My go-to summer strawberry shortcake. Courtesy of my Appalachian Mamaw, Faye.
Let’s wiggle our nose, Samantha-style and pretend my newly planted strawberries are already producing. And I use my first harvest to make this favorite early summer treat- Mamaw’s simple strawberry shortcake.
Now by true culinary standards, this cake isn’t technically a “short-cake.” An actual shortcake is more of a crispy biscuit/scone. But here in Appalachia, we care not about fancy preparations, but instead about taste. And if my mamaw said this is shortcake, well then it is. 💁🏼♀️
She would bake this “shortcake” for my birthday every June using local berries. Our hometown has a large strawberry farm. She and I would make all sorts of things with those fresh berries. This cake being one of them. We also once prepared enough strawberry preserves to gift a jam jar to each of my 200 wedding guests. So, a strawberry connoisseur was she.
This cake is one that really requires no recipe once you make it a time or two. Simply shop your favorite yellow cake mix; Duncan Hines was her favorite. Make a syrup with your berries and combine the two for a simple summer treat. It’s also worth noting everytime I bake this cake for someone new, they ask how to make it. It’s unbelievably easy…On second thought, maybe I should have kept this secret between she and I.
Enjoy my very Appalachian Mamaw’s Shortcake below.
Faye’s Simple Strawberry Shortcake
- 1 box Yellow Cake Mix
- 3 large eggs *or whatever cake mix calls for
- 1 cup water *or whatever cake mix calls for
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil *or whatever cake mix calls for
- 2 lbs strawberries, sliced
- 1/2 cup sugar
- Gather all your ingredients.
- Wash your berries and slice them into thin bite-size pieces. Uniformity is only slightly imporant. (I use two plastic containers full of berries at minimum; roughly 2 pounds.)
- Reminder to preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- In a bowl, add sugar to your berries. Stir. Let them sit on the counter, forming their own syrup. The longer you let them sit, the more syrup they will form. I usually wait an hour or so. (You can add more or less sugar depending on your taste.)
- Prepare a yellow cake mix using the provided directions. Bake the cake in a greased 9×13 pan. My cake mix called for 3 eggs, 1 cup water, and 1/3 cup oil.
- Once the cake is cool and the berries have made a nice sweet syrup, dump the bowl of berries and its syrup over the cake. Smooth and arrange the berries as needed.
- Refrigerate the cake. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream and garnish with mint leaves if you're feeling fancy. Best to serve the following day, once the syrup has absorbed into the cake. Good for 3-4 days.
For more strawberry fun, see my post here about building our own raised strawberry bed.
And if you want to pick up that anchor hocking pan– you can find it here. Other charming dishes found within this post are here.
Lastly, keep this cake magic between us. No one has to know this cake isn’t a “real” shortcake. My mamaw (& Samantha) would approve.
P.S. If you have no clue who Samantha is, please google Bewitched. I’m gonna go apply my anti-wrinkle cream now.
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This looks delicious!! Our strawberry plants are looking so good this year!! I’m definitely doing it!! XoXo
Oh I hope you do! It’s so simple. Let me know how you like it!