Is there anything more quintessentially the fourth than a strawberry dessert? Even though they're out of season here in Tennessee, it's hard to justify a July celebration without something strawberry. So here's to them being in season elsewhere and being able to still get them at the grocery store!
I love strawberries and wanted to do a shortcake for the fourth but I also wanted to do something other than the usual biscuit or angel cake style. Enter mini bundts! I baked up a vanilla citrus batter in my mini bundt pan and then split them in half after they cooled. I plopped a couple hefty spoonfuls of fresh whipped cream, pressed macerated berries into the cream, and garnished with a little lime zest + a sprig of basil. They check all the boxes: simple? Yep. Homemade? You bet. Adorable, individual morsels of deliciousness? I mean...
The recipe I used is below but if you already have a favorite vanilla bundt recipe, by all means use it. I chose this recipe for the pale color of the cake's outer crumb.
Summertime Strawberry Shortcake Bundts
(cake recipe adapted from The Culinary Jumble)
1/3 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 small eggs
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup of milk
1 tablespoon lemon juice
whipped cream (below)
macerated strawberries (below)
garnish, lime or lemon zest + basil or mint sprig
Pre-heat the oven to 320°F. Prepare a mini bundt pan with non-stick baking spray. *Even if your pan is nonstick, I recommend spraying as I had a difficult time removing these from my nonstick pan.
Using a stand or hand mixer, cream butter and sugar until smooth. Add eggs one at a time mixing after each until incorporated. Mix in the lemon juice.
In a separate bowl, mix baking powder, flour, and salt until well combined. Gradually add to the butter mixture, alternating with the milk, until the batter is smooth.
Pour the batter into prepped mini bundt pan. Bake for approximately 18-23 minutes, checking for readiness with a wooden toothpick or skewer. *This batter will remain pale so don't let them brown or they will be too done.
Cool for ten minutes and flip onto wire rack. Finish cooling before adding cream + berries. This recipe made six mini bundts in my pan.
1 cup heavy cream
1 - 2 tablespoons confectioners or granulated sugar (see note)
1/2 - 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
If you've never whipped cream before, let me assure you that it is very easy. The cream needs to be straight from the fridge because room temp cream can't hold air. I also like to chill my bowl and beaters beforehand in the freezer for about ten minutes. I recommend using either a hand mixer or a balloon whisk. A stand mixer is just overkill for this as it comes together very quickly.
Pour whipping cream into a well-chilled glass or metal bowl. I like to put mine in the freezer for about ten minutes before whipping. Add sugar and vanilla (amount is personal preference). Beat the cream to the desired consistency: soft peaks (thick enough to hold its shape in soft, billowy pillows), stiff peaks (cream stands in firm peaks when the beaters are lifted). For this recipe I stopped just before stiff peaks because I wanted the cream to have a soft appearance but also be firm enough to grab the berries. Be sure not to over beat or you'll make butter!
Whipped cream can be made up to 1 day ahead. I recommend using confectioners sugar over granulated if this is necessary. Cover it tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate. If liquid separates from the cream, whip it again to incorporate the liquid. *Note: you can make whipped cream with either confectioners or granulated sugar. I do both. The difference between the two is the ability of the cream to hold together and not weep. Confectioners sugar contains a small amount of cornstarch that discourages weeping if the whipped cream stands longer than a few hours. Cream comes together so quickly that I always prepare it before serving.
Macerated strawberries is nothing more than strawberries taking a swim with an acidic liquid, such as a liqueur or flavored vinegar, or sugar. Strawberries have enough natural water that a sprinkle of sugar will soften and juice them right up. Feel free to add another layer of flavor with citrus zest, your favorite liqueur, or herbs such as basil or mint. Depending on the amount you desire, hull and quarter a half to full pint of washed strawberries. Sprinkle with sugar and let sit for about 30 minutes.
Slice mini bundt cake in half and place bottom on saucer. Add two generous spoonfuls of whipped cream to the bottom cake half and press individual macerated berries into the cream. Add the top half of the cake, a small spoonful of cream, a berry or two, and your chosen garnish. If desired, drizzle a little of the macerated berry juice over the cakes before the final spoon of cream.