Gluten-Free Strawberry Cornmeal Shortcake

Strawberry shortcake makes me happy. Strawberry shortcake makes summer feel real. It conjures up memories of warm summer afternoons and my mom's birthday. Her birthday is the 4th of July and growing up we almost always ate strawberry short cake to celebrate the occasion.

I've been looking for a good gluten-free alternative to strawberry shortcake for a few weeks now and I finally decided to take a regular recipe and try making it gluten-free. The strawberry cornmeal shortcake you see pictured above was the wonderful result. Not that you can even see the shortcake under all the whipped cream and strawberries...I like mine served heavy on the toppings! 

Strawberry Cornmeal Shortcake Ingredients
For shortcake:
1 1/2 cups gluten-free flour mix (I used Bob's Red Mill all-purpose baking mix)
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1 Tbls. baking powder
1 Tbls. white sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbls. chilled unsalted butter (cut into small pieces)
1 cup heavy cream

For topping:

Approx. 3 cups strawberries (stems removed and cut into quarters)
3 Tbls. white sugar
lemon juice
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

Before you get started on the cake and toppings, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

For the cake, combine the gluten-free flour, cornmeal, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Cut in the butter pieces with a pastry cutter (or your fingers) until it's well distributed and you have a crumbly mixture.

Add the cream a little bit at a time until the mixture comes together and isn't crumbly anymore. Knead the dough briefly in the bowl until it forms a soft ball of dough. Move the ball to a lightly floured surface (I used cornmeal) and gently knead a few more times.

Transfer the dough to the parchment lined cookie sheet and gently press and shape the dough into a round about 8" across.

Bake at 425 degrees F. for about 20 minutes. It will be risen and golden brown when it's done.

While the cake is baking, wash, core, and cut the strawberries. Mix them with 2 Tbls. sugar in a bowl and let them sit about 15 minutes to macerate in their own juice. The sugar will dissolve. Add lemon juice to taste.

In a separate bowl combine the cream, 1 Tbls. sugar, and vanilla extract. Beat with an electric mixer until soft peaks form.

Alternately, you could cut the strawberries and whip the cream without adding any sugar. It simply depends on how sweet you like your dessert! And, you can always you regular all-purpose flour to make this dish not gluten-free!   

To serve, transfer the cornmeal shortcake to a serving plate (if you wish) and spoon the strawberries (and their juices) over the top of the cake. The juices will run into the cake and make it nice and moist. Spoon whipped cream over the top, cut into pieces, and serve immediately.

My summer is now complete!

What is your favorite summertime dessert?

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