As soon as strawberries come into season, I start making strawberry shortcakes for dessert. I love the combination of cake or biscuits, whipped cream and strawberries – especially when the strawberries are perfectly ripe and sweet – and it is so easy to make that it is always one of my go-to summertime desserts. These Strawberry, Mint and Lime Shortcakes put just a little twist on this classic by adding in some pops of flavor that will make a serving of shortcake a lot more memorable.
The strawberries I used in this shortcake recipe are fresh berries, but they are macerated in sugar, lime juice, lime zest and mint before being put on top of the shortcake. Macerating the berries allows the strawberries to become more tender and to release some of their juices. Those juices can be added to the dessert to add a little extra flavor. The lime and mint contrast well with the jammy berries, adding just enough tang to make the mixture even more addictive than your average berry. The strawberries are still the star of the show, but the lime and mint brighten up the berries and are a great way to dress up a classic dessert without much extra effort.
While most shortcake recipes use biscuits or scones as a base, I used Mexican concha rolls to make these shortcakes. Concha buns have a sweet topping that ties in very well with the strawberries in the filling, in addition to giving the shortcakes a beautiful look. The buns also absorb a lot of the juice fruit the berries, and they’re sturdy enough that you can pick them up and eat them like a big dessert sandwich. You can pick up the buns at any Mexican market or bakery, but you can also use my buttermilk shortcake biscuit recipe instead to make a more traditional looking strawberry shortcake.
The strawberry mixture can be prepared a day in advance if you really want to plan ahead, but the fresh mint will lose some of its color after it sits overnight in the fridge. This won’t impact the flavor of the berries one bit, however if you are looking for some extra color in your dessert, add in a a pinch or two of extra mint, very finely chopped, before plating up your berries.
Strawberry, Mint and Lime Shortcakes
2 pints (4 cups) strawberries
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tsp lime zest
3-4 tbsp sugar
1/4 cup very finely sliced mint leaves
2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar (or more, to taste)
8 concha buns or homemade buttermilk shortcake biscuits
Remove the tops of the strawberries and slice them into quarters. Place berries in a large bowl. Add in lime juice, lime zest, sugar and finely sliced mint and toss gently with a spatula until well-combined. Add a little extra sugar if your berries are not sweet enough. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 4-6 hours to allow the flavors to infuse and some of the juice to come out of the berries.
When berries have macerated and you are getting ready to serve, place heavy cream in a large bowl and beat to soft peaks. Add in vanilla extract and confectioners’ sugar and beat until sugar is completely incorporated and stiff peaks form.
Cut your concha buns (or buttermilk biscuits) in half. Top the lower half of the bun generously with strawberries and strawberry/lime juice. Add a large scoop of whipped cream on top of the berries and top with the upper half of the bun.