Father's Day

The Easiest Strawberry Shortcakes

June 26, 2014
3 Ratings
Photo by Mark Weinberg
  • Makes 8 shortcakes
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

What You'll Need
  • For the shortcakes:
  • 1 cup (130 grams) all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons 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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Julie D.
    Julie D.
  • creamtea
  • nolu
  • Michelle de Lima
    Michelle de Lima
  • Cherie777gll
My career was sparked by a single bite of a chocolate truffle, made by my Paris landlady in 1972. I returned home to open this country’s first chocolate bakery and dessert shop, Cocolat, and I am often “blamed” for introducing chocolate truffles to America. Today I am the James Beard Foundation and IACP award-winning author of ten cookbooks, teach a chocolate dessert class on Craftsy.com, and work with some of the world’s best chocolate companies. In 2018, I won the IACP Award for Best Food-Focused Column (this one!).

17 Reviews

barbaspal November 2, 2021
This isn't a review, but a comment: traditional and knowledgeable culinary experts like Alice Medrich UNDERSTAND that a GREAT recipe isn't the most complicated, it is one that gives the most bang for the buck! Greater nuance can always be achieved through more ingredients, but the most treasured recipes are ones that give a lot for less complication, not more. My 2 cents!
Loretta June 5, 2021
I tried this last week when we had lots of strawberries. Since it was only my husband and me, I halved the recipe and made two biscuits that seemed a normal size to me. This let me know that I would double the original recipe if I actually wanted 8 biscuits. The flavor was delicious and the recipe is super simple and quick. I'm on my way to get some more strawberries for a little dessert party tonight!
Dorothy K. May 29, 2021
We had some beautiful ripe strawberries, so I made the recipe last night with my three grandkids. Easy and good — but I made just four shortcakes and they were the perfect (and normal) size. The recipe calls for eight biscuits — from just 1 cup of flour!
Mar February 13, 2020
I am an easy going cook, but a real New England’s when it comes to shortcake.
So a peeve - you can’t make strawberry shortcake with regular cake. That is simply strawberry cake. To be strawberry shortcake, you have to make it “short”.
Short means cutting in the fat, aka shortbread and shortcake. It’s a different and very special thing. :)
barbaspal November 2, 2021
It is at least arguable that a cream biscuit is a lot more of a 'shortcake' than white or angel food cake! After all, the flour is cut into the cream here ;-)
Julie D. June 9, 2018
Followed the directions exactly and was richly rewarded. These things went so fast I should have doubled the recipe!
Joy July 16, 2014
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!
Annie July 14, 2014
Can biscuits be baked then frozen for later use?
lfkershner July 14, 2014
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
creamtea July 14, 2014
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.
nolu July 13, 2014
Made this recipe tonight, so easy. Everyone loved it, and my husband had seconds. Thanks for posting this! I'll be making it again.
Michelle D. July 13, 2014
Hmm...could be old baking powder or an insufficiently preheated oven.
yaspas July 13, 2014
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?
Cherie777gll July 13, 2014
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.
je S. July 10, 2014
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!
Emily H. July 7, 2014
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.
cheryllk July 7, 2014
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.)