I’m always looking for a new variation on strawberry shortcake because I can’t resist putting fresh summer strawberries to good use in my kitchen. Strawberry shortcakes are always one of my favorite options. They’re easy to make and you use the berries when they are freshly sliced, so you can really appreciate that ripe berry sweetness. And while I like a berry by itself, having a strawberry with a bit of cake and whipped cream just makes it even better.
When I took a bite of the Saffron and Olive Oil Cake that I made recently, I immediately knew that it would make the perfect strawberry shortcake base. The cake has a tight, tender crumb and a mildly sweet flavor. You get a slight fruitiness from the olive oil in the cake (use a good quality olive oil that you like the flavor of). I knew that the berries would really stand out against it. I made it again and omitted the saffron – although it is good with that saffron flavor, too – then sliced the cake in half and piled it full of fresh strawberries and lightly sweetened whipped cream.
You’ll notice that I spiked the whipped cream with a little bit of plain, Greek-style yogurt. This makes it a little bit more substantial – although it does make it a little bit runnier than whipped cream alone – and the slight tang of the yogurt really helps the berries stand out even more. Be sure to add the filling just before serving and have plenty of extra strawberries on hand for garnish!
Olive Oil Strawberry Shortcake
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2/3 cup milk (low fat or regular)
2 1/2 cups lightly sweetened whipped cream
2/3 cup plain yogurt (greek style, pref.)
2 cups fresh, sliced strawberries
Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease and flour a 9-inch springform pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and sugar until smooth. Whisk in the saffron. Blend in melted butter and olive oil. Stir in half of the flour mixture, followed by the milk. Stir in the remaining flour mixture, stirring only until no streaks of dry ingredients remain and batter is just combined. Pour into prepared pan.
Bake for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clear or with just a few moist crumbs attached. Cool in the pan on a wire rack.
Cake can be stored, well wrapped, for a day or two before serving.
When ready to serve, slice the cake in half.
In a medium bowl, fold together whipped cream and plain yogurt. Spread about 2/3 of the cream mixture between the cake layers and top generously with strawberries. Top with remaining cake layer and use extra whipped cream to top each slice before serving.