As summer comes to an end, savor the last of in-season strawberries with this Strawberry Shortcake. The cake is pillow-y and will absorb all those sweet strawberry juices to make each bite burst with flavor. The Lemon Mascarpone Frosting gives the cake a lighter, airier feel with nutty undertones. This cake can be made as cupcakes or in cake form. Either way, it's perfect for sharing. I've made this cake for birthdays, Mother's Day, and summer gatherings, and it never disappoints us.
TIPS TO MAKE THE BEST STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE
Measuring flour - the key to any fluffy and tender baked good is accurately measuring your flour. Typically when you just scoop out the flour straight from the container, you end up measuring way too much flour. This is because when you scoop the flour straight from the container, you are packing it down too much, meaning that your measuring cup is filled with dense flour. Measuring too much flour can ruin almost any baked good, so I recommend using a kitchen food scale when possible since this will provide the most accurate results. However, if you do not have a food scale the most accurate way you can measure your flour is by spooning the flour into your measuring cup until it is full. Then with the flat side of a butter knife, swipe the excess overflowing flour off. This method is called spooning and leveling your flour.
Egg-free recipe - this cake recipe is egg free. To ensure that this cake is moist and tall without eggs, we use yogurt, baking soda, baking powder, and vinegar.
Ingredient Temperature - it is important to use room temperature ingredients in this cake. This helps ensure that your ingredients combine easily and well to form a homogenous batter.
TOTAL TIME: 2 hours + cooling
YIELD: 8 servings
3 cups all purpose flour cups (360 grams)
1 ½ cup granulated sugar (300 grams)
½ cup softened unsalted butter
½ cup olive oil
1 ¼ cup room temperature milk (preferably whole milk)
½ cup room temperature yogurt (preferably full fat)
1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vinegar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Zest of 1-2 lemons
1 teaspoon salt
1 lb strawberries, half quartered, half finely chopped
⅓ cup granulated sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lemon
Lemon Mascarpone Frosting
1/2 cup (1 stick) super soft butter
1/2 cup room temperature mascarpone
3 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup room temperature heavy cream
Zest of 1 lemon
Preheat your oven to 350° F and line three-6 inch or two-9 inch cake pans with parchment.
In a bowl, combine the room temperature milk and vinegar. Set it aside to curdle and measure out the rest of your ingredients.
In your stand mixer bowl or a separate bowl, add in the sugar and lemon zest. Using your fingertips, rub the zest and sugar together. This will release the essential oils in the citrus zest and intensify the lemon flavor. Rub the sugar and zest together until the sugar resembles wet sand.
Then, add in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix until all of the dry ingredients are fully combined. Then, add in the butter and begin to beat on low for a minute. Then, increase the speed to a medium or medium high and beat until chickpea sized crumbs begin to form.
Add in the oil and continue beating. At this point, it is going to look off because a dough will start to form, do not worry it will be fine. Add in your milk, yogurt, and vanilla after the oil and beat until everything is just combined. Add in the sprinkles and mix just until you see no more lumps or flour pockets.
Evenly divide the batter into your pans and bake for 20-30 minutes.Once it is finished baking, let it cool for at least 30 minutes before removing it from the pan. Then, let the layers cool completely.
Once completely cooled, wrap each layer in saran wrap and refrigerate overnight. While the cake refrigerates overnight, combine all of your ingredients for the strawberry filling and refrigerate overnight too.
The next day, make the frosting by beating your softened butter on high for 5 minutes. Beating it for a long period of time ensures that it is fluffy and smooth. Then beat in the mascarpone for 2 minutes.
Add in the powdered sugar half a cup at a time and beat until smooth. You can add more/less depending on how sweet you want it. After all of the sugar is added, continue to beat for another 2 minutes until everything is smooth. Add in vanilla extract and lemon zest and mix.
Remove the cake layers from the fridge just before frosting. Trim the layers if needed to make them flatter. Then, transfer the frosting to a piping bag and pipe a ring of frosting, closest to the edge of your first layer. Then, fill the inside with ⅓ or ½ of your strawberry mixture (depending on how many layers you have). Make sure the cake absorbs the juices. Cover with a thin coat of frosting and add another layer on top. Repeat with the other layer(s), and enjoy!
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