Living in Europe, I’ve had the opportunity to try desserts from so many different countries. Here in Germany, one dessert that can be found during the Spring and Summer at every bakery and restaurant is Erdbeerkuchen mit Sahne, which translated means strawberry cake with cream or as it’s called in the USA, strawberry shortcake!
When Driscoll’s Berries asked me to develop a recipe for National Strawberry Shortcake Day, I knew exactly what I needed to make! I’ve taken a traditional recipe for Erdbeerkuchen mit Sahne and turned it into a Strawberry Shortcake recipe that can be easily recreated in the United States with familiar ingredients.
The star of this shortcake is obviously the strawberries. I used Driscoll’s strawberries because I’ve been using their strawberries my entire life. Even better, their strawberries are always ripe, red and delicious and I can buy them at the local grocery stores here in Germany! Driscoll’s has been the strawberry in everyone’s shortcake for more than 100 years!
The base of this German shortcake is a light, airy cake made with pastry flour, corn flour, eggs and a touch of sugar. It’s not too sweet and makes the perfect base for the cream and Driscoll’s strawberries.
In Germany, the finest ground flour, Type 405 is used for these types of tarts and cakes. It has the highest starch content which makes it ideal for the baking of cupcakes and cakes where you want a finer crumb, the American equivalent being Pastry Flour.
For more on the types of flour used in Germany, my friend Ewa of Das Cupcake in Frankfurt, Germany has written a great post about differences between German and American flours! Check it out for more info!
Corn flour is also used in this recipe, which gives the cake the golden color and adds a touch of flavor. Not to be confused with corn starch, corn flour is yellow in color and can be substituted with finely ground corn meal if you can’t find corn flour in your grocery store.
The cream layer is the easiest part of this shortcake with only two ingredients, heavy cream and sugar. For this recipe, I used a thick, creamy German high-fat cream that is made with cream from the Alps. It’s one of the most delicious creams I’ve ever had and the flavor is truly out of this world. In the USA, you’ll want to use heavy whipping cream which is easily found in the dairy section of your local grocery store.
The glaze might be a little harder to recreate as easily in the United States. I did a bit of research online and found that the brand Dr. Oetker makes the red & clear glaze packets in the USA and can be found at stores like Walmart and Wegmans. If you can’t find the glaze packets, I also found several recipes online using powdered gelatin or gelatin sheets to make a glaze.
The pan I used is a traditional fruit cake pan called a Tortenboden that I bought at a local German store. It has fluted edges and the bottom is indented to create an edge around the outside when you flip it over. If you can’t find a Tortenboden in the USA, I’d suggest using a springform pan to bake the shortcake in. With the ring still on the pan, let the cake cool completely then spread a thin layer of whipped cream across the top of the cake. Arrange the strawberries on top of the whipped cream. Spoon the glaze over the strawberries then allow the glaze to completely set at least an hour before removing the ring around the pan.
A note about the measurements for this recipe: European bakers always measure their ingredients by weight and volume. They never use cups for measuring because it’s typically inaccurate. To make this recipe, you’ll need a digital food scale. These scales can easily be found in any Target or Walmart type store for less than $30. Once I got my scale, I began measuring all my ingredients by weight and found my recipes came out better than ever. I included both Imperial/US and Metric/Europe measurements when either would work in the recipe.
And as a special treat to my readers, Driscoll’s has provided $100 in Driscoll’s coupons to one lucky person! Participants must be 18+ years old and live in the USA to win. To enter, fill out the form at the bottom of this post!