Not to be confused these with shortbread, shortcake biscuits are a sweet chunky biscuit which is typically a bit lighter in the mouth than it’s close namesake. And to be clear, we’re talking about the rectangular biscuit (see the picture above!) rather than the spongy strawberry dessert which is very popular in America with strawberries and whipped cream piled on top. The combination of the sweet, buttery biscuit with the tart, juicy strawberries and the rich, creamy whipped cream creates a mouthwatering treat that is perfect for a summertime picnic or barbecue.
Shortcake Biscuit Ingredients
One of the key ingredients in shortcake biscuits is flour. Plain flour is the most commonly used type of flour for making shortcake biscuits, but some recipes may call for the use of self-raising flour. These types of flour have a lower protein content, which helps to create a lighter, more tender biscuit.
Butter is another essential ingredient in shortcake biscuits. It is added to the dough to create a flaky texture and to add richness to the finished product. Some recipes may call for the use of vegetable shortening or lard in place of butter, but these ingredients do not create the same flaky texture and may result in a heavier biscuit.
Sugar is added to the biscuit dough to provide sweetness and to help the biscuits brown in the oven. White granulated sugar is the most commonly used type of sugar for making shortcake biscuits, but some recipes may call for the use of confectioners’ sugar or brown sugar. These types of sugar can add a deeper flavour and a slightly different texture to the finished biscuits.
Milk is the final ingredient in shortcake. It is used to moisten the dough and to create a tender texture in the finished biscuits. Whole milk is the best choice for making shortcake biscuits, as it has a higher fat content that helps to create a richer flavour and a more tender texture.
History of Shortcake Biscuits
Unlike some of the other biscuits we’ve featured, the history of shortcake biscuits is a little trickier to pin down. Whilst shortbread was invented back in the 16th century, the origin of shortcake is less well-documented. The earliest known recipes for shortcake date back to the 16th century in England, where they were made with flour, sugar, butter, and milk. These early shortcakes were dense and crumbly, and were often served with sweetened fruit and cream.
Over time, the recipe for shortcake biscuits evolved, and by the 19th century, they were being made with baking powder or baking soda to give them a lighter and fluffier texture. The fruit and cream toppings remained a popular way to serve shortcake, and the dessert became a favourite during the summer months when fresh fruit was in season.
In the United States, shortcake became popular during the 19th century, and were often served at picnics and other outdoor events. Today, shortcake biscuits are enjoyed around the world, and come in a variety of flavours and styles, from the traditional strawberry shortcake to more modern variations like chocolate and lemon. You can even buy a strawberry shortcake Muller corner yoghurt!
If you liked this, why not try making your own with our shortcake recipe?