This post was developed to highlight Driscoll Strawberries. What better than a strawberry shortcake. What is interesting is that we eat Driscoll strawberries all the time, but rarely, do I make a strawberry dessert. This was my chance to make a very American, traditional dessert. As I often do, I wondered what the origin of strawberry shortcake is? What I learned is that it was probably first introduced in the United States around 1850. However, it is referenced prior to the 1600’s in England. We know this because Shakespeare mentioned it in his play The merry Wives of Windsor.
When I looked up various recipes to see what people use for the cake part, I saw some different choices. It makes sense that commonly the cake is more of a biscuit. If the strawberry shortcake dates back to the 1500’s, it would be logical that the cake is more of a biscuit or a scone. I wanted to make mine a little lighter. I also needed it to be lighter so I could make it 3 tiers. This is a simple recipe to make and it got a lot of oohs and aahs from my guest.
Ingredients for cake (adapted from Learning to Love August):
3 Tablespoons milk
3 large eggs
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
1 ½ cups sifted cake flour
¾ cup sugar
¾ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
13 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 to whole carton of strawberries
Preheat oven to 350°F. In a medium bowl lightly combine the milk, eggs and vanilla.
In a large mixing bowl combine the dry ingredients and with a fork, mix until the mixture becomes finer. This will take about a minute. Cream the butter.
Pour the dry ingredients into the butter. Add half the egg mixture.
Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Increase to medium speed and beat for 1 minute to make the cake light and fluffy.
Scrape down the sides. Gradually add the remaining egg mixture in 2 batches, beating for 20 seconds after each addition to incorporate the ingredients. Scrape down the sides.
Scrape the batter into a pan sprayed with oil and smooth the surface with a spatula.
Bake 55 to 65 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cover loosely with foil after 30 minutes to prevent the top from browning too much. Let the cake cool in the pan. Use after it cools, or as I did, refrigerate overnight. Invert the cake out of the pan. Turn the cake right side up.
Take a circular cookie cutter and cut out as many circles in your cake as you can. I was able to get 8 cakes out. Take a bread knife and cut each cake in two horizontally. To prepare the strawberries, cut the top off horizontally. Then stand the strawberry up and slice the strawberry top down aiming for a thickness of an 1/8″. To assemble, take the bottom half of one cake. Top with a generous amount of the whip cream.
Place 3 of the sliced strawberries in a triangular shape with the thinner/top part of the strawberry on the inside.
Repeat with a second layer including the cake, whip cream and strawberries. Finish by putting on the final cake, top with a dollop of whip cream and stand up one strawberry in the whip cream.
Serve and enjoy!