Strawberry Shortcake

Tested & Perfected Recipes

strawberry shortcake

It was my husband’s 47th birthday (yikes!) last week so I took the opportunity to perfect one of his favorite desserts, strawberry shortcake. Of course, as with many traditional recipes, there’s some debate over the best way to make strawberry shortcake: some people favor a cake-like base and some prefer a biscuit base. Michael grew up on the cake version but I have proudly swayed him to the other side. You just can’t beat a warm, crumbly buttermilk biscuit filled with juicy strawberries and whipped cream.

For those intimidated by making homemade biscuits, rest assured: mine are easy to prepare. I mix the dough by hand the old-fashioned way — no need to dirty the food processor — and, instead of rolling the dough out and cutting it with biscuit cutter, I shape it into free-form balls. Not only is this method easier, but it also gives the biscuits a craggy texture with lots of nooks and crannies, perfect for soaking up all the strawberry juices without getting soggy. There’s absolutely nothing tricky about making this dessert; just bake it during peak strawberry season using the juiciest, sweetest strawberries you can find.

how to make strawberry shortcake

Begin by making the biscuits. These are a lightly sweetened version of the Almost Southern Buttermilk Biscuits in my cookbook. True Southern biscuits typically call for White Lily flour, a low-protein flour primarily available in the southern US states that makes for ultra-tender, melt-in-your-mouth biscuits. I can’t find White Lily flour easily where I live, so my secret is to add a little cornstarch to the flour to get the same effect.

how to make strawberry shortcake

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, granulated sugar, and salt.

how to make strawberry shortcake

Add the pieces of cold butter.

how to make strawberry shortcake

Use your fingertips to rub the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs with pea-sized clumps of butter within.

how to make strawberry shortcake

It should look like this.

how to make strawberry shortcake

Add the buttermilk. (Note: If you’d rather not buy a whole carton of buttermilk for this recipe, it’s easy to make your own. Simply add 2-1/2 teaspoons of lemon juice or white vinegar to a liquid measuring cup. Then add milk to the 3/4-cup line and let sit for 10 to 15 minutes, or until slightly curdled and thickened.)

how to make strawberry shortcake

Stir with a rubber spatula until the dough comes together into a sticky, shaggy mass. Do not overmix.

how to make strawberry shortcake

With lightly floured hands, form the dough into 8 craggy-looking balls and place on the prepared baking sheet. (They should be bigger than golf balls but smaller than tennis balls.) Don’t worry about making them perfect — it’s better if they are a little rough around the edges. Sprinkle the tops with the turbinado sugar.

how to make strawberry shortcake

Bake for 13 to 15 minutes, until the biscuits are golden. Set aside to cool.

how to make strawberry shortcake

While the biscuits cool, prepare the strawberries.

how to make strawberry shortcake

Put one-third of the berries in a medium bowl and, using a potato masher or a fork, mash them into a chunky purée.

how to make strawberry shortcake

Mix in the remaining berries, along with the raspberry jam and granulated sugar.

how to make strawberry shortcake

Let the berries sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes, until saucy.

how to make strawberry shortcake

Meanwhile, make the whipped cream. In an electric mixer or by hand, whip the heavy cream until soft peaks form, then sprinkle the sugar over the cream and beat until soft peaks return. Do not overbeat.

how to make whipped cream

To assemble the shortcakes: Using a serrated knife, split the biscuits in half horizontally and transfer the bottoms to 8 dessert plates. Spoon about three-quarters of the macerated berries and their juice evenly over the biscuit bottoms. Let some of the berries spill out onto the plate. Top with a generous dollop of whipped cream and cover each with a biscuit top. Spoon more berries and cream over each shortcake and serve immediately.

My Recipe Videos

Strawberry Shortcake

Servings: 8
Prep Time: 40 Minutes
Cook Time: 15 Minutes
Total Time: 55 Minutes

Ingredients

For the Biscuits

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 10 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk (see note below)
  • 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar

For the Strawberries

  • 2 pounds strawberries, hulled and sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 3 tablespoons seedless raspberry jam
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

For the Whipped Cream

  • 1-1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar

Instructions

For the Biscuits

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F and set an oven rack in the middle position. Line a 13x18-in baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, granulated sugar, and salt.
  3. Add the pieces of cold butter. Use your fingertips to rub the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs with pea-sized clumps of butter within. Add the buttermilk and stir with a rubber spatula until the dough comes together into a sticky, shaggy mass. Do not overmix.
  4. With lightly floured hands, form the dough into 8 craggy-looking balls and place on the prepared baking sheet. (They should be bigger than golf balls but smaller than tennis balls.) Don't worry about making them perfect -- it's better if they are a little rough around the edges. Sprinkle the tops with the turbinado sugar. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes, until the biscuits are golden.

For the Strawberries

  1. Put one-third of the berries in a medium bowl and, using a potato masher or a fork, mash them into a chunky purée. Mix in the remaining berries, along with the raspberry jam and granulated sugar. Let the berries sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes, until saucy.

For the Whipped Cream

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or beaters), whip the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Sprinkle the granulated sugar over the cream and beat until soft peaks return. Do not overbeat. (Alternatively, the whipped cream can be beaten by hand in a deep mixing bowl with a whisk.)

To Assemble

  1. To assemble the shortcakes: Using a serrated knife, split the biscuits in half horizontally and transfer the bottoms to 8 dessert plates. Spoon about three-quarters of the macerated berries and their juice evenly over the biscuit bottoms. Let some of the berries spill out onto the plate. Top with a generous dollop of whipped cream and cover each with a biscuit top. Spoon more berries and cream over each shortcake and serve immediately.
  2. Note: If you'd rather not buy a whole carton of buttermilk for this recipe, it's easy to make your own. Simply add 2-1/2 teaspoons of lemon juice or white vinegar to a liquid measuring cup. Then add milk to the 3/4-cup line and let sit for 10 to 15 minutes, or until slightly curdled and thickened.
  3. Make Ahead: The unbaked biscuits can be refrigerated for up to 1 hour before baking. They can also be frozen for up to 3 months. To freeze: place the unbaked biscuits on a baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and freeze until solid. Remove the firm biscuits from the freezer, place in an airtight bag, and store in the freezer. Bake the biscuits directly from the freezer, allowing a few extra minutes baking time.The whipped cream can be made a few hours before serving but err on the side of under-beating. Store it covered in the refrigerator and give it a final whip by hand to get it to a pillowy consistency just before serving.The strawberries cannot be made ahead.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (8 servings)
  • Serving size: 1 strawberry shortcake
  • Calories: 565
  • Fat: 32 g
  • Saturated fat: 20 g
  • Carbohydrates: 67 g
  • Sugar: 35 g
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Protein: 6 g
  • Sodium: 533 mg
  • Cholesterol: 100 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Reviews & Comments

  • I don’t know how you do it but everything on this website is so easy and delicious! I halved the recipe for these shortcakes and sometimes you lose the integrity of the recipe but they came out perfect! They were ready to pop into the oven in less than 15 minutes and only needed 12 minutes in the oven (probably because of the quantity). I really like the idea of not needing any kitchen gadgets; just good old fashion elbow grease to crumble the butter. Perfection – my boyfriend inhaled one and was ready for seconds in no time at all! Thanks =)

    • — Carissa on October 4, 2018
    • Reply
  • I made these for the 4th of July and they were fantastic! The biscuits were light and just sweet and the berries and whipped cream were delicious.

    • — Linda Geen on July 10, 2018
    • Reply
  • The perfect summer dessert!

    • — Megan on July 9, 2018
    • Reply
  • Hi, Jenn ~
    I love your recipe. I made it this morning in less than 2 hours. The biscuit was very easy – and yummy. We’re used to the traditional biscuit that is softer, and flatter. But I liked your ‘craggy’ surface biscuits because the crunchy edges are tasty and fun. Also liked the strawberries with the jam. Next go-round I’ll double it all so we can have more abundant strawberries and bigger or extra biscuits! Thanks for sharing!!! Lisa from Indianapolis (native of Wilmington, DE). GREAT food blog, Jenn!

    • — Lisa M. on July 9, 2018
    • Reply
    • So happy you enjoyed, Lisa! 🙂

      • — Jenn on July 10, 2018
      • Reply
  • What a real summer treat! Thanks!

    • — Linda Fasulo on July 6, 2018
    • Reply
  • Do you recommend baking the biscuits the night before or prepping the dough and baking the biscuits a couple of hours before a party? Thanks!

    • — Stefanie on July 5, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Stephanie, I’d prep the dough and form the biscuits ahead (and you could do this several days ahead), freeze, then bake directly from the freezer a couple hours before your party. They’ll take a few min. longer in the oven. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on July 5, 2018
      • Reply
  • My whole family loved this recipe. This was my first time making strawberry shortcake and it was a hit!

    • — Paula on July 5, 2018
    • Reply
  • Another fab recipe that is easy to folllow. Thank you.

    • — Robyn on July 4, 2018
    • Reply

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