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Red White & Berry Shortcakes

Red, white and blue lemon poppyseed shortcakes are the perfect treat to make ahead for your annual Independence Day or Memorial Day celebration. You’re guests will be begging for seconds.

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Let’s make strawberry shortcakes, but patriotic! I love this cute method of turning a normal fork and knife dessert into a mini version you can eat with your fingers. Start with your go-to biscuit mix, store-bought tube, or favorite recipe. This part is completely your call! Make sure to cut/shape them into small biscuits for the perfect 2 – 3 bite dessert. The kicker for this dessert is in the homemade whipped cream, so dress it up a bit. I like to add a couple of spoonfuls of mascarpone cheese to add a light frosting-like consistency to the cream. Layer these shortcakes with strawberries or raspberries to finish and add a couple of blueberries to give that 4th of July flare. Can’t wait for you to show these off at your annual Independence Day party.

These cute little desserts can be made one day in advance and are even better if left in the fridge overnight to let those juicy berries soak into the biscuits. They will last in the fridge for up to 3 days.

The reason I consider these treats a summer bite is because of the berries. It berries season! Some of the best dessert tastes on the palette are combining fresh baked pastry, sweet cream, and ripe fruit. It’s about creating levels to your dessert balancing acidity, fat, and bitter. You can use frozen fruit for this recipe, but it tends to be a little too watery while defrosting. Be sure to let your frozen fruit fully thaw, draining off residual water. If you’re really in a pinch you can also use some high-quality preserves. This is such a simple dessert, don’t let the ingredients hold you back!

When it comes to making fresh pastry, biscuit baking is an art to master. Be proud of your first attempt and second attempt. You will only get better. The best tips I have to offer come from my years of baking biscuits that don’t rise well, melt, or form misshapen. It’s how you learn! One, make sure everything is cold!  Even if you make these with the coldest butter and buttermilk, just put these in the freezer for 15 minutes before you bake. You’d be amazed at how well they hold their shape. Two, make sure to bake these close together on the tray. They don’t have to be right next to each other, but putting them close will help the biscuits bake evenly and help each other rise. Last tip, make sure to laminate your biscuit dough. Mix your dough well. If you are rolling your dough, create layers by folding the dough like a pamphlet by making a rectangle and folding the dough over itself in three. This will ensure a proper shape and extra biscuit height.

Yield(s): Makes 10 - 12 shortcakes

25m prep time

20m cook time

Allergens: Gluten, Milk

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For shortcake:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoon cold unsalted butter, grated
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk, plus extra for dusting
For fruit:
  • 1 pint fresh strawberries, diced small
  • 1 pint fresh bluebberies
  • 4 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 lemon, juiced
For whipped cream:
  • 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat the oven to 475° F and prepare a parchment-lined sheet tray.
  2. To prepare biscuits, whisk together the flour, baking powder, poppy seeds, lemon zest, and salt in a bowl. Slowly drizzle buttermilk into the flour mixture and mix using the back of a wooden spoon until a dough mass is formed.
  3. Remove the dough onto a floured surface and roll with a rolling pin to create a rectangle, fold the dough into 3 pieces to create layers of flakey pastry. Repeat rolling and folding one more time.
  4. Roll dough into an even rectangle and cut into rounds if using a biscuit cutter or cut into squares if you have no biscuit cutter. Keep rerolling until you have 10 mini biscuits.
  5. Place biscuits onto a prepared sheet tray right next to each other, and brush with extra buttermilk.
  6. Bake biscuits for 8 - 12 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool.
  7. In a bowl, combine strawberries, divided sugar, and lemon juice. Gently toss strawberries together so the sugar distributes, but the strawberries hold their shape. Repeat with blueberries.
  8. In a stand mixer, whisk heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla until soft peaks form. Then fold in mascarpone.
  9. Assemble mini shortcakes by splitting each in half, top the bottoms with strawberries, and a dollop of whipped cream, then reverse the top bun and top with more strawberries and blueberries, dollop with whipped cream, and top with more blueberries.

Recipe adapted from Burrata and Bubbles