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Recipe for strawberry shortcake

Sheryl Julian for the boston globe

Serves 8

Made like biscuits, in a bowl with a pastry blender or two blunt knives, this delicate cake is baked in an 8-inch round pan, then sliced horizontally. Let the berries macerate in sugar and orange rind to bring out their juices before setting them on whipped cream between the layers.

CAKE

Butter (for the pan)
Flour (for the pan)
cups flour
½teaspoon salt
teaspoons baking powder
½cup granulated sugar
¾cup (1½ sticks) butter, cut up
½cup milk
1egg, lightly beaten in a bowl
Extra granulated sugar (for sprinkling)

1. Set the oven at 375 degrees. Butter an 8-inch round cake pan. Line the bottom with a round of parchment paper cut to fit it. Butter the paper and dust the pan with flour, tapping out the excess.

2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking powder, and granulated sugar. Stir the mixture with a pastry blender. Add the butter and cut the butter into the flour with the pastry blender or 2 blunt knives until the mixture resembles crumbs.

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3. Stir the milk into the egg. Sprinkle the milk mixture on the flour mixture and use the thin side of a rubber spatula to cut the liquids into the mixture a dozen times to distribute them, rather than stirring them in.

4. Spoon the batter into the pan and use a hand dipped into granulated sugar to pat the batter to the edges of the pan. Add more sugar, if necessary, so the top has a light covering.

5. Bake the cake for 35 minutes, or until the top is firm when pressed with a fingertip. Set on a rack to cool for 20 minutes. Turn out onto a plate, then turn right side up to cool completely.

FILLING

1pint fresh strawberries, halved or quartered if large (save 2 perfect berries)
2teaspoons granulated sugar, or more to taste
Grated rind of ½ orange
1cup heavy cream
2tablespoons confectioners' sugar
Extra confectioners' sugar (for sprinkling)

1. In a bowl, combine the strawberries, granulated sugar, and orange rind. Stir gently. Cover and set aside for 15 to 20 minutes.

2. In a bowl, whisk the heavy cream with the 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar.

3. Set the cake on a cake stand or plate. Holding a knife blade horizontal to the table, cut the cake in half. Have a sheet of parchment paper on the counter. Use a wide metal spatula to lift off the top and transfer it to the paper.

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4. Spread the cake with the half the cream mixture. Add enough of the berries to make a single layer. Add more cream to make an even surface (you will not use it all). Use the metal spatula to pick up the top of the cake and set it on the bottom. Sprinkle the cake generously with confectioners’ sugar. Cut the remaining berries in half through the stems and use them to garnish the cake. Serve the remaining cream with cake slices. Sheryl Julian


Sheryl Julian can be reached at sheryl.julian@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @sheryljulian.