Star Spangled Strawberry Shortcake

There is something about ripe strawberries, homemade shortcake and freshly whipped cream that complement warm summer evenings in a way no other dessert can. When I needed to whip up a treat to take to a Fourth of July BBQ, I grabbed a good strawberry shortcake recipe, dug out my 3″ star cookie cutters and threw in a carton of fresh blueberries to bring a festive twist to this summer standard.

I tweaked this shortbread recipe from King Arthur Flour. The buttermilk in this recipe gives the biscuits a good rise and lighter texture than some cream based recipes I have tried. Buttermilk is not something I use often or keep on hand, so I simply sour milk with lemon juice whenever a recipe calls for it.

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I think the addition of an egg also makes the dough sturdier and easier to handle then. This makes this recipe better for cookie cutters than some shortcake batters that are meant to be dropped in spoonfuls onto baking sheets. To give the shortcakes a lovely shine, I brushed them with milk and a topped them with a sprinkle of turbinado sugar before popping them into the oven.

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When you are making sweet biscuits like shortcakes, it is important to keep your butter cold to achieve a good flake.  Over kneading and mixing your dough may also give you tough chewy biscuits, so handle your dough lightly. You can cut shortcakes into whatever shape you like and, besides the ever classic strawberry combo, they pair lovely with many seasonal fruits.

Star Spangled Strawberry Shortcake
Servings:  18 biscuits   Prep time: 15 min    Cook time: 8-10 min
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice*
  • 1 cup milk (plus extra for brushing)*
  • 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3 tbsp granulated sugar
  • tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) cold unsalted butter
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 large egg
  • sugar for dusting
  • fresh strawberries, washed and sliced
  • fresh blueberries, washed and de-stemmed
  • Whip cream

*or substitute 1 cup buttermilk

  1. Preheat oven to 425°
  2. Place lemon juice in a liquid measuring cup and add enough milk to measure 1 cup. Let mixture stand while gathering dry ingredients
  3. Whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and lemon zest.
  4. Work or cut in cold butter until the mixture is crumbly
  5. Whisk together milk mixture, vanilla and egg. Add to dry ingredients and mix until liquid is absorbed
  6. Turn out dough onto floured surface and kneed and turn dough just until it holds together. Gently pat dough out until it is 3/4″ thick and cut to desired shapes.
  7. Brush cakes with leftover milk and sprinkle with sugar if desired. Bake for 8-10 minutes until tops are golden brown.
  8. Remove to rack and cool before slicing in half.
  9. Top bottoms with fresh berries, whipped cream and remaining half of shortcake. Enjoy!
Shortcake Nutritional Information: 152 kcals, 6 g fat, 3 g sat. fat, 256 mg sodium, 22 g total carbohydrate, 3 g sugar, 1 g fiber, 3 g protein

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What homemade treats are you sharing at your summer bbqs? Share bellow!

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