Creamy Strawberry Cobbler with Shortbread Biscuits

February 3, 2022

Winter strawberries are a beacon of hope in an otherwise wintery tundra. This time of year, my fridge is filled with Florida berries and so are my recipes. Celebrate these sweet fruits with a cozy and creamy strawberry cobbler covered in shortbread-inspired biscuits.

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One of the first recipes I remember baking shortly before I launched this blog was a swampy strawberry pandowdy from Food52. The cream was such a perfect addition to this sweet strawberry dessert, adding an extra layer of richness. For years, I’ve been brainstorming ways to make it my own.

This cobbler recipe is definitely inspired by that swampy pandowdy, featuring a similar creamy custard layer poured on top part of the way through baking. However, I changed it up by making the topping shortbread-style biscuits. It’s like a warm strawberry shortcake, all in one!

What You Need to Get Started

You can easily find all of the ingredients for this creamy strawberry cobbler at your grocery store:

Let’s Start Making Strawberry Cobbler

There are so many reasons to love cobbler. For a lazy baker like me, it’s one of the easier treats you can make. They also tend to be very forgiving and versatile. It’s so easy to swap out one fruit for another or add in something complementary without too much worry about how it will turn out.

Cobblers also tend to come together pretty quickly. So before you even get started, it’s a good idea to preheat your oven, and make sure there’s a rack in the center. Then begin prepping your strawberries.

I always prefer working with fresh fruit, but since this cobbler is being baked, frozen berries will work as well. To use frozen instead, thaw them in the fridge for a few hours. Either way, cut your berries into quarters, or halves for smaller berries. Toss the strawberry pieces with some brown sugar, and set them aside in a bowl to macerate, or release some of their juices.

Macerated strawberries can be stored in the fridge for a few days. The longer they sit, the juicier they will be, so you may end up with a more liquidy cobbler. If you are working with frozen berries, you can skip the macerating step, and add the sugar later with the flour instead.

Meanwhile, you can start making the shortbread-inspired biscuit topping. Like most biscuits, using cold butter for these is essential. I usually like to cut my butter into cubes, and then place them back in the fridge for a little bit to make sure they don’t warm up.

Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt for the biscuits in a medium bowl. Get these all combined, and then add in the butter. You will want to cut the butter into the flour, and break it up into smaller pieces, letting it get coated.

You can do this with your hands if you work quickly, pressing the butter cubes and breaking them apart. However, if the butter starts to get too soft, you’ll need to chill the bowl for a few minutes. A pastry blender will keep the butter colder. It’s ready when the texture is similar to wet sand.

Now, add in all but a small splash of the heavy cream. We’ll use this little bit later, so be sure to set it aside. For this next step, you can use a sturdy spoon, or you can get in there and get your hands dirty.

Personally, I always like to use my hands when mixing up dough. I feel like it gives me better control over the texture. However, like the previous step with cutting in the butter, you do have to work quickly to keep the dough cold.

However you choose to mix, the biscuit dough will be ready when it forms into a fairly wet, but structured dough, and there are no large pockets of dry flour in the bowl.

Build the Strawberry Cobbler

Now that we’ve got some sweet, sugary strawberries and biscuit dough, it’s time to put it all together. First, add a little bit of flour into the bowl with the strawberries to help thicken up the filling. The berries should have released some juice, so you can toss to combine the flour, and get them all coated.

Transfer the berries into a ceramic pie pan or similar-sized casserole dish. You can essentially bake a cobbler in any pan you have on hand. I’ve used cast iron and pie tins in the past, but have found that I prefer a ceramic coating for serving later.

Divide the biscuit dough into twelve pieces of about equal size. It’s okay if they aren’t quite exact, but you will want them to be fairly close. Form each piece into a ball, and then flatten it slightly to be about half an inch thick. Arrange the biscuits over the top of the strawberries.

Use a pastry brush and the remaining cream from the biscuit dough to give the biscuits a nice coating of cream. Then add a couple pinches of sparkling sugar on top of each biscuit. The cream will help the sugar stick and give a nice golden color to the baked biscuits.

Bake the cobbler for right around twenty to twenty-five minutes. When it’s ready, the berry filling will be bubbling and the biscuits will be a light golden brown. Set the cobbler aside to cool for just a couple minutes until the bubbling subsides. Be sure to leave the oven on.

While the cobbler is cooling, use a measuring cup or other cup with a spout to mix heavy cream with cornstarch and vanilla extract for the custardy creamy filling. Stir quickly with a fork or whisk to fully dissolve the cornstarch.

Slowly pour the cream mixture over the top of the cobbler, aiming to get it around the edges and in between the biscuits, on top of the strawberry filling. The biscuits will have expanded, so you can use a spoon to gently separate them, which will create small gaps you can fill with cream.

Return the cobbler to the oven to bake for an additional seven or so minutes. This will allow the cream filling to set and incorporate into the berry filling. The cobbler is ready when there is no jiggle in the cream, and the berry filling is bubbling once again.

Place the cobbler on a trivet to cool in the pan for at least half an hour. It doesn’t need to cool completely, and actually tastes quite good warm, but you want to assure that the filling has solidified a bit.

The fully baked creamy strawberry cobbler tastes best the day it is baked. You can allow it to sit out at room temperature until it’s fully cool, so feel free to make it a few hours in advance.

You can also store the cobbler in the fridge overnight. Reheat it in a 350F oven until it has warmed through, which takes about twenty-five minutes. I don’t recommend storing this cobbler for longer than a day.

If you do have leftovers, you can microwave individual portions, but the biscuits will lose some texture.

Have you ever added cream to a cobbler? This creamy strawberry cobbler is proof that it’s full of magic! You definitely need to try it.

How to Serve Creamy Strawberry Cobbler

I never know whether a fruit bake like this should be considered breakfast or dessert, so I recommend having it for either one. Or both in the same day, that’s what I did! The cream added to this makes it almost custard-like, so you don’t even need to add anything extra when serving.

If you’d like, lean way into the strawberries here. You could host an entire strawberry-themed brunch with this cobbler. Or go a bit simpler, and serve it alongside a zero-proof strawberry shrub julep and a strawberry caprese salad for an easy breakfast.

You could also focus on complementary flavors. Try pairing this strawberry cobbler with a chocolate old fashioned or raspberry white hot chocolate. On a dessert table, surround this cobbler with lemon curd sandwich cookies and almond coconut cream puffs.

More Strawberry Recipes

Other Fruit Bakes to Try

Creamy Strawberry Cobbler with Shortbread Biscuits

Like a warm and cozy strawberry shortcake, this cobbler features a sweet macerated strawberry filling and is topped with shortbread-inspired biscuits.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Breakfast, Brunch, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 345kcal

Ingredients

Strawberry Filling

  • 1 Qt Strawberries about 1-1¼ pounds, hulled and quarters (small ones can be halved)
  • 2 Tbsp Brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp All-purpose flour

Shortbread Biscuit Topping

  • 1 Cup All-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp Granulated Sugar
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • ½ Cup Butter cold, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • ½ Cup Heavy Cream
  • 1 tsp Sparkling Sugar optional

Creamy Filling

  • Cup Heavy Cream
  • 1 tsp Cornstarch
  • ½ tsp Vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F with a rack in the center.
  • Macerate Strawberries: In a medium bowl, toss the strawberries with the brown sugar until coated. Set aside to macerate while you make the biscuit dough.

Shortbread Biscuit Topping

  • In another medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt for the biscuits, until combined.
  • Add in the butter, and use a pastry blender or your hands to cut the butter into the flour, until it has the texture of wet sand.
  • Add in all but a splash of the heavy cream, and mix with a sturdy spoon or your hands until it forms into a fairly wet, but structured dough.

Construct the Cobbler

  • Add the flour for the filling into the bowl with the strawberries, which should now have released some juice. Toss to combine, and transfer the berries into a ceramic pie pan or casserole.
  • Divide the biscuit dough into 12 pieces and form each into a slightly flattened ball, about ½ and inch thick. Arrange over the top of the strawberries. Brush the biscuits with the remaining cream and sprinkle each with sparkling sugar.
  • Bake the cobbler 20-25 minutes, until the berries are bubbling and the biscuits are a light golden brown. Set aside to cool for 1-2 minutes until bubbling subsides, leaving the oven on

Finish the Cobbler

  • Meanwhile combine the heavy cream, cornstarch, and vanilla extract for the creamy filling in a cup with spout, and stir to fully dissolve the cornstarch.
  • Slowly pour the cream mixture over the top of the cobbler, aiming to get it in between the biscuits. They will have expanded, so you can use a spoon to gently separated to pour the cream between.
  • Return the cobbler to the oven to bake for another 7-10 minutes, until the cream has set into a custard-like texture, and the filling is bubbling.
  • Place the cobbler on a trivet to cool in the pie pan for at least half an hour. Serve warm, or allow to cool completely.

Notes

  • Strawberries: This recipes works well with fresh strawberries. To use frozen instead, thaw them in the fridge for a few hours. Then, simply mix in the sugar and flour at the same time, just before adding the berries and any juices to the pie pan.
  • Make ahead tips: 
    • Macerated strawberries can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days. The longer they sit, the juicier they will be, so you may end up with a more liquidy cobbler.
    • The fully baked cobbler tastes best the day it is baked. However, it can be stored in the fridge overnight, and reheated in a 350F oven until warmed through, about 25 minutes. You can also microwave individual portions, but the biscuits will lose some texture.
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