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Simple strawberry shortcake recipe

This traditional strawberry shortcake recipe is made completely from scratch. Barely sweet biscuits filled with luscious strawberries in syrup and homemade whipped cream make this a summertime favorite.

I’ll give you variations and substitutions where I can, plus helpful tips and tricks for success. Read on for this info as well as the shortcake recipe. If you’d like to skip straight to the recipe, use the jump button at the top of the post.

You may also be interested in my strawberry pound cake and my strawberry cream cheese cupcakes recipes. For ease of browsing, you can find all of my dessert recipes in one place.

Easy homemade strawberry shortcake recipe on small white plates with bowl of strawberries in the background.

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Strawberry shortcake

This easy strawberry shortcake recipe is perfect for summer. Sweetened strawberries fill homemade buttermilk biscuits, along with freshly whipped cream to make a dessert that is absolutely dreamy.

This is a classic summertime treat. You could also add some blueberries and serve this for any or all of the red, white and blue holidays.

Strawberries, whipped cream and biscuits on a small white plate.

What you need to know

Making this dessert from scratch is easier than you think. Skip the store-bought cakes, you know the ones, the sponge cake made for strawberry shortcake – a simple sweetened biscuit recipe is infinitely better.

Homemade whipped cream makes a big difference. I beg you, do not buy the can. To make homemade whipped cream, you’ll need 3 ingredients and less than 5 minutes.

Lastly, make sure your butter for the biscuits is VERY cold. I usually put it in the freezer for 15 minutes, while I’m slicing strawberries, so it can get really chilled. Once you have your dough ready, try not to handle it too much. The heat from your hands will warm the butter in the dough. The trick to biscuits is the cold butter – it releases steam and makes them fluffy.

Shortcake recipe with berries and cream on a white background.

Strawberry shortcake ingredients

The ingredients for shortcake are mostly pantry basics. You’ll probably have to pick up heavy cream, buttermilk and fresh strawberries, but you likely have everything else already.

Ingredients for strawberry shortcake recipe on white background.
  • All purpose flour – The base of the biscuits, it provides structure to the dough.
  • Baking powder and baking soda – Leavening agents that help the biscuits to rise tall.
  • Sugar/Powdered sugar – Adds sweetness to the strawberries, whipped cream and biscuits.
  • Unsalted butter – Cold butter is cut into the dough. When the dough hits the hot oven, the liquid in the butter creates steam that makes the biscuits rise and gives us fluffy layers.
  • Buttermilk – Provides moisture and flavor to the dough.
  • Strawberries – Look for firm, red fruit to get the best tasting strawberry shortcake recipe.
  • Heavy cream and vanilla – Used to make the fresh whipped cream.

How to make

Here’s a quick summary of how to make strawberry shortcake. Please see the recipe card at the bottom of this post for the full recipe. 

The first thing to get done is the strawberries because they need a little time to macerate and to make the deliciously sweet syrup. Combine the sliced strawberries with a bit of sugar. Stir to combine and refrigerate for 30 minutes or so.

Sliced strawberries in a syrup in a glass bowl.

Next, make the biscuits. The recipe I’m using is my buttermilk biscuits, with a bit more sugar to make them just a touch sweet for the shortcake.

Step by step photos showing how to make biscuits for strawberry shortcake.

First, sift the dry ingredients together. Then, cut in the cold butter using a pastry blender. You can also do this in a food processor by pulsing until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the buttermilk, and use a sturdy spatula to mix it together until a shaggy dough forms.

Fold the dough over on itself a few times, gently roll out and cut biscuits. Do not twist the cutter when cutting biscuits. Press straight down and pull up. Twisting the cutter will prevent the buttermilk biscuits from rising to their potential. Brush the tops with buttermilk and bake.

Finally, whip up some cream! I must insist on making fresh whipped cream. It is quick, easy and makes all the difference in this recipe for strawberry shortcake. 

Spooning macerated strawberries onto a biscuit.

Strawberry shortcake recipe FAQ’s

Can I make them ahead of time?

You can make the strawberries in syrup ahead of time, but biscuits are best on the day they are made.

Can I make shortcakes with other fruit?

You can shortcake with almost any fruit. Swap out the strawberries for blueberries, peaches, or blackberries.

How long should you macerate strawberries?

Let your strawberries sit for at least 30 minutes, or up to a couple of hours.

Plates of shortcake with berries and whipped cream on a white background.

Variations and substitutions

  • Angel food strawberry shortcake – Swap out the homemade biscuits for angel food cake.
  • Change up the fruit – Go with the seasons and swap out strawberries for other fruits as the seasons change.
Biscuit filled with fresh strawberries and whipped cream on a white background.

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Easy homemade strawberry shortcake recipe on small white plates with bowl of strawberries in the background.

Strawberry shortcake recipe

Cheryl Bennett
Classic strawberry shortcake recipe with fresh whipped cream and homemade biscuits.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Macerating Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Course Desserts
Cuisine American
Servings 8 servings
Calories 557 kcal


Strawberries and Whipped cream

  • 1.5 lbs. strawberries washed, hulled, and sliced // 680g
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar 120ml
  • 2 cups heavy cream chilled // 480ml
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar 60g


  • 2 cups all purpose flour 240g
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder (aluminum-free, if possible)
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar 60ml
  • 6 tbsp. unsalted butter grated or cubed, and very cold
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk +2 tbsp. for brushing tops
  • 2 tbsp. coarse sanding sugar optional


Strawberries in syrup

  • Place sliced strawberries in a medium mixing bowl, and sprinkle 1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar over them and give it a quick stir. Cover and refrigerate for 30 – 45 minutes (or until your strawberries have made a lovely rose-colored syrup).

Make the biscuits

  • Preheat oven to 425°F / 220°C / Gas mark 7. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Sift flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and baking soda together.
  • Using a pastry blender (or a fork) cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  • Add buttermilk and stir in flour just until it comes together – dough will be crumbly.
  • Turn out onto a floured surface, pat dough out and fold over on itself, in thirds, to help create layers.
  • Pat out to 1/2 in. thickness. Using a 3-inch biscuit cutter or cookie cutter, cut out biscuits by pushing straight down. *do not twist cutter
  • Place biscuits on parchment lined sheet pan and brush tops with buttermilk or cream, then sprinkle with coarse sugar, if using.
  • Bake for 10 – 14 minutes, rotating tray halfway through baking time.
  • Remove from oven and let cool slightly before splitting open.

Make whipped cream

  • While the biscuits are baking, place a medium mixing bowl and beaters or whisk attachment in the refrigerator. (Cream whips better when everything is cold)
  • Just before serving, pour heavy cream into bowl and whip using an electric mixer, until soft peaks form. Gently sprinkle in powdered sugar and vanilla. Whip to incorporate.

Assemble strawberry shortcakes

  • Split biscuits in half, then fill with strawberry mixture and a dollop of whipped cream.
    Place the top of the biscuit on, and top with more strawberries and whipped cream. Serve immediately.


Leftover biscuits may be stored in an airtight container, in the freezer, for up to 3 months.


Serving: 1gCalories: 557kcalCarbohydrates: 64gProtein: 6gFat: 32gSaturated Fat: 20gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0.4gCholesterol: 94mgSodium: 562mgPotassium: 257mgFiber: 3gSugar: 37gVitamin A: 1199IUVitamin C: 50mgCalcium: 196mgIron: 2mg
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Originally published 4/30/11, most recent update 5/6/24.

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