Shortcake is a classic dessert recipe especially when berries are in season. This light, flaky shortcake is the perfect base for a summery red, white and blue berry dessert recipe! Gluten-free option.
When considering a patriotic dessert for July 4th or any summer meal frankly, Strawberry Shortcake is a classic.
Fresh sweet strawberries paired with light, flaky shortcake, and a dollop of freshly whipped cream; it just tastes like summer!
This red white and blue dessert recipe version is perfect for summer and Fourth of July!
This Strawberry Shortcake recipe bakes flakey on the outside, soft on the inside shortcake you’ll love!
The buttermilk adds a a subtle tang that is nostalgic of old school baked good.
It helps keeps the shortcake moist too.
What is Strawberry Shortcake?
Strawberry Shortcake is a simple, homey dessert made with ‘shortcake’, sliced fresh strawberries and sweet whipped cream.
The ‘shortcake’ is a scone-like sweet biscuit using shortening or butter making it flakier than its traditional sister sponge cake.
Origins of Strawberry Shortcake
Strawberry shortcake was first noted in the mid 1800’s in the U.S.. This coincided with transcontinental railroad making strawberries available more readily by shipping them on ice from coast to coast.
Strawberry Shortcake Ingredients
The ingredients in this shortcake recipe are mainstream baking ingredients. Nothing exotic and all easy to find!
- All-Purpose Flour (regular or favorite gluten-free blend)
- Granulated Sugar
- Baking Powder
- Baking Soda
- Kosher Salt
- Unsalted Butter
- Egg Yolk
- Vanilla Extract
- Fresh Strawberries
- Fresh Blueberries
- Heavy Whipping Cream
Want Just Strawberry Shortcake (no blueberries)?
Swap the quantity of fresh blueberries for the same amount of (more) strawberries. Proceed with the recipe as written.
Make Regular or Gluten-Free Shortcake
When I first began to make this recipe, I tried many ways to create a good gluten-free version.
After several failed attempts I adapted a recipe from an old dessert cookbook my husband had purchased.
The results were delicious and turned out perfectly. The original recipe was a traditional recipe (using regular all-purpose flour). I made it with gluten-free flour.
The shortcake recipe can be made either with all purpose (wheat) flour or gluten-free all-purpose flour.
NOTE: I made it with King Arthur’s Gluten-Free Flour without binders. Measure-for-measure flour should work as well however do not use a blend with leaveners (rising agents).
Suggested Supplies for Making the Shortcake
All the supplies needs are standard to kitchen use. The only supply that you may not have is the cookie cutter which is easy to find.
- 3-inch diameter round cookie cutter or biscuit cutter
- Food Processor with pastry blade
- Baking sheet
- Parchment paper or Silpat (optional for the baking sheet)
- Cooling rack
- Serrated knife for easy slicing of the shortcake
- Mixer with whisk attachment (or handheld mixer)
How to Make Shortcake – Step by Step
For the full detailed printable recipe please refer to the recipe card at the end of the post.
This high-level instruction outlines the main steps for making shortcake.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Prepare a rimmed (not black) baking sheet (butter or line with parchment paper or a silpat).
- Using a Food Processor fitted with a pastry blade, combine flour, granulated sugar, baking powder and soda, and salt. Pulse to combine.
- Add butter and pulse until the mixture is coarse crumb like in texture.
- Separately combine the buttermilk, vanilla and egg yolk. Pour into the Food Processor and pulse to fully combine making a dough.
- Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Flatten dough to ¾-inch thickness.
- Cut out 3-inch circles with a cookie cutter and transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Combine remaining dough and repeat.
- Brush the tops of the shortcake with buttermilk and bake for 10-15 minutes.
- Cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool fully (note: this is critical for gluten-free shortcake).
- When fully cooled, slice horizontally with a serrated knife.
The instructions for macerating (sweetening with sugar) the berries, making the whipping cream and assembling the strawberry shortcake can be found in the recipe card.
Fourth of July Serving Accessories
Setting a fun table for Fourth of July is so easy with adding a bit of red, white and blue to whatever you are serving.
I love these old school wooden striped forks and spoons. They remind me of an old fashioned celebration.
Red Gingham napkins add a fun touch too.
More Red White and Blue recipes
- Red White and Blue Cake
- Firecracker Punch: A Fruity Fizzy Punch with a Bang!
- Easy Salad Recipe in Red, White and Blue
- Star Spangled Layered Finger Jello
- Patriotic Fruit Salads
All American Berry Buttermilk Shortcake
- 2 ¼ cup all purpose or gluten-free flour (I used King Arthur’s Gluten Free Flour) plus extra for patting down the dough
- ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated Sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons Baking Powder
- ¾ teaspoons Baking Soda
- ¼ teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 6 tablespoons cold , Unsalted Butter, cut into pieces
- 2/3 cup Buttermilk (plus a bit extra for glazing)
- 1 large Egg Yolk
- 1 ½ plus ½ teaspoon Vanilla extract
- 2 cups Strawberries , hulled and sliced
- 2 cups Blueberries
- 1/3 cup Baker’s (fine grain) Sugar
- 2 cups Heavy Whipping Cream
- 3- inch diameter cookie cutter or biscuit cutter
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Butter a metal (not black) baking sheet or use a silpat.
- In a large bowl place berries and 1/3 cup Baker’s Sugar. Mix with a spoon to fully coat and set aside to allow berries to macerate (their juices with mix with the sugar creating a sauce).
- In a food processor bowl using the pastry blade combine the flour, ½ cup granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Pulse to fully combine.
- Add the chopped butter; pulse to combine until crumb-like consistency.
- Combine the 2/3 cup buttermilk, vanilla and egg yolk. Pour into the food processor while it is mixing; pulse until the liquid and solid mixtures have completely incorporated. If the dough is too dry to hold together, add additional buttermilk by the tablespoonfuls until the dough stays together.
- Place the dough onto a floured surface (if making the shortcake gluten-free be sure to use gluten-free flour). Gently flatten to the dough until it is 3/4 inch thick. Cut out rounds using a 3-inch round cookie cutter or biscuit cutter. Slide a spatula underneath the round of dough and gently transfer it to the prepared baking sheet.
- Combine remaining dough and repeat until no other shortcake can be cut from the dough scraps. Brush the top of each shortcake with buttermilk and place in the oven.
- Bake until shortcake is lightly golden brown; between 10-15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to sit on the baking sheet for 5 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack and allow to cool fully (this is especially important for gluten-free shortcake to ensure the shortcake will stay intact). Once fully cooked, slice in half with a serrated knife horizontally.
To prepare the Whipped Cream:
- In a chilled mixing bowl combine the heavy cream, 2 tablespoons granulated sugar and 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla. Mix on high speed until soft peaks are reached but the cream is still a bit relaxed (do not beat until the whipping cream is completely stiff).
To assemble the shortcakes:
- Place the lower half of a shortcake on a serving plate. Add an ample spoon of the berries and liquid, whipped cream and place the top of the shortcake on top. Add a few berries on the top of the shortcake. Repeat with remaining shortcakes and serve.
Shortcake adapted from 'Classic Home Desserts' by Richard Sax (1994)
Originally published: June 28, 2013