The days are warm and fresh blueberries are popping up at your local farmer's market! There's no better way to celebrate the season than with this Blueberry Shortcake!
This Blueberry Shortcake is a tender, flaky lavender biscuit topped with juicy fresh blueberries and vanilla bean whipped cream! Whether you're headed to a picnic, a summer party, or just staying home, these beauties are the perfect treat all summer long!
How to Choose Lavender
You can buy lavender online, at farmer's markets, or you can grow it yourself! Here are a few things to consider when choosing lavender:
Not all lavender is created equal! Here's some science for ya: lavender is any plant of the genus Lavandula, which includes 47 species of flowers. Not all of these species should be used in baking or cooking. What you want to look for is English lavender, which is most commonly used in food. English lavender isn't as strong as other lavenders, which means it's less likely to overwhelm the other flavors in your food or make it taste soapy.
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You want culinary lavender! The next step in choosing lavender is to make sure that it's safe to eat. Culinary lavender will not only lend appropriate flavor, but it is meant to be eaten, meaning that it won't have been sprayed with any harmful chemicals.
Pay attention to the color and scent. The more vivid the color and the more pleasant the smell of the lavender, the better it will taste. If the flowers are drab in color or don't smell lovely (with either too much or too little aroma), move on!
Tip: No lavender, or prefer not to use it? No problem! Just leave the lavender out of the recipe. Check out the "Variations" section below for more flavor pairing ideas!
Aside from the lavender, all of the ingredients for these shortcakes are easily found at your local grocery store. You likely have most of them in your refrigerator and pantry already! Measurements for each of the ingredients are included in the recipe card, below.
Lavender Biscuit Ingredients
- Sugar - For sweetness and keeping the biscuits soft and moist.
- Dried Lavender- For flavor.
- Flour - Provides structure for the biscuits. I used all-purpose flour.
- Baking Powder and Baking Soda - Provide leavening for the biscuits.
- Salt - To balance and enhance the flavors of the biscuits.
- Unsalted Butter - For moisture and richness. Unsalted so that you control the amount of salt in the recipe. You want your butter to be diced and cold.
- Buttermilk - For flavor, richness, and moisture. Biscuits made with buttermilk will always be sooo soft and fluffy! (Check out the Substitutions section below for a quick substitution if you don't have any on-hand!) You want your buttermilk to be cold.
- Coarse Sugar (optional) - For sweetness and a lovely crunch on top!
Hint: No buttermilk? Check out the "Substitution" section below or the recipe notes for a quick substitution!
- Heavy (Whipping) Cream - Can't make whipped cream without it! 😀
- Powdered Sugar - For sweetness. I prefer using powdered sugar because it dissolves so well, and because the small amount of cornstarch in powdered sugar helps the whipped cream to hold its shape for longer.
- Vanilla Bean Paste - For flavor! It's no secret that I love vanilla bean paste. It's soooo tasty without the vanilla bean price tag (and it pretty much stays good forever). If you prefer to substitute, you can use an equal measure of vanilla extract.
- Blueberries - For flavor. Fresh blueberries work best. Of course, lavender pairs well with other berries, too, so feel free to use others!
Here's how to make this recipe, step by step! More detailed instructions are included in the recipe card, below.
Pour a small amount of sugar and all the lavender into a coffee grinder or food processor. Process until lavender is ground finely.
Combine dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt). Add lavender sugar and remaining sugar and stir to combine.
Cut the cold, diced butter into the dry ingredients until the largest pieces are about the size of a pea.
Add buttermilk and mix until just combined. Pat the dough out into a circle and cut biscuits.
Place the biscuits on a lined pan. If desired, brush the top of each biscuit with milk and sprinkle with coarse sugar.
Bake until golden, then let cool completely.
Whip cream, sugar, and vanilla bean paste to soft peaks.
Split biscuits. Top bottom half with whipped cream and berries, then the top of the biscuit.
Tip: You want to keep your ingredients as cold as possible as you make the biscuits! The cold butter will steam and give the biscuits better height when baked. The cream should also be cold so that it whips up fluffy .
Here are a few quick substitutions that you can make with this recipe:
- Instead of Buttermilk: No buttermilk on-hand? Pour 1 teaspoon vinegar OR lemon juice into a liquid measuring cup, then add enough milk (I find that 2% milkfat or greater works best) to come up to the 1 cup line. Let sit for 5 minutes, then it's ready for use!
- Instead of Dried Lavender: If you can't find dried lavender or prefer not to use it, you can instead substitute with 1 teaspoon of lavender paste.
There are several delicious variations that can be made to this recipe:
- Change the fruit - the lavender biscuits will pair well with strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries, too, so feel free to mix-and-match your berries to your preference or what looks good at your local farmer's market.
- Change the flavor of the biscuits - while I love the lavender, the biscuits would also be fantastic plain (just leave out the lavender), or with lemon zest added!
- Swap the whipped cream - for a slightly different flavor profile and texture, swap the whipped cream with greek yogurt (vanilla bean would be fantastic!) or lemon curd.
While not all of this equipment is strictly necessary, here are some things that I used to make this recipe:
- Coffee Grinder - A coffee ginder is my preferred equipment for grinding the lavender for this recipe, as the bowl is quite small. I bought one with a removable, dishwasher-safe bowl so that it's easy to clean between uses!
- Food Processor - If you don't have a coffee grinder, a food processor is your next best bet. A small/mini food processor will work best. If you have a larger food processor, definitely use the smallest bowl insert that you have.
- Pastry Blender - While a pastry blender isn't necessary to cut in the butter (a fork will also work), it does make the job faster and easier.
- Bowl Scraper - I like using a bowl scraper to work the dough because its flexible shape makes the job much easier, and keeps your hands warming the butter as it comes together. They're easy to store and easy on the wallet!
- Biscuit Cutter - I used a 2.5" fluted cutter for my biscuits.
- Parchment Paper - I like using nonstick parchment on my pans to ensure no sticking and for easier cleanup.
Assembled shortcakes should be served immediately.
Once completely cool, you can store the biscuits in an airtight container for up to 3 days on your counter. That said, they're definitely best right after they're baked. If you'd like to store them longer, you can freeze the biscuits (baked or unbaked) in an airtight container for up to three months. To bake from frozen, no need to thaw, just add a few minutes to the bake time.
Whipped cream can be made up to two days in advance and kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator, but for best results, make it just before you plan to serve the shortcakes.
Frequently Asked Questions
You want to use culinary lavender, as it is meant for cooking/baking and is free of any potentially harmful chemicals. If you're shopping at a farmer's market or growing lavender yourself, English Lavender is the variety most commonly used in food.
No problem! Just leave the lavender out of the recipe. Check out the "Variations" section above for more flavor pairing ideas!
Other Recipes You May Like
For Lavender Biscuits
- Preheat the oven to 450℉. Line a sheet pan with parchment (see note). Set aside.
- Pour a few tablespoons sugar and all the lavender into a coffee grinder. (If using a food processor, you may have to use ¼ cup sugar to get the lavender to process finely, as it has a larger bowl.)
- Process the sugar and lavender until the lavender is ground finely. This process nearly "powders" the sugar, which is why you don't want to process all the sugar with the lavender. Set lavender sugar aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt). Stir to combine.
- Add the lavender sugar and remaining sugar to the bowl and stir to combine.
- Add the cold diced butter. Using a pastry blender (see note) or fork, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until no large pieces remain (the largest should be about the size of a pea).
- Add buttermilk (see note) and stir until the dough comes together. I find that a bowl scraper (see note) helps to bring the dough together without warming the butter.
- On a lightly floured surface, pat the dough out to about 1” thickness. Cut into biscuits. I used a 2.5” fluted cutter (see note). Be sure not to twist the cutter as you cut the biscuits, and this could impede them from rising. You may collect and pat out the dough scraps to cut additional biscuits.
- Place biscuits on the prepared pan and place in the freezer for 10 minutes before baking.
- Once chilled, sprinkle the tops of the biscuits with coarse sugar, if desired. To help ensure that the sugar sticks and to promote browning, you can brush the tops of the biscuits with milk prior to sprinkling with the sugar if you'd like. Bake the biscuits 12-15 minutes, or until risen and golden. Allow biscuits to cool completely.
For Whipped Cream
- Place cold heavy cream and powdered sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Start the mixer on low speed, and gradually increase the speed to high. Whip until the cream thickens and forms peaks.
- Add vanilla bean paste (see note), and mix to incorporate. Use immediately, as
- *Wait until just before serving to assemble.* Split each lavender biscuit and place the bottom half on a plate and top each with whipped cream and blueberries. Place the top half of each biscuit on top, dolloping more whipped cream and berries on top, if desired.
- Assembled shortcakes should be served immediately.Once completely cool, you can store the biscuits in an airtight container for up to 3 days on your counter. That said, they're definitely best right after they're baked. If you'd like to store them longer, you can freeze the biscuits (baked or unbaked) in an airtight container for up to three months. To bake from frozen, no need to thaw, just add a few minutes to the bake time.Whipped cream can be made up to two days in advance and kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator, but for best results, make it just before you plan to serve the shortcakes.Enjoy!
Nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is only an estimate.