Sunday, August 26, 2007

Classic Canadian Shortcakes

As the last of Summer lights fade away, I'm with the group of people who clutch at the last remaining glimmers of heat that we wait so long for during the winter months. It seems that the sunburns, the cold outdoor pools and the crowded beaches we lamented are now somehow the best things we ever experienced, and we crave them one last time. When I think of summers past, I remember voyages on Georgian Bay as my dad captained our sailboat, I think of the Stouffville Strawberry Festival that brought to the table pies and amazing home-made Strawberry Wine, and of my first experience with the classic: Strawberry Shortcake.

These are the "biscuit" style of shortcake, which I prefer over the "sponge" style. They are a hearty base for a dollop of sweetened whipped cream and slightly macerated strawberries. To make it A la Canadienne, use maple syrup to sweeten the cream. It adds a wonderful, yet subtle, touch.

Classic Canadian Shortcakes
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1 tbsp granulated sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp each baking soda and salt
1/4 cup cold butter, cubed
1 egg
1 cup sour cream
1 tbsp buttermilk
  1. Preheat oven to 450 F.
  2. In large bowl, whisk together flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. Cut in butter until crumbly.
  4. In separate bowl, whisk together egg and sour cream.
  5. Add to dry ingredients and mix until mixture forms a shaggy dough.
  6. Turn out onto lightly floured surface, and knead to form a smooth dough.
  7. Make a circle about 1” thick. Using floured cutter (or glass), cut out biscuits, re-rolling scraps.
  8. Transfer to a lined baking sheet. Brush tops with buttermilk.
  9. Bake 12 minutes.
  10. Transfer to rack and let cool.


  1. They look wonderful!! I love your photos.


  2. Shortcake has to be one of the ultimate desserts next to cheesecake and white chocolate mousse!!I was told once that the sponge type of shortcake is British and the biscuit kind was the American take on it. I like it both ways!!!!! My dad had a sailboat as well and we used to sail on Georgian Bay. We had a cottage at Lion's Head. We also had a cottage on Lake Eugenia near Flesherton. Our first sailing trip was on a little rented "Sunspot" at Milton (which sank with 4 of us in it).


Thanks for the feedback!