Layered strawberry shortcake is a light and refreshing dessert that’s perfect for springtime. Sweet, spongey, and crumbly cake is layered with whipped cream and fresh strawberries that create this iconic dessert of British origin.
What Goes Into Layered Strawberry Shortcake?
Strawberry shortcake is the kind of dessert that tastes best from scratch. Sure, you can buy those ready-made shortcakes when strawberries are in season, but it’s just as easy (and tastier too!) to make 2 layers of spongey cake and assemble it with a pretty presentation.
Naturally, fresh strawberries go into strawberry shortcake. You’ll slice those and prepare them for later while you make the cake. The key here is using shortening in the batter as that’s what gives it that signature crumbly texture. Use one cake pan and bake it up, then let it cool and slice it ever-so-carefully in half horizontally to make 2 even layers.
Once you assemble it, get ready to serve it. Strawberry shortcake is a dessert that must be eaten quickly to appreciate its fresh-from-the-garden qualities.
Believe it or not, the name has nothing to do with how tall the cake happens to be. As it is a British cake, the “shortcake” refers to something that is crispened up with shortening or fat.
When you compare strawberry cake to strawberry shortcake, the differences are quite noticeable. For one, a strawberry cake tends to be much larger. It also involves cooking the strawberries with the cake which renders it a pretty pink color. Strawberry shortcake has the strawberries added to it, along with the whipped cream, after the cake has cooled.
Strawberry shortcake is a dessert best enjoyed immediately. You can keep it in the fridge for a day or two after putting it together. It will also be fine if you put it out on a dessert or tea table during a party.
If you want to cut down on your work, you can make the different parts of your strawberry shortcake in advance. You can prep the berries and the cake too, but don’t assemble it until you’re planning to serve it or no more than 4 hours ahead of serving time. The whipped cream and strawberries will make the cake soggy and ruin the texture.
- If you don’t have shortening, you can use butter or margarine instead. Make sure you use a couple of extra tablespoons than what’s called for with the shortening.
- The batter needs to look like coarse crumbs prior to adding in your egg and milk.
- Always use fresh strawberries for the best results. You can use frozen ones, but they will bleed all over and ruin the presentation.
- Make your own whipped cream out of the heavy cream. It tastes so much better than the stuff from a tub or can, and it’s easy to make too!
Say you’ll be my shortcake!
Layered Strawberry Shortcake
- ⅔ cup milk
- 2 cups whipped heavy cream
- ⅓ cup shortening
- 1 egg
- 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 tablespoons + ½ cup white sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3 pints fresh strawberries
- Cut strawberries. Combine them with ½ cup of white sugar and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 425 F. Grease an 8 inch round cake pan and flour it.
- To a medium bowl add, baking powder, flour, 2 tablespoons white sugar, salt and combine.
- Add shortening and blend until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Make a well in the center, then add beaten egg and milk. Stir until combined.
- Add batter to the prepared pan and spread it. Bake at 425 F for 15 to 20 minutes. After baking, let it cool.
- To make two layers, slice the cake in half. Top one cake layer with one-half of strawberries, then put another layer on top and top it with the remaining strawberries.
- Cover with whipped cream and serve.