Vanilla Birthday Cake with Homemade Strawberry Jam & Vanilla Buttercream

Hello, friends! How are you keeping? I find myself in a near constant state of frustration these days, looking at people not wearing masks or social distancing. It’s just so irresponsible it bugs me right to the core. Thankfully we’re escaping to a secluded house in the country on Friday, so I won’t have to think about that for a while. Until then, there’s always cake, and amen for that! Vanilla Birthday Cake with Homemade Strawberry Jam & Vanilla Buttercream. Because birthdays always deserve to be recognized, especially during a pandemic.

As soon as I made strawberry jam last week, I just knew I wanted to use it to fill a layer cake. I’ve been intrigued by the idea of filling a layer cake with jam for some time now, but have always chickened out before doing it. Jam alone is too thin to withstand the weight of cake layers, but there are ways around it. A quick buttercream dam along the edges of the cake layers traps it inside, and makes it structurally sound. I genuinely don’t know why I let this put me off for so long! A squiggly boarder piped around the edges with a freezer bag cut at one corner did the trick. Literally. And look at the pretty layers! Genuinely, anyone could do it.

I made this 7-inch Vanilla Birthday Cake for one of my best friend’s birthdays last week and it was perfect! We had a small, socially distanced gathering of 4-people, and both the size & taste of this cake were just what we needed. There’s something so simple and yet so classy about a layered vanilla cake. Of course, I had to pair it with fresh Irish strawberries because HELLO is there anything more classy than little flecks of vanilla & seasonal strawberries? I think not. Add a glass of prosecco and you’re winning. I speak from experience.

Elegant, classy, seasonal, simple – this Vanilla Birthday Cake is the perfect way to welcome in a new age.

Happy birthday, Fó!

Vanilla Birthday Cake with Strawberry Jam & Vanilla Buttercream

A four layer, classic vanilla birthday cake, filled with strawberry jam and covered with vanilla buttercream.
P R E P30 minutes
C O O K35 minutes
T O T A L1 hour 5 minutes
Yield: 7 inch cake
Author: Vicki | Passionate Baker


for the cake:

  • 50 g salted butter
  • 3 large eggs
  • 225 g granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup + 1 1/2 tbsp milk
  • 180 g plain flour
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp baking powder

for the filling:

  • 1 cup strawberry jam

for the vanilla buttercream

  • 170 g salted butter, softened
  • 240 g icing sugar, sifted
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

to finish:

  • chopped strawberries, optional


for the cake:

  • Heat the oven to 180°C. Butter & flour two 7-inch cake tins; set aside. Melt the butter; set aside to cool.
  • In a large bowl, use an electric whisk to beat together the eggs, sugar & vanilla until very light and fluffy, about 5-7 minutes.
  • Heat the milk until lukewarm (about 20-seconds in the microwave), & slowly whisk into the egg mixture. Whisk in the cooled melted butter.
  • In a smaller bowl, whisk together the flour & the baking powder. Add all at once to the cake batter & stir until smooth.
  • Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared tins & bake in the preheated for 30/35-minutes, until a skewer inserted into the cakes comes out clean. Leave the cakes cool for 10-minutes in their tins, before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely.

for the buttercream:

  • Using an electric whisk or stand mixer, beat the butter until creamy, about 1-minute. Add the icing sugar to the butter a little at a time, until fully incorporated. Add the milk & vanilla extract, increase the speed slightly, and beat until light & fluffy, about 3-minutes.

to assemble:

  • Use a sharp knife to divide each of the cake layer in two, giving you 4 layers.
  • Put one layer on your serving platter & spread with 1/4 cup of vanilla buttercream. Using a piping bag fitted with a small nozzle, pipe a quick “dam” of buttercream around the edges of the cake. Spread 1/3 cup of strawberry jam over the vanilla layer, within the edges of the “dam”.
  • Repeat this process until you’ve used up all of your layers.
  • Spread a very thin layer of frosting all over the cake & place into the fridge for 15-minutes.
  • Spread a the remaining frosting all over the cake, using an offset spatula to smooth it over.
  • Top the cake with strawberry halves or flowers etc.


  • I used homemade strawberry jam to fill this cake. 
  • I always always use homemade vanilla extract in all of my bakes & strongly recommend you do the same!
  • this cake is on the sweeter side of things, and I suspect the culprit is the homemade jam. For a less sweet cake, use store bought jam in the filling. Either way – it’s still delicious!

Did you make this recipe? I’d love to know! Please leave a comment & a rating below, or tag me on Instagram @imvcki. Thank you so much for supporting Passionate Baker!

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