strawberry shortcakes

Let me guess: It’s Sunday. If you’re lucky, you’ve got at least a whole extra day left of a summer-summoning holiday weekend and if you’re even luckier, and the weather is a little more barbecue, pot-luck or picnic-friendly than it is where I am in the mountains of North Carolina, and maybe, just maybe, you’re trying to figure out what you can bring that won’t take you any time to make.

egg yolk shortcake doughshortcake dough

Well, Smitten Kitchen is here for you! A few weeks ago, the Los Angeles Times’ ran an article on shortcakes, no not those little “foam discs” that you find next to the strawberries at the grocery store, but lightly sweetened cream biscuits — rich and buttery, coming to a crunch at the edges (often hastened by a sprinkling of coarse sugar), just the perfect cake to offset some lightly sweetened whipped cream and slightly macerated berries. Drooling yet? I was and the accompanying recipe was quickly moved to the top of the Cook This Now or Lose It Forever list. (Top Gun, anyone?)

shortcakebrushing shortcakes with creamsprinkled with sugarshortcakes, cooling

A week later, that poor thing got pushed aside for the most perfect cream biscuit-topped Rhubarb Cobbler I will ever want to eat. Those biscuits were a work of art, and I swore I’d try them soon on their own and see how they held up. And guess what? With only a nudge less cream and flour, they’re also a near-exact match for what Russ Parsons declared his new ultimate shortcake.

strawberriesstrawberries with lemon and sugar

And oh, they are. Believe me, I know. I’ve now made them four times because, I’m warning you, when you find your shortcake nirvana, the reasons pile up that you should make them again: It’s a sunny Wednesday night and you want to grill on your friend’s roof. It’s a Friday night and friends are demanding an encore. It’s a lazy Sunday and it occurs to you that there are some people out there on the internet that might also like to share in your shortcake breakthrough. As you wish!

strawberry shortcake

Strawberry Shortcakes
Adapted from Claudia Fleming and Russ Parsons

Psst: In June 2017, I created a new, simpler shortcake recipe. Check it out here.

Serves 6

1 2/3 cups (224 grams) all-purpose flour
3 1/2 tablespoons (50 grams) sugar
1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon (20 grams) baking powder
2 hard-boiled egg yolks
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons (84 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 teaspoons lemon or orange zest (optional)
2/3 cup (168 grams) plus 1 tablespoon heavy cream

Shortcake assembly
1/2 pound strawberries, washed, hulled and quartered
2 tablespoons (25 grams) sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup whipping cream, beaten to soft peaks

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, egg yolks, and salt. Pulse to combine. Add the butter and zest, if using, and pulse until the flour resembles coarse meal. Add 2/3 cup of cream and pulse until the dough comes together.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and gather into a shaggy mass. Knead a couple times to make it into a cohesive mass and then pat it into a rough circle about 6 to 7 inches in diameter, and 3/4 to 1-inch thick.

Using a sharp knife, cut the circle into 6 wedges and arrange on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Alternately, you can use a cookie cutter to make shapes of your choice. Chill for 20 minutes (and up to 2 hours).

Preheat oven to 350°F. Brush the tops of the shortcakes very lightly with heavy cream and sprinkle lightly with the coarse sugar. Bake until risen and golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes. Turn the pan around halfway through to ensure even cooking.

While the shortcakes are baking, toss the strawberries, sugar and lemon juice together in a bowl. Let stand several minutes. (If the strawberries are extremely firm, do this 30 minutes in advance.)

Split the shortcakes in half horizontally and set the tops aside. Place the bottoms on dessert plates and heap strawberries over them. Spoon whipped cream generously over the strawberries and replace the shortcake tops. Serve immediately with any remaining whipped cream on the side.

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224 comments on strawberry shortcakes

  1. I will be hiding in the basement today, as my little town is overrun by vacationers and I am scared of them. This shortcake will make even my basement seem like a holiday paradise.

  2. I love strawberry shortcake, but I’m always disappointed in the actual shortcake part when I get it in restaurants. I’ll have to try this immediately!

  3. Susan

    I followed link you had on your cobbler recipe and found Russ Parsons article, copied it and I made them immediately. goodness, they are supreme. I had sliced up some berries just before I read the article so I was ready as soon as they popped out of the oven. The whipped cream mingles with the berry juices and soaks deeply into the biscuit bottom rendering it like custard. It turned a simple berry into a heart attack in a bowl. What a way to go!

  4. Amanda

    i have a weird question about this recipe. i am a big shortcake fan but hate hard-boiled eggs with a passion. so what i’m wondering is… does the end result taste hard-boiled-eggy at all?

  5. Amanda, I’ve made tart crust before with hard-boiled eggs and the taste isn’t any different. I guess it’s a texture thing. I couldn’t find any exact info why, but my guess would be to avoid adding more liquid to the dough. Anyway, you shouldn’t have any fear of making this. The biscuits look awesome. I know Deb’s not a fan of Bisquick, but that’s why my mom always used for strawberry shortcake and I do now too.

  6. Rachel

    Oh I have to make these this week. If only to erase the memory of the stomach ache the hostess shortcakes gave me. (MIL was trying to do something nice for my family but we just don’t eat processed stuff if I can help it)

    I have been using the light wheat bread you posted as our go to sandwich bread for a couple months now. I split the recipe into 2 1-lb loaves. Sometimes I will turn one loaf into a cinnamon raisin swirl bread. Wonderful.

  7. Elisa

    A tip: perhaps this would taste even better with sour cream, instead of whipped cream… it would counter the sweetness, which I often find overpowering, and add a little freshness and ‘zing’!

  8. Sarah

    My husband will love me for eternity (as opposed to only forever ;) ) if I make these. Thank you! Enjoy the rest of your trip!

  9. It is meant to be–my husband just boiled up a bunch of eggs and then decided not to eat them. Which means I must try your hard-boiled-egg-yolk-shortcake craziness! A sweet shortcake sounds much better than a plain old egg anyway. Heh heh.

  10. robin

    i can taste them! and i like the shortened rss feed (no matter the
    reason) because then i stay here on your site a lot longer ….

  11. MK

    Absolutely beautiful! I’m living in Buenos Aires right now, missing home… Memorial Day weekend… the farm I grew up working on… the start to strawberry season…
    I have spent hours clicking the “surprise me” button on this blog, and salivating over all the things I can’t wait to cook once I’m back in a kitchen of my own!
    thanks for all the beautiful posts!

  12. Wow….what a great idea…little individual servings. And it looks soo perfect for this time of year. Here…on the coast…it is 23 degrees and strawberries are on everyone’s mind!

  13. Ruth

    Sour Cream sounds good in place of the whipped cream… but Vanila yogurt sounds even better!!! Or even plain yogurt. Unfortunatly strawberry season is still a few weeks away in my part of the country :(

  14. i just happen to have everything i need to try these today! I cant wait – my husbands favorite – and I have never gotten the shortcakes right!!!

  15. I made your Rhubarb cobbler with these biscuits a few weeks ago, and OhMy! I had so many ravs I will NEVER use my old recipe again!! I am now anxious to make and share this… at that point I know I will be elevated to backyard BBQ dessert Goddess, thanks to you…lol ;-)

  16. now see you could have swung by central NC visited me and had better weather on the way back to NYC. ;)

    This looks delicious and not the first time I’ve seen the cooked egg yolk technique for a baked sweet.

  17. Tracy

    I’ve always made my strawberry shortcake with rich sweet buttermilk biscuits. I think of the kind with cake as “northern-style”. There are strawbs from my garden in my fridge waiting for shortcake. Thanks for the recipe.

  18. Oh, I can’t wait til our strawberries are ripe! We’ll be eating shortcake and waffles like crazy! But I can handle that.

    Your shortcake looks scrumptious. Orange or lemon zest in the biscuits, you say? Interesting. Very tempting.

  19. Those shortcakes look amazing!

    I’ll try to make ’em gluten- and sugar-free. Got a ton of organic local strawberries to use up. If you’re ever by Duke University in Durham, I’d like to meet you and bask in the glory of your cooking prowess. Bet you’d totally love Mad Hatter’s bakery, Deb. :)

  20. (another) Kathryn

    Honestly, every time I give in and head over to your flickr stream I don’t know how I don’t daily spend hours just clicking through your amazing photography. It’s simply beyond words.

    Also, am I horrible person (slash Twitter stalker) for wanting to know what “spewing, vitriolic comments” people could POSSIBLY be leaving on your site?

  21. Wow, these are beautiful photos! I just found your blog today, it’s lovely.

    I love, love strawberry shortcake. I make a gluten-free version that is great. This is such an easy and quick dessert to make for weeknight family dinners at this time of year.

    Thanks! -Ali :)

  22. The hard boiled egg yolks are really a surprising ingredient! Those shortcakes look absolutely delicious, especially for a warm, festive weekend :)!

  23. Hee-Sun

    hi deb, i was wondering if you had an alternative method for those of us without food processors. can you just cut the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients as you would for a pie crust? thanks.

    1. deb

      For those of you lacking a food processor: You can try to make these with a pastry blender, two forks, two knives, a blender or a handmixer. Now, I have not tested any of these other methods so do let us know how they worked for you. But in theory, it seems those other tools would be equally able to break up hard boiled yolks and form a dough. That’s the main thing you’re looking for: ingredient immersion without making all of the buttery bits disappear or overworking the dough, which could make it tough.

      Those of you who have asked about the hard-boiled egg yolks: Try it in here, you’ll love it. They’re often used instead of raw ones in recipes so that you get the richness of a yolk without the added water content. Not sure if that’s what these chefs were thinking of, but I can assure you that it works so well, you’ll never make shortcakes (or cobbler) another way.

      Shortcakes versus scones: Oy, it makes my head hurt to try to vet out the differences, mostly because I understand them so little. Yes, they’re a lot a like. In my experience, shortcakes are a little heavier than scones (e.g. this recipe has yolks, great scones usually do not). Also, if you’re looking for a killer, mind-blowing scone recipe (yes, I’m that mad about it) check out the Dreamy Cream Scones in the archives. Made them again on Mother’s Day and kicked myself for having waited so long to revisit them.

      Those of you who have asked about a crazy comment I joked about on Twitter: That’s all it was. I would never leave such a thing up on this site or link to it. I mostly thought it was amazing that a person could become so infuriated over a slaw recipe. I’m in awe of the slaw fervor.

  24. Laura

    Hi, I’m just wondering, are American shortbread the same thing as British scones…? Or just similiar? I’m clueless about these things! Thanks x

  25. I want to make these, but I’m not sure I could manage to eat them all before we moved! It would be a shame to have to throw any away.

    (Especially because I wanted to make this peanut butter hot fudge pudding cake first, because the book is due at the library pronto.)

  26. Vidya

    In Britain and Australia/other Commonwealth countries we call these scones. What Americans call biscuits, we call scones, what Americans call scones, we also call scones. And what we call biscuits, American call cookies. Slightly confusing, huh? All delicious though. These look like the perfect barbecque or picnic dessert. But strawberries are at current about $14 a kilo in Australia and it’s not exactly barbecque weather in Sydney so I guess I’ll need to wait…sigh…

  27. Those look good. I can just never force myself to try a different shortcake recipe other than the one passed down in my mom’s family. Maybe someday I’ll have to try.

  28. Looks lovely Deb! You can never have too many shortcake versions!
    I tried the King Arthur recipe for burger buns this weekend, just with slight changes and they came out fantastic Deb! Much better than the Gourmet ones. These had really height and they were sooooooo soft. You almost didn’t want to put a patty in them, i just wanted to eat the bun! Try those ;)

  29. Susan

    For those in the UK, these are a version of your scones. US scones aren’t usually quite so rich with the cookied egg yolks and heavy cream, and usually include add-ins like raisins or currents or whatever.

    These aren’t just for strawberries; this is just our springtime tradition. You can use about any favorite fruit; sauted sweetend apples or pears, sweetend fresh peaches (or even canned!), blueberries or cherries or combination thereof…whatever appeals to tumblie over the shortcake with some whipped cream.

  30. This would have been most appropriate a few months ago; down here in central Florida our strawberry season is around March or so. Nevertheless, these look amazing.

    What do the chopped hardboiled eggs do? I’m allergic to eggs so I tend to use egg substitutes, but I wouldn’t be able to replace hardboiled eggs.

  31. Mmm, these shortcakes look absolutely fabulous!! Talk about a perfect Memorial Day treat (oh, and Happy Memorial Day)! I love a good strawberry shortcake, which is funny–usually I’m a chocolate girl all the way. BUT, there’s something amazing about the tender, flaky, buttery and oh-so delicious shortcake topped with sweet strawberries and wonderful whipped cream. Totally delicious! In fact, I think I need to make these ASAP.

  32. Russ Parsons

    Wow! glad you all liked the recipe. For those who were pursuing the scone angle, these do make unbelievable cream scones: when you’re pulsing in the whipping cream, add about 1/2 cup of mixed chopped dried fruit (i use dried sour cherries, raisins and cranberries).

  33. This looks like English scones. Definitely not the same shortcake as you’d get in UK, i.e the all butter kind. But it looks good, I’ll try it to see if it is scones.

  34. What marvelous photos! Makes you want to reach out and taste. I love strawberry shortcake! Your biscuits look perfect. Am going to try them ASAP.

  35. Carol in NC

    Huh? What are you doing in WNC? I’m in Asheville and yes, it’s cool and rainy but I can tell you that my brisket in the oven (as we speak) will taste pretty darn picnic-y and GET THIS I made your broccoli slaw to go with it. It will seem like the sun’s out!

  36. I just got these out of the oven and pinched off a bite…they are so good! I don’t have a food processor, so I just mixed with my hands and tried not to overwork. Also, I used half and half instead of cream. Can’t wait to pile on the strawberries later. Thank you Deb!

  37. Tina

    This recipe is very similar to the strawberry shortcake that I grew up with – which is a maritime tradition. No angel-food cake-like shortcake for this girl. I grew up with the full on buttery biscuit type! of course as a child I often passed on the biscuit and made do with a bowl of sweet berries with lots of whip cream!

  38. Wow, I always have my strawberry shortcakes this way. Just so much better with a biscuit crust than a store bought sponge “cake” that it isn’t even funny! We get our strawberry shortcake recipe from an old betty crocker cookbook that is falling apart and yet still opens up automatically to shortcake recipes or gingerbread. :-D

  39. Oh, yum! My mouth is watering just looking at those. Looks like I may have to be making these all summer. I always get a couple of flats of strawberries to freeze so I can have strawberry shortcake whenever I please!

  40. Jessica

    You are in the mountains of NC? Are you on vacation? I live in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Mount Airy, NC! I LOVE western North Carolina so much. I went to college in Boone, NC, at Appalachian State University.
    It has been quite rainy outside for a while now. I just saw the weather and it is going to rain for the next five days!

  41. I think this will be amazing with my favorite shortcake dessert: blueberry shortcakes. Fresh, summer blueberries, a little sugar, a little Grand Marnier. Oh my. I swore this will be the year to banish the foam disks, and I think this recipe is the start!

  42. MJ


    I made a double batch of these tonight — just wonderful! I really liked the subtle lemon taste from using the lemon zest. Do you think these would freeze well?

  43. Brandi

    The recipe looks great but I really have to laugh about the weather. We were in the NC mountains this weekend on the Blue Ridge Parkway just south of Virginia. Sunday was incredibly foggy and a little rain and today was more fog and rain. No Memorial Day weather there–but we still had a great trip. Hope you did too!

  44. I said to heck with it and made them anyway. It was weird, because it might have also been my first time making hard boiled eggs. The short cake was delicious, and because I had a pound of strawberries it was full of extra berry goodness.

    I don’t have a food processor, but it still came together really quickly with my pastry cutter. I love that thing!

  45. My favorite dessert, too! I am having a BBQ this weekend and can’t wait to try this. Since we are having a lot of people over and will be busy, how much of this can be made in advance? Obviously not the whipped cream but everything else? Including slicing the strawberries?

    And can you form the shortcakes into slightly flattened balls (rough cakes) with your hands? I don’t have the right cutter and don’t have time to find one this week, but I like them round, like in your pictures.

  46. linda

    Regarding the hard boiled eggs: I checked with Joe Pastry at about why would you use them and here is his answer: Hard boiled egg yolk has become a very trendy ingredient in cookies and biscuits for several reasons. First, because it adds both color and richness without adding moisture. But more importantly, it adds tenderness. In a funny way, it works sort of like a flour substitute, contributing volume but not gluten (in fact the cooked egg particles actually inhibit the formation of gluten by getting between the flour granules).

    1. deb

      Thanks Lisa and Joe Pastry! Very helpful to know!

      Lindsey, Megan — I don’t believe in making shortcakes (or scones or biscuits) too far in advance. They’re best when they’re fresh, period. However, you can make the dough and keep it in the fridge for hours, baking it right before you need it. The strawberries can of course be prepped in advance.

  47. Marnie

    I made the Rhubarb Cobbler (with strawberries) on Saturday. I was skeptical about the egg yolks. I am now a convert (as are my guests). Amazing biscuits. Also, your Strawberry Rhubarb Lattice Pie was yummy as well (Monday’s dessert). Next weekend I’m trying the Strawberry Rhubard Loaf. Thanks for the helpful links!

  48. Marisol

    Because of this post. I compulsively ate the equivalent of a small field of baby carrots while staring at the screen. Everything always looks so good. And I am unnecessarily excited about the egg yolk thing. I am also too poor to own any kind of food processor so I will be doing this ‘turn-of-the-century’ style.
    I think someone is actualy eating strawberry shortcake in this office because I can definitely smell it…I think.

  49. Ann

    I’m sure these shortcakes wil be worthy of the punnet of strawberries I bought yesterday which cost $7 (AUD) Yikes, I realized too late!

  50. I’ve never tried biscuit-style strawberry shortcake, so I am excited to try this one out! Lately, I’ve been using a Boston Creme Pie style cake under my strawberries and cream, and it’s delish!

  51. Rose Marie Heard

    OK–I am a tad behind in my reading. I want to thank you for this recipe. My grandmother used to make the shortcakes almost exactly like you posted. I had been doing a search for one like hers but just didn’t find one—-until now.
    Thank you again
    btw—I just got strawberries before I read this–WAS gonna do freezer jam but don’t think so now.

  52. Ann

    Deb, don’t forget to put weights with this recipe. We have different size cups and tablespoons, but the hardest thing to measure is butter. Thanks!

  53. This is definitely one of the best vehicles to enjoy the strawberry, but I fear the serving size seen above would leave this lumberjack, farmhand, mower-of-lawns wanting more. Skimpy servings are best suited for canned beets and lima beans. ;-)Then again, I am nearing the last hole on my belt buckle. Lovely recipe, thanks for sharing.

  54. Jendorf

    I can’t wait to try this. . .but I will make myself wait for this particular recipe until the strawberries in our garden are ripe (hopefully just another week or so. . .) So, here’s hoping the birds don’t get through the netting and beat me to those strawberries!

  55. Although last weekend was the holiday, this weekend is going to bring the sunshine. If you drive down to Asheville on your next trip, you should stop by Laughing Seed Cafe on Wall Street for the best vegetarian food. Their brunch is the perfect meal to take a tofu-phobic partner in dine.

  56. Oh, my god. I made these for dinner tonight (well, dessert because my father insisted I make some real food) and they were FABULOUS! The best shortcake I’ve ever had. I can’t help wondering, though, how they’d be with a caramel sauce over top…. Maybe tomorrow! XD

  57. Nadia

    That LA Times article is terrific. Obsessive Tinkerers unite! “e.g. this recipe has yolks, great scones usually do not” — I get the impression from everything written so far that this egg yolk thing is an innovation not widely known about, or isn’t it? But it would seem that shortcakes are denser, less fluffy than traditional ENGLISH scones :)

  58. Laura B.

    My husband made these last night and they would have been so good except he used baking soda instead of baking powder. We are going to try them again this weekend!

  59. Patty D

    The LA Times article has a variation for a scone, by adding 1/2 cup mixed raisins/dried cherries/dried cranberries along with the cream. This results in something so incredible I can’t believe I made it in my own kitchen.

  60. Fran

    I made them using sour cream, forgot to do the cream & sugar topping, didn’t use any zest, and they turned out perfectly. Great recipe!

  61. Meggie

    This recipe seemed like a richer version of a scone. It was delicious even though we eat strawberry shortcake differently in my family. We break up the biscuit in a bowl, add strawberries and milk with a little sugar. Perfect for a summer day!

  62. Steve

    Made this last night for friends sans a food processor. I made a half-recipe, though. I used a pastry cutter to mix the butter into the dough, while I actually broke up the egg yolk before using a knife. With the exception of the cakes not browning as much as I would have liked, I thought the end product was delicious. Thanks as always for the fantastic recipes, Deb!

  63. kathleen

    I made these last night, they turned out absolutely perfect. I didnt have a food processor at my disposal, so I just did everything by hand…THEY STILL turned out perfect. I didnt have strawberries, I used blueberries and I used a round glass as my “cookie cutter”. Who coined the phrase “if there is a will, there is a way?” Anyways, we really enjoyed them. Thanks so much for the recipe!

  64. Jendorf

    These were soooo yummy!! That lemon zest gave them the most delicious flavor! In fact, my husband and I were musing about what the results would be if we had a thin layer of lemon curd on the shortcake beneath the strawberries. . .I think we’ll try that next time. This was such an easy recipe, and my 5-year old daughter helped me cut them into butterflies with her favorite cookie cutter.
    Thanks for a recipe that pleased the whole family and was just the right size for my family with no leftovers. . .

  65. Rachel

    Um, I think there might be a misprint–mine only served 2 :) Seriously, fantastic recipe. My not-cakey husband raved and swooned.

  66. Katy Belle

    Wow! I made these for a party last night. I used a small, scalloped round cookie cutter, about 1.5 inches. They made cute, delicious little desserts! They were a hit with all of my guests!
    I don’t have a food processor so I did it all by hand and they turned out great.
    Thanks for a great recipe!

  67. Jennyrose

    Dang! This is by far the best strawberry shortcake recipe I’ve ever tasted.
    I don’t have a food processor so I used forks and knives which worked quite well. The lemon zest is so wonderful in these flaky yet moist, scrumptious biscuits.

    Thank you!

  68. I tried these last week and they were amazing! Thanks so much for the recipe. I posted it on my blog and linked back to you – I hope that’s ok! My whole family loved them. My dad even went so far as to say they were better than the little spongey circles from the grocery store :) hehe high praise from him.

  69. Ryan

    Made these last night for a dinner party, and they were delicious!! Flaky and light, and delicious. My only note is about the strawberries: 1/2 a pound of strawberries for 6 shortcakes?? Perhaps my strawberries were particularly heavy or something (they were from the local farmers market), but if I had used the amount called for, each person would have ended up with about 1 berry! I actually laughed aloud when I measured out 1/2 a pound on may scale, and saw how little it was. I used 3 pints of berries, which came out to be just over 2 pounds. I used about 4 1/2 Tbsp. of sugar, and doubled the lemon juice, and it was perfect. There were a few left over, but I would always choose to err on the side of more berries rather than less. I truly don’t understand how this could be done with 1/2 pound…

  70. Lucy

    I tried these yesterday, and alas they were a total disaster! I don’t know where I went wrong, as obviously it worked out well for everyone else! It may be a Limey problem (I’m in the UK), but they didn’t rise, and tasted horribly strongly of baking powder – ie, very bitter (it did seem a *lot* of baking powder: I’m used to adding only a teaspoon or so to cakes). Also the dough was very sticky to handle and I couldn’t cut shapes out very easily. I’ve made recipes from this site before and never had a problem, so don’t know what happened here! Maybe I just measured wrong. . .

  71. I made these over the weekend, and had an EPIC fail. I’m not sure if my apartment was too warm, if my butter was too bleh, if I missed a measuring tip somewhere….. but they were flat, limp, they didn’t brown or get golden…. they just spread, much like chocolate chip cookies do.
    Any thoughts? I mentioned them in my blog, I’m completely baffled at them. They tasted pretty good, but just….so odd.
    Luckily, the first rule of the kitchen is…. with enough fresh whipped cream, any culinary gaffes can be forgiven. :)

  72. I made these for guests last night, and while they looked pretty good, they had a bitter taste. I used Calumet Baking Powder. Would that give it a metalic-y taste? Otherwise, they had a nice lemon taste. Maybe my lemon zest was bitter? Any suggestions? Also, may I double the recipe? That is if I figure out the bitter thing – I love the scone idea! I am going to try your Icebox Cake today to serve on Father’s Day. My husband is so excited!

    1. deb

      The bitter/metallic taste almost always comes from using a baking powder with aluminum in it. Rumford, Clabber Girl and Bob’s Red Mill all make aluminum-free baking powders — you’ll be way happier with them.

  73. Kari

    I made these for Fathers Day and they were very good – mine had a “tang”, but not bitter and it was terrific- just can’t figure out where the “tang” came from as I did not use buttermilk. Our local strawberries out of Abbotsford, BC, Canada just came into the markets so the final product was brillant-thanks

  74. deb

    As I mentioned above (124) a funny taste can happen if you use a baking powder with aluminum in it, not in everything, but in things like these biscuits that have so much of it in them.

  75. Just made your shortcakes for Father’s Day dessert tonight. They were wonderful. I made the biscuits exactly as is, except substituting milk for cream. I only had 1 small container of cream and thought it more important for the whipped cream portion! I also used peaches as we had a ton of them on hand. I mad them ahead of time and pulled them out of the fridge just as we were finishing dinner. Dessert was delicious. Not to sweet and the perfect end to a summer meal.

  76. Lucy

    That’s interesting about the baking powder: I shall check my UK powder and see whether it’s aluminium-based at all. Thanks!

  77. Kristin

    Delicious! I’ve already made this twice since reading the recipe a few days ago; first when we had a friend join us for dinner and again the next day when I made dinner for a family that recently welcomed a new baby. My only problem is that I have leftover shortcakes and I’m in danger of eat them for b/l/d! :) Like a previous poster, I found a half pound of strawberries too scant, but it was no problem to increase the amount and adjust the other ingredients. I also mixed in sliced fresh peaches just before serving.Everyone liked it so much that this recipe goes in the family collection of favorites!

  78. Julia

    Yowza! I made these this morning for luncheon guests. The recipe caught my eye thanks to the hard boiled egg yolks. I have a cut-out cookie recipe that also includes egg yolks and it’s one of the best recipes I’ve ever had. Well add this one to the list. These shortcakes were divine! I used the zest of one full (large) orange which gave them a lovely speckle of orange color in addition to the wonderful taste. Texture was perfect and the taste was not overly sweet. I served with raspberries, whipped cream and a raspberry sauce thickened with a little raspberry jam. The brilliant red of the raspberries against the creamy color of the shortcakes was gorgeous. I can’t thank you enough for such an easy and dreamy recipe.

  79. R

    Hi Deb! I love this recipe and have used it three or four times… easy and delicious!
    Have you ever frozen the shortcake dough to use later? I picked up a pint of the most beautiful strawberries from the farmers market this morning and am craving these shortcakes! I just won’t eat an entire recipe for myself.
    I was thinking of forming the cakes, flash freezing and then transfer to ziplock. Have you ever tried?

  80. Veggiesaurus

    Absolutely delicious! I have been craving these since the recipe was first posted and finally had the opportunity to make them. I am a strawberry fanatic (addict?) and was so excited to try this recipe. (But I kept eating up all the fresh strawberries I brought home before I could get my hands on some all purpose white flour.) In fact, I used the most amazing Driscoll’s organic strawberries which are significantly more flavorful than inorganic strawberries. I do not have a food processor, so instead used a pastry cutter. The process was fairly simple and the shortcakes turned out beautifully. I did include the optional lemon zest and highly recommend doing so because it compliments the creamy and sweet flavors perfectly. I ended up baking for 22 minutes (rather than the 18-20 minutes) because when I sliced one open at 20 minutes, the center still seemed a little gooey. (Could this be caused by high elevation? I’m at approximately 4,800 ft.) For the whipped cream, I used 1 cup heavy whipping cream plus 3 tablespoons honey and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. The shortcakes came out warm, crispy on top and soft and crumbly in the center. The taste was very rich and slightly sweet with a light tangy lemon flavor. I used 1 pound of strawberries (rather than the 1/2 pound listed in the recipe) and found the quantity to be just about right. Next time I am considering trying either a 50/50 all purpose flour and whole wheat pastry flour mixture, or maybe even a 100% whole wheat pastry flour. All in all these strawberry shortcakes were delectable and put “foam discs” to shame everywhere! I highly recommend!

  81. Jeanneb

    My first batch is in the oven as I write this. Just looking at the dough, I can tell they’re going to be scrumptious! I used both lemon and orange zest. I also used a 3-in serrated cookie cutter, and it still made 7 cakes. Plus 3 smaller cakes made from the in-between dough (extra handling didn’t seem to hurt them).

    QUESTION: I want to make these for Christmas dinner. But I can’t be assembling the dough at the last minute. I can either…

    A) refrigerate the dough longer than two hours (more like 4 hrs), then pop them in the oven as soon as we finish dinner.
    B) Cook them that morning, 4-6 hrs in advance? Perhaps reheat them slightly in the microwave? Or will they “harden” in the meantime?

    I’m going to need 14 servings. Given limited processor capacity, I think I’ll have to make two separate batches.


    Oh my, they’re as good as everyone said! I think I might cut back the sugar just slightly. Or perhaps I over-sprinkled the demerara sugar on top. I’ll probably reduce both at Christmas. I had to cook for 27 minutes, probably because I used the 3-inch cutter. They really are superb.

    I’m going to let some of these sit for several hours today. Will they harden? We’ll see. Will also try microwaving one for a few seconds to see how that turns out.

    Will report back later. ….. Thanks for this fabulous recipe!

  82. elizabeth

    I made these for two dinner parties this week and served them with both vanilla scented whipped cream and the basil ice cream from David Lebowitz’s book (which is excellent, but you already know that.) The second time, we got carried away talking and left them in the oven too long. They got pretty crispy on the bottom but no one was willing to give them up. We just sat them in a little extra strawberry juice and they were actually still quite tender in the middle.

    They are excellent and I will make them from now on. My only quibble was with the cuttingg instructions. If you pat it out and just cut six wedges, fine. But if you pat it out the first time large enough to cut six shapes, you end up with a lot of excess dough and thinner shortcakes. (Not too thin, but thinner than I like.) Next time I will either repat the scraps and cut out eight thinner shapes or preferably pat out a thick, smaller circle the first time, cut three or four shortcakes, then pat the scraps and cut another two or three. Then I’ll still have my six cute shapes AND they’ll be as thick as I like.

    Thanks for this post!

  83. Karen

    I just made these yesterday for dessert for our first cookout of the season. They were delicious! Especially with the wonderful strawberries that I picked up at a roadside stand on a back country road in rural Virginia. My shortcakes didn’t rise as much as yours—they seemed to spread out instead of rising tall. Not sure why that happened. But, they still tasted wonderful. I’ll be making these again.

  84. brittany

    i just quadrupled this recipe for a graduation party. I just made the dough first and then refrigerated until i had 4 dough balls then I cut to size. they allllllllll loved them. esp. the lemony hint they had. :) i made my whipped cream a lil differently. i added a tablespoon of sugar to the whipping cream and less to the strawberry mixture. either way it turned out fan-tabousls!

  85. Rachel

    I just made your recipe with fresh-picked strawberries. These were the best shortcakes I’ve ever had – unlike most, which taste like dry globs of cement, these were moist, chewy, and lemony. Like eating a drop of sunshine, basically. Good job, Deb, you haven’t failed me yet.

  86. elaine

    loved this recipe but had trouble with the shortcakes holding the nice scalloped shape of the cookie cutter, they flattened out somewhat, any feedback on where i might have gone wrong is welcomed

  87. Kyra H

    I must say that my shortcakes came out perfect on the first try! And they are rather easy to make. I will be adding these to the rotation :) Thanks!

  88. nandini

    these look so so so good… desperate search for substitute for hard boiled egg yolks starting now! we are not allowed to get egg home.. indian vegetarian thing. sad face.

  89. Jessica

    I LOVE THIS RECIPE! I made it for my first time today and it turned out absolutely WONDERFUL. All of my guests loved it as well (even my parents who aren’t big super sweet dessert fans). The only thing I changed was the whipped cream: I added a little bit of vanilla extract and confectioners sugar for some extra flavor. I also love the syrupy lemony-sugar that coats the strawberries. I ended up just eating that and whipped cream after the shortcakes were gone. DELICIOUS! :)

  90. Dave

    Just wanted you to know that this recipe is still going strong after two years. I made it tonight and it may be the best shortcake I have ever had. My Susie was liking the plate. Thanks for the recipe.

  91. Cathi

    I made these for Memorial Day picnic…they were heaven. I had never had strawberry shortcake with an actual shortcake before…they were a big hit.

  92. SO disappointed in this recipe – it’s the first time smittenkitchen has ever let me down! I wish I’d read the comments as mine also tasted horribly bitter with too much baking powder.

  93. Lauren: before giving up on biscuit-style shortcakes, you might want to try a few things. First, check your baking powder. If it has aluminum, replace it with a brand that contains none. You’ll be glad you did. Second, scale back on the baking powder to a scant tablespoon. Finally, if you’re adding citrus zest, make sure you’re not going all the way down to the white pith, which is quite overwhelmingly bitter. One pass of the zester per area is all you should make.

  94. Shanti

    I made this today to celebrate national strawberry short cake day.It was super delicious! A unique and simple recipe. Thanks!!

  95. Joanna

    I did just about everything wrong on this recipe, and it was still AMAZING!

    I was cooking for 8, so I decided to make 1.5x the shortcake dough. But I made this decision after hardboiling only 2 eggs, with no time to boil another. So I took a third egg, separated it, and added it the yolk in with the cream. I then left the dough out in the heat for an hour during transporting, during which time I got really nervous the butter would melt and screw up the texture. When it was finally time to put the biscuits in the oven, I forgot to add the cream and sugar to the top. Then my friends were in a rush at the end, so we skipped cutting the biscuits in half and instead just dumped the whipped cream (slightly-sweetened) and strawberries over the top.

    It was the best dessert I’ve ever made, hands down. (Fresh greenmarket berries definitely had something to do with it.) Now I can’t WAIT to make it again without all the screwups!

  96. lynne

    I like the orange zest touch in this recipe. I totally cheat I use bisquick with a bottle of cream soda. I bake my shortcake in a loaf pan – then I just slice the loaf and spoon the berries over the slice and top the berries with fresh whipped cream. It’s easier then patting out and cutting out the individual cakes and it is the perfect absorbent slice of heaven for soaking up the juice from the berries.

  97. PB Fiend

    I made these last night. They were perfect! Well, the first time I used baking soda instead of baking powder, as the recipe specified. Those went in the garbage. But when I redid the recipe properly, they were perfect, and so impressive. Thank you, Deb!!!

  98. Heather

    How do the cakes change if I use 1/2 & 1/2 instead of heavy cream? I don’t want to go to the store for it. Thanks! LOVE your site!!

  99. Jennifer

    I will admit, I was super nervous about trying this recipe due to the fact that hard boiled egg yolks were used, but so thankful that I tried it! I’ve never seen a recipe like that before, and strawberry shortcakes were the best first time for me! They are amazing! Its winter, and they took me right back to the perfect summers evening!

    Next time, I want to try using the bisquick. I omitted the orange zest/lemon also, as I am not a big fan, and they still turned out great!

    Thanks for the great recipe!

  100. You know why I love your website? Because I can find trusted recipes for almost anything that I decide to make on a whim. Macaroni and cheese, pb cookies, chocolate cake, curry (yummy red kidney bean curry), tomato soup, potato soup, lentils, all delicious. Thanks for all your hard work. And, because red ripe strawberries from Huelva, Spain are available in 2kg cases in the last week of February in the town where I live, I’ll be trying out this shortcake recipe tomorrow. Thanks!

  101. Cait

    Just made these tonight and they were so yummy! I love the “Suprise Me” button! These biscuits were not too sweet and were perfectly flaky. I did have to add a little bit of milk to the powder (then a little flour since I added to much milk), but they came out so well. A nice pair with the sweet strawberries! Thanks!

  102. Abby

    I made the shortcakes this morning, but shaped them as rabbits and used dried figs for eyes. They absolutely made Easter breakfast and everyone loves them! Even though I agree that shortcakes are made for strawberries and cream, I’m happy to report these are also delicious with plain old butter and jam! Thanks!

  103. Eliza

    LOVE them! I skipped the sugar on top. Perfect alone but great with fruit. I might make them for Mother’s Day brunch! So flaky!

  104. Martha

    I want to make mini strawberry shortcakes for a baby shower this weekend, and I’m looking for a good recipe for the biscuits. This looks amazing, but just wondering – can anyone who has made it foresee any challenges with making mini ones? I’d adjust the baking time, of course.

  105. I love this shortcake! I made it for a family event and it received rave reviews. Most shortcake recipes end up being too sweet, too gummy, or too crumbly. This one has a very tender texture and a great flavor. Zest might be optional, but is a must in my book (especially if you add a little Cointreau to your strawberries!).

    Thanks for the great recipe!

  106. Eliza

    We LOVE these! This time I used 100% white whole wheat flour (from King Arthur). They’re so awesome, especially with the season’s first berries. MMMM!

  107. Tina

    Just made these for a Fathers’ Day brunch. They were perfect, the best any of us had ever had. (The cooked egg yolks were a stroke of genius) My husband said it reminded him of a French patisserie. Homemade whipped cream and late spring strawberries made for a peak experience! Love your blog. Thanks so much for sharing.

  108. Laura Jeanne

    Also made these for Fathers day this year – just wanted to chime in and say I made these dairy-free (using coconut oil for the butter and full fat coconut milk for the heavy cream) and they turned out delicious!!! The slight coconut flavor combined with the lemon zest and was wonderful . . .I didn’t even miss the whipped cream :)
    Thanks – always look here first when searching for recipes!

  109. Lina

    A friend served these when she hosted Brunch Club. The entire meal was fantastic, but these shortcakes stole the show. I can’t wait to make them myself!

  110. rochelle

    Delicious! I know it sounds weird, but I would add just a TINY bit of freshly ground pepper to the strawberries. It’s just one of those odd (yet fabulous) pairings.

  111. Elaine

    Is the sugar amount correct at 3 1/2 tablespoons? I made these today for a family lunch and it was unedible. I love shortbread that I not too sweet but these were completely bitter and we threw it all away. So disappointing bc I have made these before and they were divine but this is NOT the same recipe. Thanks!!!

    1. deb

      Elaine — It is correct as I prefer shortcakes that aren’t very sweet. Bitterness might have more to do with your baking powder — do you use an aluminum-free one?

  112. Jules

    I was looking for something special to make for Valentine’s Day, and I figured these looked good…but I had no idea when I decided to make them just HOW good they’d be. That orange zest? Holy S*** was that fantastic. It’s beautiful, follow the recipe to the T, it’s perfection itself. I had no idea strawberry shortcake could taste like this.

  113. This recipe was amazing. I followed to a t! Everyone enjoyed these at my husbands birthday and 2 went back for seconds, more might have but I only had 2 extra and they were swooped up. I will absolutely make again. Thanks for the delicious recipe.

  114. Ariel

    For folks with no food processor – the James Beard Foundation website recommends making shortcakes with this boiled-egg technique by hand easier by forcing the egg yolk through a fine-mesh sieve in order to get a really fine crumble that integrates well with the rest of the dry ingredients. I’m about to try this out myself!

  115. Priyanka

    This recipe is amazing! I am always afraid of making a sough of any sort and have used bisquick in the past to make drop biscuits. Never, ever again!

    I followed the recipe exactly. I wrapped the dough and put in the freezer for a few minutes to get nice and cold as my kitchen was super hot. I rolled them out much thinner than the recipe called for (mainly because I can’t eyeball measure at all) and used a biscuit cutter. Froze them and baked them the next day directly from the freezer (left them on the counter for about 5 minutes)

    Perfection! The family loved it and I was seriously amazed at how good it was! Thank you Deb!

  116. Shelly

    Hahaha ….. I just picked 15 pounds of strawberries (and I live alone), but I couldn’t stop picking the beautiful juicy most perfect looking berries I have ever seen. So now its Deb’s strawberry shortcakes for everyone at work tomorrow. Thanks for a great recipe!!

  117. marilyn

    OMG..these are outrageous. When my son’s gf requested strawberry shortcake for her birthday, I was at a lost. So he sent me a link to this recipe. I read it over twice, three times….hard boiled eggs? Really? I have been baking for 50+ years and have never seen this. but I was game. What a great idea….they were a real hit. Thanks so much. I used a glass to make the rounds, but would love to get that device you used.

    Thanks for this wonderful recipe and the introduction to your site. I will be doing this recipe again soon and looking forward to trying more from this site. Thanks again.

    1. deb

      marilyn — Should not be a problem. The biscuit cutters are generic “fluted biscuit cutters.” Shouldn’t be too hard to find online. You also might consider a set like this. Not as tall and doesn’t have the handle, but they then can be used for cookies or any other cut-outs, so they’re more useful.

  118. Florence

    O-M-G!!!!! I made these for a dinner party of 6 friends and the plates were wiped clean. I’ve never made shortcake pastry before. I just followed the recipe without taking particular care and they came out to die for!!! The shortcake itself was so amazing I think I’m going to make a batch for a weekend breakfast. Thanks so much for this recipe. It was so easy and shockingly delicious!

  119. Laura

    I made these for a fancy dinner tonight, and they were terrific. I made the dough last night and froze it until I baked the shortcakes. They came out perfectly with a few more minutes of baking time. Thanks for the great recipe.

  120. Hosyergirl

    Made these with a dash of cinnamon.WOWEE! My grandmother claimed mace was a great pairing with strawberries. Instead of adding spice to the strawberries, I added the cinnamon to the shortcake. A decor of mint and a light powdered sugar over top and it was spectacular. Should have taken a picture to share. This dessert should be served on fancy dessert plates to up the aura. This will be a favorite in my home for generations.THANK YOU SOOOO MUCH!!!!

  121. theresa m

    I recently made the base shortcake recipe and added 1 T lemon juice and 1 t pestle culinary lavender to the mix. I also made a sherry berry coulis and heated it until the pectin developed on the stove to mix with the whipped cream to make a mousse of sorts. This site has definitely inspired me to think outside the box and has amazing base recipes!

  122. Heather

    Made these for Memorial Day cookout. Wow. So so so glad there were left over biscuits because I savor them at breakfast. Ah-mazing with the orange zest. Trusted you on the cooked egg yolk and for some reason-it works.
    Did not have an issue using the stand up mixer and doubling the recipe. Worked great.
    Really like the idea of adding lavender. I’d consider rosemary, too.

  123. anna

    Just made these, and they were a dream. I don’t have a food processor, so I just used my hands (crumbled the egg first and cut the butter into cubes) but followed the directions as written.

    I used very cold butter and rubbed the egg (or butter) and the flour inbetween my fingers. Maybe not the cleanest and it takes a bit longer, but it worked out great!

    Very tasty, thanks!!!

  124. Rachel

    Oh my goodness, these were wonderful! The shortcakes were tender with just the right amount of crumbly-ness. They’re event tasty to eat without the berries and cream, like a buttery scone.
    I cut the round into 9 slightly smaller wedges, and they turned out great with no adjustment in baking time. I mixed in some blackberries with the strawberries, because I felt like it. All put together, it had just the right amount of sweetness.

  125. Kris

    I tried these without a food processor and I’m not sure if it went well or not. They definitely are light and taste fine with the strawberries, but they don’t have the millions of flaky layers a good scone has, and they’re dry. The finished product has specks of yellow egg yolk visible in it…not sure if that’s meant to be that way. It was my first time making shortcake so I might try a recipe that uses uncooked eggs to see if it’s any better.

  126. Julie

    Hi Deb, I realize this recipe is from your early days. I made it in 2016 and misread the cream amount, adding the extra Tbsp to the dough. The shortcakes didn’t hold their shape. (Could be old b.p., don’t know.) And I didn’t see coarse sugar in the ing. list. I made notes on my printout. Maybe you could edit the ing. section. I also made bread and butter pickles. They were perfect, like most things here.

  127. Ha! A multilayered strawberry shortcake. What more perfect rainy day project could there be. My grandpa recently requested one for his 92nd birthday picnic – the last to be held at the home he and his wife have lived in for the last 30+ years.

    I was hoping to make one, but as a nomad without her own home or kitchen, it’s pretty hard to arrange. About half the kitchens of our petsits could accommodate this type of baking, but maybe, just maybe I can plan to bake the cakes and then decorate them the next day if they can hold well enough on our trip to PA.

    Thanks for inspiring this thought process.
    Strawberry shortcake is what my name used to always make me for my birthdays too.

  128. Jarlis

    Just made my first batch of these for this year and they are so perfect. They have become a summer staple in out house. With berries and whipped cream for dessert or with greek yogurt for a indulgent breakfast treat. YUM!
    Ever tried making a chocolate version of them?

  129. Lexy

    I realize that most of the comments on this thread are from nearly a decade ago (how is that possible!?), but I’m hoping someone (or Deb ;)) can tell me what I’m doing wrong. I’ve been making these for years but they always come out flat (too flat to slice in half) and I can never get them to brown well on the top. They’re delicious – so I will continue to make them – but they do not look like the photos at all. I make them exactly as directed (and I weigh my ingredients, so it’s not a precision thing), I guess I’m just wondering how to get a prettier shortcake! Any tips appreciated!

      1. Michelle Lancet

        This is my favorite shortcake recipe and it’s my requested birthday dessert every single year and usually mother’s day, too. My daughter has taken over the baking of these as she’s the resident baker now.

        To those leary of adding the egg yolks—you’ll never taste ‘em!
        Do not leave out the lemon zest—it adds that little something . Thank you for this tried and true recipe!

  130. Christie

    I do not have a food processor that is large enough to put all of the dough ingredients in. Will a stand mixer work?

      1. This recipe is definitely amazing, but I wanted to ask has anyone found a way to reduce the amount of sugar in the recipe? I know it’s a bit of a funny question (seeing that this is a desert after all) but recently, I’m finding things a bit too sweet for my liking (especially after being overseas). I tried to cut the sugar straightaway but found, that because my strawberries weren’t as sweet the flavor was a little more bland than I’d hoped. Any thoughts?

      2. This recipe is awesome, but I wanted to ask if there’s a way anyone has been able to reduce the amount of sugar while still maintaining the taste? I know this is a desert, but after some time overseas I’m finding that I don’t handle the sugar as well. I tried just cutting back on the sugar straightway, but I guess the strawberries I used weren’t naturally sweet enough so the whole thing came out kind of bland for my sugar-reduced version. Any thoughts?

  131. Emma

    Man, a lot of these comments are quite old! A few comments for the uninitiated: well the lemon zest is listed as optional, I *highly* recommend including. Be sure to properly chill the dough before baking or it will spread too much. On a related note, I like to place my rounds on the pan so that they’re all just touching, the same way I make biscuits- I think it helps them rise, and rise straight. The flavor is lovely, and the texture is perfect for absorbing juices :).

  132. Mary

    I was looking for a strawberry shortcake recipe and came here and found this. I know this is from your early (pre kid even?) days, so I have to ask. Do you still make this recipe this way? I usually stick with your recipes but TBH, the 2 hard boiled egg yolks sent me back to the interwebs because it just seemed too fussy for the Tuesday night I have a ton of strawberries situation I am in… (it’s ok, I found a very simple shortcake recipe that was great !)