An old fashioned strawberry shortcake recipe scream spring and I pretty much don’t know anyone who doesn’t like them. And I am not talking about those plastic wrapped shortcakes they sell near the strawberries in the grocery aisle – those are basically a twinkie cake and not what real shortcake even remotely resembles. I am talking a traditional strawberry shortcake recipe with fresh cream. The real deal!
Why is it called shortcake?
Shortcake is an English cooking/baking term referencing something crisp with the addition of fat, the fat in these being butter. Real shortcakes are are similar to a sweetened buttermilk biscuit, and they are f’’ing delicious.
They are not too sweet, and kind of plain. This is a good thing because it gives your mouth all the room it needs to take in the flavor of the strawberries, which are at the height of their season right now. They are simple to make, and worth it.
To make an old fashioned strawberry shortcake from scratch you will need a few things for the sweet biscuits that you likely have on hand, and of course, strawberries:
- Flour. Regular all purpose.
- Sugar. For both the biscuit and to macerate the strawberries.
- Salt. For the biscuits.
- Baking powder. This is the leavening ingredient in the biscuits.
- Butter. The fat element of the biscuits.
- Lemon juice. Helps break down the fresh strawberries with the sugar - part of the macerating process.
- Heavy cream. Whipped to perfection.
How do you prepare the strawberries?
For strawberry shortcake I like to mix macerated strawberries with not macerated one, for the best texture. This gives just enough sweet strawberry syrup for the shortcakes to soak up too.
What are macerated strawberries?
Macerating is kind of like marinating fruit. Does fruit in peak season really need to be marinated? Probably not, but it softens the texture and release some of the juices to make a gorgeous little bit of syrup.
Simply take your fruit, sprinkle with sugar and lemon juice and let it sit for a bit. Soon you will see a little pool of syrup, exactly what you want your shortcake to soak in.
Tips for success
- Don't overwork your biscuit dough. Biscuit dough can go from light, crumbly and flaky to hard and tough sh-t in no time. Be gentle with your dough. And you can make this dough into individual shortcakes vs. one large one. Cut your cook time to 15 mins.
- Don't macerate all your sliced strawberries. You want the texture balance with some firmer fresh strawberries too.
- Don't over whip your cream. This old fashioned strawberry shortcake recipe is not something I recommend making ahead of time, or keeping leftover for long. You don't need a firm super whipped cream, soft peaks is what you really want here.
Now typically you just use whipped cream in a traditional strawberry shortcake recipe. And really, that is all this needs. But what would really be the point of giving you ANOTHER strawberry shortcake recipe if I didn’t do something a little different. Enter strawberry shortcake with lemon curd. You can make your own (sometimes I do because I enjoy it), but it is time consuming and may scare some of you away…so buy it. Bon Maman makes a great lemon curd that is natural and has all the ingredients you’d put together in a homemade curd.
Simply whip the cream, and then fold in the lemon curd. And then you have a new take on an old fashioned classic!
Other strawberry desserts you will love...
- biscuit cutter optional
For the strawberries
- 3-4 cups sliced strawberries about 1 ½ pounds
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 4 tablespoons sugar
For the biscuits
- 3 cups flour
- ¼ cup sugar
- 2 tablespoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup buttermilk that is super cold like maybe put in freezer for a few minutes
- ¾ cup butter melted
- 2 tablespoon butter, melted to brush on the shortcake before baking
For the whipped cream
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 teaspoon powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
- Add sugar and lemon juice to three cups of the sliced strawberries and let them sit while you make your biscuits. Leave a cup or so of strawberries out.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
- Place the buttermilk into the freezer. Melt the butter and allow it to cool a tiny bit. Stir the melted butter in to the buttermilk and stir so you have tiny clumps of butter in the buttermilk.
- Add the buttermilk/butter mixture to the dry ingredients and stir together into a dough. Be careful to not over mix or you’ll end up with tough biscuits (blah). So do it gently and eventually you’ll probably want to use your hands to form the dough.
- Dump the dough out onto a floured surface, and pat it out with your hands and then fold it over a few times and pat it out again – this will make it flaky (that is a good thing) and when you bake them they will rise and puff up nice and fluffy. Pat out to about one inch again.
- Shape the dough into a large biscuit, around 7-inches around. Brush the top with the 2 tablespoons of melted butter.
- Bake for about 25-30 mins, and try to bake in the center rack to ensure even cooking. Cool totally on a rack.
- Put the heavy cream and powdered sugar in the mixing bowl of a stand mixer and beat until thickened. Then add the vanilla and continue to beat until soft peaks.
- To assemble your dessert, cut the shortcake in half. Then spoon half of the whipped cream onto the shortcake, and top with the macerated strawberries, and add a few fresh sliced (unmacerated) berries on top of that, and then remaining whipped cream and top with other half of the shortcake.
This looks so delectable! And your post is so vibrant and attractively laid out. Thanks for sharing.
Tessa the Domestic Diva says
a classic combo with dreamy results! Whoever came up with this dessert knew what they were doing! Yours look beautiful!!
Joni Gomes says
This is summer on a plate! Reminds me of my childhood.
linda spiker says
This is my husbands all time favorite dessert! I will have to make him some!
This is such a perfect summertime dessert! Looks so bright and refreshing.
The lemon curd...Genius!
I have never made 'shortcake' before and I have realised that it is also what you call biscuits - I am from Australia and this would be similar to making scones - except we don't use buttermilk or eggs in the dough....I will try these to see what the difference is between the 2 🙂
It isn't summer until I have made strawberry short cake. Good thing I have already made this twice all ready.
Lindsey Dietz says
Yes! So pretty, perfect for this time of year!
Crystal Twaddell says
I have been looking for a good strawberry shortcake recipe for years...going to give this a try this week! I'll be back to let you know how much my family loved it:) Thanks!
susie liberatore says
This looks and sounds so yummy!!
I can’t wait to try this! I love strawberry shortcake! Thank you for this great breakdown!
Love all that color on the plate. This is perfect for a backyard get-together in the summer.
I hate cake, so I'm always left out of the strawberry shortcake eating. This is perfect since it's a biscuit! We grow our own strawberries, so now I'm looking forward to when they are here so I can make this!
Oh my goodness, these look so delicious!! I can't wait to have a full kitchen again. Pinning these for later.
Karen @ Seasonal Cravings says
This looks perfect for the holiday weekend coming up and it has all the right colors! Can't wait for summer.
Emily @ Recipes to Nourish says
Strawberry shortcakes WITH homemade lemon curd sounds like pure bliss! I love lemon curd and can imagine how yummy this flavor combo would be. So fun for spring!
What a beautiful delicious dessert! Perfect for summer.
This looks delicious! Thanks for sharing!
This is such a classic! I have never made shortcake either but adding lemon to the mix... this is on my must try list!
Carol Little R.H. @studiobotanica says
Decadent + Perfect early summer bites of yum!
These look so delicious! Strawberries scream summer time
wow those look absolutely delicious!
Megan Stevens says
Wow, so summery, pretty and tempting!! Love your lovely, inspiring photos too!
Can I have one please? These look so beautiful. Lovely photos!
Liz Della Croce says
This is the ideal summer dessert!
oh my gosh I LOVE strawberry shortcake. I'm going to have to make this
Strawberries are my favorite. Love this shortcake recipe !
I have never thought to add lemon curd to whipped cream, but I imagine it is just delicious, especially with fresh strawberries. I can not wait to try this recipe!!!
This looks like a great twist on an old favorite! I am going to try this soon.