Double Strawberry Sheet Cake Shortcake with Lemongrass-Basil Whipped Cream |

Double Strawberry Sheet Cake Shortcake with Lemongrass-Basil Whipped Cream

This post was originally published here June 9, 2016. I’ve since updated the photographs and text.

It’s my Birthday this week, which means I’ll be indulging in all my favorite treats! Ice cream, cookies and cake. Oh my!

Homemade strawberry shortcake has been a part of my Birthday celebrations for as long as I can remember. My Mom and Grandmother would always make me a sheet cake-style strawberry shortcake for my big day. It had a single-layer sponge cake, juicy strawberries and pillows of fresh whipped cream. It was simple and classic. As a kid, I thought there was nothing better. And as an adult, I’m still inclined to agree.

This Double Strawberry Sheet Cake Shortcake with Lemongrass-Basil Whipped Cream is my ode to those “good old days”. I’ve used my Grandmother’s sponge cake recipe exactly as she had it written out. But I’ve included a few extras in the other layers to put my own spin on it. It’s a grown-up version of my childhood Birthday memories!

Double Strawberry Sheet Cake Shortcake with Lemongrass-Basil Whipped Cream |

To make this Double Strawberry Sheet Cake Shortcake with Lemongrass-Basil Whipped Cream, we’re going to start with the whipped cream. I know that’s the part of the recipe that is usually done last. But in this case, we’re infusing the heavy cream with chopped lemongrass and basil, so we need to allow sufficient time to (1) get all those great flavors into the heavy cream and (2) fully re-chill it so it whips up properly. I suggest starting the process first thing in the morning of when you plan on serving this cake. Or even the night before.

The sponge cake is baked in a rimmed 10 X 15-inch baking pan and it only takes 15 minutes to bake, which is a real relief once that Summer heat hits. This large sheet cake uses only one cup of cake flour, which means most of the volume in the batter comes from the whipped egg whites. To get the most volume out of your egg whites, make sure your egg whites are a room temperature and devoid of any traces of egg yolk. And be sure your bowl and whisk are clean and have no traces of fats or oils either. Whisk the egg yolks until they are very shiny and glossy and significantly increased in volume. They should almost fill your mixing bowl!

Strawberries are pretty awesome all on their own. But letting them macerate with a bit of sugar and lemon juice for a few minutes before adding them to the cake will make them even better. This draws the water out of the strawberries, creating a delicious syrupy juice that you can spoon over the cake. I’ve also started spreading a thin layer of strawberry jam over the entire surface of cooled cake and WOW does this little trick make a huge difference in the overall strawberry flavor. Do not skip this step!

If you try my Double Strawberry Sheet Cake Shortcake with Lemongrass-Basil Whipped Cream, please let me know! I’d love to know that we celebrated my Birthday “together”! And if you miss strawberry season, try my late-Summer version of this recipe that features peaches and blueberries. It’s even easier!



Double Strawberry Sheet Cake Shortcake with Lemongrass-Basil Whipped Cream

Double Strawberry Sheet Cake Shortcake with Lemongrass-Basil Whipped Cream

At a Glance:
Yield: Serves 12
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Additional Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 45 minutes


For the Whipped Cream:

  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup chopped lemongrass
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

For the Cake:

  • 5 eggs, separated and a room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 cup cake flour, sifted
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 salt

For the Strawberry Topping:

  • 2 lbs strawberries, trimmed and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • About 3/4 cups strawberry jam


  1. To infuse the heavy cream, add the heavy cream, lemongrass and basil to a medium saucepan. Gently warm it over medium heat just until small bubbles start to form around the edges. Do not let it come to a boil. Remove the saucepan from the heat and let it cool to room temperate. Then cover and refrigerate it for at least 4 hours or up to overnight. The cream must be completely chilled before whipping it.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the cake. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a 10 X 15-inch rimmed baking pan (often called a jelly roll pan) with parchment paper. Spray it lightly with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites on medium speed until small bubbles start to form. Then with your mixer running, slowly add in 1/2 cup of the sugar. Increase the speed to high and whisk until the egg whites become very thick and glossy, about 3-5 minutes. Transfer the egg whites to a clean bowl and set aside.
  4. Add the egg yolks to the same mixing bowl (no need to clean it out) and whisk on medium speed until they become pale yellow. With your mixer running, slowly add in the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar. Increase the speed to high and whisk until the mixture is smooth and has thickened slightly. Whisk in the lemon juice and zest.
  5. Gently fold the egg whites into the egg yolks, stopping when the two are almost fully combined. 
  6. In a small bowl, stir together the cake flour, baking powder and salt. Then gently fold the dry ingredients into the egg mixture until no more dry spots remain.
  7. Transfer the cake batter into your prepared pan and smooth the top to create an even surface. Transfer to your pre-heated oven and bake for 15 minutes. The edges of the cake should be slightly browned and starting to pull away from the sides of the baking pan. 
  8. Remove the baking pan from the oven and set it on a wire rack to cool for about 5 minutes. Run a knife along the edges of the cake to make sure it’s not stuck to the side of the pan. Then carefully invert the baking pan over a parchment paper-lined wire rack. The cake should easily come out of the pan. If the parchment paper has stuck to the bottom of the cake, gently peel it off and discard it. Allow the cake to cool completely.
  9. In a large bowl, toss the sliced strawberries with the sugar and lemon juice. Set aside at room temperature for 10-15 minutes.
  10. To finish making the whipped cream, start by placing the bowl of your mixer and the whisk attachment in your freezer for 2-3 minutes to chill them. Then remove them from the freezer and immediately strain the infused heavy cream directly into the chilled bowl, discarding the solids. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract and start whisking on medium-high speed. Once the cream starts to thicken, increase the speed to high and continue whisking until soft peaks form. 
  11. Assemble the shortcake. Spread a thin layer of strawberry jam over the entire surface of the cake. I like to use the bottom side of the cake as the “top”, because it’s completely flat. Spoon the sliced strawberries on top of the jam, including any juices that have collected at the bottom of the bowl. Then add dollops of whipped cream all over the surface of the cake. Slice and enjoy immediately.

28 comments on “Double Strawberry Sheet Cake Shortcake with Lemongrass-Basil Whipped Cream”

  1. Lovely dish and happy birthday this weekend 🙂

  2. Happy happy almost birthday fellow June baby (mine is the 28th!)! I wish I would be there to cheers together, but these shortcakes are so perfect for celebrating!

  3. Happy early birthday, girl! My birthday was last week – geminis unite!! I hope you have a fabulous time celebrating this weekend! This strawberry shortcake looks like the perfect dessert for any occasion and I’m going bonkers over that lemongrass basil whipped cream. Advice for your 36th year: beer. As much as possible 😉

  4. Happy birthday, gorgeous! How sweet that your Grandmother and Mother always baked you a strawberry shortcake. I love traditions like that. They become so meaningful and we carry them with us forever. THIS…with that yummy lemongrass and basil whipped cream…oh, my! My daughter graduates high school next week…I am so making these for her party!

    • Thank you for the sweet words, Caroline. This cake would be perfect to celebrate your daughters graduation!

  5. I’m borderline obsessed with these strawberry shortcakes…especially since you added that AMAZING lemongrass basil whipped cream!!! Also, happy early birthday girlie 😉 it’ll be a great one!

  6. Happy (soon-to-be) birthday, Liz!! Thank you for giving me just the nudge I need to make strawberry shortcakes…it would be a crime not to this time of year, right? That whipped cream sounds so good!!

  7. Happy Birthday Liz and thanks for sharing this with us!

  8. Happy birthday, Liz, and you’re still younger than me! haha Strawberry shortcake sounds like a great birthday tradition and I love your version here with that whipped cream! Hope you have a great weekend full of celebrating!

  9. Happy happy birthday, beautiful friend! These shortcakes are so lovely. I especially love that you used your grandmother’s recipe and that there’s some lemongrass tucked in there. (Three cheers for being lemongrass twins this week!) I’m so glad that our paths brought us together in this crazy world of blogging. Cheers to another year of that, another year of life, and to these beautiful individual strawberry cakes! xoxox

  10. Happy Birthday, Liz!!! Age ain’t nothing but a number! I have a summer birthday too and my mom always made me a homemade cake with tons of fresh fruit.Summer birthdays are the best! These mini shortcakes look delicious and perfect for pepole like me who don’t like to share their desserts 🙂

  11. Happy Birthday Sunshine!! I hope your weekend was delicious and filled with all the things you love… including copious amounts of cake and booze! These cakes looks over the top delicious and those berries and absolutely gorgeous! I’ll help you eat the cake edges! Last month, my birthday cake request was straw shortcake (:o) too…. (!!) Now, 30 seems like it was just yesterday.. and you blinked and you’re 36. My advise? Eat more cake yes, and take more time to breathe deep and go to the beach (not that you needed to hear that from me! 😀 ). Sending you a big ole hug my dear! Happy Happy Birthday!

  12. Liz, happy belated birthday! How does 36 feel?? just take the new year in stride. . 40 is the new 20 🙂 I am actually making strawberry shortcakes tomorrow!!!! LOVE your lemongrass-basil-whipped-cream!!!! Damn, so good! this is the perfect summer treat!

    • Thank you so much, Alice! I got carded at the bar two days after my birthday, so I’m not worried about it my age anymore I guess. Lol! 🙂

  13. Happy Happy birthday Liz!! I am a June baby too 😛 Love these strawberry shortcakes you made!

  14. Oh how delicious! The strawberry shortcake recipe is wonderful. It has been a long time favorite of mine. Liz you are so awesome!

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