Strawberry season is nearing an end, but I wasn’t read to say goodbye to them until I made Strawberry Sweetcake. I discovered this recipe in my grandmother’s White House Cook Book published in 1900. It’s denser and a little sweeter than the shortbread so many of us are used to. I’ve added a little vanilla and salt to the original.
The ovens in those days were heated with wood and had no control. In order for the cook to determine if the oven was at the correct temperature, she threw in some flour and watched to see how brown it got. We should be grateful our ovens today take out this guesswork.
You will notice in the photo that the cake is topped with meringue rather than whipping cream. That’s your choice, of course.
Servings: 6 Preparation time: 20 minutes Baking time: 20 minutes Assembly time: 10 minutes
Many shortbread recipes call for baking in one pan and splitting the cake afterwards. I prefer to bake in separate pans. (See my favorite single layer pans here.)
Ingredients Strawberries 3 pints strawberries, washed and hulled, preserving a few whole berries of the top 1 cup sugar Cake 1 tablespoons butter, softened 1 cup sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla 3 large eggs, slightly beaten 2 cups flour 1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt Meringue 1 large egg white 1 tablespoon sifted confectioner sugar
Directions 1. Lightly mash strawberries and combine with sugar. Set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 2. Stir the butter and sugar together. 3. Stir in the eggs and vanilla. 4. Sift together the flour. baking powder, and salt and add to the butter mixture, stirring until the dry ingredients are thoroughly integrated. 5. Butter cake pans and swish around a little flour. 6. Divide mixture evenly and pour into pans. 7. Bake about 20 minute or until tops of cakes begin to brown. 8. Remover from pans and cool a little before removing cakes. Making Meringue Whip egg whites to soft peaks, then slowly add confectioner’s sugar while still beating. Continue to beat until peaks form again.
Assembly 1. Place one layer on serving plate. Spread with half of the crushed berries, letting the juice soak into the cake. 2. Place second cake layer on top of the first. Spread with crushed berries and top with meringue. 3. Place whole berries around in circles on top of the meringue. Present to guests before cutting into serving pieces. I hope you enjoy this recipe. Let me know if you’ve tried it and how it turns out. Good cooking to you, Linda Note: Would you like a printout of this and other recipes? These directions may help: Use your mouse to select only the text you want to copy rather than the entire page. Then press Ctrl+C, open your Word program and press Ctrl+V to paste the semi-formatted text. Print it from there.