Summertime Activity with Simple Strawberry Shortcake

I asked one of my friends who I consider healthy if she had a strawberry shortcake recipe. It is one of my favorite summer desserts, and I had never baked it from scratch!

Her recipe entailed store bought angel food cake, smothered in Cool Whip, and decorated with strawberries. I will admit it, I have also created strawberry shortcake this way and it is delicious and a time saver! However, in honor of National Strawberry Shortcake Day (honestly, who declares this?), I figured I would bake it from scratch for a fun afternoon activity with my kids (I could not go to the park or get in a pool again today)!
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While I have always considered this dessert a healthier choice, as I researched recipes, it is loaded with sugar and butter! Here is my version (which I simplified and healthified (and made up a word)) to celebrate this beloved summer dessert!

My daughter loves her Strawberry Shortcake Doll and was excited to bake! My son wanted to know what superpowers Strawberry Shortcake possessed and was disappointed that she does not shoot berries or have super strength; however, he was not disappointed in the fun mess we made (and baking this entertained them for an hour)!

When I served this dessert, my guests could not believe I baked it from scratch or that it was healthier than other strawberry shortcake. My daughter enjoyed the shortcake without topping it with whipped cream or sweetened strawberries. I divided my recipe into three simple steps. Get messy! Have fun! And eat healthy!

Simple Strawberry Shortcake Recipe:

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The Strawberries:

16 oz fresh strawberries- hull (slice off tops) and cut into cut into pieces

2 tbsp white sugar (measuring utilizes math skills)

The Shortcake:

1/3 cup white sugar

2 cups white flour

½ cup whole wheat flour

2 ½ tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

¼ cup cold unsalted butter- slice into the batter

¼ cup applesauce

1 cup low fat milk

1 tbsp lemon juice

The Whipped Cream (this part is MAGICAL to kids):

1 cup heavy cream (make sure the cream is cold, it will whip better- thanks for this tip from my friend who is a pastry chef!)

2 tbsp powdered sugar

1.)  Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2.)  In a bowl, toss cut strawberries with 2 tbsp sugar. Set aside.

3.)  In a mixer, combine flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Whisk in butter pieces, milk, and lemon juice.

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4.)  Sprinkle flour on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Pat dough flat onto parchment paper (warning- dough is sticky) and form a giant rectangle.

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5.)  Thoroughly sprinkle white sugar over dough.

6.)  Bake 22-25 minutes or until golden around the edges. Allow time to cool before slicing.

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7.)  If you are ambitious and want homemade whipped cream, it is SUPER EASY and kids find whipping cream magical! In a mixer combine cream and powdered sugar until peaks form (this means your whipped cream is ready!).  *If short on time, Cool Whip is a pretty darn good substitute but don’t tell my pastry chef friend that!

8.)  Slice the shortbread into servings. My batter produced about 12 big pieces. When ready to serve, layer with whipped cream and sweetened strawberries.

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