This Strawberry Shortcake Cake is a recipe for a sweet shortcake biscuit filled with homemade whipped cream and fresh strawberries macerated with sugar and mint. It’s a perfect summer dessert, and this strawberry shortcake only has a few recipe ingredients.
There are a few desserts that feel very summery to me, and while I wouldn’t turn them down anytime during the year, I can’t not make them in the summer.
It’s like a summer dessert bucket list thing and the perfectionist in me can’t leave anything on the list unchecked.
Usually when it comes to summer desserts, it’s ice cream and pie for me (like, if I don’t eat Cherry Pie or some Strawberry Ice Cream, can summer even happen?!). But the one non-pie recipe that’s always on the top of my list is an old fashioned strawberry shortcake recipe.
I’m pretty particular when it comes to shortcake (brace yourself for my list of shortcake requirements below), and this Strawberry Shortcake Cake recipe is everything I want and more.
Why This Recipe Works:
- Fluffy Shortcake Biscuit Recipe: This shortcake is a sweet biscuit made with simple ingredients, like flour, butter, heavy cream, baking powder, and sugar. (It’s my mom’s shortcake recipe, and as it has to be said, Mom knows best.)
- Serve Warm: In my humble opinion, strawberry shortcake is best when served warm. The biscuit is super fluffy and soft when warm, and it pairs perfectly with the cold berries and cream.
- Macerated Strawberries: Macerating is a fancy term for mixing the strawberries with a little bit of sugar, and in this case, a little bit of fresh mint. The berries release their juices and get extra sweet.
- Fresh Whipped Cream: Homemade whipped cream is a thing of glory and it’s 100% necessary for this strawberry shortcake cake. It’s extra soft and light, pairing so well with the fluffy shortcake and sweet berries.
- all purpose flour
- granulated sugar
- baking powder
- unsalted butter, cold and cubed
- heavy whipping cream
- strawberries, sliced and hulled
- granulated sugar (optional)
- chopped fresh mint (optional)
- heavy whipping cream
- powdered sugar
- vanilla extract
- almond extract (optional)
My Strawberry Shortcake Rules:
- Shortcake Must Be A Biscuit: A lot of people use a cake recipe for strawberry shortcake, but I can’t get behind that. It feels like a strawberries and cream cake rather than a traditional strawberry shortcake. Strawberries and cream cake sounds awesome, but it’s not what we’re going for here.
- Must Be Served Warm: Because this is a shortcake biscuit, it gets dense when it’s cold. Biscuits are best when they’re served warm, because they’re extra soft, extra fluffy, and extra buttery.
- Assemble Right Before Serving: I know this can be a bit of a pain, but in order to serve warm, the cake must be assembled right before serving. I will give some make ahead tips below though.
- Cold Berries and Cream: Unlike the shortcake biscuit, which should be warm, the strawberries and whipped cream should be kept in the fridge until the last second.
How To Make Perfect Strawberry Shortcake Cake
Strawberries: Mix fresh strawberries with sugar and fresh mint (this step is optional) and allow to sit 20-30 minutes. The sugar will help the strawberries start to release their juices.
Whipped Cream: With a standing mixer or hand mixer, whisk the heavy whipping cream until it begins to thicken. Add in powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Continue whisking until it is thick and at whipped cream consistency. Refrigerate berries and whipped cream until you’re ready to assemble.
Make The Shortcake: Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together. Cut in the cold butter with a fork or pastry cutter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Then add in heavy whipping cream.
Bake: Divide the dough between two 8” or 9” cake pans (line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper and spray the pans with baking spray—you’ll thank me later). It’s a biscuit dough so you will press the dough into each pan. Bake until lightly golden brown.
Cool: Allow the cakes to cool until they’re still warm, but not too hot to touch. Be very gentle to avoid the shortcake cakes cracking.
Assemble: Gently remove the shortcakes from the cake pans. Place one on a plate or cake stand, then spoon a little whipped cream on top of the cake. Spoon strawberries on top. Spoon a little more whipped cream on top of the strawberries. Gently set the second shortcake on top. Top with whipped cream and strawberries (you can top with more macerated strawberries, or top with fresh strawberries).
Serve: Immediately. Strawberry Shortcake is best when the biscuit is still warm and fluffy.
How Do I Make Strawberry Shortcake Cake Ahead of Time?
- As mentioned above, I 100% believe strawberry shortcake needs to be served while the shortcake biscuits are still warm. However, you can make certain parts of this ahead of time and then assemble right before you serve.
Shortcake Biscuit: You can make this the night before. Store in an airtight container or in plastic wrap at room temperature.
- Right before you begin to assemble, I highly, highly suggest you warm in the oven for 5-10 minutes. Place the cakes on a baking sheet, brush with melted butter, and warm at a 350 degree oven until they are warm.
Strawberries: You can macerate the strawberries up to 4 hours in advance for the best strawberry texture. Of course, you can do this the night before as well, as the strawberries won’t go bad. It’s just for my preference, macerating overnight left the strawberries too soft.
Whipped Cream: You can make the whipped cream the night before. Before serving, I do suggest giving it one last whip with your mixture just to make sure it’s thickened.
How Do I Assemble A Strawberry Shortcake Cake?
- Step 1: Be gentle. This is a delicate shortcake biscuit so you want to use gentle hands when working to assemble the cake.
- Step 2: Line your cake pans with parchment paper. You can buy premade parchment circles to fit your cake pans, or you can cut and measure yourself. Lining the bottoms of my cake pans with parchment paper (and also spraying the sides of the pan with baking spray) will make removing the cakes from their pans so much easier. It’s a total game changer. Trust me.
- Step 3: Allow the shortcakes to cool in the pans until the cakes are still warm, but not so hot your burn yourself. For me, this was about 15-20 minutes. The pans were still hot, but the shortcakes were at the perfect temperature.
- Step 4: Gently set one of the shortcakes on a plate or cake platter.
- Step 5: Spoon 1/3 of the whipped cream on the top of the cake. Spoon 2/3 of the strawberries on top. Spoon 1/3 of the whipped cream on top of the strawberries. Then, top with the other shortcake, gently pressing the cake on top.
- Step 6: Finally, spread the remaining 1/3 cup of whipped cream on top of the cake. Then add the remaining 1/3 cup of strawberries.
- -Or, you can top with regular sliced strawberries and either use all of the macerated strawberries in the middle of the cake or save them if anyone wants to top their slice with extra strawberries.
- Step 7: Serve immediately!
Best Baking Tips:
- Line Pans With Parchment Paper: Don’t skip this step! This will help you remove the cakes from the pans easily because they won’t get stuck to the bottoms of the pans. You can just run a knife around the edge of the cake pan, then flip over, and voila, the cake will slide right out.
- Serve Warm: I cannot stress this enough. Serve this while the shortcakes are still warm (obviously not hot otherwise you will burn yourself and the whipped cream will melt everywhere, but warm). Warm biscuits = life.
- Sift Dry Ingredients: This will make for extra fluffy biscuits!
- Strawberries: You can mix the strawberries with sugar and fresh mint to create a sweet strawberry sauce. However, you can skip this and just serve with plain sliced strawberries.
- Be Gentle: Be gentle when handling the baked shortcakes, otherwise they might crack or break. If they start to crack at all, generally you can just push back together and top with the strawberries and cream and you’re all good. Still, be as gentle as possible.
- If you use 8” pans, the cakes will be slightly thicker. Alternatively if you use 9” pans, they will be slightly thinner.
Other Summer Recipes To Try Next:
- Berry Vanilla Naked Cake: Three layers of vanilla cake filled with lemon whipped cream cheese frosting and fresh berries.
- Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes: A shortcake cupcake (not quite as heavy as a biscuit, but not as light as vanilla cake) filled with whipped cream and strawberries.
- Strawberry Rhubarb Pie: Fresh strawberries and rhubarb baked in a flaky and buttery pie crust. The epitome of summer!
- Strawberry Bundt Cake: Pretty in pink, this is a fresh strawberry bundt cake made with both a strawberry puree and freeze dried strawberries to give it extra strawberry flavor.
Happy baking, lovelies! ❤️
- 3 cup all purpose flour
- 5 Tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 Tbsp baking powder
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold and cubed
- 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 2 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar, optional*
- 1 Tbsp fresh mint, chopped (optional)*
- 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 4 Tbsp powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp almond extract, optional—if you omit, replace with vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 450 degrees and line two 8” or 9” pans with parchment paper. Spray the pans with baking spray as well. Set aside.
- In a bowl, sift flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt together.
- Using a fork or a pastry cutter, work cold butter into the flour mixture until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
- Pour in the heavy whipping cream cream and mix until combined.
Divide the dough in half and gently press the dough in an even layer into each cake pan.
- Bake for 19-22 minutes, or until lightly golden brown on top.
- Allow to cool a bit before assembling the cake. The shortcakes should still be warm while you assemble the cake, but you don’t want them hot-out-of-the-oven hot. I let them cool about 15 minutes or so before I remove them from the pans, but it might be more or less for you.**
- While the shortcakes are baking, mix strawberries, sugar, and mint together and let sit at least 20-30 minutes.
- With a standing mixer or hand mixer, whisk heavy whipping cream until it begins to thicken.
- Add in powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and almond extract.
- Whisk until the cream thickens into the consistency of whipped cream (stiff peaks).
Once the shortcakes are cool enough to touch (but still warm), gently remove them from the cake pans.
Place one shortcake on a plate or cake stand. Spread 1/3 of the whipped cream over the shortcake. Top with about 2/3 of the strawberry mixture. Then, top with another 1/3 of the whipped cream.
- Gently place the second shortcake on top, then top with the remaining whipped cream and strawberries. (Alternatively, you can use all of the macerated strawberries in the middle of the cake and top with plain strawberries. Or, you can save some of the macerated strawberries to top each slice with later.)
- Slice and serve immediately.
*You can just use strawberries and sugar, strawberries and mint, or just strawberries if you want to. Macerating makes the strawberries extra sweet and adds a bit of liquid that soaks into the shortcake, but you can use plain strawberries if you’d prefer.
**Do what’s comfortable so you don’t burn yourself.
Here are some other recipes to try next: