A layer cake version of summer’s favorite dessert! This giant strawberry shortcake is made with layers of split tender cream biscuits, fresh vanilla bean whipped cream and sweet juicy macerated summer strawberries.
- 315ml (1-1/3 cup) heavy cream
- 13g (1 tablespoon) apple cider vinegar
- 560g (4 cups) all-purpose flour
- 100g (1/2 cup) granulated sugar plus more for sprinkling
- 16g (2 tablespoons) baking powder
- 4g (1 teaspoon) kosher salt
- 228g (1 cup/2 sticks) cold butter
- 9g finely grated lemon zest (from 2 lemons)
- 12g (1 tablespoon) vanilla extract
- 1 egg
Stabilized Whipped Cream:
- 227g (8 oz.) mascarpone
- 475ml (16 fl oz./1 pint) heavy cream
- 50g (1/4 cup) granulated sugar
- 8g (2 teaspoons) vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- Preheat the oven to 400˚F/205˚C. Line 2 half-sheet pans with parchment paper.
- Stir together heavy cream and apple cider vinegar and let the mixture sit to thicken.
- Meanwhile whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and kosher salt in a large mixing bowl.
- Cut the butter into small cubes approximately 1/2" wide and add them to the flour mixture. Break the cubes of butter apart and coat them in the flour. Then cut the butter into the flour with your fingertips until the resulting mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs with larger pea-sized pieces throughout.
- Stir the lemon zest and vanilla extract into the thickened cream mixture then pour the mixture into the dry ingredients. Mix together with a rubber spatula or clean hands just until the dough comes together, being careful not to overmix the dough.
- Divide the dough in half and flour each piece of parchment paper on the half sheet pans. Place one half of the dough onto each sheet pan. Press each half into a 6-inch round about 1" thick.
- Beat the egg and brush it over the top of each large biscuit and sprinkle the tops with sugar.
- Bake at 400˚F/205˚C for 20-25 minutes until the biscuits are puffed and golden brown. They should sound hollow when you tap the bottom of the biscuits.
- Transfer the biscuits to cooling racks and allow them to cool to room temperature before assembling the cake.
- About 15 minutes before you plan to assemble the cake let the mascarpone site out at room temperature.
- Meanwhile, prepare the macerated strawberries. Trim the stem and leaves off of the berries and cut small berries in half and larger berries into quarters or slices. Place the cut berries into a bowl with the sugar, vanilla extract and lemon juice and stir to combine. Let the mixture sit in the fridge while you prepare the whipped cream to let the berries release their juices.
- To make the whipped cream add the heavy cream, sugar, vanilla extract, and salt to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a balloon whisk attachment or a mixing bowl if using a hand-mixer. Whip the cream on medium-high until it starts to thicken, about 1 minute. Turn off the mixer and add the semi-soft mascarpone. Continue whipping the mixture until soft peaks form, about 1 more minute. Watch it closely as whipped cream can quickly split and turn into butter if it is overmixed.
- To assemble the cake cut each large biscuit in half horizontally. Place one bottom half onto a cake plate. Pipe or spoon 1/4 of the cream onto the biscuit then spoon about 3/4 cup of the macerated berries over the cream.
- Place the top of the biscuit inverted so that the cut side is facing up over the berry layer. Layer on the cream followed by berries again and repeat the next layer using the second biscuit bottom. The final layer of biscuit should be cut side down with the top facing up. Finish the top layer with the remaining cream and more berries. You may have extra berries which can be served with the cake.
- Decorate the cake with whole strawberries and strawberry leaves if you wish and or edible flowers. I used pineapple weed flowers that were growing among the rows of strawberries at the pick-your-own farm. Chamomile flowers are very similar or use wild daisies to achieve this look.
- Vegan swaps: Use coconut milk in an equal amount by volume to replace heavy cream in the biscuits. Use vegan butter in an equal amount by weight to replace butter. I like to use Country Crock plant butter. The whipped cream is harder to substitute as all vegan whipped cream alternatives seem to liquefy very quickly. You could try using very thick coconut yogurt and sweeten it to taste. Instead of an egg wash brush the dough with plant milk mixed with a drop of olive oil and a drop of apple cider vinegar.
- Once assembled the cake is best eaten shortly thereafter. The biscuits can be made ahead earlier in the day. The berries are best made about 15-30minutes before assembly. The stabilized whipped cream can be made earlier in the day and refrigerated until ready to use. Every component is best eaten the day it is made.
- If you don't want to make a large cake then you can use round cutters to cut the dough into smaller biscuits. Bake them at the same temp but reduce the time to 15-20 minutes.
- Prep Time: 45 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: strawberry shortcake, giant strawberry shortcake, big strawberry shortcake, strawberry shortcake cake