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Cardamom-Scented Strawberry-Rhubarb Shortcakes

May 15, 2011

“Any dessert requests?”


Enough said.

This was the question I posed to my cousin before a family dinner this Friday. I was more than happy to fill her request– the day was warm and sunny and it finally felt like spring here in Seattle, which makes me crave fresh fruit. As my grandpa makes sure to remind me every time we’re together, his favorite dessert is strawberry-rhubarb pie. But I only had a couple hours to put this dessert together, so there was no time to make the dough, chill, roll, assemble and bake a pie. I needed something quick.

These shortcakes were a cinch to whip together, but were a real stunner. Little touches like cardamom and lemon zest transformed this simple dessert into something really special. My grandma picked every last crumb from her plate and leaned toward me to ask if there was more. Definitely a sign of success!

I loved this compote since the rhubarb was cooked down until tender and the strawberries were tossed in at the very end so they didn’t lose any of their vibrancy and texture. My aunt and cousin loved the texture from my addition of whole wheat flour to the shortcakes, and the cardamom is so unique and wonderful in this.

Cardamom-Scented Strawberry-Rhubarb Shortcakes

Serves: 6

Cardamom Shortcakes

adapted from Bon Appetit Desserts


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 3 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
  • 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a baking sheet and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flours, sugar, baking powder, cardamom and salt.
  3. Add the cubed butter and use your fingers to rub it into the flour mixture until it’s in pea-sized pieces.
  4. Combine the cream and vanilla. Add to the dry ingredients and use your fingertips to gently mix together until a dough forms.
  5. Lightly flour a work surface and your hands. Pat the dough into a circle about 1/2-3/4 inch thick. Use a cookie cutter to make rounds to your desired size (you can do 6 large shortcakes or 12 small ones like I did). Gently gather and press together the scrapes until all the dough is used.
  6. Place the dough rounds on the prepared baking sheet. Brush the tops with cream and sprinkle with raw sugar. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes (it will depend if you make small or large shortcakes). Remove from the oven and let cool.

Strawberry-Rhubarb Compote

adapted from Bon Appetit Desserts


  • 3 cups rhubarb, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 12 oz or 2-3 stalks)
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered
  • 2 tsp freshly grated lemon zest


  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the chopped rhubarb, sugar and water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and let cook until the rhubarb is tender, about 10 minutes.
  2. Remove from the heat and stir in the strawberries and lemon zest. Place in a bowl and chill in the refrigerator until cool.

Vanilla Whipped Cream


  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Pinch of salt


  1. In a bowl or mixer, whip the cream on high speed. Gradually add the sugar and whip to soft peaks.
  2. Add the salt and vanilla and whip to firm peaks.
  3. Dollop the cream on the shortcakes, top with the cooled compote and garnish with fresh mint. Enjoy!

If you want a bright and joyful taste of spring, this dessert is perfection. You’ll have a smile on your face the rest of the night. If you want that joy to last longer, make a double batch of the compote to spoon over yogurt, ice cream, pancakes, etc throughout the week. It’s fantastic on almost anything!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 18, 2011 10:10 am

    What a great use of rhubarb (there are no enough rhubarb crisps out there)! I recently did a rosewater rhubarb parfait from aarti party and it was delicious, and different!

  2. May 19, 2011 8:52 am

    Great recipe. My wife made something similar for our anniversary. I just love cardamom with strawberries.

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