Celebrate the flavors of spring and summer with this delicious treat! Tender shortcakes are topped with juicy berries and whipped cream, all made a little healthier with natural sweeteners and dairy-free alternatives! Vegan friendly with gluten and refined sugar free options!
I love to watch British period dramas (like Downton Abby, Pride and Prejudice, and Sense and Sensibility ❤️) and I often find myself imagining how life would be to live in back in those days. As boring as it might seem not to have television, phones, and social media to keep us occupied, how nice would it be to have the time to learn how to play that instrument you’ve always wanted to learn or read that stack of books you’ve been meaning to get to. Who else would would welcome the chance to close the laptop and get outside on a nice day and meander through a pretty garden or lay back and watch the clouds change shape as they float through the air.
How nice would it be to shoot the breeze with a friend of family member you haven’t seen in a while. It’s unfortunate that we ‘squeeze in’ a visit with family maybe once or twice a year, if even that. And we even have to schedule time with friends weeks or months out because everyone is just too busy to meet up regularly. For some of us, the only interaction we get with friends and family is liking their post on facebook.
It’s kind of sad if you think about it. Sometimes I wish life was a little more simple, without so many distractions and responsibilities to occupy our time. I don’t know about you, but I feel like there isn’t enough time in the day to get all the important things done, much less to “waste” on stuff that isn’t productive. As much as I wish we could go and see our family living in other states, it’s too difficult to get away from work and the obligations we’ve bogged ourselves down with.
The truth is, we make time for things that are important. We make time for Netflix, getting our hair/nails done, shopping for new clothes, going to the gym, and the other things that bring us joy or make us look/feel better. But maybe we can turn the tv off a few nights a week and read that book or watch a YouTube tutorial on how to play that instrument we’ve always wanted to learn. Maybe we can take the afternoon off and pick up our kids early from school and make an impromptu trip to the zoo or go home and bake a special treat. Or what if we invited our friend/family member to go shopping or get our nails done together instead of going by ourselves?
At the end of the day, life is as simple or difficult as we make it.
Speaking of simple, this classic dessert is just that. Biscuits, strawberries, and whipped cream come together to create a symphony of flavors which celebrate the spring and summer seasons. Making a yummy treat like this is also the perfect excuse to call up your friends and family to come over and share some with you! I know I’d clear my schedule to enjoy a plate of this homemade goodness! 🙂
- 1½ lbs. strawberries, hulled and sliced
- 3–4 tablespoons honey, maple syrup, or pure cane sugar (can use more or less, to taste)
- fresh mint + extra whole/halved strawberries for serving, optional
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (Gluten-Free: 1⅓ cup gluten-free flour blend and ⅔ cup superfine almond flour)
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup vegetable shortening or cold butter
- ⅓ cup milk of choice (May need a splash more, depending on flour and sweetener used. I used almond milk)
- 3 tablespoons honey or pure cane sugar
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar or distilled white vinegar
- 1–2 tablespoons coarse raw sugar, optional
- In a large bowl, combine sliced strawberries with 3–4 tablespoons honey or sugar. Refrigerate while you prepare the rest of the recipe. When ready to serve, stir strawberries again. They should have released plenty of juice. If you want more sauce, lightly mash some of the berries with a potato masher or the back of a fork.
- Preheat oven to 400ºF. In a mixing bowl, combine flour(s), baking powder, and salt. Use a pastry blender or fork to cut butter/shortening into the flour until mixture is coarse and no large clumps of fat remain.
- In a glass measuring cup, combine milk with honey/sugar and vinegar. Pour milk mixture into flour mixture, stirring just until combined. If dough is dry, add a splash more milk to bring everything together.
- Divide dough equally into 4 large or 5–6 smaller portions. If dough is sticky, coat your hands with additional flour. Shape each portion into a ball, then use your hands to flatten tops and bottoms slightly. Biscuits should be on the thicker side, to make cutting in half easier; they will spread a little in the oven. Place each biscuit a couple of inches apart onto a lightly greased or parchment lined baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 15–20 minutes, or just until centers are set and edges are a light golden-brown. Let cool thoroughly before cutting.
- Open can of coconut cream and scoop the solid white cream into a mixing bowl, discarding the remaining liquid. Alternatively, you can use heavy whipping cream. Beat until cream is smooth and fluffy, then add sweetener and vanilla, continuing to beat until well combined.
- Carefully slice each biscuit in half and place bottom half onto a plate. Cover the bottom shortcake with a generous amount of strawberries and sauce and a dollop of whipped cream. Place the other half of the shortbread on top. Decorate with fresh mint leaves and whole/halved strawberries (optional) and serve. Makes 4–6 shortcakes.
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