Fresh Fruit Cake

A delicious soft and light vanilla sponge cake filled with homemade fruit filling and topped with delicious fresh fruits and freshly whipped cream.

sponge cake filled with cream and topped with fresh fruits like strawberries, raspberries and blueberries

Baking a delicious (and pretty!) cake from scratch doesn’t need to be complicated. With a few staple pantry ingredients, some whipped cream and your favorite fresh fruits, you can make a delicious cake that the entire family will enjoy.

This fresh fruit cake is one of my favorites thanks to its simple recipe, but also the simplicity in the flavors. A light and airy vanilla sponge cake is filled with freshly whipped chantilly cream, a homemade fruit filling and finally decorated with more cream and fresh fruit.

Cake + cream + fresh fruit is always a winning combination – no matter the time of year or occasion!

top down view of fresh fruits on top of the sponge cake

Why This Recipe Works

  • It’s simple enough for even a beginner baker
  • You can use any variety of fruit (but the berries are a real winner for me!)
  • It’s the perfect dessert for any time of the year, and any occasion

Ingredients

For The Cake

ingredients needed for the fresh fruit cake recipe

This is basic vanilla sponge cake. The most important ingredient here is the buttermilk, as not only does it add to the cake’s flavor, but it helps create that soft tender crumb that we want from a sponge cake.

Other than that, use a good quality butter (grass-fed makes a huge difference! and eggs for the best tasting cake.

For The Filling

ingredients needed for the whipped cream and fresh fruit filling
  • Strawberries, raspberries and blueberries make for a perfectly sweet sauce.
  • Some granulated sugar helps sweeten the mixture, while corn starch thickens it up enough that it won’t run right off the cake.
  • Chantilly cream is just a fancy way of saying whipped cream that has been sweetened with sugar. I also always add vanilla extract for a little extra flavor.
slice of cake being removed

Variations

  • Get creative with the fruits you use! Add in kiwis and clementines for a citrus kick, or blackberries to add even more berry flavor to the strawberries, blueberries and raspberries.
  • Add lemon or orange zest to the whipped cream.

Instructions

To Make The Cake

instructions for the first 4 steps of the cake batter
  1. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans. If you’re nervous about the cake sticking, you may also choose to line the bottom of the cake pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Mix together and set aside.
  3. Add the butter and sugar to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium-high speed for about 4 minutes until the mixture is light and fluffy in texture and creamy in color.
  4. On low-medium speed, mix in the eggs one at a time until incorporated.
instructions for steps five to 8 of making the cake batter
  1. Keeping the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients alternately with the wet ingredients, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients, and mixing just until incorporated. Over mixing will result in a tough and chewy cake.
  2. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix for another 15 seconds.
  3. Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans. Bake 25-30 minutes or until the edges are starting to turn golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  4. Allow to cool in the pans for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

To Make The Fruit Filling and Whipped Cream

making the fruit filling
  1. Combine the sugar, cornstarch and water in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat and stir to combine.
  2. Heat until the mixture is wet and the sugar begins to dissolve. Add the berries and stir to coat with the sugar mixture. Cook until the berries start to soften. Continue to cook until the mixture thickens, another 4 -5 minutes. Pour the mixture into a bowl and refrigerate until cold.

For The Chantilly Cream

whipped cream in a large bowl
  • Cream whips together easier when both the bowl and whisk are cold, so place them in the fridge for 30 minutes ahead of making the cream.
  • Pour the heavy cream into the bowl and whisk on medium speed for 2 minutes.
  • Add the powdered sugar and continue to whisk until the cream begins to thicken, then add the vanilla.
  • Keep whisking until soft peaks form, but be careful not to over-whisk as the cream will turn to butter.

To Assemble and Decorate The Cake

assembling the layers of the fresh fruit cake
  1. Once the cakes are completely cooled, use a serrated knife to level off the slightly domed tops. These cakes will not bake with a large dome, but it is easier to assemble and decorate when they have been leveled off. The cut sides will face together in the middle. Do NOT attempt to do this until the cakes have completely cooled.
  2. On the bottom layer, use a piping bag to create an outer circle of cream – a dam – so that the berry filling won’t spill out the sides. Fill inside this dam with the berry filling. Use your judgement, you may not need all of it.
  3. Pipe a layer of cream over the berry filling, gently spreading it out with a palette knife or spatula.
  4. Put the top layer of cake on. Decorate the top with swirls of cream topped with strawberries. Fill the center with more blueberries and raspberries, if desired.

Storage

The cake should be kept in the fridge until 30 minutes before serving. It can be kept out for about 2 hours (provided you are indoors and not outside in the baking sun), after which it should be returned to the fridge.

Keep the cake in an airtight container to stop it drying out. I usually just cover it with a glass cloche. The cake will stay fresh in the fridge for 2 days.

close up of a slice of fresh fruit cake and the filling inside

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make the cake ahead of time?

Yes! You can make the cake itself as well as the fruit filling ahead of time. Wrap the baked (and cooled) cakes in plastic wrap and keep them at room temperature until ready to assemble. The berry filling can stay in the fridge.
The whipped cream will hold its shape better if made fresh right before assembling the cake. If you need to make it ahead of time, you will need to quick re-whip it to bring it back to life if it’s been in the fridge for more than a few hours.

slice of fresh fruit cake on a plate with the remaining cake on a stand behind it

The cake truly is delicious and will make even the most novice cake baker seem like a pro! Go ahead and try it, and I guarantee you’ll be impressed with both its simplicity to bake and amazing fresh fruit flavor.

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Fresh Fruit Cake

Jenna Shaughnessy
This light and moist vanilla cake is layered with a fresh fruit filling and homemade Chantilly cream, then decorated with more fresh fruit for a delicious and easy-to-make cake that's perfect for any occasion.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 35 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 14
Calories 337 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

For The Cake

  • 2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 16 tablespoons unsalted butter 2 sticks, room temp
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs room temp
  • 1 ¼ cups buttermilk room temp
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

For The Fruit Filling

  • 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 cup strawberries chopped
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • ¾ cup raspberries

For The Whipped Cream

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar (powdered sugar is essential to stabilize the cream, don'r replace with granulated sugar)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions
 

For The Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour 2 9-inch round cake pans. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Mix together and set aside.
  • Add the butter and sugar to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium-high speed for about 4 minutes until the mixture is light and fluffy in texture and creamy in color. Scrape down the sides halfway through.
  • On low -medium speed, mix in the eggs one at a time until incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition.
  • Keeping the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients alternately with the wet ingredients, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients, and mixing just until incorporated. Over mixing will result in a tough and chewy cake.
  • Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix for another 15 seconds.
  • Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans. Bake 25-30 minutes or until the edges are starting to turn golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool in the pans for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

For The Fruit Filling

  • While the cakes are baking, prepare the fruit filling.
  • Combine the sugar, cornstarch and water in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat and stir to combine.
  • Heat until the mixture is wet and the sugar begins to dissolve.
  • Add the berries and stir to coat with the sugar mixture.
  • Cook until the berries start to soften. Use a spatula or the back of a spoon to mash the berries a bit.
  • Continue to cook until the mixture thickens, another 4 -5 minutes. Pour the mixture into a bowl and refrigerate until cold.

For The Chantilly Cream

  • Creams whips together easier when both the bowl and whisk are cold, so place them in the fridge for 30 minutes ahead of making the cream.
  • Pour the heavy cream into the bowl and whisk on medium speed for 2 minutes.
  • Add the powdered sugar and continue to whisk until the cream begins to thicken, then add the vanilla.
  • Keep whisking until soft peaks form, but be careful not to over-whisk as the cream will turn to butter.

Assemble the Cake

  • Once the cakes are completely cooled, use a serrated knife to level off the slightly domed tops. These cakes will not bake with a large dome, but it is easier to assemble and decorate when they have been levelled off. The cut sides will face together in the middle. Do NOT attempt to do this until the cakes have completely cooled.
  • On the bottom layer, use a piping bag to create an outer circle of cream – a dam – so that the berry filling won’t spill out the sides.
  • Fill inside this dam with the berry filling. Use your judgement, you may not need all of it.
  • Pipe a layer of cream over the berry filling, gently spreading it out with a palette knife or spatula.
  • Put the top layer of cake on. Decorate the top with swirls of cream topped with strawberries. Fill the center with more blueberries and raspberriesif desired.
  • Store the cake in the fridge until ready to serve. Remove 30 mins before serving.
  • Cake is best stored in an airtight container in the fridge and eaten within 2 days.

Notes

NOTE: The fruit filling needs to be adequately thick so that it doesn’t drip out of the cake. If it’s
not thickening up as it should, add another ½ tsp of corn starch and continue cooking until it’s a
little looser than jam. It will set up a bit more as it cools, but not much.

Nutrition

Calories: 337kcalCarbohydrates: 60gProtein: 5gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 72mgSodium: 222mgPotassium: 122mgFiber: 2gSugar: 38gVitamin A: 362IUVitamin C: 9mgCalcium: 101mgIron: 2mg
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