Strawberry Moscato Layer Cake

This Strawberry Moscato Layer Cake is made with layers of Moscato cake and strawberry buttercream! The Moscato wine is reduced on the stove to add even more flavor to the cake. This cake is a wine-lovers dream!

A slice of strawberry moscato cake on a white plate with another slice and some wine glasses in the background.

Strawberry Moscato Layer Cake

What’s not to love about a cake filled with wine?! It’s such a fun cake for a ladies night, wine-lovers birthday or random Tuesday night. Why just drink your wine when you could eat it in cake form? Between the wine in the cake and the strawberry buttercream, I’m in love.

This recipe is actually getting an update today. It was originally posted back in 2015 and even though I’ve always loved the cake, I felt like it could use a little updating. The cake layers are actually the same, with one exception. In the original cake, I just added Moscato strait from the bottle. Since then, I’ve discovered that reducing things on the stove works beautifully at adding additional flavor, so it now uses twice the amount of wine in the cake, but reduced down to the original amount. That’s 2 whole cups!

I also added a Moscato syrup that’s drizzled over the cake layers as you’re building the cake. While you could skip that, I’m always down for adding MORE flavor! You certainly don’t need it to keep the cake moist. It’s really just about having all the flavor you can.

And then finally, the buttercream. The original recipe just used regular strawberry puree. This updated version actually uses freeze dried strawberries that are ground into a powder. You could still use strawberry puree, but I’d recommend reducing that on the stove as well. You could check out my strawberry buttercream frosting recipe for some tips, if you’d like to do that, but in the interest of not adding more time at the stove, I went with freeze dried strawberries.

fully frosted strawberry moscato cake on ruffled white cake stand with sliced strawberries around the base

What You’ll Need

The ingredients in the cake are fairly simple, but you will need to grab a bottle of your favorite Moscato wine and likely need to pick up some freeze dried strawberries. Not everyone has those on hand, like I do.

For the Moscato Cake

  • All-Purpose Flour: Measure with a food scale to ensure accuracy or fluff up the flour and spoon it into your measuring cup bit by bit, then level off with a knife.
  • Baking Powder: For a proper rise.
  • Salt: For flavor. Don’t leave it out!
  • Unsalted Butter: Bring this to room temperature.
  • Sugar
  • Large Egg Whites: Egg whites add structure to the cake without adding additional flavor, which helps the flavor of the wine shine through. They are added straight to the batter, without whipping them first.
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Milk: I use 2% milk.
  • Moscato Wine: For flavor, of course. You can really use any type of Moscato. If you have a favorite, feel free to use that. You could even use other types of wine, if you prefer. The wine is reduced on the stove before adding to the cake to increase the flavor.

For the Strawberry Buttercream

  • Freeze-Dried Strawberries: Grind them into a powder for the buttercream. I usually find them at the grocery store, but they are also usually available at Target or Walmart. Amazon is also always an option.
  • Butter: Should be at room temperature. I use unsalted butter and add my own salt. All salted butter would be a little too salty.
  • Powdered Sugar: Adds sweetness and volume to the buttercream. It’s an American style buttercream, so it does use a good bit of powdered sugar. You can always reduce it, but you’ll end up with less buttercream to work with.
  • Heavy Whipping Cream
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Salt: The salt will help add some flavor and cut down on the sweetness a bit. Add it to taste. I recommend starting with a couple pinches and adding from there.

For the Moscato Syrup

  • Moscato Wine
  • Powdered Sugar
slice of strawberry moscato cake on white plate with a bite taken out

How to Make a Wine Cake

It’s really not a hard cake to make, but there are a number of steps. The first thing you’ll do is reduce the wine. This can even be done a day or two ahead of time.

To Make the Cake Layers

  1. Make Wine Reduction: Add all of the Moscato wine to a medium sized saucepan and cook over medium heat until reduced by half, which will be 1 cup plus 6 tablespoons. Don’t boil. To measure how much wine remains, pour into a glass measuring cup. If you aren’t sure how to measure 6 tablespoons in a measuring cup, it’ll be in the middle of 1/4 cup and 1/2 cup, so in this case it’ll be right in the middle of 1 ¼ cups and 1 ½ cups. Add it back to the pan if it needs longer to cook down. When done, refrigerate until cool.
  2. Prep for Baking: Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C) and prepare three 8-inch cake pans with non-stick baking spray and parchment circles on the bottom.
  3. Combine Dry Ingredients: Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium-sized bowl and set aside.
  4. Cream Butter and Sugar: Add the butter and sugar to a large mixer bowl and beat together until light in color and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Do not skimp on the creaming time.
  5. Add Egg Whites and Vanilla Extract: Add the egg whites and vanilla extract and beat on medium speed for about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, as needed.
  6. Alternate Dry Ingredients and Wet Ingredients: Add about half of the flour mixture to the batter and mix until mostly combined. Add the milk and 1 cup of the wine reduction and mix until mostly combined. 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.
  7. Bake and Cool: Pour the batter into the prepared cake pans and bake for 25-26 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let the cakes cool in the pans for 2-3 minutes, then flip them out onto cooling racks and let them rest until they reach room temperature.

Make the Buttercream

  • Make Strawberry Powder: Add the freeze-dried strawberries to a food processor and grind into a fine powder. Set aside.
  • Beat Butter: Beat the butter until it’s nice and smooth.
  • Add Half of Powdered Sugar: Slowly add half of the powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
  • Add Strawberry Powder: Add the freeze-dried strawberry powder and mix until well combined. Add the vanilla extract, salt and 4-5 tablespoons of water or cream. Mix until smooth.
  • Add Cream: Slowly add the heavy cream and the vanilla extract and mix until well combined and smooth.
  • Add Remaining Powdered Sugar and Adjust Frosting Consistency: Slowly add the remaining powdered sugar and mix until the frosting is smooth. Add salt and additional cream as needed to get the right consistency of frosting.
fully frosted strawberry moscato cake on ruffled white cake stand with a bowl of strawberries in the background

Make the Syrup & Build the Cake

  1. Make Moscato Syrup: Combine the remaining 6 tablespoons of Moscato reduction and powdered sugar for the syrup in a small bowl. Set aside.
  2. Flatten Cake Layers: To build the cake, 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.
  3. Layer and Frost Cake: Place the first layer of cake on a serving plate or a cardboard cake round. Drizzle the cake layer with 4 tablespoons of syrup, then spread about 1 cup of frosting on top of the cake layer. Add the second cake layer, another 4 tablespoons of syrup and another cup of frosting. Top the cake with the final layer and frost the outside of the cake. See my tutorial for frosting a smooth cake, if needed.
  4. Decorate Cake: Pipe a shell border with the remaining buttercream around the top outer edge of the cake. Sprinkle some additional ground up freeze dried strawberries around the top and bottom of the cake, if desired.
  5. Serve: Store well-covered in the fridge until ready to serve. Cake is best served at room temperature. Best eaten within 2-3 days.

Tips For Success

  • Grind Strawberry Powder Right Before Using: Moisture can set into the powder VERY quickly, especially if you live in an area with high humidity. I speak from experience. Grind up your freeze dried strawberries just before you’ll use them to avoid any issues.
  • Weigh Dry Ingredients: I always recommend a food scale to be sure things are accurate. Nobody wants a dry cake. If you really don’t want to go that route, you can spoon the flour into your measuring cup, fluffing it up as you go and leveling it off at the top with a butter knife. Just do not pack it into the cup.
  • Cream the Butter & Sugar Well: I urge you not to skimp on the creaming time for the butter and sugar. Keep beating them together until the mixture fluffs up and lightens in color, typically 2-3 minutes.
a slice of strawberry moscato cake on a white plate with strawberries and wine in the background

How to Store Extra Cake

This cake should be kept in an airtight container in the fridge. It will stay fresh for up to 3 days. I recommend serving it room temperature.

Can I Freeze This?

I don’t typically freeze full cakes, but you could give it a try. Place the cake onto a baking sheet and freeze it for 1-2 hours. Once the frosting is frozen solid, wrap in a couple layers of plastic wrap, then transfer the cake to a freezer-safe container and store it for up to 3 months. Unwrap and thaw it out in the fridge and bring it to room temperature before you serve it. You can also do this with individual slices, which usually works well. Alternatively, you could bake the cake layers ahead and freeze them. Again, you’ll want to wrap them well in a layer of clear wrap, then a layer of foil. Thaw them in the fridge before using.

Download the original recipe here.

Print
clock clock icon cutlery cutlery icon flag flag icon folder folder icon instagram instagram icon pinterest pinterest icon facebook facebook icon print print icon squares squares icon
Recipe

Strawberry Moscato Layer Cake

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 5 minutes
  • Yield: 12-14 Slices
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This Strawberry Moscato Layer Cake is made with layers of Moscato cake and strawberry buttercream! The Moscato wine is reduced on the stove to add even more flavor to the cake. This cake is a wine-lovers dream!


Ingredients

2 ¾ cup Moscato wine, divided

 MOSCATO CAKE

  • 3 cups (390g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cups (280g) unsalted butter, room temp
  • 2 cups (414g)sugar
  • 5 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) milk
  • 1 cup (240ml) Moscato wine reduction, above

STRAWBERRY BUTTERCREAM

  • 2 ½ cups (about 2 oz | 57g) freeze-dried strawberries
  • 2 ¼ cups (504g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 10 cups (1150g) powdered sugar
  • ½ cup (120ml) heavy whipping cream
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • Salt, to taste

MOSCATO SYRUP

  • 6 tbsp (90ml) Moscato wine reduction, above
  • ¼ cup (29g) powdered sugar

Instructions

To start, make the wine reduction. Add all of the Moscato wine to a medium sized saucepan and cook over medium heat until reduced by half, which will be 1 cup plus 6 tablespoons. Don’t boil. To measure how much wine remains, pour into a glass measuring cup. If you aren’t sure how to measure 6 tablespoons in a measuring cup, it’ll be in the middle of 1/4 cup and 1/2 cup, so in this case it’ll be right in the middle of 1 ¼ cups and 1 ½ cups. Add it back to the pan if it needs longer to cook down. When done, refrigerate until cool.

MAKE THE CAKE LAYERS

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C) and prepare three 8-inch cake pans with non-stick baking spray and parchment circles on the bottom.
  2. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium-sized bowl and set aside.
  3. Add the butter and sugar to a large mixer bowl and beat together until light in color and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Do not skimp on the creaming time.
  4. Add the egg whites and vanilla extract and beat on medium speed for about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, as needed.
  5. Add about half of the flour mixture to the batter and mix until mostly combined.
  6. Add the milk and 1 cup of the wine reduction and mix until mostly combined.
  7. 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.
  8. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pans and bake for 25-26 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  9. Let the cakes cool in the pans for 2-3 minutes, then flip them out onto cooling racks and let them rest until they reach room temperature.

MAKE THE FROSTING

  1. To make the strawberry buttercream frosting, add the freeze-dried strawberries to a food processor and grind into a fine powder. Set aside.
  2.  Add the butter to a large mixer bowl and beat until smooth and creamy.
  3. Add about half of the powdered sugar and beat until well combined and smooth.
  4. Add the freeze-dried strawberry powder and mix until well combined.
  5. Slowly add the heavy cream and the vanilla extract and mix until well combined and smooth.
  6. Slowly add the remainder of the powdered sugar and mix until well combined and smooth.
  7. Add salt to taste and some additional heavy cream, if needed to get the right frosting consistency. Set aside.

MAKE THE SYRUP & BUILD THE CAKE

  1. Combine the remaining 6 tablespoons of Moscato reduction and powdered sugar for the syrup in a small bowl. Set aside.
  2. To build the cake, 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.
  3. Place the first layer of cake on a serving plate or a cardboard cake round. Drizzle the cake layer with 4 tablespoons of syrup, then spread about 1 cup of frosting on top of the cake layer. Add the second cake layer, another 4 tablespoons of syrup and another cup of frosting. Top the cake with the final layer and frost the outside of the cake. See my tutorial for frosting a smooth cake, if needed.
  4. Pipe a shell border with the remaining buttercream around the top outer edge of the cake. Sprinkle some additional ground up freeze dried strawberries around the top and bottom of the cake, if desired.
  5. Store well-covered in the fridge until ready to serve. Cake is best served at room temperature. Best eaten within 2-3 days.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 Slice
  • Calories: 1030
  • Sugar: 116.6 g
  • Sodium: 117.5 mg
  • Fat: 48 g
  • Carbohydrates: 140.9 g
  • Protein: 5.2 g
  • Cholesterol: 127 mg

Keywords: strawberry cake recipe, homemade strawberry cake, strawberry cake from scratch, easy strawberry dessert, strawberry dessert, strawberry dessert recipe, strawberry layer cake, layer cake, layer cake recipe

Categories

More Great Strawberry Recipes

Homemade Strawberry Cake
Easy Strawberry Shortcake Cake
Strawberry Truffle Cupcakes
Strawberry Ice Cream Cake
Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes
Best Homemade Strawberry Frosting

This post may contain affiliate sales links. Please read my disclosure policy.

Share a Comment

Have a question? Use the form below to submit your question or comment. I love hearing from you and seeing what you made!

Recipe rating

54 Comments
  1. Maria Casanova

    I halved the recipe and made cupcakes. Recipe, as is, would make 24 cupcakes (halving = 12). Liners were filled 3/4 and the rose the perfect amount.

    Currently trying to decide if I want to poke a hole in the middle of each cupcake and pour some of the syrup (for stacking cake layers) into them, or drizzle syrup over the icing…. Decisions, decisions!

  2. Vanessa

    With regards to the alcohol in the cake – does it completely bake out? I would like to make this for my birthday, and my kids will eat it. thanks!

    1. Lindsay

      A lot of people will tell you it bakes out, but I’ve read conflicting things. It really comes down to your judgement, but I probably wouldn’t make it for my young children.

  3. Alexis M Bell

    Hi! I am planning on making this for mothers day, would this recipe be good with a chocolate and strawberry cake instead of a white cake?

  4. Bria Purdiman

    Hi!

    This looks amazing!! Your “homemade strawberry frosting – two ways” recipe brought me here. For that one shortening was optional. Is that the same case here? Also seems the puree instructions are different. The other called for boiling. Maybe that’s not needed here.

    Also, if I want to make a two layer cake vs. three, how would that effect the measurements you listed? Newer baker here, so still learning to adjust measurements. 🙂 

    Thank you!
    Bria

    1. Lindsay

      Shortening is really always optional. You can replace it with the same amount of butter.

      Cooking the strawberry purée down is something I’ve started doing more recently for a stronger flavor. Both ways are fine, just your preference.

      You don’t necessarily need to adjust the ingredients, just bake the cake in two pans instead of three. You’ll have to bake for longer because the layers will be thicker. Also just keep in mind that I find that using two layers will give you a more dense cake.

  5. Elizabeth

    I know this is an older post but this recipe is amazing. I completely butchered it and subbed out a ton of stuff, I used 2 whole eggs because I forgot it was 5 whites, replaced the milk with strawberry puree, and added more moscato and it still worked out haha. It is such a fluffy cake, next time I will make it the way it was written though haha.

    1. Que

      This is a super late response, but I have only used 9” pans for this cake, did not alter recipe, and they’ve always come out perfect with good sized layers and the cake was tall. This cake is ALWAYS a hit everywhere I take it!

  6. Jo

    Rather than just egg whites could I use a whole egg? If so, how many egg white per egg would it be please?
    Example, 5 egg whites is the equivalent to 3 whole eggs.
    Also, would whole eggs make a difference to a cake as opposed to just egg whites?
    Thanks 🙂

    1. Lindsay

      This recipe doesn’t work well with whole eggs, I’m sorry. You could try using this cake and swapping out some of the milk for the wine. I haven’t tried it, but I think it’d work fine.

  7. Shannon

    I made this recipe into cupcakes, and they are to die for! The moscato was too subtle for me, however, so I poked holes into each cupcake when they were still slightly warm and drizzled 1 tsp moscato over/into each one. 5 stars! 

  8. Nicole

    I didn’t think I was going to like the frosting because of the shortening, but when I tasted it, OMG!  I made this cake for Christmas and took it over my cousin’s for dinner and it was a hit.  I didn’t even get a piece, I had to sneak a bite of someone else’s and it was incredible.  Thank you Lindsay

Lindsay
About Lindsay

I'm a wife and a mom to twin boys and a baby girl! And I've got a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the treats!

Scripture I’m Loving

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:28-29