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Best Simple Strawberry Shortcake

Strawberry shortcakes are an easy, delightful summer treat. Fresh berries at their peak release their luscious juices, which are made to be soaked into a homemade tender, sweet biscuit. The fresh whipped cream brings it all together for a dessert that isn't overly sweet yet light enough for a hot summer's day.
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It’s all about the strawberries.

Strawberries are the focal point of this dessert. Use the freshest and ripest berries available.  To amplify the natural sweetness, combine the strawberries with sugar and lemon juice, and let them sit for at least 10 minutes or up to 1 day ahead in the fridge. The rest time allows the sugar to break down the strawberries and create a flavorful strawberry syrup.

The biscuits

Many strawberry shortcake recipes use biscuits, which we chose to use in this recipe. We used our favorite recipe for a lightly sweet, delicate, best-ever homemade biscuit and then topped it with a sprinkle of turbinado sugar for that extra sweet touch and crunch. They are the perfect biscuits for strawberry shortcakes.

Shortcake variations

It wouldn’t be a strawberry shortcake anymore without strawberries, but you can make fruit shortcake with almost any fresh fruit if you’re making this dessert when strawberries are out of season. For other summer fruit shortcakes, switch out blackberries or blueberries for the strawberries.  Nectarines, peaches, and plums make delicious shortcakes. Break out the apples, pears, and brown sugar in the fall, and when winter rolls around, try pomegranate and grapefruit shortcake.

Strawberry Shortcakes

Strawberries

1-quart (4 cups) strawberries, hulled, sliced

Juice of ½ a lemon

1 Tbsp. granulated sugar

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Sweet Biscuits

5 cups (600 g.) Panhandle Milling All-purpose flour

3 ½ Tbsp. baking powder

¼ cup granulated sugar

2 tsp. kosher salt

1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2″ cubes

2 cup buttermilk, plus more for brushing

Turbinado sugar for sprinkling

Whip Cream

1 ½ cup heavy cream

¼ cup confectioners’ sugar 

Directions

STRAWBERRIES

  • Combine strawberries, lemon juice, vanilla, and sugar in a medium bowl.
  • Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day.

BISCUITS

  • In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients. Add butter and work butter into the flour until pea-size pieces form. Add buttermilk and stir with a spoon just until the dough comes together.
  • On a clean surface, form the dough into a rectangle about 1″ thick. Starting on a long side, fold the dough into thirds, like folding a letter. Rotate the dough 90°. Using a rolling pin, gently pat the dough back to a 1″ thick rectangle. Repeat the folding process, working quickly so that the butter doesn’t melt.
  • Pat dough into a 1″ thick rectangle. Using a three-inch round biscuit or cookie cutter, quickly press down (don’t twist!) to cut out rounds. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet, spacing about 1/2″ apart. Combine dough scraps and cut out more rounds (you should have about 12).
  • Brush the tops of the biscuits with buttermilk and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Freeze until cold, about 10 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 425°. Bake biscuits until tops are golden brown, about 15-17 minutes.

WHIPPED CREAM & ASSEMBLY

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat cream and confectioners’ sugar on medium-high speed until soft peaks form.
  • Split biscuits in half. Top the bottom half with whipped cream and strawberries, spooning over any juices from the strawberries. Close with the second half. Top with a little more strawberries and cream.