Classic Strawberry Shortcake Recipe

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Here’s how to make the best strawberry shortcake: the classic way! Tender, biscuit-like shortcakes meet sweet berries and fluffy homemade whipped cream.

Strawberry shortcake

Strawberry shortcake marks the start of summer around here. And why make it with store-bought mix if it’s 100% more delicious homemade? Here’s our classic strawberry shortcake recipe. It’s got tender, biscuit-like shortcakes, juicy sweet berries, and fluffy, homemade whipped cream. It’s so ridiculously good, it’s perfect for special occasions of all kinds: cookouts, patio parties, birthdays, and anytime you come across a load of ripe, beautiful berries. Here’s how to make it!

The type of shortcake in strawberry shortcake varies based on the recipe. Some you’ll find are more spongy, some light and airy. This version is flaky and biscuity: it’s a sweet version of our Homemade Biscuits. But instead of rolling and folding them several times to create layers, we’ve simplified the process. These are like a combination of a layered biscuit and a drop biscuit. 


For the strawberries

  • 1 pound ripe strawberries
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice

For the shortcakes

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar, plus more for sprinkling
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest (or1 tablespoon orange zest*)
  • 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon cold buttermilk, plus more for brushing
  • Optional: turbinado sugar for topping

For serving

  • Homemade Whipped Cream


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Slice strawberries. Zest and juice the lemon, reserving the zest for the shortcakes. Mix the berries with the 3 tablespoons sugar and 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice. Allow to stand at room temperature for 1 hour or more, which lets them macerate and release their juices. (Or, do up to 24 hours in advance and refrigerate: bring to room temperature before serving.)
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and 1 teaspoon lemon zest. Cut the butter into 1/2-inch pieces and use a pastry cutter it into the flour mixture.
  4. Add the 3/4 cup buttermilk to the flour and stir until all the buttermilk has just absorbed. Do not overstir. Use your hands to form the dough into a rough ball. Add the 1 tablespoon more buttermilk to help the dough come together.
  5. Turn onto a lightly floured counter. Gently pat the dough out into a rectangle about 8” x 10” and about 3/4” thick (you may need to wash, dry and flour your hands to help pat it out).
  6. Use a 3” biscuit cutter to cut the biscuits, pushing straight down (without turning the cutter) and transferring to a parchment lined baking sheet (you can also use a cookie cutter or use a knife to cut out a 3-inch circle). Ensure the edges of each biscuit are touching on the baking sheet to improve rise. You should get 6 biscuits out of the first cutting, then re-roll the dough scraps for final 2 biscuits.
  7. Brush tops with buttermilk. Sprinkle with additional sugar or use turbinado sugar for a crunchy, glittery topping. Bake 15 to 17 minutes until lightly golden brown on top. Allow to cool for 10 minutes. Store leftovers frozen for up to 3 months or refrigerated for a few days (reheat in a 350 degree oven until warm).
  8. Make the Homemade Whipped Cream (or try Infused Whipped Cream for a treat).
  9. To serve, cut the shortcakes in half. Top with strawberries and whipped cream, then the top of the shortcake and more whipped cream and strawberries.


*Our favorite twist is to use orange zest for the biscuits (in that case you can use orange juice for the strawberries). 

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