Classic Strawberry Shortcake Recipe from Scratch

This Strawberry Shortcake is a classic summer dessert that your whole family will love! It comes together quickly and uses just a few ingredients. Learn how to make the shortcake, strawberry topping, and homemade whipped cream. This is a great way to use fresh strawberries in the summer or use frozen strawberries to make this recipe any time of the year. 

Nothing tastes like summer quite like homemade strawberry shortcake! This is a super popular treat my family always requests during strawberry season, so making an at-home version of this classic dessert was a must. With a few ingredients and sweet strawberries, you can whip this up for your family in no time, likely even quicker than going all the way to the store and buying a pre-made version! Ditch the store-bought cakes and make your own at home with this easy recipe. You will love the freshness of the strawberries and the delicious homemade strawberry shortcake. This is easy enough to whip up as a weeknight treat or impress at your family’s summer gathering! 

Why you should make this recipe at home

Not only is this recipe simple to make, it is much more nutritious than what you would find at the grocery store. Typical store-bought cakes used for Strawberry shortcakes are full of ingredients such as preservatives, gums, and artificial flavors. These ingredients are not great for our health and are only added to increase the shelf life. No thanks! This store-bought brand is also full of sugar, with it being the first ingredient while this shortcake recipe only calls for 1 tablespoon of sugar!It will be your go-to strawberry shortcake recipe for summer your whole family will love. 

Strawberry shortcake on white plate on a slice of wood

What are shortcakes?

Shortcakes are essentially a type of sweet biscuits that have a crumbly texture. While some eat strawberry shortcake with angel food cake or sponge cake, this recipe will teach you to make a flaky biscuit with a little bit of sugar for sweetness. Topped with juicy strawberries and cream, you will have this delicious dessert ready in no time. 

How to make the strawberry topping

The strawberry topping for this classic strawberry shortcake recipe is made with only two ingredients, strawberries and sugar. You can use fresh strawberries if you are in the heart of strawberry season, or you can also use frozen strawberries. The topping recipe can also be made with any type of your favorite berries such as raspberries or blackberries. This recipe is the best way to use up your abundant strawberry harvest! 

To make the topping, you will macerate the berries. This is a method that helps draw out the liquid of the berries to make a syrup and soften the fruit. All you need to do is sprinkle the sugar on top of the berries, mix with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, and let it sit for a minimum of 15 minutes, but the longer it sits, the more liquid will be drawn out and the more syrup will form. 

Farm-fresh berries in the summer months tend to be sweeter than store-bought berries. Since they are already sweet, you may not need to add much sugar to your strawberries! So be sure to taste your strawberries and adjust the sugar. to your liking. And don’t forget your strawberries from Pleasant Grove Homestead!

Strawberry shortcake on a white plate with strawberries in the background

Topping for the shortcake

In addition to the strawberry stopping, strawberry shortcake is delicious with homemade whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream. You could also add some lemon zest on top for some zing or get creative with a different flavor of ice cream. 

If you have never made homemade whipped cream, you are missing out! It is so easy to whip up and is so delicious. It beats store-bought cool whip any day! It is soft and creamy and you can adjust the sweetness to your liking. Using a high-quality vanilla extract adds a beautiful flavor. We love to use Azure Standard’s vanilla extract because it is organic and real vanilla from Mexico. Azure Standard’s Vanilla is the real deal, not the low-quality imitation stuff! 

Use the link below to shop for more high-quality ingredients that you can buy in bulk from Azure Standard for all of your baking needs! We also love to use this vanilla in our Old-fashioned Rhubarb Cake recipe! 

Ingredients will need

For the shortcake:

All-purpose flour – the base of the shortcake biscuits! 

Cornmeal – Adds great texture and flavor

Baking powder – helps make the shortcakes rise and adds fluffy texture. 

Sugar – Adds a slight sweetness, you will only need 1 tablespoon here

Salt – helps bring out the flavor

Unsalted butter- You will need cold butter cut into cubes, this helps create the flaky layers in the shortcake

Heavy whipping cream – used in the shortcakes and cream topping 

Ingredients for shortcake

For the Strawberry topping:

Strawberries – use fresh or frozen, or you can even sub out your favorite berry or mixture of berries

Sugar – adds sweetness and macerate the berries 

For the whipped cream:

Heavy whipping cream – the most important part!

Vanilla Extract – get a high-quality real vanilla from Azure Standard

Sugar- optional to add a hint of sweetness 

How to make this Classic Strawberry Shortcake recipe

First, preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Take your butter and cut it into cubes. You want to make sure the butter stays really cold, so keep it in the fridge or you can pop it in the freezer to speed up the process. 

Dry ingredients for strawberry shortcake in a clear bowl

In a medium bowl add the dry ingredients. Add in the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, sugar, and salt, and then stir to combine. 

Shredded butter in dry ingredients

Next, take the cold butter and cut it into the dry mixture using a pastry cutter or with a fork. Cut until the mixture resembles a coarse meal or coarse crumbs. You can also use a box cheese grater to shred the butter instead of cutting it into cubes. Then, mix with the dry ingredients until it resembles coarse crumbs. 

Adding cream to dry ingredients to make shortcake

Add the heavy whipping cream in slowly until it forms a soft ball. Be sure the cream is cold so it doesn’t melt the butter. 

Then, turn the dough three or four times onto a lightly floured surface. 

Shortcake shaped into rectangle on parchment paper

Form into an 8-inch circle or form a rectangle and cut into squares. Add to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper to prevent cakes from sticking. 

Shortcake on a sheet pan going into the oven

Add to the preheated oven and bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes. 

While the shortcake is baking, make the strawberry topping and whipped cream.

Cut your strawberries in half and add to a medium bowl. 

Sprinkle the sugar on top and mix to combine. You can adjust the sugar to your sweetness preference. I recommend trying the strawberries plain to see how sweet they are before you add in the sugar. (Remember, farm-fresh berries will likely be sweeter!) 

Let the berry and sugar mixture sit for a minimum of 15 minutes, but you could even do this ahead of time to allow the berries to macerate and create more of a syrup. Cover and store in the fridge. 

To make the whipped cream, add the heavy cream and vanilla to a bowl and whisk until soft peaks form. You can use a hand whisk, but it takes some elbow grease to form the right texture. You can use an electric mixer, stand mixer, or your immersion blender with a whisk attachment. See all of our recommended kitchen tools here

Closeup on strawberry shortcake on white plate

To assemble the strawberry shortcake:

If you baked the shortcake as an 8-inch round, cut a slice and add it to a plate. Or, if you made square biscuits, take one and add it to a plate. Next, add a scoop of your strawberry topping with some of the liquid that formed. Top with whipped cream and enjoy! 

How to store strawberry shortcake

This recipe is so yummy your family may gobble it up in one day, but if you have any leftovers, you can store them in the fridge. Just be sure to keep the fresh strawberry topping, shortcake, and whipped cream separate. Add the leftover strawberries to an airtight container and cover the shortcakes. Store in the fridge for up to 4 days. 

Check out more recipes using farm-fresh ingredients with the link below! 

Closeup on strawberry shortcake on white plate

Classic Strawberry Shortcake

Course Dessert
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients
  

For Shortcake:

  • 1.5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp butter chilled, unsalted butter
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream

For Strawberry Topping:

  • 3 cups halved strawberries can use frozen or sub another berry
  • 3 Tbsp sugar

For Whipped Cream:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 425F
  • Stir together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl
  • Cut in cold butter until it resembles a coarse meal or coarse crumbs. Use a box cheese grater to shred the butter or cut into cubes.
  • Add cream slowly until it forms a softball
  • Turn three or four times onto a floured surface
  • Form into an 8-inch circle or form a rectangle and cut into 6 squares
  • Add to a parchment-lined sheet pan and bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes
  • While the shortcake is baking, make the strawberries and whipped cream.
  • To make the strawberry topping- combine berries and sugar in a bowl, and let sit for at least 15 minutes. (Or, do this ahead of time to allow the berries to macerate longer)
  • To make homemade whipped cream – whip cream and vanilla with a whisk or a mixer until soft peaks form.
  • To serve, add shortcake to a plate and spoon berries and whipped cream on top. And enjoy!

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