The Best Biscuit for Strawberry Shortcake (Gluten-Free with Dairy Free Option)
It’s springtime! That means it’s berry season here in California (and therefore it’s also shortcake season). When it comes to shortcakes, I like mine to be biscuit style, rather than cake style. So I’m going to share the best recipe for a biscuit for strawberry shortcake. It’s gluten-free (with a dairy-free option) and really easy to make. The gluten-free biscuit is flaky and delicious, subtly sweet, and the perfect vehicle for fresh California strawberries. But why stop there? I’ve also added raspberries, blackberries and blueberries. Whipped cream is a must, but the flavorful red wine syrup brings this gluten-free shortcake recipe from basic to baller.Jump to Recipe
April is Down to Earth Month
I’ve partnered with my friends at Discover California Wines for this delicious Biscuit for Strawberry Shortcake recipe. It’s no secret that I love wine, and for a while now, I’ve mostly been drinking wines from California. There are a lot of reasons why I prefer California wines to wines from other places. One big reason why is that I live here! I’ve gotten to visit many wine regions throughout the Golden State and have met a lot of people who dedicate their lives to making some of the best wines in the world.
I’ve tasted my way around Paso Robles, Monterey County, Santa Barbara County and Sonoma and Napa Valley. And visited the Madera Wine Trail, the Anderson Valley, and wineries in Gold Country. Every where I go I learn more about why California is a great place to grow and make wine, and I’m so inspired by the interesting humans doing the hard work.
April is Down to Earth Month which is a monthlong celebration of sustainable winemaking practices here in California. What is sustainable wine? And more importantly why should you care? A lot of people say they care about sustainability (which is awesome), but a surprising number of people also don’t understand exactly what that means. If you think that sustainable farming means using environmentally sound practices like water conservation, safe pest control, using cover crops to replenish the soil and harnessing solar energy you’re not wrong. But sustainability is SO. MUCH. MORE. And that’s a good thing, right? Sustainability also means caring for your community and your workers and being an economically sustainable business too. An easy way to summarize all that is with the three “Es” of sustainability — they are Environmental Sustainability, Social Equity, and Economic Sustainability.
You can feel good when you buy wines from the Golden State. California is a world leader in sustainability. As the 4th largest winegrowing region in the world, it’s the most sustainable in volume of wine acreage and production. So what does that mean in terms of numbers?
- A whopping 80% of California wine is Certified Sustainable. That’s 18 million cases!
- There are 2,548 Certified Vineyards and 178 Certified Wineries.
- An additional 22% of California winegrape acres are certified to other sustainability programs like Napa Green, SIP Certified and LODI RULES, with some vineyards certifying to more than one program.
- When buying wine look for the Certified Sustainable seal – 216 million bottles bear the label.
There are many, many California sustainable wines to choose from, and some winemakers haven’t yet added the seals to the label. If you’re wondering how to find a sustainable wine in the store here’s a list of sustainable wines. And here’s a list of sustainable wineries that you can visit.
How to Make a Red Wine Syrup For Drizzling on Just About Everything
These Biscuits for Strawberry Shortcake are jazzed up with a sweet/tart red wine + blackberry syrup that’s so easy to make! The base of the syrup is a sweet dessert wine called Red Electra Moscato from Quady Winery a Certified Sustainable winery in Madera, California. They specialize in delicious dessert wines and ports, as well as complex vermouths. It’s worth seeking out, but if you can’t find this wine, not to worry. You can make the red wine syrup with any fruit-forward red wine from California like Zinfandel or Grenache. It’s obviously amazing on this shortcake recipe, but it’s also great on ice cream, on pound cake or even on waffles or pancakes. The recipe makes more than you need for the shortcake (lucky you) so you can have fun experimenting.
Ingredients for Red Wine + Blackberry Syrup
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 1/3 cups Red Electra or other fruit-forward red wine such as California Zinfandel
- 2 cups of blackberries
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine the sugar, wine, blackberries and water in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the mixture is thick and syrupy and coats the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat and cool 15 minutes.
Transfer cooled blackberry mixture to a blender and puree. Pour into a bowl through a fine wire mesh sieve to remove the seeds. Stir in lemon juice and vanilla extract. Place in the refrigerator and chill at least 3 hours or overnight.
Tips for Making Gluten Free Biscuits of your Dreams
The foundation to this beautiful dessert is a very delicious, tender, and flaky gluten free biscuit. Making gluten-free biscuits may seem complicated, but it’s no more difficult than making regular biscuits. I learned my gluten free biscuit technique from the amazing Aran Goyoaga and my biscuit recipe is adapted from hers. But there are a few important tips to ensure success:
- Make sure your ingredients are very cold. I like to put the butter in the freezer.
- Don’t overwork the dough. It will seem like a shaggy mess at first, but the heat of your hands will help pull it together. When you can form it into a cohesive dough, pat it into a disk. If it’s gotten too soft, you might want to wrap it in plastic to chill it before rolling out.
- To create the beautiful flaky layers, roll the dough into a rectangle, fold it into thirds, turn the dough a quarter turn on the work surface and fold again into thirds. Repeat one more time, rolling to a thickness of 1 1/2-2 inches before you cut the biscuits.
- Using a sharp edge will help your biscuits rise higher, but even a glass will work well as a biscuit cutter for these gluten free biscuits.
How to Make Gluten Free Dairy Free Biscuits
It’s easy to make a diary free version of these gluten free biscuits. Simply swap the butter for your favorite dairy free butter. I like Myokos Cultured Vegan Butter. And swap the heavy cream with a high fat non-dairy milk like coconut milk or full fat Oatly. If you want to make them vegan, simply omit the egg wash on the top of the biscuit.
Gluten Free Berry Shortcake with Red Wine + Blackberry Syrup – A Gorgeous Spring Dessert!
This recipe is everything you want in a spring dessert — a crisp, buttery gluten free biscuit, fresh and juicy berries, a hearty dollop of lightly sweetened whipped cream, and a drizzle of the most delicious red wine and blackberry syrup. It would be a perfect gluten free Easter dessert, but I bet your mom would like it for Mother’s Day too. Honestly it’s so such a delicious dessert I know we’ll have it on repeat all spring and summer long, no matter what the occasion.
Other Gluten Free Spring Desserts to Try
- Super Easy Peach + Blueberry Cobbler – Gluten Free
- Gluten-Free Lemon Tart with Raspberries
- A Stunning Gluten Free Lemon Cake
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Gluten Free Berry Shortcakes with Red Wine + Blackberry Syrup
For the Biscuit
- 1/2 cup salted butter or non-dairy butter
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream (or whole fat non-dairy milk)
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup superfine brown rice flour plus more for dusting
- 1/2 cup tapioca starch
- 1/3 cup potato starch
- 1/3 cup sorghum flour
- 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 1 large egg lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon flaky sea salt
For the Red Wine Syrup
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 1/3 cups Red Electra Moscato or other fruit-forward red wine such as California Zinfandel
- 2 cups California blackberries
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Whipped Cream
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the Shortcake
- 1 cup strawberries sliced
- 1 cup raspberries
- 1/2 cup blueberries
- 1/2 cup blackberries
- Make the Biscuits. Preheat the oven to 450°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the butter in the freezer for at least 30 minutes, or until frozen solid.
- Combine heavy cream and apple cider vinegar in a small bowl, whisk together, and let sit for a few minutes to curdle cream.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the brown rice flour, tapioca starch, potato starch, sorghum flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and xanthan gum. Remove the butter from the freezer and grate it coarsely with a box grater. Do this directly into the bowl of flours.
- Mix the butter into the flour using your hands. Stir in the cream mixture with a wooden spoon or fork. The dough will be extremely shaggy. You’ll need to knead it with your hands until it comes together into a dough. Don’t worry if it seems too sticky, it will eventually become smooth.
- Dust a work surface with brown rice flour. Transfer the dough onto the surface, and roll it into a rectangle that is three times as long as it is wide and about 1/2 inch thick. Fold the dough into thirds like an envelope, with one side into the center, then the other side on top of the other. Rotate the dough a half turn on the work surface and roll it out into a rectangle again and repeat the folding process. This is what helps the biscuits have flaky layers. Rotate the dough again and roll into a rectangle that is about 8×4 inches. It should be 1 1/2 to 2 inches thick. Cut the dough into 6 squares, or using a round cutter (about 3 inches) cut it into 6 rounds. A sharp-edged cutter or knife will help the biscuits to rise higher, but in a pinch, even a glass or jar will work.
- Brush the beaten egg over the tops of the biscuits and sprinkle with raw (turbinado) sugar. Bake for 18 minutes, until golden brown. Transfer the baking sheet to a cooling rack, and let the biscuits cool on the pan for 5 minutes. Lift them off and let them cool completely on a rack.
- Make the wine syrup. Combine the sugar, wine, blackberries and water in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the mixture is thick and syrupy and coats the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat and cool 15 minutes.
- Transfer cooled blackberry mixture to a blender and puree. Pour into a bowl through a fine wire mesh sieve to remove the seeds. Stir in lemon juice and vanilla extract. Place in the refrigerator and chill at least 3 hours or overnight.
- Make the whipped cream. Put the cream in a medium bowl and beat until soft peaks form. Add the sugar and continue beating for a few more minutes or until the cream holds stiff peaks. Fold in the vanilla extract. Chill until ready to use.
- To assemble the shortcakes. Split each biscuit in half. Pile berries on the bottom half, top with whipped cream, drizzle with wine syrup and place the top of the biscuit back on top. Serve immediately with extra wine syrup on the side.
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