Strawberry Shortcake

What better way to conjure up memories of the joys of youth than strawberry shortcake? Strawberry shortcake consists of sliced strawberries that have been macerated with whipped cream served over a white cake or biscuit.

I’m from the camp that insists that strawberry shortcake is made with a biscuit, not a cake. Growing up we always made the shortcake biscuits with Bisquick baking mix, which now, thankfully, has a zero-transfat version of their product.

The best of course are biscuits made from scratch, using butter and cream. I’ve included recipes here for excellent homemade biscuits, the Bisquick biscuits, and also wheat and gluten-free biscuits for those who don’t want to give up strawberry shortcake just because they can’t eat wheat.

Strawberry Shortcake Recipe

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 25 minutes

Ingredients

Strawberries and whipping cream:

  • 3 baskets of fresh strawberries (about 6 cups)
  • 1/2 cup white granulated sugar for the strawberries
  • Whipping cream
  • Vanilla
  • Powdered sugar

Method

1 Cut the stems away from the strawberries and discard. Cut the strawberries in half, and then either quarters or thick slices. Put the cut strawberries into a large bowl and sprinkle with sugar. Start with 1/4 cup of sugar and then add up to another 1/4 cup depending on how sweet your strawberries are. Gently stir the strawberries until they are all coated with some sugar. Let sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes, until the berries soften and begin to release their juices.

2 After 20 minutes or so, mash about half of the berries in the bowl with a potato masher and stir to mix. You don't want to mash all the berries, just enough of them for their juices. Let sit while you bake the biscuits.

3 Bake the biscuits using one of the recipes below.

4 While the biscuits are baking, whip the cream, adding a drop or two of vanilla and a teaspoon of powdered sugar. Cover with plastic and place in the refrigerator to chill until ready to serve.

To serve, break up one biscuit per person into big pieces into a bowl. Ladle strawberries over the biscuit. Add a dollop of whipped cream.

Biscuits from scratch

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 12 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

In a large bowl, vigorously whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut the butter into the flour mixture, either using your fingers, a pastry cutter, a fork, or a food processor, until the largest pieces of butter are the size of peas. Mix the vanilla and cream together. Make a well in the center of the flour and pour the cream into it. Mix with a fork until the mixture is just combined. It should look rather shaggy and feel a little dry. Gently knead by hand a few times to form a loose ball of dough.

Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and form it into an 8-inch square, about 3/4-inch to an inch thick. Place it on a parchment or silicone-lined baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap and chill for 20 minutes. Heat the oven to 425ºF. Remove the dough from refrigerator. Cut the dough into 9 even squares and spread them about 2 inches apart from each other on the baking sheet. Bake until the biscuits are medium golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes.

Makes 9 biscuits. (Adapted from Fine Cooking Magazine, July 2003)

Bisquick biscuits:

  • 2 1/3 cups Bisquick baking mix
  • 3 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3 Tbsp sugar

The strawberry shortcake biscuit recipe used to be on the side of the Bisquick box. For some unfathomable reason, the company has started to print the recipe on the inside of the box. Talk about not understanding your customers! If you can't find the recipe, here it is:

Heat oven to 425°F. Stir baking mix, melted butter, milk, and 3 Tbsp of sugar in a mixing bowl until soft dough forms. Drop by 6 spoonfuls on to a greased cookie sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.

Makes 6 biscuits.

Gluten-free biscuits:

  • 1-1/2 cups Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Flour (Bob's Red Mill)
  • 1 Tbsp. Sugar
  • 2 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1/4 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp. Xanthan Gum
  • 1 tsp. Guar Gum
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1/4 cup Shortening
  • 1/2 cup Milk
  • 1 large Egg White

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or grease lightly.

In food processor, pulse dry ingredients (flour through salt) with shortening until mixture is consistency of small peas. Add milk and egg white. Blend until dough forms ball, scraping down sides with spatula, if necessary. Dough will be somewhat soft.

Place dough on parchment-lined or greased baking sheet that’s been lightly dusted with rice flour. Gently pat to 3/4-inch thick circle with hands or spatula. Lightly dust dough with rice flour. Cut into ten 2-inch circles with floured biscuit cutter. Shape remaining dough to 3/4-inch thick and cut again. If dough is sticky, lightly dust with more flour. Arrange evenly on baking sheet.

Bake 12-15 minutes or until nicely browned. Best when served warm or gently reheated in microwave oven. Serves 10. (Recipe from Bob's Red Mill)

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Shuna's Strawberry Shortcake - check out the biscuit recipe that uses all purpose flour, cake flour, and cornmeal.

47 Comments

  1. telesilla

    My mother always made it with biscuits too, so the first time I had it on those packaged sponge cake things they sell spcifically for shortcake, I was really disappointed. I’ll admit to liking macerated strawberries on angel food cake, but that’s not real strawberry shortcake to me.

  2. Zoe

    I grew up eating fake strawberry shortcake, but as soon as I had it on a biscuit I refuse to have it any other way. I’m so glad you are in the same camp on this, elise!

  3. Bea at La Tartine Gourmande

    Strawberries desserts in Spring remain my favorite!! Maybe because my birtday cake was ALWAYS a strawberry tart, in May! Yeah! Love your pic!

  4. Trish

    I also grew up having biscuits with the strawberries. That’s the way my southern mom always made it. The little sponge cake things they sell in the market never appealed to me. But..I think it’s what you grow up with. My late husband’s mom always served the berries on the little sponge cakey things and he preferred those to the biscuits. Strawberries are on sale this week – think we’ll have some this week-end – with the biscuits of course!

  5. Michelle

    I’ve always used Sara Lee pound cake for the cake part. . . but I’m definitely going to try the biscuits! Also, I sprinkle a little balsamic vinegar over the strawberries with the sugar, it really enhances the flavor.

  6. mb

    Biscuits are the best – absolutely – and I am going to give your recipe a try as soon as Oregon Grown strawberries come into season. I have also used the buttermilk scone recipe from the ALICE BAY cookbook – that works very well with straberries!

  7. Meilin

    Wow, that photo is just gorgeous! The food sounds lovely too. :-) Thanks for the *three* versions of the biscuit recipe.

  8. Chelsea L Ekenseair

    Thanks for posting a gluten-free version of the biscuit, I was going to miss strawberry shortcake!

  9. Meeta

    Elise, this is such a great idea. I personally enjoy them on biscuits. As a matter of fact we get something called “Tortletts” here in Germany. They are pretty much ready made bases and come in 2 variations – biscuit and cake! I tend always to go for the biscuit as they stay crunchy when I pack them in my son’s lunch box and they just taste better.
    It’s been ages since I made these though, but this time I will be trying your recipe and make a few.

  10. marcy

    Can you make this the night before and refrigerate to serve the next day?

  11. Caroline

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure a shortcake is supposed to be biscuit- or scone-like. Strawberries and cream on angel food cake, sponge cake, pound cake, or any other cake are nice, but they’re not a shortcake.

    Marcy, you can make the individual parts the night before and assemble them the next day. I think the macerated berries are better the next day, although the biscuit/cake is best when it’s fresh out of the oven.

  12. keiko

    This looks divine Elise! Who doesn’t love strawberries…

  13. Doug

    On biscuits! I had forgotten. We are soooo there. Gonna teach the kids how to make biscuits tonight.

  14. Karen

    I, too, am a biscuit fan for strawberry shortcake. It would have been interesting to see it it’s a regional thing. I grew up in Minnesota in the 40’s and 50’s.

  15. Amy

    Thanks,
    just info I needed. I’m from Southern NJ and we have some of the best Strawberries around. I tried the low fat Bisquick this year and it wasn’t the same. I wanted the recipe for the shortcake with the added butter. Figured that would help the taste. Usually I just make the regular biscuits from the bisquick box. I’m going to try to bake them in my well seasoned cast iron skillets. I’ve really gotten into using them for everything :)I got rid of all my non-stick pans, because of health concerns.

  16. Sarah

    Thanks! My mom told me that she got her biscuit recipe right off the box, and I couldn’t find it! The bisquick biscuits are really easy and really GOOD!

  17. SHARON

    I am planning a dessert for a camping trip which will be 40 people at least in attendance. Can I make the biscuits ahead of time, a couple of days, and then make the strawberry dessert?

    The biscuits should be eaten as soon as possible after baking. They just won’t be very good the next day. I would go with a cake base. ~Elise

  18. Sharon Denny

    I made strawberry shortcake with the pillsbury in the can they are buiscuits for strawberry shortcake I thought they were great. But, my husband thought it was strange that I would put butter on the warm buiscuits then put cold strawberrys on them. But that’s the way I’ve always had them,does anyone else butter their warm busicuits first?

  19. Harini

    Hi, I just made shortcake but used a mango and cream filling instead of the strawberries. Since this is my first ever shortcake I was wondering whether the biscuity cookie taste I got was correct! Was checking up through google and I am so glad you have written up so well on the texture – now I know my shortcake turned up right, thanks to you!! I have been lurking around your other posts too! All great. BTW the mango cream filling is quite nice!!

  20. Carina

    This recipe was awesome! I made the biscuits from scratch recipe. I had guests from out of town, and it was a huge hit. I made them twice because there were requests for it again! I tried a few things with the recipe. I found that the biscuits freeze really well, but you should freeze them the same day you bake them after they cool off. I set the stove at 375 degrees and put the frozen unthawed biscuits in the oven for about 12 minutes. They come out like freshly baked. You cannot tell that they have been frozen, and it can save you a little bit of time. Makes the house smell wonderful too.

    The second time around, I cut the biscuits into smaller pieces, because the recipe makes pretty large one’s, and it’s a bit too much for most people I found. I also doubled the sugar for the sliced strawberries because everyone thought it needed to be sweeter, and I had the the reddest sweetest strawberries to begin with. The recipe calls for 3 baskets of strawberries. This is unclear. Some baskets are small. The baskets at my store are pretty large. It holds 1 pound (16 oz) of strawberries. So the sugar amount might have been too small for that many strawberries. When I doubled the sugar, it was perfect, but I only did 2 pounds of strawberries the second time. The amounts are not an exact science. You cannot mess up this recipe. It’s very forgiving. I even put the wrong amount of baking powder the first time, and they still turned out. I also sprinkled sugar on top of the biscuits before baking to make a nice sugar crust. It won’t burn. It turned out really nice. I did not add anything to the whipped cream. That I left unsweetened because there is then enough sugar in everything else. It’s a matter of taste. Excellent both times. 5 people can’t be wrong ! Make them !

  21. Heather

    Thanks so much for the gluten free biscuit version!

  22. Laura

    Thank you so much for the gluten-free version of the recipe. My friend found this and made the regular version and I was so excited to see the gluten-free version below! I am going to make them tonight, and I am looking forward to it. Everything with Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free flours usually turns out great.

  23. Melanie

    I made this shortcake tonight for my in-laws and it was a complete success. Thanks for sharing!

  24. Barb

    I grew up eating the Bisquick shortcake, made in a 9″ cake pan….we do not put whipcream on it, but put it in a bowl, top it with strawberries, and pour milk over it. The shortcake gets soggy and is delicious. We have this as the main dish for breakfast, lunch or many times for dinner with a salad, hot dog, or burger. Yesterday was the last of the berries at our local patch….so sad! We are in Ohio and my mom was raised on a farm. I know one other family in up state New York who are farmers and they eat it the same way. I have never met anyone else who eats their shortcake this way. Recently had 7 folks from Indiana here and they had never heard of it!! Is it regional, or a farm thing???

  25. Sharon

    Barb, I live in Northern Minnesota but grew up in Iowa and we like it with milk instead of whipped cream also. I think we started eating it that way when we couldn’t afford the whipped cream. It’s great either way.

  26. Lisa

    Thank you so much for including the Gluten free recipe, it is hard to find good gluten free recipes. I used frozen sliced and fresh strawberries and for the biscuits I used Tom Sawyer Gluten Free Flour. They were a little dense but tasty… prefect broken up into small pieces.

  27. jennfier garcia

    This is a good stuff. I did a project about it, I made it and they said it’s AWESOME. I got an A 100% and I make it all the time now. Thanks!

  28. janice walker

    The strawberry shortcake biscuits recipe is wonderful. It has been a long time favorite of mine. Thanks for keeping it around! jw

  29. Shelly

    I made the “from scratch” version in an 8-in cake pan, cut the giant biscuit in half, and layered it like a cake for Mother’s Day dessert. It was a HUGE hit and there were NO leftovers!! Elise you are so awesome!

  30. megan

    My mom and I both eat our strawberry shortcake drenched in milk, but my dad doesn’t. I grew up in Ohio, like my Dad, but my mom comes from Iowa. Based on other responses, I think that’s where this style comes from.

  31. shadeN_lemonade

    I love strawberry short cake biscuits. I do not generally eat them with the toppings because the sweetness of the biscuits alone is great (and we often don’t have the toppings as well….lol). But I was very disappointed to see that the recipe was not on the box anymore.

  32. Isabella

    Can the biscuits, from scratch, be made the day before they are to be served?

    Yes, but they won’t taste nearly as good. Ideally they should be made right before serving. ~Elise

  33. Carol

    Made this last night for a summer cookout — tasted wonderful with strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries. I’ll enjoy the leftover shortcakes for breakfast this week. They’re fabulous with raspberry preserves! Thanks for another wonderful recipe, Elise!

  34. Linda

    The homemade biscuits were perfect! I will try the gluten free next.
    Have you tried Gluten Free Mama almond flour? It’s so much better than any other gluten free flour I have used. She also has pizza, scones, pancake and cookie mixes that I was introduced to through my gluten-intolerant daughter. The flour and mixes are so good, I use them for cooking, even though I don’t need to eat gluten free.
    http://www.glutenfreemama.com

  35. Jackie

    This recipe for biscuits is the best I have ever had. I just made the biscuits tonight and used some thawed strawberries. It was wonderful!

  36. Cindy

    This was the best strawberry shortcake I have ever had. I made the homemade biscuits and could have just eaten that for dessert. I left out most of the sugar that is added to the strawberries as I think they are already sweet enough and I added a touch of almond extract to the whipped cream. It came together beautifully.

  37. Sarah

    The recipe for the regular shortcakes was spectacular! I made it last night for friends, and everyone loved it! Thanks for sharing these. :-) I love your blog……

  38. Juanita

    Folks have mentioned having the strawberries and biscuits with milk, but I grew up with grandparents who still milked their own cows and separated the milk, so we had low-cost fresh cream: strawberries and cream on split-level biscuits! The sugared juices mix with the cream and soak into the biscuits and all is scrumptious. I grow Heritage strawberries in Nebraska and have all-summer-long delicious real fruits. To those who buy your strawberries, grow your own. If there are only 2 or 3 of you, you can grow them cascading down a strawberry pot on a patio.

  39. Rhoda

    I’m so glad I found this site. I wanted the original Bisquick shortcake biscuit recipe and didn’t have a box on hand. Thanks so much for posting, even though it was way back in 2006 ;-)

  40. Kay

    I grew up feeling sorry for people who ate their strawberries on “fake” cakes (not biscuits).

  41. MaryClare

    Just made this recipe for the first time. Found that the liquid measurement is way too much cream. I used half and half instead and used 2/3 cup (or less depending on environment) as adding the entire amount would be way too wet and sticky.

    I did not have time to refrigerate the dough, although this may have resulted in a more flaky biscuit. I also use spelt flour instead of whole wheat as it has more flavor and results in a much more delicate crumb. It is my go-to flour for all my needs.

    I teach gluten-free cooking classes so am able to make this recipe w/o gluten. I use coconut milk instead of regular milk for those who are sensitive to dairy. I also can substitute coconut oil for the butter. Adding a bit of cinnamon to the flour mixture and also on top before baking helps to offset the blood sugar spikes that white sugar results in.

  42. Jill

    I made the scratch bisquits and forgot to add baking power! So my bisquits did not rise! However, they were very tasty and instead of stuffing berries and cream inside, I simply stacked. So yummy. Perfect mix of flavors. I am bringing to my friends New Years party later tonight and she doesnt like chocolate-this is perfect for her.

  43. Moonweaver

    Oh how delicious! I will be making this sometime this week. Thank you!

  44. Brenda

    oh, wow!!! Just made the biscuits from scratch… perfect results! Thanks for sharing this recipe! I grew up eating the Bisquick shortcake, but the homemade shortcake is so worth all the heavy cream and butter! :)

  45. Sarah

    I’ve made these biscuits before from scratch: perfection! But this time I would like to bake the dough in a cake pan for a proper birthday cake kind of presentation. :) Those who have tried this, are there any alterations to the recipe, baking time or temp I should make for baking in an 8-1/2 inch cake pan? Thanks in advance!

  46. gil gerrish

    I am 74 years old and my mother used to make strawberry shot cake from scratch, haven’t had it for a long time, used your recipes it was just great thanks so much

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