Real shortcakes are biscuit-like but richer. They are made with eggs and sugar and cream or milk. But they are crisp like a biscuit.
You’ll love the contrast–a crisp biscuit, succulent strawberries, and the whipped cream. It’s like making a strawberry pie with a good, crisp crust, but less work.
But back to our shortcakes. You can make them from scratch or you can use a biscuit mix and “doctor” it. Here’s how you would doctor a just-add-water biscuit mix to make real shortcakes.
The Easy, Foolproof Way to Make Real Shortcakes
Make them with a just-add-water biscuit mix. Simply add sugar and milk to the mix. It works great.
For each cup of biscuit mix, add two tablespoons of granulated sugar. If the recipe calls for three cups mix, add six tablespoons sugar and so forth. Add milk instead of water and mix per package instructions.
Or follow the recipe below.
3 cups just-add-water biscuit mix
2 large eggs
Milk or cream
1/3 cup sugar
- Measure the mix into a medium bowl.
- Add the eggs to a 2-cup measuring cup. Add enough milk to make just over 3/4 cup of liquid.
- Add the sugar and whisk the liquids and sugar together.
- Make the biscuits per package directions.
- To shape your biscuits, you can use a scoop or a cutter:
- Add a little extra milk to make it a stiff, sticky dough. Then, use an ice cream scoop and scoop mounds onto your cookie sheet. The shortcakes at the top were made that way. The result is the roughhewn shape that you see.
- Pat the dough to 3/4 inches thick to make nice tall shortcakes. Use cookie cutter and make traditionally shaped biscuits. Those that you see here were made with a cutter about 1 1/2 inches in diameter.
Use a round cutter about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Pat the dough to 3/4 inches thick to make nice tall shortcakes.
With the extra sugar, the biscuits will brown a little quicker. We turn the temperature down 25 degrees and watch the time. They’ll usually come out a minute or two earlier than what the package says even with the temperature down.
A full-size biscuit cutter makes for a large strawberry shortcake. Try making some mini biscuits about an inch-and-a-half in diameter for a more standard sized serving.
To assemble your strawberry shortcakes, slice the strawberries into thin slices using a strawberry slicer and toss them with a little sugar. Split the shortcake open with a fork and lay one split biscuit on each plate. Spoon strawberries over the shortcakes and top with flavored whipped cream. These are best served fresh
“Scratch” Shortcake Recipe
2 cups pastry or unbleached all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 cup cold butter cut in pieces
2 large eggs whisked with 3 tablespoons of cold milk added
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Mix the dry ingredients together in a medium sized bowl. Cut the butter into the dry ingredients with a pastry knife or two sharp knives. Keep cutting until the mixture looks like coarse meal.
- Add the egg and milk mixture. Stir until the dry ingredients are moistened but not smooth. Turn the dough onto a lightly-floured counter and roll or pat the dough to a 1/2-inch thickness. Cut into 3-inch circles or squares and place on an ungreased baking sheet.
- Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until the tops begin to turn brown. Cool on a wire rack.
Note: Like biscuits, working the dough too much will leave the product tough, not melt-in-your-mouth tender.
Discover Flavored Whipped Cream
Instead of spray cans, maker flavored whipped cream.
Lemon Cloud Whipped Cream is also delightful.
How to Make 500 Strawberry Shortcakes in a Hurry
We served traditional strawberry shortcakes in our store one Saturday. That means 400, maybe 500 desserts and 30 pounds of strawberries. How do you make 500 desserts in a hurry? You take every shortcut you can without sacrificing quality.
- We simplified the shortcakes. We took our just-add-water biscuit mix, added a little sugar, and baked sheets of sweetened biscuits. It worked. Repeatedly we were asked, “Where can I get this recipe?”
- We used a strawberry slicer for the berries. We had nice, neat slices and probably cut our prep time by two-thirds.
- We made caramel whipped cream by the quart. In our stand-type mixer, we whipped one quart whipping cream with two-thirds cup brown sugar and two teaspoons caramel flavor. Easy. The caramel whipped cream knocks everyone’s socks off.
What You’ll Need
When strawberries are good, use them every chance you get. Use them on cereal, on cake, with milk and honey—even on chocolate ice cream. They’re good on everything from salads to shortcakes.
Use a Strawberry Slicer. You’ll cut your prep time in half and your presentation will be prettier with a strawberry slicer.
Use a Straw. A plastic straw is the quickest, best way to hull strawberries. You’ll waste less berry than with a knife and they’ll look better too.