This Strawberry Dulce De Leche Cake is heavenly! It’s made with layers of moist vanilla cake filled with dulce de leche and fresh strawberries then finished with vanilla buttercream! A great summer cake!
Strawberry Dulce De Leche Cake
I love the somewhat unique combination of flavors in this cake. You can never go wrong with dulce de leche and when you combine it with the fresh strawberries and vanilla buttercream, it’s refreshing and delicious!
This cake is actually getting a refresh today. I originally posted this recipe several years ago and thought it could use some new photos and tips. But the original inspiration for this cake actually came from one of my favorite restaurants in Miami, Ceviche 105. This cake was on the dessert menu and I fell in love. So naturally I decided to make my own version so I could continue to enjoy it at home.
It’s a relatively simple cake to make, but the soft dulce de leche and strawberries do make it a bit tricky. I definitely recommend checking out my tips prior to putting the cake together.
How to Make Strawberry Dulce De Leche Cake
- Make Cake Layers: These cake layers are from my Moist Vanilla Layer Cake and it’s always a hit. Such a great cake. You’re just making those cake layers and letting them cool.
- Make the Buttercream: Once the cake layers are cooled, make the vanilla buttercream. You’ll want it to be stiff, at least at first, so that you have a good base for the dams you’ll need for the filling layers.
- Build the Cake: To put the cake together, you’ll want to layer sliced strawberries, dulce de leche and vanilla buttercream between each cake layer.
- Frost and Decorate: When the cake is built and has chilled for a bit, frost it and decorate it. I recommend adding the strawberry halves to the top shortly before serving so they look fresh.
Tips for Making This Cake
- Thick Buttercream: Be sure that your buttercream stays nice and thick, at least at first. I know people often scoff at the amount of powdered sugar I use, but it will give you a stiff buttercream that is needed in this cake. The dulce de leche can have a tendency to try to escape, so you want a solid dam between your cake layers to hold everything in. Once you’ce created the dams, you can add a little cream to thin it out a bit.
- Level Your Cakes: I’m always a fan of leveling my cakes, even if they seem fairly level. Particularly with a filling like the one in this cake, you want to avoid the chances that things will move around. Removing the slight dome helps to keep things level and in place.
- Dry Your Strawberries: When preparing the strawberries, make sure that they are completely dry. They add moisture to the filling layers that can make them slip around and contribute to the dulce de leche leaking out.
- Add Piping: Add the piping on top of the cake prior to adding the dulce de leche so that the piping keeps everything in place.
This Strawberry Dulce De Leche Cake is heavenly! It’s made with layers of moist vanilla cake filled with dulce de leche and fresh strawberries and finished with vanilla buttercream!
- 2 1/2 cups (325g) all purpose flour
- 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup (168g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups (310g) sugar
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs
- 1 1/4 cups (300ml) milk
- 2 cups (448g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 8 cups (920g) powdered sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 4–5 tbsp cream
- Pinch of salt
- Two 13.4 oz cans of dulce de leche
- 1 lb strawberries, washed and dried
- Prepare three 8 inch cake pans with parchment paper circles in the bottom and grease the sides. Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C).
- Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium sized bowl and set aside.
- Add the butter, sugar, oil and vanilla extract to a large mixer bowl and beat together until light in color and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Do not skimp on the creaming time.
- Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until mostly combined after each. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to be sure all ingredients are well incorporated.
- Add half of the dry ingredients to the batter and mix until mostly combined.
- Slowly add the milk and mix until well combined. The batter will look curdled, but that’s ok.
- Add the remaining dry ingredients and mix until well combined and smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to be sure all ingredients are well incorporated. Do not over mix the batter.
- Divide the batter evenly between the cakes pans and bake for 22-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs.
- Remove the cakes from the oven and allow to cool for about 2-3 minutes, then remove to cooling racks to cool completely.
- To make the buttercream frosting, beat the butter until smooth.
- Slowly add half of the powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
- Add the vanilla extract, half of the cream and salt and mix until smooth.
- Slowly add the remaining powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Add additional cream, as needed, to get the right consistency of frosting.
To Assemble The Cake:
- To put the cake together, use a large serrated knife to remove the domes from the top of the cakes so that they’re flat. These cakes don’t have a large dome, but I like to make sure they’re completely flat.
- Pipe a dam of frosting around the edge of the cake. It will keep the filling from leaking out of the sides of the cake, so don’t skip this step and be sure the frosting is thick.
- Add5-6 tablespoons of dulce de leche and spread evenly.
- Add a layer of sliced strawberries. Pat them dry before layering so that they don’t add extra moisture to the cake.
- Add a thin, even layer of vanilla buttercream. It should fill in the gaps around the strawberries and give the next layer of cake something to stick to.
- Add the second layer of cake on top of the filling.
- Repeat layers 3, 4 and 5.
- Add the final layer of cake to the top.
- Add a crumb coat to the cake, then refrigerate for about an hour to firm up the frosting and filling.
- Frost the outside of the cake with the remaining buttercream. Refer to my tutorial for frosting a smooth cake, if needed.
- Pipe shells around the top edge of the cake, then spread another 5-6 tablespoons of dulce de leche into an even layer on top of the cake, inside the shells. Place some strawberry halves around the piping.
- Refrigerate the cake until ready to serve.
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