Strawberry Shortcake

A light and lovely cake - serve this in spring and summer to everyone's delight


#1 Bake a cake

Any yellow cake will do, but I often use a Hot Milk Sponge cake or the Kentucky Butter cake. Bake it in 8 or 9-inch rounds (if you only have one cake pan, just bake it in one pan, but you'll have to slice it in half, or thirds, crosswise. Just make sure it's good and cold - refrigerating overnite is optimal - before attempting to slice into layers.

#2 Make sugar syrup

This is how to guarantee a moist cake. Make a sugar syrup by boiling 3/4 cup water and 1/2 cup sugar.  Add liqueur/flavoring as you like. Using a pastry brush or squeeze bottle, soak cake layers with hot syrup.

#3 Slice and macerate strawberries

Buy at least 2 pint containers of strawberries, remove the greens and slice. Transfer to a mixing bowl and toss with 2 T or so of sugar. Let sit for 5 minutes or so to macerate.

#4 Whip Cream

Whip a pint (more like 3 cups, to be on the safe side) of heavy cream with a spoonful of powdered sugar and a teaspoon of pure vanilla extract.

#5 Assemble the cake - no more than 4 hours before serving

Set the bottom cake layer on a plate and soak with warm/hot sugar syrup.

Spoon a large dollop (about a cup) of whipped cream on the center of the bottom cake layer. Smooth out, close to the edges but with a 1-cm space of exposed cake. Top with an even layer of berries.

Top with next cake layer(s) and repeat. 

Refrigerate until serving. And beware - this cake is a big mess to cut and serve. But it's scrumptious.