Strawberry ShortcakeStrawberry shortcake is one of those iconic desserts-make it from scratch or not at all. If you're craving strawberry shortcake, you want the real deal: tender biscuits, pillowy whipped cream and ripe, juicy berries.
It need not be complicated…which is why we were impressed with the perfect simplicity of a reader recipe that recently came our way. The results were glorious-the nutritional analysis was anything but.
The original recipe packed:
28 grams total fat
18 grams saturated fat
Once we saw the numbers, the saturated fat was our main target for reduction. Here's how we made it healthy:
We dropped the heavy cream and a stick of butter from the biscuit, replacing it with a healthier blend of buttermilk, canola oil and reduced-fat cream cheese (a smaller amount of butter was left in the mix for its irreplaceable flavor).
The cream was hardest to replicate, but a traditional whipped cream cut with reduced-fat sour cream gave a slight tang to the sweet berries while still creating a decadent, creamy topping. With these efforts we cut the total fat in half and the saturated fat by two-thirds.
To make sure the biscuits were tender, but with a bit of fiber, we switched from all-purpose flour to a blend of cake flour and white whole-wheat flour. (We love white whole-wheat flour for baking.)
- Then we increased the berries by a cup, which added more vitamin C and fiber per serving.
The EatingWell version rang in at:
14 grams total fat
6 grams saturated fat
The beauty of our Strawberry Shortcake recipe is not only that it's healthier, but also that it's elegantly simple. You'll want to try this recipe with other fruit, too-peaches, raspberries and blueberries are natural choices. We've also developed healthy take-offs on strawberry shortcake using different fruits and variations on the basic biscuit. Our other favorites are Roasted Pineapple Shortcakes, Chocolate Strawberry Shortcakes and Rhubarb-Peach Shortcake.
Here's the Strawberry Shortcake recipe:
2 cups cake flour, plus more for dusting
1 cup white whole-wheat flour (see Ingredient Note) or whole-wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
4 tablespoons (2 ounces) reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchâtel)
1/4 cup canola oil
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons nonfat buttermilk
4 cups sliced hulled strawberries (about 1 1/4 pounds whole berries)
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1. To prepare shortcakes: Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. Whisk cake flour, white whole-wheat (or whole-wheat pastry) flour, sugar and baking powder in a large bowl. Cut in butter using two knives or a pastry cutter until the pieces are about the size of peas. Cut in cream cheese until it's the size of peas. Drizzle oil over the mixture; stir with a fork until just combined (the mixture will be crumbly). Make a well in the center and add egg and buttermilk. Gradually stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients with a fork until the mixture is evenly moist. Knead the mixture in the bowl two or three times until it holds together.
3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Dust with flour and roll into an 8-by-10-inch rectangle about 1/2 inch thick. Cut the edges square using a butter knife. Cut the dough into 12 equal shortcakes. Transfer to a baking sheet.
4. Bake the shortcakes until puffed and lightly golden, about 20 minutes. Let cool slightly.
5. To prepare filling: Meanwhile, toss strawberries with sugar in a medium bowl. Whisk whipping cream in a medium bowl until it's thick and holds its shape, 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in sour cream until combined.
6. To serve, split shortcakes horizontally. Spoon berries and juice onto the bottoms, top with the cream mixture and replace the shortcake tops.
Makes 12 servings, 1 shortcake & about 1/2 cup filling each.
Ingredient Note: White whole-wheat flour, made from a special variety of white wheat, is light in color and flavor but has the same nutritional properties as regular whole-wheat flour.
NUTRITION INFORMATION: Per serving: 303 calories; 14 g fat (6 g sat, 4 g mono); 48 mg cholesterol; 38 g carbohydrate; 5 g protein; 2 g fiber; 137 mg sodium; 157 mg potassium.
Nutrition bonus: Vitamin C (50% daily value), Folate & Iron (20% dv). Exchanges: 1 1/2 starch, 1 other carbohydrates, 3 fat; 2 1/2 Carbohydrate Servings.
By Jessie Price
EatingWell food editor Jessie Prices professional background in food started when she worked in restaurant kitchens in the summers during college. She started out testing recipes for EatingWell and then joined the staff here full-time in 2004 when she moved to Vermont from San Francisco.
Related Links from EatingWell:
Find more healthy fruit dessert recipes, ready in 15 minutes or less!
- Love summer shortcakes? Try your hand at Toasted Oat Shortcakes with Basil-Scented Peaches.
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