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Old-Fashioned Strawberry Shortcake Recipe

Updated on May 24, 2007
old-fashioned strawberry shortcake
old-fashioned strawberry shortcake

As I was driving down highway 70 earlier this month, I saw him as I do every year around this time. The farmer was leaning against his beat-up white truck with the sign propped up against it: "STRAWBERRIES" in hand-painted red letters. We bought a gallon, and I knew exactly what I'd be using them for--old-fashioned strawberry shortcake, the perfect summer dessert.

Shortcake is not really cake; it is essentially a sweetened, very rich biscuit. It is crumbly, buttery, and slightly sweet. If you've had strawberries served over sponge cake or angel food cake that was called "strawberry shortcake," you've been eating an impostor. True old-fashioned strawberry shortcake is much more rich and solid.

Seeking a true shortcake, I experimented with a few different recipes and cobbled together my own based on all of the aspects that I liked. This dessert makes a wonderful spring and summer treat that will have you wishing that strawberries were in season all year round!

fresh strawberries from a roadside stand
fresh strawberries from a roadside stand

Old-Fashioned Strawberry Shortcake

makes 8 servings


Strawberry Filling:

  • 1 quart fresh strawberries (as local as possible)
  • 1/3 cup sugar or less (to taste)


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter (cold)
  • 3/4 cup cream

Whipped Cream:

  • 1 pint heavy whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon bourbon whiskey
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar


old-fashioned strawberry shortcake berry filling
old-fashioned strawberry shortcake berry filling

Strawberry Filling:

1. Wash strawberries in cold water, drain, and hull. Slice the berries to taste--the larger the berry slices, the more tart the flavor.

2. Put the sliced berries in a bowl and add 1/4 to 1/3 cup sugar--the more sugar, the less tart the berries will be. Stir.

3. Cover and let sit for an hour at room temperature.


1. Put oven rack at center. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. In a bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.

3. Slice butter into 1/4 inch thick pieces and then cut into the mixture with a pastry cutter. Cut into a course mixture like cornmeal, leaving some pea-sized pieces of butter.

4. In the center of the mixture, form a well and pour the cream into it. Stir in only until the dough is moist. It does not yet need to hold together like dough, so take care not to mix it too much. Let sit for a minute while you prepare and flour your breadboard (or table or counter).

5. Carefully turn the dough out onto the floured surface, and knead it just a few times until it is just holding together and not quite so wet. Take care not to work the dough too much, or your shortbread will not rise well. Gently pat the dough into a rectangle about 7 x 10 inches and 3/4 inch thick.

dough patted into a rectangle, before cutting
dough patted into a rectangle, before cutting

6. Grease your baking sheet with butter or shortening.

7. Using a sharp, floured knife, cut the dough into eight rectangles. Gently transfer to greased baking sheet.

8. Brush tops of biscuits with a little milk or cream and sprinkle with sugar. Put in preheated oven.

9. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until they rise and are a golden color on top.

10. Remove to a plate.

freshly whipped cream
freshly whipped cream

Whipped Cream:

1. While shortbread is baking, mix heavy whipping cream, Bourbon, and vanilla extract in a bowl. Add powdered sugar and mix in.

2. Whip mixture with an electric hand mixer until raised peaks form. It should take about four minutes (much longer if using a manual hand mixer or whisk).


1. Let biscuits cool to a non-burning temperature, then use a serrated knife to split each biscuit that you will be using horizontally. Butter, if desired. Set tops to the side.

2. Heap about a half a cup of berry mixture onto the bottom halves of the shortcake biscuits. Replace tops. Place a couple more spoonfuls of berries on top, and top with a huge spoonful of whipped cream.

3. Serve and enjoy!

old-fashioned strawberry shortcake
old-fashioned strawberry shortcake


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    • Claudia Tello profile image

      Claudia Tello 4 years ago from Mexico

      Yummy!!! What a delicious looking dessert! The opening picture really got me hooked, and it looks quite easy to make. Can't wait to have a bite! (Although I will need to wait for strawberry season to begin….

    • profile image

      qwerty 6 years ago

      sounds good

    • profile image

      Diane 6 years ago

      Best shortcake recipe! Very delicious and easy.

    • PaperNotes profile image

      PaperNotes 7 years ago

      I love strawberries. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

    • profile image

      Katie 7 years ago

      All I can say is WOW, WOW, WOW!! This is absolutely the best strawberry shortcake I have ever had. I have been wanting "real" strawberry shortcake for a long time, and could only get it made with cake. This is the true biscuit, whipped cream and strawberry recipe I have been looking for. Very easy to make, I would recommend this to anyone who loves the old-fashioned strawberry shortcake with sweet biscuits.

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Haze 7 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Excellent hub. Your pictures are beautiful - they make you hungry to look at them. Your recipe looks delicious. Great hub. Rated up.

    • profile image

      Vickie 7 years ago

      I made this and everyone LOVED it, said it was the best ever, I had to search and search to find the recipe again, so glad I did - wish it were easier to print, but thanks for the research.

    • profile image

      jw 8 years ago

      this is a great, very easy shortcake to make, it was so good last night, everyone loved it, so i am making more tonight to bring to some friends house tomorrow, this time i added a bit of pure almond extract, it tastes great just in the bisquit, blackberries, white nectarines, strawberries, all fresh mmmmm now that is kicking it up a notch!!!!

    • tonymac04 profile image

      Tony McGregor 8 years ago from South Africa

      My daughter Caitlin is having a "Strawberry Shortcake" birthday party in March so this is just the "beeries" to coin a phrase!


      Love and peace


    • Isabella Snow profile image

      Isabella Snow 9 years ago

      Omigod omigod omigod!!! I want some!!!

    • blackjava profile image

      blackjava 9 years ago from Canada

      Nice recipes. The pictures make me drool :)

    • Live N Learn profile image

      Live N Learn 9 years ago from Las Vegas

      Hi, Melissa! I'm glad I found your hub. Mine has a strawberry shortcake recipe, too; among others related to strawberry sweets. I got hungry with your shortcake!

    • profile image

      Bex 10 years ago

      Love the column, Melissa. I knew you could do it! Thanks for the fabulous recipes.