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Strawberry shortcake is one of those classic desserts that I remember having so many times as a kid. My family used to cheat and buy the premade shortcakes from the store, and those are okay in a pinch. But then I met my best friend in college. Or more importantly, I met my best friend in college’s mom, who ruined me for all other strawberry shortcakes for the rest of my life – I’m talking homemade pound cake, homemade whipped cream, fresh strawberries in some mysterious syrup that was so addictive I was tempted to sell it on the black market. Unfortunately, she’s one of those people who clings to secret recipes like a tween to their smart phone, so when I was making these Strawberry Lemon Shortcake Cups, I had to figure it out on my own…and put my own twist on it!
What You’ll Need to Make Strawberry Lemon Shortcake Cups:
Pound Cake Ingredients:
- 1 cup butter, room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 eggs
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp. lemon zest
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
Whipped Cream Ingredients:
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
Strawberry Topping Ingredients:
- 1 cup fresh strawberries, sliced
- 1 Tbsp. sugar
How to Make Strawberry Lemon Shortcake Cups:
Now, the first and most important step of any strawberry shortcake, lemon or no, is the cake itself. You’ll want to preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and lightly grease a loaf pan. Be prepared, and all that. Then, you’ll need two separate mixing bowls. In one of them, cream together the butter and sugar, then add the eggs, vanilla, and lemon zest and beat well with an electric mixer. In the other bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients and whisk them together. Gently. That flour never did anything to you.
This next part is where you can recruit reluctant spouses, small children, or roommates to help you if you are so inclined, or proclaim your fierce independence from the world at large and just do it yourself. Alternate adding the dry ingredients and the lemon juice to the wet ingredients bowl and mix after each addition. Be careful not to overmix – just because it’s called pound cake doesn’t mean it should weigh that much. Pour the batter into that pan you thoughtfully prepared for yourself earlier and bake for about 65-75 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let your cake set for 5 minutes before turning it out onto a cooling rack, and let it cool completely before making the shortcakes. Waiting sucks, but it’s a part of life.
The rest of this stuff is easy. To make the whipped cream, combine all three ingredients using an electric mixer on low. Once combined, increase the speed of the mixer and beat it, just beat it, until stiff peaks form. To make the strawberry topping, combine the strawberries and sugar in a small bowl and macerate – that means “soften or become softened by soaking in a liquid” – for 10 minutes.
Now, let’s put it all together! Cut yourself off two slices of that freshly-baked lemon pound cake, then cut those slices up into cubes. Divide the cake cubes between the bottom of two glasses and add whipped cream to both. Then, top with the macerated strawberries and serve immediately. Well, technically you can stick them in the fridge for later, but why would you want to do that? Either way, enjoy!