by Gay Cook

Makes 1 9-inch (22.5 cm) round cake
Baking: 30 minutes
Assembly: 15 minutes

There is always a debate about whether strawberry shortcake should be made with biscuits or cake. I think the cake is scrumptious with the soaked-in strawberries and juice and cream on top. It can be assembled several hours ahead.

  • 1 cup granulated sugar (310 ml)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 4 eggs (roam free) at room temperature, separated,
  • 3 tbsp (45 mL) warm water
  • 1 cup (250 mL) unbleached bread or all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) baking powder
  • 1 1/2 L Fresh strawberries, stemmed and sliced, reserve 6 whole berries with stems for garnish
  • 2 cups whipping cream (500 mL)
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter two 9-inch (22.5 cm) round cake pans and sprinkle each with 1 tsp (5 ml) sugar or use parchement paper. In an electric beater or by hand, combine 1 cup (250 ml) sugar, salt, lemon zest and juice, and egg yolks and beat until lemon-colored. Stir in the water. Combine the flour and baking powder and set aside. In an electric mixer with a whisk, or by hand with a balloon whisk, whisk the egg whites just until soft peaks form. Gently fold the yolk mixture into the beaten whites with a rubber spatula, alternately with the dry ingredients, just until blended.

Spoon the batter into the pans and smooth the surface. Bake for 30 minutes. Allow the cake to rest for 5 minutes then loosen from the pans’ edges with a table knife. Invert the cakes onto a rack to cool.

Combine the strawberries with 4 tbsp (50 mL) sugar and chill for several hours to release the juices. Whip the cream until soft peaks form. Whisk in 2 tbsp (25 mL) sugar and vanilla.

To assemble, spread half the berries on the bottom layer of the cake and top with half the whipped cream. Top with the second cake layer and spread the remaining berries on the cake. Cover with the remaining whipped cream and garnish with the whole berries. Chill several hours before serving.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Gay brought one of these to a luncheon this weekend — it was very, very good.