7 Summer Shortcake Recipes

7 Summer Shortcake Recipes

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James Beard was a sucker for his mother’s strawberry shortcakes — and with good reason, too. Her recipe for sweet biscuits included a secret ingredient to guarantee perfect dough: hard-boiled egg yolks. Of course, what American culinary icon would Beard be if he didn’t love this treat? They might be red, white, and beige, but strawberry shortcakes are about as American as a dessert can get.

Click here to see 7 Summer Shortcake Recipes

In the 1850s, strawberry shortcake parties were a popular way to kick off summer in the States. (The fact that this is the only sort of strawberry shortcake party to happen these days is something of a tragedy.) They’re not celebrated in the same way anymore, but shortcakes are still as well-liked as they used to be — if not more. Today, the classic dessert has extended far past its original model of a biscuit, strawberries, and softly whipped cream.

The crispy biscuit frequently gets substituted out for a tender cake — be it sponge, angel, or pound. And while strawberries may still be the favored fruit for shortcakes, they’re gaining some competition. Blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries all make for equally delicious alternatives, and stone fruits are slowly working their way into the mix, as well.

Yesterday, Driscoll’s stopped by The Daily Meal office to showcase their seasonal strawberries. Can you guess what dish they chose to make for a bunch of hungry food writers? (Clue: James Beard would have been a fan.)

Laura Baddish, president of the public relation agency for Driscoll's, took the time to share some shortcake tips with us as she whipped cream to fill and garnish the biscuits.

First, to keep berries fresh as long as possible, put them in the fridge right after you get home from the grocery store — but don’t wash them just yet. Only rinse the berries immediately before use, and make sure you dry them thoroughly afterward.

When we asked her opinion on one of the greatest debates in shortcake history — are the layers cake-berries-cream or cake-cream-berries — Baddish was firm in her response: “Cream first, so the berries have something to get centered on, like a cushion.” Not to mention, it helps prevent biscuit sogginess.

According to a poll that Driscoll’s conducted to celebrate National Strawberry Shortcake Day (today!), 37 percent of respondents said their favorite “cake” for strawberry shortcake is — get this — angel food cake. “Believe it or not,” said Baddish, “biscuits are not number one.”

The Loveless Café in Nashville is all about reinventing the dessert. Pastry chef Alisa Huntsman makes an angel food cake shortcake with a strawberry-rhubarb compote, plus a pound cake shortcake with peaches and a bourbon-spiked caramel sauce.

So don’t feel too badly about ditching mama Beard’s classic and getting a little creative in the kitchen, and check out our recipes for inspiration on how to create your own. Just no cartoon napkins, please.

Old-Fashioned Strawberry Shortcake

I'm a fan of salt and sweet mixed together. My grandmother Lizzie Paulk often used biscuits in place of pastry in her recipes. Nowadays, most people use angel food cake or pound cake for this dessert, but I like the old-fashioned mix of the not-so-sweet biscuit with the sweetness of the strawberries and the whipped cream. I serve this dessert in the summer with fresh-picked berries from our local strawberry farm.

Swap option: Instead of making a composed cake, you can turn this into personal-sized bowls. Cut the cooked cake into cubes and assemble the cake pieces, berries and cream in individuals cups or bowls.

Recipe Summary

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg, or to taste
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 egg
  • ⅓ cup milk

Preheat an oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Grease an 8-inch baking pan.

Sift flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg in a large bowl. Cut in butter with a knife or pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Beat egg and milk in another bowl stir into flour mixture until batter is just blended. Spread batter in the prepared baking pan.

Bake in preheated oven until golden, about 15 minutes. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack.

Piña Colada Popsicles

Courtesy of Health-Ade Kombucha

Popsicles and pool days are a power couple. You'll use a can of coconut milk and some fresh or frozen pineapple to make this quintessential summertime treat. But there's a surprise ingredient in these non-alcoholic piña colada pops. Bet you didn't expect them to be spiked with kombucha!

Get our recipe for Piña Colada Popsicles.

Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Nothing throws you back to childhood like a plate of fried chicken. If you thought that preparing this dish falls outside of your skill range, just wait till you try this easy recipe anyone can whip up at home. When it comes to celebrating summer, nothing does it like a steaming plate of crispy, fall-off-the-bone fried chicken.

40 Dessert Recipes Everyone Should Bake This Summer

Bake your way through summertime with these seasonal dessert recipes. Summer is a great time to experiment with fresh flavors from fruits that are in season like berries and citrus. If seasonal fruit doesn’t catch your eye, there’s plenty of recipes that will help you keep your cool during the summer heat, like our Peach Melba Ice-Cream Pie. Choose a few recipes to make each week and you’ll be on your way to mastering some new baking skills by the time Labor Day rolls around. These refreshing ideas are jam-packed with fresh flavors like strawberry, Key lime, pineapple, and more. Some are even inspired by classic Southern drinks, like our Sweet Tea-and-Lemonade Cake and our Coca-Cola Chocolate Cake. From Bundt cakes to cobblers, once you’ve made your way through this tasty list, you’ll be able to take on any baking project that comes your way.

Homemade Whipped Cream

Just 3 ingredients here: cold heavy cream or heavy whipping cream, sugar, and vanilla extract. The colder the heavy cream, the more volume your whipped cream has. Unlike store-bought whipped cream, you can control the amount of sugar. I prefer lightly sweetened whipped cream with strawberry shortcake, so we’ll only use 2 Tablespoons. And another thing! Homemade whipped cream tastes 100x better than store-bought. It’s refreshing, creamy, and pillow-soft.

With its light and billowy texture, whipped cream is the perfect topping for pies, cakes, cupcakes, cheesecake, trifles, and so much more!

Strawberry Shortcake S’mores

Two classic desserts collide, S’mores and a traditional Strawberry Shortcake Recipe, into one marvelous treat. Strawberry Shortcake S’mores are nostalgic, indulgent, and bursting with fresh summer berries!

I wait all year long for shortcake season… known by it’s more popular name summer.

And when it finally arrives, I’m prepared.

I stock up on bright blushing Driscoll’s Strawberries, butter, and cream so that when the craving strikes, I can whip up a batch of warm crumbling shortcakes in no time at all.

Yet this year, I’ve been dreaming about my strawberry shortcake recipe so much, all sorts of variations have come to mind.

Today’s S’mores Strawberry Shortcake Recipe is one such variation that has become a new family favorite.

After all, it’s not one dessert.

It’s two treats transformed into a gooey, sticky, chocolate dripping, berry-filled sandwich of sugary perfection.

These s’mores are built on thin freshly baked shortcakes.

The shortcakes are soft and tender so the fillings don’t all squeeze out when you bite into them. Okay… they do a little, but not like they would if you were using graham crackers or shortbread cookies.

Once baked, I cut gorgeous ripe Driscoll’s strawberries into think slices and topped the shortcake halves with milk chocolate pieces and marshmallows.

Then I placed the shortcakes under the broiler for just to few seconds, so the chocolate would melt and the marshmallows toasted.

Simply squash the toasted marshmallows flat, pile on fresh dripping strawberries, and sandwich the two sides together!

Seriously friends, this is one of the best treats I’ve shared this year.

A must-make on your “Desserts You Gotta Try” Pinterest Board.

No campfire needed for these s’mores.

With fresh Driscoll’s Berries available all year long, you can have this S’mores Strawberry Shortcake Recipe anytime you want!

Easy drop berry shortcakes

A couple weeks ago, and because I admittedly ask my husband to pick up strawberries on his way home far more often than I have an exact “agenda” for them besides, you know, breakfast, lunch, and dinner — I made the strawberry shortcake recipe in the archives. These famed shortcakes — my version is adapted from Claudia Fleming and Russ Parsons, but this same approach was favorite by James Beard and more, I suspect they all hung out together — are unique in that instead of using eggs or just egg yolks, they use the yolks of two hard-boiled eggs. This allows the yolks to do their wonders (golden color, velvety texture) without ostensibly toughening the dough. It’s all very sound. It tastes very good. And it is the reason that I make shortcakes approximately once every four years.

Shortcakes, in the biscuit/scone category of “bakes” (so help me, I’ve fallen into a GBBO rabbit hole and I never want to leave), are quick things, or they should be. They should take 5 minutes to assemble, 15 minutes to bake, and once they’re cool, they should be split and immediately heaped with macerated fresh berries and an unholy amount of whipped cream. This recipe in the archives — requiring that you’ve already made, cooled, and stashed away hard-boiled eggs — begs to differ. Still, a little extra work isn’t always a deal-breaker if the results are otherworldly, but this time, everything bothered me: the taste of baking powder, which isn’t usually an issue, was overwhelming. The cakes weren’t very tall, but quite crumbly. They didn’t have much of an edge or color to them at all, and to top it all off, I’m sorry to any person I’ve left wanting in the past, but half a pound of strawberries is woefully insufficient for kinds of shortcakes I like to eat and share. I like ones that spill, that cannot and will not be limited to the confines of a biscuit half.

I went back to the kitchen and tried again. A few rounds later, I have found the shortcake I want us to take into the next generation, but especially this weekend: a tall, craggy, crunchy-edged shortcake that’s a cinch to make, requiring no rolling pins, round cutters, unusual ingredients, or more pressingly, advanced planning to put together and manages to be both soft and moist inside but sturdy enough to not dissolve into soggy nothingness under berry juices. Or at least not before you can eat them.


Easy Drop Berry Scones

  • Servings: 6 generous, 8 petite
  • Time: 20 minutes plus cooling time

Quite often, when a recipe calls for 2 egg yolks, it can be replaced with 1 whole egg. However, I never tried it here. I wanted the richness and color. But, I suspect it will not ruin anything if you want to find out how it goes.

Note: The photos above show a half-recipe.

To finish

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, granulated sugar, and salt until thoroughly combined. Add butter and using your fingertips or a pastry blender, break it into small bits, the largest should be no bigger than a small pea. In a small bowl, whisk yolks with a splash of cream, then pour rest of cream in and whisk to combine. Pour into butter-flour mixture and use a rubber spatula to mix and mash it together into one cohesive dough.

Divide dough into 6 (for large, 3 1/2 to 3 3/4-inch wide and up to 2-inch tall) shortcakes or 8 smaller ones. I do this by pressing the dough somewhat flat into the bottom of the bowl (to form a circle) and using a knife to divide it into pie-like wedges. Place raw or turbinado sugar in a small bowl. Roll each wedge of shortcake into a ball in your hands and roll it through the raw/turbinado sugar, coating it in all but a small area that you should leave bare. (I found that the sugar underneath the shortcakes would burn, so better to leave it off.)

Place it, bare spot down, on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining wedges of dough. Bake for 15 minutes, until lightly golden all over. Let cool completely on tray or on a cooling rack.

While cooling, prepare fruit and cream: Mix berries, 2 tablespoons sugar (more or less to taste), and lemon juice, if desired, in a bowl and let macerate so that the juices run out.

In a larger bowl, beat cream until soft peaks form. Add sugar to taste, or leave unsweetened, if that’s your preference.

To serve: Carefully split each cooled shortcake with a serrated knife. Spoon berries and their juices over bottom half. Heap generously with whipped cream. Place shortcake “lid” on top. Eat immediately and don’t forget to share.

Do ahead: Shortcakes keep well for a day at room temperature. I prefer to keep them uncovered. I found on the second day, they were a little more firm but not half-bad, but they’re definitely “best” on day one.

Strawberry Shortcake

Trisha Yearwood, award-winning country music superstar and best-selling cookbook author, said that her Grandma Lizzie prepared strawberry shortcakes like a regular cake: she baked the layers in standard round cake pans, then filled and topped them with whipped cream and fresh strawberries. “I even have a photo of my mom and me and my sister, Beth, at a Williams Sonoma book signing years ago with this cake in the background.”


4 cups (1 lb./500 g) sifted all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2 Tbs. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 1/4 cups (10 oz./310 g) sugar
2/3 cup (5 oz./155 g) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 eggs
1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) milk
2 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
3 pints (1 1/2 lb./750 g) fresh strawberries
1 cup (8 fl. oz./250) ml heavy cream, whipped


Preheat an oven to 450°F (230°C). Grease the bottoms of two 9-inch (23-cm) round cake pans.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and 1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g) of the sugar. Add the cold butter and cut in with 2 knives or a pastry blender to coarse-crumb consistency.

In another large bowl, beat the eggs. Add the milk and beat until fully combined. Gradually stir the egg and milk mixture into the flour mixture. On a lightly floured board, knead the dough for no more than 1 minute. Pat half of the dough into each cake pan. Brush the surfaces with the melted butter. Bake until lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Turn the shortcake layers out onto wire racks and let cool.

While the layers are cooling, wash the strawberries and remove the hulls. Reserve a few berries for garnish. Cut the large berries in half, transfer to a large bowl and sprinkle with the remaining 3/4 cup (6 oz./185 g) sugar. Let stand for about 30 minutes.

Place one shortcake layer on a cake stand or serving plate. Spread half of the whipped cream over the cake and spoon half of the berries with their juice on top. Place the second shortcake layer on top, spread the remaining whipped cream over the cake and spoon the remaining berries and juice over the whipped cream. Garnish with the reserved whole berries. Serves 8.

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