Greek Yogurt Rhubarb Scone Strawberry Shortcakes
June 24, 2021
Strawberry season is here! And I just couldn’t bear to bake or cook the sweet harvest we acquired. I knew that I needed to highlight their fresh flavor, so I decided on these strawberry shortcakes. The balance of a rhubarb scone is a natural foil to the berries’ sweetness. And it’s all topped off with homemade whipped cream.
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For a blog with scones literally in the name, they are more rare of an occurrence around here than you may expect. But every time I make them, I wonder why that is? Scones are easy and delicious. Whenever I bite into one and taste that sweet, buttery biscuit flavor dotted with fruit, I am always tempted to grab another.
In this recipe, I let the scones be the base for a traditional favorite dessert: strawberry shortcake. There are a few adjustments beyond the basics, with the addition of tart rhubarb, and some Greek yogurt added for a tender crumb.
What You Need to Get Started
You can easily find all of the ingredients for these rhubarb scone strawberry shortcakes at your grocery store:
- Produce: Rhubarb, Strawberries
- Pantry: Sugar, All-purpose flour, Baking powder, Brown sugar
- Spice Rack: Salt, Sparkling sugar
- Fridge: Butter, Greek yogurt, Milk, Heavy cream
- Equipment: Sheet pan, Parchment paper, Mixing bowls, Whisk, Pastry blender, Bench scraper, Pastry brush, Cooling rack, Hand mixer, Serrated knife
- Optional Equipment: Food processor, Stand mixer
Let’s Make Greek Yogurt Rhubarb Scones
If you’ve never worked with rhubarb before, you might be surprised that this reddish celery-like vegetable is often paired with fruit in baked goods. But rhubarb has a couple qualities that make it a perfect companion for berries. Its lovely tart flavor and ability to soften when cooked are both excellent here.
Grab your rhubarb and begin slicing it. You want the pieces to be about a quarter of an inch wide, but it’s okay if they are a bit bigger or smaller. If the red skin is tough to cut through, feel free to discard it, along with any leaves, which you should not eat.
Toss all of the rhubarb pieces — you should end up with about a cup — into a small bowl. Now is a good time to preheat your oven, and prepare a sheet pan by lining it with parchment paper.
Sprinkle some sugar over the rhubarb in the bowl, and toss these together. Set the bowl off to the side while you prepare the scone dough. The sugar will pull some of the juices out of the rhubarb, and give the sour pieces a little bit of sweetness.
To begin the dough, whisk together the dry ingredients in a medium bowl: flour, the remaining sugar, baking powder and salt. Start with just two cups of flour, but you may end up needing the rest later. The baking powder acts as the only leavening agent in these scones. And of course, sugar and salt both help with flavor.
Once everything is thoroughly combined, add the cold butter into the bowl. I like to cut my butter right out of the fridge, but feel free to cut yours into cubes when it’s a bit softer and then chill. You just want to make sure it’s cold when you mix it in here.
Use a pastry blender to cut the butter into the flour mixture, breaking apart any large pieces. If you don’t have a pastry blender in your kitchen, it’s probably my favorite gadget to keep around. Whether you like making scones, biscuits, pie, or even guacamole, it’s a must-have.
If you are looking to mix the butter in a bit quicker, you can also use a food processor. Give it a couple quick pulses to incorporate the butter into the flour, and then transfer back to a mixing bowl. The food processor doesn’t work well for the next step.
When the butter is all coated with flour and cut into small pieces, make a well in the center of the bowl. Add the Greek yogurt right into that well. I love the effect that the yogurt has on these scones. It gives them such a tender crumb, which almost makes them feel like they have a little angel food cake in them.
Coat your hands with a thin layer of the remaining flour, and then guide the flour mixture from the bowl into the yogurt. Get your hands underneath and mix the yogurt thoroughly into the flour. Start kneading in the bowl, gently at first to incorporate everything together into a dough.
You may need to adjust the texture of the dough by adding a splash of milk if it’s too dry, or a spoonful of flour if it is wet. When it’s the correct texture, the dough should form together into a single ball, without being shaggy or sticky at all.
A lot of factors can affect your dough texture, like the moisture and humidity levels in your house, how accurately you measure your flour, and the proportion of liquid in the yogurt. In does take a little bit of finessing to get it right. But if you add a bit too much milk, you can always balance with flour or vice versa.
Finally, add in the rhubarb. Scrape out the bowl to get all of the sugar and syrup as well. Then knead the rhubarb into the dough until it’s well-distributed throughout. If your rhubarb created a lot of sugar, you again may need to balance out your dough with a bit of flour.
Form the dough into a round dome-shaped disk that is about eight to ten inches in diameter. Place the whole thing onto your prepared baking sheet, then grab your bench scraper. Press this straight down into the scone dough in order to create eight equal-sized wedges.
If you don’t have a bench scraper, a cleaver or any long, sharp knife will do. The important part is that you are pushing straight down to cut the pieces, and not sawing through the dough.
Carefully separate the wedges and spread them apart on the baking sheet, leaving a couple inches in between. These will expand in the oven, but even if they run into each other a tiny bit, it’s okay.
You should have some milk remaining from making the dough earlier, so we are going to use that to brush on top of the scones. If you used most of it before, that’s okay. You only need a splash here for each scone. Dip a pastry brush in the milk, and then give a quick brush to the top of each scone.
If you’d like to add a little extra flair, sprinkle just a pinch of sparkling sugar on top of each as well. I always love the look of this sugar after baking, since it catches the light and gives your scones a slight glimmer. Turbinado or demerara sugar both work nicely here as well.
Bake the scones for right around fifteen minutes. When they are done, the scones will be noticeable golden brown on the tops and sides. Plus, a toothpick will come out clean.
Allow them to cool on the pan for just about five minutes to set up slightly. Then you can transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. While you’re waiting on those, it’s time to prep the berries and cream for your shortcakes!
How to Build Scone Strawberry Shortcakes
If you’d like to prep ahead of time, the scones can be made a couple days in advance and stored in a sealed container at room temperature. They can also be tightly wrapped and frozen for a month or so.
For those of you making these all at once, you can prep the strawberries while the scones are cooling. Start by washing, hulling, and slicing your berries. I like thin slices, about an eighth of an inch thick.
Add the strawberries to a small bowl and sprinkle them with the brown sugar. Stir to combine and cover the bowl. If your bowl has a tightly sealing lid, that is super helpful here, since you can just shake them up gently instead of stirring. Either way, refrigerate the berries for at least an hour.
The goal here is to get a nice amount of syrup and to soften up your strawberries. Macerating them with the sugar will do both.
Use a medium bowl or jar to make the whipped cream. Add the heavy cream, making sure there is room for it to triple in size. Then, use a hand or stand mixer with a whisk attachment to whip it.
Start on low and then slowly increase the speed up to the highest available. This will help prevent splashing. Continue mixing on high until you notice peaks forming. The whipped cream is ready when it holds its shape and stays on the whisk.
Now that everything is prepared, let’s put it all together. Slice the cooled scones horizontally with a serrated knife. I found it easiest to hold the knife parallel to the table surface and saw across the scones.
Add a large spoonful each of strawberries, syrup, and whipped cream onto the bottom half of the scone. Replace the top, and then add an additional small dollop of whipped cream and a couple more strawberry slices. You can even add an extra little drizzle of syrup.
Once you have built the strawberry shortcakes, serve them immediately. They do not store well. However, you can store the macerated berries and whipped cream each for a few days in separate sealed containers in the fridge. If your whipped cream begins to collapse, you can simply rewhip it.
Strawberries and rhubarb are the perfect combo, especially when you make rhubarb scones into strawberry shortcakes. Yum!
How to Serve Strawberry Shortcake Rhubarb Scones
You can eat these scones for breakfast, brunch, tea, snacks, dessert, really anytime at all. Because these are strawberry shortcakes as well, dessert suits them well. Try bringing a little bit of afternoon tea into it by pairing these with a cozy chai white hot chocolate.
If you’d rather serve your scones with brunch, they make an excellent starter to a more savory main course. Play into the berry theme with a strawberry caprese salad, perfect for spring and summer! Or go in a different direction, and serve these with a fun egg dish. Here’s 35 to get you started.
Of course, it’s not brunch without drinks! Dragon fruit and raspberry sangria is perfect when you’re serving a crowd. For a smaller group, make individual watermelon daiquiris. Looking for something non-alcoholic? You will love these rhubarb scones with a zero-proof strawberry shrub julep.
Use Up Leftover Ingredients
- Strawberries add a jammy touch to cinnamon streusel coffee cake.
- Rhubarb shines on its own in mini rhubarb cakes with buttercream.
- Heavy cream is the best excuse to make super rich coffee ice cream.
- Greek yogurt adds lovely texture to banana rum muffins and blueberry butter.
- Sparkling sugar tops off an extra easy pie crust with any-fruit filling.
- Brown sugar is one of the secrets to super chewy bourbon pecan cookie bars.
Love strawberries? Here are a few of my favorite recipes:
Greek Yogurt Rhubarb Scone Strawberry Shortcakes
- 2 Stalks Rhubarb sliced into ¼-inch pieces, about 1 cup
- ¼ Cup + 2 Tbsp Sugar
- 2-2 ½ Cups All-purpose flour
- 2 tsp Baking Powder
- ¼ tsp Salt
- ½ Cup Unsalted Butter cold and cut into ¼-inch cubes
- ½ Cup Greek Yogurt
- 1-4 Tbsp Milk
- Sparkling Sugar for topping
- 2 Cups Strawberries thinly sliced
- ¼ Cup Brown Sugar
- 6 oz Heavy Cream
- Preheat the oven to 400°F with a rack in the center. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a small bowl, add the sliced rhubarb with 2 Tbsp of sugar. Toss to combine, and set aside while you prepare the scone dough.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together 2 Cups of the flour, the remaining sugar, baking powder and salt until thoroughly combined.
- Add the cold butter, and use a pastry blender to cut the butter into the flour mixture, breaking apart any large pieces. You can also use a food processor* to pulse the butter into the flour.
- Make a well in the center, and add the Greek yogurt. Coat your hands with more flour, and push the flour mixture in the bowl into the yogurt. Knead together in the bowl, gently at first, to incorporate into a dough.
- The dough should stick together in a single ball, but if it seems too dry add milk a splash at a time. If it seems too wet add flour a spoonful at a time. The dough should not be sticky, but should hold its form.
- Add the rhubarb along with any sugar and syrup from the bowl, and knead into the dough until well-distributed.
- Form the dough into a round dome shape about 8-10 inches in diameter, and place on the baking sheet. Use a bench scraper to cut it into 8 wedges, and then separate the wedges 2-inches apart on the baking sheet.
- Use a pastry brush and the remaining milk to brush the top of each scone. Then sprinkle with a pinch a of sparkling sugar if desired.
- Bake for 12-18 minutes, until the scones are golden brown on the tops and sides, and a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool, on the pan for five minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- While the scones are cooling, add the strawberries and brown sugar to a small bowl. Stir to combine, cover, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- In a medium bowl or jar, add the heavy cream. Using a hand mixer or stand mixer with a whisk attachment, begin on low and then slowly increase the speed to prevent splashing. Continue mixing on high until peaks for and the whipped cream holds its shape.
- Slice cooled scones horizontally with a serrated knife. Add a large spoonful of strawberries, syrup, and whipped cream onto the bottom half. Replace the top half, and add an additional dollop of whipped cream and 2-3 more strawberry slices.
- Make Ahead Tips:
- The scones can be made 2-3 days in advance and stored in a sealed container at room temperature. They can be tightly wrapped and frozen for 1-2 months.
- Store macerated strawberries in the fridge for 3-5 days, keeping in mind that the longer they sit, the more syrup they will release.
- Store whipped cream in a sealed container in the fridge for 3-5 days. If begins to collapse, you can simply re-whip it.
- Once you have built the strawberry shortcakes, serve them immediately. They do not store well.
- You can use a food processor to cut the butter into the flour, but I recommend kneading the yogurt in by hand.