I first posted a picture of this Strawberry Shortcake on my Instagram account and received so many likes, including a request for the recipe. So, here is my recipe for Strawberry Shortcake that is really quite easy and as you can see, it is one of those things that makes a super luscious, impressive dessert!
I made this as the belated birthday dessert for my daughter-in-law, Kate, and the store had crappy looking strawberries, so we used blackberries and raspberries. Any good berry you like will do! I don’t like my desserts too sweet, so I do not add much sugar to the fruit as I think you really don’t need it. But do add more if you so choose.
Strawberry Shortcake signals spring to me as spring and summer are the height of strawberry season vs. the flavorless variety available in the winter. Agata, my other daughter-in-law in Poland, said the Instagram post made her craving for strawberries. And I found some good ones the next day after serving Kate her special treat.
You can wrap up the shortcake in aluminum foil and warm it in a preheated 350-degree oven for about 7 minutes and it will taste just as fresh as the day you made it – as these pictures show with the strawberries.
The other secret ingredient!
The real secret here is a tip from my mom. Make sure the cake is warm, split it and put super thin little pats of butter on the bottom portion, then lightly salt it, if you are using unsalted butter. Then put a layer of whipped cream on top of the buttered portion, followed by the berries to fall over it. The butter makes everything just a little richer, fresher and yummier.
Some Strawberry Shortcake recipes have a lot of butter in the cake portion. But I prefer a lighter cake and then using the butter fresh, as a finishing touch, as my mom did it. Super delish.
The background story…
When I was a little girl around ten years old, my mom gave me the responsibility to make a dessert every night during the summer. That was my “job”. And now don’t forget that I am the youngest of six, with five older brothers. Growing up in the Midwest, dessert was mandatory, even if it was just simply Jell-O and Cool Whip (a newfangled thing at that time). Yuk!
So, I had to choose the dessert recipe, make sure I had the ingredients and make it in time for dinnertime. Making Strawberry Shortcake, was one of my go-to recipes as it was simple, easy and impressive. And, my mom grew strawberries in our garden in the backyard that were so sweet and delicious!!
In those days, Bisquick was also a relatively newfangled thing that you could use to make biscuits, pancakes, waffles and yes, shortcake. And I often used Bisquick, but because this recipe is so easy and I have an aversion to premade processed food, please go with this recipe. It will not disappoint.
Enjoy!! And serve with LOVE.
STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE – serves 6 – 8
3 pints fresh strawberries, hulled and thickly sliced, or other mixed berries, leaving 6 – 8 berries whole, with the green tops, for the final decoration when serving.
¼ cup white sugar
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons white sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
⅓ cup unsalted butter – very cold
1 egg – at room temperature
⅔ cup whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 rounded Tbs. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Slice the strawberries (leave other small berries whole), and toss them with 1/4 cup of white sugar. Cover and set aside so juices will accumulate.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Butter and flour one 8 inch round cake pan.
Combine the flour, baking powder, 2 tablespoons white sugar and the salt. Sift all ingredients together into a bowl. With a pastry blender or knife, cut in the cold butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Lightly beat the egg in another small bowl. Beat in the milk to combine.
Make a well in the center of the butter and flour mixture and add the beaten egg and milk. Stir until just combined and no flour is visible. The dough will be more bread-like and sticky. Use your hands for the final mix to combine everything.
Spread the batter into the prepared pan. You will have to work at spreading it out. Bake at 425 degrees F (220 degrees C) for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool partially in the pan on a wire rack.
The finishing touches
Whip the heavy cream into luscious soft peaks, adding the powdered sugar and vanilla after it first starts to thicken. Do not over whip.
Slice partially cooled cake in wedges and then split each wedge in half, making two layers. Put super thin little pats of butter on the bottom portion, then lightly salt it, if you are using unsalted butter. Then put a layer of whipped cream on top of the buttered portion, top with berries to fall over it and top with the other cake layer. Finish with a dollop of whipped cream and one whole strawberry or some small berries as shown in the photos.
Serve with LOVE and enjoy.