If you’re looking to take a treat to a summer potluck, boy do I have a winner for you!
Last summer I was headed to a friend’s birthday party–a very dear friend. The kind of friend you let see without your makeup and hair done. One of those friends who has seen your house as it really is on an average day, and didn’t run away screaming. That’s a very special friend! Well, for her birthday, an average cake wouldn’t do. I needed to make something really gorgeous that would be a special treat for her special day.
I’d been playing around with a strawberry lemonade cake for a while now, but I had a ton of fresh berries from our co-op, and thought it would be a real treat to have a color explosion of fresh berries. Let me tell you friends, that when I set out this cake? It was gone in seconds. Every time I’ve made it since it has been the same–gone in a flash. People wait approximately 8.3 seconds to ooh and ahhh over it, then they dive in. Kids and adults alike LOVE this cake!
The basic recipe uses a shortcake recipe I’ve been making for years, adapted from my mom’s 1970’s Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. I’ve been making this shortcake since I was a teenager, and it’s definitely a winner. I whipped up real cream, adding some raw honey for sweetness to balance the sour of the lemon curd and berries. I layered it all with lemon curd, and then top it all with fresh berries. It’s sooooo delicious!
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup raw sugar
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1/2 c hot milk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 pint whipping cream
- 1/4 cup raw honey or raw sugar
- 1 pint strawberries
- 1 pint blueberries
- 3 lemons
- 1 cup raw sugar or raw honey
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 4 large eggs
- 1/8 tsp kosher salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
- In a separate bowl beat the eggs until they are thick and lemon colored, about 2-3 minutes on high.
- Gradually add 1 cup of sugar, beating at medium speed for five minutes.
- Quickly fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture.
- Add the butter and vanilla to the hot milk and then pour into the batter.
- Blend well.
- Pour into a paper lined square baking pan. (I use old grocery bags but parchment paper works too.)
- Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes.
- Cool in pan for 15 minutes before removing.
- Zest and juice the lemons. Be careful when zesting to avoid the white pith, which is bitter.
- In the mixer, cream the butter and sugar together. Add the lemon zest.
- Add the eggs in slowly, one at a time.
- Slowly add in the lemon juice and salt. Mix until well blended.
- Pour the mix into a saucepan and heat over low until it thickens, about ten minutes. Stir constantly. Do NOT boil. The lemon curd will thicken before that point.
- Remove from the heat and refrigerate to cool.
- Chill a metal bowl and your whisk attachment in the refrigerator for 10 minutes before using. (A chilled bowl whips better.)
- Add your sugar/honey to the bottom of the bowl, and then add your cream. Mix together on low for one minute, until well blended.
- Switch to high for two to three minutes. Whip on high until stiff peaks form.
- Slice the shortcake in half horizontally, so that you now have two layers. If it crumbles or breaks, don't fret, as it can be pieced together and will be covered with the toppings.
- Spread a layer of lemon curd on top of the bottom layer, and top with strawberries and blueberries.
- Spread a layer of whipped cream.
- Add the next layer of shortcake, and repeat the layers. Use more whipped cream and fruit on top than in the center.
You can buy premade lemon curd if you’d like, or make it yourself. I’ve included the recipe in case you’d like to make it. I mention using “raw sugar” or honey in my recipe–this is because I prefer whole foods. You can easily substitute in regular sugar if you wish without any change in flavor.
The red, white and blue makes this a great cake for your Flag Day and July 4th parties this summer!