What's For Dessert: Simple Strawberry Shortcake

One of my favorite signs of spring is the arrival of fresh strawberries in the marketplace. Up until now, there have been organic strawberries on sale at our local natural foods store -- but at nearly $6/quart, a little too expensive for my taste. Last weekend D and I were in California for my grandmother's 90th birthday, and had the chance to walk through the Sunnyvale farmers market on Saturday morning with my friend Sheri. The amount of fresh produce for sale was overwhelming to my snow-weary eyes. As we walked along, I tasted some of the fresh produce -- I was so in love with the flavor of strawberries for sale that I couldn't resist buying a pint.

{strawberries on sale at the Sunnyvale farmers market}

Fast forward to this past weekend, and while shopping at Golden Harvest I was delighted to find strawberries on sale for less than $2/quart at Golden Harvest. I bought two pints, but I think I may have to go back to buy a flat -- I foresee some jam-making in my future.

In the meantime, I couldn't wait to try out the strawberries. Though not quite as amazing as the ones I tasted in Sunnyvale, to my fresh produce-starved tastebuds they tasted quite delicious. And with a touch of sugar, the strawberries would be the ideal component in a strawberry shortcake recipe. I wanted to make something super simple and didn't want to fuss around with a lot of ingredients. A quick Google search resulted in finding a recipe I could work with; I made a few substitutions based on the ingredients I had on hand, and of course I couldn't help but add in a splash of vanilla, too. For a simple recipe, the shortcake turned out quite well and perfectly complemented the sweetness of the fresh strawberries. Add a healthy dollop of fresh whipped cream on top, and dessert is ready to be served.

Simple Strawberry Shortcake (printer-friendly version)
makes 4-6 servings

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons aluminum-free baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups organic half-and-half cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups fresh strawberries, sliced and slightly mashed [stir in some sugar if desired]
1 cup fresh whipped cream

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a 8"x8" baking dish with parchment paper (leave excess on either end so that you can use it as handles to remove the shortcake from the pan once baked) and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt. Stir in the half-and-half and vanilla until just combined.
3. Spoon the batter into the prepared baking dish. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the shortcake is golden brown.
4. Remove the shortcake from the baking dish and set it on a wire rack to cool.
5. Use a cookie or biscuit cutter to cut out a shortcake into your desired shape. Cut the shortcake in half.
5. Top one half of the shortcake with strawberries and whipped cream. Place the remaining shortcake half on top and serve immediately.

(adapted from this Food Network recipe)


  1. Beautiful! It was so great seeing you guys. I hope you had a great visit. No thanks to me for completely forgetting to send you winery recommendations. Crap. My brain doesn't work very well right now.


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