What better way to conjure up memories of the joys of youth than strawberry shortcake? Strawberry shortcake consists of sliced strawberries that have been macerated with whipped cream served over a white cake or biscuit.
I’m from the camp that insists that strawberry shortcake is made with a biscuit, not a cake. Growing up we always made the shortcake biscuits with Bisquick baking mix, which now, thankfully, has a zero-transfat version of their product.
The best of course are biscuits made from scratch, using butter and cream. I’ve included recipes here for excellent homemade biscuits, the Bisquick biscuits, and also wheat and gluten-free biscuits for those who don’t want to give up strawberry shortcake just because they can’t eat wheat.
Strawberries and whipping cream:
- 3 baskets of fresh strawberries (about 6 cups)
- 1/2 cup white granulated sugar for the strawberries
- Whipping cream
- Powdered sugar
1 Cut the stems away from the strawberries and discard. Cut the strawberries in half, and then either quarters or thick slices. Put the cut strawberries into a large bowl and sprinkle with sugar. Start with 1/4 cup of sugar and then add up to another 1/4 cup depending on how sweet your strawberries are. Gently stir the strawberries until they are all coated with some sugar. Let sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes, until the berries soften and begin to release their juices.
2 After 20 minutes or so, mash about half of the berries in the bowl with a potato masher and stir to mix. You don't want to mash all the berries, just enough of them for their juices. Let sit while you bake the biscuits.
3 Bake the biscuits using one of the recipes below.
4 While the biscuits are baking, whip the cream, adding a drop or two of vanilla and a teaspoon of powdered sugar. Cover with plastic and place in the refrigerator to chill until ready to serve.
To serve, break up one biscuit per person into big pieces into a bowl. Ladle strawberries over the biscuit. Add a dollop of whipped cream.
Biscuits from scratch
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 3 Tbsp sugar
- 1 1/2 Tbsp baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 12 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
In a large bowl, vigorously whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut the butter into the flour mixture, either using your fingers, a pastry cutter, a fork, or a food processor, until the largest pieces of butter are the size of peas. Mix the vanilla and cream together. Make a well in the center of the flour and pour the cream into it. Mix with a fork until the mixture is just combined. It should look rather shaggy and feel a little dry. Gently knead by hand a few times to form a loose ball of dough.
Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and form it into an 8-inch square, about 3/4-inch to an inch thick. Place it on a parchment or silicone-lined baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap and chill for 20 minutes. Heat the oven to 425ºF. Remove the dough from refrigerator. Cut the dough into 9 even squares and spread them about 2 inches apart from each other on the baking sheet. Bake until the biscuits are medium golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes.
Makes 9 biscuits. (Adapted from Fine Cooking Magazine, July 2003)
- 2 1/3 cups Bisquick baking mix
- 3 Tbsp butter, melted
- 1/2 cup milk
- 3 Tbsp sugar
The strawberry shortcake biscuit recipe used to be on the side of the Bisquick box. For some unfathomable reason, the company has started to print the recipe on the inside of the box. Talk about not understanding your customers! If you can't find the recipe, here it is:
Heat oven to 425°F. Stir baking mix, melted butter, milk, and 3 Tbsp of sugar in a mixing bowl until soft dough forms. Drop by 6 spoonfuls on to a greased cookie sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
Makes 6 biscuits.
- 1-1/2 cups Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Flour (Bob's Red Mill)
- 1 Tbsp. Sugar
- 2 tsp. Baking Powder
- 1/4 tsp. Baking Soda
- 1 tsp. Xanthan Gum
- 1 tsp. Guar Gum
- 1/2 tsp. Salt
- 1/4 cup Shortening
- 1/2 cup Milk
- 1 large Egg White
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or grease lightly.
In food processor, pulse dry ingredients (flour through salt) with shortening until mixture is consistency of small peas. Add milk and egg white. Blend until dough forms ball, scraping down sides with spatula, if necessary. Dough will be somewhat soft.
Place dough on parchment-lined or greased baking sheet that’s been lightly dusted with rice flour. Gently pat to 3/4-inch thick circle with hands or spatula. Lightly dust dough with rice flour. Cut into ten 2-inch circles with floured biscuit cutter. Shape remaining dough to 3/4-inch thick and cut again. If dough is sticky, lightly dust with more flour. Arrange evenly on baking sheet.
Bake 12-15 minutes or until nicely browned. Best when served warm or gently reheated in microwave oven. Serves 10. (Recipe from Bob's Red Mill)