The Easiest Strawberry Shortcakes

By • June 26, 2014 • 11 Comments



Author Notes: I love strawberry shortcakes made with biscuits rather than cake! And I love drop biscuits because there is no rolling out or cutting the dough. These cream biscuits are even more streamlined—there’s no butter to cut in and no worrisome biscuit-making technique to deter you! So here they are. The biscuits take less than 5 minutes to measure, mix, and shape. They come from the oven looking deliciously homely, with a craggy golden brown crust hiding a moist and buttery crumb. They are perfection with sweet ripe berries and cream, if you can manage to not eat them up immediately. Because these are so very easy, I’ve added one tiny little extra step: some of the berries are puréed to make a juicy little sauce for those biscuits. You can skip it if you like. No harm, no foul.Alice Medrich

Makes 8 shortcakes

For the shortcakes:

  • 1 cup (130 grams) all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • Sugar for sprinkling

For the filling:

  • 3 pints (680 grams or 24 ounces) fresh, ripe strawberries if you are making the purée (or 2 pints if not), rinsed, patted dry, and hulled
  • Lightly sweetened whipped cream, or rose cream (see note in step 6)
  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 450°F. Line a baking sheet with 3 layers of parchment paper (to protect the bottoms of the biscuits from browning too much before interiors are fully baked).
  2. In a large bowl, thoroughly whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in the center and pour the cream and milk into it. Don’t stir. Use a rubber spatula to push the flour from the sides of the bowl into the well as you rotate the bowl. Continue pushing the flour into the cream, occasionally lifting, folding, or turning it over (without smearing or mashing) until the flour is evenly and entirely moistened. The whole business should look shaggy and porous like a large sponge—not at all smooth. This takes a few seconds, less time to do than it takes to describe!
  3. Drop 8 equal scoops of batter (each a scant 1?4 cup) 3 inches apart on the baking sheet. Sprinkle each scoop liberally with sugar.
  4. Bake until the biscuits are deep golden brown on the surface and almost too brown underneath, 14 to 16 minutes, rotating the pan from front to back about half way through the baking. Set the pan on a rack to cool. Serve the biscuits warm or at room temperature, or reheat them in a 325 degree oven for 5 to 10 minutes.
  5. To assemble shortcakes: Puree about one third of the berries with 2 or 3 teaspoons of sugar, to taste. Cut the remaining berries into quarters (or smaller pieces if the berries are huge). Cut the biscuits horizontally in half and place the bottoms on serving dishes. Spoon a little puree on each half, heap berries on top, spoon a little more puree over the berries. Top with a dollop of whipped cream. Set a biscuit top on the cream. Pass any extra puree at the table or decorate the plates with it.
  6. Note: to make the optional rose cream, add 1 1/2 teaspoons of sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of rosewater to 1 cup of cold heavy cream before whipping it. Adjust the sugar and rosewater to taste toward the end.
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Comments (11) Questions (2)

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2 months ago Joy

Superb, easy to make, best of all shortcake recipes I have tried. Puréed some berries on top...not a pretty biscuit but fantastic. So simple!

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2 months ago Annie

Can biscuits be baked then frozen for later use?

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2 months ago lfkershner

Not a fan of this recipe - the shortcakes for some reason came out flavorless and hard
I took care not to over bake
They were also much smaller like cookies

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2 months ago creamtea

I made these during the week--simple and good! I used blueberries. Next time I will make fewer but slightly larger biscuits, 4 or 6, from the same recipe.

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2 months ago nolu

Made this recipe tonight, so easy. Everyone loved it, and my husband had seconds. Thanks for posting this! I'll be making it again.

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2 months ago Michelle de Lima

Hmm...could be old baking powder or an insufficiently preheated oven.

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2 months ago yaspas

I tried this recipe today and my shortcakes came out really flat! They still taste delicious but look more like cookies than cakes. I tried to fold the batter very carefully but perhaps I overdid it. Any suggestions for ensuring a fluffier texture?

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2 months ago Cherie777gll

Strawberry shortcake reminds me of my family at our cottage enjoying the summer. After playing all day in the lake this would be our supper. Shortcakes made from scratch smothered in fresh picked berries.

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2 months ago LVB

I have heard about strawberry shortcakes my whole life (48 years) and decided to make it tonight because the recipe looks so simple and I am an avid follower of Alice Medrich's recipes. Besides, with Oregon's fleeting strawberry season coming to an end, I wanted one last hurrah. My family thought it was GREAT! The not-overly sweet nature of the shortcakes really let the strawberry flavors shine through. Since it was my first attempt of trying out the recipe, I followed it exactly as written, and through my experience with Alice Medrich's recipes, her techniques and flavors are very reliable. Next time, I probably will make the cakes a bit bigger and will add some orange or lemon zest to add another dimension, as suggested by other bakers. Thank you Ms. Medrich and food52!

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2 months ago Emily Hilton

I've been making shortcake like this for years, but I also add a little fresh grated orange peel -- something about the strawberry/orange combo really elevates it. Also, no need to puree berries; just prepare them with sugar and refrigerate and it naturally creates its own syrup which is sufficient. Oh, and it's just not the same without vanilla ice cream.

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2 months ago cheryllk

It's easy to mash part of the berries with a potato masher, rather than make a puree (and dirty the food processor). Mash them with a little sugar to taste and a wee bit of fresh lemon juice, and let them set at room temp to juice up a bit while you're making your biscuits. Another key to the perfect shortcake: spoon a little of the mashed berries onto your plate or bowl and then put the bottom half of your split biscuit on top of that. Softens the biscuit bottom and makes everything perfectly yummy. (We take our strawberry shortcakes very seriously in our family.)