Strawberry Shortcake Trifle & Vanilla Bean Cake

Wow, have the last few weeks zipped by in a hurry!  I have one last strawberry recipe to share with you from the excess of strawberries I’ve had around the house lately in celebration of strawberry season.

Last week, my sister came to visit from Washington D.C.  My parents joined us for an evening to celebrate my mom’s and sister’s birthdays.  I had no time to make a traditional birthday cake, since I had been on the go the entire day before they arrived, and was working until the moment they came.

This forced me to be resourceful.  I’ve had this recipe saved up for a while.  It’s a variation of the chocolate wacky cake my mom grew up with, only I converted it into a vanilla bean cake.  I threw together the batter and let it bake while I was getting ready to go out.  By time we got home from dinner, it was cool and ready to eat.  We made a quick batch of Coconut Chantilly Cream and topped the cake with sliced strawberries.  It was a deliciously light dessert, ideal for a warm Florida day.  It also made a sophisticated birthday cake, which everyone loved.

Here, I cut the cake into cubes and layered it into a trifle bowl.  It could also be served sliced into squares, or made into cupcakes.  This is really a lovely vanilla cake for any occasion.

Strawberry Shortcake Trifle

Vanilla Bean Cake, cut into cubes (Recipe below)

Fresh strawberries, sliced & drizzled with a little agave nectar (Agave is optional)

Coconut Chantilly Cream

In a mini trifle bowl, layer strawberries, Coconut Chantilly Cream, and cake cubes.  Garnish with a full sized strawberry, and serve.

(For a really nice adult version, try brushing the cake with a little Crème de Coco, or macerate the strawberries with sugar and a little Grand Marnier)

Vanilla Bean Cake

Yield: One 11×13 cake, or 24 cupcakes

3 cups plus 6 tablespoons sifted flour

2 cups sugar

2 teaspoons soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons vinegar

¾ cup canola oil

1 teaspoon ground vanilla bean

3 tablespoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon almond extract

2 cups almond milk

  1. Lightly grease the baking pan, or line cupcake pan with paper liners.  Set aside.
  2. Sift together and mix dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Make three wells in flour mixture; In one, put the vinegar; in the second, put the canola oil; in the third, put the vanilla.  Pour almond milk over the whole mixture.  Stir together until fairly smooth.
  4. Pour into pan(s) and bake immediately.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees F.  (35 minutes for a full cake and 18 minutes for cupcakes)Cake is done when a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.  Remove cake from the oven and allow it to cool before cutting it or adding icing.  This cake keeps well for several days.


  • Unlike most vanilla cakes made from scratch, this cake stays moist for several days.  It actually tastes better the second day, so don’t be afraid to make this a day ahead.
  • Be careful not to overmix this batter, or it will become gummy.
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Categories: Sweet Treats

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2 Comments on “Strawberry Shortcake Trifle & Vanilla Bean Cake”

  1. April 14, 2012 at 12:08 PM #

    Wow, Nicole! This looks like heaven! I’ve been going crazy with the strawberries too…there’s a farm stand on my way home and I just can’t resist the fresh local berries.

    • April 14, 2012 at 2:50 PM #

      Thanks! They’re so wonderful for snacking they’re practically a dessert by themselves. Lucky us that they’re so healthy too!

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