Strawberry Shortcake

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Old-fashioned Strawberry Shortcake! Fresh strawberries, sliced and macerated in sugar, spooned over freshly baked biscuits, topped with whipped cream and you have a delicious homemade strawberry shortcake.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

What better way to conjure up memories of the joys of youth than strawberry shortcake? Strawberry shortcake is one of the easiest desserts to prepare, a perfect finish to a family meal or for serving a large group of people, because it scales so easily.

How to Make Strawberry Shortcake

To make strawberry shortcake, all you have to do is toss sliced fresh strawberries in sugar, and let them set for a bit to macerate. The sugar will draw moisture out of the strawberries and dissolve to make a syrupy sauce. Serve the strawberries over white cake or biscuits, and top with whipped cream.

Cake or Biscuits?

Do you like your shortcake with cake or biscuits? 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, but now I just make biscuits from scratch, it’s easy!

homemade strawberry shortcake on biscuit

The biscuit recipe I’ve included here is adapted from one I pulled from Fine Cooking magazine years ago. The original recipe used a cup and a half of cream in addition to one and half sticks of butter, which I think is a little over the top. In this recipe I’m using mostly milk with a little bit of cream (and the butter).

Biscuits with Butter, Milk, and Cream

The butter, milk, and cream combo produces a beautifully tender, flaky biscuit, perfect for serving with the strawberries.

One of the things I’ve learned over the years making strawberry shortcake is that you always want more. It’s easy enough to macerate more berries, but once you run out of the biscuits? It’s a mega bummer. So for this recipe we are making a batch of 9 biscuits. Good enough for 6 people, plus more for seconds!

My father wouldn’t forgive me if I didn’t include a link for making his favorite Bisquick biscuits, for those of you who prefer this classic. We also have gluten-free biscuits for those who don’t want to give up strawberry shortcake just because they’re avoiding gluten, and delicious dairy-free vegan drop biscuits made with coconut oil and almond milk.

More summer berry recipes!

Check out our Strawberry Shortcake video:

Strawberry Shortcake Recipe

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  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6 to 9

I updated the biscuit recipe to use less cream. If you liked the original, use 1 1/2 cups of heavy whipping cream in place of the 1 cup of milk and 1/4 cup of cream.

Ingredients

Strawberries:

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

Whipped Cream:

  • 1 cup of heavy whipping cream
  • 2 teaspoons powdered sugar
  • 2 drops of vanilla extract

Biscuits:

  • 3 cups (420g) all purpose flour
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 12 Tbsp (168g) unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1 cup (236 ml) milk
  • 1/4 (60 ml) cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Method

Strawberries

1 Prep the strawberries: Cut the stems away from the strawberries and discard. Cut the strawberries in half, and then either quarters or thick slices.

2 Macerate the strawberries with sugar: 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.

3 Mash some of the strawberries: After 20 minutes or so, mash about a quarter 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.

4 Bake the biscuits using one of the recipes below.

5 Make whipped cream: While the biscuits are baking, whip the cream using an electric mixer, adding a drop or two of vanilla and 2 teaspoons 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.

Homemade Biscuits

1 Stir flour with dry ingredients: In a large bowl, vigorously whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.

2 Work in the butter: 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.

3 Add the wet ingredients: Stir together the milk and cream, add the vanilla extract. Make a well in the center of the flour and pour the milk mixture into it.

Mix with a fork or wooden spoon until the mixture is just combined. It should look rather shaggy. Gently knead by hand a few times to form a loose ball of dough.

4 Chill: 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.

5 Bake: Heat the oven to 425ºF. Remove the dough from refrigerator. Cut the dough into 9 even squares and space 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.

Bisquick biscuits:

For quick and easy shortcake biscuits using Bisquick baking mix, see our Bisquick shortcake biscuit recipe.

Gluten-free biscuits:

For flaky, fluffy, tender gluten-free biscuits, see our Gluten-free Biscuits Recipe.

Dairy-free vegan biscuits:

For easy, tender vegan shortcake biscuits, see our Dairy-free Vegan Biscuits recipe.

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how to make strawberry shortcake from scratch

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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

More from Elise

41 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. LT

    I wanted something that was not just a slightly sweetened baking powder biscuit. I read the recipe and saw some new ingredients (vanilla, cream) and a different shape than a 2 inch circular biscuit. Tried it and was totally what I wanted. Light, flavorful and pretty easy to make. This is a keeper. Delicious. Perfect for Oregon fresh strawberries in June!!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  2. Patti

    I love it. I half the recipe since I live alone and wanted to practice to make for my daughter when I visit in a month. I grew up in Florida and my mom who was from Maryland made biscuits. This was a wonderful. I did use half and half for the liquid but otherwise followed the recipe. I am a cook and not a baker..but watching the British Bake Off I have ventured back to trying to bake. This was easy and tasty…Thank you for sharing.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  3. Katrina

    When I was a kid there wasn’t a day that I went to my Grandmas that she didn’t have strawberries made like this! I even ate it for breakfast! She grew strawberries and she would freeze them so we even had them in the winter! She would make whip cream and angel food cake. Many times we just ate them on white bread! I guess her strawberries are one of my favorite memories of my childhood…
    we also had them on her homemade biscuits.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  4. Laurie

    It was fresh, light and delicious! Thanks for this lovely recipe. The biscuit was perfectly crumbly and the right balance to the sweet juicy strawberry topping and whip cream.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  5. MG

    just out of curiousity — was the change from full cream biscuit, to milk/cream combo for health reasons, or taste reasons?

    Show Replies (1)
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