Strawberry Shortcake is the ultimate summer dessert! Easy homemade biscuits are layered with pick-your-own strawberries and fresh whipped cream! It's a family favorite to make every year after strawberry picking!
Strawberry Picking Season
Strawberry picking in Minnesota is on our bucket list every summer! We have a bed of strawberries in our own garden, but we always love to go strawberry farm picking as well. We bring home loads of strawberries, and immediately the kids want to make Strawberry Shortcake!
This looks like a fancy strawberry shortcake, but really it's very easy! The recipe came from my wonderful mother. She didn't create it, but she did save a newspaper clipping, carefully filed in her dessert file with her handwritten note "very good--1994." I altered it only slightly, and it's just as delicious today.
My kids helped me every step of the way, which usually is the case when dessert is involved. Whipping the fresh cream is the most fun part, and so delicious, it's totally worth the effort!
The ingredients for the simple dough are all pantry staples, you likely already have them on hand.
- Cream of Tartar
- Cold Butter
- Heavy Cream
Homemade Whipped Cream
You can certainly buy a can of Reddi Wip, but my kids would agree, making homemade whipped cream is the best part! Plus, since a little cream is needed in the dough, you'll need to buy it anyway! Use about a cup of cream, minus the small amount used for the dough is fine. Add a few pinches of powdered sugar and vanilla extract if you like. You can use a mixer, but we love to take turns either whipping it by hand with a whisk, or shaking it in a jar until it thickens into whipped cream!
Step 1 - If you have kids, step 1 is always to wash those hands and pull up a stool! Whisk together the dry ingredients in a bowl, then add your butter and used a pastry cutter or your fingers to work it into a strawberry shortcake crumb-like consistency. You want about pea sized crumbles, then add the egg and cream and work that into the dough. Use cold butter and work quickly so your hands don't melt it.
Turn the dough out onto a cutting board and press it into a rectangle about a half inch thick. Cut it into circles using a biscuit cutter, cookie cutter or even the rim of a glass. Press the scraps together to form more biscuits. Place on a sprayed sheet pan and bake.
Step 2 - While they bake, slice your strawberries and whip your cream.
Step 4 - To assemble, slice the biscuits in half and layer them with the bottom of the biscuit, whipped cream, strawberries, the top of the biscuit, more whipped cream and more strawberries on top!
This recipe makes about 7 biscuits and each person may want 1 or 2. You can double the recipe if feeding more people. When slicing strawberries, be sure to cut off just the very tip of the stem end so you don't waste any of those beautiful fresh picked strawberries!
Make Ahead & Storage Instructions
To Make Ahead - Each component of these strawberry shortcakes could be made up and stored in the fridge anytime during the day you plan to serve it. The biscuits could be baked, cooled, and kept in an airtight container on the counter. The cream could be whipped and the strawberries could be sliced and kept in the fridge. Then just assemble when ready. I would not do any of these steps a day in advance.
Storage - These shortcakes are best eaten fresh the day they are made, but if you do have leftovers, it's best to store each layer separately. Place the strawberries and whipped cream each in their own container in the fridge, and the biscuits can be left in a container on the counter. Strawberries will keep longer if they are not sliced. Eat the following day.
We always think of strawberry shortcake, but really the biscuits and homemade whipped cream would be great with any summer fruit! They could be made with a mixture of berries like black raspberry, blueberry, strawberry, blackberry, mulberry, whatever you have on hand!
Strawberry Peach Shortcake would also be delicious when those amazing Colorado Peaches arrive! Plums or kiwi would be great additions mixed in with strawberries for some fun variations!
More Recipes to Use You-Pick Strawberries!
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Strawberry Shortcake Recipe
For the Shortcake Dough
- 1 cup flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- ¼ cup cold butter (half stick)
- ½ egg (crack it in a bowl, whisk and use about half)
- 2½ T heavy cream (use the remainder of a half pint container to make the whipped cream)
For the Whipped Cream
- 1 cup heavy cream (minus the 2½ T used for the dough is fine)
- 1 teaspoon powdered sugar
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- fresh strawberries sliced (sprinkled with sugar, optional)
- Preheat oven to 425°.
- Combine dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk.
- Cut the butter into bits and add to dry mixture, us a pastry blender or a fork or your fingertips to work it into the flour mixture to form a crumb like consistency.
- Add about half an egg and 2½ Tablespoons of cream and stir with a fork until the dough holds together.
- Turn the dough out a cutting board and knead together with your hands 10 or so times. Pat into a rectangle about ½ inch thick, make rounds using a biscuit cutter or cookie cutter.
- Bake on a sprayed cake pan or baking sheet for 15 minutes, until very lightly browned. Allow to cool slightly before slicing open in half.
- Meanwhile make the homemade whipped cream. Using the remainder of a half pint of cream (so just under a cup), place in a bowl with the powdered sugar and vanilla and whisk. Take turns if you have little helpers until you have whipped cream! You can also put it in a jar with a lid and shake it into whipped cream. You can of course use a mixer too!
- Slice the strawberries, you can add a pinch of sugar to them if you like.
- To assemble, slice the shortcakes open like sandwiches, fill with whipped cream and strawberries, and more on top. Serve immediately and enjoy!
- Each component of this dessert can be made ahead earlier in the day and stored separately. Strawberries can be sliced and cream can be whipped and kept in the fridge. The shortcakes can be baked and kept covered on the counter. Do not make a day in advance, fresher is better for this recipe!