3 Cups Cake flour, sifted
1 ½ Cups Granulated sugar
2 ½ Tsp. Baking powder
½ Tsp. Kosher Salt
6 Large Egg yolks
1 Cup Heavy Cream
1 ½ Tsp. Pure vanilla extract
21 Tbsp. Unsalted butter, room temperature
2 Lbs. Fresh, ripe strawberries, hulled and quartered (save 3 whole strawberries for topping the cake)
1/3 Cup granualated
2 Tbsp. Strawberry Preserves
2 Cups Heavy cream
¼ Cup Confectioner’s sugar
1 Tsp. Pure Vanilla extract
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 9-inch cake pans. Add a couple of tablespoons of flour to each pan and shake to coat the pans with flour. Shake out excess. Put it to the side.
3) In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Just mix for a couple of seconds to combine.
4) Add the butter and the rest of the heavy cream, a quarter at a time, to the dry ingredients and mix on low speed. After you have added all the ingredients and everything has come together, increase the speed and beat for about two minutes to fully incorporate the ingredients. Be sure you scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula a couple of times.
5) Add the egg mixture, a quarter of the mix at a time, and continue beating into the mix. As before, scrape down the bowl a couple of times to be sure everything is incorporated. The batter should be pourable if not, add a little extra cream (a tablespoon at a time) until pourable.
9) While the cake is baking, make your strawberry filling. Hull your strawberries (remove the green tops) and slice your strawberries into quarters and place in a large bowl. Top with the sugar and toss to coat. Let sit for 1 hour or overnight to macerate. Add the strawberry preserves to a small dish. Put in the microwave for 20 seconds to loosen. Stir the preserves to loosen up the fruit. Add to the bowl with the fresh berries and mix into the berries. Let set for about 10 minutes. This will be your filling for between the two layers of cake.
10) To make the whipped cream, chill a metal bowl and the beaters from a hand mixer in the fridge for at least 20 minutes. Then, add the cream, sugar and vanilla to the bowl and beat on high until you have nice, thick, stiff peaks.
11) To assemble the cake, put pieces of parchment paper on a cake stand. Place one cake on top of the parchment paper. (You will remove the parchment paper when you are done. This just helps with clean up.) Top with the strawberry mixture and spread it to the very edge of the cake. Top with the second cake layer. Start frosting the cake with the whipped cream until the cake is completely covered. Cut two of the whole strawberries in half and put them on top of the cake. Put the remaining whole strawberry in the middle of the cake to garnish. Cut into slices and enjoy.
NOTES: Strawberry Shortcake was my father’s favorite. Being a daddy’s girl made this my favorite too. As a kid growing up in NYC, my grandparents would pick up a strawberry shortcake every Sunday from their local bakery and bring it to our house for their weekly visit. As if we needed another reason to adore those two? So good.
Here is my version of the cake. If you haven’t invested in a great baking cookbook, The Cake Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum is the one to buy. This recipe is inspired by her book, and I use her Golden Butter Cream Cake recipe as the foundation in this dessert. Delicious and wickedly decadent.
To get started with this cake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Make sure your rack is in the center of the oven for even cooking. I usually leave my butter out overnight so it is super soft and ready to use when I’m ready to bake. It makes this a lot faster.
Then, you’ll want to prepare your two 9-inch cake pans. I use the wrappers from the sticks of butter to grease my cake pans. Such a great use of that paper and just the right amount of butter for each pan. It also keeps your hands clean as you rub the butter all over the inside of the pans. Then, add a tablespoon or two of the cake flower to each pan and shake it all around the pan, including the sides. Throw out the excess and put the pans to the side.
I also typically prepare my strawberries the night before but you can make them now, before you make the cakes, to give them time to macerate. Start by removing the hull (green tops) of each berry. Then, cut each strawberry into quarters. Put them in a bowl and top with the sugar. Toss to coat and put to the side. Within an hour, or overnight, the strawberry juice and sugar combine to make the most delicious strawberries in syrup. Put to the side.
Next up, you’ll want to whip the wet ingredients in a small bowl with a hand mixer. First, separate your eggs. For this recipe you are only using the egg yolks so save the whites for a great omelet later. I seperate my eggs into a separate bowl before I add them to the bowl I will mix all the wet ingredients in. This way, I make sure I’ve removed the egg white and any rogue egg shells before bringing everything together.
Now, add the egg yolks, 6 tablespoons of the cream and the vanilla into a bowl and beat. Put to the side.
Next, you’ll want to sift and meaure your dry ingredients into the stand mixer’s big bowl. That will be the cake flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. NOTE: I’m using cake flour which is significantly finer than all purpose flour and much lighter. Mix for a couple of seconds in the stand mixer to get everything incorporated.
It is now time to add the butter and cream, alternating the additions in thirds. Everything will come together into a big ball. Be sure you scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula several times. You want everything to be well combined.
Now, you are ready to add the egg and cream mixture. Add in thirds until completely combined. NOTE: I have noticed that sometimes the batter is very thick. That can happen depending on the size of those egg yolks. If it seems to thick (it doesn’t pour), add a little more heavy cream. I add about a tablespoon at a time until is is loosened up a bit.
Divide evenly between the two pans and bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes. I start checking at the 25 minute mark. Use the tried and true “toothpick method” to test your cakes. If you insert the toothpick into the center of the cakes and it comes out clean, the cakes are done. If there is wet batter and crumbs sticking to the toothpick, let it bake another 2-4 minutes and check again.
While the cakes are baking, I make the whipped cream. I chill a metal bowl and the beaters from a hand mixer in the fridge for about 20 minutes.
NOTE: If planning ahead, the night before making the cake, put the bowl and beaters in the refrigerator. Take the butter out and put in a bowl on the kitchen counter. Cut up your strawberries and top with sugar. Let those sit on the kitchen counter over night too. These simple tips will make pulling this cake together, well, a piece of cake!!!
Add the heavy cream, confectioner’s sugar and vanilla to the chilled bowl and beat on medium high until you have nice, thick stiff peaks. Keep in the fridge until ready to frost the cake.
When the cakes are done, move to a rack to cool. After 10 minutes, run a knife around the outside of the cake to help loosen it from the sides of the pan. Let cool for another ten minutes. Then comes the old’ flip the cake move. Take a large plate and put it on top of the cake pan. Holding the plate and the pan, flip the cake over so the cakepan is upside down on the plate. Gently lift the cake pan. Then, put another plate on top of the cake (bottom of the cake is facing up) and flip again. Now you have the cake topside up on a plate. It can completely cool there but it will be faster if you put the cake (s) on a rack to cool.
Once completely cooled, it is time to assemble the cake. On a cake stand, place several pieces of parchment paper. Leave the center of the cake stand bare. Place your first cake layer on the parchment. Since the cake will only be sitting on the edges of the sheets of parchment, when you are done frosting the cake, it will be easy to slide out the parchment paper and discard. This will keep your cake stand clean and make clean up a breeze.
On this bottom layer, add the drained strawberries. Spread them to the very edge of the cake layer. Top with the second layer of cake. Gently press down.
Take your whipped cream out of the fridge and begin covering the cake on all sides. Swirl with a spatula on the top and sides. Garnish with the fresh cut strawberries and add the whole strawberry in the middle. Remove the parchment paper and discard.
Slice and serve. Does it get any better? I don’t think so. Like this cake? Try some of my other favorite show stopper desserts.