Strawberry shortcake is a classic that needs no introduction, but this collection demonstrates there’s no single “right” way to pull it off. In fact, the flavor combo of ripe berries, fluffy whipped cream, and tender cake lends itself to all sorts of variations beyond the typical sponge cake or biscuit-based dessert.
Take your pick of these seven unique strawberry shortcake recipes, or make the whole bunch.
These shortcakes are a delightfully chocolaty spin on the traditional. They’re actually more like a chocolate drop biscuit-meets-scone — great for individual servings.
This strawberry shortcake recipe takes a tasty detour through layers of rich, homemade vanilla custard. You can use packaged shortbread cookies (Walkers brand from Scotland are tasty, and there’s a gluten-free variety, too), but if you’re feeling ambitious, make your own. Individual servings make this a crowd-pleaser because, really, who wants to share?
You might never (ever) go back to using those spongy, yellow packaged cake cups once you’ve made these rich, crumbly biscuits. They soak up the macerated strawberry juice, but don’t fall apart or turn soggy.
Also, if you’d rather not tire out your biceps with hand-whipping, feel free to use your upright stand mixer with the whisk attachment to make the whipped cream. Just remember to freeze the bowl and whisk for about 15 minutes beforehand.
Shoutout to the Hamburg Inn No. 2 in Des Moines, Iowa, the café where the “pie shake” and “cake shake” may or may not have been invented, but which certainly put them on the map.
This recipe is a shortcut to a true cake shake, but feel free to substitute with homemade shortcake (the buttery, crumbly kind) for the wafer cookies, and add sliced, fresh strawberries to the blender.
Because everything tastes better on a stick, especially if it’s cooked over a campfire, even if it is slightly burned (see: flaming marshmallow s’mores). This one might be a bit of a stretch if you’re doing a serious hike to a remote campsite, but for shabby-chic, cabin-by-the-lake summer glamping, this fireside dessert can be an easy winner.
You probably already know, strawberries play nice with tons of other fruits — including oranges. So, how about taking advantage of the fruity friendship in a multi-fruit-flavored shortcake? A hint of orange zest and juice adds a citrus zing to these biscuit-based shortcakes.
These light-as-a-cloud cream puffs meld the sweet-tartness of strawberries and the velvety goodness of whipped cream into one irresistible mousse. Sandwiched between delicately crusted pastry puffs, it’s a texture combo perfect for special occasions. (Tea with the queen, perhaps?)
Shortcake shortcuts 101
Try these tips for perfecting your strawberry shortcake game.
- Rinse strawberries just before use. Washing them too far ahead of time can make them soggy.
- Pop a mixing bowl and beaters into the freezer 15 minutes before you use them to whip cream. This helps keep your cream light and fluffy.
- For biscuit-based shortcakes, try making dough in the food processor — it’ll probably do a quicker, more thorough job of incorporating butter into dry ingredients than a pastry cutter.
- Want juicier berries? Sprinkle them with sugar and let them sit about 30 minutes to release their juices.
- There’s no shame in a culinary shortcut or two! When pressed for time, use purchased cookies, scones, or puff pastry dough for an almost-homemade shortcake.
- Don’t expect thawed frozen strawberries to create the same effect as fresh — they’re better in strawberry sauces than as a solo topping.