Amor Galore: Heart-Shaped Strawberry Shortcakes
There’s nothing sweeter than special treats made with love! Surprisingly simple and super tasty, these pretty, heart-shaped strawberry shortcakes are a great way to celebrate February 14th (or any special occasion!) with your little valentine.
The building blocks: a rich and tender six-ingredient cream biscuit, fresh strawberries, fluffy homemade whipped cream, and, of course, sprinkles. Not a fan of strawberries? These shortcakes are equally delicious with red raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, peaches, or bananas (pair with a drizzle of caramel sauce!).
Enjoy them as a sweet finale to your festivities or, if you’re like us and can’t wait, a truly awesome breakfast.
In our centers, we embrace family-style eating. Encouraging children to serve themselves teaches them important social skills (like passing items, sharing, being patient, saying “please” and “thank you”) and how to listen to their own hunger cues. Allowing them to get in on the serving action—like with kid-friendly baking recipes, such as this one—can also inspire them to try new foods! Sure, there will likely be some spills when children take the lead, but also lots of smiles.
Chances are your kiddo will love the opportunity to build their own dessert. Perhaps they’ll choose to stack their biscuit, berries, and cream, or maybe they’ll dish it up open-face. Either way, we bet there will be a lot of sprinkles!
HEART-SHAPED STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE
* Recipe adapted from the New York Times
** Remember to stick your butter in the freezer at least a couple hours in advance!
Yields: Approximately 4–6 servings
Total time: 45–55 minutes
For the berries:
- 2 pints ripe strawberries (rinsed)
- ¼ cup white granulated sugar
For the sweet-cream biscuits:
- 4 cups flour, measured correctly
- 3 tablespoons white granulated sugar
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 5 teaspoons baking powder
- ¾ cup (1½ sticks) butter, frozen
- 1½ cups heavy whipping cream
- ¼ cup (½ stick) butter, melted
For the whipped cream:
- 2 tablespoons white granulated sugar
- 1½ cups heavy whipping cream
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Red, pink, purple, or rainbow sprinkles
- Remove the strawberry stems and discard. Cut the berries in half, or slice and place in a medium bowl. Add the sugar, gently stir, and let sit for at least 20 minutes so the berries can soften and begin to release their juices.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Lightly grease a baking sheet with butter and set aside. To prepare for making whipped cream, place a metal bowl and whisk in the freezer—ideally the metal bowl and whisk attachment for a stand mixer.
- Add the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder for the biscuits to a large mixing bowl and whisk it all together. Set aside.
- On a small, clean cutting board, grate the frozen butter using the large holes of a box grater—bigger shavings of butter will work best. You may need to grate the butter in batches. Pour the butter in the mixing bowl, using a butter knife or rubber spatula (rather than your warm hands) to remove any pieces stuck to the grater. Quickly toss the grated butter with the dry ingredients until coated, and then chill the biscuit mixture in the freezer for 10 minutes.
- Lightly flour a large cutting board and set aside. Remove the biscuit mixture from the freezer and add the heavy whipping cream. Quickly stir to create a soft dough. Don’t stress if you have lots of crumbs—you can work them all in during the next step.
- Place the dough on the floured cutting board and knead it for 1 minute, working to combine any dry ingredients or crumbs.
- Roll the dough out to about ½-inch thickness. Use a heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut an even number of hearts (you will need 2 per serving).
- Place half of the hearts on the baking sheet and brush with a little melted butter. Place the remaining hearts on top. Bake the shortcakes for 10–15 minutes, or until golden brown.
- While the shortcakes bake, return to your strawberries and gently crush about a quarter of them with a fork to release more juices. Set aside.
- Remove the shortcakes from the oven and pull them apart. Brush the inside of both halves with a little more melted butter. Set aside.
- Remove the metal bowl and whisk from the freezer to make the whipped cream. First add the sugar, and then add the whipping cream on top. Beat until the cream begins to thicken, then stop and add the vanilla. Beat again until the cream just begins to form soft peaks (over-whipped cream will turn stiff and grainy, but here’s how you can save it).
- Place the bottom half of a shortcake on each plate. Top with strawberries and then cover with the top half of the shortcake. Spoon on a few more berries, add a dollop of whipped cream, and then finish with sprinkles. Enjoy!