This classic strawberry shortcake dessert is a herald of summer! When I finally get around to making this with fresh strawberries picked in the field, I know summer has really arrived! Layers of citrus-flavored shortcake, airy homemade whipped cream, and sweetened strawberries make this easy dessert a summer staple!
▢3 cups strawberries (fresh, sliced)
▢1 tablespoon sugar
▢1 broad lemon (juice and zest, save zest for shortcrust)
▢1 ½ cup general purpose flour
▢2 ½ teaspoon baking powder
▢½ teaspoon baking soda
▢2 tablespoon sugar
▢¼ teaspoon salt
▢½ cup unleavened butter (cold, cubed)
▢½ cup buttermilk (use extra buttermilk to get sticky biscuit dough consistency, up to a cup buttermilk or buttermilk substitute)
▢2 teaspoon coarse sugar (topping, optional)
▢1 cup heavy whipped cream
▢½ cup confectioners’ sugar
▢1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Slice the strawberries and put them in a small bowl. Mix with sugar and 2 tablespoons lemon zest juice. Let the berries stand at room temperature while you cook and bake the cookies.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. (218 degrees C) and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
In a small to medium sized bowl, combine dry ingredients including flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, salt and lemon zest. Add the cold, diced unsalted butter and cut the dry ingredients with a pastry cutter (or food processor) until you have pea-sized crumbs.
Add the buttermilk. Your batter should be like a biscuit, very thick and gooey.
Spread the shortbread on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle the crusts with coarse sugar, if desired (if you don’t have coarse baking sugar, use granulated raw sugar or cane sugar).
Bake the shortcakes for 15 to 18 minutes or until light golden.
Allow the cakes to cool to room temperature.
Whip heavy cream on low speed until bubbly, then increase to medium until soft peaks form.
Add the vanilla extract and slowly begin to add the confectioners’ sugar, beating on medium speed until all the confectioners’ sugar is blended and stiff peaks form.
Assemble the strawberry shortcakes.
Cut each cookie in half and place whipped cream on the bottom and top with sliced strawberries. Place the top half of the shortcake on top of the berries and add some more whipped cream.
If desired, pour strawberry juice over the entire strawberry shortbread cookie or sprinkle with a piece of fresh strawberries.