New This Month

Summer Shortcake


Your heart will be true to this red, white, and blue shortcake, perfect for the Fourth of July.

  • Servings: 15

Photography: Yunhee Kim

Source: Martha Stewart Living, July 2007


For the biscuits

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 8 ounces cold cream cheese, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk, plus more for brushing
  • Raw sugar or fine sanding sugar, for sprinkling

For the filling

  • 2 pints blueberries
  • 2 pints strawberries, hulled (small berries left whole, large berries halved lengthwise)
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 cups (1 pint) heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  1. Make the biscuits: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a food processor, pulse flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until combined. Add butter, and pulse until largest pieces are the size of peas. Add cream cheese, and pulse again until largest pieces are the size of peas. Add buttermilk, and pulse until dough comes together. Transfer to a bowl, and gently knead into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rest in the refrigerator at least 1 hour (or overnight).

  2. Divide dough in half. Working with one portion at a time on a lightly floured work surface, pat into a disk, then roll into a 10-inch round. Transfer to baking sheets lined with parchment paper.

  3. Brush biscuits with buttermilk. Generously sprinkle raw or sanding sugar over tops and sides. Brush off sugar from parchment. Bake until dough has risen slightly and is golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes (if bottoms brown too quickly, reduce temperature to 400 degrees). Leave biscuits on sheets. Using a 2 1/2-inch star cutter, cut out (but do not remove) 7 stars from one biscuit while it is still warm. Let cool.

  4. Using a paring knife, carefully remove star shapes. Reserve for snacking or another use. (Biscuits can be made up to 8 hours ahead; store on wire racks, and cover loosely with plastic wrap.)

  5. Make the filling: Combine blueberries, strawberries, and 2 tablespoons sugar, and let macerate until juicy, 10 minutes.

  6. Just before serving, beat cream to medium peaks with remaining tablespoon sugar and the vanilla.

  7. Assemble the cake: Place uncut biscuit on a large plate. Spoon half the berries and their juices on top of biscuit, then spread the whipped cream over berries. Top with all but about 1/2 cup berries. (Make sure surface is even; it will support the top biscuit and prevent it from breaking.) Carefully place cutout biscuit on top. Fill star cutouts with reserved berries. Serve immediately, or refrigerate, uncovered, up to 3 hours.

Cook's Notes

Before assembling your cake, set aside a few spoonfuls of the brightest, plumpest blueberries and strawberries. Once the top biscuit is in place, pile these choice berries into the star cutouts. Arrange any that remain around the cake on the serving dish.

Reviews Add a comment

  • lynn727
    28 JUL, 2012
    I made this recipe from the printed version, which I don't recall having any errors. The cakes came out great and everyone loved it. Actually, of all the desserts we had on the 4th this was the favorite. If you have the old 2007 July issue of Living check to see if there's a difference in the recipes.
  • Lele7
    27 MAY, 2012
    VERY disappointed in this recipe. I noticed the salt missing from the ingredient list, but as a baker, I figured out about how much salt to add. When I baked the biscuits, they were super flat, didn't puff up AT ALL and took way longer to bake than what the time allowed. Also 450 is too high for this type of recipe, so I reduced it to 400. After all that baking (about 15 min. extra) the dough was still raw on the inside, yet the edges were already starting to get too crispy. Not attempting again
  • infrared
    29 JUN, 2011
    The directions tell you to pulse flour, sugar, baking powder and soda and salt. There is no salt quantity in the ingredients list. Then in the berry and cream part, the sugar for either the berries or the cream is omitted as is a measurement for the vanilla. Please correct ASAP.
  • 101cook
    15 JUL, 2010
    this recepie looked better than it tasted. i didn't notice the omission of salt until i had my dough in a ball already :( resulted in too dry of a biscuit than i care for. Not doing this one again
  • Lauralynnie1
    4 JUL, 2010
    The use of vanilla and salt mentioned in the recipe's directions (but not the ingredients) is explained in's "summer shortcake" recipe (just google it), which apparently was stolen by martha's site. Guess someone forgot to copy and paste the whole list of ingredients for this featured recipe... I'm disappointed, martha...
  • nooridayu
    5 MAY, 2010
    i love creamy cake.. martha how to makes simple cake? i mean the ingredient is not to complicated.
  • utahbaker
    4 APR, 2010
    There is no salt listed in the ingredients, so how much is added with the flour, soda, baking powder and sugar?
  • Gatonju
    5 SEP, 2008
    This is such a pretty shortcake! I found that using one cookie cutter in the middle, instead of a lot of little cut outs helps the shortcake stay up a little bit better. Best shortcake I ever had.
  • Gatonju
    5 SEP, 2008
    This is such a pretty shortcake! I found that using one cookie cutter in the middle, instead of a lot of little cut outs helps the shortcake stay up a little bit better. Best shortcake I ever had.
  • SoniaK
    25 AUG, 2008
    This cakes looks great and tastes even better! This is a nice, light dessert. The biscuits were a bit of a challenge but definitely manageable. Make sure to use unsalted butter or the biscuits will come out too salty.