Homemade Strawberry Blueberry Shortcake
For Fourth of July I was torn between cooking up something devastatingly patriotic, or some good old BBQ. The deciding factor was the fact that I have been craving sweets like crazy lately. Summer is here and fresh fruit is perfect for creating beautiful dishes for your family. James and I recently went to Atlanta to visit his family and had the privilege of attending a delicious cookout. The hosts, Chris and Monique, served fresh Strawberry Shortcakes for dessert…and I was in heaven. Decadent without the guilt. They inspired me to make some for the blog!
What is more classic American that Strawberry Shortcake? Well, Apple Pie, but I haven’t really perfected a recipe for that yet. :P Shortcake is a sweet cake or biscuit - a crumbly bread that has been leavened with baking powder. The recipe can vary depending on your preference, but generally made with flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, butter, milk or cream, and sometimes eggs.
Strawberry Shortcake is now a well-known biscuit and fruit dessert served with sweetened cream. It’s actually the perfect way to celebrate the summer fruit harvest.
In this recipe, I include the way to make homemade biscuits. If you don’t have the time, or frankly, the patience, to make your own, feel free to go for Pillsbury biscuits, angel food cake, pound cake, or pre-made dessert cups that are found in grocery stores. I actually bought the pre-made dessert cups in case this recipe didn’t turn out the way I imagined! They are delicious as well. I also decided to add some instant Jello Vanilla pudding for an added layer of yumminess. So goooood!
These are easy. Don’t let the length of my talking stop you from trying this out - it’s super simple and SO satisfying. It feels good to make it from scratch.
What You Need: (Yields 8 Shortcakes)
For the shortcake biscuits:
2 cups all-purpose flour (I looked into making this Gluten Free, but let’s face it..not going to happen)
½ tsp salt
1 1/3 + cups heavy cream (you might need more to form the dough, plus some for brushing on shortcakes)
3 tsps baking powder
Cookie cutter of your choice - I used a star for the holiday :)
For the fruit filling:
½-1 lb fresh organic strawberries
2 tbsp sugar
6 oz fresh organic blueberries
For the whipped cream:
1 cup chilled heavy cream
3 tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 dashes cinnamon (Thanks Chris!)
For the vanilla pudding:
1 box Jell-O brand Vanilla Pudding
2 Cups of milk
What To Do:
- For the shortcake dough: Preheat the oven to 425F. Lightly butter a baking sheet.
- In a bowl, stir the strawberries and blueberries together with the sugar and let it sit.
- In another bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Stir in the heavy cream just until a dough forms. You will probably end up using your hands. Form a ball and knead it on a lightly floured surface a few times. If you over-knead your dough, your biscuits will be tough. If your dough has trouble coming together, add a little heavy cream in very small amounts.
- Roll out the dough to a ½" inch thickness, and use your cookie cutter to cut out 16 (2 biscuits each serving) shortcakes.
- Transfer them to your buttered baking sheet and brush them with a little heavy cream. You can sprinkle them with chunky sanding sugar if you like (I didn’t have any). Bake them until golden, 15-20 minutes, and then allow them to cooll
- For the vanilla pudding: per the box instructions, pour the pudding mix into a bowl. Slowly pour in a very small amount of the milk. If you see my photos above, you can see how starting off with very little milk is best. It is much easier to incorporate all of the powder into a small amount of liquid, than to chase powder clumps around a large amount of liquid. Same goes with any powder you ever have to dissolve. Slowly stir in the rest of the milk. The pudding forms within 5 minutes like magic. Deliciousss
- For the whipped cream: If you have a stand mixer, I am jealous! I borrowed my aunt’s mixer (Thanks Auntie Sharon), and whisked the heavy cream, sugar, vanilla extract, and cinnamon on high speed until soft peaks formed.
I took a little more time in assembling the shortcakes for the sake of presentation, but honestly, throw these suckers together. Place a biscuit on a plate, top with vanilla pudding, a generous dollop of homemade whipped cream, fruit topping, and more whipped cream. Throw another biscuit on top and chow down. They are soo good.
I hope you try these out! Other ideas for a simple strawberry shortcake are a trifle version, where you can chop up angel food cake or pound cake, and layer the same ingredients from this recipe in a trifle dish. The bright colors of this dessert are so appealing, they automatically make you look impressive.
These biscuits turned out wonderfully - fluffy, with the perfect balance of salt and sweet. They are a great vessel for the creamy vanilla pudding, sweet fruit, and finished off with the light and frothy homemade whipped cream. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.
Have a safe and happy Fourth of July!