Strawberry shortcake dessert cups are an easy and delicious dessert! Moist vanilla cake topped with sweet strawberry sauce and cream cheese whipped cream! You can even make this recipe a no bake recipe! These mini dessert cups are great for parties and the perfect summer treat!
Ingredients for Strawberry Shortcake Dessert Cups
Vanilla cake layer
- Vanilla cake – For this recipe you can choose your own adventure. Here are the options:
- Bake a vanilla or white cake from a boxed cake mix according to directions. You may have additional cake leftover to snack on or use for cake pops! For this recipe, I used about half of a box mix cake.
- Bake a homemade vanilla or white cake! Check out my recipe for Classic White Cake and Classic Vanilla Cake.
- Purchase premade cake from the store. You could use a pound cake, angel food cake, or even use the strawberry shortcake cups.
- Strawberries – You can use fresh or frozen strawberries. One pound total. This is about 3 to 4 cups of strawberries. Can you substitute blackberries, blueberries, or raspberries? Yes, absolutely!
- Granulated sugar – To add a bit of sweetness.
Cream cheese whipped cream
- Cream cheese – Cold. Yes, I know that sounds weird, but for this recipe, we are doing cold cream cheese.
- Heavy cream – You can use heavy cream or heavy whipping cream. Cold.
- Powdered sugar – To add a bit of sweetness. You can add a bit more or less depending on your taste.
- Vanilla extract – A splash of pure vanilla extract adds great vanilla flavor to the whipped cream.
- Strawberries – Fresh strawberries, diced.
How to Make Strawberry Shortcake Dessert Cups
- Crumble vanilla cake into small chunks. Portion the vanilla cake crumbs into 28 2-ounce plastic cups, about half full.
- Make the strawberry sauce. Combine strawberries and granulated sugar in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook the strawberries until the juices release and the strawberries soften. Break the strawberries up with a fork or potato masher. Transfer to a heat-proof bowl to cool.
- Make the cream cheese whipped cream. Cream the cold cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth. Add vanilla extract and heavy cream. Whip until stiff peaks form.
- Once cooled, portion the strawberry sauce over the vanilla cake in the individual cups.
- Spoon or pipe the cream cheese whipped cream over the top of the strawberries.
- Top each dessert cup with diced strawberries.
- Seal the cups with a lid and chill. The cups can be served immediately or stored in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
Strawberry Shortcake Dessert Cups Recipe Tips
I love breaking recipes down into steps to make life easier. For these dessert cups, you can make the strawberry sauce and vanilla cake the day before you assemble the cups. Be sure to make the cream cheese whipped cream the day you are assembling the cups so it has the best texture!
Make it no bake
As I mentioned above, you can either bake your own vanilla cake from a cake mix or from scratch, or you could purchase a store-bought pound cake, angel food cake, or strawberry shortcake cups if you don’t feel like turning on the oven.
To make the vanilla cake crumbs extra fancy, you can remove the caramelization (browning) off the top, bottom, and sides of the cake before crumbling. This does not affect the flavor, just gives the cake crumbs a uniform appearance. Don’t throw the caramelization away though, it makes a great snack! Also, use a fun piping tip – I used a large French piping tip!
This recipe makes approximately 28 2-ounce cups. This is an estimation. You may have a few more or a few less depending on how much filling you pipe into the cups!
Storing and serving
These dessert cups can be stored in the refrigerator for about 2 to 3 days. I love serving these dessert cups right out of a cooler at parties or picnics! The dessert cups can stand out at room temperature for about an hour.
Strawberry Shortcake Dessert Cups
- Electric hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment
- 3 cups vanilla cake crumbs *see ingredients for more information
- 1 lb strawberries fresh or frozen
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
Cream Cheese Whipped Cream
- 4 oz cream cheese cold
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ½ cup fresh strawberries diced
- Crumble the vanilla cake into small pieces. Portion the cake pieces into 28 2-ounce plastic cups, filling each cup about ½ full.
- To make the strawberry sauce, combine strawberries and granulated sugar in a medium saucepan. Place over medium-low heat stirring occasionally. Cook the strawberries until softened and thickened, approximately 15 minutes. Break the strawberries up with a fork or potato masher. Transfer to a heat-proof bowl to cool to room temperature.
- To make the cream cheese whipped cream, use an electric hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whip cold cream cheese and powdered sugar on medium speed until smooth. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add in the vanilla extract. Turn the mixer to low speed and slowly drizzle in the heavy cream. Once all the heavy cream is added, scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. Turn the speed to medium-high and whip the frosting until stiff peaks form.
- Portion the cooled strawberry sauce over the vanilla cake crumbs in the cups. Spoon or pipe on the cream cheese whipped cream. Add diced strawberries to the top of each dessert cup for garnish.
- Seal the cups with a lid and chill. The cups can be served immediately or stored in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.