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Grown up Strawberry Shortcake

Every time I hear the words “strawberry shortcake” this instantly pops into my mind:
Anyone else?  I’m hoping to clear that image out of my memory now with this picture of my “grown-up” strawberry shortcake.

I call it “grown up” shortcake not because it has any liquor in it. Although, I do think Amaretto would be divine in the cream.  But because it is accompanied by a drizzle of balsamic reduction as well as lemon cream.

Umm.Yum.

Does anyone else think that strawberries and balsamic reduction were made for each other?  I certainly do.  You absolutely cannot go wrong when you pair them.

I just made a very simple white cake.  All those cake tastings I’ve been on recently have inspired me to perfect my white cake. This recipe is a semi-homemade cake, as it incorporates a box mix, as well as a variety of other ingredients.  
Grown up Strawberry Shortcake

1 box white cake mix

1 cup sugar
1 cup cake flour (use cake flour for a denser finish)
1 tsp salt
5 egg whites
1 1/3 cup water
1 cup sour cream (8 ounces)
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 1/2 tsp almond extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
For the glaze
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
For the cream
1 cup heavy cream
Zest from 1/2 lemon
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp lemon extract or fresh lemon juice
On the side
1 package fresh strawberries.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
In your mixer, combine white cake mix, sugar, flour, and salt.  Once combined, add in remaining ingredients.  Mix together until creamy, about 5 minutes. Pour batter into prepared cake pan. Bake for 30 minutes or until cake is slightly golden brown on top.
While cake is baking prepare the balsamic reduction. Over low heat, simmer balsamic until it has reduced to about 1/4 cup. It will be a nice, syrupy consistency. 
Once the reduction is done, whip the cream.  Add cream and sugar to a bowl, with cold beaters, beat until the cream thickens.  Slowly add in lemon juice or extract and zest. 
Remove cake from oven. Let cool. Then top with chopped strawberries, drizzle the balsamic glaze over top, and finish with a dollop of lemon whipped cream.

Your taste buds will thank you after one bite. I cannot explain how wonderful this cake is. I know that I am a cake person and not everyone shares my love for moist, crumbly bites of sugar. But, please, if any part of you likes white cake, make this one. It is absolutely the best white cake I’ve made.  I wouldn’t lie to you.

Grown up strawberry shortcake would be a fantastic dessert for all the non-football people at your Superbowl party. And trust me, you will have them. Most of these are the people that come to the Superbowl party for the food and commercials (these people are me, especially this year). I also suggest having some kind of plate free, use your hands dessert options for the people that can not be bothered to look away from the television. Blondies, brownies, cookies, cakeballs and cupcakes are all fantastic options. You can never have too many desserts. At least that’s the motto around my house.

Here’s to a fantastic Superbowl full of delicious food, friends, and a side of football.

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