A super fresh take on Strawberry Shortcake with an unexpected touch of almond essence, filled with layers of whipped cream and the sweetest strawberries. This is what strawberry season is all about. I love it’s casual chic style. Perfect for Mother’s Day brunch this Sunday, or a backyard BBQ.
STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE LITTLE CAKES
This cake was adapted from Gluten-Free on a Shoestring’s Vanilla Cake recipe.
A few tips before making this recipe:
1. Before you begin, put the bowl you’ll be using for the whipped cream and the whisk(s) in the freezer for at least 20 minutes.
2. Wash the strawberries and allow them to dry.
3. You can make the cake one day before assembling. If making the little cakes, make the round cut-outs on the day of serving.
2 cups (280 g) all purpose gluten free flour (I used Cup4Cup)*
1 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons (140 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons coconut palm sugar
½ cup granulated sugar (I used an all-natural, organic sugar)
1 teaspoon pure almond extract
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 egg whites + 1 whole egg, at room temperature
1 ⅓ cup buttermilk (I dairy-free buttermilk by using half Kite Hill plain, almond milk yogurt and half Califa unsweetened almond milk), at room temperaturE.
- Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease 2 8-inch round cake pans. Set the pans aside.
- In a medium bowl, sift (yes, you must sift!) the flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Add the salt, and whisk to combine. Set the dry ingredients aside.
- In a large bowl, beat the butter, sugars, almond extract, and vanilla on medium-high speed for at least 2 minutes, or until light and fluffy, stopping to scrape the mixture off the sides and bottom of the bowl.
- In a small bowl, combine the egg whites, egg and yogurt and almond milk, and whisk to combine.
- In the large bowl with the butter and sugar mixture, add the dry ingredients in 2 equal parts, alternating with the buttermilk and egg mixture. Beat on medium speed. The batter will sometimes look a bit curdled. Once all of the ingredients have been added, beat for another minute on medium speed to ensure that everything is combined, then turn over the batter a few times by hand. It should be very thickly pourable and relatively smooth.
- Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared baking pans and smooth each into an even layer with an offset spatula. Place the baking pans in the center of the preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes. Rotate the pans, and continue to bake until the cakes are lightly golden brown all over, begin to pull away from the sides of the pan, and do not jiggle in the center at all. You may need to set the timer for another 5 to 10 minutes, if they still jiggle in the center. Begin with 5 minutes.
- Allow to cool. Once completely cooled, you have two options:
- Go straight to the whipped cream recipe, and start decorating your layer cake.
- Using round cutters, cut out small circles for little cakes like the ones I made in the photo. I used a 3 1/4 inch round cutter and yielded enough for 4 double layered cakes.
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
Optional: 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar to help stabilize the whipped cream so it lasts longer (it does not affect the taste).
Place bowl and whisk in freezer for at least 20 minutes to chill.
Pour the heavy cream, sugar, and cream of tartar (if using) into the bowl, and whisk on high speed until medium to stiff peaks form, about 1 to 3 minutes.
1 pound fresh organic strawberries, sliced
Set 6 of the most beautiful strawberries aside for topping the cake(s)
Place one layer of cake on a platter. Top with a layer of whipped cream, then top with a single layer of slices strawberries.
Place the second layer of cake on top and repeat with the whipped cream. Place the remaining strawberries, and decorate with halved and whole strawberries.