Cakes & CookiesDessertProvencal RecipesStephanie VillegasTaste

Fresh Berry Shortcakes a Dessert Recipe for Berry Season

Indulging in these fresh berry shortcakes with lemon verbena cream is a delightful experience. The texture of the spongy cake contrasts nicely with the smooth, flavourful cream. The sweet and slightly tart taste of the berries, coupled with the citrusy and aromatic notes from the lemon verbena, bursts with freshness with every bite. Preparing the shortcakes and lemon verbena cream takes some time. But the fragrance filling your kitchen will remind you of dining al fresco along some of Provence’s charming towns and villages. Take advantage of nature’s bounty this spring by making and savouring these fresh berry shortcakes with lemon verbena cream.

Fresh Berry Shortcake with Verbena cream

Summer Berry Shortcakes and Lemon Verbena Cream

blankStephanie Villegas
This sumptuous recipe full of juicy ripe berries was adapted from Smitten Kitchen.
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 15 minutes
Resting Time (cream and berries) 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine French, Provencal
Servings 8 people


For the Berries & Verbena Infused Cream:

  • 500 g Berries (2-3 clamshells) rinsed and drained
  • 250 mL Heavy Cream (35%)
  • 8 leaves Lemon Verbena (verveine) fresh or dried
  • 1 tsp Powdered Sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice or more to taste
  • 1 tbsp Honey or more to taste

For the Shortcakes:

  • 2 1/4 cups All-purpose Flour (295 grams)
  • 2 1/4 tsp Baking Powder
  • 3/4 tsp Baking Soda
  • 3 tbsp Granulated Sugar (45 grams)
  • pinch Salt
  • 6 tbsp Unsalted Butter (80 grams) cold, cut into chunks
  • 2 large Egg Yolks
  • 3/4 cup Heavy Cream (35%) with the additional 2tbsp the total cream should be 205mL
  • 2 tbsp Heavy Cream (35%)
  • 4 tbsp Raw Sugar in a small bowl for roll-coating the shortcakes


Prepare the Verbena-Infused Cream:

  • Combine 250mL heavy cream and verbena leaves in a small saucepan over medium-low heat.
  • Once the cream is about to boil, remove from the heat and allow to cool. Leave the verbena leaves in the cream to infuse.
  • Once cooled, strain the cream, transfer it to a medium metal bowl and place it in the freezer until the bowl and cream are chilled but not frozen.
  • Remove the bowl from the freezer and add the powdered sugar.
  • Using a hand mixer or a whisk, beat the cream until you have soft whipped cream.
  • Keep refrigerated until ready to use. The cream can be refrigerated for up to an hour, but if stored, it may need a few turns of the whisk or mixer to revive the texture.

Prepare the Shortcakes:

  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
  • Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl (flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, salt) and whisk.
  • Add the butter chunks and, using your fingers or a pastry blender, incorporate the butter until the pieces are no larger than a pea.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and heavy cream.
  • Form a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour the egg/cream mixture into the well.
  • Mix the dry and wet ingredients together using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, mix the dry and wet ingredients together until a dough forms.
  • Divide the dough into 8 equal portions and "dip" each portion into the bowl of raw sugar, keeping the bottoms sugar-free so they don't burn during baking.
  • Place the 8 shortcakes onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, until the tops are golden brown.
  • Allow the shortcakes to cool completely while you prepare the berries.

Prepare the Berries:

  • Add berries, 1 tablespoon lemon juice and a drizzle of honey to a medium bowl.
  • Using a large spoon, carefully stir to coat the berries and taste, adding more honey or lemon as desired.
  • Set aside at room temperature (for up to 40 minutes) until ready to serve.
  • If preparing in advance, wait to dress the berries with lemon juice and honey until 10 minutes before serving; otherwise, you risk them becoming too macerated. (See Notes)


Macerated berries are delicious in a shortcake, but it depends on whether you want a more compote-like berry or fresh berry preparation.
To Serve:
Slice each shortcake about 3/4 of the way through to create a clam-like shape. Dollop each shortcake with a generous amount of whipped cream, top with a big spoonful of berries, and dust with powdered sugar. Serve immediately.
Keyword Berries, Cakes, Cream
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

More Dessert Recipes to Celebrate Berry Season

Annually in mid-April every year, head to Carpentras strawberry festivalFête de la fraise. This day is devoted to the magnificent red berries. There are strawberry-themed animations and a chance to buy directly from the producers.

Strawberry Soup - Soup de Fraises
A tasty seasonal dessert best served with a glass of wine!
Check out this recipe
Easy Summer Dessert Strawberry Soup Soupe de Fraises
White Chocolate Mousse with Strawberry Sauce
This mousse is simple to make, all you need good quality white chocolate and fresh eggs. The decoration is personal, but I chose to use strawberries, edible flowers and mint leaves.
Check out this recipe
White Chocolate Mousse Strawberry Sauce Dessert
Raspberry Chambord Martini
Shake and serve!
Check out this recipe
Raspberry Chambord Martini

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Stephanie Villegas

Stephanie Villegas

Born in San Francisco, California, Stephanie Villegas is a chef working and living in Provence. After a decade-long career in tech, Stephanie decided to follow her culinary passions and become a chef. She earned her culinary diploma at France's esteemed Ferrandi Paris and has worked in renowned restaurant kitchens from Paris to Provence. In 2022, she opened Laurel, a cooking school and private chef service located in the charming provençal village of Fontvieille.

With a mission to bring people closer together through food, her focus is on freshness and seasonality. As a Mexican-American, married to a Frenchman, living in Provence, you can be sure to find inspirations from around the world in her dishes.

On her table, you'll find ingredients you know, discover new ones and enjoy generous dishes of refined simplicity.

Explore Laurel here.

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