Strawberry Shortcake

I continually see recipes in books and magazines using the phrase ‘Whole Wheat’ in the title. I get excited and start reading, only to find the recipe also calls for white flour. It seems to me, if a recipe says ‘Whole Wheat’ in the title, it should’t use any refined flour. It’s confusing enough trying to decipher what food labels mean (“All-Natural, Lower-Calorie, Zero Trans-Fats Chemically Enhanced”). Inaccurate recipe titles make matters even more complicated. I don’t think bakers deliberately try to deceive readers. Maybe they just want credit for including the stuff. Here’s a simple plea to the world of food writers and recipe publishers: “Please, keep ‘Whole Wheat’ whole!”  Is that too much to ask? It might be.

The season’s first strawberries have arrived at the markets and I decided it was about time to create a whole wheat strawberry shortcake recipe. Not too dense, not too sweet, buttery, flaky, light, with honey-sweetened strawberries and whipped cream. I hope you’ll enjoy them, even without the magic words in the title.

Strawberry Shortcake

Serving Size: Serves 6

Strawberry Shortcake

Adapted from Cooks Illustrated.


  • 2 pints strawberries, sliced

  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 ¾ cups whole wheat pastry flour

  • ¾ cup whole wheat flour

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon sea salt

  • 2/3 cup cold buttermilk

  • 8 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled

  • 1 egg
3 tablespoons honey
  • 3/4 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons honey


Preheat oven to 425°F and adjust rack to middle position. Toss together strawberries and honey in a small bowl. Set aside. Whisk whole wheat pastry flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, and salt in large bowl. In a medium bowl whisk together buttermilk, cooled butter, egg and honey. Pour buttermilk mixture into dry ingredients and stir until incorporated. Spoon 1/3 cup scoops of dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 12-15 minutes until tops are golden brown. Cool for 20 minutes.

Whip cream and honey together until soft peaks form.

To serve:

Cut each shortcake in half, spoon several tablespoons of whipped cream on the bottom-inside layer of the shortcake. Spoon strawberries over cream and top with other half of shortcake. Serve immediately.

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  1. Making strawberry shortcake is on my list of "fun things to do"…and I totally want to try your recipe! Thank you! Also, I can totally relate to your pet-peeve. I hate it when they say "all natural" when in reality, there are very few all-natural ingredients. Bugs me.-Gail

  2. Going through the "whole wheat shortcake" search results I was having the same problem – most of them had barely any whole wheat flour. So bravo.No whole wheat pastry flour? The batch I'm eating now is 1 1/2c regular whole wheat flour and 1 cup oat flour. (Oat flour = oatmeal + electric spinny blade appliance of choice, if you don't keep around prebought stuff.) I figure since oatmeal has no gluten at all, you have to use more of the wheat flour to compensate. I don't have a regular batch to compare to but I'm quite happy with these.

  3. Cassie

    Hey Carrie, This recipe sounds great!
    Can you send me a copy of the nutritional info. for this recipe? I have Diabetes, and like to keep track of the Carbs and Fat info.

    Thank you!
    Cassie Richwine

  4. Lindsay Heller

    I just made this using freshly ground hard red wheat (1 3/4 cup unground) and buckwheat (3/4 cup). I couldn’t find organic buttermilk at my grocery store today so I used Hazelnut Half and Half. This was AMAZING!!!! Thanks so much for this healthy version of my favorite treat. Even better than I remembered it.


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