Strawberry Shortcake Recipe is a dessert that starts with buttermilk biscuits that are topped with strawberry sauce and whipped topping. If you love the flavors of strawberry shortcake, you may want to give my Strawberry Shortcake Fudge a try!
Strawberry Shortcake is a biscuit and fruit dessert that has been around at least since it appeared in a cookbook in 1588. This recipe is made with homemade biscuits, homemade strawberry sauce, and homemade whipped topping. Some may wonder, is Strawberry Shortcake made with biscuits or cake? The answer is… both. 🙂 Traditionally, a shortcake is a crisp, crumbly cake made with butter or sometimes shortening. It is crispy outside and soft inside, just like traditional biscuits and scones. It’s a dessert that you can pile high with deliciousness!
Strawberry Shortcake Ingredients
There are three important parts to this Strawberry Shortcake recipe–the strawberry sauce, buttermilk biscuits, and whipped topping.
Strawberries: I used fresh strawberries in this recipe, but you could get by with frozen strawberries that have thawed. If using fresh strawberries, be sure to wash and hull them. Instead of simply cutting off the tops straight across, insert a sharp knife at an angle and rotate the strawberry in a circle until the stem pulls out.
Butter: The secret to the biscuits is the cold, grated salted butter. Use the fine side of the grater and grate the butter over a plate. Then pop in the freezer. Grated butter only needs a few minutes in the freezer to firm up, so it really makes prep time much easier. (If you are using unsalted butter, add a teaspoon of kosher salt to the biscuit recipe.)
Buttermilk: Since the biscuits are sweetened buttermilk biscuits, we can’t leave out the buttermilk!
Whipped Topping: This recipe uses homemade whipped topping. Of course, you could also use cool whip.
How to Make Strawberry Sauce
Once you have your strawberries washed, hulled, and sliced, it’s time to make the sauce. To make the sauce, first, add four cups of sliced strawberries and sugar to a medium saucepan. Heat over medium-high heat until it comes to a boil. Boil for 2-3 minutes, or until the sugar has dissolved and a strawberry syrup has formed.
Add the boiled strawberry mixture to a blender or food processor. This is optional! I like to really incorporate the ingredients and find that it makes a thicker sauce. It does cloud the sauce up slightly, so if you are concerned with aesthetics, you can skip this step.) Puree until smooth and then pour the puree into a bowl. Stir in the remaining sliced strawberries, cover in plastic wrap, and place them in the refrigerator to chill while you make the biscuits and whipped topping.
You will have plenty of strawberry sauce leftover (I do this on purpose, it is better to have more sauce than not enough!), but here are some delicious ways to use it. Store it in the refrigerator to use over ice cream, on pancakes and waffles, in yogurt, and over cheesecake, just to name a few
How to Make Buttermilk Biscuits
The shortcake in this strawberry shortcake recipe is buttermilk biscuits. As I stated earlier, the cold, grated butter is key to these no-fail biscuits. So, while the butter is in the freezer (just a few minutes is all you need), mix the other ingredients. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and baking powder.
Remove the grated butter from the freezer and use a fork to incorporate it into the dry ingredients. Add in the buttermilk and stir until everything is just combined, but not overworked. Pour the dough onto a work surface (lightly floured if sticky). Push the dough together, getting all the bits pressed together.
Using your hands, press the dough into a flat square, about 1 1/2 inches thick. Fold the dough over once, pressing down. Fold over again, pressing down. Finally, fold over a third time and press to about a 1 1/2 inch thickness. Using a 3-inch biscuit cutter (or round cookie cutter, or tall kitchen glass), press into the dough. I was able to get five large biscuits with enough leftover dough to make one smaller biscuit.
Place the biscuits into an 8×8-inch baking dish that has been sprayed with nonstick spray or prepared with homemade pan release (GOOP). Before baking the biscuits, brush the tops with any leftover buttermilk in your measuring cup. Then, bake for 12-16 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown. Let the biscuits come to room temperature as you make the whipped topping.
How to Make Homemade Whipped Topping
Make sure you are using a heavy whipping cream; lower fat cream or milk will not whip as well, and the end result would be a more unstable form. Here are some tips when making whipped cream:
- Don’t aim for “stiff peaks”. You want the whipped cream to keep its shape and be soft, billowing peaks. If by chance you OVERBEAT the whipped cream (I have done this and cried!) fixing it is actually very easy. Simply add in more fresh heavy whipping cream and whisk by hand. My life was changed when I found that out!
- Wait until peaks start to form before adding in the confectioners’ sugar. I much prefer confectioners sugar in this recipe, as it dissolves entirely and leaves a smooth texture. If you choose to use granulated sugar be sure to add it immediately at the beginning and whip it with the cream.
- Homemade whipped cream is best used immediately, but it can be stored for up to 10 hours if needed. You can also freeze whipped cream if you are making this far ahead of time.
To freeze whipped cream, add dollops of it on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Place the dollops in the freezer until they are completely frozen. After frozen, store them in zipped plastic freezer bags (remembering to label and date the bags) until you are ready to use them. Let the dollops thaw at room temperature for 10-15 minutes before using in the strawberry shortcake.
Assembling Strawberry Shortcake
With all the parts of this dessert made and ready to go, it’s easy to assemble this dessert. When ready, split the biscuits in half, add homemade whipped topping, then spoon the strawberry sauce over top. Place the other half of the biscuit on it. If you want to garnish you can add more whipped topping and a fresh strawberry or some mint, but I have found that to be a bit of an overkill! (But does look pretty) When serving these to my family I will often serve them half the biscuit with toppings only. This is a big portion on its own!
Can I Make Strawberry Shortcake Ahead of Time?
Yes! All three parts to this recipe can be made ahead of time. The strawberry sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for up to five days. If you want to make the biscuits ahead of time, allow them to cool to room temperature. Then wrap tightly with aluminum foil, and place in the refrigerator until ready to serve. When ready, warm them in the oven at the lowest temperature for up to 10 minutes.
To freeze the biscuits, wrap cooled biscuits tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and then in a freezer-safe storage bag. If they are wrapped tight and air can’t get to them, they should remain fresh for a couple of months. Be sure to label and date the packaging.
Finally, the whipped topping can also be made ahead of time, as I stated above. Store it in the refrigerator for up to ten hours, or freeze it (see above) for longer storage.
Looking for More Strawberry Desserts and Recipes?
- 2 pounds fresh strawberries, hulled, sliced, and divided
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup (1 stick or 113g) salted butter, grated and cold
- 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 cup (245g) buttermilk
- 1 pint (454g) heavy whipping cream
- ¼ cup (31g) confectioners' sugar
- Add 4 cups of the sliced strawberries and granulated sugar in a medium saucepan over medium/high heat.
- Let it come up to a boil and boil for 2 to 3 minutes. The sugar should be dissolved and a strawberry syrup should form. Remove from the heat and add to a blender or food processor. Puree the sauce until smooth.
- Pour the strawberry puree into a bowl and stir in the remaining sliced strawberries.
- Cover with plastic wrap; chill the strawberry sauce in the refrigerator while you make the shortcake and cream.
- Preheat oven to 450°F. Prepare a pie dish or 8x8-inch pan. (I use GOOP)
- Grate butter using the fine edge of your grater. Grate onto parchment paper and then place in the freezer while you prepare the remaining ingredients.
- To a large bowl, add flour, sugar, baking soda, and baking powder. Use a whisk to sift ingredients.
- Get grated butter out of the freezer and, using a fork, incorporate into dry ingredients.
- Add in the buttermilk and stir until mostly combined, being careful not to overwork the batter.
- Pour contents out onto a solid surface and use your hands to push the dough together, gathering up and dry bits and pressing them into the dough. Move the dough around and add some flour underneath should your counter get sticky.
- Press the dough into a flat square, about 1 1/2 inches thick. Fold over once, press down. Fold over again, press down. Fold over for a third time and press the dough to 1 1/2 inches thick. (You could also make the thickness 1-inch if you want 8 biscuits.)
- Using a biscuit cutter, round cookie cutter, or tall kitchen glass, press into the biscuit and place each biscuit into the prepared tin pie dish (touching). I used a 3-inch cutter and got 5 large biscuits with enough dough leftover for one more small biscuit.
- Brush any leftover buttermilk over the biscuits and bake for 12-16 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown and there are no "wet" spots between the biscuits. Let the biscuits cool to room temperature before assembly.
- Add heavy cream to a mixing bowl. Start mixing at the lowest speed, and then gradually increase speed to medium until the cream starts to get thicker. (The gradual progression prevents you from spraying yourself with cream.)
- When the cream starts to thicken, stop the mixer. Slowly add in the confectioners' sugar and then resume mixing again, starting with low speed and increasing to medium speed and eventually moving to a high speed.
- The cream will thicken and start to peak. Mix on high until the cream is thick and stiff. This happens quickly, the stage between soft and stiff peaks, so watch it closely.
- Slice each cooled biscuit in half. Top each half with strawberries and whipped topping. Serve immediately.
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