My kitchen has been overflowing with perfectly ripe strawberries for the past couple of weeks and that means that I’ve been indulging in some strawberry shortcakes lately. Strawberry shortcakes are one of my favorite summer desserts because they are very easy to make, in addition to being a great showcase for ripe, fresh berries. My Red, White & Blue Strawberry Shortcakes are a very colorful twist on my standard recipe that is perfect for serving up on the 4th of July, so stock up on strawberries now!
The recipe starts with buttermilk biscuits that are laced with vanilla extract. The biscuits have red, white and blue sprinkles worked into the dough – just like you would find in funfetti cake – and that gives them a very festive, patriotic look that is ideal for Independence Day celebrations. The biscuits are “drop biscuits,” meaning that they are not rolled out, but shaped free-form on the baking sheet. I like the rustic look, but you can also roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface if you prefer to cut them out with a biscuit cutter. Once the biscuits have baked and cooled, you’ll need to prep your strawberries and whipped cream.
The whipped cream is the really fun part of this recipe, as it is dyed with red and blue food coloring to give it a bold, swirling color pattern. Whip the cream first, then divide it into smaller portions and add your food coloring. Both liquid and gel food colorings can work, but you’ll have to eyeball the amount to get the color you want. All three colors – red, white and blue – are spooned into a piping bag. Try to keep them separate as you spoon them into place so the colors come out in neat lines as you pipe. A large piping bag will make this easier, as it allows plenty of room to maneuver the whipped cream into place. The whipped cream is piped on top of sliced, fresh strawberries, which are piled into the split biscuits. It’s colorful, fun and delicious.
In the event that you want the skip the biscuits, you can use the whipped cream as a topping for cupcakes, hot chocolate or just a bowl full of berries! Get creative because this is a fun and easy way to add some 4th of July flair to any dessert.
Red, White & Blue Strawberry Shortcakes
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter, cold and cut into small pieces
2 tsp vanilla extract
approx 2/3 cup buttermilk
2 tbsp red, white and blue sprinkles
2 cups sliced strawberries
2 cups heavy cream
1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 375F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Rub in the butter with your fingertips until mixture is coarse and sandy, with no pieces larger than a big pea remaining.
Combine the vanilla and buttermilk in a measuring cup and pour 1/2 cup of the milk into the flour mixture. Stir with a fork until the dough starts to come together into a very slightly sticky ball. Add remaining buttermilk as necessary to bring the dough together. Stir in sprinkles as you work the dough.
Divide the dough into 6 equal pieces and shape them roughly into discs about 3/4-inch thick.
Bake for 18-22 minutes, until biscuits are a light golden brown. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
Whipped Cream & Assembly
Whip the heavy cream to soft peaks with an electric mixer. Beat in confectioners’ sugar and vanilla extract. Divide into thirds and place into three separate bowls. Fold blue food coloring into one batch and red into another, leaving the rest white. Spoon all three whipped cream colors into a large piping bag (or a ziploc bag with the corner snipped off).
Split the cooled biscuits in half and top each with about 1/3 cup strawberries, then generously pipe on red, white and blue whipped cream. Replace top half of biscuit and serve immediately.