Vegetarian food blog featuring delicious and nutritious whole food recipes, creative baking and luscious chocolate.

Spelt Strawberry Shortcakes with Lemon & Thyme

Wholemeal Spelt Strawberry Shortcakes with lemon & thyme.

Scones, Summer | 6th August 2019 | By

If you like a bit of alliteration, how about “spelt strawberry shortcakes scream summer”? It’s not a lie. And furthermore they’re totally delicious. Knock up a batch, invite your neighbours around and enjoy them in or out of the garden. Serve them warm with whipped cream and macerated strawberries.

International Scone Week

Every year Lavender and Lime hosts International Scone Week. Celia of Fig Jam and Lime Cordial started this rather wonderful event back in 2011, but Tandy has been holding the baton for the last few years. If you blog and love baking and eating scones as much as many of us do, please join in with #ISW2019. If you don’t blog, just enjoy the recipes.

Last year I made these matcha & honey spelt scones. They were really tasty and I loved the pastel colour created by the matcha green tea powder. In previous years, I’ve made emmer scones, chocolate scones, and white chocolate & whey scones, amongst others.

Strawberry Shortcakes

Strawberry shortcakes are a very British summer bake. The first recipe was recorded in the 16th century. Everyone seems to have their own recipe, but really they’re a type of scone – just slightly sweeter and shorter and they’re made with cream rather than milk. They’re really quick and easy to prepare, so just perfect for the summer season. It’s true you’ll need to turn on your oven to make them. But they only take fifteen minutes or so to bake, so they shouldn’t make your kitchen too hot.

Wholemeal Spelt Strawberry Shortcakes with lemon & thyme.

Having just said that strawberry shortcakes are scones, there is another version. Strawberry shortcake can also be layers of thin shortbread biscuit, filled with macerated strawberries and cream. My mother made me one of these for my birthday one year. It was terrific and the most delicious birthday cake I’ve ever had. Sadly, I was unable to partake on the day. I’d spent the day in hospital where I’d had a general anaesthetic. This meant that when I arrived home, I was fit for nothing but my bed.

For another take on shortcake, take a look at my upside-down banoffee shortcake. It’s different, but it makes an excellent pudding.

Spelt Strawberry Shortcakes

The list of ingredients may look long, but it’s not as bad as you think. Apart from the strawberries and cream, you’re likely to have everything you need in your store cupboard. I’ve used a mix of bicarbonate of soda and cream of tarter as the raising agent. That’s how I’ve always made scones. But you can use two teaspoons of baking powder instead, if that’s what you have. I’ve also added lemon zest and fresh lemon thyme to the mix. This makes these spelt strawberry shortcakes even more delicious. But if you don’t have lemon thyme, you could try using ordinary thyme instead, or just leave it out altogether.

Wholemeal Spelt Flour Dough

As a whole food baker, I’ve made these shortcakes with wholemeal spelt flour. This means they won’t rise as much as you’d expect scones to rise, but they will taste even more delicious and they’ll be a bit healthier too. You could sieve out the biggest bits of bran, if you can be bothered. I didn’t on this occasion.

If you want to use ordinary wholemeal flour or even plain flour, go carefully with the liquid. You might need to add a little more or a little less, respectively.

Forming the Dough

All you need to do, is place the dry ingredients into a bowl. Grate in the lemon zest. I find a microplane* makes zesting lemons a breeze. Add cold cubed butter, or as I do, cut it up with a knife once it’s been added to the flour. Then rub it in to the dry ingredients with your finger tips. It’s important the butter is cold as you don’t want it to melt whilst you’re rubbing it in. Some people grate the butter into the flour to make the process easier, but I find this too faffy and it creates extra washing up.

Once you’ve got a mixture that resembles rough breadcrumbs, add the wet ingredients. I’ve used a mix of cream and kefir rather than straight cream. Kefir is a brilliant ingredient for baking, but if you don’t have any, use buttermilk or soured milk instead. Bring the shortcake mixture together with a round-bladed knife rather than a spoon, as this will be lighter on the dough. Once it starts to come together, gather it up with your hands and form it into a ball.

The main thing to take into account with any shortcake or scone dough, is to handle it as little as possible. The more you handle it, the heavier and tougher your finished bakes are likely to be.

Rolling Out

Ideally, you should roll out the dough for these spelt strawberry shortcakes to about 2 cm (¾”). This will give you eight good sized shortcakes. With this batch, I rolled them out too thinly. I made ten, but they were a bit tricky to cut into halves once they were cooked.

Once rolled, stamp the dough into 6 cm rounds. You’ll need to roll all the leftover bits together again to make the final one or two. Brush with milk, then sprinkle with a little demerara sugar. This will give a nice crunchy top.

Macerated Strawberries

To macerate strawberries, you just need to let them soak in sugar for a while. This will cause them to release their juice which mixes with the sugar to create a gorgeous sweet, tart and glossy concoction. I’ve used rose syrup instead of sugar which gives a few welcome floral notes. The flavours really pop. If you have the right sort of roses, it’s very easy to knock up a batch of homemade rose syrup. If, however, you’re not able to make your own or can’t find any to buy, just use a couple of teaspoons of golden caster sugar instead. You won’t have those floral tones, but it will still be delicious.

Strawberries macerating in rose syrup and lemon.

You can also macerate your strawberries in a liqueur instead of, or as well as sugar. Lemon juice is an excellent addition and I’ve added some in this recipe. I find it helps to bring out the flavours.

Prepare the strawberries whilst the shortcakes are baking.

To Serve

These spelt strawberry shortcakes are best consumed on the day of making. Ideally, serve them warm from the oven. Whip up the cream whilst they’re cooling on the rack. Cut each one in half, spoon on some cream then top with the macerated strawberries.

Show Me Your Strawberry Shortcakes

Thanks for visiting Tin and Thyme. If you make these spelt strawberry shortcakes, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below or via social media. Do share photos on your preferred social media site and use the hashtag #tinandthyme, so I can spot them.

For more delicious and nutritious recipes, follow me on TwitterFacebook, Instagram or Pinterest.

Spelt Strawberry Shortcakes. PIN IT.

Summer spelt strawberry shortcakes.

Spelt Strawberry Shortcakes – The Recipe

Wholemeal Spelt Strawberry Shortcakes with lemon & thyme.
Print Pin
5 from 9 votes

Spelt Strawberry Shortcakes

Strawberry shortcakes scream summer. These ones are made with wholemeal spelt flour and flavoured with lemon. You can also include thyme if you're feeling adventurous. Serve with macerated strawberries and whipped cream.
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Afternoon Tea, Dessert
Cuisine: British
Keyword: baking, cream, kefir, lemons, scones, shortcake, strawberries, thyme
Servings: 8 shortcakes


  • 225 g (8 oz) wholemeal spelt flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 tsp cream of tarter
  • pinch of fine sea or rock salt
  • 40 g golden caster sugar + a little extra for sprinkling
  • 1 unsprayed lemon (I use organic lemons when I can get hold of them)
  • small sprig lemon thyme (optional)
  • 60 g (2 oz unsalted butter - fridge cold and cubed
  • 60 ml (4 fl oz) kefir, buttermilk or sour milk
  • 60 ml (2 fl oz) double cream + 125 ml (¼ pt) for serving
  • a little milk to brush the tops with
  • 1 tsp demerara sugar for sprinkling
  • 225 g (8 oz) ripe strawberries - quartered
  • 1 tbsp rose syrup (can substitute 2 tsp golden caster sugar)


  • Set oven to 200℃/400℉/Gas6.
  • Place the dry ingredients into a large bowl and rub in the butter with your fingers until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  • Finely grate in the lemon zest. I microplane is ideal for this. Add the lemon thyme leaves.
  • Make a well in the centre and pour in the kefir and cream. Stir with a round bladed knife from the inside to the outside until the ingredients are just combined and starting to form a dough. Bring this together with your hands, handling it as little as possible.
  • Roll out on a floured surface to about ¾" (2cm) thick, then cut into rounds with a 2 ½" (6cm) cutter. Combine the leftover bits, re-roll and cut again until the dough has all been used.
  • Place onto a greased baking tray and brush with milk then sprinkle with a little demerara sugar. Bake for 15 minutes or until the scones are golden and the bases sound hollow when tapped.
  • Place onto a cooling rack, but best eaten whilst still warm.
  • Whilst the scones are baking, place the strawberries in a bowl. Squeeze in a tbsp of lemon juice and add the rose syrup. Stir and leave to macerate.
  • Whip the cream.
  • Cut the shortcakes in half and top with the whipped cream and macerated strawberries.


You can use 2 tsp of baking powder instead of the bicarb and cream of tarter.
These shortcakes don't rise as well as ordinary scones due to the bran in the wholemeal flour, but they are still light and delicious.
Best eaten on the day they are made. Or can be frozen once cooled.


I’m sharing these spelt strawberry shortcakes with Recipes Made Easy for #CookBlogShare and Apply to Face Blog for #BakingCrumbs.

This post contains affiliate links. Links are marked with an *. Buying through a link will not cost you any more, but I will get a small commission. Thanks to my readers for supporting the brands and organisations that help to keep Tin and Thyme blithe and blogging. 


  1. Jacqui Bellefontaine

    6th August 2019 at 2:51 pm

    Oh my they look good and yes they do shout Summer – just add sunshine (hopefully). Thank you for linking to #CookBlogShare

    • Choclette

      7th August 2019 at 1:38 pm

      We seem to be having a very different summer down here in the New Forest. I’ve been crossing fingers for rainy days for months!

  2. angiesrecipes

    6th August 2019 at 7:07 pm

    I love that you have used whole spelt flour to make these biscuits. They look so good and perfect to served with sweet berries.

    • Choclette

      7th August 2019 at 1:38 pm

      Thanks Angie. As you know I do most of my baking with wholemeal spelt. Love it.

  3. GUNJAN C Dudani

    8th August 2019 at 1:08 am

    I am always on a lookout for recipes using spelt flour. These shortcake cookies looks so delicious and perfect for me to use spelt flour from my pantry. Your images are making me drool.

    • Choclette

      8th August 2019 at 8:09 am

      Thank you. I’m a big fan of spelt flour and you’ll find most of the baking recipes on Tin and Thyme use it.

  4. Byron Thomas

    8th August 2019 at 1:54 pm

    I’m the type that will totally put up with the hot kitchen in the summer if there’s something that I want to bake, especially if I’m craving something baked and something sweet. And, for these shortcakes, I’m willing to sweat a little. I must admit, I did click your over to your homemade rose syrup recipe and I’d love to give that a try. I’m on a rose syrup kick lately and would love to try my own. I wonder if I can put off making this recipe long enough to make the rose syrup first? 🙂

    • Choclette

      8th August 2019 at 4:37 pm

      Well I have to say, I can’t resist baking in the summer either, but I do an awful lot less of it than I do when the weather is cooler. If you have suitable roses, go make that rose syrup now. It really doesn’t take very long. And it’s such useful stuff. Nothing quite like homemade.

  5. Cheese Curd In Paradise

    8th August 2019 at 3:26 pm

    I like to bake in the summer because it is when all the delicious fruit is at the very best! I love strawberry shortcakes, and these look so tasty! Strawberries are one of my favorite things about summer!

    • Choclette

      8th August 2019 at 4:39 pm

      Well this is very true and I’m not immune from baking in the summer either. Strawberries are just the best.

  6. Sandhya Ramakrishnan

    8th August 2019 at 3:49 pm

    Love that you used spelt flour to make the shortcake. I love using spelt as well and this shortcake with lemon and thyme flavor will fill my kitchen with delicious scents. This is perfect kind of summer baking and I would not mind it at all!

    • Choclette

      8th August 2019 at 4:40 pm

      I use spelt flour in most of my baking. It’s my all time favourite flour.

  7. Leslie

    9th August 2019 at 3:09 am

    What a great twist on the traditional strawberry shortcake dessert. Love everything about this! So perfect for summer!

    • Choclette

      9th August 2019 at 4:22 pm

      It really isn’t summer without a few strawberry shortcakes – complete with cream of course 😀

  8. Sylvie

    9th August 2019 at 6:52 am

    This recipe just makes me want to sit down with friends and have a tea party! So delicious for summer 🙂

    • Choclette

      9th August 2019 at 9:49 am

      Yes, strawberry shortcakes need tea parties, especially garden parties.

  9. Kat (The Baking Explorer)

    9th August 2019 at 10:50 pm

    They look amazing and perfectly summery!!

    • Choclette

      10th August 2019 at 11:20 am

      Thanks Kat. It’s a bit hard to remember it’s summer at the moment with a force 9 gale going on.

  10. Jenny Walters

    10th August 2019 at 7:55 am

    I love shortcake. They are a bake that I always feel moved to bake every summer. I love your wholegrain take on them. Even more flavour packed in there! They look absolutely dreamy! Thank you so much for sharing with #BakingCrumbs

    • Choclette

      10th August 2019 at 11:21 am

      Well absolutely. You’ve got to have strawberry shortcakes in summer 😀

  11. Jo Allison / Jo's Kitchen Larder

    11th August 2019 at 10:07 am

    That’s what summer baking is all about! Strawberries macerated with rose syrup sound like the perfect topping too! Thank you for sharing with #BakingCrumbs 🙂

    • Choclette

      11th August 2019 at 4:16 pm

      Thanks Jo. Only trouble is, they are so good it’s very hard to stop eating once you’ve started.

  12. johanna @ green gourmet giraffe

    13th August 2019 at 3:35 am

    these sound so lovely and summery – we are still having lots of strawberries at the supermarket but they are long gone at the farmers market. And what a sad story about the strawberry shortcake for your birthday – but hope your mum made you another one afterwards.

    • Choclette

      13th August 2019 at 7:42 pm

      Sadly, that was the only strawberry shortcake she ever made me, but I felt the love even if I didn’t get the cake 😀 I don’t really like strawberries in winter, they never taste the same. I guess you get them for Christmas?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *