IDEA ALLEY: A Shortcake Sheetcake for strawberry season

(Illustration by Kelly Brant)

Recipes that appear in Idea Alley have not been tested by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

My friend Jennifer Pierce Mathus raved about this strawberry cake recipe from Southern Living. You'll definitely want to make it before Arkansas strawberry season comes to a close.

Strawberry Shortcake Sheetcake

  • 2 pounds fresh strawberries
  • 2 ¼ cups soft wheat self-rising flour (such as White Lily Enriched Bleached Self-Rising Flour), plus more for dusting
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar, divided use
  • ¼ cup cold unsalted butter, cut into ¼-inch cubes
  • 1 cup whole buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (from 1 lemon)
  • 1 2/3 cups heavy whipping cream, divided use
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract, divided use
  • 1 ¼ tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons sanding (coarse) sugar
  • 1 (8-ounce) container mascarpone cheese
  • ¼ cup confectioners' sugar

Hull 1 pound of the fresh strawberries, and cut in half lengthwise; set aside. Hull and chop strawberries from remaining 1 pound berries to measure 1 cup; set aside. (Reserve any remaining whole berries for another use.)

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Coat a 13-by-9-inch rimmed baking pan with cooking spray.

Whisk together self-rising flour, all-purpose flour, salt, and ½ cup of the granulated sugar in a large bowl. Cut cold butter cubes into flour mixture until butter pieces are evenly coated and pea size. Gently fold in buttermilk, lemon zest, 2/3 cup of the whipping cream, and 1 teaspoon of the vanilla until mixture just comes together but is still lumpy. Gently fold in reserved chopped strawberries.

Using a ¼-cup measuring cup dusted with all-purpose flour to prevent sticking, scoop slightly rounded dough mounds onto prepared baking pan in 3 rows of 6 side-by-side mounds, continuing to flour scoop after each mound to prevent sticking. Brush dough mounds evenly with melted butter, and sprinkle with sanding sugar. Bake until golden brown, 28 to 32 minutes. Transfer baking pan with shortcake to a wire rack, and cool 10 minutes. Transfer shortcake to wire rack; cool completely, about 1 hour.

Stir together halved strawberries and remaining ¼ cup granulated sugar in a medium bowl, and let stand until berries start to release their juices, 10 to 15 minutes.

Gently stir together mascarpone cheese, confectioners' sugar, and remaining 2 teaspoons vanilla in a separate medium bowl until just combined. Pour remaining 1 cup whipping cream into a separate large bowl, and beat with an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment on high speed until stiff peaks form, 2 to 3 minutes. Gently fold whipped cream into mascarpone mixture until just combined.

Spread whipped cream-mascarpone mixture over top of cooled shortcake, leaving edges exposed. Top with strawberry mixture and any accumulated juices. Slice evenly into 12 pieces, and serve immediately.

Makes 12 servings.

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We're still a few weeks away from Arkansas peaches, but that's not stopping my peach cravings. To tide me over, I've been using up the last of last year's canned and frozen bounty.

This cobbler recipe from Jo Eveld uses canned peaches and can't be beat in its ease of preparation.

Too Easy Peach Cobbler

  • 1 (15-ounce) can sliced peaches (a pint jar will work too)
  • Butter for greasing dish
  • 5 slices white bread
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 8 tablespoons melted butter

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Place peaches in well-buttered dish. Cut each slice of bread into 5 strips, (remove crust if desired) and place on top of peaches. Mix remaining ingredients and pour over bread.

Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until golden. Best served warm.


◼️ Red sauce like served at The Villa in Little Rock for Ross Wiseman.

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