Shortcake is a tasty American staple. Without the fatty, sweet taste of shortcake, I can’t imagine how I’d enjoy all of the wonderful things that are paired with it. Most famously, shortcake is paired with strawberries to create a delicious dish.
A Tiered Treat
This recipe isn’t groundbreaking or complicated. In order to make strawberry shortcake cheesecake, all you need to do is make cheesecake, make shortcake, and arrange them in a pile with strawberries on top.
If you already know how to do these three things, you’re already set!
This Might Seem Complicated
Nevertheless, there are going to be a lot of words coming at you in a moment. This is because this recipe involves you doing most of the work to make two full cakes.
You’re stacking a cheesecake on top of a shortcake (or the other way around, if you prefer). This means you have to do about twice as much work as if you were just making one or the other.
Practice Makes Perfect
If you’re afraid of the extra steps, consider making both halves totally separately first. Do a dry run of each cake and eat it on its own (or with strawberries).
With the experience you’ve gained, you’ll be much more prepared to make them both in rapid succession to make a strawberry shortcake cheesecake.
Strawberry Shortcake Cheesecake Recipe
1 cup heavy whipping cream
24 oz cream cheese (allow this to warm to room temperature before you begin)
1 cup sugar
1.5 teaspoons vanilla extract
About 2 pounds strawberries, or to taste
1.75 cups all-purpose flour
1.5 teaspoons baking powder.
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup heavy whipping cream
5 tbsp (about 1/3 cup) butter, cut into small chunks
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup sugar (or to taste)
1/4 tsp vanilla (or to taste)
I suggest making the shortcake first so that the cheesecake doesn’t accidentally set while you wait. Feel free to do things as you like, though!
To make shortcake
Preheat your oven to 375 F. While you wait, generously grease the inside of a medium (9-inch) cake pan. Cover the bottom with a circle of parchment paper and then grease the top of that, too. This will let you slide out the shortcake easily when it’s done.
Mix the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl or food processor. Pulse the processor a few times or use an electric mixer to coarsely combine them. Next, add the chopped butter and continue mixing until you have a bunch of smallish crumbs. You can theoretically do this with a fork if you’re patient enough, but I would use a food processor, stand mixer, or theoretically a blender to save time.
Next, add the heavy cream and mix just a little bit more. You want to have a dough that’s still loose and crumbly. Form it into a ball and knead it until it’s smooth. This shouldn’t take too long.
Finally, press your dough into the cake pan into an even layer. Bake it for 18-20 minutes or until the edges have a bit of color. When the shortcake is done, pull it from the oven and let it rest for at least ten minutes. Gently remove it from the pan and keep the parchment paper on the bottom until it’s totally cooled.
To make cheesecake filling
Thoroughly chill a metal mixing bowl in the freezer. In it, beat a cup of heavy whipping cream on medium-high until it starts to thicken. Continue to beat it while gradually adding 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract (this isn’t the full amount of either). Whip until soft peaks form. Be sure not to go too far. You should spend about 6 minutes beating the cream after you start adding sugar.
In a separate large mixing bowl, take the softened cream cheese and beat it with your mixer until it’s smooth. Add the rest of the vanilla and sugar and beat again. When this mixture is smooth again, slowly fold in the whipping cream mixture. Mix until everything is well combined.
Set this aside for a moment while you figure out how you want to stack your cakes.
Stacking yours cakes
If you want to be fancy, you’ll slice your strawberries here so you can creatively arrange them inside your cheesecake. I’m not too into that, so I simply chop mine coarsely and throw them in willy-nilly.
Line the same cake pan from earlier with parchment paper. You want the parchment paper to stick up over the edges of the pan by at least two inches. This will help you assemble things on top of the cake without making a mess.
Gently lower the shortcake back into the pan.
If you’re me, you’ll simply spoon strawberry chunks on top in a rough layer, pour in some cheesecake mixture to cover them, and repeat the process. If you want to be fancier, try slicing your strawberries into somewhat regular shapes and making more cohesive layers. You don’t have to alternate, either: you can do a bunch of strawberries and then all of your cheesecake or even put your cheesecake on the bottom and your strawberries on top.
However you choose to do this, use a spoon to push cheesecake filling in between any gaps between your strawberries. You don’t want big holes in your cake (unless you do).
You probably don’t want to use ALL of your strawberries like this. Instead, reserve some to put on top afterward or serve alongside your cheesecake. Alternately, just eat them!
When you’re satisfied, add some whipped cream to the top and refrigerate until the cheesecake is firm. This takes at least 4 hours, but it’s probably best to leave this cake in the fridge overnight.
This is totally optional. It’s also identical to the first step of making cheesecake, so it should be pretty familiar.
Chill a bowl. Then pour in heavy whipping cream. Beat on medium-high until it starts to thicken. Add sugar and vanilla and beat again until soft peaks form, about 5 to 7 minutes. You can throw this in the fridge for a bit.
When your cheesecake is firm, you’ll want to carefully remove the parchment paper and pull it out of the pan (in whichever order you find easier). If you’re going for a professional look, try slicing strawberries and carefully arranging them on top.
Dust with powdered sugar, strawberry sauce, or any other toppings you desire.
All of these things are totally optional. I think that cheesecake is best served unadorned, so I’m totally fine with serving it the minute I pull off the parchment paper. It’s just as delicious.
Cheesecake is delicious, but I’m not always a fan of the graham cracker crust that it tends to come with. This shortcake base works great to create a unique vehicle for serving cheesecake. The layers of strawberries help add to the taste and create a wonderful finished product you can enjoy all year long.