Strawberry Shortcake Donuts
Dricoll’s has been the strawberry in everyone’s shortcake for more than 100 years, which makes them the perfect inspiration for this recipe! I worked in collaboration with Driscoll’s Strawberries to develop a unique strawberry shortcake recipe and have received compensation accordingly. Opinions expressed are always my own.
Summertime is practically here! Can’t you just feel it?? This time of year is just so intoxicating, so full of sunlight and flower buds. It’s like walking into a big hug after a long and dreary winter, followed by a very wet spring.
In between packing what must be thousands of boxes (okay… it’s closer to, like, 12) and move prep, we’ve been trying to soak up every moment of this new found sunshine! We’re taking nature walks, catching butterflies, running in the sprinklers, and eating lots and lots of strawberries.
Like…. gazillions of strawberries.
I think strawberries may be the real reason I fight to get through the winter at all. And when strawberry season comes, I’m eating them with every meal and every snack in between.
Like every other strawberry lover on the planet, I’m pretty crazy about strawberry shortcake. Besides being utterly delicious and a versatile flavor combo, strawberry shortcake is also classic and timeless. It’s an iconic American dessert, and I find the sheer patriotism of it as appealing as anything else. Did you know that Americans have been feverishly eating strawberry shortcake for over 100 years? And Driscoll’s has been growing beautifully plump, ruby red strawberries for just as long!
Strawberry shortcake has taken on many forms throughout the decades. Sometimes the variations are as simple as switching up the cake part and using a spongecake (like the ones you see in the grocery stores by the strawberries) or pound cake instead of a traditional sweet biscuit. Others are more creative and incorporate the flavors into desserts like ice cream or crepes!
I wanted to get a little creative with this recipe but also incorporate some tradition at the same time. Classic, old-school, southern-style strawberry shortcake is made with a biscuit (sort of like this blueberry shortcake I posted). Using biscuits happen to be my favorite way to eat this dessert, so I knew I didn’t want to deviate from that route.
As I started thinking about the different ways you can use biscuits in dessert-making, strawberry shortcake donuts became this blaring, neon sign in my mind as the perfect way to combine both tradition and creativity! By simply frying the biscuit dough, instead of baking, a classic strawberry shortcake goes rogue and becomes a donut. You can fry made-from-scratch biscuit dough or use refrigerated biscuit dough like I did for a delicious shortcut!
One more thing before you head to the kitchen… it’s a little obvious, but it’s worth saying anyway: be sure to buy the very best strawberries for the very best tasting donuts. Driscoll’s has been the strawberry in everyone’s shortcake for over 100 years, and there’s a reason– they’re the best!
- 1 cup cinnamon sugar (1 cup sugar + 1 tbsp cinnamon)
- 1 can refrigerated biscuit mix (or one batch of your favorite homemade biscuit dough)
- approximately 4-6 cups vegetable or canola oil (for frying)
- 8 ounces Cool Whip
- 1 lb. Driscoll's strawberries, sliced
- Place cinnamon sugar in a small bowl and set aside.
- Heat oil on medium heat in a 2-quart pot (if your stove is on the HOT side, err towards medium-low). Oil will be ready when it pops (just a little) when you flick water droplets into it.*
- Using a small round cutter (I used the base of a large frosting tip), cut holes in the biscuit dough to resemble a donut. You can fry these bits as donut holes later.
- Place the dough into the hot oil.** Let it brown on one side for 1-2 minutes (you can peek to see if it's browning by using the tongs), then flip it to fry on the other side for a minute or two.
- Remove donut to the paper towel-lined cooling rack. Repeat with all of the dough.
- Coat each donut in the cinnamon sugar while still hot. Return to the paper towel-lined rack to continue cooling.
- Once all donuts are fried and cooled, top with Cool Whip and sliced strawberries.
- Serve fresh for best taste. Store donuts in an airtight container overnight if storage is necessary, and top with Cool Whip and strawberry slices just before serving.
*If it sounds like firecrackers are going off when you flick water into the oil, take it off the heat for a bit so it can cool down. It should only pop a little bit.
**I suggest letting the oil cool for a few minutes in between frying the chicken and the donuts. Overly hot oil can ruin the donuts by burning them on the outside while leaving them doughy inside. ANYTIME the oil begins to smoke or brown the food too quickly (like within moments), it is too hot and needs to be removed from the heat for a minute.