Strawberry Shortcake Cake needs a light, tender cake but one that is sturdy enough to hold up to the strawberry filling. To make the strawberry cheesecake filling you must start with bright red, plump, and firm, with little or no white flesh. The cake is made extra moist and fluffy by beating the egg whites separately and then folding them into the batter. The result is as whipped egg whites can build to eight times their initial volume! The resulting cake is so tender but still firm enough to pile on those strawberries.
Beat egg whites and cream of tartar with a handheld mixer at medium-high speed to soft frothy mounds. With the beaters running, gradually add remaining 1/3 cup sugar, and beat until soft peaks form, 1-2 minutes. Stir half of the egg whites into the batter to lighten, then gently fold remaining whites into the batter until no white streaks remain. Pour batter into prepared pans and bake until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cakes comes out clean, 30 to 40 minutes.
Once the cake has cooled, add cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice, vanilla, and salt to a large bowl. Beat with a handheld mixer at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes, scraping down sides as needed. Only begin to add the heavy cream once the cream cheese mixture is very light.
- 2 cups cake flour
- 1/2 cup cornmeal
- 2 1/3 cups granulated sugar separated
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 10 large eggs at room temperature
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter melted and cooled slightly
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 3 pounds fresh strawberries washed, dried, stemmed (see note)*
- 8 tablespoons sugar
- pinch salt
Cream cheese whipped cream;
- 12 ounces Cream Cheese room temperature
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/2 cups heavy cream
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line two 9-inch round by at least 2-inch deep cake pans with parchment paper and spray with nonstick cooking spray with flour, or grease and flour pans.
- Sprinkle in 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar (per pan)– starting with the top edges of the pan so it trickles down the pan and tap and turns the pan to evenly coat the pan.
- In a large bowl, whisk flour, cornmeal, two cups sugar, baking powder, and salt together.
- Add 4 whole eggs. Separate remaining 6 eggs, and add egg yolks to flour mixture and egg whites to a mixing bowl.
- Add butter, water, and vanilla to the flour mixture and whisk just until combined.
- Beat egg whites and cream of tartar with a handheld mixer at medium-high speed to soft frothy mounds (see photos).
- With the beaters running, gradually add remaining 1/3 cup sugar, and beat until soft peaks form, 1-2 minutes.
- Stir half of the egg whites into the batter to lighten, then gently fold remaining whites into the batter until no white streaks remain.
- Pour batter into prepared pans and drop a few times on the counter to get rid of any air bubbles.
- Bake at 325 degrees F until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cakes comes out clean, 30 to 40 minutes.
- Cool cakes in pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then invert cakes onto greased wire rack; peel off parchment and allow to cool completely about 2 hours.
- While the cake is baking/cooling, make Strawberry Filling.
- Halve 32 of the most uniform/best-looking strawberries and reserve.
Quarter remaining berries.
- Add chopped berries to a bowl and stir in 8 tablespoons sugar. Let sit 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
- Add berries to a fine-mesh strainer placed over a bowl and let berries drain for 10-30 minutes up to overnight in the refrigerator, pressing down with a spatula to get rid of excess moisture.
- Add drained berries to your food processor and pulse 4-5 times to roughly chop, set aside.
- Transfer berry juices to a small saucepan and simmer over medium-high heat until thick and syrupy, about 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Pour reduced syrup over macerated berries, add a pinch of salt, and toss to combine.
- Refrigerate until cake is cooled or until ready to use.
- Once the cake has cooled, add cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice, vanilla, and salt to a large bowl.
- Beat with a handheld mixer at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes, scraping down sides as needed.
- Reduce speed to low and add heavy cream in a slow stream, then increase speed to medium-high and beat until stiff peaks form, about 2 -3 minutes more.