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Strawberry Tall Cake – Strawberry Chiffon Cake

Strawberry Tall Cake is amazingly delicious and completely gorgeous. Wait, what? Strawberry “tall” cake?

a four layer strawberry tall cake on a glass cake stand with a black background Yup! You see, a true strawberry “shortcake” is more like a biscuit than a cake.

What many folks call “Strawberry Shortcake” is a sponge cake layered with fresh strawberries and cream. The spongy cake absorbs lots of strawberry juice and it bakes up nice and “tall”.

So, want to know the secret ingredient that makes this cake extra delicious? Well, if you’ve read this blog before you might suspect that it involves a little alcohol.

Most strawberry shortcake recipes instruct you to toss the berries with a little sugar before assembling the cake. That’s a great idea.

Sugar not only draws out the juices from the berries, making a delicious syrup, the berries take in some of the sugar. What you end up with is a lovely mixture of softened and slightly sweetened berries with strawberry syrup that soaks into the cake.

The secret to extra flavorful Strawberry Tall Cake filling is….

I add a wee drop of Grand Marnier to the strawberries and sugar. The Grand Marnier adds a little more sugar and another layer of flavor that enhances, but doesn’t overpower, the strawberry flavor.

Once again I’m going to remind you that alcohol enhances other flavors in a dish in a very particular way. You can read more about the science behind why this is true in this post.

If you don’t do alcohol, use a splash of orange juice. It won’t be exactly the same, but the juice will spark the flavor of the berries.

a slice of strawberry tall cake on a glass plate. A whole Strawberry chiffon cake in the background

Now, lets talk about the cake component of this lovely dessert.

The base for my Strawberry Tall Cake is a Vanilla Chiffon Cake. So you could also call this a Strawberry Chiffon Cake or a Strawberry Sponge cake.

I think “chiffon” is a great word. Not only is it a pretty sounding word, it also conjures up images of softness, airiness and luxury, like the namesake fabric.

Those are all lovely traits for a cake, no? Who doesn’t want a cake that is soft, airy and luxurious?

a slice of strawberry cake on a glass plate

Why is Chiffon Cake the best base for Strawberry Tall Cake?

Because a chiffon cake is a type of sponge cake, the soft, spongy cake will absorb lots of delicious strawberry juice. The light cake is also pairs perfectly with airy whipped-cream filling. 

You could eat this cake as soon as it’s assembled, but at least an hour in the fridge will give the juice some time to soak into the cake.

I like to let the cake stay at least 5-6 hours in the refrigerator before serving. If you’re serving this cake after dinner it can be assembled either early in the day or even the night before. Just keep the sides of the cake well-wrapped to prevent it from drying out.

Watch the recipe video to see how to make Strawberry Tall Cake.

 

Want another amazing way to enjoy perfectly ripe strawberries? This super-easy and incredibly delicious Fresh Strawberry Pie with Rose Wine Glaze should be right up your alley.

If you love this recipe as much as I do, I’d really appreciate a 5-star review.

a slice of strawberry tall cake

Strawberry Tall Cake

Yield: 12 servings
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Bake Time: 30 minutes
Chilling Time: 5 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 15 minutes

Strawberry Tall Cake is amazingly delicious and completely gorgeous. The cake layers are made with a chiffon cake recipe. The strawberries are tossed with a little sugar and a hint of (optional) Grand Marnier to make a hauntingly delicious syrup.

Ingredients

  • 1 recipe Vanilla Chiffon Cake baked in two 8" round cake pans (see note)
  • 1 ½ pounds ripe strawberries
  • ¾ cup (6 oz, 170g) granulated sugar, divided
  • 1-2 tablespoons Grand Marnier liquor or orange juice
  • 2 cups (16 oz, 473 ml) heavy Cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Reserve 6 good looking berries of equal size. Stem and slice the remaining berries and place them in a large bowl, toss in ½ cup of the granulated sugar and the Grand Marnier or orange juice. Set aside for at least 30 minutes, 60 minutes is even better.
  2. Whip the cream with the remaining sugar and vanilla. Use a serrated knife to slice the top from each cake to make it level. Cut each cake in half horizontally (torte) so you have a total of 4 layers of cake.
  3. Place one layer on a serving platter and spoon 1/3 of the sliced strawberries and some juice onto the layer. Spread the berries out so they’re level. Spread 1/4 of the cream over the berries, pushing the cream down in between the berries. Repeat with the next two layers. Reserve some of the strawberry juice for the top layer. Drizzle the remaining juice over the last layer. Frost the top of the cake with the remaining cream. You can reserve a ½ cup for decorating if you have a piping bag. Fit the bag with a star tip, pipe 12 rosettes around the top of the cake.
  4. Slice the reserved berries in ½ and place a berry half, seed side up, on each rosette. If you don’t have a piping bag just place the berries around the top of the cake decoratively. Wrap the sides of the cake so it doesn’t dry out and refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving to allow the juices to absorb into the cake. I like the cake best after 5-6 hours in the refrigerator.

Notes

(The cakes can be baked a day ahead. Wrap in plastic wrap and store at room temperature.)

You could eat this cake as soon as it's assembled, but at least an hour in the fridge will give the juice some time to soak into the cake.

I like to let the cake stay at least 5-6 hours in the refrigerator before serving. If you're serving this cake after dinner it can be assembled either early in the day or even the night before. Just keep the sides of the cake well-wrapped to prevent it from drying out.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

Vanilla Chiffon Cake

Vanilla Chiffon Cake

Yield: 12 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Bake Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

Chiffon cakes are made with whipped eggs and oil. Oil makes the chiffon cake moist, and whipped eggs make it light. This recipe can be baked as a layer cake or in a tube pan.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup (3.5 oz, 105g) vegetable oil
  • 6 large eggs, separated
  • ¾ cup (6 oz, 180 ml) water
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 ¼ cups (10 oz, 280 g) cake flour
  • 1 ½ cups (12 oz, 336g) granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. For a traditional chiffon cake, use an ungreased 10" tube pan. If you want to make a layer cake line two 8” cake pans with parchment paper or butter and flour the bottom of the pans only.
  2. Combine the oil, egg yolks, water and vanilla in a mixer bowl. Mix on medium speed until well combined.
  3. Sift the flour with 1 cup of the sugar, the baking powder and salt. With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients to yolk mixture. Whip on high speed for 1 minute, then set aside
  4. Whip the egg whites on medium speed to soft peak. Gradually add the remaining ½ cup sugar, increase the speed to medium high and whip to full peak. Fold the whites into the yolk mixture in three increments.
  5. If making a layer cake, divide the batter between the two pans. If you're using a tube pan, pour all the batter into the pan. Bake until the middle of the cake springs back with lightly pressed, 30-35 minutes for the layers or about 50-60 minutes for the tube pan.
  6. Cool the cake completely in the pan.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

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Audria

Sunday 18th of October 2020

Hi, I was wondering how I can turn this chiffon recipe to a chocolate marble chiffon?

Eileen Gray

Monday 19th of October 2020

I haven't tested it so I can be sure of the exact outcome. But you'd have to divide the batter and add cocoa to one half. It's a bit complicated because if you just add cocoa the texture of the vanilla and chocolate cake will be different. You can see how I approach marble cake in this post.