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.
Keywords: strawberry shortcake