As long as you have fresh strawberries, you can never go wrong with making a strawberry shortcake for dessert. But strawberry shortcakes can get a little bit boring when you make the same exact dessert over and over again with no variation – even if you are a big strawberry fan. I’ve put a few twists onto the basic idea before, by using different fruits and even by roasting the strawberries, but one of my favorites gave this classic a facelift easily by turning traditional strawberry shortcakes into bite-sized treats.
These Bite Size Strawberry Shortcakes are made with very small rounds of white cake that sandwich a filling of strawberries and whipped cream. I like to think of them as teeny tiny versions of those huge strawberry layer cakes that you can still find in classic diners. The white cake is flavored with vanilla and a little bit of lemon zest. It is moist and soft, but sturdy enough that you actually can pick these up with your fingers and pop them into your mouth (if you don’t mind taking a big bite).
Since the cakes are small, you can’t pack in too much filling or it will just ooze out the sides. Fortunately, you will still get a good fruit-to-cake ratio even though it may not seem like there are too many berries in each shortcake. If you want to double or triple the filling, you might want to serve these with a knife and fork and not as finger food!
I baked these cakes in my mini whoopie pie pan, which is a handy way to get consistent little cakes if you are planning to layer them. Before I had that pan, I baked these in a mini muffin pan, which works just as well. You simply divide the batter evenly into the cavities of the pan and cut them in half once they have completely cooled after baking. You’ll end up with about 24 shortcakes after using the mini muffin pan and 18 after using the mini whoopie pie pan, which will make very slightly thicker cake rounds.
Bite Size Strawberry Shortcakes
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3 large egg whites, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp lemon zest (optional)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup milk
approx 1 cup finely chopped, fresh strawberries
approx 1 cup lightly sweetened whipped cream
Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 24 cup mini muffin pan or a mini whoopie pie pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
In a large bowl, beat together egg whites and sugar until thick, fluffy and almost doubled in volume, about 2-3 minutes. Blend in vegetable oil, lemon zest and vanilla extract. Stir in half of the flour mixture, followed by the milk. Stir in remaining flour mixture and mix just until no streaks of dry ingredients remain.
Divide batter evenly into prepared pan – 24 mini muffins or 36 mini whoopie pies. (excess batter can be held in the bowl if you need to use the same pan for multiple batches).
If using a mini muffin pan, bake for 11-13 minutes, until the cakes spring back when lightly pressed.
If using a mini whoopie pie pan, bake for 9-10 minutes, until the cakes spring back when lightly pressed.
Turn cakes out of their pans and allow them to cool completely on a wire rack.
Makes 24 mini cupcakes.
Makes 36 mini whoopie pie rounds.