Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Strawberry Shortcake Cakes

Wow, that took a little longer than I thought to get organised! Sorry about that… The ol' recession’s hitting home at this end and it’s been a bit of a distraction this past week for several reasons that I won't bore you with. That, and a trip to Ascot on Friday where I was, ahem, a little ‘tired and emotional’ probably didn’t help! Ooops…. Anyway, I definitely won’t go into the details of that!

JJ has returned home in one piece and his camping stuff is now liberally strewn around the flat. I expect it’ll stay that way for a good few weeks until I cave and unpack for him. Actually, it’s going to have to be before then as in two weeks it’s my friend Laura’s birthday party and it’s being held in our flat! I’m SO excited. It’s Alice in Wonderland themed (but not fancy dress – too much hassle) and I’m busy designing the cup cake toppers. Any ideas welcome! I took delivery of the card suit cookie cutters yesterday and thinking up things to make. Really hoping I get some great pics to show you of that party. It’s my absolute favourite – an afternoon tea!! And, as Laura and I lived together at Uni, I know almost all of the people coming so SUPER excited to see everyone. Must not get ‘tired and emotional’ again though!!!! I’m getting too old for the morning afters.

Anyway, back to business. I teased you horribly with the pic of the mini cakes for Rachel’s afternoon tea – they are individual strawberry shortcake cakes. And they are soooooooooooo good. Fragrant, creamy, moist and sweet – just awesome. I got the recipe from the Pioneer Woman (who I’ve been totally addicted to since I started reading blogs about a year ago) but decided that they had to be individual for Rachel’s do. I mean, what isn’t improved by making it smaller and cuter?!! So the only thing I changed was to convert all the measurements into metric (can’t handle the inaccuracy of cups) and cut individual circles out of a square cake rather than making the one large round cake. I have made the round version before and it’s equally delicious. In fact, just the left over scraps of icing and cake are mighty fine too...

It does sound a bit fiddly popping it into the freezer after every step, but it really does make the process a lot easier. I actually made the cakes ahead of time, froze them into the little circles and then added the strawberries and icing the day of the tea. I’ve recently taken to making and freezing cakes and it’s such a useful technique as the cakes stay fresher and icing is so much easier.

Strawberry Shortcake Cake
(Adapted from The Pioneer Woman)

1 1/2 cups (225g) flour
3 tablespoons corn flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
9 tablespoons (125g) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 ½ (340g) cups caster sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 cup (120ml) sour cream, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 pound (225g) cream cheese, room temperature
2 sticks (1/2 pound, 225g) unsalted butter
1 1/2 pounds icing sugar (675g), sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 pound (ca. 500g) strawberries

Sift together flour, salt, bicarbonate of soda, and corn flour.To make the cake, cream the butter with the caster 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 350F/175C degrees for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a cocktail stick comes out clean. 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 with a fork, leaving some chunky.

To make the icing, combine cream cheese, 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. (Pop in the freezer again for a bit if needs be). Add half of the remaining icing to the top spreading evenly, then spread the remaining 1/3 around the sides.

Leave plain or garnish with strawberry halves.
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!


  1. Fab blog and recipes. Came here via Angela. Will be back. Your follow button isn't appearing?

    Cal x

  2. I came here via Angela, too! Wow! Yummy!