Strawberry Shortcake with Bourbon-Soaked Berries

bourbon soaked strawberry shortcake
Photo: Joy Howard
Active Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
45 mins

There's no shortage of shortcake recipes, but this version offers two delicious twists: Rather than a biscuit or sponge cake, this one starts with homemade scones. Each is topped and baked with a generous sprinkling of coarse sugar that lends irresistible crunch, and the dense texture of the crumb is just right for soaking up the juices of the strawberries and dolloping with light and fluffy whipped cream. (An added bonus: you can also make them a day ahead.) The berries are stirred together with a mix of dark brown sugar, vanilla, and bourbon. Aside from adding more flavor, the latter makes the dessert a decidedly grown-up treat since the alcohol isn't cooked off. To make the dessert family-friendly, you can forgo the bourbon altogether, or divide the berry mixture into two equal portions and use half the amount of spirits in just one.



  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

  • 4 tablespoons granulated sugar

  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • ½ cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter

  • 2 eggs

  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream

  • 2 tablespoons coarse sugar, for topping

Berries and Whipped Cream

  • 1 quart strawberries, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons bourbon

  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar

  • Vanilla extract

  • 1 ¼ cups heavy cream

  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon confectioner's sugar


  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and heat the oven to 400°F. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, granulated sugar, salt, and baking powder. Use a box grater to shred the butter, then toss it with the dry ingredients to distribute evenly. Add 1 egg and the heavy cream and stir to combine. Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface. Knead once or twice, then gather and flatten it into a ½-inch-thick round. Use a 3-inch round cookie cutter to cut the dough into 8 circles. Arrange them on the baking sheet, spacing them 2 inches apart.

  2. Whisk the remaining egg with 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl. Brush the tops of the biscuits with the egg wash and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake the scones until light golden on top and around the bottom edges, about 15 minutes.

  3. While the scones bake, combine the strawberries, bourbon, brown sugar, and a splash of vanilla in a medium bowl. Stir to coat the berries, then set aside to let the berries release their juices.

  4. In another bowl, with a hand mixer, whip the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Add the confectioner's sugar and a splash of vanilla, and continue to whip until stiff peaks form. To serve, halve a scone, then dollop the bottom portion with ⅛ each of the whipped cream and berries. Top with the other scone half, then repeat with the remaining scones, berries and whipped cream. Serve immediately.

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