Homemade Strawberry Shortcake made completely from scratch. Today’s post is jam-packed with plenty of tips, tricks, and even a video so you can see exactly how to make these sweet, simple, and seasonal treats at home in your own kitchen. You might be surprised by how easy it is!
The Best Homemade Strawberry Shortcake Recipe
I’m not exaggerating, these strawberry shortcakes are the best. This is a simple, sweet, and traditional strawberry shortcake recipe made 100% from scratch.
Fluffy, buttery shortcakes, freshly whipped cream, juicy ripe strawberries, these are a refreshing and perfect for spring or summertime dessert while fresh berries are plentiful. Sound like your thing? Let’s get right to it! There’s a bit of technique required, but I’ve included plenty of tips and step-by-step photos.
The first thing you’ll want to do is slice and macerate your strawberries.
How to Macerate Strawberries
Macerating strawberries is simple, and even though maybe the word “macerating” isn’t in your everyday vocab, it’s just a fancy word for a simple process. All it means is that we’re going to sprinkle our strawberries with sugar, stir up the sugar and berries, and then let them sit. Seriously, that’s all.
What macerating does is it softens our strawberries, and the sugar draws out the fruit’s juices, making for extra juicy and flavorful strawberries for our shortcakes. Fancy name, important step.
Make sure you prep your strawberries first, as the longer they sit the juicier they will get. Once you have your strawberries prepped, we’ll move on to making those actual cakes!
What is a Shortcake?
It’s simply a sweetened cake-like biscuit. If you made my homemade biscuit recipe that I shared last week, you’ll recognize that this recipe is very similar, but with a few changes. We’re adding a touch more sugar, using a combination of cream and milk, and sprinkling even more sugar on top.
Using this recipe gives us light, fluffy, perfect shortcakes with buttery, flaky layers. There are a few key tips you want to heed when making your them.
- Use cold butter, cream, and milk. This keeps your shortcakes nice and flaky with buttery layers.
- Take care with the dough and do not overwork it. You want to use cold ingredients and you want them to stay cold while you are making your dough. The more you have your hands on the shortcake dough, the warmer/softer you will make your butter, which can minimize the fluffiness.
- Don’t be afraid to add a little flour. If your dough is too sticky when you are handling it, dust it with flour.
Once your shortcakes are in the oven you can make your homemade whipped cream. Please, do not be tempted to substitute store-bought. Nothing beats the rich, fresh taste of homemade.
How to Make Homemade Whipped Cream
Three ingredients and three minutes, that’s all you need (and an electric mixer). I recently shared a step-by-step tutorial on how to make homemade whipped cream, but here’s the gist of it:
- Combine heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract in a large bowl.
- Use an electric mixer to beat ingredients together until you reach stiff peaks and mixture is thick and billowy (it should resemble the consistency of Cool Whip, but it’ll taste so much better).
There is no substitute for homemade whipped cream on strawberry shortcakes, trust me.
Finally is the assembly!
Let your shortcakes cool and then slice them in half. Top the bottom half with those juicy, macerated strawberries, then a healthy dollop of homemade whipped cream, the other half of your shortcake, more whipped cream, and then more strawberries. Wasn’t that easy?
Want to dress up them up even more? Try them with a dollop of lemon curd!
Can I Make These in Advance?
You can make all of the components for strawberry shortcake up to 24-48 hours in advance, but I do not recommend assembling them until you are ready to serve. Store the cakes in an airtight container at room temperature and the berries and whipped cream each in their own airtight container in the refrigerator. Those juicy macerated strawberries will make your strawberry shortcakes soggy if they sit for too long.
Alright, I think I’ve talked enough today and I think you’re well on your way to the best strawberry shortcakes. Enjoy!
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Let’s bake together! Be sure to check out my video at the bottom of the recipe where I’ll show you exactly how I make these in my own kitchen! If you enjoy watching, make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel where I’ve already uploaded over 150 recipe videos that you can watch for free!
How to Make Strawberry Shortcake
- 1 lb fresh strawberries washed, stems removed, quartered (450g)
- 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (250g)
- ¼ cup granulated sugar (50g)
- 1 Tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter very cold (85g)
- ½ cup cold heavy cream (120ml)
- 1/3 cup cold milk (80ml)
- Additional heavy cream for brushing
- Coarse sugar for sprinkling (if you don't have coarse sugar, regular granulated will work just fine!)
Homemade Whipped Cream
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream cold (355ml)
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar (60g)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- For best results I recommend chilling your butter in the freezer for 10-20 minutes before beginning. Cold butter yields light, buttery shortcakes. A chilled metal bowl will also make whipping your cream easier and faster, so while it is not mandatory it would be helpful to place one in the freezer at this point that you can use it for your whipped cream.
- Start by preparing your strawberries. Place sliced strawberries in a medium sized bowl and add 3 tablespoons of sugar. Stir well and set aside so they can get nice and juicy while you prepare your shortcakes.
- Preheat oven to 425F (220C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl and stir well.
- Remove your butter from the freezer and either cut it into your flour mixture using a pastry cutter or (preferred) use a box grater to shred the butter into small pieces and then stir this into your dry ingredients. Stir until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
- Add heavy cream and milk and use a spoon or spatula to stir until ingredients are combined. Don't over-work the dough but it should be clinging together.
- Transfer shortcake dough to a well-floured surface and use your hands to gently work the dough together. If the dough is too sticky, add flour until it is manageable.
- Once the dough is cohesive, fold it in half over itself and use your hands to gently flatten layers together. Rotate the dough 90 degrees and fold in half again. Repeat this step 5-6 times, taking care to not overwork the dough (see video below the recipe for a visual on how to do this if you are uncertain).
- Use your hands (do not use a rolling pin) to gently flatten the dough to 1" thick. Lightly dust a 2 3/4" round biscuit cutter with flour.
- Making close cuts, press the biscuit cutter straight down into the dough (don't twist it!) and place shortcakes on prepared baking sheet, placing less than 1/2" apart.
- Once you have cut as many shortcakes as possible out of the dough, gently re-work the dough to get out another shortcake or two until you have at least 6 (sometimes I'm able to get 7.
- Brush with additional heavy cream and sprinkle generously with coarse sugar (if you don't have coarse sugar, regular granulated will also work just fine).
- Bake on 425F for 14-15 minutes or until tops and bottoms of shortcakes are beginning to just turn lightly golden brown.
- Prepare your whipped cream while shortcakes cool.
For Whipped Cream*
- Combine heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract in a large bowl (if you chilled a bowl before starting, use that now).
- Using an electric mixer, beat ingredients on low speed, gradually increasing speed to high, and beat until stiff peaks form. Don't over-beat, but don't stop beating until cream has reached a Cool-Whip consistency.
To Assemble Shortcakes
- Slice your cooled (I like mine to still be a bit warm, but if they're too hot they'll melt your cream) shortcakes in half and place the bottom half cut-side up on a plate.
- Stir your strawberries once more (they should be nice and juicy by now) and top one shortcake half generously with your prepared strawberries, and then with a dollop of homemade whipped cream.
- Top the whipped cream with the top half of your shortcake, and then top with additional whipped cream and finally additional strawberries.
- Serve and enjoy!