Strawberry Shortcake is a popular dessert that consists of a sweet biscuit or sponge cake, topped with fresh strawberries and whipped cream. It is a classic summertime treat that is loved by many including myself. My younger daughter is a fan as well, even though she would just eat the strawberries especially when in season.
The essential preparation of strawberry shortcakes involves slicing fresh strawberries and sweetening them with a bit of sugar to bring out their natural juices. The biscuit or sponge cake base is typically light and airy, providing a contrasting texture to the juicy strawberries. Whipped cream is then generously dolloped on top, adding a creamy and indulgent element to the dessert.
There are variations of this dessert depending on regional preferences and personal taste. Some prefer a buttery, flaky biscuit as the base, while others opt for a softer sponge cake. You can also find variations that include additional layers of fruit or flavored syrups.
Strawberry shortcake is often enjoyed during the summer months when strawberries are in season and at their peak flavor. It is a versatile dessert that can be served at casual gatherings, picnics, or even as a delightful finale for a special meal.
Overall, strawberry shortcake is a delightful and refreshing dessert that showcases the natural sweetness of strawberries. Its simple yet delicious combination of flavors and textures has made it a timeless favorite among dessert lovers.
Photo: Wix Media
Here's a classic recipe for homemade strawberry shortcake:
For the shortcake:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces
2/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the strawberries:
1 1/2 pounds fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
1/4 cup granulated sugar (adjust according to taste)
Optional: a squeeze of fresh lemon juice
For the whipped cream:
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
Add the cold butter to the flour mixture. Using a pastry cutter or your fingers, cut the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
In a separate bowl, mix the milk and vanilla extract together. Gradually pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Be careful not to overmix.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Gently knead it a few times until it comes together. Pat the dough into a rectangle about 1 inch thick.
Using a round biscuit cutter or a drinking glass, cut out individual shortcakes from the dough. Place them onto the prepared baking sheet.
Bake the shortcakes in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, or until they turn golden brown. Remove from the oven and let them cool on a wire rack.
In a bowl, combine the sliced strawberries with the granulated sugar. If desired, add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to enhance the flavor. Let the strawberries macerate for about 15-20 minutes, allowing them to release their juices and become slightly syrupy.
In another mixing bowl, whip the heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract until soft peaks form.
To assemble the strawberry shortcakes, split the baked shortcakes in half horizontally. Spoon a generous amount of the macerated strawberries onto the bottom half of each shortcake. Top with a dollop of whipped cream. Place the top half of the shortcake on top and garnish with additional whipped cream and a strawberry, if desired.
Serve the strawberry shortcakes immediately and enjoy!
Note: You can customize your strawberry shortcakes by adding other fruits like blueberries or raspberries, or even drizzling some chocolate sauce over the whipped cream for added indulgence. Feel free to adjust the sweetness of the strawberries and whipped cream according to your taste preferences.
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