Mother’s Day is this Sunday and I have a fun mini dessert in celebration of moms and berry season, Berry Basket Shortcakes!
I used a medley of berries for these basket shortcakes and my Nordic Ware Shortcake Basket Pan that I used to make my Mini Easter Basket Cakes, fun for a mini dessert and to spring into baking. ;)
The pan makes 6 mini 3-inch cakes, in addition to being ideal for shortcakes, you could fill the top of the basket with any combination of filling, fruit, and/or whipped or ice cream. If you don’t want to invest in a pan, you could make berry basket shortcakes using ready-made shortcake dessert shells from the grocery store.
I used the recipe that came with the pan for theses mini cakes. They only require 3 cups of batter, just enough for 6 cakes. Whatever cake recipe you use for these cakes, make sure to only fill the molds 3/4 full to avoid overflowing.
I used Baker’s Joy (non stick baking spray with flour) for the molds. The cakes bake in about 20 minutes. Let them cool 7 minutes in the pan and then turn out on a wire rack to cool completely. If your shortcakes rise above the pan you can trim them after they cool to level them.
After the shortcakes cooled, I added a little confectioners’ sugar glaze of powdered sugar, milk and vanilla extract, to drizzle on the cakes before filling them.
To make the basket handles, I used honeysuckle vine, ‘Japanese’ honeysuckle, Lonicera japonica, that grows wild here in North Carolina. I removed the larger leaves from the vine and placed the ends in the cakes for handles. The honeysuckle vine is flexible and prolific. You can harvest honeysuckle flowers and use the nectar to infuse simple syrups and even vodka for cocktails.While the flowers and stems are safe you do not want to use any honeysuckle berries on a vine which can be poisonous if you don’t know what variety of vine you have. If you don’t have access to honeysuckle or vines that are food safe, you can form a handle from floral wire and attach a vine and/or flowers to the wire. Wrap the ends of the floral wire with plastic wrap or aluminum foil before inserting them in the cakes to make your basket handles.
I filled the shortcakes with an assortment of berries~ strawberries, blueberries and blackberries. I added some flowers from the blackberry vines that were growing alongside the honeysuckle that I picked for a pretty garnish for the cakes.
Give your berries and cake an additional dusting of powdered sugar if desired and serve~
Happy Mother’s Day and Berry Season ♥
A note about honeysuckle: There are nearly 180 honeysuckle species with about 20 native species indigenous to the US. Most ornamental garden honeysuckle is not edible. Avoid the berries and vines which can be poisonous if you can not identify your variety of honeysuckle. You can read more about honeysuckle and the varieties that are edible, here.