Easy Strawberry Charlotte Cake with Fresh Strawberries

This strawberry Charlotte cake is an easy, light and creamy summer dessert! This simple recipe doesn’t have any eggs or gelatin – instead it uses fresh strawberries, cream and ladyfingers! It’s a delicious, no-bake, show-stopping dessert that is sure to wow any crowd!  

strawberry charlotte cake with fresh strawberries

If you’re looking for an easy, elegant yet stunning no-bake dessert that will impress your guests, this strawberry Charlotte cake is for you!

I absolutely love no-bake desserts because  of their simplicity and there are usually just a handful of ingredients required.

Now that strawberries are in season, I wanted to make a simple strawberry no-bake dessert and decided to make a this amazing strawberry Charlotte cake with fresh strawberries.

What is a Charlotte dessert?

A Charlotte is a type of dessert that uses bread, cake or ladyfingers to line a mold pan and then it’s filled with a custard (usually Bavarian cream) or whipped cream and fresh fruit.

This particular recipe uses store-bought ladyfingers for convenience and a simple filling without eggs.

And even though it looks complicated, it’s really simple to make!

Why you’ll love this strawberry Charlotte:

  • It’s a no-bake dessert.
  • It doesn’t contain eggs or gelatin powder.
  • There are only 6 ingredients!
  • It has fresh strawberries.
  • It is easy to make.
  • It’s a perfect summer dessert.
  • It’s really beautiful!
  • It’s sooo good!

WHAT MAKES THIS RECIPE STAND OUT FROM TRADITIONAL ONES

Most Strawberry Charlotte recipes include a mousse which is made with gelatin powder or traditional Bavarian cream, which is like a thick custard made with eggs.

This recipe is much simpler and does not have any eggs or gelatin. Instead of eggs and gelatin, I make a thick strawberry filling using cream cheese, which gives a nice tang and pairs so well with strawberries.

strawberry charlotte cake with fresh strawberries

WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE IT:

Ladyfingers: I use store-bought ones (savoiardi).

Cream: I use heavy whipping cream which helps make it nice and thick.

Strawberries: I use fresh strawberries. Some are made into a sauce for the filling and some are chopped to put on top of the filling.

Cream cheese: The cream cheese gives a nice tang and helps set the dessert.

Sugar: I use both granulated white sugar and powdered sugar.

Vanilla: I use a small amount in the whipped cream.

Springform pan: This recipe is for a large springform pan. The one I use is 10 inches.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What does this strawberry Charlotte cake taste like?

I would describe it as a strawberry version of tiramisu. It’s very light and creamy, yet cool and refreshing. It’s not overly sweet, but the combination of cream, cream cheese and fresh strawberries makes the filling perfectly airy.

Can I make this ahead of time?

Yes! This dessert can be made up to 2 days in advance, just make sure it’s refrigerated.

How many servings does this make?

This recipe is for a 10-inch springform pan, which makes about 10-12 servings.

HOW TO MAKE STRAWBERRY CHARLOTTE CAKE WITH FRESH STRAWBERRIES

 

FIRST MAKE THE SYRUP

 

sugar syrup in a saucepan

Mix the sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.

Simmer for 2-3 minutes and then take it off the heat and set it aside to cool.

THEN  MAKE THE STRAWBERRY SAUCE

Strawberry Sauce Steps

STEP 1

Cut the strawberries into quarters and put them in a small saucepan. Add the sugar and water and bring to a simmer. Stir to dissolve the sugar. When sugar is dissolved, remove from heat.

STEP 2

Pour into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

STEP 3

Pass through a strainer/sieve to remove the seeds.

STEP 4

Pour the sauce into a small bowl and set aside to cool.

THEN MAKE THE FILLING

Strawberry filling Steps1

Strawberry Filling steps2

STEP 1

Beat the heavy cream, powdered sugar and vanilla until stiff peaks form.

STEP 2

In another bowl, beat the cream cheese until it’s softened.

STEP 3

Add the strawberry sauce to the cream cheese and mix until well-combined.

STEPS 4 & 5

Gently fold in the whipped cream with a spatula and mix until combined.

THEN ASSEMBLE THE CAKE

Strawberry Charlotte Assembly Steps

STEP 1

Cut the bottom part of the ladyfingers, about an inch (2.5 cm) so they firmly sit upright in the pan. Save the cut ends. Try to make each one the same size by placing them side by side before you cut them.

STEP 2

Quickly dip them in the cooled syrup and line the sides of the pan with the round sides facing outwards.

STEP 3

Arrange the ladyfingers tightly together all around the pan.

STEP 4

Add the previously cut ends on the bottom.

STEP 5

Fill the bottom layer with more soaked ladyfingers, cutting where necessary so that they fit.

STEP 6

Evenly spread half the filling over the bottom layer of ladyfingers.

STEP 7

Add the chopped strawberries evenly over the filling.

STEP 8

Arrange another layer of soaked ladyfingers over the chopped strawberries.

STEP 9

Add the remaining filling on top and smooth out the surface.

STEP 10

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or even better, overnight.

After that, you can decorate it with whipped cream and sliced strawberries!

a slice of strawberry charlotte cake on a plate

TIPS FOR SUCCESS

  • Dip the ladyfingers in the sugar syrup quickly so that they don’t fall apart or become soggy.
  • Use heavy whipping cream that contains 35% fat or more, otherwise you won’t be able to whip it.
  • I always put a metal bowl in the freezer for about 15 minutes before I start and then when I add the cream to the cold bowl. That way, the cream whips faster.
  • This dessert needs time to set so that it doesn’t fall apart and it’s easier to slice. It needs to be refrigerated for at least 4-5 hours. However, I usually let it in the refrigerator overnight. This will also give the ladyfingers time to soften up.
  • I suggest decorating the dessert right before you’re ready to serve.
  • To get perfect, thin, vertical slices, I cut the strawberries in an egg slicer.
  • Since this dessert has fresh strawberries, I suggest storing it in the refrigerator for no more than 3 or 4 days! Just make sure it’s covered in plastic wrap.

Strawberry Charlotte cake with fresh strawberries

Enjoy!!!🥰

~Voula

Let me know how this easy strawberry Charlotte cake with fresh strawberries turns out for you in the comments below! I’d love to hear from you!

MORE EASY NO-BAKE DESSERTS!

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Easy Strawberry Charlotte Cake with Fresh Strawberries

This strawberry Charlotte cake is an easy, light and creamy summer dessert! This simple recipe doesn’t have any eggs or gelatin - instead it uses fresh strawberries, cream and ladyfingers! It’s a delicious, no-bake, show-stopping dessert that is sure to wow any crowd!  
Prep Time20 mins
Total Time5 hrs
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: no-bake, strawberry cake, charlotte, no gelatin, no eggs ladyfingers'
Servings: 10 -12

Equipment

  • 10-inch springform pan

Ingredients

For the syrup

  • 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (250 ml) water

For the strawberry sauce

  • 10.8 oz / 300 g (about 18) strawberries, washed, drained & stems removed
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • ¼ cup / 50 g / 1.8 oz sugar

For the filling

  • 21.3 oz / 600 g cream cheese 
  • 7 fl oz / 200 ml heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup / 60 gr powdered sugar
  • 7.2 oz / 200 g (about 12) strawberries, washed, drained & chopped into small pieces
  • 14 oz / 400 g (48-50) ladyfingers (savoiardi)

For the topping & garnish (optional)

  • 7 fl oz / 200 ml heavy whipping cream
  • ¼ cup (28 g / 1 oz) powdered sugar 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3-4 strawberries, washed, drained & sliced

Instructions

  • Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper. Set aside.

Make the syrup

  • Mix the sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.  
  • Simmer for 2-3 minutes and then take it off the heat and set it aside to cool.

Make the strawberry sauce

  • Cut the strawberries into quarters and put them in a small saucepan. Add the sugar and water and bring to a simmer. Stir to dissolve the sugar. When sugar is dissolved, remove from heat.
  • Pour into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. 
  • Pass through a strainer/sieve to remove the seeds.
  • Pour the sauce into a small bowl and set it aside to cool.

Make the filling

  • Beat the heavy cream, powdered sugar and vanilla until stiff peaks form. 
  • In another bowl, beat the cream cheese until it’s softened.
  • Add the strawberry sauce to the cream cheese and mix until well-combined.
  • Gently fold in the whipped cream with a spatula and mix until combined.

Assemble the cake

  • Cut the bottom part of the ladyfingers, about an inch (2.5 cm) so they firmly sit upright in the pan. Save the cut ends. Try to make each one the same size by placing them side by side before you cut them.
  • Quickly dip them in the cooled syrup and line the sides of the pan with the round sides facing outwards.
  • Arrange the ladyfingers tightly together all around the pan.
  • Add the previously cut ends on the bottom.
  • Fill the bottom layer with more soaked ladyfingers, cutting where necessary so that they fit.
  • Evenly spread half the filling over the bottom layer of ladyfingers.
  • Add the chopped strawberries evenly over the filling.
  • Arrange another layer of soaked ladyfingers over the chopped strawberries.
  • Add the remaining filling on top and smooth out the surface.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or even better, overnight. 

Make the topping & garnish (optional)

  • Beat the heavy cream, powdered sugar and vanilla until stiff peaks form. 
  • Pipe or spread it evenly on the cake.
  • Garnish with sliced strawberries.
  • When ready to serve, unlatch the springform pan and remove the outer ring.
  • Slice and enjoy!
  • Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate any leftovers.

Notes

  • Dip the ladyfingers in the sugar syrup quickly so that they don’t fall apart or become soggy. 
  • Use heavy whipping cream that contains 35% fat or more, otherwise you won’t be able to whip it. 
  • I always put a metal bowl in the freezer for about 15 minutes before I start and then when I add the cream to the cold bowl. That way, the cream whips faster.
  • This dessert needs time to set so that it doesn’t fall apart and it’s easier to slice. It needs to be refrigerated for at least 4-5 hours. However, I usually let it in the refrigerator overnight. This will also give the ladyfingers time to soften up.
  • I suggest decorating the dessert right before you’re ready to serve. 
  • Since this dessert has fresh strawberries, I suggest storing it in the refrigerator for no more than 3 or 4 days! Just make sure it’s covered in plastic wrap.
© Pastry Wishes
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