Strawberry Shortcake from Ma’s Kitchen

strawberriesI’ve been eyeing strawberries at the Rome food markets for weeks. Ma (aka my grandmother) loved strawberries, sliced and sprinkled with sugar, over ice cream or in cake fillings. She made whipped cream and fruit filled shortcake for summer parties and birthdays, pineapple for my great grandfather Domenico’s, strawberry for my cousin Jimmy’s. On the 4th of July, she added strawberries and blueberries to layers of whipped cream. Ruby red, purple blue and porcelain white to celebrate Independence Day.wholecake

On a whim Ma would replace the whipped cream with home made vanilla and chocolate pudding. Simple, comforting and delicious…here’s my version of Ma’s recipe just in time for the 4th of July!

Ingredients for cake

  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

Ingredients for filling

  • 2 – 3 cups strawberries
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • confectioners’ sugar or granulated sugar to taste

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Butter two 9-inch round cake pans. Line the pans with wax paper, butter the paper and dust the pans with flour, knocking out any excess flour. Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites. In a large bowl beat the egg whites until they form peaks. In a separate bowl with the mixer on low speed combine the egg yolks, sugar, flour, baking powder and vanilla. Fold the egg whites into the batter. Divide the batter between the two pans and smooth the tops with a spatula. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. I don’t have 2-9 inch round cake pans. My 13-inch springform did the trick. cakeoutofovenWhile the cake is cooling slice 1 to 2 cups of strawberries and put aside. In a mixing bowl beat 1 cup heavy cream until soft peaks form. Add confectioners’ sugar or granulated sugar to taste and beat until soft peaks return. Fold sliced strawberries into the whipped cream. If you used one pan like me you’ll need to slice the cake into two layers and top the first layer with the strawberry-whipped cream mixture. cakelayerPlace the second layer on top and garnish with whipped cream and whole or sliced strawberries. Slice and enjoy!cakeslice


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