The best strawberry shortcake recipe must start with the perfect biscuit. Tall and golden brown, flaky but cakey and more sweet than salty. My dad’s *chef’s kiss* biscuit recipe is the perfect base for this classic summer dessert!
Can I be the first to admit that this summer hasn’t been my absolute favorite thus far? I don’t know what it is friends, but the vibes are off. I’m also not entirely sure what I’m looking forward to since my passport is being held hostage (lol the drama) by The Department of State. (It’s not being held hostage but it’s also NOT in the mail for me to make travel plans soooo.)
Of course there’s so much to be thankful for like air conditioning, blacked out sunglasses, a boyfriend with a pool, wine spritzers…. the list goes to infinity and beyond BuT STiLL. The vibes are off.
Now, before I impulse buy a home in Maine, I’m going to try and adjust the vibes and lower the air conditioner here in Houston. There are cherries in the colander and heirloom tomatoes on the counter and a little clamshell of strawberries I refuse to put in the fridge languishing on the counter. Most importantly there’s time for me to adjust my attitude and turn this summer around.
I’ve got The Summer Bucket List on deck. I will have a margarita this weekend. And I also remembered that a few weeks ago, my internet friend Erika declared Dad’s Buttermilk Biscuits as the best biscuits for strawberry shortcake. I humbly agree. These biscuits are sweet and sturdy enough to save our summer. Let’s, at least, give it the Hard Try.
Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make this strawberry shortcake recipe:
• all-purpose flour
• granulated sugar
• baking powder and baking soda
• kosher salt
• unsalted butter
• a large egg
• fresh strawberries (raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries)
• balsamic vinegar, optional but so great! lemon zest and lemon juice
• heavy cream
The best biscuits are made from scratch – there’s just no way around it. but really, with a lot of butter and a few folds of the dough, biscuits are pretty simple to make. Plus, once you get the hang of your biscuit, fresh biscuits will become one of your super powers.
Grab a large bowl and all of your dry ingredients. I like to add a few tablespoons of granulated sugar to these biscuits to amp up the dessert quality, but you could reduce the sugar if you prefer a more neutral biscuit.
Use a teaspoon to add baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to combine before adding cubes of cold butter.
Use either a pastry cutter or your hot little hands (often my preference) to work the butter into the dry ingredients. Break the butter into smaller bits, coating the flour in fat, and creating coarse crumbs. Some butter bits will be the size of small peas, others the size of oat flakes – that’s right!
In a smaller bowl, whisk together and egg and buttermilk. You could add a splash of vanilla extract of vanilla bean paste here for an even more dessert-y biscuit here, but it’s not entirely necessary.
The egg will make for a more cakey biscuit, which I really like for these shortcakes.
Add the wet mixture all at once to the butter and flour mixture and fold together using a rubber spatula until you have a shaggy dough.
Once gently kneaded and coaxed around the bowl, the shaggy dough will come together into a cohesive dough. If the dough feels dry, don’t hesitate to add another splash of buttermilk. A wet biscuit dough is much better than a dry crumble dough.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, roll into a 1-inch thick rectangle and fold that rectangle into thirds. In the business (lol, the baking business) we call this an envelope fold and it’s used to literally build flaky layers into our biscuits.
Fold the bottom half of the dough up two-thirds of the dough and fold the top third of the dough over the first fold. Rotate the dough 90 degrees and repeat your roll and fold a second time.
I like to wrap my rolled and folded biscuit dough in the refrigerator at this point to re-chill the butter. Cold biscuit dough will make for the tallest biscuits.
Roll the dough to a 1-inch thickness and use a biscuit cutter to cut 2-2 1/2-inch rounds. When cutting the biscuit, press the biscuit cutter into the dough, and resist the urge to twist the cutter as you come up. Twisting the cutter will also twist the dough and keep the biscuits from rising as high as they can.
You can always gather and reroll the scraps of biscuit dough.
Arrange the biscuits on a rimmed baking pan (lined with parchment paper) if you want to go the extra mile.
Brush with melted butter before placing in the upper third of the oven to bake.
While the biscuits bake, it’s time to address the berries.
I like to slice my hulled strawberries into thin rounds, then stir in granulated sugar, a sprinkle of salt, and a splash of balsamic vinegar. A hit of vinegar adds a brightness to balance the sweetened fruit flavor. It’s subtle and lovely.
Allow the strawberries to rest at room temperature for 20 minutes or so to soften the berries and develop their juices.
Remove biscuits from the baking pan and allow to cool slightly on a wire rack. It’s all coming together!
Finally, whip heavy cream to soft peaks with a bit of powdered sugar. Adjust the sweetness to your taste.
I love a soft texture from my cream, but whip yours as much as you’d like.
Slice each warm biscuit in half, spoon with juicy strawberries and top with cream. There are few things better than this moment. Store any leftover strawberries and remaining whipped cream in the refrigerator though there shouldn’t be any leftovers if you do this right.
If there’s anything that can pull me out of a summer funk, it’s a plateful of strawberry shortcake with the guarantee of seconds.
Now that you have strawberry on the brain, please also consider:
Leave any questions or comments below! We love to hear from you! xoPrint
For the Biscuits:
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes, plus 2 tablespoons melted to brush the biscuits, plus 2 tablespoons melted to brush the biscuits
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 3/4 cup cold buttermilk
For the Strawberries:
- 1 1/2 pounds fresh strawberries, fulled and sliced into rounds
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- A pinch of salt
- A tiny splash of balsamic vinegar, 2 teaspoons or so
- 1 1/2 cups cold heavy cream whipped with 2 tablespoons powdered sugar and whipped to stiff peaks.
- Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Using your fingers, quickly work the butter into the dry ingredients until some bits of butter are the size of oat flakes, some the size of small peas. Chunks of cold butter is what we want in our dough.
- In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, combine egg and buttermilk and beat lightly with a fork. Create a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the egg mixture all at once. Stir into a shaggy mixture. The dough will be moist, but not overly wet.
- Turn dough out onto a lightly floured board and use a floured rolling pin to gently roll the dough into a into a 1-inch thick oval. At the short end of the dough closest to you, fold the dough over until the edge of the dough meets the center of the dough. Fold the top edge of the dough towards the center over the first fold. Gently roll the dough into a 1-inch oval and repeat the folding process again.
- After the second fold, again roll the dough out to a 1-inch thickness and use a 2-inch round biscuit cutter to cut biscuits. Press any dough scraps together to make a few more biscuits out of the remaining dough.
- Place 1-inch apart on the prepared baking sheet and brush lightly with melted butter.
- Bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown on top. While the biscuits bake, combine the strawberry mixture. In a medium bowl gently toss together sliced strawberries, sugar, salt and vinegar. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.
- To serve, split biscuits with a butter knife, spoon with strawberries and juice and top with whipped cream. Enjoy ’em!