Few foods say summer more than strawberry shortcake piled high with ripe berries. When you steep the berries in syrup made with our luscious Celebration Blend Darjeeling tea, this fluffy strawberry shortcake recipe is elevated from simple to sublime.
It all starts with a light, flaky shortcake, rich with butter and fragrant with vanilla. I like making my shortcake with a fluffy, lightly sweetened biscuit recipe. This provides a beautiful base for the ripest strawberries you can find.
A plain vanilla biscuit suits the purpose well, but it’s fun to tinker around with the recipe to give this old favorite a new twist. I like to grate in orange, lemon, or lime zest to give the dough a real kick. A handful of finely chopped dark chocolate is pure decadence, and coarsely chopped toasted nuts, such as hazelnuts, almonds, or walnuts, are utterly delicious. You can also add spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, or ginger for a fragrant boost that pairs beautifully with strawberries.
Just before baking, brush the top of each biscuit with beaten egg and sprinkle raw sugar on top to give the biscuits a golden crust with a delightful crunch.
Strawberries are essential to strawberry shortcake, but sometimes it’s difficult to find strawberries with real depth of flavor. Macerating them in a fragrant tea syrup made with a strawberries and champagne Darjeeling is a lovely way to enhance their natural flavor and make your strawberry shortcake especially good.
In a small saucepan, place one cup of water and bring to boil; reduce heat to simmer and add 2 tablespoons of tea. Simmer gently until mixture has reduced to 1/4 cup. Remove from heat and strain, then stir in 2-3 tablespoons of white sugar, stirring until sugar dissolves. Set aside to cool.
While the tea syrup is cooling, hull and slice 2 cups of strawberries, then pour over the cooled syrup and stir gently until all berries are coated. Set aside while you prepare the shortcake.
Fluffy Strawberry Shortcake
Strawberry shortcake can be piled high with clouds of whipped cream, or served simply with unsalted butter. I like it both ways, and change it up depending on my mood. When the biscuits are fresh and hot out of the oven, butter is the clear choice. I split the biscuits and spread each side with unsalted butter, letting it melt into the tender biscuits, then layer on sweetened strawberries and serve immediately.
This Fluffy Strawberry Shortcake recipe is best served outside in the bright sunshine.
Fluffy Strawberry Shortcake Recipe
- 2 cups white flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 cup softened butter (or butter-flavored shortening)
- 2/3 cup half and half
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 eggs
- Raw sugar for sprinkling
- 1-2 cups fresh strawberries, hulled
- 1 tablespoon white sugar
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Combine first four ingredients; sift if necessary.
Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Stir half and half, vanilla, and 1 egg together. Add to dry mixture and toss with fork until moistened.
Lightly mix dough until it holds together.
Pat into circle 1 inch thick. Cut into circles and place on baking sheet.
Beat remaining egg, then brush tops of biscuits with it and sprinkle with raw sugar. Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden.
While biscuits cool, slice strawberries and stir gently with white sugar until sugar dissolves.
For each serving, halve one biscuit, spread each side with butter, pile bottom half with strawberries, and top with the other half.