These oat shortcakes with summer fruit are vegan friendly and can also be adapted to be gluten-free. Makes a great dessert or sweet addition to brunch!
I grew up thinking shortcakes were those little round spongy things next to the strawberries at the grocery store. My parents would buy them from time to time, along with strawberries and a can of whipped cream, for dessert. They were so tasteless and gross that often times I just ate the strawberries and whipped cream, leaving that hockey puck of a cake behind on the plate. After getting married and realizing that food tasted so much better when made from scratch, I spent a lot of my time off of work watching my favorite chefs, Ina, Paula, Alton, & Giada, on Food Network. Someone made strawberry shortcakes one day with these things that looked like a biscuit and I was like, “that’s not a shortcake.” I mean, I knew because my mom used to buy shortcakes at the grocery store and they obviously had to be similar to those dry spongy things, right? Well, imagine my surprise when I googled shortcakes and found out that traditional shortcakes were in fact these scone/biscuit like cakes.
Apparently, the short in shortcake comes from the high amount of fat used in these cakes, which back in the day was commonly referred to as shortening. The dense, scone or biscuit like texture was the perfect base for syrupy fruit and cream.
Today, almost anything with cake, cream, and fruit can get away with the term shortcake. My mom’s version of strawberry shortcake is layers of butter cake with strawberries and whipped cream, which I put a healthier twist on in this recipe.
Sticking close to the classic, this version of shortcake has a blend of flours, including oat and almond flour, which add both flavor and moisture. They’re very tender, moist, and only subtly sweetened with maple syrup which makes it hearty and wholesome enough to enjoy for breakfast/brunch, yet pretty and sweet enough to serve for dessert. We topped ours with a yogurt cream plus lots of fresh summer fruit and made it our sweet addition for brunch!
Whichever version of shortcake you prefer, this is the perfect way to use up the abundance of fresh summer fruit out in the markets right now. I hope you give it a try and enjoy it as much as we did!