Today, we’re making Roasted Strawberry Shortcake Crostini!
Roasted Strawberry Shortcake Crostini
This is a good one, folks! If I may say so myself. We’re going to let the grocery store help us with the cake part of the recipe. Then we’ll butter and toast it up, schmear it with a vanilla bean whipped cream, and top the whole situation with some sweet and tangy roasted strawberries. And, we’re doing all of this in a little handheld bite that mimics the size of your standard crostini!
Does this sound like the best game plan ever, or what?
We’re actually going to build this recipe backwards, so let’s start with the strawberries. We’re going to take whole strawberries, remove the tops, and toss them with some balsamic vinegar, some brown sugar, and a splash of vanilla. That’s all the prep work we need for the strawberries before we toss them in the oven to roast! Now if you have some jumbo strawberries in your container, we’re going to cut those babes in half. But if you have some average sized strawberries, we’re going to go ahead and leave them whole.
While the strawberries are roasting, we can start working on the crostini part of our recipe. We’re going to use store bought pound cake as the base of our bites. Now, there are two ways you could go with the pound cake. One option is to buy frozen pound cake (like the Sarah Lee brand), thaw it, and slice it into ¾ inch slices. I like this option, because I find the pound cake is the perfect size for our bites. Plus, the pound cake is completely thawed in less than an hour.
For option two, you can use prebaked/pre-sliced pound cake from the bakery section of the grocery store. At my store, I found a marbled pound cake which worked perfectly with this recipe. The bakery slices of pound cake were much larger, so I cut them right in half to get the perfect crostini sized shape. If you can find an option like this in your store, I HIGHLY recommend getting it. The chocolate swirls in the pound cake make this already luxurious dessert even more decadent.
Whichever option you choose, (and I vote for BOTH), we’re going to brush our cake slices with butter before they make their way to the oven. As soon as the strawberries are finished roasting, we’ll set them aside to start to cool and pop our cake right in at the same temperature. We’re going to toast these cake slices until they're perfectly golden and just start to develop a crispy crust on the outside. The slight crunch on the outside helps the cake stand up to all of our toppings while still getting to take advantage of that soft and airy center.
After the cake has finished toasting, we’re going to set that aside to cool, as well. Then, it’s time to work on the whipped cream! We’re making the whipped cream last, because we want to give our cake and berries time to cool down a little bit. Cold cream with hot berries is only asking for trouble, you know what I mean? So, all we need is some cold heavy cream, a little powdered sugar, and vanilla bean paste. Whip the cream until you have soft peaks, add your sugar and vanilla, whip until you have stiff peaks, and you’re all done!
Now I like to use vanilla bean paste in whipped cream, because I like to see the little black flecks from the vanilla bean. It’s an aesthetic thing. I used vanilla extract for the strawberries, because the vanilla bean flecks would kind of “get lost” in the strawberries. But if you don’t have or don’t feel like buying both, they can each be used interchangeably in equal measurements. So, don’t stress out if you don’t have both. Though, I highly recommend getting some vanilla bean paste, because it’s just so pretty!
Once we have all of our components together, it’s time to assemble. First, we spread on our homemade whipped cream. Then, we layer on our juicy berries. And for the surprise finisher, we’re going to give our crostini a little pinch of flaky sea salt to balance everything out.
When we’re ready to serve, we have handheld bites of pure heaven. The cake is soft and crunchy all at the same time. The cream is just lightly sweetened enough to add rich mouthfeel. And, the strawberries are soft and juicy with a little bit of extra tang from the vinegar. It’s such a fancy but familiar bite all at the same time.
It’s a real treat!
Ok, everyone. We’ve roasted grapes. We’ve roasted strawberries. What should we try roasting next?
In the meantime, enjoy! And, let’s eat!
Roasted Strawberry Shortcake Crostini
- 16 oz strawberries, tops cut off
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 frozen pound cake, thawed and cut into ¾ inch slices (I used Sarah Lee)
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- ½ tbsp powdered sugar
- ¼ tsp vanilla bean paste
- flaky sea salt, to taste
- cooking spray
- Roast the Strawberries: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- To a mixing bowl, add strawberries, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, and vanilla extract. Toss well to completely coat the berries. Pour the mixture onto prepared baking sheet. Bake for 15 mins, toss the berries, and bake for an additional 10 mins until the berries have softened and their juices are syrupy. Set aside to cool slightly.
- Toast the pound cake: Keep the oven temperature at 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, and lightly spray it with cooking spray. Arrange pound cake slices in a single layer on prepared baking sheet. Brush the tops of the pound cake with melted butter. Bake for 16-18 minutes until the pound cake is lightly golden and slightly crisp. Set aside to cool slightly.
- Make the Whipped Cream: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, add heavy cream. Whisk on high for 1-2 mins until soft peaks form. Add powdered sugar and vanilla bean paste. Whisk on high for about another minute until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
- Assemble the Crostini: Schmear whipped cream over each slice of toasted pound cake. Top with roasted berries, some of the berry's juices, and a pinch of flaky salt. Serve immediately.
- *I actually used 2 types of store bought pound cake for this recipe, and both worked out beautifully. The frozen Sarah Lee pound cake is the perfect size for our crostini, so I really like using that in this recipe. I also found marbled pound cake in the bakery section of my grocery store; and those slices were bigger, so I cut them in half to match the size of my other slices. If you can find the chocolate marbled pound cake in your store, I HIGHLY recommend adding in that variety. It's delicious!
- *1 pack of Sarah Lee frozen pound cake yielded about 10 slices. You'll have enough butter, whipped cream, and strawberries to make about 14-16 crostini. So if you buy extra cake, you can make more crostini without any other extra ingredients!
- *If your strawberries are big, cut them in half before roasting. Otherwise, leave them whole (after you cut the stem off).
- *You can use vanilla extract and vanilla bean paste interchangeably. I really like vanilla bean paste, because you get the aesthetics of the little black specks from a vanilla bean. It's so pretty in our whipped cream. However, it can be a little pricey, so I chose not to use it on the strawberries since the vanilla bean specks would kind of be lost in the strawberries. If you don't have or don't want to use both, you can substitute one for the other in the same measurements.
- *When you whip your cream, making sure your things are really cold will help the cream whip faster. I put my whisk attachment in the freezer for about 15 mins before I whip my cream. And, I take the cream straight from the fridge to the bowl when I'm ready to whip. If you don't feel like breaking out the stand mixer for this small amount of whipped cream, you can absolutely use a hand mixer instead. It will just take a few extra minutes for the cream to whip.