This dessert has only four ingredients, requires minimal baking skills and less than an hour of your time. The cleanup is also a snap. The shortcake is crunchy and not too sweet. The berries are tangy and juicy and the cream is pillowy and rich. It’s a great dessert for summer, when strawberries are ripe and in season, and a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth without much effort.
Easiest Summer Shortcake
- 1 1/2 pounds strawberries
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar, divided
- 1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
- 3 cups heavy cream or whipping cream, divided
Gather the ingredients. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
Remove the green tops from the strawberries. Cut berries into 1/4 inch slices.
Place sliced berries in a bowl and stir in 1/4 cup of the sugar. Allow to rest at room temperature and become juicy, stirring every so often, while you make the cake and cream.
Place flour into a medium bowl. Add 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon of the cream and 3 tablespoons of the sugar and stir just until it just barely comes together into a dough.
Turn it out into a pie plate and push the dough up the sides. This will keep the short cake relatively flat.
Place shortcake into pre-heated oven and bake until golden brown and firm, about 22 minutes. Remove from oven, and let cool for 15 minutes.
While the shortcake bakes, place 2 cups cream and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar into a bowl and whisk together until the cream makes soft peaks.
To assemble, flip the shortcake onto a serving plate. Slice in half horizontally. Pile on 2/3 of the macerated berries and half of the whipped cream. Top with the second layer of cake. Finish with the remaining berries and whipped cream.
Slice and enjoy.
- Plenty of things can be added to this very simple cake to personalize it. Grated lemon zest is wonderful in the cake, and lemon juice can tenderize the crumb of the cake and sharpens the flavor of the berries.
- A teaspoon of vanilla extract, if you have it, is nice in the whipped cream. So is a teaspoon of orange liqueur.
- If you don't have self-rising flour on hand, you can make it using a few simple ingredients.
- The shortcake can be cooked in advance and frozen and so can the macerated berries. It's wonderful to have on hand when an unexpected craving, or guest, arrives. When you're ready to serve, simply thaw the cake and berries in the fridge, make the whipped cream, and assemble.