You can’t have Summer without strawberry shortcake! You could make sweet biscuits or a standard yellow cake, but why would you when you can elevate the flavors beyond the standard. I’ve been making this cake since 2001. The recipe is from The Barefoot Contessa Parties cookbook. She is my favorite chef and once you make this cake you will know why. The use of orange and lemon zest aren’t so much distinguishable on their own as they work to elevate the flavor of the strawberries on the cake.
You can serve as a 4-layer cake or 2 layers. If you go with the 2-layer option, freeze the second cake for surprise guests or lazy Sundays.
Strawberry Country Cake
- 12 tablespoons (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
- ¾ cup sour cream, at room temperature
- ½ teaspoon grated lemon zest
- ½ teaspoon grated orange zest
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
Filling for each cake:
- 1 cup (1/2 pint) heavy cream, chilled
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1-pint strawberries, hulled and sliced
Make the cakes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Butter the bottom of two 8-inch cake pans, then line with parchment paper. Butter and flour the lined pans.
Cream the butter and sugar on high speed in the bowl of an electric mixed fitted with a paddle attachment until light and fluffy.
On medium speed, add the eggs 1 at a time. Then add the sour cream, zests and vanilla. Scrape down the bowl as needed to mix well.
Sift together the flour, cornstarch, salt, baking soda.
On low speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and combine just until smooth.
Pour the batter evenly into pans, smooth the tops, and bake in the center of the oven for 40 to 45 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then remove to wire racks and let cool to room temperature. If using 1 cake, wrap the second well and freeze.
Make the filling for one cake
Whip the cream, sugar and vanilla in a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until firm.
Slice one of the cakes in half with a long, sharp knife.
Place the bottom slice of the cake on a serving platter, spread with ½ of the whipped cream and scatter with sliced strawberries.
Cover with the top slice of the cake and spread with the remaining cream.
Decorate with strawberries.