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Issue 442: Jar of Strawberry Heaven

Estee Kafra

Strawberry shortcake is a favorite summery treat, and this one can be prepared dairy or pareve

Wednesday, May 10, 2017


Food preparation and styling by Chanie Nayman
Photos by Lisa Monahan

I have yet to meet a person who doesn’t love strawberry shortcake! Here is a fun way to serve this summery treat. Use the basil for a gourmet twist. This can easily be made dairy or pareve, making it the perfect Shavuos dessert option. I like to use the short and wide jars, as opposed to the taller, narrower ones.


SERVES 14–16

Sponge Cake
  • 6 eggs
  • 1¾ cups sugar
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp orange juice
  • 6 Tbsp oil
  • 6 Tbsp water
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
Strawberry Cream
  • 2 8-oz (226-g) containers pareve whipping cream or 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 lb (450 g) frozen strawberries, thawed
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
Strawberry Layer
  • one pint (226 g) strawberries, stems removed, and cut into slices
  • 3 leaves of basil washed and chiffonade (cut into very thin slices)
  • 2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 Tbsp sugar


Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).

Line 2 9x13-inch pans or one large roasting pan with parchment paper, beat eggs on high speed for 10 minutes, adding the sugar in slow intervals.

Add the remaining ingredients and beat for just a few more seconds, just until incorporated. Pour into lined pans and bake for 45–50 minutes or until the top springs back and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool.

Beat the whipped cream and add remaining ingredients. 

Meanwhile, macerate the strawberries by combing them with sugar and basil if using, and lemon juice. Mix together.

Let the strawberries rest at room temperature for 20 minutes until the strawberries are juicy and the sugar has dissolved.

Use a glass or the lid of a jar to cut circles out of the cake, and place the cut circle at the bottom of each jar. Top with a few spoons of the macerated strawberries, and top with some strawberry whip. Garnish with strawberries and lemon peel, or basil.

Note For a great shortcut, use store bought sponge cake, cut into slices and then into round disks. You can also make the cake and cream ahead. Macerate berries and assemble up to 6 hours before serving.

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