A classic Strawberry Shortcake recipe with tender, sweet biscuits, fresh strawberries, and fluffy whipped cream. Check out my tips for extra juicy strawberries and perfect whipped cream.
Summer has officially beaten fall and the holidays as my favorite baking season – and that’s because of one thing: BERRIES! I feel like I could come up with 1,001 berry desserts and I would never get tired of them. Berry Trifle, Strawberry Pie, Blueberry Sauce, Strawberry Cupcakes, Raspberry Cheesecake… the list goes on and on. My love for Strawberry Shortcake began with this Strawberry Shortcake Cake recipe. It has become one of my most popular summer recipes, so I decided it was time to make a traditional Strawberry Shortcake.
How to Make Strawberry Shortcake:
Strawberry Shortcake is a lightly sweetened biscuit served with strawberries and whipped cream.
If you’ve only had mediocre strawberry shortcake (read: dry biscuit, underripe berries, whipped topping) you might think it can be quite boring. But, when prepared properly this dessert is absolutely fantastic. This recipe is my favorite; the biscuits are sweet and tender, the strawberries are extra juicy (more on that below), and the vanilla whipped cream is soft and fluffy. Although there are three separate elements, this recipe is relatively easy. Here’s how to do it:
Strawberry Shortcake Biscuits:
These tender, lightly sweetened biscuits serve as the perfect base for this shortcake. I adapted this recipe from my favorite Buttermilk Biscuit recipe, adding more sugar and swapping the buttermilk for cream. I love that this dough comes together in minutes, and it gets dropped/scooped onto the baking sheets – no rolling/patting/cutting required.
- In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.
- Add cubed butter and work it into the flour (using your fingers or a pastry cutter).
- Stir in cream, milk and almond extract.
- Drop the dough into mounds on a baking sheet (an ice cream scoop works great for this).
- Brush the dough with cream, sprinkle with sugar, and bake.
TIP: Because these biscuits are so tender, you need to cut them carefully. I recommend using a small serrated knife to gently cut off the top of the biscuit in order to fill it.
Strawberry Shortcake Filling:
Strawberries: Rather than just adding plain sliced strawberries onto the biscuit, I toss the strawberries in a little sugar and strawberry jam. This makes them extra sweet and juicy, plus the jam imparts a glossy look and a more intense strawberry flavor.
TIP: Combine the strawberries with the jam and sugar at least 30 minutes before serving. This will allow the strawberries to start releasing their juices.
Whipped Cream: Homemade whipped cream is super easy and incredibly delicious. This version is flavored with vanilla extract and a touch of almond extract, which complements the strawberries wonderfully. Whip the cream until soft, billowy peaks form; that’s the perfect consistency for spooning over the shortcakes. If you accidentally over whip, stir in a little more cream.
Can Strawberry Shortcake Be Made in Advance?
If you are looking to get a headstart on this dessert you can prepare the various components several hours in advance on the day you need them. Wait to assemble until right before serving.
Store the shortcakes at room temp for several hours. The strawberries and whipped cream should be kept refrigerated. If the whipped cream loses any volume you can easily whip it with an electric mixer or by hand to get it thickened again.
Tip: The shortcake biscuits are best the day they are baked, but if you have to make them further in advance, freeze them (tightly covered), then bring them to room temperature and bake in a 400° oven for about 5 minutes. This will get the exterior crisped up and the inside will retain its fluffiness.
Feel free to play around with the fruit filling for these shortcakes. You can swap any other fresh fruit for the strawberries. Blueberries, mixed berries or peaches would all be great. Make sure to swap out the jam for whatever flavor fruit you are choosing, and adjust the sugar accordingly.
- 5-6 cups sliced fresh strawberries
- 2 tablespoons strawberry jam
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar or more, if desired
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 6 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1 cup chilled heavy cream
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract optional, but highly recommended
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream for brushing on top
- 1-2 tablespoons coarse or sparkling sugar for sprinkling on top
- 1 1/4 cups chilled heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons powdered sugar or more, if desired
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon almond extract optional, but highly recommended
Strawberries (prepare at least 1 hour in advance)
- Heat the jam briefly in the microwave (just a few seconds) until it thins out. Combine jam, strawberries and sugar. Cover and allow to sit for 1 hour until the strawberries are sweet and juicy. Adjust the amount of sugar to suit your taste.
- Preheat oven to 400°F with a rack in the the middle portion of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Sprinkle the cubed butter over the top. Using your fingertips (or a pastry cutter), work the butter into the flour by rubbing it quickly into small pieces. Proceed until the mixture resembles a sandy texture with pebble-sized pieces of butter (the pieces of butter will be irregularly shaped; that's fine).
- In a liquid measuring cup, combine 1 cup heavy cream, milk and almond extract. Pour the liquid over the flour mixture and stir gently with a rubber spatula. Before the flour is completely mixed in, switch to mixing by hand, kneading as you go, the dough will be sticky. Be careful not to over-mix; stop as soon as no streaks of flour remain.
- Use an ice cream scoop or measuring cup to scoop 1/4 cup portions* of dough onto the prepared baking sheet, keeping the dough mounds fairly high. Leave a couple inches of space between each portion of dough. Brush each mound of dough with cream and sprinkle generously with coarse sugar.
- Bake for 14-17 minutes, until golden brown around the edges and light golden brown on top. If you squeeze them the center should feel soft, but not doughy. Place the pan on a wire rack to cool.
- Using a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat all ingredients until soft peaks form. I begin the mixer on low, then slowly increase it to high, stopping to scrape the bowl as needed. This will work best if your cream is very cold. Tip: Chill your bowl and beaters in the freezer before whipping the cream.
- Using a small sharp knife, gently cut the top of each shortcake. These are delicate, so work carefully. I do not cut them directly in half, I cut off the upper third of the shortcake. Layer the strawberries (with some of their juices) and the whipped cream into the shortcake bottom. Place the top on and serve immediately.