Today’s recipe delivers all the wonderful flavors of strawberry shortcake: fresh strawberries, whipped cream and shortcake, in one package. I found this recipe on crazyforcrust.com and to my great distress the cake looked like a complete failure at one point. In the end, I snatched victory from the (hungry) jaws of defeat.
Normally I wouldn’t post a recipe before getting it right all the way through, but people from the neighborhood Bridge Club are clamoring (“Clamor! Clamor! Clamor!”) for the recipe, and I am here to deliver!
The aforementioned Bridge Club, is not named for a card game, but it is like a card game gathering of residents from my neighborhood who eat at one of the many wonderful, locally-owned restaurants in the Madison and Middleton area.
There is one exception to the Bridge Club rule: Once a year, in summer, we gather at my neighbor’s house to admire her incredible gardens. For this meeting, we all bring contributions to the meal. Word got out that we were short on dessert so, with fresh strawberries still seasonally plentiful it seemed the perfect opportunity to try this recipe.
I’ve made cake rolls before, but this one seemed … different. Probably because it’s more of a shortcake texture rather than a traditional cake. The cake itself is not difficult to make. I made both the cake and the whipped filling the day before and then assembled the day the cake was served.
And that’s when the problems began.
Per directions, the cake was rolled in a towel and wrapped in plastic wrap. The next day I unrolled it and it started to break apart. And then, it continued to break apart. Grrr…
Sadly, I had 4 distinct, slightly-curled pieces rather than one continuous roll of cake. A normal person would have started over. Not for nothing is Wisconsin’s motto “Forward!”
I frosted each piece with whipped filling, then added the chopped strawberries.
Then, I carefully assembled the pieces back into a roll shape. It was kind of like handling the Dead Sea Scrolls. This roll was then wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and placed in the fridge to chill for about an hour.
Once it seemed thoroughly chilled, the plastic wrap was removed. To my relief, the pieces seemed to be holding together.
The roll was frosted with the rest of the whipped topping and decorated with strawberries. Amazingly, it all held together just fine!
And even more important, it was delicious!
What I did wrong: I have this really strange jelly roll pan that doesn’t bake properly. The cake took longer to look “done” than the recipe specifies. I am certain I overbaked it and dried it out, which is why the pieces came apart. So, that’s the end of that pan. The good news? This gives me the perfect excuse to go shopping! 😏
What I did right: The recipe says this cake will not be as good the day after serving. That’s because cut strawberries tend to weep (even if you treat them nice). And when they weep, I weep. However, this did not happen for me. I ate one piece the day after serving and the last piece two days after (This is considered breakfast food, right?) Both were delicious, and no crybaby, weeping fruit. I think this worked because I was very careful about drying the strawberries, first after washing them and again after cutting them up. At both stages I blotted the strawberries with paper towels to absorb any moisture. Worked like a charm. 😄
If you like cake rolls and strawberry shortcake, this is a natural.
Strawberry Shortcake Roll
For the Cake:
- 3 large eggs
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 TB vegetable oil
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- Powdered sugar — to aid in rolling
For the Filling and Topping:
- 8 oz cream cheese softened
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 cups cold heavy whipping cream
- 1 pound fresh strawberries
- Preheat oven to 350°Line a 10 x15” cake/jelly roll pan with foil and spray with floured nonstick cooking spray.
- Place eggs in a large bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat at medium speed with mixer for 5 minutes until foamy and yellow.
- Add sugar and mix for 2 more minutes, until the mixture is thickened slightly. Mix in oil, baking powder, salt, and vanilla, then add flour and mix slowly until just combined.
- Pour into prepared pan, spreading as needed with a spatula. Tap the pan twice on the counter to release air bubbles, then bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the top is browned and the cake springs back when touched lightly.
- While the cake is baking, lay out a clean kitchen towel onto the counter. Spread with about 1/4 cup powdered sugar.
- Remove the hot cake from the oven and carefully, using oven mitts so you don’t burn yourself, flip the cake onto the towel (This might make a mess). Carefully remove the pan and foil and then, using the towel, roll the cake up from the short side. Note: The towel will be rolled into the cake. Don’t worry, this is supposed to happen. Let cool completely before continuing.
- Note: You can wrap the cooled cake in plastic wrap and let it sit overnight before finishing.
- The filling: Place cream cheese and sugar in a large bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer. Use mixer to beat the cream cheese and sugar until it’s smooth and fluffy, then beat in vanilla. Slowly add the heavy whipping cream, then turn the mixer to high and beat until stiff peaks form.
- To fill cake: wash and dry the berries thoroughly. Slice about 3/4 of a pound into small pieces, then pat the pieces dry. Carefully unroll the cake. Spread with some of the whipped cream mixture and top with the chopped strawberries. Carefully roll the cake back up as tight as possible, releasing it from the towel as you go. Wrap the cake roll in plastic wrap and chill until ready to top and serve.
- To serve: frost with remaining whipped cream and remaining berries.
- Because of the fresh berries, this cake is best eaten the day it is made. It will last, fully made, overnight in the refrigerator (wrap it looselbut the berries, sniff, might weep a bit.