People have definite likes and dislikes when it comes to strawberry shortcake. My grandmother always made it with biscuits (with some sugar added to the dough) and served it in a bowl with milk poured over it. My mom usually bought those little packaged sponge cakes and served it with Cool-Whip. She worked and didn’t have time to do much from-scratch baking or make her own whipped cream.
I’m not a big fan of pre-packaged foods so will usually take the time to make things myself because they taste so much better and I know what’s in there. So, I bake my own sponge cake. I don’t remember where I got this recipe but I’ve been making it for as long as I can remember. It’s easy (especially with a Kitchenaid to do the mixing for you), tastes yummy, and looks like you spent all day in the kitchen.
Sponge Cake with Strawberries
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 quart strawberries, hulled and halved
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups heavy cream, whipped, divided
Mix flour and baking powder; set aside. In a large bowl at high speed, beat eggs and sugar for 10 minutes, or until lemon-colored and thickened (don't scrimp on the time—it needs lots of air). Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over low heat, melt butter in the ¼ cup heavy cream, lemon peel, and vanilla.
Gently fold flour mixture into the egg-sugar mixture, then add the cream mixture. Divide batter evenly between two greased and floured 9-inch layer cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 22 to 25 minutes, or until the top springs back when touched lightly. Cool in pans on rack for 5 minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely.
Gently toss the berries with sugar and let stand at room temperature until they draw juice, about an hour.
To assemble the cake, place one cake layer on a serving plate. Spoon half the berries and juice over; then top with all but 1 cup whipped cream. Place second layer on top and press down lightly. Spoon remaining berries and juice on the cake; mound remaining whipped cream in the center. Serves 10.
You can use a combination of berries and, if you want to be really fancy, add a little orange liqueur to the berries. Yum!