You know what I love about June? Even though strawberries have been available since February, in June they actually start to taste like strawberries! Can I get a Woo Hoo?
The nicest thing you can do for a perfectly ripe strawberry is let it be the star of the show with some very capable supporting players. For this reason, there’s nothing better than a classic strawberry shortcake.
I have a theory about the perfect strawberry shortcake experience:
- First, it must be summertime. It’s just wrong in November.
- Next, the berries must be gently mixed with just enough sugar. They will macerate and release those natural juices that make up the syrup that is the nectar o’ the gods.
- You must have fresh whipped cream with vanilla; the creaminess balances the tart zing of the strawberries.
- And finally; you need this easy, old fashioned recipe for shortcake. It’s not too sweet, we’ve got enough of that going on. It soaks up the juices from the berries and the vanilla compliments the whipped cream in perfect harmony.
- If you don’t get all poetic about strawberry shortcake, you haven’t tried the right recipe. Yet.
If you’d like something strawberry that’s a bit more elegant, check out Strawberry Rose Tart. It’s a bit more effort than shortcake but that sugar cookie crust is so worth it.
Classic Strawberry Shortcake
Yield: 6 normal servings – 4 obnoxious servings like in my world.
Time: 1 hour
What You’ll Need:
For the strawberries:
- 2 lbs. strawberries
- 3 tablespoons sugar
For the shortcake
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cups heavy cream
For the whipped cream
- 1 ½ cups heavy cream, chilled
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- Hull and quarter the strawberries, mix them with the sugar and refrigerate.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- In a mixing bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt together. Add heavy cream and mix until just combined. The batter will be thick. You can almost knead it like a biscuit but please don’t over mix! Place batter in an ungreased 8-inch square pan, spreading gently with fingertips.
- Bake until golden – 20 to 22 minutes.
- While the shortcake is cooking, place a metal bowl and beaters in the freezer in preparation to whip the cream.
- Let the baked cake cool partially in the pan on a wire rack. This is best when the cake is warm for serving.
- Mix the whipped cream ingredients in the metal bowl and beat until soft peaks form. Ready for a big girl mixer. You’ll love this one – KitchenAid KHM512ER 5-Speed Ultra Power Hand Mixer, Empire Red
- Slice the cake into 6 (or four!) pieces and split each piece in half horizontally and place on plates.
- Spoon some of the strawberries with their juice onto the bottom half, top with a generous dollop of whipped cream and then the shortcake top. Spoon more strawberries over the top, add more whipped cream, then a little more, ok . . . a little more and devour.
Diva Tip – This recipe is so versatile it’s perfect for all your summer entertaining.
- Add some blueberries and we have a patriotic dessert for Independence Day.
- Add sliced peaches later in the summer when they’re juicy and ripe for late summer perfection.
- You can cut the cake into cubes and layer the ingredients in a trifle bowl for a spectacular presentation.
- Or make picnic perfect individual portions in mason jars for travel.
No matter how, when or why; you can’t beat a classic strawberry shortcake.
Like strawberries? You’ll love these recipes!