In my household, we have always loved our mid-afternoon tea time. We used to do daily when my children were younger and would return home after school and my husband returned home from work. By the time my children were older and away at college, that tradition changed except for an occasion here and there. We loved the time to catch up on the happenings of the day, talk about the favorite and not so fun times of the day, and talk about some future events coming soon. It was a time to unwind, spend time together, take a breather and share some laughs, as well as maybe some tough moments. It was always my favorite time of day, as was dinner time with my family. The tradition has a lot of history within my family from my Grandpa’s side of the family. His mother, Honora, was English it was her tradition to have an afternoon tea with a treat. I love honoring her and love the English tradition. We have tried many treats throughout the years during tea time, but this is one of our favorites. This is a petit four that is sweet and pretty to look at. It looks so lovely on the table with a tea. Any tea of your preference pairs well with this treat, but I personally prefer an English breakfast tea or a chamomile with a drizzle of honey. You can fill your petit fours with cream and a fruit of your choice and change it out at different times, but this version is the favorite in our home. This is a strawberries and cream filling. You make the cake in a sheet cake format and use a basic round cookie cutter to cut into circles after it has baked and cooled. Many times I would bake it the day before, then cover and assemble right before my family arrived home and would place on a pretty platter or tiered tray with other items. I have served this to friends as well for a tea social and it was very well received. It’s really lovely when the strawberries are in season. If you enjoy tea parties or tea time with the family, take out your prettiest tablecloth and dishes and enjoy this delightful treat! Enjoy!
Ingredients for cake:
1 1/2 cups of all purpose gluten free flour ( I really like Pilsbury brand)
1 cup Monk Fruit sweetener or coconut sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/3 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp pink himalayan salt
2 eggs, room temperature
2 Tbsp plus 2 tsp organic coconut oil, melted and cooled
2 Tbsp plus 2 tsp grass fed butter, softened
1/2 tsp lemon extract
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup almond or coconut milk
1 Tbsp lemon juice from one lemon (you can use white vinegar as well if you’d like)
Ingredients for filling and topping:
Coconut whipped topping (1-2)
fresh strawberries (1 lb.), washed and dried, chopped small, reserving some whole – for topping
1)Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13″ x 9″ pan with coconut oil.
2) Using a whisk, whisk together flour, sugar of choice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
3) Combine the milk of choice and lemon juice or vinegar. (Sometimes I use lemon juice and other times I use the vinegar. It really depends on if I want a lemony flavor or just a basic yellow cake flavor). Set aside.
4) In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, melted and cooled oil, butter, and extracts. Whisk until just combined. Do not over mix as it’ll get tough and gluey.
5) Add these wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Stir until well combined. Do not over mix. Now slowly add the milk/lemon juice (or vinegar) mix. Blend with a hand mixer on medium/low speed until just combined, or stir by hand with a wooden spoon. Make sure batter is smooth, with no lumps of dry cake mix unmixed.
6) Pour the cake batter into the greased pan.
7) Bake in oven for 30 minutes. Test with a toothpick for doneness. Make sure there is not any wet cake batter on the toothpick. When done, cool pan on the cooling rack.
8) When completely cooled, use a round cookie cutter to cut out circles. Cut the circles in half so you have 2 circle halves. Set aside.
9) Fill a whipped topping, like a coconut whipped cream, into an icing bag and put some into the bottom half of the circles.
10) Chop washed fresh strawberries into small pieces (reserving some strawberries whole for topping if desired or for the platter for edible decor). Place strawberries on top of cream. Place the top circle half on top. Place some whipped topping on top with a strawberry, half or whole to finish.