These chocolate strawberry shortcakes are a new take on older recipe, a recipe that reminds me of my mom. Growing up my mom used to make a chocolate shortcake that was dark chocolatey and lightly sweet. My sister and I called them “cowpies” because the dark, flattened mounds really did look a bit like manure (!). She’d serve cowpies with nectarines and this blended strawberry sauce that brought just enough sweetness into the dessert. Since cowpies are not so appetizing, Alex and I have created a new version in honor of Mother’s Day: these chocolate strawberry shortcakes!
Speaking of moms and Mother’s Day, I suppose I should reflect on my second Mother’s Day as a mama. Becoming a mother, I had two main fears: one, that my kid would stress me out constantly, and that I’d use a lot of negative words to describe their parenting journey. And two, that I’d lose my sense of self. That I’d be that mom who becomes a totally different person, start wearing mom jeans and singing Barney songs.
The cool thing, which you probably already know, is that neither of these things have to happen when you have a kiddo. For one, mom jeans are now totally hot and Barney is pretty passé, right? But in all seriousness, I’ve been pleasantly surprised that I can embody the kind of mom I want to be. And I want to be a mama who uses glowing adjectives to describe parenting. I can be, because I 1000% believe that parenting is the most fun and beautiful thing that I’ve ever done. Maybe it’s because I am an older mama, or that I get to co-parent with an absolutely incredible dad, but hanging out with Larson is my greatest privilege. And he’s not always perfect, he can be whiny or get out of sorts, but I know that he’s just learning to be human. And I want to be the sort of mama who respects that–who encourages curiosity, and doesn’t expect a 1-year-old to have the entire world figured out. A mama who has the patience to let her baby grow and change and evolve and have good days and have bad days and discover what it means to be human.
Also, I want to be a mama who is strong in her sense of self. Yes, parenting changes you. But I know so many mamas who are rocking this incredible, amazing version of themselves, accomplishing their dreams, and guiding their littles at the same time. I want to be a mama who lives out her dreams and passions, has fulfilling relationships and embodies love in her community, so that my son can have a vision of what it means to be a healthy adult. I want to be able to share my passions with him, and for him to share his with me. Though by the looks of my nephews, this will probably be Ninjagos for the next 10 years.
So being a mom: it’s not what I expected. In all the very best ways.
Now that I’m crying, let’s talk about food! These chocolate strawberry shortcakes are fantastic for Mother’s Day or any other summer day. They highlight the beauty of ripe strawberries: if you can find local strawberries, please seek them out. They are precisely 34986098% more delicious than strawberries in a plastic crate shipped across the country. These chocolate strawberry shortcakes are a riff on our favorite “vanilla” flavored shortcake, featuring turbinado sugar, which makes them sweet and crunchy, and Greek yogurt, which keeps them moist.
Note that these shortackes are lightly sweet! So don’t expect a rich chocolatey bite, but more of a tangy, chocolate scented one. If you’re a choco-holic, feel free to add a drizzle of chocolate syrup or some chocolate chips. We’re not here to judge (and I am a choco-holic, so I would).
We hope you enjoy these chocolate strawberry shortcakes–and Happy Mother’s Day.
These chocolate strawberry shortcakes are lightly sweet and use Greek yogurt to stay moist! They’re a lighter, healthier take on a shortcake that is, most importantly, truly delicious.
For the chocolate shortcakes
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
- ½ cup turbinado raw cane sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup cold unsalted butter
- 1 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups sliced strawberries
- 1½ tablespoons sugar
- Orange zest
- Sweetened whipped cream
- If you’re a choco-holic, add chocolate syrup or chips!
Preheat the oven to 375F.
In a medium bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, baking powder, sugar, and kosher salt.
Slice the butter into thin pieces and cut it into the flour mixture using a pastry cutter or fork until it is well integrated and crumbly. Stir in the Greek yogurt and vanilla extract until a sticky dough forms and the flour is integrated.
Grease a muffin tin and place an even amount of the dough into 8 muffin cups. Sprinkle the tops of the cakes with extra turbinado sugar. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove to a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes.
While the cakes bake, wash 2 cups strawberries, and slice them into a medium bowl. Stir in the sugar and a few grates of orange zest (taste and adjust as necessary). Let stand 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Make the whipped cream.
When ready to serve, cut the cakes in half. Spoon over strawberries, add whipped cream, and top with the remaining half. (If desired, add chocolate syrup or chips.)
About the Authors
Cookbook Author and writer
Sonja Overhiser is author and recipe developer of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the “best vegetarian cookbooks” by Epicurious, and a recipe developer and healthy & sustainable food advocate behind the award-nominated food blog A Couple Cooks.
Cookbook Author and photographer
Alex Overhiser is photographer and recipe developer of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the “best new cookbooks” by Bon Appetit, and a recipe developer, photographer, and technical expert at A Couple Cooks.