and level cake layers will sit far easier than crooked ones. I use this super easy cake tool to ensure each cake layer is perfectly level.
- Keep the cake chilled: if at any point you begin to feel the cake slip or the whipped cream is too soft to work with, pop the cake and whipped cream back into the fridge to chill. Alternatively, you can place a center dowel through the middle of the cake to ensure stability if transporting.
How To Decorate A Berries & Cream Cake
“As you desire” is often how I refer to cake decoration. It’s not that I don’t want you to make the exact same cake as I did, it’s simply that I don’t want you to feel like you *have* to make the exact same cake. We all have an inner cake artist and I always want to encourage you to let it shine. That said, I break down this gluten-free and dairy-free berries and cream “naked” style decor for you real quick.
Step 1: Place a dollop of whip cream on the plate or cake board and put the first cake layer down. Gently press down to “stick” the cake to the whipping cream.
Step 2: Cover the cake layer with approximately ⅓ of the whipping cream and spread it evenly to the edges. Top with approximately ⅓ of the berries. Repeat this with the remaining cake layers.
Step 3: Top the cake with the remaining whipped cream and whole berries. Garnish with fresh flowers or a few sprigs of greenery if desired. I added a tiny bit of glittery sugar on top of the berries to add a touch of glam.
Step 4: Chill the cake until ready to serve.
Storing and Freezing Instructions
Due to the nature of whipping cream, this cake should be enjoyed right away. If need be, it can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days but note that fresh berries will naturally being to release their juice after a few hours in the fridge.
If you want to bake these layers a few days in advance, you most certainly can. I recommend allowing the cake layers to cool, wrap them in plastic wrap, and freeze until you a ready to stack and decorate the cake. Simply remove the layers from the freezer approximately 1 hour before to thaw slightly.
The Yummiest Gluten-Free Berries and Cream Cake
A slice of summer delight, this amazing gluten-free and dairy-free berries and cream cake is a delicious treat of fresh berry yum. Fluffy vanilla cake layers with lightly sweetened whipped cream and loaded with ripe plump strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries. This summer berries & cream cake is fresh, fruity, and a definite must-bake!
Make sure you tag me on social media @cakedbykatie and leave me a rating and review below if you make it. Can’t wait to see it!
Fresh Summer Baking Ideas
Here are a few other fruity recipes that practically scream summer:
- Gluten-Free Raspberry Rhubarb Cake
- Gluten-Free Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake
- Gluten-Free Orange Creamsicle Cake
- Gluten-Free Coconut Cake
- Orange Blossom Cake
- Peach Rose Cupcakes
- Strawberry Almond Cake
- Raspberry Blondies
- Key Lime Pie Cookies