Strawberry Shortcake Cake

IMG_1542Looking for that perfect spring dessert?  Why not try this one out?  I made it a couple years ago for a late Easter and decided I needed to make it again to share with you!  The original recipe is from Pioneer Woman and I definitely stick to it for the cake base – its hard to justify tinkering with cake bases!  The cake itself has a definitive shortcake feel to it.  One of the changes I make is to prep the strawberries the night before so that I can incorporate the extra juices into the frosting and tint the whole cake pink!  When prepping the strawberries, I like to add a bit of sugar and a splash of balsamic vinegar into the container and mixing before setting them into the fridge to marinate.  The sugar speeds the process while the balsamic vinegar helps to balance the sugar and add an extra depth of flavor.  If you’re looking for a brighter pink, consider using lemon juice.  Another hint:  if you think its possible that you won’t finish the cake in one serving, I’d highly suggest covering the berries on the inside of the cake with a layer of frosting above and below the berries to prevent bleeding into the cake.  Its a pain but it also means that your cake won’t be getting soggy while waiting to be finished.

 

If you’re looking for something similar but a little bit lighter, Chowhound has a strawberry whipped cream cake with a whipped topping and bigger berries!  It was a pain the butt to make – separated eggs, multiple whipped toppings and, simply put, a ton of prep work.  I didn’t make any significant changes other than using a 9″ pan instead of the 8″ pan and cutting the frosting recipe to a third.  I would have been happy with half but a third works if you aren’t using the frosting to finish filling the interior of the cake…  A few changes that I’d recommend: use powdered/confectioners sugar where-ever it calls for sugar.  You will need to factor in the volume differences or suffer a cake that is far too sweet but the traditional sugar didn’t incorporate as well as I would have liked.  Which means the cake was heavier than it should have been.  Double the amount of filling if you want to keep the filling (pretty sure that I’ll just make more frosting and ignore the filling parts).  Ignore the bit about using the strawberry juices on the cake.  I’d like to suggest making a spring sangria to use the juices instead of making the cake sopping wet.  The cake barely holds together when cutting if you follow the recipe – it doesn’t need any help falling apart.

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The good parts of this cake?  The cake base is delicious, the presentation is rather glorious and I am now officially in love with whipped cream frosting.  Its not the easiest to spread thinly but it is pretty darn tasty.  My beau suggested that this be a 3 layer cake with much smaller berry slices in between – I’ll let you know when a final presentation is ready to share but I think its going to be a while…  I’m strawberry cake-d out for now!

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(Ancient) photographic proof that I’ve made the strawberry shortcake cake in the distant past.  It was way simpler to incorporate the strawberries into the frosting.
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