Sweet and simple.
What is not to love about a strawberry shortcake? Shortcakes require much less work than a full pie, but deliver the same homey, buttery, fruit-filled satisfaction. This cream biscuit strawberry shortcake recipe combines a tender, buttery biscuit with lightly-sweetened fresh strawberries for a breezy spring and summer dessert everyone loves.
Start With Good Biscuits
A great, flaky biscuit defines a great shortcake. This biscuit recipe leans sweeter than a standard buttermilk biscuit, but not too sweet. This light sweetness helps make it uniquely dessert ready, while letting the berries remain the highlight.
The first rule of making a tender biscuit is to not over-mix the dough. The second rule is to not over-mix the dough. The third rule is to use cold butter and cream. The biscuit dough should not be worked into a cohesive ball. Rather, it should remain shaggy and in big clumps. For a full lesson on mixing biscuits, read this step-by-step recipe for buttermilk biscuits.
Be sure to use freshly-baked biscuits. The longer they sit, the tougher they will get. If you’d like to make the dough in advance, make the dough, roll it out, cut it into circles, and freeze raw. You can bake the biscuits from frozen; they will just take a few more minutes to bake.
Cream Biscuit Strawberry Shortcake: Recipe Notes
- The tender biscuit is the base for the strawberry topping, and a major component of this simple dish. Biscuits are not difficult. But they will get tough if they are not freshly-baked or are over-mixed. Read the above paragraphs for complete guidance.
- Let the strawberries speak for themselves. A little sugar and spritz of fresh lemon juice heighten the sweet fruit flavor without overpowering it. Buy the best strawberries you can find. My rule of thumb is the smaller and redder the strawberry, the better.
- If you make whipped cream, keep the cream very cold. Warm cream will not whip as high, and will be less stable than cold cream.
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Cream Biscuit Strawberry Shortcakes
For the Shortcake Biscuits
- 2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 6 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 cup cold heavy cream
- 1 egg, whisked (for egg wash)
For the Berries
- 2 quarts fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered (about 3 to 4 cups)
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 1/2 cup sugar, maybe less depending on the sweetness of the berries
For the Whipped Cream
- 1 cup cold heavy whipping cream
- 1 rounded tablespoon powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
For the Berries
- Combine the hulled, quartered strawberries in a mixing bowl. Add the sugar and lemon juice. Toss and let sit for at least 30 minutes, or up to two hours.
For the Shortcakes
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt until well mixed. Add the butter pieces and, using your hands, work the butter through the dry ingredients until it resembles coarse meal with small peas. Do not over-mix.
- Add the cream and use your fingers to "stir" it in to the butter-flour mixture, maybe kneading once or twice, just until the dough has formed a shaggy mass.
- Turn the biscuit dough onto a lightly-floured surface and pat into a flat round. Dust the top of the biscuit dough with flour, and use a rolling pin or the flat of your hand into a 6" circle. The dough will be about 1" thick.
- Use a 2" to 2 1/2" round biscuit cutter to cut out the biscuits. Place them on a baking sheet, leaving at least an inch of space between each. Lightly brush the tops with egg.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown, rotating halfway. Let cool slightly before splitting and serving.
For the Whipped Cream and to Finish
- Whip the cold, heavy cream to soft peaks. Add the sugar and vanilla. Continue to whip until medium-stiff peaks form. Do not over-whip the cream or it will look grainy. Refrigerate until use.(Pro tip: Heavy cream will not whip up unless it is very cold.)
- Split the biscuits in half and place the bottom half on the dish. Spoon a generous amount of strawberries (with some juice) onto the biscuits. Top with the other biscuit half and a dollop of whipped cream. Serve immediately.