The Season for Strawberry Shortcake

  • Posted on July 15, 2014 at 2:11 pm

  Strawberry Shortcake Painting

Living out in the country is a great way to get inspired by nature and what it has to offer, especially if you love cooking and baking as much as I do. Fresh ingredients are easy and fun to find. A glorious place to take the kids to go strawberry picking  on a beautiful midweek summers day is Alstede Farms near Chester NJ, which  has huge fields abundant with strawberries and blueberries in June / July. Later in the year other fruits such as peaches, raspberries, and blackberries are also available. Many people asked me about strawberry shortcake for their specialty cake; however, because a specialty cake is covered in fondant, one has to make some modifications to the original recipe. But every good strawberry shortcake starts with fresh strawberries – this is where a local produce is so wonderful. My three daughters and I decided to come to the farm for this reason.

As soon as we got out of the car, my youngest daughter Lucille ran directly to the farm animals that are kept for petting, while I gathered up the strawberry baskets.

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Strawberry PickingStrawberry Picking in Chester NJFresh Strawberries

What the kids loved about strawberry picking was the fact that the strawberries were hidden and they had to search for them within the plant, unlike picking fruit from trees, which is almost too easy! I also found that we had a much better selection of fruit on a weekday. If you visit on a weekend it can get very crowded and the amount of perfect strawberries available for picking decreases.

So once we had taken the tractor ride back to the farm, we went home to Long Valley, where I set to work on the fresh strawberry shortcake recipe I wanted to test.


Strawberries in a basketThe Barn at 11 East Mill Road

Strawberry Shortcake Recipe:

Yield: 8 servings


1 1/2 cups cake flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 cup + 1 tbsp sugar

4 oz cream cheese (room temp.)

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter (room temp.)

3/4 cup milk

2 large eggs

1/4 tsp vanilla extract



2 lbs. strawberries (hulled, divided)

1/4 cup water

3 tbsp sugar (divided)

2 tsp fresh lemon juice

1 1/2 cups chilled whipped cream

1 1/2 tbsp powdered sugar + additional for sprinkling

3/4 tsp vanilla extract



For cake:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9-inch cake pan with nonstick spray. Sprinkle bottom and sides with sugar, tap out excess sugar. Sift flour and baking powder in medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat 1 cup sugar, cream cheese, and butter in a large bowl to blend. Beat milk, eggs, and vanilla in another medium bowl to blend. Beat milk mixture into cream cheese mixture. Add dry ingredients; beat only until smooth, do not over beat. transfer butter to prepared pan. Sprinkle remaining 1 tbsp sugar over top of butter.

Bake cake until golden brown on top and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Cool in pan on rack. Cover and let stand at room temperature.

Sliced fresh strawberriesFor sauce:

Coarsely chop half of strawberries (about three cups). Place them in a medium saucepan.Add 1/4 cup of water, 2 tbsp of sugar, and lemon. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until strawberries are very tender, about 4 minutes. Pour strawberry mixture into food processor and puree until smooth. Strain sauce through fine mesh strainer into medium bowl. Cover and chill until cold, about 2 hrs. Keep chilled.

Quarter remaining strawberries. Toss with remaining 1 tbsp sugar in another medium bowl. Let stand at room temperature until sugar dissolves and juices form, tossing occasionally, about 30 minutes. Add strawberry sauce. Cover and chill. Whip chilled whipping cream, 1 1/2 tbsp of powdered sugar and vanilla in a large bowl until peaks form. Cut cake into 8 wedges. Split each wedge horizontally in half. Place bottom of each wedge on plate. Spoon strawberry mixture over, then top with dollop of whipped cream. Place top of cake over cream. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve.

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Hope you try  the recipe and enjoy it!





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