This strawberry shortcake is the perfect dessert for showcasing summer’s beautiful berries topped with a dollop of freshly whipped cream!
Growing up, my mom had a vintage Better Homes & Gardens cookbook that had a recipe in it called “Best Two Egg Cake”. We made that simple, white cake over and over and over and it has become my go-to base for strawberry shortcake.
I know, most people think that strawberry shortcake has to be made either with a biscuit (one strawberry shortcake camp) or angel food cake (the other main strawberry shortcake camp). But I have to be true to my roots and say that this two egg cake is where it’s at. It’s the perfect, slightly-but-not-overly sweet cake for showcasing summer’s beautiful strawberries topped with freshly whipped cream. The cake is slightly denser than a typical white layer cake, but still light with a tender crumb that is perfect for soaking up strawberry juice.
Speaking of strawberries, they are so wonderful during the summertime and I just can’t get enough of them! I love making homemade strawberry ice cream, baking up some strawberry rhubarb crumb bars, or using them to top these amazing liege waffles. What are your favorite things to do with strawberries during the summertime?
The process for making this cake is simple. You cream shortening (yes, shortening, I know some people have this thing against shortening, but whatevs) and sugar in a bowl, then add eggs (two of them) and vanilla, and then alternate between milk and dry ingredients. Then the batter gets poured into a large rectangular pan and baked until it is golden and begging to be drenched in mashed strawberries and freshly whipped cream.
Or if strawberries aren’t your thing, you can do lemon shortcake instead of strawberry. It’s wonderful and all you have to do is make a warm lemon pudding (just the cook & serve Jell-O lemon pudding) or homemade lemon curd and use it in place of the strawberries, along with the whipped cream on top of the lemon pudding. It’s ridiculously good stuff, sort of like lemon-meringue-pie-meets-cake-and-then-gets-doused-with-whipped-cream kind of good.
Either way you serve this – as strawberry shortcake or lemon shortcake – everyone will love it. That vintage Better Homes & Gardens cookbook got so tattered and destroyed that it had to be thrown away years ago and was replaced by a clean, updated version with the red gingham cover, but not before I made sure to copy down the recipe for this cake, which is absolutely a family favorite.
Strawberry shortcake, along with apple pie and chocolate cake with seven minute frosting, is one of my dad’s favorite desserts, so whenever I make it I find myself thinking of him. I hope you try this and love it as much as we do!
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- 2/3 cup shortening
- 1 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/4 cups milk
- 2 pints strawberries, washed, hulled, and mashed
- sugar, to taste
- 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 4 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a 9x13-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the shortening and sugar till very light, about 2-3 minutes. Beat in eggs one at a time, and then add vanilla.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the dry ingredients alternately with milk, mixing in about 1/2 the dry ingredients, then adding half the milk and mixing well to incorporate, then repeating with the remaining flour mixture and milk.
Spread the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake for 30-35 minutes, making sure to check the cake with a toothpick for doneness. Be careful not to overbake the cake.
In a large bowl, combine mashed strawberries with sugar, to taste. If your berries are really sweet, then not much more than a tablespoon or two of sugar may be necessary. Set aside to allow the sugar to draw out the juices of the berries.
In a separate bowl, whip the cream on medium speed until soft peaks begin to form, about 2-4 minutes. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and whip on medium speed another 2 minutes, until soft peaks return. Be sure not to overwhip the cream - it should just be soft and holding it's shape without being firm or thick.
Top each slice of cake with a generous spoonful or two of berries and a nice dollop of whipped cream.
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