Thursday, 23 June 2011


'A shortcake should be like a biscuit' said a formidable lady from Terrace to my MIL during their strawberry socials (I love that idea, anyone up for a strawberry social in Edmonton?).

Who am I to disagree? This wonderful shortcake recipe was passed on to me by my MIL, who told me that its an old recipe, that has been handed down quite a bit. Having gobbled up her shortcakes, I can see why this is a trusted recipe. Its Delicious, with that capital D fully justified.

When Choclette over at Chocolate Log Blog announced that this months ingredient for We Should Cocoa is strawberries, my heart did a funny happy leap. Because if there is one fruit I love, its strawberries. I love them warm from my friend's garden, and cold from the freezer. I was lucky enough to find some lovely strawberries earlier this summer, and foresseing such an eventuality, froze a few bags of them. But the stores are again flooded with strawberries, so I decided to save my frozen delights for another recipe, and use the fresh ones I got instead for this recipe.


I have been meaning to play around with MIL's shortcake recipe for a while now (I know, bad me!). I absolutely adored it when I made it straight up in my Mango Shortcake, but wanted to see how it would work with a bit of cocoa added to it to make it chocolatey.

Back in England, I always used Green and Black's Cocoa for all my desserts. I was so chuffed when I found a tin of it in The Bay a few months ago, and have been jealously saving it for very special ocasions.

I was a bit apprehensive about modifying the recipe. After all one of the few unwritten rules of baking is that you don't play around with ingredients unless you are an accomplished baker. Now I am a good cook, but still a novice baker, so it was a challenge in more ways than one. In the end I didn't actually do very much different from the original recipe, other than add the cocoa, increase the sugar a wee bit and decrease the flour.

To mine (and Aditi's) delight, the recipe worked perfectly. The cake was just gorgeous, with a light biscuity crust, but with the moistest of crumbs. I served it up with lots of whipped cream and fresh strawberries, and the whole dessert was just a taste triumph. MIL will be proud of me, I think :-) I've also found my dessert for our annual Canada Day party, so smiles all round!

PS - Do you like the cake stand? I made it myself!

Strawberry Chocolate Shortcake


(Printable Recipe)

1¼ cups sifted plain flour
¼ cup dark cocoa powder + 2 - 3 extra tbsp
½ cup caster sugar + 3 tbsp
¼ tsp salt
3 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup butter or margarine (butter tastes better, but margarine is probably healthier)
1 large egg
2/3 cup milk

To serve:

A few fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
100 ml whipping cream, chilled + 2 tbsp sugar


Sift dry ingredients together 3 times. Rub butter into dry mixture, until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.

Beat egg, add milk to egg and mix well.

Gently fold in the egg and milk mixture into first mixture using just a few strokes.

Put in lightly greased 8 inch square pan* and bake 15 minutes at 350 F (175 C). Let cool.

Whip the chilled cream with the sugar, until it holds soft peaks.

Slice the shortcake, and then slice in half horizontally. Pour over a little bit of whipped cream and place the sliced strawberries on top of it. Replace the top of the shortcake, then top with more whipped cream.

*Note: For the picture in this post, I made one small portion of shortcake in a 4 inch round cake tin. The remaining mix went into the square tin.

This recipe is for the June edition of We Should Cocoa. The special ingredient for this month was strawberries.


  1. That's one cute sandwich cake. And you made that cake stand - honest?????????????? It looks absolutely gorgeous. Well done

  2. Ozoz, thank you! The cake stand is really very very easy to make. Just use ceramic glue and glue a plate on top of a candlestick ;-) The fun lies in sourcing the cutest sticks and plates. I used a lovely Spode Billingsley Rose plate to match the vintage look of the candlestick.

    Liv, thank very much. It tasted really good too. I took a long time over the pictures because I wanted to send it to Melissa Hartfiel's photo contest. Usually my pictures are a bit more slapdash :-)

  3. I do, I do, I do like your cakestand - great idea. Also love your presentation - it looks perfect. I reckon strawberries cream and shortbread are just about as good as it gets and with added cocoa ...., well what can I say? Thanks for participating.

    Only I would dispute the margarine being healthier - I have a deep distrust of margarine. At least butter is natural.

  4. This should be on the cover of a fancy magazine - so beautiful and a beautiful recipe to go with it - lovely

  5. Thanks Choclette, its an idea I got from an old Times magazine. I made one for my sister-in-law which was gorgeous, it had the same base but a Stafford Platinum plate (which is almost impossible to get now)... and of course the dessert was lovely too! This was a win-win all round for us!

    Mary, thank you :-) It really is the easiest dessert, you should give it a go. Bet your crew will love it :-)

  6. You found a tin of green and black's cocoa in the Bay???? I have to go suss some out now.

    thanks for the entry and the cake looks scrummy-yummy!

  7. Fantastic shortcake.

    Fantastic photos.

    Fantastic cakestand.


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