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Spiced Cranberry-Almond Shortcakes

Scott Phillips

Servings: 8

Lightly cooked with warm, aromatic spices, the cranberries soften and get juicy and jammy. Their bright, tart flavor contrasts with the sweet, toasty almond shortcakes.


For the shortcakes

  • 6 oz. (1-1/3 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour; more as needed
  • 3 oz. (3/4 cup) almond flour (also called almond meal)
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tsp. granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbs. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. table salt
  • 2 cold hard-cooked large egg yolks
  • 4 oz. (8 Tbs.) unsalted butter, 6 Tbs. cold and cut into 1/2-inch cubes, 2 Tbs. melted
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds

For the filling

  • 8 whole cloves
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 thin slices peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 lb. fresh or frozen cranberries (about 4 cups)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped, or 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract or paste

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 790
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 430
  • Fat (g): 48
  • Saturated Fat (g): 24
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 12
  • Cholesterol (mg): 185
  • Sodium (mg): 550
  • Carbohydrates (g): 87
  • Fiber (g): 6
  • Protein (g): 10


Make the shortcakes

  • Combine the flour, almond flour, 1/4 cup of the sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a food processor and pulse to combine. Crumble in the egg yolks, add the cubed butter, and pulse until the pieces of butter are no larger than peas, about eight 1-second pulses.
  • Transfer to a large bowl, add the sour cream, and combine with a fork until the sour cream is mostly incorporated. Using your hand, gently fold and press the shaggy dough against the side of the bowl until all the dry bits are incorporated and it comes together in a cohesive but slightly tacky ball.
  • Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and shape into a 1-inch-thick rectangle (about 9×5 inches). Use a bench knife or chef’s knife to cut the dough into 8 equal rectangles and set them about 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet. Freeze for 45 minutes.
  • Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 400°F. Brush the tops of the shortcakes with the melted butter, and sprinkle with the sliced almonds and remaining 2 tsp. sugar. Bake until golden, 15 to 17 minutes. Cool for 3 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Make the filling

  • Wrap the cloves in a piece of cheesecloth and tie with butcher’s twine.
  • Combine the cloves, sugar, ginger, and 1 cup water in a 3-quart saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until the cloves are very fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the cranberries and cook, gently stirring occasionally, until most have popped but some retain their shape, 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Transfer the cranberries to a medium bowl and set aside to cool (discard the cloves and ginger).
  • In a large bowl, whisk the cream, sugar, and vanilla seeds, extract, or paste to medium-stiff peaks.
  • Using a serrated knife, split the shortcakes horizontally. Mound the cranberries on the bottom halves. Top with the whipped cream and the other shortcake halves and serve.


Rate or Review

Reviews (1 review)

  • User avater
    Pielove | 02/10/2015

    I love this recipe because the biscuits are light, tender and rich, then the cranberry sauce provides a juicy, tart contrast with a warm undertone of spices. The sauce also goes well with turkey-- really the same amount of sugar as a whole-berry cranberry sauce, so why not? Also, I'm a big fan of dessert-for-breakfast (pie anyone?) and if you use a bit of vanilla yogurt instead of the whipped cream-- well, breakfast is served!

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