Lemon Poppy Seed Berry Shortcakes


Elegant dessert can be simple and rustic too with my Lemon Poppy Seed Berry Shortcakes.

I love the idea of having dessert, but the thought of making it can be overwhelming, especially when you see such pretty and intricate desserts on a daily basis. If I’m going to make a dessert, I don’t want to break a sweat. Work smarter, not harder – right?

When I think of shortcake – real biscuit-like shortcake, not the spongy stuff – I get intimidated. Surely baking any form of a cake will require I turn over my sanity on a silver platter. But I did some Googling and immediately found a straight-forward Alton Brown recipe for the biscuits themselves that had a total time of 35 minutes.

Ding, ding! We have a winner!

I tweaked this recipe slightly for a more even baking, then whipped up a 5-minute filling that’s light, fluffy, and so lemony. This is a bright surprise when paired with the classic berry flavor you expect. It’s creamy, fresh, and so light. This is what springtime dessert dreams are made of.

I’m dozing off on lemon clouds with a strawberry sun shining down on me. Bring on the summer and its vibrant flavors. I’m ready for effortlessly elegant sweets and warm weather.


A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:

  1. If you don’t want to cook down the sauce, you can simply macerate the berries overnight. Place them in an air-tight container and stir together with the sugar then cover and refrigerate overnight. They’ll make their own sauce.
  2. Be careful not to over-whip the cream; that’ll turn it into butter. You want thick, fluffy peaks.
  3. Along the same lines, the cream should be nice and cold before whipping.
  4. Serve the filling well-chilled for extra deliciousness.
  5. Make sure you keep these babies from over-baking. A lot of people don’t even realize they’ve overbaked something, so generally, pull the shortcakes from the oven just before you actually think they’re done. They should be puffed and set.
  6. Find lemon curd near the jellies and peanut butter in your grocery store.


Lemon Strawberry Shortcake


For the shortcakes
Adapted from Alton Brown

  • 2 cups flour
  • 4 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 2 tbsp. cold butter
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable shortening
  • 3/4 cup half and half
  • 2 tbsp. poppy seeds
  • 3 tbsp. melted butter to brush shortcakes
  • 2 tbsp. granulated sugar to dust shortcakes

For topping
By The Smart Cookie Cook

  • 2 pints fresh strawberries, sliced
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar

For the filling
By The Smart Cookie Cook

  • 1/2 packet of Jell-O Instant Vanilla Pudding
  • 1 cup cold milk
  • 2 cups chilled heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp. powdered sugar
  • 10 oz. lemon curd


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, salt, and 1 tbsp. sugar until well-combined. Cut in butter and shortening then stir in half-and-half until everything is evenly incorporated. It may be a bit lumpy.
  3. Drop in 8 same-sized spoonfuls onto the baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until puffed and set and just slightly turning golden. Let cool completely.
  4. Make the topping: In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, stir together blueberries, strawberries, and sugar and bring to a simmer. Let simmer until saucy and cooked down, about 15 minutes. Remove from stove and let cool before transferring to an air-tight container and refrigerating to chill (at least 4 hours).
  5. Make the filling: In a small bowl, whisk together pudding mix and milk until it starts to thicken, about 2 minutes. Cover and set aside in fridge.
  6. In a large mixing bowl, use a hand mixer to beat together cream, cornstarch, and powdered sugar until thickened and fluffy with stiff peaks. Fold in pudding and lemon curd until evenly combined.
  7. Serve cooled biscuits with generous filling and topping. Enjoy.


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Colleen Bierstine