strawberry shortcake recipe

Strawberry Shortcake Trifle

Strawberry Shortcake Trifle

Sometimes new recipes just sort of happen. I was finally having a few friends over for dinner. I was pondering dessert- I do that a lot these days- ponder.

I remembered a package of ladyfingers that I originally got to make tiramisu. I worried they might be getting stale. I hate to waste food. I opened up one of the packages and ate one. It was fine. Nice and crisp.

I want to just say something about ladyfingers. There are two types I see in stores around here, soft or crisp. The soft ones are smaller and cake-like and found in bakeries in grocery stores. Like sponge cake. The other ladyfingers are crisp and larger. I find them at Italian stores and sometimes at specialty grocery stores. The ladyfingers you want for this recipe are the larger, crisp ladyfingers.

I had fresh strawberries and decided to combine them with the ladyfingers to make a sort of shortcake. Made sense to me. I pondered a little longer about what other ingredients to add. I wanted the cookies to soften, but not to get mushy. I knew the strawberries, when combined with sugar, would create juice. The decision to add pudding was for extra richness.

Then I thought about what else to include. Chocolate seemed like a nice flavor choice. I had a jar of hazelnut spread. (That is my way of not using the brand name Nutella.) Just in case you didn’t know what I was talking about. I had a fresh jar- 13 oz. -and used about half a jar in the dessert. I could have added more, but I was still happy with the pop of flavor the spread added. If you make this dessert- feel free to add as much spread as you like.

I was happy with how it came out. The ladyfingers were soft, not mushy. They actually were kind of fluffy. The flavors blended so nicely. Great summer dessert. Light and refreshing, but kind of rich, too.

One friend said she almost expected me to top the shortcake with blueberries as I added the whipped cream topping. She thought that would make a nice addition for the 4th of July. I agree. You could easily combine blueberries with strawberries, cherries or raspberries.

Once I was serving dessert, another friend asked there were bananas in it. I hadn’t. This recipe would be lovely made with sliced bananas, or other fruits. Peaches would work well, too.

Finally, the name. I decided to call it a shortcake-trifle. One of my friends- they are a chatty group- said she thought it was a trifle. When I looked at it, I could see why she thought that. So call it what you like- shortcake, trifle, shortcake-trifle- or just dessert. No matter what you call it, I assure you, your friends and family are going to love it. As an added bonus, it is pretty simple to make, with a minimal amount of cooking. Even less if you opt to use pre-made pudding.

Here is the recipe. Enjoy!!

Strawberry Shortcake Trifle

1½ – 2 pounds strawberries, washed, stemmed and sliced

½ c. sugar

24 ladyfingers

1 recipe vanilla pudding- recipe follows

¾ c. Hazelnut chocolate spread

Whipped cream or whipped topping

Combine strawberries with the sugar and set aside. Make the pudding, if you haven’t already. You can use premade pudding. You’ll need 2-3 cups of pudding. I had some leftover from the recipe I made. In a 9×9-inch baking dish, place one layer of the cookies. You might have to trim them a little to fit. I had 2 rows of 6 cookies, but I had to break off a little for the second row to fit. Spoon over half of the strawberries, with some of the liquid in the bowl. Spread a layer of pudding over the berries. For the next layer, spread some of the hazelnut spread over each lady finger before putting it in the pan. When you put them in the pan, place them with the spread on the under side. Add another layer of the pudding, then top with the rest of the strawberries. Cover and place in fridge until ready to serve. You can do all this up to 2 days ahead. Before serving, remove cover and top with whipped cream or any whipped topping you like. Serves 6-8. 

Vanilla Pudding

1 c. sugar

½ c. cornstarch

½ t. salt

3 ¾ c. half and half

1 T. vanilla- or a little more

2 T. butter

Combine dry ingredients in a medium saucepan. Whisk in half and half and vanilla until well mixed. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture starts to bubble and get thickened. Mixture will get pretty thick. Turn down heat to keep it from scorching. As soon as pudding is thickened, remove from the heat and stir in the butter until melted. Place pudding in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and chill until ready to use. Makes about 4 cups.        

    

Start by layering strawberries over a base of ladyfingers
Once layers are done, chill until ready to top with whipped cream
Ready to serve

Giant Strawberry Shortcake

Giant Strawberry Shortcake

A couple of weeks ago, I posted a recipe for mini strawberry shortcakes.  Now, we go to the other extreme. One giant shortcake.

Seriously, it is a fun way to make shortcake. You could make one for any special occasion or party.

This is a great dessert for a party, picnic or barbecue. Instead of making a bunch of individual shortcakes, make one really big one. It makes quite an impression.

When ready to serve it, just cut into slices, like cake or pie. I often serve this shortcake with ice cream on the side. Feel free to switch up which fruits you use. I used kiwi fruit with the strawberries, but you can add different fruits. Peaches would go well with the strawberries or blueberries. Just have fun and use fruit combinations you like. For the 4th of July, you could use a combination of strawberries, raspberries and blueberries.

Giant Strawberry Shortcake

1 egg

3/4 c. milk

1/2 t. lemon juice

2 c. flour

1/4 c. brown sugar

1 T. baking powder

1/2 stick cold butter plus 1 T. softened

1/2 c. plus 1 T. sugar

1 qt. strawberries, sliced thin

2 kiwi fruit, peeled and sliced thin

1/4 c. chopped nuts, toasted

whipped cream, optional

In small bowl combine egg, milk and lemon juice and set aside. In larger bowl combine the flour, brown sugar and baking powder. Cut in cold butter to resemble coarse crumbs. Add egg mixture and stir until mixture forms into a soft dough. Knead dough gently on a lightly floured surface about 10 times. On greased baking sheet pat dough into a 15×6-inch oval. Sprinkle dough with the 1 tablespoon of sugar and dot with the softened butter. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 20-25 minutes, or until lightly golden. Place on wire rack to cool. Toss the berries with the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar. Allow to stand 30 minutes. Split the shortcake lengthwise and remove the top. Spoon over the half the berries and replace top of shortcake. Combine the kiwi with the remaining berries.Spoon over the remaining fruit and sprinkle with the nuts. Dot with whipped cream, if desired. Cut in wedges to serve. Serves 8.

Note: you can bake shortcake day ahead and prep the fruit day ahead, keeping it chilled and just assemble when ready to serve.

Giant Strawberry Shortcake

Giant Strawberry Shortcake

A couple of weeks ago, I posted a recipe for mini strawberry shortcakes.  Now, we go to the other extreme. One giant shortcake.

Seriously, it is a fun way to make shortcake. You could make one for any special occasion or party.

This is a great dessert for a party, picnic or barbecue. Instead of making a bunch of individual shortcakes, make one really big one. It makes quite an impression.

When ready to serve it, just cut into slices, like cake or pie. I often serve this shortcake with ice cream on the side. Feel free to switch up which fruits you use. I used kiwi fruit with the strawberries, but you can add different fruits. Peaches would go well with the strawberries or blueberries. Just have fun and use fruit combinations you like. For the 4th of July, you could use a combination of strawberries, raspberries and blueberries.

Giant Strawberry Shortcake

1 egg

3/4 c. milk

1/2 t. lemon juice

2 c. flour

1/4 c. brown sugar

1 T. baking powder

1/2 stick cold butter plus 1 T. softened

1/2 c. plus 1 T. sugar

1 qt. strawberries, sliced thin

2 kiwi fruit, peeled and sliced thin

1/4 c. chopped nuts, toasted

whipped cream, optional

In small bowl combine egg, milk and lemon juice and set aside. In larger bowl combine the flour, brown sugar and baking powder. Cut in cold butter to resemble coarse crumbs. Add egg mixture and stir until mixture forms into a soft dough. Knead dough gently on a lightly floured surface about 10 times. On greased baking sheet pat dough into a 15×6-inch oval. Sprinkle dough with the 1 tablespoon of sugar and dot with the softened butter. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 20-25 minutes, or until lightly golden. Place on wire rack to cool. Toss the berries with the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar. Allow to stand 30 minutes. Split the shortcake lengthwise and remove the top. Spoon over the half the berries and replace top of shortcake. Combine the kiwi with the remaining berries.Spoon over the remaining fruit and sprinkle with the nuts. Dot with whipped cream, if desired. Cut in wedges to serve. Serves 8.

Note: you can bake shortcake day ahead and prep the fruit day ahead, keeping it chilled and just assemble when ready to serve.

Strawberry Shortcake “Sliders”

Strawberry Shortcake Sliders

Strawberry Shortcake “Sliders”

While we were enjoying these at dinner last night one of my friends said they looked like sliders and the name stuck. I made the shortcake base with cream scones and used an ice cream scoop to put the batter on the baking sheet. They ended up looking like little sandwich buns. Split and filled with sweetened strawberries, I replaced the top and added chocolate ganache and whipping cream to finish them off. They were a big hit. The scone was tender and not too sweet. Satisfying and light at the same time.

Strawberry Shortcake “Sliders”

The shortcakes
2 c. flour
1/4 c. sugar
½ t. salt
1 T. baking powder
1 1/4  c. heavy cream or 1 cup half and half
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Sift together dry ingredients and gradually add cream to form soft dough. Stir mixture until it just holds together. Using an ice cream scoop place batter on baking sheet a couple of inches apart. You should get about a dozen. Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden. Makes about 12. Cool on rack until ready to use.

The berries

2 lbs. strawberries, sliced thin

1/2 c. sugar, or to taste

Combine berries and sugar in medium bowl and place in fridge until ready to use. Berries should be in the sugar for at least a couple of hours and can even be prepped a day ahead to allow the juices to come out of the berries.

The ganache

1 c. semi sweet chocolate chips or 6 oz. semi sweet chocolate, chopped

1/2 c. heavy whipping cream.

Combine both in double boiler or in microwave and heat until mixture is just warm enough to melt the chocolate. Stir until smooth.

The whipped cream – use whipped cream, sweetened or unsweetened according to your taste.

Assembly: Slice the caps off the tops of the shortcakes. Place a generous spoonful of the sliced berries on the bottoms of the shortcakes and spoon some of the strawberry liquid over them as well. Place the tops of the shortcakes back on and spoon on a dollop of the chocolate ganache. I let me get to room temperature so it didn’t drip down exactly as I had planned. Top with some whipped cream and serve. Makes about 12.

"sliders" with berries added

“sliders” with berries added

Ganache added

Ganache added

Ready to serve.

Ready to serve.

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