Strawberry Shortcake (cake)


The Easter Dinner saga continues…..

I struggled to narrow down the dessert for Easter Dinner as there are so many new recipes that I’ve found, in recipe books and from other bloggers, that I really really want to try. I now have a list of      ” Things I have to bake “ unfortunately ( or fortunately ‘cos they all look amazing and I will taste them all eventually ) the list keeps getting longer and longer!

At the end of the day, if a recipe has all good things in it then it can only taste good ( I think it was Mary Berry who said something along those lines) so really it didn’t matter which recipe was chosen for dessert as any of them would have tasted good in the end.

I ended up making Pioneer Woman’s Strawberry Shortcake cake ( although hubbie steadfastly refused to use the extra cake in the title deeming it to be redundant).

Does anyone else remember or did you also have a Strawberry Shortcake doll? This childhood toy/ memory in no way influenced my decision to make this cake!


Cake: 113 grams of softened butter,  1 1/2 cups plus 3 tablespoons of sugar, 3 eggs, 1/2 cup of sour cream, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, 1 1/2 cups of flour, 3 tablespoons of corn flour, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of baking soda.

Filling: 460 grams of British ( if in season) Strawberries, but to be honest I would use more next time to get a good thick layer in between cake layer, 3 tablespoons of sugar.

Frosting/icing: 226 grams of cream cheese, 226 grams of margarine or butter, 680 grams of icing/ powdered sugar, sifted, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/4 teaspoon salt.

*** Please excuse my mixture of measurements and the fact I’m breaking one of the baking commandments. I use metal measuring cups and measuring spoons as I find these quick and easy, but for some things like butter, fruit, shortening I still prefer to use my old fashioned scales and use grams. ***

Preheat oven to 180° C and grease a 9 inch springform deep cake tin.

In a mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each egg.  Add the sour cream but don’t drop the actual metal cup measurement device into the batter like I did and doing it with a girly scream which brought hubby running through thinking I had had a horrific baking accident. So just add the sour cream and then add the vanilla and mix until combined.

In a separate bowl, sift the flour, cornflour, salt and baking soda. Then add this dry mixture into the stand mixer bowl and mix until just combined. Pour the luscious batter into the cake tin and bake for 45 minutes or until knife or cocktail stick comes out clean. The recipe says 45- 5o, but mine was ready at 45 so the time will vary depending on your oven.

Remove the cake from the cake tin and leave to cool. However, given how hot it was I waited a little longer to remove the bottom of the cake tin.  Once cooled, cut the cake through the middle to give two layers. As you can see from the photo below, I didn’t get the knife all the way through with my first go around,so I had to go around again and it caused the funny ridge bit in the middle. However this was being covered anyway, so I wasn’t really that concerned!

Place the strawberries onto an tray and mash, then cover with the sugar, toss and leave for a  few minutes.

Then cover each cake layer with the strawberries and place in the freezer for 15 minutes.


In the meantime make up the frosting………….

Sift the icing sugar in a large bowl and be prepared for a cloud of icing powder to cover you and your work surface. Add the icing sugar, margarine, cream cheese, vanilla and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer. Make sure to add your mixer guard/shield thing ( not sure its proper name ) so you avoid another icing cloud. Mix until light and fluffy. My frosting had a yellow tinge to it, I think because I used margarine, oh well it’s a pretty spring colour.

Remove the cake layers from the freezer and place one layer on a plate, then cover with the frosting, using about 1/3 of the mixture. Place the other layer on top and cover with the frosting. Then start to cover the sides of the cake with remaining frosting. I arranged a few strawberries on the top of the cake for decoration.

I must admit my cake did not look like Pioneer Woman’s cake. From the photos you can see that some of the cake and strawberries were still showing and my frosting didn’t really seem to meld well onto the side of the cake and it wasn’t very prettily done either! Oh and it was a light yellow instead of white colour. Then I decided it didn’t matter, the cake was individualistic and it tasted really good.

 As you can we made quite a dent in the cake!




When life gives you lemons make….


Now 18 months ago this sentence would have ended quite differently.

As in,  “a G&T” or ” a Tequila slammer” , depending on my mood.

Unfortunately due to health issues I’m not allowed to drink, so no G&T’s or tequila for me. Which is maybe just as well, as my work Christmas Party 2013 could testify to, but lets not go into that.

I still find this really really sad. I now have a bottle of Botanist Islay Gin wasting away in the laundry room/ alcohol closet and I am now the designated driver for EVERY OCCASION!

Anyway, I have found it really difficult to find a nice non alcoholic substitute, with my local supermarket stocking a very poor selection of non-alcoholic wine and beer. In fact after tasting a few its clear the alcohol content is required to make them drinkable. Also there is only so much fizzy pop that you can bare to drink.

We recently got invited to a friends house for dinner and as well as myself not being able to drink alcohol there was also another friend invited who also couldn’t, so I decided to make my own non-alcoholic drink.

Given that I had lots of lemons, as we seem to be stockpiling these in case of an apocalypse, I decided on Strawberry Lemonade.  Yeah, I know not the most sophisticated or adult drink, but hey I love it and its really refreshing with a meal, especially a spicy one! Incidentally we were having a curry.

I also thought it would also make a nice hostess gift when decanted into a glass bottle.


6 lemons, 1 cup sugar, 1 1/2 cups of water and about 220 grams strawberries which was what I had left over in the fridge so you could use more or less. Oh and more water to taste ( 1 -1 3/4 cups plus )

This makes a small amount, so for a large group or a family I would more than double the recipe.

Start by adding 1 1/2 cups of water and 1 cup of sugar to a pan and on a low heat dissolve the sugar in the water. Once this is done remove the pan from the heat and allow the sugary mixture to cool.


In the meantime, juice the lemons and hull and chop the strawberries( sorry no picture of this as I was daydreaming whilst looking out the window to the rickety old picnic bench that needs re-stained and cursing hubby for not doing his job!).

As you can see in the picture my juicer is a plastic hand one and it doesn’t always work very well, as the strainer in it has rather large gaps that lets the seeds and chunky bits of pulp fall into the juice. I always strain the lemon juice using a small sieve over a jug.

Place the strawberries in a blender and blend until relatively smooth. Add the blended strawberries to the jug of lemon juice and then add the cooled sugar syrup and stir to mix.

You will need more water to dilute the lovely strawberry/ lemonade mixture and to be honest this is down to personal taste. Some like it quite tart and others not so, so just add to taste. I start with adding 1 1/2 cups of water initially then up this by 1/4 at a time. Also if you are adding ice, this will melt and dilute the mixture further.

How Gorgeous is this colour?!


Sometimes I have seen me keeping the concentrate ( just the lemonade strawberry mixture) in the fridge and when I want a drink I will pour some of the concentrate into a glass and add water straight to my glass, kinda like a cordial or squash diluting juice.

Alternatively instead of water you could add soda water or tonic water or sparkling water, although on this occasion I wanted to stay away from fizz.

I added still water, mixed and then poured the diluted mixture into a glass snap top bottle ( the bottle of wine in the background was also taken along for another hostess gift).


This can also be easily made into an alcoholic drink by adding pretty much any spirit of your choice, rum, tequila or gin ( hello my old friend) and in fact one of my friends at the dinner did just that. He added gin to his glass whilst I watched very enviously- I imagine it was like eating a cheeseburger in front of someone on a diet.  He said it was delicious and of course it would be, as gin makes everything good, well maybe not everything, but drinks wise it does.

This would make a great drink for summer, on a hot day or having with a BBQ or picnic. In Scotland we don’t often get hot sunny summer days, so I have learned not to relegate drinks or food to a summer only as I’d never get the chance to drink or eat them!! Hence, lemonade in March!!!

So, when life gives you lemons and you’re unable to drink alcohol, make lemonade!

Has anyone got any other recipes for non-alcoholic drinks that they would like to share? Please comment or email me at

P.S.  I still have heaps of lemons left over, so I feel another lemon based recipe will  heading to my blog very soon.