This is what I grew up believing Strawberry Shortcake was. A cartoon character. A doll.
Then sometime in my twenties I discovered that it was also actually a dessert.
I was floored.
It made me wonder about Mickey Mouse…
Today, however, was the first time I attempted to make a Strawberry Shortcake. It was also the first time I tasted one.
Of course, I changed the shortening to butter. It has to be done. Butter rules.
When it said to slice the strawberries, I cut mine in half. With hindsight I should have actually sliced them, as the halves made the cake unstable and hard to cut neatly.
And I didn’t put 1/2 cup of sugar over the strawberries. I couldn’t bring myself to do that to them.
Everyone probably already knows this, but it was a bit of a surprise to me, the batter isn’t runny like cake batter, it is more like shortbread, yet not quite.
When I took it out of the oven I let it cool for about ten minutes in the pan before turning out and I broke a little piece off to taste. I then understood the need for the sugar on the strawberries, the shortcake wasn’t at all sweet. I added a little bit more to the ones I had waiting in the fridge.
I used whipped topping instead of heavy cream, for no reason other than I had it in the fridge.
• 3 pints fresh strawberries
• 1/2 cup white sugar
• 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
• 4 teaspoons baking powder
• 2 tablespoons white sugar
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1/3 cup shortening
• 1 egg
• 2/3 cup milk
• 2 cups whipped heavy cream
Slice the strawberries and toss them with 1/2 cup of white sugar. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Grease and flour one 8 inch round cake pan.
In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, 2 tablespoons white sugar and the salt. With a pastry blender cut in the shortening until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Make a well in the center and add the beaten egg and milk. Stir until just combined.
Spread the batter into the prepared pan. Bake at 425 degrees F (220 degrees C) for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.
Let cool partially in pan on wire rack.
Slice partially cooled cake in half, making two layers. Place half of the strawberries on one layer and top with the other layer.
Top with remaining strawberries and cover with the whipped cream.