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Brown Sugar Shortcakes

Author: Virginia Willis


  • 3-1/2 cups  all-purpose flour plus more for dusting
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 teaspoons  baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon  fine sea salt
  • 3/4 cup 11/2 sticks unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
  • Grated zest of 1 orange or 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier
  • 1 cup  heavy cream plus more for brushing
  • 1/2 cup  whole milk
  • Turbinado Demerara, or raw brown sugar, for sprinkling

Berries and Garnish

  • 2 pints  strawberries hulled and quartered lengthwise
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • Whipped cream for accompaniment


  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking sheet or parchment paper.
  • To prepare the shortcakes, in the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer fitted with the paddle, combine the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt on low speed. Add the butter and zest, and mix on low until the mixture resembles coarse meal, about 2 minutes. Add the cream and milk and increase the speed to medium; mix until the dough comes together. Remove the dough to a lightly floured surface, lightly knead a few times, and shape into a rectangle about 3/4 inch thick.
  • Cut out dough circles using a 3-inch round cutter. Place the circles on the prepared baking sheet. Brush the tops lightly with cream and sprinkle with the turbinado sugar. Bake until the shortcakes are golden brown, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool.
  • Meanwhile, to prepare the berries, place the strawberries in a bowl. Add the orange juice and granulated sugar. Set aside.
  • To serve, halve the shortcakes horizontally with a serrated knife. Place the bottom halves on individual serving plates, top each with a dollop of whipped cream, then some berries, and another dollop of whipped cream. Cover with the tops of the shortcakes and serve.

The shortcakes can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days.