CREATIVE FAMILY FUN: Strawberry shortcake for Independence Day

By Donna Erickson

There’s really nothing quite like the taste of homemade shortcake. (Photo by Donna Erickson)

Sweet, fragrant local strawberries are plentiful right now, just in time for making strawberry shortcake, a classic summer treat that can star on your Fourth of July dessert table. There’s really nothing quite like the taste of homemade shortcake, and in this recipe the hint of orange zest makes it extra bright. Get your preteens and teens involved in the fun preparation — while one child works with the dough, another can prepare the strawberries.




6-8 cups fresh strawberries, hulled

Juice from one orange

3 tablespoons sugar, plus 2 tablespoons for the berries

2 cups self-rising flour

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

2 teaspoons orange zest

3/4 cup milk

1 tablespoon half-and-half for brushing

2 1/2 cups whipped cream


Slice berries in a bowl and combine with orange juice and 2 tablespoons of the sugar. Set aside at room temperature.


  1. Preheat oven to 400 F and place rack in middle position. Grease or line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk together flour, 3 tablespoons sugar and salt in a large bowl. Add cold butter pieces and orange zest; mix with a pastry blender or your fingers until it resembles cornmeal. Stir in milk until just combined. Do not overmix.
  3. Drop dough in 8 equal mounds onto tbaking sheet. Lightly pat into rounds. Brush with half-and-half.
  4. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden. Cool on wire rack.


To Serve:

Split each shortcake in half with a serrated knife and set bottoms on serving plates. Spoon prepared strawberries and juices on each one. Top with dollop of fluffy whipped cream. Cap with the top of shortcake. Serve immediately. Makes 8 servings.


Fourth of July:

Serve shortcake, strawberries, blueberries, whipped cream, ice cream and nonfat frozen yogurt buffet-style to let everyone assemble their own according to taste. Top with paper cutouts of “Old Glory,” a nod to both the all-American celebration and to this “glory-ous” dessert.


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© 2021 Donna Erickson

Distributed by King Features Syndicate

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