Summertime Nirvana, Rhubarb Strawberry Shortcakes

The local strawberries have made their dramatic entrance, red and ripe and ready to add joy to your life. Rhubarb is still booming in my backyard, and the two flavors are a classic, seasonal combination.

Because it’s so hot and humid out, I planned ahead and baked the shortcakes early in the morning. That way my shortcakes were safely stashed before breakfast. I cooked the rhubarb while they baked, and chilled it to save for dinner.

The precious strawberries need no embellishment. To show them off, I simply tossed the halved berries with sugar and let them macerate for a few minutes.

local strawberries go with rhubarb

As local as it gets at the St Paul Farmer’s Market

I was too lazy to make my own ice cream, so I simply bought some. Coconut and cashew milk based ice creams are amazing, these days. Pick your favorite, I prefer vanilla for the purity of it all, but if you got a strawberry swirl it might be nice. Some strawberry shortcakes are paired with whipped cream, so if you want to make a whipped coconut cream or buy your favorite one, that would be delicious, too.

There is no technical challenge in this recipe, other than shredding in the coconut oil. All you need to do is melt the oil, pour it in the measuring cup, and chill it until it is firm. Then you can grate the solid fat into the flour mixture, creating a flaky texture in the final biscuit.

Rhubarb Strawberry Shortcake

Quick, before it melts…

The rhubarb compote is so basic, I just throw it all in the pan and put it over heat. I like to give it a dash of vanilla, for an elegant fragrance. This is one of the best desserts to serve out on the deck. Just split your shortcake, fill with berries and a little drizzle of rhubarb syrup, and spoon a puddle of rhubarb on the plate around it. Top with ice cream, and serve before it melts.

Simple is perfect for Summer!

Strawberry Rhubarb Shortcakes

Tender shortcake, a pool of tangy rhubarb, and sweet berries…


Rhubarb Strawberry Shortcakes

A biscuit-style shortcake, with a simple cooked rhubarb sauce and fresh strawberries, is the perfect dessert for a summer meal on the deck!
Course Dessert
Servings 12
Author Robin Asbell


  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup unbleached flour
  • 1/2 cup organic sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • turbinado sugar
  • 1 pound rhubarb
  • 1/2 cup organic sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 quart fresh strawberries
  • non-dairy ice cream


  • Measure the melted coconut oil and then chill in the cup until solid.Using a grater, shred the cold coconut oil into the flour mixture, tossing to coat the shreds as you go.
    Preheat the oven to 400 F.
  • In a cup, stir the almond milk and cider vinegar, and let stand for a couple of minutes, then stir into the flour mixture. It will be a firm dough, but be gentle.
  • Scrape out onto a floured counter and pat out into a 1-inch thick rectangle. Using a bench knife or chefs knife, cut into 6 even squares, then cut each of those corner to corner to make 12 triangular shortcakes. Sprinkle the cakes liberally with turbinado sugar and pat down to adhere. Use your bench knife or a spatula to transfer to the sheet pan. Place the cakes 2 inches apart.
  • Bake for 15 minutes, until golden around the edges. Cool on racks.
  • In a small pot, combine the rhubarb and sugar and place over medium high heat. Stir until the rhubarb is juicy and starts to boil. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the rhubarb is soft and starting to fall apart. Stir in the vanilla and cook for a minute more.
  • To serve, halve about 6 strawberries per shortcake and sprinkle with sugar to taste. Split each shortcake and place the bottom half on a small plate, and spoon the rhubarb sauce around it. Cover the shortcake with strawberries and a drizzle of rhubarb sauce, then place the top on. Serve with ice cream and garnish with more strawberries.