Imagine biting into a fluffy biscuit filled with freshly-picked strawberries and topped with a dollop of fresh whipped cream. Except it’s not really a biscuit and you don’t have to imagine it! Embrace the essence of summer by using freshly picked strawberries and indulging in the classic treat of strawberry shortcake. This sourdough strawberry shortcake is sweet, light, tender and uses up some of that sourdough discard you are constantly producing as a sourdough baker. Welcome summer and create lasting memories by making this sourdough strawberry shortcake your new summertime tradition.
Ingredients in Sourdough Strawberry Shortcake
Flour: All purpose flour or a soft white wheat flour works well in this delicious dessert. Definitely use a flour with a lower protein content than bread flour for a tender crumb.
Granulated Sugar: This provides a light sweetness to the shortcake that pairs well with the strawberries.
Unsalted Butter: I always bake with unsalted butter. It allows me to control the flavor in my baked goods — there is no standard for the amount of salt in salted butter, so you cannot predict how much salt has been added.
Sourdough Discard: You can use fresh, bubbly sourdough starter if you want. If you don’t mind a more pronounced sourdough flavor, you can use refrigerated discard from up to a week or two old. I always use 100% hydration sourdough discard.
Baking Powder: Baking powder is the main rising agent in the shortcake. Once it hits the hot oven, the baking powder is activated and the combination of heat and baking powder makes the shortcake rise tall.
Salt: Salt adds balance and enhances the flavors of the shortcake. Don’t leave it out.
Strawberries: Strawberries shine in this shortcake. Freshly picked and in season strawberries take this shortcake over the top, though any good quality strawberries will work. For best results, chop them fairly small, sprinkle sugar on top and let them sit for about an hour to macerate and release some of the delicious juices.
Heavy Cream: Heavy cream adds a richness to the shortcake that makes it tender and delicious.
Sourdough Strawberry Shortcake: Cake or Biscuit?
When you hear shortcake do you think of a cake or a biscuit? I love it both ways, but the biscuit version is my favorite. Tender, light and pairs so well with summer strawberries and freshly whipped cream. The biscuit version of strawberry shortcake is tender, sweet, flaky and oh-so-rich. It makes a beautiful backdrop for the star of the show: the strawberry!
Ripe Strawberries and Added Sugar
The best strawberry shortcake starts with the best strawberries. We love strawberry picking in May when berries are traditionally ready in Kentucky. Nothing beats the sweetness of summer strawberries. Dice up the strawberries and add sugar to taste. This addition of sugar macerates the strawberries, causing them to release some of the berry juices and resulting in a delicious sweet strawberry syrup to pour over the shortcake in addition to the berries. Let these berries sit for an hour or more if you have time. If you’re short on time, just add a little sugar before baking the shortcakes and let them sit. You’ll be good to go.
Looking for More Delicious Strawberry Bakes:
Mixing Together Sourdough Strawberry Shortcake
This sourdough strawberry shortcake is made with a biscuit-style dough. Mix together the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Fluff with a fork to combine. Grate cold or frozen butter on a cheese grater and add to the flour mixture. Use a fork to disperse the little flakes of grated butter throughout the flour mixture. Then add the sourdough discard and heavy cream and stir to combine. At this point I use my hands to combine the discard and heavy cream with the flour mixture. Knead a few times to get all the little bits of flour mixed in with the discard. Be gentle, but don’t be afraid to knead a few times to get the dough completely incorporated.
Baking Sourdough Strawberry Shortcake
Pat the dough out into a round 7 inch circle. I love using a pastry mat to make the measurement easier. Use a bench scraper to cut the dough into 8 equal triangles. Be swift and decisive when you cut. This gives more layers to the shortcake. Place the individual shortcakes on a parchment-lined baking sheet and top with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar. Bake in a preheated oven for 5 minutes at 450 degrees F. This activates the baking powder and gives a big initial rise to the shortcake. Then reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F and bake for an additional 10-12 minutes.
Assembling Sourdough Strawberry Shortcake
Let the shortcake cool completely before assembling. While shortcakes are cooling, whip 1 cup of heavy whipping cream with a handheld or stand mixer. Sweeten according to your taste (I like about 1 teaspoon of sugar…not very sweet. For a sweeter cream use 1-2 Tablespoons of sugar). This whipped cream can be made in advance and kept in the fridge for a few hours before assembling. Once the shortcakes are cooled, cut in half. Place about 1-2 Tablespoons of whipped cream on the bottom half of the shortcake. Top with strawberries. Place the top half of the shortcake on top of the strawberries. Add a little extra bit of cream and berries on top of the shortcake as desired. Enjoy!
More Sourdough Discard Recipes Here:
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I store leftover sourdough strawberry shortcake?
I store all my containers separately. Then assemble when ready to eat.
Shortcake: Store in the freezer in an airtight container or on the counter for up to 24 hours.
Strawberries: Store in the refrigerator for up to a couple of days.
Heavy Whipping Cream: Store in the refrigerator for a couple of days.
Can I make this shortcake ahead of time?
Yes! This strawberry shortcake is wonderful made ahead of time. Make the dough and slice into triangles. Then FREEZE the shortcakes before baking them. When you’re ready to bake them, take them straight from the freezer and bake according to the recipe instructions. You may need a couple extra minutes of baking time added on but they will be flaky and delicious.
I don’t have any heavy cream. Can I still make this shortcake?
This shortcake is really best with the heavy cream for the most tender crust, but you can also substitute buttermilk or half and half in a pinch. If you choose to substitute half and half, start with about 1/2 of what is called for in the recipe and add more as needed. I would not substitute regular milk.
Looking for Strawberry Shortcake without the Sourdough? Check it out Here:
Sourdough Strawberry Shortcake
Sourdough Strawberry Shortcake
- 225 grams all purpose flour about 1 1/2 cups
- 60 grams granulated sugar about 1/4 cup
- 4 grams salt about 1/2 teaspoon
- 13 grams baking powder about 1 Tablespoon
- 113 grams unsalted butter, chilled about 8 Tablespoons
- 113 grams sourdough discard about 1/2 cup, see recipe notes
- 115 grams heavy cream about 1/2 cup
- 28 grams unsalted butter, melted about 1 Tablespoon
- 15 grams granulated sugar about 1 Tablespoon
Sourdough Strawberry Shortcake Filling
- 16 oz strawberries, chopped about 450 grams
- 40 grams granulated sugar about 2 Tablespoons, more or less depending on sweetness of the strawberries
- 240 grams heavy whipping cream about 1 cup
- a spoonful of sugar to sweeten the cream as desired
- Wash and cut the tops off the strawberries. Cut the strawberries into small pieces. I like them roughly diced. Add sugar depending on how sweet you like your strawberries in the shortcake. Let strawberries sit in the fridge for an hour or two for the sugar to combine with the berries before serving. You can also press about 25% of the berries against the side of the bowl to help release some juices if desired.
Sourdough Strawberry Shortcake
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- In a bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Use a fork to combine.
- Grate cold butter on top of the flour mixture. Use the fork to disperse the butter into the flour mixture.
- Add the sourdough discard and heavy cream and gently mix to combine. Use your hands to knead the dough a few times until all the flour and sourdough discard is incorporated. Add more cream a little at a time if the dough is too crumbly.
- Shape the dough into a ball. On a lightly floured surface, set the ball on the countertop and pat into a circle, about 7 inches wide.
- Bake for 5 minutes at 450 degrees. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees. Place the shortcakes back in the oven and bake for 10-12 more minutes. Allow shortcakes to cool completely before assembling.
- While shortcakes are cooling, whip 1 cup of heavy whipping cream with a handheld or stand mixer. Sweeten according to your taste (I like about 1 teaspoon of sugar…not very sweet. For a sweeter cream use 1-2 Tablespoons of sugar). This whipped cream can be made in advance and kept in the fridge for a few hours.
- To assemble the shortcakes: Cut the shortcake in half. Place about 1-2 Tablespoons of whipped cream on the bottom half of the shortcake. Top with strawberries. Place the top half of the shortcake on top of the strawberries. Add a little extra bit of cream and berries on top of the shortcake as desired. Enjoy!