Friday, June 22, 2012

Basics : Fruit Shortcake

This spectacular dessert is actually very easy to make when you have a basic shortcake recipe.  And today that's exactly what I'm going to give you - a basic shortcake recipe that will allow you to create desserts like this with whatever fruit happens to be in season.

Since most of these cakes have enough richness from the cream and fruit you put on top of it, I don't use almond flour in my recipe, preferring to use just coconut flour instead.  The basic cake is rather bland, but that makes it ideal for use with various toppings, and the butter and eggs in the ingredients make it rich enough to eat on it's own.

Basic Shortcake recipe

This makes one 9-inch round cake, so if you want to make layers you will need to bake several. I use my processor to make this but you can also make it quite easily by hand.

Ingredients :

-  1/2 cup coconut flour
-  1/2 cup butter, melted
-  6 eggs
-  1/2 cup maple syrup or honey
-  2 teaspoons vanilla
-  1 teaspoon baking powder
-  1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions :

-  Preheat oven to 350'F
-  Butter a 9" round cake pan, line with parchment paper, and butter the paper as well.
-  Put into the processor the coconut flour, salt and baking powder and pulse to blend.  Add the melted butter, sweetener and vanilla and pulse again until completely blended.  
-  Now add the eggs and pulse again until well blended, then pour into your prepared cake pan.
-  Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, remove from the oven, and cool on a rack in the pan for 10 minutes.
-  Once the cake has cooled partially, you can tip it over onto a plate and remove the parchment paper from the bottom.  Then tip it over onto the rack again and leave until completely cool.

(will freeze)

To create the cake pictured above you will need to bake four cakes. (It's just as delicious using two.) Top each layer with whipped cream and sliced strawberries, then refrigerate.  This won't keep for long because of the freshly whipped cream, so I suggest you do this just before sitting down to dinner. 

Alternatively you can just make individual shortcakes by using slices of cake topped with whipped cream and strawberries, and if you aren't feeding many, this is the better option.  The rest of the cake can be frozen - either whole or in slices - for later use.

Variation :  To make your cake even more delicious you can add a cup of sliced strawberries to the batter once everything has been combined.  This version allows you to use either fresh or frozen fruit.

As the different fruit comes into season you can make all different kinds of shortcakes such as this peach shortcake with toasted pecans.

Or this blueberry shortcake.

And remember you can also make the version with fruit which is delicious on it's own.

This is a great way to use plums later in the season. To make a really fruit-rich cake, incorporate a cup of sliced fruit into the batter and then top with another cup of sliced fruit before baking.

This is a great way to use apples as well.  To make this version add a cup of apple sauce or chopped apples to the batter with a teaspoon of cinnamon, and then top the cake with apple slices before baking. You can also add 1/2 a cup of chopped walnuts for some crunch.

The variations are endless for this cake so it's well worth having this recipe in your collection.  I usually bake a few plain cakes in the spring before the weather gets too hot, then use them all summer as a base for dessert with all the different fruits as they come in season.

Here is a version using  raspberries from

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