My favorite part of a strawberry shortcake is the cake soaked in the strawberry juice. I used to buy the little cakes wrapped in cellophane. Lately, they always seem to be stale, so I decided to make a good cake from scratch to go with our delicious homegrown berries. Wow! I'm so glad I did! I could tell that my husband was glad, too. He had three servings of this strawberry shortcake after dinner tonight!
Wash, drain & cap berries (remove all the green;) slice berries (not too thin!) into medium bowl.
Place 1/3 cup of the sliced berries in small bowl; mash with a fork until consistency of jam; add half of the sugar (1/4 cup) & mix well; set aside.
Add remaining 1/4 cup sugar to sliced berries; fold gently to combine; add the mashed berry mixture; fold in gently to combine.
Cover and refrigerate.
Spray bundt cake pan or tube pan with Baker's Joy and use paper towel to rub the spray into all nooks and crannies & to absorb excess.
Preheat oven to 350ºF.
In a medium bowl, combine flour and baking powder (may sift together, if desired, but not necessary;) set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs & sugar until creamy; set aside.
In small saucepan, over medium-low, heat milk and butter until butter is melted; remove from heat; stir in the vanilla extract.
Add flour mixture to egg mixture; mix well by hand with sturdy spoon.
Add hot milk mixture to batter; mix well with wooden spoon or other sturdy mixing implement. (It may look strange at this point & you may think you've done something wrong, but it will get mixed together, just continue to mix thoroughly.)
Bake at 350ºF for 40-45 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool in pan for 10 minutes before inverting onto cake stand or plate. Allow to cool completely before slicing (approximately 2 hours.)
To assemble the shortcakes: Remove strawberries from refrigerator; gently stir strawberries.
Place a 1 to 1 1/2 inch slice of cake on dessert plate.
Place scoop of ice cream on cake slice. (You may spoon berries onto the cake and then add the ice cream, if desired.)
Spoon desired amount of strawberries and juice over ice cream.
Garnish with whipped cream and mint leaves, if desired. Serve immediately.
Store cake well covered. Cover & refrigerate any leftover strawberry topping.