We recently tried the Strawberry Shortcake recipe from Home Made Summer, which was so easy that Ella did everything except the oven bit.
This is a traditional strawberry shortcake recipe, making it more akin to a scone than to a sponge cake, and it is the perfect way to use summer strawberries.
I love when I find a recipe that kids can do from start to finish completely independently — and even better when it’s something that both parents and kids can enjoy!
By using a food processor (or a blender), this recipe just requires measuring and pouring ingredients, allowing children to focus on building one skill set at a time.
First, we went out and picked our own strawberries at a local u-pick strawberry patch, and then we hulled them.
After hulling, we put the strawberries in a big bowl with some sugar and lemon peel to macerate, and moved on to the food processor to make our dough.
Ella just dropped the ingredients (in order) into the food processor and turned it on with every two ingredients. Each ingredient provides its own sensory experience and individual challenge — with flour, you need to level off the scoop with a knife; with butter, you need to cut it up and transfer each slippery piece into the mouth of the food processor; with grating orange peel, you have to go very slowly and get to smell that wonderful orange oil, and so on. I think it’s so important to go slow and enjoy the sensory experiences offered when baking with children.
The food processor did the heavy mixing, and we were quickly left with a perfect, non-sticky dough, which Ella used a 1/2 cup to scoop and drop onto a silicone-lined baking sheet.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1.5 cups whole wheat flour (or use 3.5 cups white flour)
- 4 teaspoons [baking powderhttp://www.amazon.com/Bobs-Red-Mill-Baking-16-Ounce/dp/B005P0I7T6/]
- Pinch of salt
- 3/4 cup sugar plus 2 Tablespoons
- 7 Tablespoons butter (100g)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1.5 pints strawberries
- Grated zest of 1 orange (approximately 1 teaspoon)
- Clotted cream or whipped cream
- Preheat the oven to 375F
- Put the strawberries, orange zest, and 2 tablespoons of the sugar in a bowl and let stand to macerate.
- Use a food processor to combine the flour, baking powder, salt and remaining sugar. Slowly add the butter.
- Whisk the eggs, cream, and vanilla together and add to the food processor. Combine until a ball of dough forms.
- Using a buttered 1/2 cup scoop to portion out 6 balls of dough onto a silicone-mat lined cookie sheet.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden.
After the cakes had cooled, Ella sliced them in half (this is a rustic dessert, so uneven cuts are encouraged!) and we spread them with clotted cream and the macerated strawberries.
(You can alternatively use whipped cream instead of clotted cream.)
My favourite part of baking with children always come at the end, when they are about to enjoy eating what they made. There is always this beautiful mix of excitement and pride when children feel like they have really participated in the process. This is why I think it is so important to choose recipes that are low-mess or involve isolated skills, so that parents don’t (feel the) need to step in and take over; often when children lose interest in the kitchen, it is because they don’t feel like they are actually doing anything of importance and they feel micromanaged. Giving them freedom within structure, and being casual about mistakes, are wonderful principles from Montessori education that work perfectly in the kitchen!
If you liked this easy healthy recipe for Strawberry Shortcake, be sure to check out our other Kids’ Kitchen recipes and delicious Dessert Recipes.