I was starting to feel like every single post was some shade of the predictable baking brown. That’s mainly because they all include very delicious brownish things; brown sugar, chocolate, butter, etc. But the page and my palate were due for a little color, wouldn’t you agree? So, time for some fruit. Now this recipe looked bright and cheery enough, but I had my doubts. Strawberry shortcake…cake? Seemed like it was just a fun new way to say strawberry cake, after all, it lacked the whipping cream all together and instead ended with a rich cream cheese frosting. Well, I was wrong. It totally, totally felt like eating strawberry shortcake, only (in my humble opinion) better! The key was the spongy cake soaked with fresh strawberries and juice. Yum, pioneer woman, you’ve done it again.
I prepared mine with the full cake and 3/4 of the frosting, that way the fresh strawberry flavor was not overpowered. Just skipped the icing on the sides and decorated with whole strawberries for a more natural, rustic look.
Strawberry Shortcake Cake
Yields 10 servings (calorie estimate: 650/slice as prepared)
1-½ cup flour
3 Tablespoons corn starch
½ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
9 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1-½ cup sugar
3 whole large eggs
½ cups sour cream, room temperature (I used plain yogurt.)
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ pounds Cream Cheese, Room Temperature
2 sticks Unsalted Butter
1-½ pound Powdered Sugar, Sifted
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1 pound Strawberries
IMPORTANT: Be sure to use a cake pan that’s at least 2 inches deep! Before baking, the batter should not fill the pan more than halfway.
Sift together flour, salt, baking soda, and corn starch.
Cream 9 tablespoons butter with the sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well each time. Add sour cream and vanilla and mix until combined. Add sifted dry ingredients and mix on low speed until just barely combined.
Pour into greased and floured 8-inch cake pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes, or until no longer jiggly like my bottom. Remove from cake pan as soon as you pull it out of the oven, and place on a cooling rack and allow it to cool completely.
Stem strawberries and slice them in half from bottom to top. Place into a bowl and sprinkle with 3 tablespoons sugar. Stir together and let sit for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, mash the strawberries in two batches. Sprinkle each half with 1 tablespoons sugar and allow to sit for another 30 minutes.
Make icing: combine cream cheese, 2 sticks butter, sifted powdered sugar, vanilla, and dash of salt in a mixing bowl. Mix until very light and fluffy.
Slice cake in half through the middle. Spread strawberries evenly over each half (cut side up), pouring on all the juices. Place cake halves into the freezer for five minutes, just to make icing easier.
Remove from freezer. Use a little less than 1/3 of the icing to spread over the top of the strawberries on the bottom layer. Place the second layer on top. Add half of the remaining icing to the top spreading evenly, then spread the remaining 1/3 cup around the sides.
IMPORTANT: Cake is best when served slightly cool. The butter content in the icing will cause it to soften at room temperature. For best results, store in the fridge!