Strawberry Shortcake Charlotte Recipe

This Strawberry Shortcake Charlotte Recipe is a fantastic dessert recipe for showing off the first strawberries of the season. It's really a "cheater" charlotte that's made thanks to the help of a special pan.

It basically takes the idea of a classic Strawberry Shortcake Recipe and dresses it up for something a bit fancier! Perfect for a special occasion like Easter or Mother's Day. For another fantastic springtime, dessert try my extra moist Carrot Cake Recipe with Cream Cheese Frosting. 

Finished Strawberry Shortcake Cheater Charlotte on a Blue Cake Stand

Why You'll Love This Recipe:

  • This cake is basically a fancy way to serve a strawberry shortcake dessert.
  • I love this idea because a traditional Charlotte can be really hard to make! You have to line up the ladyfingers and fill the center and hope it stays together. 
  • But this pan gives you all the beauty of a charlotte without all the hassle! And guests are also really impressed by it too!

Vertical image of a strawberry shortcake cheater charlotte on a blue cake stand with garden view behind it

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Get The Look:

  • I saw this pan at the Inspired Home Show this spring and thought "well, now isn't that genius!". I just fell in love with the concept of it considering my past fails with a traditional Charlotte and had to share it!
  • Once the cake is baked, it fits beautifully on this elegant Robin's Egg Blue cake stand. Perfect for spring!

Showing the interior of a Charlotte Baking Pan

Be Sure to Spray the Pan 

Since the pan has so many nooks and crannies I like to spray it with some baking spray first, and then distribute it well with a pastry brush. Just for added insurance!

Spraying Charlotte pan with baking spray

Watch My Video Demo of This Recipe Below!


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Making the Sponge Cake

For the sponge cake, be sure to beat the eggs and sugar for at least 5 minutes. You can use a hand mixer, it doesn't need to be a stand mixer, but just don't skimp on the beating! This is what will make your cake so soft and light.

pouring sugar into a standing mixer

Your egg mixture will triple in volume and become a soft, pale yellow. It will feel light and pillowy! Then pour the batter in the pan and fill it ¾ of the way up.

pouring cake batter into a Charlotte Cake Mold

Then gently tap it to remove the air bubbles in the batter. Otherwise, they will bake into the cake that way and not be so pretty once your cake is baked.

air bubbles in cake batter in a Charlotte mold

Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes in the tin. You'll notice it will sink slightly and pull away from the pan. This is the moment you should remove it from the mold.

baked cake in charlotte mold

Releasing the Cake

I've found if you wait too long to remove the sponge cake from a molded pan like this, it gets harder to remove since it gets a bit sticky as it cools.

releasing sponge cake from a charlotte mold

When you remove it you'll see how beautiful the design is! (this is where the baking spray really helps! Don't use butter. You will have much better success with the spray, trust me!)

Sponge cake cooling on rack in the shape of a charlotte mold

Making the Whipped Cream

  • When whipping the cream just whip it until you achieve soft peaks, not stiff peaks. This will make the cream pourable and create pretty dollops on your cake.
  • If you accidentally whip the cream for too long and end up with stiff peaks, you can fix that by adding in more heavy cream and whipping slowly until it loosens back up to soft peaks.
  • Wait until the cake is cooled, before adding the whipped cream on top

Pouring whipped cream into a sponge cake base

Adding the Strawberries

  • Then pile high with fresh strawberries that have been cut in half.
  • It doesn't need to be perfect. I think the more haphazard the better! It's part of the rustic charm of this cake.
  • If you have leftover strawberries put them to good use in my Homemade Strawberry Sauce or my Strawberry Cobbler Recipe

Sliced strawberries on a cutting board

Garnishing the Top

  • To garnish, slice a strawberry in half, keeping the top on.
  • Place the strawberry halves, cut side up on the cake, going in opposite directions.
  • I like to keep the green tops on the strawberry garnish because I think it looks pretty to have a bit of green on top, but you could also use fresh mint too!

Strawberries piled high on whipped cream on a sponge cake base

Serving Tips:

  • Slicing the cake is a bit messy so allow the cake to set up a bit in the refrigerator.
  • Overnight is best but 2 hours will work if you are short on time.
  • Then serve each slice with more berries on the side.

a slice of strawberry shortcake cheater charlotte on a blue plate with extra strawberries

More Great Summer Dessert Recipes!


If you enjoyed this recipe

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Strawberry Shortcake on a Blue Cake Stand

Strawberry Shortcake Charlotte Recipe

Yield: 6 slices
Prep Time: 3 hours
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 20 minutes

A fantastic-looking dessert for Mother’s Day that’s actually so easy to make. I love this idea because it gives you the look of a charlotte, without any hassle, thanks to the Charlotte Cake Pan from Nordic Ware (This link goes to Amazon where I am compensated on products sold with no additional cost to the consumer)


For sponge cake:

  • 4 eggs
  • ½ cup (100g) of sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoon (7.5ml) of vanilla extract
  • ⅔ cup (80g) flour
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5ml) baking powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon (large pinch) of salt

For Whipped Cream:

  • 1 ½ cups (350ml) heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoon (13g) powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (300g) strawberries, plus more for serving on side if desired


  1. Preheat oven to 350F (175C). Spray the charlotte pan with baking spray and distribute well with a pastry brush and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk to combine and then set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the eggs and the sugar and beat on high for 3-5 minutes until it’s increased in volume and is a pale-yellow color. Add vanilla extract, beat to combine.
  4. Remove the bowl from the mixer and sift in half of the flour mixture, folding gently into the batter. Then add the second half, folding gently.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared charlotte pan and tap the filled pan gently on the counter to release any air bubbles. Bake for 20 minutes or until risen and golden brown on top.
  6. Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes, then release from the pan and transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  7. To make whipped cream, place the heavy cream, powdered sugar and vanilla extract in the bowl of an electric mixer. Whip on high until soft peaks form.
  8. Transfer sponge cake to a cake stand. Pour whipped cream in the center of the cooled cake. Creating soft indentations in the cream with a spatula. Place strawberries on top of cream, and garnish with a strawberry with top intact, but sliced down the milled. Place the garnish strawberry cut sides up, going in opposite directions.
  9. Place in refrigerator overnight to set completely before serving.


If you don't have this pan you can also make this sponge cake in a regular 9" cake pan or springform pan.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 83Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 132mgSodium: 61mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 0gSugar: 2gProtein: 4g

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  1. I have made this cake twice now and my family loves it. The first time, I followed the instructions exactly. The second time, I macerated the strawberries first and let them sit for at least an hour. I whipped to cream to almost stiff peaks because I chose to leave the cake at room temperature instead of refrigerating it. My family and I agree that the cake was much more tender and "spongey" so I would definitely do it this way from now on. It's s a great recipe and I found it so quick to do last minute after finding local strawberries in o market about an hour prior to making this. Just make sure you refrigerate your bowl and whisk prior to whipping the cream as I find this produces the best results. I whipped the cream ahead of time and refrigerated it. I assembled the cake prior to serving, which took all of 5 minutes. Photo on IG at @michelleboatbaker

  2. thanks for the recipe i will tried to make it for my husband for father day them i show the picture, and also i want to triedto do it with almond flour since i am diabetes for my self will see how that it came out let you know. have a Bless day thanks for sharing

  3. Made this for the Moms if our house for Mothers Day 2020...the cake I cooled in the fridge, it was denser than I expected, but was very good, I will do again, maybe with blueberries...

  4. I made this for Eid dinner and it turned out great! I will be making it again.

    I did not have the pan mentioned in the post so I used two 6 inch pans and put a layer of whipped cream and strawberries in the middle. Also you really need to hit the cake pans on the counter to get the bubbles out. I had to do this a few times.

    The only reason I gave this a 3 was that because this is a sponge cake but leaving it in fridge made it a denser cake in texture. The instructions said to leave it in the fridge to set so not sure how to overcome this barrier.