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Grandma’s Old-Fashioned Strawberry Shortcake

When my grandma served this shortcake, she usually topped it with homemade vanilla ice cream. —Angela Lively, Conroe, Texas
  • Total Time
    Prep: 30 min. + standing Bake: 20 min.
  • Makes
    8 servings


  • 6 cups sliced fresh strawberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 5 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup cold butter, cubed
  • 1-1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • 1-1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Combine strawberries with sugar and vanilla; mash slightly. Let stand at least 30 minutes, tossing occasionally.
  • Preheat oven to 400°. For shortcakes, whisk together flour, 4 tablespoons sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Cut in butter until crumbly. Add buttermilk; stir just until combined (do not overmix). Drop batter by 1/3 cupfuls 2 in. apart onto an ungreased baking sheet. Brush with 2 tablespoons heavy cream; sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon sugar. Bake until golden, 18-20 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.
  • For topping, beat heavy whipping cream until it begins to thicken. Add sugar and vanilla; beat until soft peaks form. To serve, cut shortcakes in half; top with strawberries and whipped cream.
Test Kitchen Tips:
Secret to Tender Shortcake: Make sure the butter is cold and cut it in until it’s about the size of peas. As it melts during baking, this will create the small air pockets that give the biscuit its flakiness.
Golden Brown Goodness: Brushing the biscuit tops with cream helps the sugar stay in place as well as giving the top a rich golden brown color when it's baked.
Bump up the Biscuit: Stir grated lemon zest, orange zest or a bit of spice such as ground cardamom into the biscuit mixture. Add a pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg to the sugar on top.
Don't Have Buttermilk?: Place a tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice in a measuring cup and fill with regular milk to reach the 1 cup mark.
Swap the Fruit: Add fresh herbs or a favorite liqueur into the strawberry mixture, or substitute sliced mangoes, or peaches and blueberries, for the strawberries.
Whip Smart: It’s important the heavy cream is cold when you mix it—you’ll get more volume. Start out on low speed and be patient. You can make the whipped cream up to 2 hours ahead, then gently stir to reincorporate when you’re ready to serve it.
Perfect Berries: Avoid mashing the strawberries too long or they will become mushy.
Nutrition Facts
1 shortcake with 1/2 cup strawberries and 1/3 cup whipped cream: 638 calories, 36g fat (22g saturated fat), 102mg cholesterol, 710mg sodium, 72g carbohydrate (33g sugars, 4g fiber), 9g protein.
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Average Rating:
  • Renee
    Jan 1, 2021

    No comment left

  • Mom's Idea
    Jun 10, 2020

    No comment left

  • Rosemary
    Feb 27, 2020

    This is the best Strawberry Shortcake ever

  • TeresaWitt
    May 20, 2019

    Oh my gosh... so delicious! I only made half the recipe, but followed the directions exactly. It turned out great!

  • xxcskier
    Apr 30, 2019

    I made this for my family for Easter dessert. All 0f my family loved it! I will be making this often.

  • ebramkamp
    Sep 3, 2017

    This is just as good as I remember having as a kid. Perfect, flaky biscuits and the addition of vanilla to the strawberries gives the strawberries more depth of flavor. I used the basic recipe a second time only used white peaches. The biscuits are delicious and the addition of vanilla to the peaches was tasty. Definitely a recipe I will share and make again. It's a keeper.

  • JMartinelli13
    Jul 8, 2017

    Not-too-sweet from-scratch biscuit, and the vanilla added to the strawberries puts it over the top! I used raw sugar to sprinkle the tops of the shortcakes.

  • ReneeMurby
    Jul 2, 2017

    The biscuits smelled heavenly as they baked in the oven. I did not have buttermilk on hand so I had to add lemon juice to the milk. I needed to add a couple tablespoons more of the milk for the dough to come together. Otherwise a FANTASTIC delicious old-fashioned dessert!

  • amsm
    Apr 30, 2017

    Pile it high with strawberries and whipped cream and this is delicious! I cut this recipe in half for my small family, and it was enough. I did have to add a tad bit more buttermilk to the dough so it would come together.

  • ahmom
    Apr 20, 2017

    Oh so heavenly!