Strawberry Shortcake: I Found My Soulmate

3 Apr

Strawberry shortcake is my favorite dessert.  I am from the camp that strawberry shortcake must be composed of strawberries, whipped cream, and a biscuit. That’s right…a biscuit. Not angel food cake, not pound cake, certainly not those heavily processed dessert shells sold in stores…a biscuit. Said biscuit must be served warm, split in half horizontally, and spread with a touch of butter.

Additionally, strawberry shortcake must include sliced strawberries in a sugary strawberry sauce, simply made from combining strawberries and sugar and letting the juices develop in the refrigerator.

And of course, strawberry shortcake must be topped with a generous dollop of whipped cream.

That’s not too much to ask, is it? You would think not, but it was with great frustration that I have spent years in search of the perfect strawberry shortcake recipe reminiscent of what I remember from my childhood. So you can imagine my delight when I stumbled across a new recipe yesterday that includes the essential elements described above, but that was not quite like what I remember from my childhood. It was better. Simply perfect.

This recipe for strawberry shortcake includes a delicious shortcake that is essentially a giant biscuit pressed into a 9×9 pan. The top and sides of the shortcake become slightly crispy, while the inside is soft. It is easily split in half to make something of a sandwich with strawberries inside. And it’s not really a sweet biscuit; the sweetness comes from the other elements of the dessert.

In fact, a main reason that this strawberry shortcake is out-of-this-world-delicious is the whipped cream.  I usually just use store-bought whipped cream, but this time I made it myself. The hit of lemon zest in the whipped cream transforms the strawberry shortcake into something exciting and unique.

I cannot imagine a better strawberry shortcake. Thus,  my quest for the perfect recipe has ended. Why continue when I am head-over-heals in love with this dessert?

In sum, this strawberry shortcake is my soulmate. But I’ll be nice enough to share it with you 🙂

Strawberry Shortcake (adapted from recipe by Mary Nolan)


  • 1 1/2 pounds strawberries, stemmed and sliced
  • 5 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • Unsalted butter, to taste
  • Whipped Cream with Lemon Zest, recipe follows


  • Mix strawberries with 3 tablespoons sugar and refrigerate while juices develop, at least 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Butter a 9 inch square baking pan and line with parchment paper.
  • Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, remaining 2 tablespoons and 1 teaspoon sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Add heavy cream and mix until just combined. Place mixture in prepared baking pan and bake until golden, 18 to 20 minutes.
  • Remove shortcake from pan and place on a rack to cool slightly. Cut into 6 pieces, split each piece in half horizontally, and spread with butter, to taste.
  • Spoon some of the strawberries with their juice onto each shortcake bottom. Top with the shortcake top, and a generous dollop of whipped cream.

Whipped Cream with Lemon Zest (recipe by Mary Nolan)


  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream, chilled
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest


  • Using a mixer, beat the heavy cream, sugar, vanilla, and lemon zest until soft peaks form, about 2-3 minutes.

Where do you stand on the strawberry shortcake debate? Are you a biscuit-lover like me, or do you prefer some other vessel for your strawberries?


8 Responses to “Strawberry Shortcake: I Found My Soulmate”

  1. princesayasmine April 3, 2011 at 5:43 pm #

    I think you may have to share that soulmate…

  2. Geni - Sweet and Crumby April 4, 2011 at 11:36 am #

    I agree with you that strawberry shortcake should be made with a biscuit. Your biscuit looks so tender. I can’t wait to try this recipe because I, too, have found the perfect recipe elusive so now I will look no further!

    • yumtherapy April 4, 2011 at 5:15 pm #

      Glad to help 🙂 I’ll be curious to know if you find the shortcake as perfect as I do!

  3. bakerlady April 4, 2011 at 7:49 pm #

    Agreed. Biscuit. Accept no substitutes.

  4. birdonawire23 April 9, 2011 at 2:58 am #

    Looks super yummy! I may try making this sometime!

  5. Stephanie July 8, 2011 at 12:39 pm #

    My friend made this recipe and brought it to a July 4th picnic. It is the best strawberry shortcake I’ve ever had. I don’t normally choose this at a potluck, but I went for seconds!

    • yumtherapy July 8, 2011 at 1:13 pm #

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Belated Happy 4th of July to you!

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