I love a simple recipe as much as I love a challenge. This is one of the simplest dishes I know—and also one of my favorite crowd-pleasers. Can’t beat that. The most important factor in making this cake is not to overmix the biscuit dough. For the lightest, fluffiest biscuits, mix the dough until it just comes together and then stop. There’s really not much to this cake, so be sure to use the very best berries you can find. If you see me at the Santa Monica farmers market picking up berries, don’t be afraid to say hello.
For the biscuits
- 2-3/4 cups (344 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon (12 grams) baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon (4 grams) kosher salt
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (196 grams) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small cubes, divided
- 3/4 cup (183 grams) cold buttermilk
- 2 tablespoons (43 grams) honey
For the macerated strawberries
- 1 pound (about 3 cups, 454 grams) strawberries, hulled and quartered
- 1/3 cup (66 grams) granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons (30 grams) fresh lemon juice, from 1 small lemon
- 2 tablespoons (12 grams) fresh orange zest, from 2 medium oranges
For the whipped cream
- 1 cup (235 grams) heavy cream
- 1/4 cup (33 grams) confectioners’ sugar
- 1 teaspoon (4 grams) pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon (3 grams) ground nutmeg, plus more for garnish
- 2 tablespoons (23 grams) fresh orange juice, from 1/2 medium orange
Make the biscuits
- In the bowl of a food processor, add the flour, baking powder, and salt and pulse to combine. Add 3/4 cup of the butter and pulse until it resembles coarse sand. Add the buttermilk and honey and pulse until the dough just comes together, no more than 30 seconds. Do not overmix or you will end up with tough biscuits. Turn the dough out onto plastic wrap and shape it into a flat disc. Refrigerate the dough for at least 45 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Take the dough out of the refrigerator and roll it into a 1-inch-thick circle. Using a 3-inch round cookie cutter or the mouth of a glass, cut out biscuits and arrange them on the prepared baking sheet about 1 inch apart. Reroll any scraps and cut more circles until you have 10 biscuits. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Brush the tops of the biscuits with the melted butter and bake until golden brown, 15 to 17 minutes. Let cool and set aside for assembly.
Make the macerated strawberries
- In a large bowl, toss the strawberries with the sugar, lemon juice, and orange zest. Set aside for at least 20 minutes, or until the juices pool.
Make the whipped cream
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or with a hand mixer in a medium bowl, whip the heavy cream and confectioners’ sugar on medium speed until soft peaks form. Add the vanilla and nutmeg and then very slowly add the orange juice. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
- To assemble, cut each biscuit in half. On the bottom half, mound some of the macerated strawberries with their juices, then some of the whipped cream, then the other half of the biscuit. Top again with strawberries and cream. Add some nutmeg on top as a garnish.
- TIP: Any extra dough can be wrapped and saved in the freezer for up to 9 months.