Sunday, May 16, 2010

Strawberry Shortcake Cake

This cake is a variation on the traditional strawberry shortcake made with a scone, whipped cream, and strawberries. The cake layer is a dense and moist vanilla pound cake that is complimented by sweet, syrupy strawberries and a slightly tangy cream cheese icing. Alternatively you could make this cake using freshly whipped cream - I have tried both and each are equally delicious.

Cake Ingredients:

1 and ½ cup all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp. corn starch
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
1 and ½ cup white sugar
3 large eggs
½ cup sour cream, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Cream Cheese Icing Ingredients:

8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3-4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 lb. fresh or frozen strawberries (thaw if using frozen)
2-3 Tbsp. white sugar

Cake Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and move rack to center of oven. Place a circle of parchment or wax paper in the bottom of an 8" or 9" round cake pan and grease with butter or nonstick cooking spray. Be sure to use a cake pan that’s at least 2" deep so that it can accommodate the cake rising during baking. Before baking, the batter should not fill the pan more than halfway.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, and corn starch. In a separate bowl, cream the butter with the sugar with a mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add sour cream and vanilla and mix until combined. Slowly add in the dry ingredients and mix on low speed until just barely combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the centre of the cake is no longer jiggly and the top is golden brown. Do not open the oven door while baking except for during the final 5 minutes to test for doneness. Also make sure there is no one jumping around near the oven while the cake is baking. Both of these will cause your cause to collapse in the center and ruin the whole thing.. I know this from personal experience! Run a knife along the edges and remove the cake from the pan as soon as you take it out of the oven. Place the cake on a serving plate and place on a wire rack to allow it to cool completely.

While your cake is baking, destem the strawberries and slice them in half from bottom to top. Place into a bowl and sprinkle with 2-3 tablespoons sugar. Stir together, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. During this time the natural sugars will release from the strawberries, causing them to soften and creating a syrupy liquid that can be drizzled over the cake.

Icing Directions:

With a mixer, combine the cream cheese, butter, sifted powdered sugar, vanilla, and dash of salt in a large bowl. Mix until very light and fluffy. I mixed two drops of red food coloring into my icing to make it a light pink color. This is optional, but it does make the cake look prettier when finished!

To assemble the cake:

Once your cake is completely cooled, evenly spread the icing over the top and sides with a spatula or small knife. Garnish with the prepared strawberry halves and pour the syrup over the cake. This cake is best when served chilled. Store cake in the refrigerator.

*Recipe adapted from The Pioneer Woman

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