Did you know a strawberry shortcake is actually a biscuit or scone not an actual cake?! Which makes this an even easier recipe than you think. Half the flavour comes from strawberries and whipped cream!
What is a shortcake?
A shortcake is richer than a biscuit, and crumblier than a cake, similar to a very rich buttery scone. Shortcakes also use baking powder, where a traditional scone or biscuit does not. This helps them rise up and get flakey. So a shortcake is somewhere in between a scone and a cake. These perfect little bites are best served warm with fresh berries and whipped cream.
And if you have just got strawberry picking, like I did a few weeks ago, this is the perfect dessert to really transform and make good use of those berries!
- 2 pints ripe well-rinsed strawberries
- 1/4 cup brown sugar or more or less to taste
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 4 cups all purpose flour
- 3 Tbsp sugar
- ¼ tsp salt
- 5 tsp baking powder
- 1¼ cups butter cold, coarsely grated
- 3 cups whipping cream, divided
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- fresh basil for garnish (optional)
- Slice the strawberries. Mix half of the sliced strawberries with 1/4 cup brown sugar & the lemon zest. Mash with a fork. Add rest of strawberries and mix gently to combine. Cover and set aside to rest. The flavours will deepen while it rests and you make the shortcakes.
- Preheat oven to 400F
- Sift together – flour, sugar, salt, baking powder.
- Add 3/4 of the butter, mix to combine. Do not over mix. Add 1 1/4 cup cream. Mix to a soft dough. If it is looking too dry/not coming together add cold water a tsp at a time and knead till it starts coming together.
- Turn into a clean floured counter and knead for 1 min. Roll out to about 1/2 inch thick. Cut using a 3 in biscuit cutter or an upside down glass. There should be an even number of circles. Total about 24 circles.
- Grease the baking pan and place half the rounds on the pan. Leaving about 1-2 inches space between each. Melt remaining butter and brush the tops of each round. Top with the remaining rounds. You will have about 12 shortcakes in total.
- Bake 10-15 mins or till golden brown.
- Meanwhile whip the remaining cream with vanilla till stiff peaks form. Set aside.
- When the shortcakes come out of the oven. Allow to cool 5 mins. Split in half and place the bottom half on a plate. Spread with more melted butter, Top with a dollop of whipped cream and a spoon of the prepared strawberry mixture. Top with the second half of the shortcake, more cream and strawberries. Top with a sprinkle of finely chopped basil, if you like.
- Serve immediately while the shortcake is till warm.
- Shortcakes can be frozen after baking. Warm them up just before serving. Great for breakfast with coffee or chai!