I could eat this strawberry shortcake recipe every day in summer! Bright, lemony cornmeal biscuits surround layers of fresh berries and cream.
If I were to give you one piece of advice this week, it would be to make this strawberry shortcake recipe. Rustic, decadent, and completely delicious, it’s the kind of dessert that’s destined to make you smile. Summer is here, and strawberry shortcake is the perfect way to celebrate.
The shortcakes here are bright, lemony cornmeal biscuits. I’ve always been a fan of lemon and cornmeal together (check out these lemon cookies or the Lemon Cornmeal Pancakes on page 37 of Love and Lemons Every Day!), and they make this recipe really exceptional. The cornmeal adds texture to the moist, tender biscuits, while the tart lemon cuts the richness of the cream filling. Add fresh strawberries to the mix, and there’s almost nothing better.
Strawberry Shortcake Recipe Ingredients
Speaking of strawberries, I don’t sweeten them in this recipe. If you wanted to, you could toss them with pinches of sugar like I do here, but at this time of year, I don’t think it’s necessary. Strawberries are delicate, juicy, and sweet all on their own! Use the best ones you can find, and you won’t miss the extra sugar.
Here’s what else you’ll need to make this recipe:
- All-purpose flour – Jack and I have experimented with all sorts of flours over the last few months, and King Arthur Flour yields the best results every time. To accurately measure the flour for this recipe, be sure to use the spoon-and-level method.
- Cornmeal – I love to make this recipe with medium-grind cornmeal. It adds a nice texture to the dough, but it’s not too coarse or crunchy. My go-to brands are Arrowhead Mills and Bob’s Red Mill.
- Granulated sugar – For sweetness.
- Baking powder – It makes the biscuits nice and puffy.
- Sea salt – To make all the flavors pop!
- Coconut oil – It makes the dough rich and layered without any butter or heavy cream.
- Lemon juice and zest – They give the dough a super bright, fresh flavor! You need two tablespoons of each, so make sure you have at least 2 lemons on hand.
- Eggs – They add richness to the biscuits and help them rise.
- Almond milk – It adds moisture to the biscuit dough. I also brush almond milk on top of the biscuits to give them a nice crisp crust!
- Whipped cream or coconut cream – My go-to is coconut cream, as it makes this recipe totally dairy-free. Of course, traditional whipped cream would be delicious too.
Find the complete recipe with measurements below.
How to Make Strawberry Shortcake
Ready to learn how to make strawberry shortcake? Luckily for us, it’s easy! Here’s what you need to do:
First, make the biscuit dough. Whisk together the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Then, add the coconut oil and use your hands to work it into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Finally, add the lemon zest, juice, almond milk, and eggs and mix until just combined.
Next, shape the dough. Turn it out onto a lightly floured piece of parchment paper, pat it into a rectangle, and fold it into thirds. Pat or roll the folded dough to about 1 inch thick, and freeze it for 20 minutes.
After the dough chills, cut out the biscuits. Use a 2-1/2 inch round biscuit cutter to punch them out, gathering the scraps and re-rolling the dough as necessary. You should end up with 8 1-inch thick biscuits (even though just 6 are pictured here!).
Then, bake! If you want to, brush the biscuits with a little almond milk and sprinkle them with coarse sugar. Pop them in a 400-degree oven for about 17 minutes, or until they’re lightly golden brown around the edges.
As the biscuits bake, your kitchen will fill with a buttery, lemony aroma. Trust me, it’s pretty incredible!
Pull the biscuits out of the oven and (this is the hard part!) allow them to cool slightly before you assemble the shortcakes.
Finally, eat! Slice the biscuits in half horizontally and layer them with the strawberries and a dollop of whipped cream. I like to add a few mint leaves for an extra-fresh touch. Enjoy!
- Make sure your coconut oil is cold. Like the butter in this scone recipe, the coconut oil needs to be cold when you work it into the flour. The cold, solid oil is key for creating layered biscuits that will puff up in the oven. I like to measure my coconut oil in advance and pop it in the fridge for an hour before I start cooking. I don’t recommend freezing coconut oil, as it quickly becomes too hard to work with.
- Cut the coconut oil into little pieces. This is key! Once your coconut oil is cold, you want to keep it that way. Cutting it into small pieces means that you’ll be able to integrate it with the dry ingredients more quickly. That way, the heat from your hands won’t melt the oil as you work.
- Don’t cut the chilling time short. Colder dough yields puffier biscuits with better layering, so make sure to freeze the dough for a full 20 minutes before you cut out and bake the biscuits.
- Top them with sugar. I list this step as optional, but I highly recommend brushing the biscuits with almond milk and sprinkling them with sugar before you bake them. It makes them nice and crisp on top!
- Assemble the shortcakes right before you eat. Strawberry shortcake is best right after it’s assembled, so just assemble the cakes you plan to eat right away. Any leftover biscuits will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 days. They also freeze well for up to a month!
Strawberry Shortcake Recipe Variations
- Switch the fruit. Strawberry shortcake is a classic dessert, but this lemon biscuit recipe would taste just as good with raspberries or blueberries. Use them in place of the strawberries, or, for a festive variation, fill the biscuits with a mix of strawberries and blueberries!
- Use your favorite kind of cream. I most often fill my strawberry shortcake with coconut cream, but any cool, creamy filling is delightful here. Make traditional whipped cream with heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla extract, or serve your shortcake with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. For a lighter variation, replace the cream with a dollop of Greek yogurt.
- Keep it simple. These lemon cornmeal biscuits make fantastic strawberry shortcake, but they’re also wonderful on their own! Feel free to skip the fruity filling altogether and enjoy the biscuits plain, or slather them with your favorite jam for a light breakfast or afternoon snack.
More Favorite Summer Desserts
If you love this strawberry shortcake recipe, try one of these delicious summer desserts next:
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 17 mins
Chilling Time: 20 mins
Lemon Cornmeal Biscuits
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup medium-grind cornmeal
- ⅓ cup cane sugar
- 2½ teaspoons baking powder
- ¾ teaspoons sea salt
- ½ cup coconut oil, hardened and cut into small pieces
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 eggs, beaten
- ¼ cup almond milk, more for brushing
- Coarse sugar, for sprinkling, optional
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
Using your hands, work the coconut oil in until the mixture resembles coarse sand. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, eggs, and milk and mix until just combined. The dough will be more moist and pliable than traditional biscuit dough.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured piece of parchment paper and pat into a ½-inch-thick rectangle. Fold the dough into thirds and pat or roll again until 1-inch thick. Freeze for 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Remove the dough from the freezer and use a 2½-inch round biscuit cutter to cut out 3 to 4 biscuits. Re-roll the scraps as necessary to cut out 8 1-inch thick biscuits. Place the biscuits on the baking sheet.
If desired, brush the tops of the biscuits with a little almond milk and sprinkle with coarse sugar.
Bake 16 to 18 minutes or until golden brown around the edges.
Assemble the strawberry shortcakes with the biscuits, strawberries, cream, and mint, if desired.
Biscuit recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour.
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