Strawberry shortcake recipe layered with ripe berries and silky whipped cream. Each cake is made with whole wheat flour for the ultimate dessert with benefits!
This strawberry shortcake recipe is a delicious way to highlight the sweet and jammy flavors of fresh berries. This classic dessert combines fresh berries tossed with golden honey, fresh mint, and tart lemon juice. So the next time you’re in the local market, pick up an extra basket or two of these little red fruits.
Layers of sweet strawberries and fluffy whipped cream, all sandwiched between tender whole wheat shortcakes make for an easy, irresistible treat. This dessert will be the star of any summer gathering, okay, except for maybe my strawberry yogurt popsicles.
How to make strawberry shortcakes from scratch
Strawberry shortcakes combine all the elements you want in a dessert. A sweet, crumbly biscuit-like cake, fresh seasonal fruit, and perfectly whipped cream. Plus, you don’t have to share! This dessert consists of 3 parts, once you nail the technique for each, the combination is stunning for the eyes and delicious for the taste buds.
- Shortcake: What is shortcake? It is essentially a sweetened biscuit. You use the same technique as you would a savory biscuit, incorporating small pieces of butter into a flour-sugar dough base. Baking soda is a chemical leavening agent that allows the cakes to rise quickly in the oven. The eggs also help leaven, bind and provide richness. Heavy cream ensures a hydrated flour and tender cake. I used white whole wheat flour because I wanted to add more texture and nutrition from the ground fibers in the ingredient.
- Strawberry Filling: I like to toss sliced strawberries with a natural sweetener like honey because the concentrated sugar molecules will draw some of the moisture out of the cell walls of the berries. Over time the berries release their natural juices and infuse the sweet, citrus, and mint flavors.
- Whipped Cream: Believe it or not, there is science behind making a sweetened whipped cream. The mechanical act of whisking traps air into the cream, adding a lightness, volume, and stiffness. For these shortcakes, you want to stop whisking when it reaches medium peaks. The way to check is to dip the whisk into the whipped cream and lift straight up. The cream should hold its shape, with the top of the peak curling over on itself. If you over mix the cream it will start to curdle and eventually separate into butter and buttermilk!
Now that you’ve got all three parts of the strawberry shortcake recipe ready. Let’s assemble and eat!
The shortcakes are a perfect light golden brown, slightly crispy on the outside and have a very soft interior crumb structure. Slice them right down the center and fill each one to your heart’s delight with strawberries and lightly sweetened whipped cream!
A light dusting of powdered sugar adds just the right amount of extra sweetness to the strawberry shortcake. I shared this dessert with my son James, and when he saw it for the first time his eyes turned into giant saucers! I’m guessing he was thinking, Whoa! Mom made me a dessert sandwich! He struggled with deciding what he liked the most, good thing he didn’t have to make a choice since it’s all packaged together into a tasty treat.
Do you love strawberry shortcakes as much as we do? Have you tried any other fruit fillings? I would love to hear about your dessert adventures in the comments section!
How do you make tender shortcakes?
You will notice in biscuits, shortcakes, and pie dough recipes there is a higher amount of fat (butter, lard, margarine) used. When fat mixes with flour it coats the protein, which limits the formation of the protein bonds. The fat creates the soft crumb that is light, flaky and tender. The key to these shortcakes is breaking the butter into pea-sized pieces for a maximum crumb. Mix the ingredients only until just combined, then rolling and cutting the dough out once. The less you handle the dough, the more tender and flaky the shortcake!
- 3 cups white whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces, 1 ½ sticks
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 large eggs
- 1 pound strawberries, rinsed, hulled, and quartered
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice, squeezed
- 1 teaspoon mint, cut into thin strips (chiffonade)
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- powdered sugar, for dusting
- In a medium sized bowl, combine strawberries, honey, lemon zest and lemon juice. Add fresh mint, mix and refrigerate.
- This will help the berries release their natural juices and infuse the flavors of the mint and lemon.
- Preheat oven to 375°F (191ºC).
- In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, ½ cup sugar and salt, stir to combine.
- Add the cold and cubed pieces of butter into the flour mixture. Using your fingers or a pastry cutter to cut in the butter until pea-sized shapes.
- In a separate medium bowl, whisk ½ cup cream and eggs.
- Pour liquid into the flour mixture, and mix with a fork until large clumps begin to form.
- Use your hands to gently form a ball and flatten into a 7-inch disc.Wrap dough in clear plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Using additional flour as needed, roll out the dough into a 1-inch thick disc.
- Using a 3-inch round cutter, cut the dough and place cakes onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Bake for 15-17 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Transfer to a rack to cool, about 15 minutes.
- In a large chilled bowl, beat 1 ½ cups of chilled cream and 2 tablespoons sugar with the vanilla until medium peaks form.
- Slice the cooled biscuits in half horizontally. Spoon the strawberries over the bottom halves, add whipped cream and place the other half of cake on top. Dust the tops with powdered sugar.