Easy Strawberry Shortcake Recipe from Scratch

Sharing is caring!

This post may contain Affiliate Links. Please see my Full Disclosure Policy for more details.

Strawberry Shortcakes are a classic dessert. They're light, delicious, and perfect for spring and summer with juicy, sweet strawberries and easy chantilly cream between slightly sweetened biscuits.

Strawberry Shortcakes are a classic dessert. They're light, delicious, and perfect for spring and summer with juicy, sweet strawberries and easy chantilly cream between slightly sweetened biscuits.

It's the summer, y'all. And what can celebrate that better than fresh, simple, delicious strawberry shortcakes? A quick, easy, beautiful dessert that I absolutely love once strawberries are cheap and abundant in the grocery stores and farmers' markets. Whenever I have strawberries in abundance, strawberry shortcake will be the first thing I whip up.

Why is it called a Strawberry Shortcake?

Let's first start off with the fact that the first known strawberry shortcake recipe was in an English cookbook in the 1500s, so it's been around a while and was made with ingredients and techniques that are really old school. And it makes sense, back then people often had their own farmland and were able to eat fresh off their land and use cream from their cows, so a simple dessert like this was created.

overhead shot of three plates of easy strawberry shortcakes made from scratch

So a shortcake is basically a sort of 'biscuit' or crumbly bread made with leavener like baking soda or baking powder.

A shortcake classically is made with flour, sugar, salt, baking powder or soda, cream or milk, and the butter is cut into the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients are mixed in.

I don't know about you, but that sounds a whole lot like a version of the American South's buttermilk biscuits to me! In fact, did you know that our biscuits were based on English scones? This is exactly why I used my buttermilk biscuit recipe with a little remix: lemon zest, honey in the dough, and topped with turbinado sugar to make them slightly sweeter and give a nice crunch.

You could also make a much more shortcake-like biscuit and use the drop biscuit recipe I have for my peach shortcakes, which are actually sweeter!

whipped cream being dolloped onto peaches for a peach shortcake

How to Make Strawberry Shortcakes

Strawberry shortcake from scratch is way easier than one would think. Biscuits literally take about twenty minutes from start to finish to make from scratch and can be made ahead. In fact, your strawberry shortcakes can be made completely ahead of time!

Here's what you need to make perfect from scratch strawberry shortcakes:

a straight on shot of a strawberry shortcake in front with other shortcakes in back, with softly whipped cream and buttermilk biscuits
  • Biscuits. You can use my flaky Southern buttermilk biscuits recipe or the sweet drop biscuits that I used in my peach shortcake recipe. They both come together simply with butter, flour, salt, baking powder, and milk and can be made days ahead.
  • Fresh Strawberries. There's no substitute for them, nothing beats macerated strawberries spooned over fluffy dollops of whipped cream. To macerate means to soften using a liquid, which is really the strawberries' own juices that are pulled from them when they're covered in sugar. Macerated strawberries can actually last longer in the fridge since maceration is a preservation process! Make them 3-4 days ahead (if they last that long).
  • Chantilly Cream. Aka sweetened whipped cream with a splash of vanilla! But doesn't chantilly cream just sound more lush and fancy?

And that's it! Super easy and simple yet just lovely and delicious. Strawberry shortcakes are just so perfect for busy summer days, even if you make them day of it won't take longer than 45 minutes, tops. Make the biscuits, cut them open once cooled, spoon on big clouds of whipped cream and the juicy macerated strawberries, and serve.

Love strawberry recipes? Check these out:

The Secret to Perfect Homemade Biscuits

These biscuits are just a little different than my classic biscuit recipe: I add just a bit of extra sugar and add lemon zest since it's such a great accompaniment to the strawberries and brightens up the biscuits.

I wrote an entire post on how to create perfect Southern buttermilk biscuits, but I think these 3 simple rules apply to any biscuit.

buttermilk biscuits cooling on a wire rack
  • Cold fat makes perfectly fluffy biscuits. In fact, you want everything cold! Even a cold bowl helps so that the fat doesn't melt until it gets to the oven, where the steam in the butter helps the lift the biscuits.
  • Don't overwork the dough. No one wants a tough biscuit. We want soft, fluffy, delicate biscuits. Overmixing will make tough biscuits every time!
  • For buttermilk biscuits, my most important tip is to never twist your biscuit cutter. Twisting cuts off the layers that you've created while making your biscuits and they'll warp and won't rise in the oven. Sad biscuits will be made, it'll be a sad day.

Chantilly Cream: 3 ingredients to perfection

I love chantilly cream. It's just whipped cream with vanilla extract but people will ooh when you say 'chantilly cream'. Simply whip heavy whipping cream (which has 36%+ butterfat, which is important!), powdered sugar, and vanilla extract with an electric hand mixer or stand mixer until we have beautifully billowy clouds of vanilla-scented goodness. Just like the biscuits, don't overmix your whipped cream! It will turn into chunky, wet vanilla-scented butter!

Macerated Strawberries

Literally the easiest thing ever, the strawberries are sliced up and sugared down. Let them create their own juice for about ten minutes and they're ready to serve but they can last a few days in the fridge until you're ready to serve. I add some lemon zest for flavor, it's a great addition to bright, fresh desserts.

This is great for strawberries that aren't as pretty or are just past their prime.

overhead shot of homemade strawberry shortcakes on plates with a bowl of strawberries and strawberries strewn about on a wooden table

Put it all together!

A fun thing I love, especially if you're having dessert with family members and littles, is to have a shortcake bar!

Macerate all the summer fruits like peaches, plums, blackberries, blueberries, and put them out with a big bowl of chantilly cream and the biscuits for your shortcake bar. Add fun bits like sprinkles, candies, or crumbled cookies for festive holidays or cookouts, gummy candies for the kids, maybe even a bowl of spiked whipped cream for the adults.

Have fun with it and make the shortcakes your own!

Can Strawberry Shortcake be Made in Advance?

Everything for strawberry shortcakes can be made a day or two ahead. The strawberries and cream should stay covered in the fridge for up to 2 days but the biscuits can be made up to five days ahead. Just assemble the biscuits, cream, and strawberries into shortcakes right before serving.

Recommended Tools for Strawberry Shortcakes

Click here to subscribe SWEET TEA & THYME’S NEWSLETTER for free and fresh recipes right into your inbox!

To pin this recipe and save it for later you can use the Pin button on the recipe card, the sharing buttons above or below this post, or on any of the photos above. 

Tag me @sweet_tea_thyme on Instagram to share your remakes with me, I love looking through your photos!

Leave a 5 star rating and comment on the recipe card to let me know if you enjoyed this recipe.

📖 Recipe

Easy Strawberry Shortcake from Scratch

Eden Westbrook
Strawberry Shortcakes are a classic dessert. They're light, delicious, and perfect for spring and summer with juicy, sweet strawberries and easy chantilly cream between slightly sweetened biscuits.
5 from 12 votes
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Cooling Time 10 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Desserts
Cuisine English
Servings 6 shortcakes
Calories 641 kcal

Ingredients
  

Macerated Strawberries

  • 2 pounds strawberries rinsed, stems removed, and quartered
  • ¼ cup 50g granulated sugar
  • Juice of 1 medium lemon
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon

Biscuits:

  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 ½ cups 350g all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoon 28g baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup 115g unsalted butter, very cold and cubed
  • 1 cup 250mL cold buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoon 64g honey
  • 2 tablespoon 30g heavy cream, for brushing
  • Turbinado sugar for the top of biscuits

Chantilly Cream

  • 1 ½ cups 360mL cold heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions
 

  • Strawberries
  • Combine the strawberries, sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a medium-sized mixing bowl and toss together to combine.
  • Set aside to macerate while you make the biscuits.

  • Biscuits
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
  • Whisk the lemon zest, flour, baking powder, and salt together in a large mixing bowl or pulse together in the bowl of a large food processor.
  • Add the cold cubed butter and cut into the dry ingredients with a pastry cutter or by pulsing several times in the processor until the butter is about the size of peas. Some larger bits of butter are perfectly fine. If you used a food processor, carefully dump the mixture into a large mixing bowl.
  • Pour 1 cup of cold buttermilk into the dry ingredients, then add the honey. Stir everything together with a silicone spatula until just about combined. The dough will look very shaggy and be very crumbly. If it's not, add a tablespoon of flour at a time and stir it in until the dough is shaggy, crumbly, and no longer wet.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and gently mold it into a rectangle using your hands. Cut the rectangle into fourths and stack the quartered dough onto each other. Smash down evenly using your hands. Use a rolling pin to press the dough back into a rectangle about one and a half to two inches thick.
  • Repeat that step one to two more times. If the dough is feeling warm (the butter is melting onto your hands and getting hard to work with), place the dough into the freezer for 5 to 10 minutes until it firms back up.
  • Gently roll the dough out with a rolling pin until it’s about 1 inch thick. Cut into 3-inch circles using biscuit cutters. Re-roll any scraps until you have used up as much dough as you can.
  • Arrange the biscuits in a 10-inch cast iron skillet or close together on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Make sure they’re just touching, not smushed against each other, or they won't rise tall.
  • Brush the tops of the biscuits with heavy cream. Sprinkle the top of them generously with the turbinado sugar.
  • Bake in the preheated oven until the bottoms of the biscuits are deeply golden and the tops are lightly brown, 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Remove to a wire rack and let cool for about five minutes before assembling.
  • Chantilly Cream
  • Combine the heavy cream and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or in a large mixing bowl with an electric hand mixer) and beat on medium-high speed just until stiff peaks form, about a minute and a half.
  • Assemble
  • Split the biscuits in half crosswise. Spoon strawberries over the bottom half and top with a dollop of whipped cream. Finish with the top biscuit.

Notes

Make Ahead Strawberry Shortcakes

  • The biscuits, cream, and strawberries can all be prepared the day before.
  • The biscuits can even be frozen before they're baked for up to 3 months. Just place the frozen biscuits into your cast iron pan or baking sheet, no thawing needed.

Substitute Buttermilk

Sometimes buttermilk isn't available. Adding a capful of white vinegar or squeezing in the juice of half a lemon into a cup of whole milk, give it a stir, and wait for five minutes. It'll sour up, perfect to replace the buttermilk.

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 641kcalCarbohydrates: 92gProtein: 11gFat: 27gSaturated Fat: 16gPolyunsaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 77mgSodium: 1064mgFiber: 6gSugar: 39g
Tried this recipe?Leave a star rating and let us know!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

12 Comments

  1. You are absolutely right that these are a CLASSIC. Thanks for sharing this delicious recipe, I really enjoyed making it AND of course devouring it lol.

  2. This recipe is perfection. Just sweet enough without overpowering the natural flavor of the strawberries!

  3. Chef Mireille says:

    I have often laughed at the high end name for something so simple in chantilly cream. This has always been one of my fave desserts and you made the instructions so easy to follow. It was so delicious!

  4. This is the perfect summer dessert!!

  5. Carol Weber says:

    This is all I'm eating on July 4th. And every summer, G-d willing.

    I've been searching my entire life for a biscuit that bites back, i.e., doesn't fall apart, and is easy to make. Yours is the best. So flavorful, in and of itself, my husband prefers eating it alone without any strawberries. We have food prepared but I'm on my second helping.

    Thank you for making this recipe available to us home cooks. I had to HUNT for your recipe, btw, it doesn't pop up on my Google search. I found it at random on Food Gawker.

  6. When I tell you that my family DEVOURED this, and thanked me for it!

    This has become one of our true favorites, and I appreciate you so much for sharing it!

  7. This strawberry shortcake was nothing short of amazing! The recipe was really easy to follow (for this non baker) and the pictures were an amazing guide as well. My family enjoyed this tasty treat after dinner this evening and it was simply delightful!

  8. This recipe was so easy to make and soo delicious! I made it for brunch with friends and everyone loved it!

  9. Substituted with cup for cup and vegan whip. So good and perfect with all the fresh sweet strawberries we have been buying. Adding the lemon zest was the business and made some extra of the macerated strawberries to put on oatmeal.

  10. Thank you so much for this recipe!! I have always loved strawberry shortcake and this recipe was so easy to follow -- and delicious! I also appreciate the make ahead instructions.

  11. I always struggle with hosting during the holidays. While I won't have a big to-do this year, I did a run through of this recipe today for this weekend and it was everything! I'm a carbs lover so the shortcakes/biscuits were my favorite.

  12. These were so delicious!!! Thanks for the recipe!