Hello! I’m back with another springy recipe for you. Strawberry Shortcake! Who out there loves this tasty treat?
When it comes to classic Easter and spring desserts, it seems like strawberry shortcake is always at the top of the list. Here’s the thing though. There are sooo many ways you can make it. I recently conducted a poll on my Instagram stories about strawberry shortcake. I wanted to know if people liked their shortcake more biscuit/scone-like or more sponge/cake like.
Surprisingly, the poll came out nearly split 50/50. I was expecting people to side one way with another. But I get it though. I grew up eating strawberry shortcake as more of a cake or a sponge. Sometimes we would even eat it with angel food cake (though, that is not my favorite). However, I do like the biscuit type of shortcake. One thing I can really appreciate is the biscuit’s ability to absorb the strawberry juice without becoming overly soggy. So I like both types.
So, what kind of “cake” is best?
With this in mind, I set out wondering if I could come up with a recipe that could combine the features of both types of shortcake–the sturdy, crumbly part of the biscuit type and the soft, pillowy part of the cake. The first thing that popped into my mind was trying to make an almond sponge to see if it had more structure, but still contained the softness of a cake.
Well, people, I’m considering this a success. Turns out, I really like the version with almond flour. First of all, if you are leery of using almond flour, don’t be afraid. It’s just as easy to use as regular flour and it turns out such a tasty, tasty cake. You will be pleasantly surprised. The cake has more chew, absorbs the strawberry juice well, but is still tender enough that maaaaaybe it’ll satisfy the sponge lovers. Plus, it’s gluten free to boot!
First, you’ll want to start with some awesome berries since they’ll be the star of the show. How do you pick out good strawberries? I like to grab the package and give them a good sniff. If you smell a solid, fresh strawberry scent, then move on to the next step. No smell? Put them back. If they passed the sniff test, examine the berries from outside for any smashed or moldy berries. Eventually, you’ll find a winner.
You will need to gather your egg white whipping skills (aka meringue) for this cake. But no worries, you’re not making anything extremely technical. It is a fairly forgiving cake. All you’ll need to do is separate the eggs, mix the yolks with the dry ingredients to make a paste, then slowly fold in the meringue. Then bake! It’s that easy.
I hope you love this recipe as much as I do, and that you’ll add it to your spring baking list.
This almond-based cake is nice and sturdy but still soft enough to satisfy every shortcake lover. Plus it's gluten-free to boot!
- 1-2 teaspoons softened butter (for greasing cake pan)
- 4 large eggs
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cups almond flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
For the whipped cream:
- 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
For the strawberry topping:
- 3 cups hulled and sliced strawberries
- 1-2 tablespoons granulated sugar (to taste)
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Lightly and evenly grease a 8x8" square cake pan with the butter. Add the 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar and rotate pan to evenly coat with sugar. Tap pan over sink to remove any excess sugar. Set aside.
Separate the eggs. Place the yolks in a medium bowl with 1/4 cup of sugar and vanilla. Whisk until smooth.
Using a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the whites until they form soft peaks. Slowly add in remaining 1/4 cup sugar, in about 1 tablespoon increments. Egg whites should have stiff peaks but not be dry.
In a separate bowl, mix together the almond flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir dry ingredients into the egg yolk mixture and stir until combined--it will be a thick paste.
Fold the egg whites into the almond paste in 1/2 cup increments. The first addition of whites will be a little challenging to fold in, but keep folding until it is incorporated. Keep folding in 1/2 cup of egg white mixture at a time until they are completely incorporated and there are no lumps of almond paste. The batter should be smooth and fluffy.
Pour the batter into the cake pan and smooth batter to make sure it's even. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until the cake is lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
While cake is baking, mix together strawberry topping ingredients set aside to allow the berries to macerate.
After the cake has been removed from the oven, allow to cool for 5 minutes in the pan before inverting onto a cooling rack. Allow to cool completely before slicing into nine slices.
Using a hand or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip heavy whipping cream until you start to see trails in the cream. Add the granulated sugar and whip to stiff peaks.
Serve each slice of cake with the strawberry mixture then top with whipped cream. Enjoy!