Better than store-bought biscuits. Homemade buttery shortcake makes a traditional summertime dessert even better.

Kathy Whyte/ WNBF News
Kathy Whyte/ WNBF News

Mixed Berry Buttery Shortcake (prep. time 40 minutes. 9 servings)

2 C. all-purpose flour

1 C. sugar

¾ tsp. salt

2 tsp. baking powder

½ C. milk

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 large egg, scrambled

½ C (1 stick) cold butter, cubed

For crusty top

½ stick cold butter, cubed

2 Tb. flour

3 Tb. sugar

Pinch of salt

Berry filling

1 bag frozen mixed berries, thawed (or about 1 pound sliced strawberries, blue berries, black berries)

1/2 C. sugar

Whipped cream

Preheat oven to 360. Spray a 9X9 cake pan with cooking spray.  Combine flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a large mixing bowl.  Add the chunks of butter and cut in with a pastry cutter, fork or rub the flour into the butter with your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse sand. Make a little well in the middle and add the egg, milk and vanilla.  Mix the wet and dry until the ingredients are just combined. Do not over-mix.  Press the crumbly dough mixture into the greased pan.  Place the pan into the refrigerator while you prepare the crumble crust.  In the same bowl for the cake, combine cold butter cubes, sugar, flour and salt, again using a fork or fingers to combine.  Sprinkle the topping over the shortbread and place on the middle rack. While the shortcake is baking, mix the sugar into the berries to allow the fruit to macerate (release their juices).  Bake the shortcake about 15 minutes and turn. Do not panic when you see the top is all a pool of butter!  It will set up in the end.  Move the cake to the top rack after about another 10 minutes and continue to bake until the top is set and forms a crust, the cake is browned around the edges and a toothpick inserted in the center comes clean.   Allow the cake to cook in the pan on a wire rack.  Cut it into 9 squares.  While still a little warm, slice each piece in half across the middle with a serrated knife.  Put a spoonful of the berries and juice on the bottom half to soak into the cake. Top that with a little whipped cream, Put the other half of the cake on top with more berries, juice and whipped cream.

You can use any kind of berries or fruit you want, frozen or fresh or even leave out the fruit and enjoy the buttery cake as a coffee cake with the addition of a little cinnamon and nutmeg to the topping mixture.

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