Strawberry Shortcake Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time
Prep: 25 min. Bake: 20 min. + cooling
Our strawberry shortcake is a classic recipe that can be ready by lunchtime. Use those farmers market strawberries for something special.

Updated: May 28, 2024

A summer berry harvest means one thing: strawberries so ripe that they’re ruby red all the way to their core. So, obviously, we want to make all the strawberry desserts our ovens can muster, and strawberry shortcake feels like an essential gorgeous summer dessert. Learning how to make strawberry shortcake is pretty darn easy, so let’s dive in.

Ingredients for Strawberry Shortcake

  • Shortening: Our strawberry shortcake recipe uses shortening, as this type of fat retains moisture better than butter for a more tender cake.
  • All-purpose flour: We’ve found that this type of flour provides the perfect amount of structure and stability to hold the whipped cream and strawberry components without making the cake dry and dense.
  • Whole milk: We use whole milk for a rich and soft cake.
  • Heavy whipping cream: Whisk the heavy cream to stiff peaks for the perfect dollop. If you’d like a slightly more flavorful whipped cream, try our sweetened whipped cream recipe. Or, feel free to use a thawed frozen whipped topping (like Cool Whip) to save time.
  • Strawberries: Use fresh or frozen strawberries. If using frozen, allow the strawberries to thaw, then drain the excess liquid and gently pat them dry.


Step 1: Make the batter

Use a stand mixer to cream the sugar and shortening together until light and fluffyTMB Studio

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

In a bowl, use a hand mixer or stand mixer to cream the sugar and shortening together until light and fluffy, five to seven minutes. Crack in the room-temperature egg, pour in the vanilla and beat well.

Whisk together the salt, flour and baking powder in a bowlTMB Studio

In a separate bowl, whisk together the salt, flour and baking powder.

Pour 1/3 of the dry mixture into the wet mixture, and beat just until everything is combined. Pour in half the milk and beat. Repeat by alternately adding 1/3 of the dry mixture with the milk into the wet mixture until the last 1/3 portion of the dry mixture is beaten into the wet mixture.

Test Kitchen Tip: Make sure you mix your dry ingredients really well before adding the dry mixture to the wet mixture. You don’t want any pockets of baking powder in your finished cake.

Step 2: Bake

Pour the batter into the pan and spread it evenly to all four cornersTMB Studio

Grease a 9-inch square baking pan. Pour the batter into the pan and spread it evenly to all four corners. Bake the cake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool the cake at room temperature on wire rack.

Step 3: Assemble and serve

Dollop some of the whipped cream and the strawberriesTMB Studio

Cut the cake into nine servings. Split each serving horizontally. Dollop some of the whipped cream and the strawberries onto the bottom half the cake.

Replace the top of the cake, and garnish with another dollop of whipped cream and more strawberries. Serve the strawberry shortcakes immediately.

A delicious strawberry shortcake topped with fresh strawberries and whipped creamTMB Studio

Recipe Variations

  • Assemble using biscuits: Another popular way I make strawberry shortcake is using biscuits instead of cake. In old English, a “shortcake” refers to a biscuit-like pastry, so it’s actually a bit more traditional to bake biscuit strawberry shortcake.
  • Use other fruits: Sub the same amount of raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, peaches, nectarines or plums for the strawberries in this recipe to make use of other seasonal fruit.
  • Add some extras: You can get really creative here and try pairing a few of your favorite spices or herbs with your strawberries. A touch of cinnamon with strawberries would be delish. And snip some fresh basil or mint and mix it in with berries of any kind.
  • Flavor the whipped cream: Vanilla whipped cream pairs beautifully with strawberries, but you can easily switch up the flavors with a bit of citrus zest, liqueur or a different kind of extract. Give our recipes for hazelnut, mojito and coffee whipped cream a try.
  • Serve shortcakes in a new way: Not every shortcake needs to be served cake-style. Instead, get creative and serve your cakes in small mason jars, as done with these pineapple RumChata minis.

How to Store Strawberry Shortcake

When it comes to serving this strawberry shortcake recipe, it’s best to wait until right before eating to put all these delicious components together, so store the strawberries, whipped cream and cake separately in their own airtight containers until you’re ready to assemble.

Strawberry Shortcake Tips

A tray of delicious strawberry shortcake topped with fresh strawberries and whipped cream on the sideTMB Studio

How do you prepare strawberries for strawberry shortcake?

Some strawberry shortcake recipes call for macerating the strawberries, which means to marinate the cut strawberries in sugar, citrus juice or vinegar. Marinating helps the berries break down and tenderize while soaking up the flavoring liquid. You’re left with a saucy, glossy mixture of super tender strawberries that bring a ton of extra flavor to the strawberry shortcakes.

To make macerated strawberries for this strawberry shortcake recipe, toss the 1-1/2 quarts strawberries in a large bowl with 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1/2 cup sugar. Mash the berries gently with a potato masher or a wooden spoon. Let this mixture stand for at least 30 minutes, tossing here and there. If you’d like, you can even prep the strawberries a day in advance.

How do you cut strawberries for strawberry shortcake?

To cut the strawberries, place each berry with stem side down on a cutting board and cut it into 1/4-inch slices. But before cutting, be sure to wash the berries well, pat them dry and hull them—that’s where a nifty strawberry huller comes in handy. Have leftover strawberries? Use them up in these strawberry recipes.

Watch how to Make Strawberry Shortcake

Strawberry Shortcake

Prep Time 25 min
Cook Time 20 min
Yield 9 servings


  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped
  • 1-1/2 quarts fresh or frozen strawberries, sliced


  1. In a bowl, cream sugar and shortening. Add egg and vanilla; beat well. Combine dry ingredients and add alternately with milk to the creamed mixture. Spread in a greased 9-in. square baking pan. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes. Cool on wire rack.
  2. Cut into nine servings. Split each serving horizontally and fill with whipped cream and strawberries. Replace top of cake; garnish with a dollop of whipped cream and more berries. Serve immediately.

Nutrition Facts

1 piece: 231 calories, 7g fat (2g saturated fat), 22mg cholesterol, 188mg sodium, 39g carbohydrate (20g sugars, 2g fiber), 4g protein.

I grew up helping my mom make a lot in our farmhouse kitchen; strawberry shortcakes, roasts, soups and pies. This sunny strawberry shortcake recipe brings back memories of family summers on the farm. —Janet Becker, Anacortes, Washington
Recipe Creator