One of my favorite things to do in the early summer is go strawberry picking! We find a local farm with un-sprayed berries and head out early to pick as many as we can before the heat of the day sets in. After a long winter in Virginia, we were so ready for our local strawberry fields to open and headed out the second weekend at the start of the peak of the season.
It’s so much fun to walk up and down the rows of berries, spying the perfect red gems to take home. We eat a good amount fresh, then store a good amount in our freezer for smoothies and other uses, and I use some for a treat. Sometimes it’s a few dark chocolate dipped strawberries, or a treat with the berries baked right in, but this year, I wanted to make strawberry shortcake.
So what is shortcake anyway? Shortcake is a British style of cake that’s a bit heavier than regular cake thanks to a higher level of fat, but lighter than a biscuit or scone thanks to the addition of leaveners like baking powder or baking soda. Some shortcakes can be very dense, others can be very light – almost like cake, but I prefer mine right in between.
You can make your shortcake large and slice to serve, but I think it’s the perfect dessert to make in mini portions for individual serving or enjoying over time since these are freezer friendly. In fact, I have a fun restaurant secret for you… Do you know why most restaurants that offer strawberry shortcake on the dessert menu tell you to order before your meal because the dessert takes 20-30 minutes? It’s because they have the dough circles ready made and frozen! So they pop the dough into the oven to either bake or warm through (depending on their kitchen process), split, cool, and fill. Voila! Fresh strawberry shortcake made to order. 😉
To make your own at home, start by washing your strawberries. You can keep strawberries fresh for about a week or so if you clean them properly right when you get home. The easiest way I have found to do this is to fill one side of my sink with about 4-6 cups of cool water and add about 3/4 cup of white vinegar. I gently place my strawberries into the vinegar water and allow them to soak for 5 minutes. Then I drain the water, rinse the berries, and set them to dry on a clean kitchen towel. The berries keep best refrigerated in a paper towel lined colander or other container that allows for air flow.
I can think of no better way than this strawberry shortcake recipe to treat yourself and your family to a perfect summer dessert. So pick up a few extra berries this weekend – at the farm or the store – and whip up this tasty summer treat.
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- ¼ cup granulated sutar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- ¾ c buttermilk
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 lb fresh strawberries, washed and sliced
- Preheat your oven to 425 F.
- Measure out the flour, ¼ cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium mixing bowl.
- Cut in the cold butter using a pastry cutter or two knives until it resembles tiny flour-coated peas. Stir in the vanilla extract and buttermilk to make a shaggy dough.
- Turn the whole thing over onto a lightly floured surface and press together into a mass about 1" thick.
- Cut dough into 3" rounds using a circle cookie cutter using a straight up and down motion. Do not twist.
- Place the rounds about 2" apart on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
- Bake 10-14 minutes until lightly golden brown. Remove from the oven, transfer to a wire rack to cool after 4 minutes. If you haven't washed your berries yet, now is a good time to do so.
- Place the heavy whipping cream and tbsp sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. You can also do this in a large bowl with a hand mixer.
- Starting at low speed and working your way to high, whip the cream until it firms up to make whipped cream. Place in a piping bag fitted with a jumbo tip.
- To assemble: Split a shortcake in half. Place the bottom half on a plate, top with whipped cream and strawberry slices. Add the top half, top with additional whipped cream and strawberries.
- Serve immediately. 🙂
Find this recipe and other great ideas at the Momma Told Me Link Party!