Three and a half years in the making and this past weekend, it happened – my mom, dad and my fiancé’s dad and stepmom finally met. My parent’s came to stay the weekend, which was completely lovely (with the exception of some weird fog that kept rolling in and rolling back out) – we went to two of my favorite places: Summer Shanty and Provincetown.
Summer Shanty has my favorite lobster rolls on Cape Cod (and shoutout here to my maid of honor who’s described the clam chowder as “the bomb!”) and Provincetown is the epitome of good, clean fun where all are welcome.
In between all of that though, I made this delicious strawberry shortcake-cake. When it boils down to it, it’s whipped cream, macerated strawberries, and shortbread – pretty easy and delicious (here’s where I let you in on a little secret: my favorite strawberry shortcake ever is the one at the Cheesecake Factory – I have no doubt it’s full of sticks upon sticks of butter, but man-oh-man if you get the chance, it’s worth it.)
This strawberry shortcake is a little different – it’s prettier (very important), the shortcake is a crunchy and crumbly shortbread but with the sugary strawberry syrup that’s seeped in and melts in your mouth. The velvety-ness of the whipped cream sneaks in from behind and melds everything together into a perfect bite – YUM!
Anyway, needless to say, the meeting went off without a hitch, as did the cake, and I FULLY recommend you giving it a go – whether for a parent meeting or for an easy cake on a summer day.
For the Shortcakes:
3 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups heavy cream
10 tablespoons cold (but not frozen) butter
For the Strawberries:
3/4 cup sugar
2 16-ounce packages of strawberries, hulled and sliced
For the Whipped Cream:
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup sugar
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Thoroughly butter 3 9-inch round cake pans.
To prepare the strawberries, combine the sugar and hulled and cut strawberries into a medium bowl. Place in the fridge.
To make the shortcake, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Add butter and use two knifes to cut the butter in until it resembles coarse crumbs. Slowly add heavy cream and stir in with a fork, just until moistened.
Gather dough into a ball and turn onto a lightly floured surface. Gently kneed and split into the three cake pans. Spread the dough all the way to the edges and press down to make as smooth as possible (think flat and thin like a pancake).
Bake for about 25 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Let cool in the pans before turning out.
When you’re ready to assemble, prepare the whipped cream. Using an electric mixer, combine heavy whipping cream and vanilla extract and beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar while beating until stiff peaks form.
To serve, place first layer on the serving plate, top with 1/3 of the macerated strawberries, and top that with 1/3 of the whipped cream. Top with second shortbread layer and repeat with 1/3 strawberries and 1/3 of the whipped cream. Top with the final layer and spread remaining whipped cream and pile remaining strawberries on top.
Note: it’s ok if it’s a little rustic and crumbly – that’s part of the shortcake charm!
Yield: 10 slices of cake