This delicious Strawberry Mousse Cake consists of vanilla cake layers filled with an easy strawberry mousse, sliced strawberries, and a creamy strawberry buttercream.
If you are a fan of strawberry cakes, make sure to keep this recipe in mind for your next celebration. It is sure to please a crowd!
How to Make Strawberry Mousse Cake
This Strawberry Mousse Cake is a vanilla cake with strawberry mousse, and strawberry buttercream frosting.
Any favorite vanilla or white layer cake recipe would be delicious. We chose to use our Vanilla Buttermilk Cake today, but our Vanilla Velvet Cake, White Velvet Cake, or Vanilla Bean Cake recipes are great options also, just to name a few!
And of course if you prefer working with cake mixes, choose your favorite white or yellow doctored cake mix recipe!
Now, let’s get started! *You can find the full, printable cake recipe further down in this post. Here is a quick rundown of our steps!
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, grease and flour three 8 inch round pans.
- Flour Mixture: In a medium bowl, whisk the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt for 30 seconds. Set aside
- Buttermilk Mixture: In another bowl, add the buttermilk, oil and vanilla. Set aside.
- Butter & Sugar: In the bowl of your mixer, add the softened butter and mix at medium speed until smooth. Gradually add the granulated sugar and continue to mix on medium speed for 3 to 5 minutes until lightened in color and fluffy.
- Eggs: Add the room temperature eggs one at a time mixing after each until the yellow of the yolk is blended.
- Alternately Add Dry and Wet Ingredients: With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients (3 additions of dry ingredients and 2 of liquid). After the last addition, mix just until combined.
- Time to Bake! Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with just few crumbs attached. Cool for 10 minutes and turn out. (We cool the cakes, still in their pans, on a wire rack).
Easy Strawberry Mousse
The star of our Strawberry Mousse Cake is the Strawberry Mousse!
This easy strawberry mousse filling, is one that we often refer to as a “mock mousse”, because it has the lovely, creamy consistency of a mousse, but is made quickly and easily with a combination of instant pudding, heavy cream, and other add-ins.
We’ve made several variations of this easy “mock mousse filling” recipes over the years- they are all so good: Orange Mousse filling, Chocolate Mousse Filling, Baileys Irish Cream Mousse, and Pineapple & Cream Filling.
We used just a bit of pink coloring gel to our strawberry mousse to achieve a nice shade.
Strawberry Buttercream Frosting
This delicious strawberry buttercream frosting has wonderful strawberry flavor and is a great consistency for piping also!
This American style buttercream frosting is a combination of softened butter, powdered sugar, strawberry puree, salt, and strawberry extract (optional).
*We added a touch of pink coloring gel for a prettier shade of pink!
Assembling the Cake
Time to put the cake together!
Buttercream Dam: Place the first vanilla buttermilk cake layer on the cake plate or pedestal. Pipe a dam of strawberry buttercream around the edge of the cake layer.
*The purpose of the dam is to keep softer fillings contained as the cake layers are stacked.
Mousse Filling & Fresh Strawberries: Fill with strawberry mousse. Top with strawberry slices (this is an optional step). Top with the next cake layer.
Repeat the steps for the dam, strawberry mousse filling, and strawberry slices. Top with the third cake layer.
Crumb Coat: Fill in any gaps between cake the cake layers with buttercream, the frost the top and sides of the cake with a thin layer of frosting (crumb coat).
Chill: After the crumb coat, we like to chill the cake in the freezer for about 15 minutes (or longer in the refrigerator) to firm things up. Then, we applied to second layer of frosting.
Decorating the Cake
After crumb coating the strawberry mousse cake, apply the second layer of frosting and decorate however you like! We decided to do a smooth finish around the sides and top of the cake.
If you’d like a smooth finish, we find it’s easiest to heat a metal bench scraper and smooth the frosting onto the chilled cake while rotating it on a turntable.
I added a chunky braided border using a 1M piping tip. (Check out our free video tutorial on star tip techniques including braided borders here: Piping Basics: Star Tip)
Finally, we topped the cake off with a strawberry! I just love the pretty pink frosting!
More Strawberry Cakes to Try!
If you love strawberry desserts, we have more recipes to share with you. Make sure to put these delicious cakes on your list!
These are just a few of our favorites, you can find our full roundup of strawberry recipes here: Favorite Strawberry Cakes, Fillings, and Frostings
Enjoy the Recipe!
Thanks so much for stopping by, we hope that you enjoy the recipe! If you give this Strawberry Mousse Cake a try, we’d love for you to leave a comment below!
- 1 ½ sticks (170g) unsalted butter, softened ( holds it shape but dents when pressed)
- 2 cups (400g) sugar
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 3 cups (342g) cake flour (spooned into measuring cup and leveled off) If you do not have cake flour see substitution in Notes below.
- 2 teaspoons (8g) baking powder
- ½ teaspoon (3g) baking soda
- ½ teaspoon (3g) salt
- 1 ¼ cups (296g) buttermilk — if you do not have buttermilk, see substitution below
- ¼ cup (54g) vegetable oil
- 1 Tablespoon (12g) vanilla extract
Vanilla Mousse Cake
- ¼ cup strawberry puree (Approximately 6 strawberries, liquified in blender or food processor. We used a small bullet blender. We did not cook the puree to reduce.)
- **You will also be using another ¼ cup puree for the frosting if you'd like to prepare both at the same time.
- 1 small box instant Vanilla pudding (3.4 oz) (96g) we used Jello Brand pudding. We sift our pudding to filter out any larger granules of sugar.
- 1 ¾ (406g) heavy cream or whipping cream
- 1 ½ teaspoon strawberry extract (the amount depends on how flavorful your strawberries are) Adjust amount to your liking. *See notes for substitution
Strawberry Buttercream Frosting
- 2 sticks (1 cup) (226g) unsalted butter, slightly softened
- 6 cups (690g) powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon (3g) salt (optional) this will cut the sweetness (popcorn salt will dissolve more quickly)
- ¼ cup pureed strawberries, add more to reach your desired spreading consistency- This is approximately 3-5 strawberries depending on size.
- 1 teaspoon (4g) strawberry extract (optional) use if the buttercream needs more strawberry flavor
- Additional strawberries for adding in between layers (optional) and decorating the cake.
- Pink coloring gel- Add to mousse and buttercream to achieve desired shade of pink.
Vanilla Buttermilk Cake
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, grease and flour three 8×2 inch round pans.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt for 30 seconds. Set aside
- In another bowl, add the buttermilk, oil and vanilla. Set aside.
- In the bowl of your mixer, add the butter and mix at medium speed until smooth. Gradually add the sugar and continue to mix on medium speed for 3 to 5 minutes until lightened in color and fluffy.
- Add the eggs one at a time mixing until the yellow of the yolk disappears.
- With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients (3 additions of dry ingredients and 2 of liquid). After the last addition, mix just until combined. Be careful not to over-mix.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with just few crumbs attached. Let cool 10 minutes and turn out.
Strawberry Mousse Filling
- Chilling the bowl and beaters in the freezer for 10 minutes (or longer in the refrigerator) will shorten the mixing time. Use a hand mixer or a stand mixer with whisk attachment, or you can whisk by hand.
- Combine the dry pudding mix, heavy cream and ¼ cup pureed strawberries in a mixing bowl. Begin on low speed until everything is well combined. Add a little pink coloring gel if you'd like, and strawberry extract (optional). Increase speed and mix until the mixture is thick.
- If mixing by hand, simply whisk rapidly for a couple of minutes or until mixture is thick. Refrigerate until ready to use. Cakes with this filling should be refrigerated until 1 to 2 hours before serving.
- Filling can be made up to two days in advance and refrigerated.
- Cream the softened butter until smooth.Gradually add the powdered sugar and pureed strawberries, mixing at medium speed until blended. (Add strawberry extract if needed.)
- Add a little pink coloring gel if you would like. Continue mixing on medium speed another 3 to 4 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally
- Slow down the mixer to very slow (#2 on a KitchenAid) and mixing another 1 to 2 minutes. This will eliminate air pockets. The buttercream will become very smooth. If the buttercream is too thin add more powdered sugar, if too thick add more puree or a bit of milk.
Assembling the Cake
Place the first cake layer on cake plate or pedestal. We piped a buttercream dam around the top edge of the cake layer (about ¼ inch from the edge) using a piping bag with the tip snipped away. (We use dams when working with soft fillings).
Spread a layer of strawberry mousse within the dam.
Top the mousse with a single layer of strawberry slices (however many you like- this step is optional).
Top with the second cake layer and repeat the above steps for filling. Then top with the third cake layer.
Fill in any gaps between the layers with buttercream. Crumb coat (thin coat) the sides and top of the cake with frosting. Chill the cake for 10 minutes in the freezer or longer in the refrigerator to firm everything up. (This is optional but helpful).
Add the second layer of frosting and decorate to your liking. I smoothed around the sides with a hot metal bench scraper and added a braided buttercream top border with a large star piping tip (1M).
If you do not have strawberry extract, and you feel that your mousse or buttercream needs a little strawberry boost (on top of the puree in the recipe) you can also use strawberry jello powder dissolved in very hot water.
I would start with dissolving 2 teaspoons of strawberry jello powder with 1 teaspoon very, very hot water. Stir to dissolve. Then, add to the recipe as needed.
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