Giving away a cookbook is a special treat. Encouraging friends and family to gather at the table and commune over a homemade meal is what stirs my passion for the kitchen and the keyboard. And I love cookbooks, so much potential within their pages.
Will a single ingredient inspire?
Will the storytelling photos be enough to draw you in?
Will there be one single recipe that emerges as the go-to favorite?
L. Fullerton will soon ponder these questions as the winner of The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Food From My Frontier Cookbook. William Morrow Cookbooks, of Harper Collins Publishers will be forwarding the cookbook directly, so in a short time there will be new possibilities to explore in the kitchen of the Fullerton home—Congratulations!
For another special treat, I am allowed to share the following recipe from p. 247 in the cookbook for everyone to enjoy. With strawberries at their peak right now, Strawberry Shortcake Cake would be a beautiful addition for a graduation buffet or Mother’s Day brunch. Spend a little more for organic strawberries, since conventionally grown strawberries are on the dirty dozen list—they are bound to be on sale somewhere.
Moist vanilla cake, juicy peak-season strawberries, cream cheese frosting … need I say more?
Strawberry Shortcake Cake from The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Food From My Frontier Cookbook, courtesy of William Morrow
- ½ cup (1 stick) plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
- 1½ cups plus 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs
- ½ cup sour cream, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 pound strawberries, hulled and halved
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- One 8-ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 1½ pounds powdered sugar, sifted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease and flour a 9-inch round cake pan that’s at least 2 inches deep (or you can split the batter between 2 pans if they’re not deep enough).
- To make the cake batter, beat together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Add the sour cream and vanilla, then mix until just combined.
- Sift together the flour, cornstarch, salt, and baking soda and add it to the bowl.
- Mix it together until just combined.
- Spread it in the pan or pans and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the cake is no longer jiggly like my bottom.
- Carefully remove the cake from the pan and allow it to cool completely.
- Next, mash the strawberries with a potato masher or a fork (reserve a few for garnish if you like).
- Sprinkle the strawberries with the sugar. Toss them around and allow them to sit for a little while.
- They’ll give off this beautiful liquid after several minutes. Try not to drink it with a straw.
- To make the frosting, combine the cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt in a mixing bowl.
- Mix until very light and fluffy. Warning: You’ll feel like eating this bowl of icing before you even get it on the cake.
- To assemble the cake, use a sharp knife to cut it in half through the middle. It’s easier if you go all around the perimeter of the cake, slicing only halfway through the circle the whole way.
- Lay the two halves cut side up.
- And cover both halves with an equal amount of strawberries. Then—this is an important step!—place the cake halves in the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes. This’ll firm up the surface of the strawberries just a bit so that it’s easier to spread on the icing.
- Remove the cakes from the freezer and place one layer on a cake stand or platter. Cover with a little less than a third of the icing.
- Place the second layer on top, then spread the top with icing.
- Carefully ice the outside of the cake with the remaining icing.
- Lovely! You can certainly decorate the top of the cake with strawberry slices, too. But I’m hungry and want to eat, so I’ll skip that part.
Disclosure: “The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Food From My Frontier” was provide to Savoring Today LLC by the publisher at no charge and the publisher will provide one other copy for a promotional giveaway. Savoring Today was under no obligation to review the cookbook and was not compensated for doing so. It is my goal in any review to highlight what I find positive about the book; I have no desire to be critical of recipes that do not appeal to me. Instead, I offer insights to recipe steps, ingredients, and overall “feel” from the book. If what I have to say sounds good or reasonable to you, we probably share a similar taste in food. It does not make one person right or wrong, as taste is personal and subjective.