At Community Servings, classic Strawberry Shortcake is our team’s favorite summertime dessert. It’s not only delicious when topped with ice cream or homemade whipped cream (even a little fresh basil from our on-site herb garden!); it’s one of those seasonal treats that evokes fond memories of fun times with friends and family. For our team, it takes everyone back to the days of when former Teaching Kitchen manager Susan Logozzo would whip up a batch with the help of her students for all of us to enjoy.
With nutrition and healthier eating always top-of-mind for our team, we wanted to share this lightened up version of a Strawberry Shortcake Cake that Registered Dietitian Nutritionists adapted from a recipe on EatingWell.com. It layers red ripe strawberries between layers of sponge cake and a cream filling, and calls for adding nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt to whipped cream to lighten up the filling and give it a little tang.
To prepare cake: Butter the bottom and sides of two 9-inch round cake pans; line the bottoms with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine milk and 4 tablespoons butter in a small saucepan. Heat over low heat until the butter is just melted. Set aside.
Stir flour and baking powder together, and then sift onto a piece of parchment paper.
Whisk eggs, 1-teaspoon vanilla and salt in a mixing bowl by hand to combine. Whisk in 3/4 cup sugar in a stream. Then, using a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or a hand-held electric mixer), whip the egg mixture at medium-high speed until lighter in color and very light and fluffy in texture, 3 to 5 minutes in a stand mixer or 5 minutes with a hand mixer.
Gently whisk in the warm milk mixture by hand. Add the flour mixture in 4 additions, lifting the parchment to help sprinkle it in. Use the whisk as you would a rubber spatula to fold the flour into the liquid, gently whisking to incorporate each time. Divide the batter between the prepared pans and smooth the tops.
Bake in the center of the oven until golden and firm when touched in the center, 20 to 24 minutes. Let cool in the pans on wire racks for 10 minutes.
Run a sharp paring knife around the layers to loosen, and then invert the layers onto the racks. Immediately turn the layers over so they cool with the paper on the bottom. Let cool completely.
Meanwhile, prepare filling: Combine strawberries, 2 TB sugar and vanilla in a medium bowl. Let stand at room temperature until the strawberries start to give off juice, 20 to 30 minutes.
To prepare vanilla cream and assemble cake: Whip cream in a large bowl until soft peaks form. Add confectioners’ sugar and continue whipping until firm peaks form. Fold in yogurt. Set aside.
Remove the parchment paper from the cake layers. Place one layer on a cake stand or plate. Drizzle any liquid from the strawberries over the cake. Spread half of the cream mixture evenly over the top and spread half of the strawberries over the cream. Place the remaining layer on top. Spread the remaining cream over the cake and top with the remaining strawberries.