Few things evoke summer more than a vibrant strawberry shortcake. This makeover of the familiar classic utilizes wholesome ingredients and natural sweeteners, allowing the flavors to really shine. Strawberries are a good source of vitamin A, potassium, and fiber, while also providing as much vitamin C as oranges. Due to its sensitivity to heat, vitamin C is lost in baked desserts. However, in this recipe, the strawberries are simply macerated, so we can take full advantage of their vitality.
This recipe is a light and delicious treat to have on hand for your next potluck gathering or celebratory dinner. Your guests will be pleasantly surprised that wholesome treats can taste so much better than those with refined and lower-quality ingredients.
Strawberry Shortcake with Fresh Whipped Cream
Organic canola oil, for oiling the baking sheet (about 1 teaspoon)
1 1/2 pounds strawberries, hulled and quartered
1 tablespoon honey
1 cup white rice flour
2/3 cup potato starch
1/3 cup tapioca starch
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup whole milk
6 tablespoons cold butter
1 cup heavy cream
Fresh mint (optional, of garnish)
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly oil a rimmed baking sheet.
- Combine the strawberries and honey in a small bowl and set aside to macerate while you make the shortcake.
- In a large bowl, combine the rice flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, combine the syrup, vanilla, and milk.
- Using a pastry cutter or a fork, cut the cold butter into the flour mixture until it resembles sand (no large lumps).
- Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until well combined.
- Taking 1/3 cup of the dough at a time, shape it into a ball and gently press flat to 3/4-inch thickness. (The dough should make 6 cakes.) Place cakes on baking sheet, an inch apart. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until cakes are firm to the touch.
- While the cakes are baking, place the heavy cream in a mixing bowl and whisk vigorously until thick and creamy, about 5 minutes whisking by hand, or 2 to 3 minutes if using an electric mixer on high speed.
- To serve, slice cakes in half horizontally. Fill with strawberries and whipped cream, and top with additional berries, whipped cream, and fresh mint.
- Strawberry Shortcake with Lemon Whipped Cream. When ready to serve the whipped cream, whisk in 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice and top cakes with 1 teaspoon lemon zest.
- Strawberry Shortcake with Balsamic Drizzle. Simmer a mixture of 1 teaspoon honey and 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar until it has thickened enough to lightly coat the back of a spoon. Drizzle on fruit when serving.
- Blueberry Shortcake with Whipped Cream. Use blueberries in place of the strawberries—just give them a 30-minute head start, as their thicker skins will need a little more time to soften in the honey.
Make sure you’re getting the real deal with natural sweeteners! Many products on supermarket shelves have been mixed with corn syrup or other cheap, highly processed sugars. Look for raw honey and pure maple syrup—a local farmers’ market is often your best bet.
Fresh fruits play host to a number of nutrients—the boost of vitamin C in fresh strawberries is vital in fighting oxidative stress.
Who doesn’t love a little trivia? The true fruit of the strawberry plant is what we often refer to as the seeds. Called achenes, these capsules embedded in the red flesh each contain a seed.