Strawberries And Rhubarb For The Win
This weeks recipe, Strawberry Rhubarb Shortcake, uses two of my favourite fruits and veggies growing in my garden right now. Rhubarb tends to start growing much earlier than strawberries but it has a relatively long season. Thankfully it is still growing like crazy as my strawberries finally start ripening alongside. Time for strawberry rhubarb desserts!
Easy Traditional Shortcake Recipe
This is an easy and simple dessert with a cake that takes under 30 minutes to make and bake. The strawberries and rhubarb are gently cooked with a little sugar and thickener to create an incredibly luscious filling then topped with lightly sweetened whipped cream flavoured with lavender syrup or vanilla. Super simple to make, this crowd-pleaser is the ultimate dessert to bring for a potluck or a camp out because each component can be made ahead and it’s fabulous enough to end a Sunday dinner.
Can You Make This Ahead
Yes. Or at least you can make each component ahead of time and assemble shortly before serving. The shortcake and the fruit sauce can be made the day before. The whipped cream can be made up to a few hours before. Ideally you will do the final assembly within an hour or two of serving so the cream stays fluffy. This recipe does not freeze well.
Can I Use Other Fruit
Absolutely! Stone fruits and berries each go beautifully in a shortcake. If using soft berries like raspberries, I would just use them fresh instead of cooking them. Stone fruit can be used fresh but will also benefit with the same cooking as the strawberry rhubarb mixture. If you are somewhere tropical, fresh, uncooked passionfruit makes an extra special treat as the fruit topping. (Got plums? Try my Plum Clafoutis recipe.)
Strawberry Shortcake Variations
If you prefer, you can certainly use a non dairy whipped cream . You could also make your shortcakes in small individual servings (reduce baking time accordingly). With individual servings, you can create a strawberry shortcake bar and let everyone top their shortcake how they like. This would make a wonderful dessert for a Fourth of July or Canada Day celebration, don’t you think?
Cheers my Friends. As always, if you have any questions at all about this recipe or another, ask away and I will always do my best to give you a prompt and helpful answer.
PS. You can find my Lavender Syrup Recipe along with other ways to preserve lavender here.
The Ultimate Strawberry Rhubarb Shortcake
- 1/2 c Salted Butter, Melted If using unsalted butter, add 1/2 tsp salt
- 2/3 c Milk I used whole milk (3.25% mf)
- 1 Egg
- 1 tbsp Vanilla
- 1 tbsp Sugar (I used plain granulated sugar)
- 2 c All Purpose Flour
- 1 tbsp Baking Powder
Strawberry Rhubarb Filling
- 3 c Rhubarb, Cut In 1/2" Pieces
- 1 c Strawberries, Halved Or Quartered
- 1/3 c Sugar Plain granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp Cornstarch
- 2+4 tbsp Water, Divided
- 2 c Whipping Cream (500 ml)
- 3-4 tbsp Confectioners Sugar, To Taste
- 1 tsp Vanilla Or Lavender Syrup
- 1/2 tsp *Optional* Cream Of Tartar Optional but helps keep whipped cream stiff if serving in large cake format or whipping it ahead of time.
- Preheat oven to 400' F
- Melt butter and then whisk in milk, egg and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients- flour, baking powder and sugar and mix well then pour wet ingredients into dry. Easy right?!?! Stir gently to combine but don't mix too much, the dough should look shaggy and just stick together.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment and then scrape and pour out batter down the middle of the pan to make a long rectangle/oval shape, this doesn't need to be perfect. Alternatively, drop by heaping tablespoonfuls to make individual cakes, adjust time accordingly.
- Put on middle rack in oven and bake 17-20 min. for 1 large cake and approximately 12 minutes if making as individual cakes. When a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, it's done. Cool on a wire rack. If not serving the same day, once completely cool cover in a container or with plastic wrap until using.
Strawberry Rhubarb Filling
- In a medium pot add chopped fruit and sugar and let sit 10 minutes until juices start to appear, stirring occasionally.
- Set pot on burner set to medium, add 2 tbsp of water and put lid on. Once it starts to steam, remove lid and stir occasionally until rhubarb is cooked but still has some chunks, approximately 10 minutes, then remove from heat. Stir together cornstarch and 4 tbsp water, then pour in while stirring constantly to prevent lumps and then return to stove. Bring to a simmer, stirring frequently until cornstarch is cooked and mixture is thickened, approximately 2 minutes, then remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
- In a separate bowl (pre-chilled if possible) mix together sugar, cream of tartar if using. Next add vanilla or lavender syrup and cream and beat on high with electric mixer until stiff peaks form. (Be careful to stop at stiff peaks so butter/lumps don't start to form)
- Using a large serrated bread knife held horizontally (parallel to the table), slice the cake through the middle creating a top and bottom. Gently lift off top and put bottom on serving platter.
- Spread strawberry rhubarb topping over bottom layer evenly. Top with whipped cream and then gently put the top layer of cake on. *Note this is best assembled shortly before serving so the cake doesn't absorb the filling and get too soft. Optional garnish: Sprinkle with confectioners sugar or fresh strawberries and lavender buds if desired.