Strawberry shortcake has always been a favorite dessert of mine since I was a kid. I think I requested for my birthday cake most of the time. My mom would make a big flaky shortcake or vanilla sponge and layer it with fresh sweet strawberries and whipped cream. Is there anything better than in-season ripe juicy sweet strawberries and vanilla scented cream? No. No there is not. If you answered yes we need to have words. OK not really (I’m way to passive to actually do that) but I think this recipe will change your mind.
The idea to use semolina flour in my shortcake recipe, which is a riff off my coconut cream biscuit recipe, came after making some semolina sourdough loaves and then semolina pancakes. Semolina is milled from durum wheat, which is an Italian variety of wheat that is coarser than all-purpose flour and is a pale yellow color, most often used to make pastas. But it also does something magical in baked goods: every time I use it in something the crumb comes out so tender. It’s actually really perfect in shortcake, which can tend to dry out really easily. You need to go make those semolina pancakes saved in my instagram stories btw. SO GOOD.
And since lilacs are in full bloom right now I just had to add some to the dough and sprinkle them all over the assembled shortcakes because flowers make everything better, amiright??!! You can leave the lilacs out or switch them up with other edible flowers too. I also broke out the violet sugar from the last post to sprinkle on top of the shortcakes: best decision ever. It’s like little violet sprinkles.
The strawberries are sweetened with maple syrup and macerated in their own juices to be soaked up by the flaky shortcake. Will definitely be doing this with other berries and stone fruits this summer. Let’s keep the shortcake train rolling!!!
Would love to see your take on this and any of my recipes! Please tag me @fareisle in the photo and use #fareisle in the caption so I can see your creations. I’ll repost them on my instagram stories!
recipe after the jump…
Semolina Lilac Strawberry Shortcake
An old fashioned American classic with a new twist! The addition of semolina flour makes this shortcake oh so tender! Fill them with fresh seasonal berries or stone fruits and a healthy dollop of whipped coconut cream for the perfect summer dessert.
Lilac Semolina Shortcakes
- 1-1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup semolina flour
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup vegan butter alternative
- 1/2 cup fresh lilac blossoms (optional) plus more for garnish
- 2/3 cup + 2 tablespoons full fat coconut milk (plus more for brushing biscuits)
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons violet sugar (or more granulated sugar)
- 2 quarts fresh strawberries
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup maple syrup (or sweetener of choice)
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- splash of your favorite liquor (optional)
Whipped Coconut Cream
- 2 cans of full fat coconut milk, chilled overnight
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean powder or seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean
- Preheat oven 425˚F.
- Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl stir together flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
- Cut butter into small cubes. Cut butter into flour mixture using your fingertips or a pastry cutter until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs with some pea-sized bits. If adding lilac flowers, stir them into mixture with a fork.
- Add vinegar to coconut milk and stir to thicken. Pour coconut milk mixture into flour mixture and stir to form dough. Finish combining dough by hand until it comes together. Be gentle and don’t over-mix.
- Turn dough out onto a floured surface and roll out to 1/2” thickness.
- Cut out shortcakes using a round biscuit cutter or drinking glass and transfer rounds to baking sheet so that they almost touch each other. Gently rework scraps and cut out more shortcakes until all of dough is used up.
- Brush tops of shortcakes with more coconut milk and sprinkle with the violet sugar you made during violet season (recipe in the blog archives) or use more granulated sugar.
- Bake shortcakes on center rack for 15-20 minutes until they are light golden brown.
- Remove sheet pan from oven and transfer shortcakes to a cooling rack using a spatula. Cool shortcakes to room temperature before serving.
- Prepare strawberries by removing the leaves and stems and quartering them. Mix them together with the maple syrup, lemon, vanilla extract and liquor if using. Let them sit for 10 minutes to macerate in their juices.
- To make whipped coconut cream scoop out coconut cream from chilled cans of coconut milk. Add sugar and vanilla bean and whip in a handheld or stand mixer until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Tip: Chill bowl and beater(s) first to help keep the cream cold during whipping.
- To assemble shortcakes, split them with a fork (like you do with English muffins). Spoon macerated berries and juice onto bottom half of shortcake. Dollop on whipped coconut cream. Place top of shortcake on whipped cream. Sprinkle with lilac flowers to garnish. Serve right away. Enjoy!
Shortcake is best eaten the day it’s made. The shortcakes themselves will keep in an airtight container at room temp for a few days.
Replace strawberries with other seasonal berries and stone fruits throughout the summer. Replace lilacs with other edible flowers like roses for example. Make sure any edible flowers you use are not sprayed and avoid harvesting from roadways because of spraying and chemically polluted water runoff from the roads.
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Prop Love: Biscuit cutter and pinch bowl by Facture Goods. Naturally dyed kitchen towel and apron by Nade Studio.