Golden Raisin Shortcakes

Raisin Shortcakes - Tender homemade biscuits with orange zest and golden raisins that I served with a strawberry jam and fresh whipped cream.


Golden Raisin Shortcakes

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Sometimes recipe names crack me up. I love Bon Appetit as much as the next food-loving dude, but seriously…

Take a biscuit, cut it in half, fill it with stuff and write about it in January.

It is no longer a normal biscuit, but a winter shortcake. How sexy does that sound?!

I changed a few things from the original Raisin Shortcakes recipe that won the poll last week, but have no doubt. If you make a real homemade biscuit and serve it with fresh whipped cream and jam, it’s pretty hard to go wrong.

Golden Raisin Shortcakes

9 shortcakes
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Tender homemade biscuits with orange zest and golden raisins that I served with a strawberry jam and fresh whipped cream.

Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit January 2013.


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
3/4 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup golden raisins
1 orange, zest only
Buttermilk, for brushing
Raw sugar, for topping
Strawberry jam
1 cup heavy cream, whipped


1) Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large bowl, combine first six dry ingredients well.

2) Cube cold butter and use fingers to cut butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles a coarse meal.

3) Add buttermilk and stir until everything is just combined. The dough should be in pieces.

4) Stir in raisins and orange zest.

5) Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and knead it a few times. Then roll it out into about a 6×9 rectangle.

6) Cut cakes into 9 even pieces.

7) Transfer cakes to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush each one with buttermilk and sprinkle with raw sugar.

8) Bake for 14-15 minutes at 425 degrees Fahrenheit. When cooked, remove and let cool slightly before serving.

9) Meanwhile, whisk cold cream in a large bowl until it holds peaks. Optionally, flavor the cream with a pinch of sugar and some vanilla.

10) Serve cakes split open with cream and jam.

Raisin Shortcakes

Biscuit Mix

The biscuit mix that Bon Appetit listed in the recipe is a bit different than my standard biscuit mix. It has a tad bit extra sugar and also some whole wheat flour which gives the final biscuits a slightly different flavor.

I really loved it.

To start the biscuits (or shortcakes) just stir together all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.

ingredients for Raisin Shortcakes
The dry stuff.

Cube the cold butter and use your fingers to grind it into the flour until it is in a coarse meal.

You could use a food processor for this, but I always just use my fingers.

butter for Raisin Shortcakes

Then stir your buttermilk into the bowl and you’ll be left with a really loose dough. It should be kind of in pieces but if you press on the dough, it will stick together.

mixed up - Raisin Shortcakes
A loose dough.

The Add-ins

The original recipe called for dried figs which I couldn’t find. So, I just tossed in some golden raisins which added some extra sweetness and texture to the biscuits.

Orange zest is essential also. Don’t skimp on it. I used the zest from a whole orange.

add ins for Raisin Shortcakes
Lots of raisins.

Stir those things into the dough and then it’s ready to go!

Making the Biscuits

Roll the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it a few times. Then roll it into about a 6×9 rectangle and then chop the dough into 9 biscuits.

I don’t use a fancy biscuit cutter most of the time for my dough. I just go with square biscuits because it’s easiest.

 Raisin Shortcakes from Macheesmo
Ready to bake.

Brush the biscuits with buttermilk and sprinkle them with raw sugar and then bake them for 14-15 minutes at 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

The resulting biscuits will be really flakey but have lots of flavor thanks to those great add-ins.

Raisin Shortcakes Recipe from Macheesmo
Good looking biscuit.

Serving Options

You could honestly just serve the biscuits straight out of the oven. They are great, but Bon Appetit is definitely right that with some jam and cream, they become a whole new thing.

I whisked my cream together with a pinch of sugar and a few drops of vanilla. I whisk by hand these days and can do it in under a minute.

whipped cream - Raisin Shortcakes
Whip it good.

Then just make little jam-cream sandwich things.

Raisin Shortcakes Recipe from Macheesmo -

Biscuit? Cake? Winter? Summer?

I really don’t care what you call these, but they are worth making.

As with any biscuit, these are best right away and don’t keep the best. Even a day later they aren’t great, but if you do want to reheat them later, do so in the oven, not the microwave. They will get really soggy in the microwave.

Biscuit or shortcake? What’s the difference? Leave a comment!

3 Responses to “Golden Raisin Shortcakes” Leave a comment

  1. Oh man! These must be really good. I think I’d like to call it shortcake if it is part of more of a sweet dish, but like you say, whatever they are they are just good. Had one of the best chicken sandwiches I have ever had today from one of San Diego’s favorite food trucks – the Miho Gastrotruck and there was a golden raisin relish. From that, I am now on a golden raisin kick. Sounds crazy? Gotta try this recipe to get my fill. I like how you cut the biscuits into squares, then you don’t have to worry about scraps.

  2. I’m just going to confuse things even more, I’d actually say they were closer to scones! Growing up in Scotland we had these but they were/are just scones…lovely delicious annual eatable scones at that and jam and cream is the best filling everrrr.

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