Don’t Sell These Cakes Short

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08 Sep 2014


Desserts are always a part of the holidays–not that we need them after the soup, fish, salad, sides, main course and challah. Still, dessert is, well, expected.

So…cookies? Sure, always good but been there, done that. Sponge cake? Maybe but I’m sort of tired of it. Apple cake? Expected and BORING. Honey cake? Seriously, does anyone really have a fabulous honey cake recipe? So where’s the big special finish that should follow up all the davening and multiple meals coming our way in a couple of weeks? I say go for a short cake with fresh fruit and whipped topping (or whipped cream if you’re going dairy).

So here’s the best of my short cake recipes that are perfect for yontif or anytime you feel the need for something different and special.


2 (16-oz.) containers fresh strawberries, quartered

3/4 cup sugar, divided

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

1 cup whipping cream or rice milk

2 tablespoons sugar

2 3/4 cups flour

4 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 cup cold butter or margarine, cut up

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 (8-oz.) container sour cream or pareve sour cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a bowl combine the strawberries, 1/2 cup sugar, and almond extract. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Beat the whipped cream until it has soft peaks. Add the sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks for. Cover and refrigerate.

Preheat oven to 450°. Grease a cookie sheet (or use parchment paper) In a bowl combine the combine the flour, remaining 1/4 cup sugar, and baking powder cut in the butter with a pastry blender or two forks until crumbly. In a bowl combine the eggs, sour cream, and vanilla. Whisk to combine then add the egg mixture to the flour mixture. Mix just until the dry ingredients are moistened, do not over mix. Drop the dough in 1/3 cupfuls onto the prepared cookie sheet. You should grease the measuring cup with a non-stick spray between scoops so the dough doesn’t stick. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from pan and cool on a rack. When room temperature, split the short cakes in half. Place the bottom of the short cake on a serving plate, spoon about 1/2 cup of the berry mixture on top, scoop a dollop of whipped cream on top of the berries and then top with the top of the short cake. Makes 8.

Modified from Southern Living, May 2006


8 peaches, peeled, pitted, sliced

3 cups fresh blueberries or raspberries

3/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2/3 cup sour cream or pareve sour cream

1/3 cup whipping cream, whipped or non-dairy whipped topping

12 refrigerator biscuits

Bake the biscuits and set them aside. In a bowl combine the peaches, blueberries, sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon. Mix to combine and refrigerate for 30 minutes. In a small bowl combine the sour cream and whipping cream. Mix to combine. Cut the biscuits in half and. Place the bottom half of a biscuit on a plate. Top with heaping spoonfuls of the fruit mixture. Spoon the creamed mixture over the top and then top with the top of the biscuit. You can top with some of the fruit and whipped topping or serve it as it is. Serves 12.

My files, source unknown



1 1/4 cups flour

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 cup sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 cup whipping cream, whipped to stiff peaks with 1/2 teaspoon vanilla or non-dairy whipped topping


2 lbs. strawberries, washed and sliced

8 tablespoons powdered sugar, divided

1/4 cup fresh orange juice

2 tablespoons orange liqueur

1/2 teaspoon orange zest

pinch of salt

1/2 cup chilled whipping cream or non-dairy whipped topping

1/2 cup chilled sour cream or pareve sour cream

Preheat oven to 400°. Line baking sheet with parchment. In a bowl combine the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder and salt. Mix to combine. Stir the whipped cream into the flour mixture, it should not be over mixed. Place the mixture on a lightly-floured surface and knead gently until dough forms ball, about 10 turns. Pat dough out to 3/4-inch thickness. Using 3-inch cutter, cut out biscuits. Gather dough, pat out again, and cut out total of 6 biscuits. Place biscuits on prepared baking sheet. Bake the biscuits until toothpick inserted into centers comes out clean, about 15 minutes. Transfer to rack; cool.

Whip the whipped cream to stiff peaks; gently fold in the sour cream, and 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar. Refrigerate until you are ready to put the short cake together.

For strawberries:

Stir strawberries, 6 tablespoons powdered sugar, orange juice, orange zest, salt and orange liqueur. Mix to combine, cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour. I have found that with these recipes it’s easier to not split the biscuit but rather just spoon the berries over the top and then top with cream mixture.

Using electric mixer beat chilled whipping cream, sour cream, and remaining 2 tablespoons powdered sugar until soft peaks form. Place 1 biscuit on each of 6 plates. Place large spoonful of berries with juices atop biscuits. Top with whipped cream. Pass remaining berries alongside.

Modified from Bon Appétit June 2007


For the shortcakes:

1 1/4 cups flour

1/4 cup ground pecans

3 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest

1 cup whipping cream or almond or rice milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 egg beaten

1 tablespoon sugar

For the caramel apples:

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar

3/4 cup whipping cream or rice milk, heated

5 tart apples, such as Granny Smith, peeled, cored and sliced

1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter or margarine

1 can whipped cream (whipped) or non-dairy topping

Preheat the oven to 425°. Grease or put parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Set aside Into a bowl combine the pecans, flour, 3 tablespoons of sugar, the baking powder, salt and zest. Mix to combine and set aside. In a bowl of an electric mixer combine the whipping cream with the vanilla. Whip to soft peaks. Pour the whipped cream into the flour mixture and gently mix to combine just until a ball forms. On a lightly-floured surface knead the dough 5 to 7 times, just combined. Gently roll the dough out to about 1/2 inch thick and then cut 3 to 4 inch rounds. Gather and re-roll the scraps and cut out additional rounds. Brush the rounds with the beaten egg and then sprinkle the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar on top. Bake the shortcakes on the prepared pan for 12 to 15 minutes, until golden. Cool on a rack.

In a large heavy skillet melt the butter and add the apples. Cook for 2 or 3 minutes, stirring constantly and then add 1 tablespoon of sugar. Cook until the apples are soft and golden but not mushy. Set aside. In a skillet cook the sugar until it starts to get golden. Remove from the heat and whisk in the whipping cream. Return the mixture to the heat and cook, whisking constantly for about 2 minutes. Add the sauce to the apples and stir the mixture carefully.

Cut the shortcakes in half and place the bottom on dessert plates. Spoon the apple mixture over the bottoms; spray a little topping of choice over the apple mixture and the top with the top. Makes 6 to 10 depending on the size of the biscuit

Modified from a Gourmet magazine recipe, 1993, my files.

© Eileen Goltz short cake 14

The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.