Skip the store-bought and make summertime strawberry shortcake completely from scratch with this recipe! Biscuits recipe updated in 2021. Using less flour and baking powder, adding a bit of baking soda, and including a dough folding step, these sweet biscuits are better than ever. They’re simply perfect for holding juicy strawberries and fresh whipped cream!
Today is real food and real flavor brought to life without any peanut butter swirls, caramel drizzles, rainbows, chocolate chunks, candy bar pieces, sprinkles, or unicorn magic. Strawberries + sweet biscuits + whipped cream. Every summer has a different song anthem with the latest chart-topping hit, but the summer dessert anthem stays the same year after year. And that dessert we just can’t get out of our heads, tastes delicious any time of day, and soothes our summertime soul is most definitely strawberry shortcake. ♥
Here’s What You Don’t Know About Strawberry Shortcake
Completely homemade strawberry shortcake is easier than you think. Skip the store-bought biscuits and whipped topping. Instead, have fun making strawberry shortcake at home. Load the homemade biscuits up with juicy strawberries and homemade whipped cream that, again, is so simple. If you can reach for store-bought whipped cream in the dairy aisle, you can make fresh whipped cream at home.
I hope I’m not overwhelming you with all this homemade goodness– I promise it’s all very doable. And that’s what summer is about, right? Simple, happy, pure homemade goodness that celebrates the season’s fresh flavors.
Fresh Strawberries for Strawberry Shortcake
You only need two ingredients for the strawberry filling: sugar and fresh strawberries. Chop up the strawberries and mix with a little sugar. The sugar helps strawberries release all their delicious juices, which will seep down into the sweet biscuits and whipped cream. (Aka the best part about strawberry shortcake!) I recommend mixing the strawberries and sugar together before you make the biscuits; this gives the strawberries some time to juice up.
Use Cold & Cubed Butter in the Biscuits
Use a food processor or pastry cutter to cut the cold butter into the dry ingredients, as detailed in the printable recipe below.
How to Make & Shape These Biscuits
Biscuits for this strawberry shortcake are not nearly as tall and fluffy as regular biscuits. Just to set your expectations appropriately! Don’t expect a super tall biscuit.
The shaping process is exactly like our regular biscuits using the fold and flatten method. Flattening and folding biscuit dough creates multiple flaky layers, just as it does when we make homemade croissants. This step is a lot easier than it looks. First, pour the crumbly dough onto a floured work surface:
Flatten the dough to about 3/4 inch thick with your hands or use a rolling pin:
Fold both ends into the center:
Flatten again and repeat 2 more times.
Use a biscuit cutter to shape them. You can use a 3-inch biscuit cutter or 2.75-inch biscuit cutter. You can bake the biscuits on a lined baking sheet, cast iron skillet, or round cake pan. A brush of heavy cream and sprinkle of coarse sugar gives the sweet biscuits a delightfully crisp top.
Homemade Whipped Cream
Just 3 ingredients here: cold heavy cream or heavy whipping cream, sugar, and vanilla extract. The colder the heavy cream, the more volume your whipped cream has. Unlike store-bought whipped cream, you can control the amount of sugar. I prefer lightly sweetened whipped cream with strawberry shortcake, so we’ll only use 2 Tablespoons. And another thing! Homemade whipped cream tastes 100x better than store-bought.
Let’s Assemble Strawberry Shortcake
After the biscuits bake, it’s time to assemble the strawberry shortcakes. Strawberry shortcake is fantastic with warm biscuits, cold strawberries, and cold whipped cream– but you can also wait for the biscuits to fully cool.
Assembling the strawberry shortcakes is the fun part! You can totally set up a “strawberry shortcake bar” where everyone makes their own stacks. And you could definitely add blueberries to the sweet strawberries for a patriotic treat in the summertime.
More Easy Summer Desserts
- Key Lime Pie – only 3 ingredients in the filling
- No Bake Cheesecake
- Peach Cobbler – with homemade biscuit topping
- Fruit Pizza
- Lemon Blueberry Cake
Fresh summer strawberries shine in this simple homemade strawberry shortcake recipe. The biscuits don’t rise super tall, but you’ll enjoy their crisp crumbly texture paired with the soft whipped cream and juicy strawberries.
Strawberries + Whipped Cream
- 6–7 cups quartered strawberries
- 1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons (75g) granulated sugar, divided
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup (240ml) heavy cream
- 2 and 3/4 cups (345g) all-purpose flour, plus extra for hands and work surface*
- 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
- 4 teaspoons aluminum free baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt (I recommend fine sea salt)
- 3/4 cup (180g) unsalted butter, cold and cubed
- 1 cup (240ml) cold buttermilk*
- 2 Tablespoons (30ml) heavy cream or buttermilk
- coarse sugar, for sprinkling
- Start with the strawberries: Stir the strawberries and 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar together in a large bowl. Cover and set in the refrigerator until ready to use. This time allows the strawberries to release their delicious juices.
- Make the biscuits: Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C). Mix the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl or in a large food processor. Whisk or pulse until combined. Add the cubed butter and cut into the dry ingredients with a pastry cutter or by pulsing several times in the processor. Pulse until coarse crumbs form. If you used a food processor, pour the mixture into a large bowl.
- Pour buttermilk on top. Fold everything together with a large spoon or rubber spatula until it begins to come together. Do not overwork the dough. The dough will be shaggy and crumbly with some wet spots. Pour the dough and any dough crumbles onto a floured work surface and gently bring together with generously floured hands. Have extra flour nearby and use it often to flour your hands and work surface in this step. Using floured hands or a floured rolling pin, flatten into a 3/4 inch thick rectangle as best you can. Fold one side into the center, then the other side. Turn the dough horizontally. Gently flatten into a 3/4 inch thick rectangle again. Repeat the folding again. Turn the dough horizontally one more time. Gently flatten into a 3/4 inch thick rectangle. Repeat the folding one last time. Flatten into the final 3/4 inch thick rectangle.
- Cut into 2.75 or 3-inch circles with a biscuit cutter. (Tip: Do not twist the biscuit cutter when pressing down into the dough.) Re-roll/flatten any scraps and cut more circles until you have around 10-12 biscuits.
- Arrange in a 10-inch cast iron skillet (see note) or close together on a parchment paper or silicone baking mat lined baking sheet. Make sure the biscuits are touching.
- Brush the tops with 2 Tablespoons heavy cream or buttermilk and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown on top. Remove from the oven, then cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes before assembling.
- Make the whipped cream: Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the heavy cream, 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar, and vanilla on medium-high speed until soft-medium peaks form, about 3 minutes.
- Slice the biscuits in half and layer with strawberries and whipped cream. Serve immediately.
- Make Ahead Instructions: Each part of this recipe can be prepared ahead of time. Make the biscuits up to 3 days in advance and store covered tightly at room temperature– or freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw completely before using. Prepare the strawberries in step 1 up to 1 day in advance. Prepare the whipped cream up to 1 day in advance. Store both in the refrigerator.
- Special Tools: KitchenAid Stand Mixer | Pastry Cutter or Food Processor | 3-Inch Biscuit Cutter or 2.75-Inch Biscuit Cutter | 10-inch Cast Iron Skillet | Pastry Brush | Silpat Baking Mat | Baking Half Sheet
- Flour: Starting with cold flour is helpful when making biscuits. If you can remember, place the flour in the freezer 30 minutes before beginning.
- Baking Powder: To avoid a chemical aftertaste, make sure your baking powder is labeled aluminum free. I usually use Clabber Girl brand and though the ingredients state aluminum, I’ve never noticed an aluminum aftertaste.
- Buttermilk: You can substitute whole milk for buttermilk if desired. Acidic buttermilk isn’t needed in order for the biscuits to rise since we’re using baking powder. However if you’d like the tangy flavor, which I highly recommend, you can make your own sour milk substitute. Add 2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice or white vinegar to a liquid measuring cup. Add enough cold milk to make 1 cup. (You need 1 cup in the recipe, plus 2 Tbsp for brushing– you can use regular milk to brush on top.) Whisk together, then let sit for 5 minutes before using in the recipe. Whole milk is best for the DIY sour milk substitute, though lower fat or nondairy milks work in a pinch. (In my testing, the biscuits don’t taste as rich or rise quite as tall using lower fat or nondairy milks.)
- If you’re using a cast iron skillet: If your cast iron skillet isn’t well seasoned, I recommend greasing it with a little vegetable oil or melted butter. Brush a thin layer of either on the bottom and around the sides. No need to heat the cast iron skillet before using, though you certainly can by placing it in the preheated oven for 15 minutes before arranging the shaped biscuits in it.
- Older Version of This Recipe: We tested and retested this recipe based on reader feedback in 2021. Old version of this recipe called for 3 cups (375g) all-purpose flour and 2 Tablespoons baking powder (no baking soda). The written recipe above yields better results with more flavorful and taller biscuits.