Sky-High Strawberry Shortcake

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Sky-High Strawberry Shortcake
Sky-High Strawberry Shortcake
It's like eating a cloud of summer

I'm sad that summer is ending.

Okay, let me say that I live in LOS ANGELES. Yes, the land of beaches, Hollywood, too much Botox, and Disneyland. I'm a native and love it. I've seen snow about 15 times in my entire life. I went years without owning an umbrella because it rains only a few days a year. I think the average year-round temp here is 70 degrees. Thus, Summer moving into Fall doesn't really make much difference.

But my summer fruits, the ultimate symbol of summer, are going away and that makes me sad.

No more apricots around, and the peaches are getting a bit mealy. Last month, every stand had only two. I know the whole Lion King circle of life fruit thing, but I'm still sad.

Here is probably one of the last California summer strawberry desserts of the year...(and, omg, the most delicious and beautiful!!!)

Sky-High Strawberry Shortcake
Earlier, I made that awesome Chai Tea three layer cake. Today, I made the Sky-High Strawberry Shortcake from Alisa Huntsman's book, Sky High Cakes: Irresistible Triple-Layer Cakes (page 89). This book is so amazing. The Sky-High Strawberry Shortcake is on the cover - I mean, this is totally a cover girl cake, no?

Sky-High Strawberry Shortcake
My organic California strawberries were hulled, sliced and macerated in sugar, rosewater and vanilla for 1 hour before assembly. I love rose water and I especially like going to my local Halal store to buy it - I love the saffron ice cream and many guava and mango juices available at the market.

At first, I thought the vanilla was a bit too much when I ate a strawberry, but after it sits on the cake for a bit, it mellows out.

Sky-High Strawberry Shortcake
This is a 6" cake. I had one 6x3 MagicLine pan but this recipe sent me (very, very happily) back to Surfas for two 6x2 pans. This is an adorable size for cakes!

Sky-High Strawberry Shortcake
The cake uses cake flour and buttermilk for a nice vanilla cake. Next time, I might use vanilla paste so I can get those little flecks of vanilla bean in the batter. Filled with strawberries and fresh whipped cream (with sugar and vanilla), it is heaven on a plate.

Sky-High Strawberry Shortcake
My new Tupperware cake taker (whew, bought one of the last aqua ones - Tupperware has switched to an alarming yellow product) was too short for this literally sky-high cake. I had to dig out my old Rubbermaid carrier to hold this sky scraper of a cake.

The only problem happened 100 feet from work. I made a quick right-turn and then come upon a front of the Sheriff station. I'm extra cautious and, not wanting to sit in traffic school again, I break for the yellow. And I look down at my little cake..and it is a study in fractions. 1/3 is on the plate and 2/3 is not. Ugh. But I got to work and pushed all back together!

Sky-High Strawberry Shortcake
Say farewell to summer!

Last time, the author actually commented on my blog! Her blog says "To see it for sale in stores and on the internet is incredible; to see it in use by other bakers, now that is a thrill."
So...Buy Alisa's book and thrill her with some cakes!
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ostwestwind said... [Reply to comment]

Who's not sad that the summer is ending?

Strawberries are getting more expensive and tasteless here.

Great looking High-Cake

Ulrike from K├╝chenlatein

Mari said... [Reply to comment]

OMG, strawberry shortcake has been my lifelong favorite dessert and this looks like the "Last Supper" dessert for me! GORGEOUS! What lucky colleagues you have!

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

that's the most beautiful strawberry shortcake i've ever seen. strawberry tallcake. i must say, you have the luckiest co-workers ANYWHERE.

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

Oh my GOOOOSH! This looks so fabulous!! And that's my favorite brand of rose water. YAY! I'm totally making this!

Pamela said... [Reply to comment]

I just had to comment on how fabulous this cake looks! The strawberries are glorious. And I love that I can see some of the juices seeping into the cake. I wish I had a slice!

preppy little dress AKA "PLD" said... [Reply to comment]

wow, the 1st photo looks like it belongs on the cover of a magazine! looks delicious!!!

Di said... [Reply to comment]

That is absolutely gorgeous. The strawberries are one of the things I miss about living in southern California. One of the summers I was there I completely OD'd on strawberries--it was a couple of years before I could stand to look at them again. =)

Meandering Eats said... [Reply to comment]

Seeing snow count: 9.

I was shocked to see super-plump strawberries both in the Central Coast and in SD... looks like the last of the season will be pretty decent. San Diego kicked off summer with some pretty mediocre strawberries, so it's nice to see that they're going out with a bang. Your cake is unbelievably beautiful! I'm looking forward to the melons and squashes of fall. Living in CA definitely has its fruitful advantages!

Linda said... [Reply to comment]

This GORGEOUS cake a great tribute to the end of summer! I love how your cake was over the top that's decadent!

Kelly said... [Reply to comment]

wow, that is gorgeous!

mimi said... [Reply to comment]

end of summer means real winter here! strawberries are already long gone from the markets, but your pile high shortcake looks awesome!

Maria said... [Reply to comment]

Your dessert is GORGEOUS! Almost too pretty to cut!

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

Where did you say you buy the rosewater? I'm in LA, too, so specific info would be most helpful. BTW, awesome looking cake!

MacDuff said... [Reply to comment]

Oh good lord, this looks so insanely delish. Nice, nice job.

The Food Librarian said... [Reply to comment]

You can find rose water at any market that caters to populations from Middle/Near east or India. I'm not sure where in LA you are but Westwood has a large Persian population so those stores would have it. There are many Indians in Cerritos and Artesia. Also, Surfas Restaurant Supply in Culver City ( has it. Anyone that sells Halal meat products (for the Muslim population) sells it too. I think some gourmet stores might carry it as well since it is more widely used. I bought mine in the South Bay and I'm so sorry I can't remember the name!

steph- whisk/spoon said... [Reply to comment]

wow-it is glorious!!

Katie said... [Reply to comment]

That looks absolutely heavenly!

KK said... [Reply to comment]

i'm sure your baking is every bit as good as it looks - but i gotta' say - i just love, love, love your photos.

Prudy said... [Reply to comment]

What a gorgeous summer send off. That looks better than anything that you can buy anywhere. I miss California strawberries. I used to buy a half flat everytime we were driving home from Huntington beach.

Patricia Scarpin said... [Reply to comment]

Oh, you made it!!!
I have bookmarked this recipe on the book, it looks absurdly beautiful.

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

The photo showing the strawberries resting on the cake, their juices seeping into the cake, is foodporn at its finest! What a perfect way to say goodbye to another strawberry season :-)

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

It's so pretty! I'm sad summer is ending too. I'm actually looking forward to cooler weather (yeah for scarves and boots!) but I am not looking forward to the scarcity of fresh fruit and vegetables at the grocery store.

You're shortcake looks delicious!

Landra Lynn said... [Reply to comment]

Oh! How yummy does that look????

We are hosting a "cookie sale" to help support a family that has four small children (all under age six) and two parents who were critically injured in a small plane accident. (More on the Nielsen family at

If you would like to help, feel free to visit


Laura said... [Reply to comment]

Impressive, most impressive! I was surprised when you revealed it was only a 6 in cake - looks much bigger in the photos. Absolutely beautiful!

alexandra's kitchen said... [Reply to comment]

i'm sad too, but the fall air out here is find of nice. no? i like the little chill in the air.

Anyway, this cake looks delicious and amazing. I've seen this cookbook and have been wanting to buy it. the pics (and yours) are stunning!

Cindy said... [Reply to comment]

Oh, that is gorgeous! I'm enjoying the last of my summer favorite: the white nectarine.

Thank you for your support over at Figs! My campaign seems to be shaping up nicely.

Sylvia said... [Reply to comment]

Your short cake is awesome and looks delicious. Is funny, our winter is ending, and also strawberries.
I really enjoy my visit to your blog, is wonderful and full of beautiful pictures

Jaime said... [Reply to comment]

i am not ready to say goodbye to summer fruits, either. but i am also happy to welcome apple and pumpkin :) i adore strawberry shortcake and this is making me crave some!

Sihan said... [Reply to comment]'re making me excited to try this cake too!

alisa said... [Reply to comment]

once again, I owe you thanks for the kind words. your little cake looks as good as the one on the cover. is there a career as a food stylist in your future?

Melissa said... [Reply to comment]

Oh. My. WORD. Amazing! I used to have strawberry shortcake every year for my birthday but none as lovely as this.

Anabel said... [Reply to comment]

This looks exactly like the cake on the cover!!

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