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strawberry charlotte cake with fresh strawberries
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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!  
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 5 hours
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

Picture Tutorial & Tips: I have a detailed picture tutorial in my post to help you out with each step of the recipe as well as lots of tips to ensure 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. 
  • 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