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Healthy Strawberry Shortcake Recipe

Strawberry shortcake is one of those iconic desserts—make it from scratch or not at all. If you’re craving strawberry shortcake, you want the real deal: tender biscuits, pillowy whipped cream and ripe, juicy berries.

It need not be complicated…which is why we were impressed with the perfect simplicity of a reader recipe that recently came our way. The results were glorious—the nutritional analysis was anything but.

The original recipe packed:

409 calories
28 grams total fat
18 grams saturated fat

Once we saw the numbers, the saturated fat was our main target for reduction. Here’s how we made it healthy:

* We dropped the heavy cream and a stick of butter from the biscuit, replacing it with a healthier blend of buttermilk, canola oil and reduced-fat cream cheese (a smaller amount of butter was left in the mix for its irreplaceable flavor).

* The cream was hardest to replicate, but a traditional whipped cream cut with reduced-fat sour cream gave a slight tang to the sweet berries while still creating a decadent, creamy topping. With these efforts we cut the total fat in half and the saturated fat by two-thirds.

* To make sure the biscuits were tender, but with a bit of fiber, we switched from all-purpose flour to a blend of cake flour and white whole-wheat flour. (We love white whole-wheat flour for baking.)

* Then we increased the berries by a cup, which added more vitamin C and fiber per serving.

The EatingWell version rang in at:

303 calories
14 grams total fat
6 grams saturated fat

The beauty of our Strawberry Shortcake recipe is not only that it’s healthier, but also that it’s elegantly simple. You'll want to try this recipe with other fruit, too—peaches, raspberries and blueberries are natural choices. We’ve also developed healthy take-offs on strawberry shortcake using different fruits and variations on the basic biscuit. Our other favorites are Roasted Pineapple Shortcakes, Chocolate Strawberry Shortcakes and Rhubarb-Peach Shortcake.

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