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Giant Strawberry Shortcake Dessert with Puff Pastry

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This Giant Strawberry Shortcake made with puff pastry is a new spin on the classic dessert. It’s gorgeous and impressive, yet an easy recipe perfect for feeding a large group.

A giant strawberry shortcake dessert made with puff pastry on a cutting board.

Strawberry Shortcake Made with Puff Pastry

When it’s strawberry season, there’s nothing better than using this fresh fruit in an easy dessert

I’ve always been a fan of strawberry shortcake, whether made with traditional shortcake, biscuits or pound cake, but I was inspired in a different direction when I saw Sohla El-Waylly make three delicious recipes using a ‘giant croissant’ (aka a whole sheet of puff pastry baked into a giant puff)!

It’s so fun working with a giant puff, and it’s a real stunner when fully assembled. Give it a try and I bet you’ll agree this is the ultimate of puff pastry desserts!

A dessert of flaky layers of puff pastry, whipped cream and strawberries.

Gather Your Ingredients

This recipe uses just a few simple ingredients to create one giant slab of a shortcake! Check out the printable recipe card below for exact measurements.

  • Store-bought puff pastry — I recommend an all-butter puff pastry for this recipe for excellent flavor (like Dufour). You’ll have to check if your local grocer carries it; I get it at Whole Foods. If it’s unavailable in your area, you can totally use a shortening-based puff pastry, like Pepperidge Farm. Or, make your own if you’ve mastered that skill…I have not. 
  • Heavy cream — or heavy whipping cream…they’re the same thing.
  • Powdered sugar — aka confectioner’s sugar, to sweeten the whipped cream.
  • Vanilla extract — adds flavor to the whipped cream.
  • Fresh strawberries — two pounds of fresh berries goes into this dessert.
  • Strawberry preserves — or strawberry jam (one simply has larger chunks of fruit). If you’ve got a jar of homemade jam in the pantry, you should definitely use that!
  • Optional ingredients — small basil or mint leaves to garnish, liqueur to flavor the preserves.
Raw ingredients for giant strawberry shortcake dessert with puff pastry.

How To Make a Giant Puff Pastry Strawberry Shortcake

  1. Bake the Pastry — Line a large baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper. Carefully unfold a sheet of thawed puff pastry onto the parchment and bake for 10 minutes at 425°F. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F and continue baking for another 20 to 30 minutes until it’s puffed up, deep golden brown and crispy. Set the baking tray on a wire rack to cool. 
  2. Make the Whipped Cream — using a hand mixer and large bowl, or a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the cream, 1/4 cup sugar and a teaspoon vanilla extract on medium high speed until it forms medium stiff peaks. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until assembly.
  3. Make the Strawberry Filling — place sliced strawberries in a large bowl. Warm the strawberry preserves in a small saucepan over low heat until it is loose and drips easily from a spoon. Toss strawberries with the preserves until well incorporated.
  4. Assemble the Dessert — use a long serrated knife to slice the pastry in half horizontally. Set the top half aside and the bottom half on your serving board or platter. Spread half the whipped cream over the pastry, getting all the way to the edges. Spoon on half the strawberries. Add the top half and repeat with the remaining whipped cream and strawberries. Decorate with small leaves of mint or basil, if desired. Use a sharp knife to cut into slices just before serving.

Puff Pastry Tips

Differences in brands of puff pastry — puff pastry sheets are not created equal…Dufour comes one sheet of puff pastry to a box. Pepperidge Farm comes two sheets to a box. Once unfolded, they are also different sizes. The quantities in this recipe were made and tested with Dufour (which is larger). If using Pepperidge Farm, follow the directions as written…you’ll just end up with a taller dessert, or have some extra whipped cream and strawberries. Not a bad thing!

Thawing pastry — I prefer to thaw puff pastry in the refrigerator overnight. Some brands have quick thaw instructions if you forget. However, if you quick thaw at room temperature, I recommend popping it back in the fridge for about 30 minutes before you unfold it.

Assemble Just Before Serving

For the crispiest, airiest puff pastry experience, assemble your giant strawberry shortcake dessert just before serving! It will get soggy over time. 

However, you can make each of the components ahead of time, and store them separately. 

  • The puff pastry can be baked up to 3 days ahead. Cover and store it at room temperature.
  • Make the whipped cream up to 12 hours ahead; cover and store it in the refrigerator.
  • Make the strawberry filling several hours ahead. Store it in an airtight container in the fridge. The strawberries will give up some of their moisture as they rest. Strain off the excess or use a slotted spoon when transferring them during assembly.
A giant strawberry shortcake dessert made with puff pastry on a cutting board.

Recipe Variations

Add another layer of flavor by stirring one tablespoon of liqueur into the preserves. Gran Marnier (orange flavor) or Kirsch (cherry flavor) are both great options.

Use a blend of fresh berries for additional textures, flavors and color. A few raspberries and blueberries would be wonderful studded throughout.

When to Make This Giant Puff Pastry Dessert

This dessert doesn’t work too well as a leftover. To be honest, you can still enjoy it the next day (we have!), but I wouldn’t go beyond that.

It is perfect for feeding a crowd, so make it for your backyard cookouts, parties, and potlucks to wow your guests!

For another ’strawberries & cream’ dessert that you can make ahead for summer entertaining, you should definitely check out these easy Strawberry Cheesecake Cookies from my friends at Truffle Nation! So good!

A layered dessert with a slice missing to reveal puff pastry, whipped cream and strawberries.

Strawberry Season is Perfect For…

A giant strawberry shortcake dessert made with puff pastry on a cutting board.

Giant Strawberry Shortcake Dessert with Puff Pastry

Linda Feller
This Giant Strawberry Shortcake made with puff pastry is a new spin on the classic dessert. It’s gorgeous and impressive, yet an easy recipe perfect for feeding a large group. Inspired by 'Giant Almond Croissant' recipe by Sohla El-Waylly for the New York Times.
Prep time.15 minutes
Cook time.42 minutes
Total time.57 minutes
Course.Dessert
Cuisine.American
Number of servings.12
Calories per serving.321 kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed (see notes)
  • 1 pint heavy whipping cream
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 32 ounce fresh strawberries, hulled + sliced
  • ½ cup strawberry preserves, or jam

Optional

  • small mint or basil leaves, to garnish
  • 1 tablespoon liqueur, like Gran Marnier or Kirsch (see notes)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
  • Unfold the pastry onto the parchment. Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F and continue baking for another 20 to 30 minutes; rotate the pan halfway through. The pastry is ready when it is puffy, deep golden brown and crispy. Set aside to cool.
  • Using an electric hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the cream, confectioner's sugar and vanilla extract together until it forms medium peaks (a consistency just right for topping dessert; not too stiff and not too soft and runny). Cover and refrigerate until assembly.
  • Place the strawberries in a large mixing bowl. Heat the strawberry preserves until it is loose and drips easily off a spoon. (You can do this in the microwave or cooktop.) Gently toss the strawberries with warm preserves until coated. Cover and refrigerate if not assembling right away.
  • Once the pastry is cool enough to handle, use a long serrated knife to cut the pastry in half horizontally. Set the top aside and place the bottom on a serving platter. Spread half the whipped cream over the pastry, then spoon on half the strawberries. Cover with the top half of pastry and repeat. Decorate the top with a few herb leaves, if desired.
  • Cut into 12 pieces just before serving.

Notes

Brand of pastry: Dufour (all-butter pastry) comes one sheet of puff pastry to a box. Pepperidge Farm (shortening pastry) comes two sheets to a box. Once unfolded, they are also different sizes. The quantities in this recipe were made and tested with Dufour (which is larger). You can use any brand, but depending on the size, you may end up with a taller dessert, or have some extra whipped cream and strawberries.
Thawing pastry: I prefer to thaw puff pastry in the refrigerator overnight. If you quick thaw at room temperature per the package directions, I recommend popping it back in the fridge for about 30 minutes before you unfold it.
Liqueur: if desired, mix a tablespoon into the warmed strawberry preserves for another flavor component.
Make ahead: Assemble just before baking to maintain a crispy pastry, but the components can be made ahead.
  • The puff pastry can be baked up to 3 days ahead. Cover and store it at room temperature.
  • Make the whipped cream up to 12 hours ahead; cover and store it in the refrigerator.
  • Make the strawberry filling several hours ahead. Store it in an airtight container in the fridge. The strawberries will give up some of their moisture as they rest. Strain off the excess or use a slotted spoon when transferring them during assembly.

Nutrition

Calories: 321kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 45mg | Sodium: 67mg | Potassium: 177mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 589IU | Vitamin C: 46mg | Calcium: 43mg | Iron: 1mg
Keywords.make ahead, oven, semi-homemade
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