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.
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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