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Old Fashioned Strawberry Shortcake: No Butter or Buttermilk

Old Fashioned Strawberry Shortcake: No Butter or Buttermilk
Home » Baking » Old Fashioned Strawberry Shortcake: No Butter or Buttermilk

Old fashioned recipes for strawberry shortcake typically include a biscuit rather than a sponge cake. The homemade biscuit in this recipe is basically a drop biscuit (no rolling pin required), and is made without butter or buttermilk. It has a slight crunch that pairs well with the juicy, fresh strawberries, and it is very simple to make. I added some fresh basil to the strawberries and topped it all with a vanilla whipped cream.

Strawberry shortcake on a white plate with sides of strawberries and biscuits.
Old fashioned strawberry shortcake

Jump to: RECIPE | Best Biscuits for Strawberry Shortcake | Ingredients and Substitutions | Step by Step Illustrations

Cream Biscuits vs Buttermilk Biscuits vs Spongecake

Biscuit recipe with no buttermilk, whipped cream with rose water or vanilla, fresh strawberries with a touch of sugar….classic.

When I asked my husband what kind of strawberry shortcake he liked, he said he liked biscuits, but didn’t like that “old fashioned” kind of strawberry shortcake with those store-bought soft twinkie-like things. sponge cakes. It’s interesting what people consider old fashioned!.

Those spongy cakes he’s referring to were popular in the 60’s as it was a time of convenience and processed foods. Those aren’t old fashioned shortcakes however…they’re spongecakes.

Biscuits are what I think of when thinking of old fashioned strawberry shortcakes. Biscuits are easy to make and there are a ton of variations on them.

Often you will hear of buttermilk biscuits as being the go-to for shortcakes. They are good, but invariably I end up not having buttermilk around, going to the store for it, and then trying to figure out what to do with leftover buttermilk. That is the main reason I don’t like to make buttermilk biscuits.

I also find incorporating bits of butter into a dough to be tedious and it is difficult to make sure it is evenly incorporated. Hence, I stay away from butter also.

The ultimate biscuit for me is one made heavy cream and no butter or buttermilk. It is not only the easiest way to go but it makes a beautiful golden and somewhat crispy biscuit that is perfect for those juicy strawberries.

Last but not least is making your biscuits from Bisquick. They are easy, reliable and taste pretty good. I think these cream biscuits in the recipe below are just as easy however, with “homemade” braggin rights.

Ingredients and Substitutions

The key ingredients are the freshest seasonal strawberries you can find, and heavy whipping cream (fluid) for the biscuits.

While classic and old-fashioned is a good thing, there are always ways to spice things up and make it your own. Here are a few popular ways to customize strawberry shortcake:

For the strawberries (while macerating):

  • add some balsamic vinegar
  • add cut up basil
  • change out the lemon juice for some lime juice
  • use a flavored herbal sugar (like lemon verbena or rosemary)
  • spice it up a bit with black pepper
  • add rose water or orange blossom water

For the Biscuit Dough:

  • try a recipe for buttermilk biscuits
  • add some ground up nuts (like hazelnuts)
  • add cocoa powder for a chocolate biscuit
  • add warming spices like cardamom or ginger
  • change the dairy to creme fraiche, sour cream, half & half, etc. (just follow a recipe for appropriate ratios)

For the Whipped Cream:

  • add a teaspoon or so of bourbon
  • add orange flower water and orange zest
  • add a liqueur like Grand Marnier or Cassis
  • add finely minced mint

Illustrated Step by Step:

The steps are detailed in the recipe card below, but for the visual people out there here are the basic steps:

Step #1: hull and slice 1 pound strawberries (makes ~ 3 cups)

Step #2: In a bowl, stir together strawberries, basil, sugar and lemon juice and set aside to macerate

One pound of sliced strawberries with strawberry holler.
Step #1: hull and slice 1 pound strawberries (makes ~ 3 cups)
Strawberries, lemon juice, basil and sugar in a bowl to macerate.
Step #2: In a bowl, stir together strawberries, basil, sugar and lemon juice and set aside to macerate

Step #3: Whisk together dry ingredients in a bowl.

Step #4: Add cream and vanilla to dry ingredients and blend together to form a ball of dough

Dry ingredients for biscuits in a bowl with a whisk.
Step #3: Whisk together dry ingredients in a bowl.
Ball of dough for drop biscuits on a floured cutting board.
Step #4: Add cream and vanilla to dry ingredients and blend together to form a ball of dough

Step #5: Pat dough out to 1/4 inch circle and cut out biscuits with 3-inch cookie cutter

Step #6: Brush biscuits with cream and sprinkle with sugar and place in baking dish. Bake at 400 F for ~ 30 minutes

Cut out biscuits on a floured cutting board.
Step #5: Pat dough out to 1/4 inch circle and cut out biscuits with 3-inch circular cutter
9 biscuits in a buttered baking pan.
Step #6: Brush biscuits with cream and sprinkle with sugar and place in baking dish. Bake at 400 F for ~ 30 minutes

Step #7: Brush biscuits with cream and sprinkle with sugar and place in baking dish. Bake at 400 F for ~ 30 minutes

Step #8: Layer bottom biscuit with strawberries and whipped cream and top with another biscuit and more whipped cream.

Stand mixer with whipped cream beat into soft peaks.
Step #7: While biscuits are cooking, whip cream to soft peaks
Strawberry shortcake on a white plate with sides of strawberries and biscuits.
Step #8: Layer bottom biscuit with strawberries and whipped cream and top with another biscuit and more whipped cream.
Strawberry shortcake with biscuits and strawberries in background.
Final product: Strawberry shortcake with cream biscuits

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Strawberry Shortcake with Cream Biscuits

Strawberry shortcake on a white plate with sides of strawberries and biscuits.
This Summer classic is made with a cream biscuit (no butter or buttermilk), fresh strawberries macerated with basil and lemon juice, and topped with a vanilla whipped cream.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 336

Ingredients

Macerated Strawberries

  • 3 cups sliced strawberries about 1 pound whole
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2-3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons basil cut into strips or chopped

Cream Biscuits

  • 1 ¾ cup all purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup heavy cream

Whipped Cream

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar optional
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla optional

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 400℉. Butter a large baking dish.
    In a large bowl, gently mix together the sliced strawberries, lemon juice, sugar, and basil. Set it aside to macerate while you make the biscuits.
    3 cups sliced strawberries, 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, 2-3 tablespoons sugar, 2-3 tablespoons basil
  • In another bowl, whisk together all of the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt
    1 3/4 cup all purpose flour, 3 tablespoons sugar, 1 tablespoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and slowly add the vanilla and cream. Blend it all together with a fork or slotted spoon, but try not to overmix. I used my hands to get it all mixed, expecially towards the end. Form into a ball.
    Lightly flour a cutting board. Pat the dough ball out into a 1/4-inch round (you do not have to use a rolling pin). Use the cookie cutter to cut out the dough biscuits, scraping together the scraps and reforming them into a ball that you pat out to 1/4-inch again.
    You should end up with about 10 biscuits, depending on how thick your dough ended up.
    2 teaspoons vanilla, 1 cup heavy cream
  • Brush the cut-out biscuits with a little cream and sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 400℉ for about 30 minutes, or until the biscuits are golden brown with crisp edges.
    Remove and let cool on a baking rack.
  • Make your whipped cream while waiting for the biscuits to cool. In a stand mixer blend heavy cream with a little sugar and vanilla or flavoring (optional). Beat until the cream forms soft peaks.
    When they are cool, assemble the shortcakes with layers of biscuit, macerated strawberries and whipped cream.
    1 cup heavy cream, 2 tablespoons powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla

Notes

**note: the nutrition analysis does not include the whipped cream, as the amount people prefer varies so much. It is just for the strawberries and the biscuits.

Nutrition

Calories: 336kcalCarbohydrates: 46gProtein: 5gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 45mgSodium: 210mgPotassium: 396mgFiber: 2gSugar: 15gVitamin A: 627IUVitamin C: 44mgCalcium: 133mgIron: 2mg
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