These make-ahead Strawberry Rhubarb Shortcakes are a healthier twist on the classic recipe. This is the perfect (whole-grain) summer dessert showcasing the magical seasonal combination of strawberries and rhubarb!

Strawberry Rhubarb Shortcakes on a tray

I originally shared this recipe on June 22, 2012. I have updated the images and some of the text today.

Why We Love This Recipe For Strawberry Rhubarb Shortcake

One of my favorite summertime activities is going berry picking with my family. I love everything about it. Being outside on a beautiful day, spending time with my girls and then coming home with a boat-load of juicy, plump strawberries just begging to be turned into something utterly awesome.

This recipe is a little different from your everyday strawberry shortcake because instead of sugared and sliced strawberries, this is made with a spiced strawberry rhubarb compote which is actually cooked and cooled ahead of time. This is nice because it doesn’t have to be done at the last minute while your guests are staring you down as they wait for their dessert.

Friends, this compote is all that and a bag of chips! Not only is it a snap to make (trust me–watch the video below) but with the warm spices like cardamom, cinnamon and cloves and the maple syrup to sweeten the fruit, it’s off-the-charts delicious. It may be a little unexpected to get that pop of spices in your strawberry shortcake, but it totally works!

To healthify the shortcakes, I used half whole-wheat pastry flour in the shortcakes. Coconut Oil (instead of butter) gives them a slightly exotic flavor to go with the cardamom and spices in the compote. And please don’t skip the sprinkle of demerarra sugar (or raw sugar) on the top before baking. This gives them the most delightfully sweet crunchy top that is the perfect counterpoint to the warm strawberry rhubarb compote.

And as if this wasn’t enough deliciousness, I topped it all off with a dollop of luscious cream. I also made this healthier by using a variation of a favorite EatingWell trick: I mixed whipped cream with non-fat Greek yogurt to lighten it up. Then I sweetened it with maple syrup. Get your forks ready my people!

Strawberry shortcake on a plate next to a cutting board with strawberries and rhubarb

Key Ingredients For These Healthy Rhubarb Desserts

Strawberries

If there was ever a fruit or berry that I would recommend buying organic it would be strawberries (if you can’t go pick your own, of course). Pesticides are great at hiding in those little crevices by the seeds, and trust me, the organic kind taste so much better. Although the price tag is a little higher, it’s worth it for a recipe that is so strawberry-forward.

Look for strawberries that are even in size, bright red in color, and firm. Your best luck for deliciously sweet and fresh strawberries will probably be at a local farmers market, however strawberries from the regular grocery store will do just fine, too.

Rhubarb

Rhubarb isn’t always the easiest thing to find at the store, and is typically in season during the spring and early summer. Although most produce items, including strawberries, can be found in the grocery store all year long, you can oftentimes only find rhubarb in the summer (at least good rhubarb). If you’r grocery store sells rhubarb in the summertime, you’ll find it in the produce section near the rest of the fruit.

It’s not common, but you may also be able to find frozen rhubarb. Beware, it’s not cheap, and the fresh stuff is always 100x better.

Pure maple syrup

I love using maple syrup, especially dark or amber syrup, to sweeten my dessert recipes. Maple syrup in it’s 1:1 ratio with granulated white sugar is just as sweet, so you’re not losing anything by using maple instead of sugar. It’s a great way to add sweetness while keeping the recipe a little healthier.

If you don’t have maple syrup, you can use agave or honey in a 1:1 ratio instead. The only thing I’d mention is that the flavor will change slightly.

Non-fat Greek yogurt

As I mentioned above, I added Greek yogurt to the heavy whipping cream to make it slightly healthier. It’s a really great trick. It adds a delicious tanginess to the creamy topping that pairs really well with the sweetness of the compote and cake. I used plain Greek yogurt, but you can always use vanilla if that’s what you have on hand to add the extra vanilla-kick.

Demerarra sugar, or raw sugar

Demerarra sugar, unlike white granulated sugar, is a light brown crystalized form of sugar that hasn’t been completely broken down and refined. It’s AMAZING sprinkled over baked goods prior to baking. You can oftentimes find it by the rest of the baking ingredients at the grocery store, and in most health stores.

Additional Strawberry-Rhubarb Compote Ingredients

  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • pinch salt

Additional Coconut Shortcakes Ingredients

  • 2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • ¾ cup non-fat milk
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 egg-white

Additional Cardamom Yogurt Cream Ingredients

  • pinch cardamom
  • 2/3 cup whipping cream
Strawberry Rhubarb Shortcake on a plate

Step by Step Instructions to Make This Recipe

Step 1: Make compote

Stir together the rhubarb, maple syrup, cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon cardamom, cloves and salt in a large saucepan. Place over medium heat and cook, stirring often until the rhubarb breaks down, about 10 minutes. Stir in the strawberries and refrigerate until cold.

Step 2: Make shortcakes

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9 by 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

Pulse the pastry flour, all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a food processor fitted with the steel blade attachment. Remove the lid and add coconut oil and canola oil. Process until the oils are cut in and the mixture is crumbly, about 45 seconds.

Transfer to a large bowl and create a well in the center. Stir 1 egg into the milk. Pour the milk and egg mixture into the well in the flour mixture. Gently stir to incorporate the liquid into the dry. Knead gently to gather the crumbs into the dough. Turn out into the prepared dish and press out into an even layer. Cut into 12 squares. Brush the egg-white over the dough. Sprinkle the demerarra sugar over the dough. Bake until the shortcakes are set up, about 25 minutes. Let cool.

Step 3: Make yogurt cream

Whisk to combine the yogurt, 1/3 cup maple syrup and cardamom in a medium bowl. Whisk whipping cream in another bowl until stiff. Gently whisk the whipping cream into the yogurt mixture until streaks no longer remain.

Step 4: Assemble shortcakes & serve

Break shortcakes apart with a fork and split in half. Spoon 2 tablespoons compote and 2 generous tablespoons cream over the bottom half of the shortcake. Place the top half of the shortcake on top and then repeat with 2 more tablespoons each of compote and cream. Top with additional freshly sliced strawberries if desired.

Shortcakes showcasing the magical combination of strawberries and rhubarb

FAQs and Expert Tips

How to make this rhubarb shortcake ahead of time:

You won’t want to fully assemble the shortcakes ahead of time since it might get soggy, but you can make all the components separately. Make the strawberry-rhubarb compote and store it in an airtight container in the fridge until you’re ready to use (will last up to 2 weeks).

For the cake, you can either bake it the day before or make it way ahead of time and freeze it. If you freeze the cake, wait until the cake has fully cooled, then wrap it in a layer of plastic wrap, then in a layer of tin foil. Freeze for up to one month.

In terms of the cream toppings, I would recommend making it on the spot. Whipped cream tastes much better when it’s fresh. Luckily, this step only takes a few minutes.

Do you have to refrigerate a strawberry shortcake?

When serving the strawberry shortcake, only assemble what’s going to be eaten. That way you’ll be able to keep any leftovers fresher for longer. The shortcake/cake part should be left out at room temperature in an airtight container, but the compote, cream and strawberries should be stored separately in the fridge in airtight containers.

Additional Strawberry and Rhubarb Recipes to Try

Thanks so much for reading. If you are new here, you may want to sign up for my free weekly email newsletter where I share weeknight meal plans delivered right to your inbox. Or follow me on Instagram. If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review! It is very appreciated. Happy Cooking! ~Katie

Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
These Strawberry Rhubarb Shortcakes are a make-ahead healthier twist on the classic recipe. The perfect summer vegetarian dessert showcasing the magical combination of strawberries and rhubarb! | Healthy Seasonal Recipes | Katie Webster

Strawberry Rhubarb Shortcakes


  • Author: Katie Webster
  • Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 12 servings 1x

Description

These Strawberry Rhubarb Shortcakes are a make-ahead healthier twist on the classic recipe. The perfect summer dessert showcasing the magical combination of strawberries and rhubarb!


Ingredients

Scale

Spiced Strawberry-Rhubarb Compote

  • 4 cups chopped rhubarb
  • ½ cup pure maple syrup, dark or amber
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • pinch salt
  • 3 cups sliced hulled strawberries

Coconut Shortcakes

  • 2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • ¾ cup non-fat milk
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 egg-white
  • 2 tablespoons demerarra sugar, or raw sugar

Cardamom Yogurt Cream

Garnish

  • Additional strawberries

Instructions

Make Compote:

  1. Stir rhubarb, maple syrup, cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon cardamom, cloves and salt in a large saucepan. Place over medium heat and cook, stirring often until the rhubarb breaks down, about 10 minutes. Stir in strawberries and refrigerate until cold.

Make Shortcakes:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9 by 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Pulse pastry flour, all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a food processor fitted with the steel blade attachment. Remove lid and add coconut oil and canola oil. Process until the oils are cut in and the mixture is crumbly, about 45 seconds.
  3. Transfer to a large bowl and create a well in the center. Stir 1 egg into milk. Pour the milk and egg mixture into the well in the flour mixture. Gently stir to incorporate the liquid into the dry. Knead gently to gather the crumbs into the dough. Turn out into the prepared dish and press out into an even layer. Cut into 12 squares. Brush the egg-white over the dough. Sprinkle the demerarra sugar over the dough. Bake until the shortcakes are set up, about 25 minutes. Let cool.

Make Yogurt Cream:

  1. Whisk yogurt, 1/3 cup maple syrup and cardamom in a medium bowl. Whisk whipping cream in another bowl until stiff. Gently whisk the whipping cream into the yogurt mixture until streaks no longer remain.

Assemble shortcakes:

  1. Break shortcakes apart with a fork and split in half. Spoon 2 tablespoons compote and 2 generous tablespoons cream over the bottom half of the shortcake. Place the top half of the shortcake on top and then repeat with 2 more tablespoons each of compote and cream. Top with additional freshly sliced strawberries if desired.

Notes

To Make Ahead: Prepare through step 1 up to 1 day in advance.

  • Prep Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven and Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • Calories: 382
  • Sugar: 9 g
  • Sodium: 142 mg
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Fiber: 5 g
  • Protein: 11 g

Keywords: Strawberry Shortcake,Strawberry Rhubarb Shortcake,Healthy Strawberry Shortcake

Here are the original images associated with this blog post.