Easy Strawberry Shortcake (From Scratch!) (2024)

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Make this Easy Strawberry Shortcake From Scratch once – the strawberries, the shortcake and the whipped cream – and it’s the only way you’ll ever want to make this classic spring and summer dessert!

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Sweet, juicy macerated fresh strawberries and homemade whipped cream sandwiched between two pieces of freshly baked shortcake that’s soft, buttery, just lightly sweet, and flavored with a hint of vanilla…this is one of my favorite ways to enjoy strawberries!

I was introduced to strawberry shortcake by my grandma when I was a little girl. She would fill up those store-bought sponge cake cups with thawed frozen strawberries in syrup and top it off with a squirt of canned whipped cream. I loved it!

Years later, when I started making strawberry shortcake, I used a bakery pound cake or angel food cake. I still pulled out the can of whipped cream, but I did graduate to making my own macerated strawberries.

In cooking, and specifically in regard to fruit, macerate means to soften and/or flavor by soaking in liquid. Fruit can also be macerated simply by adding sugar, which draws out the natural juices that the fruit then soaks in, making it softer and enhancing the sweetness.

Many more years later when I became a food blogger, I decided it was high time for me to make strawberry shortcake from scratch. All of it.

The strawberries and whipped cream were super easy. It was the shortcake that took a few tries to get right. Traditional biscuit-like shortcakes were a little too crumbly and dry for me. I wanted something a bit more cakey.

And that finally came with a shortcake recipe that I found in my mom’s 1963 copy of The Pillsbury Family Cookbook. I replaced the shortening with butter and added some vanilla extract. The result was exactly what I was looking for: somewhat of a biscuit-cake hybrid.

That perfect bite of all three components together is just so good and makes this homemade strawberry shortcake absolutely worth that little bit of extra effort!

Ingredients You Need

Note: Ingredient amounts are in the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

Easy Strawberry Shortcake (From Scratch!) (2)
  • Fresh strawberries (get the best, most perfectly ripe ones that you can)
  • White granulated sugar
  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking powder
  • Salt (I use regular table salt)
  • Unsalted butter
  • Whole milk
  • Eggs (large)
  • Pure vanilla extract
  • Heavy whipping cream
  • Powdered sugar
  • Cooking spray (for greasing the pan)

Special Equipment Needed

  • Pastry blender
    • If you don’t have a pastry blender, you can use a fork (see the recipe notes).
  • Electric mixer (hand-held or stand mixer)
    • If you don’t have an electric mixer, you can use a whisk (see the recipe notes).

How to Make Easy Strawberry Shortcake From Scratch

Note: This is just a brief overview of the steps. For the full printable recipe with ingredient amounts and detailed instructions, please go to the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

Macerate The Strawberries

1: Remove the stems and leaves and then thinly slice the strawberries.

2: Mix together the strawberries and sugar in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

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Make the Shortcake

1: Whisk together flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.

2: Cut cold butter into cubes.

3: Add the butter to the flour mixture. Use a pastry blender to cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

4: Whisk together milk, eggs and vanilla extract in a small bowl.

Easy Strawberry Shortcake (From Scratch!) (4)

5: Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture; mix just until combined and all of the dry ingredients have been moistened.

6: Pour the batter into a sprayed 8x8x2-inch baking pan and spread it out evenly.

7: Bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs.

8: Cool the shortcake completely in the pan set on a wire rack. Once cooled, cut it into 8 equal pieces.

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Make the Whipped Cream

Beat heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar and vanilla extract with an electric mixer in a medium to large bowl just until stiff peaks form. Stiff peaks are when you lift the beaters out of the whipped cream and the peaks stand up straight without curling over on themselves.

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Assemble the Strawberry Shortcakes

1: For each serving, take one piece of shortcake and cut it in half horizontally.

2: Top one half of the piece of shortcake with macerated strawberries and juice.

3: Top the strawberries with whipped cream.

4: Place the other half of the shortcake on top of the whipped cream. Repeat with the remaining ingredients for as many shortcakes as you will be serving. Serve immediately and enjoy!

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Recipe Tips & Tidbits

  • Strawberries can vary in sweetness. Adjust the amount of sugar as needed to get the level of sweet you want.
  • The longer you macerate the strawberries, the more liquid they will release and the softer they will become. I usually give them about 1 to 2 hours so they are still quite fresh and not too soft.
  • I always sift in baking powder because it can sometimes have small hard lumps that you don’t want in your batter because they don’t dissolve well. If you’ve ever bitten into a baked good with one of those undissolved lumps, you know what I mean. It’s bitter and unpleasant.
  • Be careful not to overmix the shortcake batter (this can make the cake tough) or overbake the cake (this can make it too dry).
  • The whipped cream I use in this recipe is my Homemade Sweetened Whipped Cream. Please check out that post for more detailed info and tips on making homemade whipped cream!
Easy Strawberry Shortcake (From Scratch!) (8)

Substitutions & Variations

  • Salted butter can be used instead of unsalted; just reduce the amount of salt in the recipe to ¼ teaspoon or less.
  • Low-fat or skim milk can be used instead of whole; however, this may change the texture of the shortcake (it may be less tender and more dry).
  • Store-bought whipped cream or non-dairy whipped topping can be used instead of homemade.
  • Try changing things up by making shortcake with other berries or fruits (or a mixture) such as raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, peaches, plums, or mangoes.

Make Ahead, Storage & Freezing

Make Ahead

  • Strawberry shortcake is best when made as fresh as possible! It’s not a dessert that you want to assemble ahead because it will get soggy. Always put it together right before serving, and only make as many servings as will be eaten at one time.
  • You can make the macerated strawberries, shortcake and whipped cream a few hours ahead of time. Just store them all separately until you are ready to serve. Also, keep any leftover components stored separately.

Storage

  • Store the macerated strawberries and whipped cream in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Use leftovers within 1 to 2 days (sooner is better because the strawberries can get too soft and the whipped cream can start to break down).
  • Store the cooled shortcake wrapped tightly in plastic wrap at room temperature until ready to serve. Use leftovers within 1 to 2 days (sooner is better because it can start to dry out).

Freezing

  • The shortcake and the macerated strawberries can be frozen for longer-term storage. This is a great option if 8 servings is a little more than you need at one time. Use within 1 to 2 months for the best quality.
    • Wrap the shortcake tightly in plastic wrap and then in foil; place in a freezer bag or container.
    • Place the macerated strawberries in a freezer bag and remove as much air as possible.
  • Whipped cream does not freeze well and should always be made fresh.
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I hope you try this Easy Strawberry Shortcake From Scratch recipe and love it as much as I do. Thanks for visiting today!

Easy Strawberry Shortcake (From Scratch!) (10)

More Strawberry Recipes To Try

  • Homemade Fresh Strawberry Sauce
  • Strawberry Refrigerator Jam
  • Strawberry Pretzel Cheesecake
  • Easy Strawberry Cream Cheese Danish
  • Strawberry Banana Smoothie

Looking for more simple and delicious dessert ideas?
Be sure to check out my page for lots more recipes!

If you make this recipe, I’d love to know how it went! Please leave a star rating and comment below. Thanks!

Easy Strawberry Shortcake (From Scratch!) (11)

Easy Strawberry Shortcake (From Scratch!)

Make this Easy Strawberry Shortcake From Scratch once – the strawberries, the shortcake and the whipped cream – and it's the only way you'll ever want to make this classic spring and summer dessert!

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Author: Michelle

Prep Time: 20 minutes minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes minutes

Chilling & Cooling Time: 2 hours hours

Total Time: 2 hours hours 45 minutes minutes

Servings: 8

Estimated Calories: 422

Ingredients

For the Macerated Strawberries

  • pounds fresh strawberries, get the best most perfectly ripe ones you can
  • 6 tablespoons granulated sugar, or to taste (depending on the sweetness of your strawberries)

For the Shortcake

  • cooking spray, for greasing the pan
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder, I recommend sifting it (see Notes below)
  • ½ teaspoon salt, I use regular table salt for this recipe
  • ½ cup cold unsalted butter, 1 stick
  • ¾ cup whole milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the Whipped Cream

  • ¾ cup heavy whipping cream, very cold
  • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Special Equipment

  • pastry blender for making the shortcake (see Notes below if you don't have one)

  • electric mixer hand-held mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment (see Notes below if you don't have one)

Instructions

Make the Macerated Strawberries

  • Remove the stems and leaves from the tops of the strawberries and discard.

  • Thinly slice the strawberries (about ⅛ inch thick).

  • Place the sliced strawberries in a medium to large bowl. Add the 6 tablespoons of granulated sugar; stir until well combined.

  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap; refrigerate the strawberries for at least one hour.

    The longer you macerate the strawberries, the softer they will become and the more liquid will be released. I usually give them about 1 to 2 hours so they are still quite fresh and not too soft.

Make the Shortcake

  • While the strawberries are macerating in the fridge, make the shortcake.

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F, and spray an 8x8x2-inch baking pan with cooking spray (bottom and sides).

  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, ⅓ cup of granulated sugar, the baking powder, and the salt until well combined.

  • Cut the cold butter into cubes (about ½ inch); add the cubed butter to the flour mixture.

  • Using a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs.

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract until well combined.

  • Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture; mix just until combined and all of the dry ingredients have been moistened.

    Be careful of overmixing the batter, as this can cause the cake to be tough.

  • Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan; spread it out evenly in the pan.

  • Bake in the center of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes or just until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs (no wet batter).

    Be careful of over-baking, as this can cause the cake to be dry.

  • Remove the cake from the oven and place the pan on a wire cooling rack. Allow the cake to cool completely in the pan, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

  • When the cake has cooled, cut it into 8 equally sized pieces.

Make the Whipped Cream

  • While the cake is cooling, make the whipped cream.

  • Place the cold heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar and ⅜ teaspoon of vanilla extract in a large bowl.

  • Using an electric mixer, beat just until stiff peaks form.

    To check, lift the beaters out of the cream. When the peaks stand up straight without curling over on themselves, you've got stiff peaks. Check often and be very careful not to overbeat the cream. If taken too far, it will start to deflate and become grainy and clumpy, which means it is starting to turn into butter, and you can't really recover from that so you will need to start over.

  • If not using immediately, cover the bowl and put the whipped cream in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve.

Assemble the Strawberry Shortcakes

  • For each strawberry shortcake:

    Start by cutting one piece of the shortcake in half horizontally.

  • Place one half of the piece of shortcake on the serving dish (cut side up) and top with ⅛ of the macerated strawberries and juice.

  • Top with ⅛ of the whipped cream

  • Place the other half of the piece of shortcake on top of the whipped cream (cut side down).

  • Repeat the assembly with the remaining ingredients.

    Only assemble as many of the shortcakes as you will be serving immediately; store the remaining ingredients separately until you are ready to serve them.

  • Serve immediately and enjoy!

Notes

  • If you don’t have a pastry blender, you can use a fork to mash the butter cubes into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs (or you can use two butter knives to cut the butter into the flour mixture).
  • I always sift in baking powder because it can sometimes have small hard lumps that you don’t want in your batter because they don’t dissolve well and taste bitter and unpleasant if you bite into one.
  • If you don’t have an electric mixer, you can make the whipped cream by hand with a whisk. It will just take some elbow grease and a little more time.
  • Please refer to the post for more tips and info on substitutions and variations, make ahead, storage and freezing.

Did you try this recipe? I’d love to see it!Share it on Instagram, tag @nowcookthis and use the hashtag #nowcookthisrecipes. Thanks!

Easy Strawberry Shortcake (From Scratch!) (2024)

FAQs

How long should you macerate strawberries? ›

Sprinkle 1 Tbsp. granulated sugar per 1 lb. strawberries, stir to combine in a large bowl, then cover and refrigerate the mixture for at least 30 minutes.

What is the difference between a biscuit and a shortcake? ›

Unlike cake batter, shortcake batter is significantly thicker and reminiscent of biscuit dough. But shortcakes don't share the same buttery flakiness of biscuits or the dry crumbliness of a scone. That's because shortcake recipes call for eggs and use more sugar. That's what makes them unique!

What is the cartoon strawberry shortcake? ›

Strawberry Shortcake is a cartoon character used in greeting cards originally published by American Greetings. The line was later expanded to include dolls, posters, and other products featuring the character, as well as an extended cast of friends and pets.

Why do you soak strawberries in vinegar and water? ›

Vinegar Bath Method

Like the previous method, this one is about killing bacteria and mold dead. Soak berries in a vinegar solution that is 3 parts water and 1 part white vinegar. Let soak for 15 minutes. Like the previous method, this one is about killing bacteria and mold dead.

What mixture to soak strawberries in? ›

Add 1 tsp. of baking soda to 4 cups of water, and soak your strawberries in a large bowl for five minutes. Then, rinse your strawberries with cold running water and pat them dry. Baking soda helps remove dirt, traces of pesticides, and more from fresh fruits and vegetables.

Is shortcake the same as pound cake? ›

A shortcake biscuit, which is a lightly sweetened biscuit, is classic with strawberries and cream. But if you want a quick and informal take on the classic then pound cake is the way to go. It has the perfect soft and velvety texture to melt in your mouth along with the tender strawberries and billowing whipped cream.

Are shortbread and shortcake the same thing? ›

Shortbread is similar to shortcake but doesn't include baking powder. Lots of rich butter gives shortbread a high fat content, resulting in a fine, crumbly texture. Shortcake and shortbread biscuits are delicious on their own, with fruit and cream, or simply topped with a delicate dusting of sugar.

What makes a shortcake short? ›

The short part of the name shortcake indicates something crumbly or crispy, generally through the addition of a fat such as butter or lard.

What gender is Strawberry Shortcake? ›

Strawberry Shortcake is a bright and energetic little girl with red hair and freckles with a big, adorable smile.

What does raspberry do in Strawberry Shortcake? ›

Although she is shown being less confident then the others, Raspberry can come up with great ideas and plans. She also has the ability to sense things in others and is usually there to bring it out when they feel down or upset.

Why do they call it Strawberry Shortcake? ›

The History of Strawberry Shortcake

The British version of 'short cake,' or 'short bread,' was a baked product that was crisp, buttery and crumbly—the term 'short,' in baking, refers to anything that's crisp or crumbly, the result of generous fat (usually butter) cutting into the flour.

How old is Strawberry Shortcake in 2024? ›

@Strawberry Shortcake is celebrating 45-years in 2024, we chat with Elizabeth from Wild Brain Studios while at @L.A. Comic Con , she gives us all the chisme about whats to come!

What age is Strawberry Shortcake for? ›

Not for younger ages

I think Strawberry Shortcake (the character) is really nice and she's a great role model but the show itself isn't for kids younger than three.

How long should you macerate? ›

How Long to Macerate. Most maceration is accomplished quickly, within as little as 30 minutes, especially with softer fruits like raspberries and strawberries. Other fruits, such as cherries or dried fruits, need to macerate overnight in order for the changes to occur.

Can you macerate berries for too long? ›

Macerating fruit and berries is more of a method than a recipe. Keep in mind that if you macerate softer or overly-ripe fruits overnight, they can become unpleasantly mushy in texture.

How long should you soak strawberries before eating? ›

Step 1: Add about a tablespoon of salt to a bowl of warm water and let it dissolve. Step 2: Place the strawberries in the salt water and let soak for about five minutes. Step 3: Rinse the berries clean and they're ready to eat.

Can you macerate strawberries in the fridge? ›

How to Make Macerated Strawberries. Sprinkle sugar over your sliced berries and stir to coat. Cover with plastic and let the berries sit in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

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