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A Magical Strawberry Shortcake by Mother Daughter Duo, Liza Ward & Elizabeth Benton of West Ashley, SC

on Thursday, 30 June 2011. Posted in Reader Recipes, Recipes, Eat This! Summer 2011

A Magical Strawberry Shortcake by Mother Daughter Duo, Liza Ward & Elizabeth Benton of West Ashley, SC

When I turned five, my mom asked me what kind of cake I wanted for my birthday. Without skipping a beat, I exclaimed, “Strawberry Shortcake!” It was after all my favorite cake, and I was oblivious to the impracticality of such a request (it was December in 1978). Finding strawberries in December back then was nearly impossible, not to mention ridiculously expensive. However, on my birthday, a strawberry shortcake appeared before me as if by magic. And it was. It may have been the best strawberry shortcake ever made.

A few weeks ago, I asked my mom over for Easter lunch knowing that she’d ask me what she could bring. My response, of course, was “Strawberry Shortcake.” I offered to provide the strawberries because on top of loving to eat strawberry shortcake, I also loved picking strawberries as a child. So, my husband, five-year-old daughter and I visited one of the local u-pick strawberry fields. In return, I again had a delicious dessert for the memory books. Admittedly, there have been a few tweaks to the recipe over the years, but to me, it’s still magic.

Strawberry Country Cake

The Cake

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 cups sifted cake flour
  • 3 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • ½ teaspoon orange extract

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour three 9” cake pans. Make cake: In a mixing bowl, cream butter and gradually add sugar, creaming until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. In another bowl, sift flour (a second time) with baking powder and salt. (Note: sifting the flour two times really makes a difference with the texture of the cake, so don’t leave out that step). Add flour mixture alternately with milk and flavorings (extracts) to creamed mixture, beating after each addition until smooth. Pour batter into cake pans. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Cool in pans 10 minutes. Remove from
pans and finish cooking on racks. Make sure the cake is completely cooled before assembling.

The Strawberry “Filling”

  • 5 pints (2 ½ quarts) strawberries thinly sliced
  • 2/3 cup superfine sugar
  • 1/8 cup Peach Schnapps

Mix sugar with strawberries and let sit until sugar is completely dissolved (about 30 minutes). Immediately before cake assembly, add the Peach Schnapps.

The Whipped Cream Topping

  • 3 cups whipping cream
  • 1 T Peach Schnapps
  • 1/8 c. superfine sugar

 

Mix together all ingredients and whip until stiff peaks are formed. Do not use a store-bought whipped cream. Homemade whipped cream really makes the cake taste like you are eating a bowl of strawberries and cream.

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