When I last left you, it was Memorial Day weekend and now it’s the day before 4th of July. I won’t even go into the blah blah blah of what a time warp June was, but I’m sure you all know. Since we last chatted I went to a wedding, threw a giant house cooling party with Roommate, moved ALL of my stuff [how the heck does one person have SO. MUCH. STUFF.] to my new apartment, had a few mini meltdowns in the process [see: SO. MUCH. STUFF], started my summer MBA class, went on vacation, began training for my next marathon, went to a concert, and finally finally [almost] finished finding a new place for all my so-much-stuff.
I did an extremely limited amount of cooking over the last month, and even less baking, but a few special occasions called for me to dig out the cake pans and turn on the oven. The biggest occasion being my friend Sarah’s wedding. I made this layered strawberry short cake for her office shower a few days before the big day. Sarah has always been a lover of berry desserts so I knew this recipe would be perfect for her. It also turns out to be a perfect dessert for the Forth of July. Is there anything more American than strawberry shortcake? I think not! Except maybe apple pie. Or barbecues. But besides that, this takes the cake [shortcake. get it? see what I did there?]
If you are looking for a more standard [yet still super delicious] shortcake recipe, try this my mom’s recipe that I posted last year. If you are looking to fancy it up a bit, then by all means this is the way to go. I roasted the strawberries in the oven to draw out all of their natural juices and sweetness. I let them cool in the refrigerator then used them to fill layers of fluffy white cake. I used by favorite enhance a cake mix recipe because I was in a pinch for time, but I think it worked perfectly here. For frosting I turned to simple whipped cream. All the ingredients of a classic shortcake recipe, redesigned to into a towering beauty of a dessert.
I used mini 6 inch cake pans to make a tall, slender, four layer cake… for extra fanciness. If you are going for extra simplicity, just make two standard 9 inch layers and fill them with lots of juicy berries. The cake will be totally charming either way.
- 1 boxed white cake mix (and the ingredients called for on the back)
- 3/4 cup flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 Tbs vegetable oil
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 pints strawberries, hulled and quartered
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
Use my enhance a boxed cake recipe to prepare two 9 inch or four 6 inch cake layers. If you have a favorite white layer cake recipe, go ahead and use that!
For the filling, preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Hull and quarter two pints of strawberries. Lay them in a single layer on a large baking sheet covered with foil and sprinkle them with 1/4 cup of sugar. Roast the berries for 20 minutes, stirring them gently after 10 minutes. They should be very soft and have released many of their juices by the time you remove them from the oven. Allow the berries to cool to room temperature on the tray, then transfer them and their juices to a covered container to cool completely in the refrigerator.
To assemble the cake, spread a thick layer of cooled berries on top of each cake layer, gently stacking the next cake on top. After the cake is assembled, combine the 2 cups of whipping cream and the 1/4 cup of powdered sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fit with the whisk attachment. Whip the cream on high speed until thick and very stiff peaks have formed. Spread the whipped cream over the entire cake and refrigerate until ready to serve.
It’s summer, alight.