Easy Homemade Strawberry Shortcake

Easy Homemade Strawberry Shortcake

The Spruce

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Macerate Berries: 60 mins
Total: 90 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
285 Calories
16g Fat
35g Carbs
3g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
×
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 285
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 16g 20%
Saturated Fat 10g 48%
Cholesterol 33mg 11%
Sodium 527mg 23%
Total Carbohydrate 35g 13%
Dietary Fiber 3g 11%
Protein 3g
Calcium 181mg 14%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

There are a few different versions of strawberry shortcake, with some recipes using sponge cake as the base while others use buttery biscuits. This Southern-style recipe is a classic dessert that the whole family will love. Nothing signals the beginning of summer like strawberries piled high on split biscuits with fresh whipped cream.

This old-fashioned strawberry shortcake is a delicious warm-weather dessert to make for a weekend treat or special occasion. You can quickly toss the strawberries with sugar and make the whipped cream an hour ahead of time, make and serve dinner, and whip up the biscuits so they're fresh and hot in just minutes. It's impressive enough for guests but quick and easy enough for any time. And while the biscuits are an important part, the real star is the berries. Make sure to use fresh, ripe, juicy strawberries for the very best flavor.

This recipe is for individual shortcakes and makes three-inch biscuits. You may cut the biscuits with a smaller cutter for smaller portions and more servings. Split them open and serve them warm with good-quality, fresh strawberries and fluffy whipped cream at your next barbecue or summer gathering.

Ingredients

  • For the Filling and Topping:
  • 1 quart strawberries
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups whipping cream (or non-dairy whipped topping)
  • Optional: 2 to 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • Optional: fresh mint sprigs, for garnish
  • For the Biscuits: 
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick butter, chilled, plus more for buttering the biscuits
  • 2/3 to 3/4 cup half and half (or milk or cream)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. 

    Strawberry shortcake ingredients
    The Spruce 
  2. Rinse the strawberries under cold water and drain well.

    Strawberries being rinsed in a colander
    The Spruce
  3. Hull and slice the berries and place them in a bowl.

    Hulled and sliced strawberries
    The Spruce
  4. Sprinkle with the 1/3 cup of sugar. Cover and let stand at room temperature for about 1 hour.

    Strawberries sprinkled with sugar in a bowl
    The Spruce
  5. In another bowl, beat the whipping cream until foamy. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of powdered sugar, as desired, and continue beating until the cream holds soft peaks. Cover and refrigerate until serving time.

    Whipped cream in a bowl with beaters
    The Spruce
  6. Preheat the oven to 425 F. Set the rack in the center of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or buttered foil.

    Baking sheet lined with parchment paper
    The Spruce
  7. In a food processor or mixing bowl, combine the flour, 3 tablespoons sugar, baking powder, and salt. Blend well.

    Dry ingredients for biscuits in a food processor
    The Spruce
  8. Cut the butter into about 8 pieces and add to the mixture.

    Butter added to dry ingredients in a food processor
    The Spruce
  9. Pulse in the food processor or blend with a pastry cutter or your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse meal. It should still have a few pea-sized chunks of butter left in the mixture.

    Butter and flour combined in a food processor
    The Spruce
  10. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and make a well in the center. With a fork, stir in the half-and-half or milk just until the dough is moist. Be very careful not to overwork. The dough doesn't have to hold together well at this point. Let the dough rest in the bowl for a minute.

    Half and half added to dough in a bowl
    The Spruce
  11. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Gently knead or fold the dough over on itself 2 or 3 times, just until it is holding together and is less sticky.

    Dough on lightly floured surface
    The Spruce
  12. Gently pat the dough into a 6 by 12-inch rectangle about 3/4-inch thick and cut into 8 (3-inch) biscuits with a floured round cutter. Or make smaller (2 or 2 1/2-inch) biscuits if you would like a few more servings.

    Dough cut into circles with a cutter
    The Spruce
  13. Arrange the biscuits on the prepared baking sheet. Brush the biscuits with some milk or cream and sprinkle the tops with some sugar, if desired.

    Biscuits arranged on a baking sheet
    The Spruce
  14. Bake the biscuits in the preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until risen and golden brown.

    Baked biscuits on a baking sheet
    The Spruce
  15. Remove the hot biscuits to a platter and split each horizontally with a serrated knife.

    Split biscuit with a serrated knife
    The Spruce
  16. Butter the cut sides of the hot biscuits and then top with about 1/3 cup of berry mixture and some of the chilled whipped cream. Replace the tops and top with a tablespoon or so of berries and more whipped cream. Garnish with mint leaves, if desired.

    Add strawberries and whipped cream to biscuits to make shortcakes
    The Spruce
  17. Serve and enjoy!

How to Store

  • Strawberry shortcake is best eaten and served fresh.
  • Leftover biscuits can be stored for a day or two in an airtight container. Toast them in an oven or toaster oven a bit before serving.
  • The biscuits can also be frozen once cooled. Store in an airtight container for up to a month and defrost in the fridge before reheating.

Tips

  • For flaky, soft biscuits, work the dough as little as possible.
  • Avoid twisting the biscuit cutter since it can inhibit the biscuits' rise.
  • If you don't have a biscuit cutter, use a sharp knife to cut the biscuit dough into squares.

Recipe Variations

  • While strawberry shortcake is the most well-known shortcake, you can swap out the fruit for fresh raspberries or sliced peaches. If your fruit is especially sweet, reduce the sugar; if your fruit is tart, increase the sugar.
  • For an even quicker version, make strawberry shortcake using a baking mix.

When Are Strawberries in Season?

Strawberry season varies depending on your location and the year's growing conditions. In warmer climates in the Northern hemisphere, peak strawberry season runs April through June; in cooler climates, strawberries are often harvested in May through July or August.

What Is Shortcake?

In America, shortcake refers to two things: small, biscuit-like cakes and the dessert made using these cakes, often including strawberries or another fruit and whipped cream. Sometimes, the dessert is made using sponge cake instead of biscuits. In the UK, shortcake refers to a biscuit that's similar to shortbread.