Mixed Berry Cornmeal Biscuit Shortcakes

For these shortcakes, macerated fresh berries and homemade whipped cream—flavored with vanilla and lemon zest—are served atop a buttery, tender split cornmeal biscuit for a summery dessert. Stacking and patting down the dough as opposed to kneading it helps you avoid overworking the dough, and also encourages even lamination. The addition of cornmeal in the dough adds great texture and flavor to the biscuits. You can make them earlier in the day and then warm them back up when you're ready to serve.

Mixed Berry Cornmeal Biscuit Shortcake
Photo: Photo by Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Margret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen
Active Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
45 mins


  • 2 cups (about 8 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface

  • 1 cup (about 5 7/10 ounces) yellow cornmeal

  • 1 tablespoon baking powder

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • ½ teasppon baking soda

  • 6 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided

  • 1 cup (8 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cubed

  • 1 cup cold whole buttermilk

  • 1 large egg

  • 4 cups mixed fresh berries (such as strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries) (20 ounces)

  • ½ teaspoon grated lemon zest, plus 1 Tablespoon fresh juice (from 1 lemon), divided

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream

  • ¼ cup powdered sugar

  • ½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. Stir together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and 3 tablespoons of the granulated sugar in a large bowl. Using a pastry blender or 2 forks, cut in cold butter until mixture is crumbly. Stir in cold buttermilk until a shaggy dough forms.

  2. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Pat dough into a rectangle, and cut into fourths. Stack each fourth on top of each other, and pat down into a rectangle again. Repeat process 3 times.

  3. Pat or roll dough to 1-inch thickness (about a 6- x 9-inch rectangle). Trim edges; cut dough evenly into 12 (about 3-inch) squares. Arrange biscuits 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheet. Freeze until cold, about 10 minutes.

  4. Remove biscuits from freezer; brush evenly with egg. Bake in preheated oven until golden brown, 13 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven.

  5. While biscuits bake, hull and quarter strawberries, if using. Stir together mixed berries, lemon juice, and remaining 3 tablespoons granulated sugar in a medium bowl until combined. Let stand until macerated, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.

  6. Beat cream, powdered sugar, lemon zest, and vanilla bean paste with an electric mixer on high speed until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes. Split biscuits horizontally. Dollop evenly with whipped cream, and spoon macerated berries evenly over tops.

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