A Cake for the 4th of July and All Summer Long

This is a short and sweet post, just to share one of my favorite summer recipes remixed with Grist & Toll Flour.

My nickname growing up was The Strawberry Girl, and I have made more than my fair share of shortcakes through the years out of devotion to my favorite fruit. This one is a perennial favorite: you can whip it up in about 10 minutes and it bakes in under 20, rewarding you with a warm buttery vehicle for whatever fruit is in season with very minimal effort. It’s basically like making one big scone with slightly wetter dough. No equipment necessary, really, other than your hands and a fork or spoon.

If you have a good pastry cream recipe, you can glam this dessert up by spreading some on the bottom before the whipped cream and fruit. I suppose you could also scoop the batter and bake in individual portions, though I’ve never done that myself. I love the theater of bringing out a very large shortcake and serving by the slice. If you are going to macerate your fruit in a little sugar, then assemble just before serving or the extra juiciness of the fruit may cause your whipped cream to weep and slide.


Shortcake Cake

Yield = one 8-inch Cake Serves 6


1 C Sonora whole grain flour
½ C Cornmeal
¼ C Sugar
1 tsp Baking Powder
¼ tsp Baking Soda
¼ tsp Salt
6 tbsp Unsalted Butter, cold and cut into ½” cubes
1 Large Egg, lightly beaten
½ C Yogurt or Creme Fraiche
3 Tbsp Whole Milk
Sanding Sugar for sprinkling on top of cake, optional

To Serve:
Sweetened Whipped Cream
Fresh Strawberries or the fruit of your choice, tossed with some sugar
1 Cup your favorite Pastry Cream


Preheat oven to 375. Coat an 8” cake pan with butter or nonstick spray and line the bottom with parchment.

In a medium bowl, combine Sonora, Cornmeal, Sugar, Baking Powder, Baking Soda and salt. Whisk well to blend. Using your fingertips, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

In a small bowl, whisk together egg, yogurt and milk. Add egg mixture to dry ingredients all at once, stirring just until everything is moistened.

Spread dough evenly into prepared pan. Sprinkle top with sanding sugar, if desired. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick or cake tester inserted near the center comes out clean.

Allow cake to cool in its pan for 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack and cool completely.

To serve: Cut cake in half. Place bottom half on cake stand or serving plate. Top with pastry cream, whipped cream and fresh fruit, then top with remaining cake layer. Decorate top of cake with additional whipped cream and fresh fruit.

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