Homemade strawberry shortcake is a far cry from those round flavorless discs you buy at the grocery store. Discover how to make your own homemade strawberry shortcake in a few simple steps. Just add whipped cream and dig in!Jump to Recipe
You know those round yellow cakes you buy in the bakery of the grocery store with the indention in the middle? The kind that we call “shortcake”?
Yeah, well they aren’t.
They are short alright–short on flavor, short on texture, and they are missing the mark in a ton of ways.
My guess is if we left them on the counter for an unidentified length of time they would never mold. I could use them to hold my cookbooks open on the counter. Or as doorstops. Or to hold the tires on the farm wagon.
And that worries me a little.
I’ve been making my shortcake for strawberries from scratch for a really long time. To me, it’s easier to whip this up. Takes 30 minutes and you only need one bowl and no mixer.
It’s pretty much dump, mix and bake.
For the pictures you see here, I baked a couple of round cakes in small ramekins. You can use a muffin tin if you would like, but the original recipe calls for an 8×8 pan and serves about 6 people–it’s just as easy to do it that way and cut squares.
What is the difference between strawberry shortcake and regular cake
Most strawberry shortcake recipes are crispy and biscuit like. The crumbly texture is called “short” because the gluten isn’t developed making them crispy and not soft and cakey.
But I wanted CAKE and so, this recipe is a classic light vanilla cake that goes perfectly with berries and whipped cream.
Ingredients you’ll need for this recipe
It doesn’t take much to make this delightful strawberry shortcake. You might already have most of the ingredients in your kitchen. Here’s what you will need.
- Granulated sugar
- Baking powder
- Fresh Strawberries
- Whipped Cream
What goes on a strawberry shortcake?
Once the cake is made, all you need to do is top it with fresh strawberries and whipped cream. If you have extra time on your hands, I highly suggest making your own whipped cream. Read on to learn how!
What other types of cake can be used for strawberry shortcake?
If you aren’t set on making a classic version of this dessert, you can pretty much use any vanilla-flavored cake to make strawberry shortcake. I have been enjoying using angel food cake, but pound cake or even sweetened buttermilk biscuits would also work beautifully.
How to make whipped cream
Store-bought whipped creams such as Cool Whip are made with oils and don’t even contain any dairy. Ick. Whip up your own instead by beating together 1 cup heavy whipping cream, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 1 tablespoon powdered sugar or honey. Beat until stiff peaks form.
I suggest making whipped cream as close to serving as possible as it will start to fall as time elapses. If you would like to make it in advance, select a recipe for stabilized whipped cream such as this one.
Avoiding dairy? Use coconut cream instead of heavy cream in your whipped cream recipe. You can also try making Aquafaba (whipped liquid from cooking chickpeas) or buy a dairy-free whipped topping.
Can strawberry shortcake sit out?
I highly suggest waiting to assemble strawberry shortcake until you are ready to serve. If the assembled dessert sits out for too long, the whipped cream will melt into the cake.
Feel free to make the cakes up to two days in advance, though. Allow them to cool before storing them in an airtight container at room temperature.
The details on choosing strawberries
The strawberries are the stars of this deliciously simple dessert, so choose them carefully. Strawberries are best in spring and summer. They are sweeter, more flavorful, and easier on your pocketbook at this time.
I highly suggest buying organic berries as conventional versions are generally covered in pesticides.
Once you have selected your strawberries, wash them thoroughly before drying, stemming, and slicing them.
If you would like, you can toss the berries in a bit of honey or sugar and let them sit at room temperature for 15 to 20 minutes. This process is called macerating and will end you with slightly softened, sweetened berries.
How to cut strawberries for shortcake
You want to make sure the pieces of strawberries in this dessert are bite-sized. I suggest slicing the berries. If they are very large, feel free to dice them into bite-sized pieces.
Is strawberry glaze necessary for shortcake?
If you macerate the strawberries, this process should yield just the right amount of sauce to render a strawberry glaze unnecessary.
Store-bought versions are loaded with excess sugars and additives that won’t do your health any favors.
How to make strawberry shortcakes in advance
Homemade strawberry shortcake is best served as fresh as possible but, if you must make it in advance, here’s how to do it.
- Cakes. Prepare the cakes up to 2 days ahead of time. Allow them to cool before storing them in an airtight container at room temperature.
- Whipped cream. The whipped cream can be made up to 4 hours in advance. Note that it will start to fall the longer it sits.
- Berries. If you are using fresh berries, go ahead and slice them up to 5 hours in advance. If you are making macerated berries (which I highly recommend), it is best not to slice them more than 30 minutes ahead of time.
Can strawberry shortcake be frozen?
Yes! Allow the cakes to cool completely before sealing them in an airtight container and storing them in the freezer for up to 1 month. When you are ready to enjoy, allow the cakes to thaw at room temperature before making the whipped cream, macerating the berries, and assembling the dessert.
Flavor variations on strawberry shortcake
There is a lot of room to play with this recipe. Try a different fruit, a different cake, or even a flavored whipped cream! Here are some ideas for you.
- Use a different fruit. Use the same recipe but, instead of strawberries, use fresh blueberries, peaches, pineapples, or even my Sliced baked apples with brown sugar.
- Try a different cake. I love the idea of doing a chocolate strawberry shortcake or using a lemon pound cake.
- Flavored whipped cream. Classic whipped cream is delightful here but you could also try strawberry whipped cream or chocolate whipped cream.
Homemade Strawberry Shortcake
- Preheat the oven to 350, and lightly grease an 8×8 pan or 10 spaces on a muffin tin.
- Cream the butter and sugar with a spoon, beating well until the mixture is light and slightly fluffy. About 40 strokes around the bowl or so.
- Add the buttermilk,eggs and vanilla and mix well.
- Using a sifter sitting over the bowl, add the flour, salt, and baking powder to the sifter and tap the dry ingredients into the wet ones.
- Mix with a spoon until no dry clumps of flour remain.
- Bake 25-30 minutes for the 8×8 pan or 15-20 minutes for the muffin tin until the cake springs back and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Serve slightly warm with fresh strawberries and whipped cream.