Thursday, May 25, 2023

Classic Strawberry Shortcake

We are finally getting local strawberries and they are just the best...sweet and juicy, so fragrant and fat. A family tradition is to have strawberry shortcake for the May birthdays. Two sisters down just had her birthday, so this is for her.

Although I enjoy a strawberry shortcake made with sweetened biscuit dough, the classic cake for the family was a plain yellow cake (often made from a mix in a box) with strawberries sandwiched in the middle and whipped cream over the top.

I found a great plain yellow cake in a book called The Wooden Spoon Dessert Book by Marilyn Moore. Since I only wanted one layer, I baked half the recipe, but I'm giving you the full recipe so you have enough cake to serve it if you are gathering for Memorial Day.

Because there was only Sweetie and myself enjoying this decadent dessert, I just cut wedges from the single layer and then topped them with the sliced berries and topped them with whipped cream. 

If you make the full two layer cake, I would recommend at least three pints of strawberries be used. Slice two pints and take the third one and slice, put into a bowl and then mash the berries. Use this pint of mashed berries to fill the middle between the two layers of cake, then top that with another pint's worth of sliced berries. Top with the second layer, adorn with whipped cream, and then serve the third pint at the table to be added for those who need more berries. You can save a few perfect berries to use for decoration on top after applying the whipped cream, if desired. 

Rotation Cake
by Marilyn Moore in The Wooden Spoon Dessert Book

Grease and lightly flour two 9 x 2-inch layer cake pans. If desired, add a round of parchment to each pan, then grease that. Remember to remove the parchment when you removed the cakes from their pans after cooling.

1 cup cake flour, sifted before measuring
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) soft unsalted butter
2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup half and half

To make Strawberry Shortcake add:
3 pints strawberries
1-2 pints heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoons sugar

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together until light and fluffy the butter and sugar, adding the sugar gradually.

Add, one at a time, the eggs, beating well after each and scraping the bowl with a flexible spatula as needed.

Blend in the vanilla and beat briefly to combine.

Use the mixed dry ingredients and the half and half to finish the batter, adding alternately (three parts dry, two parts half and half), blending after each addition and scraping the bowl and beaters with a flexible spatula as needed.

Spoon and scrape the batter into the prepared pans. Spread evenly with an offset spatula. 

Bake in a preheated 350 degree F oven for 30 - 35 minutes, turning the pans a quarter turn half way through. The cake is baked when the cake springs back when lightly touched in the center. Cool on wire racks for 5 minutes, carefully turn out to cook completely, right side up, after removing the parchment paper on the bottom, if necessary. Fill and frost as desired.

If Strawberry Shortcake is desired:

Prepare the berries as described in the headnote.
Chill the bowl and beaters of an electric mixer for at least half an hour...can be chilled in the fridge or the freezer.

When chilled, remove from the fridge/freezer and add the whipping cream. Attach the beaters to the mixer (if available use the whisk attachment) and begin beating on medium speed. After a few seconds, begin adding the sugar gradually. Increase the mixer speed to high and continue to beat until the whipped cream holds soft peaks.

Immediately place one cake layer, top side down, on a serving plate. Top with the mashed berried, then the sliced berries. Top with the second layer, top side up. Mound the whipped cream over the top, swirling with the back of a spoon, or put the whipped cream in a pastry bag with a large star tip and pipe stars all over the top. Decorate with reserved berries, if desired. Serve slices and pass the extra sliced strawberries and any extra whipped cream to put on the side.

Note: If a smaller amount is desired, bake half the recipe in one 9 x 2-inch pan and use half the berries and a pint of whipping cream. You can cut wedges and add the berries and cream as I did, or slice the layer in half and put berries in the middle and cream on top as described above.

1 comment :

  1. I feel like I've been away for so long but am now reemerging from the fog of fast-writing a novel and then a fast revision turnaround and whoa! Strawberries! Spring! Time has moved on!

    We have a garden this year that out of control, because we have water, and so we planted All The Things at this new house with pretty un-used soil and so we have all the weeds and it's producing some exciting growth (and volunteering marigolds and flat-leafed parsley, which says SOMETHING must have grown here before), and I'm glad to know you're still there, and the seasons and cycles of strawberries and gardens and sunshine are still being enjoyed. I haven't had shortcake in years because the strawberries never last long enough around here to make it to the biscuits, but that's A Summer Goal now. ☺