Shortcake can be a delicious way to start or end the day (or even as an afternoon pick-me-up!). This bake takes just over an hour to complete, especially if you plan to add macerated strawberries and whipped cream. Starting with real butter is essential for creating the perfectly tender, flaky and golden-brown shortcake.
Step 1: Mix Dry Ingredients
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a large bowl.
Step 2: Cut in Butter
Cut 1/2-inch cubes of butter into dry ingredients by pinching and rubbing the mixture between your fingers until the size of small peas, leaving a few larger shards. Make sure you don’t overmix – those bits of butter are what create steam as they melt and add flaky layers to your shortcakes!
Step 3: Make Well for Cream
Pour heavy cream into well in dry ingredients. Gently mix in the heavy cream with a rubber spatula until shaggy dough forms.
Step 4: Knead Dough
Put dough on lightly floured surface and knead once or twice. Again, don’t overwork.
Step 5: Create the Flaky Layers
Roughly pat dough into a 6x6-inch square, about 1-inch thick. Then, cut into 4 squares. Stack squares on top of each other and press down. This is the secret to achieving those extra flaky layers!
Step 6: Shape Dough
Once you’ve pressed down your squares, roughly pat into a 7 ½x5-inch rectangle, about 1-inch thick. Cut dough into 6 equal squares.
Step 7: Brush on Cream & Sugar
Transfer squares to rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush on extra heavy cream and sprinkle with sugar.
Step 8: Chill & Bake
Place dough in freezer for 10 minutes to chill butter. You want to make sure the butter is cold before baking so the shortcakes rise, rather than spread, while baking. Then bake shortcakes for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown. Cool before serving.