Summertime means lots of fresh fruit and berries. And in my book that means we're eating them for every meal. Classic Strawberry Shortcakes requires a light and tender biscuit, sweet and sugary strawberries, all topped off with fluffy whipped cream. We elevate the traditional Strawberry Shortcake by doing two things. First, we add lemon zest to the sugar strawberries to add some brightness. Second, we add Crème Fraîche to our homemade whipped creme to add a little tang for balance.
Tips to make these Strawberry Shortcakes with Homemade Whipped Cream:
- I always make the strawberries first so that they have extra time to sit and get the juices going.
- You want to use cold butter for the biscuits and make sure to leave little chunks. This helps create airy and flaky biscuits.
- Having the biscuits touch while baking helps them rise better and taller.
- For the whipped cream you want to use COLD heavy cream (I also like to chill the bowl), this helps really fluff up your whipped cream.
First, let's make the strawberries. Classic sugar strawberries for shortcake require just sliced strawberries and white sugar. I also like to add the zest of one lemon. It adds a little brightness to offset the sweetness without tasting lemon-y. Mix them up first and then set in the fridge to get working while you make the biscuits.
Flaky Biscuits for Classic Strawberry Shortcakes
The key to making the biscuits is to cut in the cold butter to the dry ingredients. Don't have your butter at room temperature! You want the dough to have chunks of butter throughout to make the flakiest biscuits. Once you stir in the buttermilk, you'll be left with a shaggy dough - this is correct! You'll work it into a disc and cut into circles. Use a circle biscuit cutter if you have, or you can (carefully!) use a cup or glass. Place the biscuits on a baking sheet or in a cast iron skillet. You want them to touch each other to limit spreading and help them rise nice and tall.
Crème Fraîche Whipped Cream
While the biscuits bake, whip up the Creme Fraiche Whipped Cream. Start with cold cream (a cold bowl too if you can!) and mix it with the sugar using a stand or hand mixer. Mix on medium-high speed until soft peaks form then mix in the crème fraîche. The crème fraîche adds a slight tang that helps balance the sweetness in the whipped cream. It. Is. So. GOOD!
Finally, assemble these bad boys. Slice the biscuits, spoon on a dollop of whipped cream, and pile on the strawberries. I love to spoon on some extra juice from the bowl of sweet strawberries. Is there a better summer dessert than Classic Strawberry Shortcakes?!
This recipe is featured in a roundup of Best Buttermilk Recipes. Check it out!
Classic Strawberry Shortcakes with Crème Fraîche Whipped Cream
Classic Strawberry Shortcake requires a light and tender biscuit, sweet and sugary strawberries, all topped off with fluffy whipped cream. We elevate the traditional Strawberry Shortcake by adding Crème Fraîche to our homemade whipped creme. Recipe at Kathleenscravings.com
- Prep Time: 35 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 50 minutes
- Yield: 9 shortcakes
- Category: Dessert
- Cuisine: American
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- ¼ cup white granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoons salt
- ¾ cup unsalted butter (One and a half sticks. Cold and cut into cubes)
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 tablespoons buttermilk or cream (for brushing on tops)
- raw turbinado sugar (for sprinkling)
- 2 lbs strawberries (ends removed and sliced)
- ¼ cups white granulated sugar
- 1 lemon (just the zest)
Crème Fraîche Whipped Cream
- 1 ¼ cups heavy cream (cold)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅔ cup Crème Fraîche
- 3 tablespoons white granulated sugar
- First, make the strawberries so they can sit and sweeten. In a medium bowl combine the strawberry ingredients. Store in fridge while you make the biscuits and whipped cream.
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Pulse the dry shortcake ingredients in a food processor (first 4 ingredients). Add cubed, cold butter and pulse until course, pea-sized crumbs remain. Alternatively - you can mix the dry ingredients and then use a pastry cutter to cut in the butter.
- Transfer mixture to bowl and pour over the buttermilk and gently stir together. The dough will be very crumbly with lots of chunks and shreds. Transfer to a lightly floured work surface and form into a ball. Gently flatten ball into a circle that is about ½-3/4 inch thick. Use a circle cutter (mine was 3-inches in diameter) and cut dough. Re roll the scraps and continue until all dough is used. Place dough circles on a baking sheets (or a large cast iron skillet). You want the dough circles to be touching. This helps keep them from flattening and they rise better. See picture above.
- Brush tops with the extra buttermilk and sprinkle with a little raw sugar. Bake for about 15 minutes until the biscuits are golden brown. Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before assembling.
Crème Fraîche Whipped Cream
- Using a stand mixer or a hand mixer and a large bowl (I like to chill my bowl in the fridge or freezer beforehand), beat the cream, vanilla and sugar until soft peaks form. About 3-4 minutes depending on mixer speed. Add Crème Fraîche and mix together - about 30 seconds. Chill in fridge until ready to serve.
Assemble the Shortcakes
- Slice the biscuits in half, top with a big dollop of the whipped cream, and then spoon over some of the strawberries. I also like to spoon over some of the strawberry juices. Top with the other half of the biscuit and enjoy!
To Make Ahead:
- The biscuits can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
- The Whipped Cream can be made the day before and stored in the fridge.
- The Sweet Strawberries can be made the day before and stored in the fridge.
- Assemble just before serving 🙂
Buttermilk: If you don't have buttermilk on hand, you can make it yourself. Add 2 teaspoons of white vinegar to a liquid measuring cup. Add milk (whole milk preferred) to the 1 cup line. Stir and let sit for a few minutes before using.
Did you make this recipe? Let me know!