The Best Strawberry Shortcake, Two Ways

Strawberry shortcake two ways – one recipe for a sweet biscuit-like shortcake and one recipe for a cake-like strawberry shortcake, because I aim to please.

Strawberry shortcake two ways - one recipe for a sweet biscuit-like shortcake and one recipe for a cake-like strawberry shortcake, because I aim to please.

There are two kinds of people in this world – people who like a cake-like strawberry shortcake and those who like a biscuit-like strawberry shortcake. Which side are you on?

I’m not sure where the distinction comes from, but it seems to be geographically as well as family-of-origin based. I wanted to share with you today my favorite cake-like and biscuit-like strawberry shortcake recipes because I’m here to please everyone.

Strawberry Shortcake - Cake-Like

When I was a kid, we lived a few acres just outside of our little town in Southern Indiana. We road bikes up and down our country road, played basketball in our gravel driveway, and grew the most delicious strawberries in our garden. My dad would grow enough berries for us to eat, make freezer jam with, and even sell to a few passers-by. My siblings and I were in charge of picking the berries in the morning before the sun got too hot. We’d go in for lunch and help mom sort and get the berries into cartons, and then we’d spend the rest of the afternoon with a homemade sign and a card table in front of our house. We’d wave down cars with vigor and before we knew it, we’d have a few dollars in our pencil box and an empty table. Mom and Dad lets us save that money to buy souvenirs when we went on vacation to Gulf Shores, Alabama in the summer.

Strawberry Shortcake - Biscuits

We fussed and bickered when it came time to pick the berries some mornings, but looking back, those muggy summer mornings spent in the garden with my siblings are some of my favorite memories. The grass would be heavy with dew, we’d eat strawberries until we were full, and we’d show off the biggest or most perfect berries we found to each other. My brother would catch huge grasshoppers to throw at my little sister, and we’d sing the most current songs we loved. Ideal childhood in my opinion.

I think memories like these are why we are working so hard right now to get our own little piece of land and house – I want this for my kids.

Strawberry Shortcake - Batter

Delicious sun-warmed Indiana strawberries are one of my favorite foods. After dinner, we’d often have strawberry shortcake or homemade ice cream with berries for dessert. I loved my mom’s strawberry shortcake. It was a sweet drop biscuit. My husband grew up with cake for his strawberry shortcake and that’s what he stills loves. I have to admit, I really like them both. So instead of being on Team Sweet Biscuit or on Team Cake, I’m here to let you know that can have the best of both worlds – make them both!

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Strawberry Shortcake - Biscuits Alone

Sweet Biscuit Strawberry Shortcake

This sweet biscuit strawberry shortcake is summertime perfection! The addition of an egg makes the biscuit a bit more dense/sturdy than other drop biscuits. The sparkling sugar on top is optional, but makes this shortcake beautiful and extra-tasty.

Sweet Biscuit Strawberry Shortcake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Sweet biscuit-like shortcake recipe.
Makes: Makes 9 large shortcakes
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 5 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) cold butter, cut into 8 pieces
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • ½ cup whole milk or 2% milk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tablespoons sprinkling sugar, optional
  • 1-2 pounds fresh strawberries, hulled, sliced, and sweetened to your liking
  • 2-4 cups freshly whipped cream (sweetened if you like)
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, add the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Stir to combine. Add the butter and use a pastry blender, two knives, a fork, or your hands to cut the butter into the flour, until it resembles small crumbs with pieces of butter no larger than a pea.
  3. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Add the beaten egg and milk and stir just until the mixture comes together.
  4. Using a large spoon, place a mound of dough on the baking sheet. You should use about ½ cup of dough for each biscuit. Repeat with remaining dough. Sprinkle dough with sparkling sugar.
  5. Bake until the shortcakes are golden brown, 12-14 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.
  6. To serve, split the shortcake in half, add strawberries and whipped cream, and then top with the second half of the biscuit. Enjoy right away. Store leftover shortcakes at room temperature, separate from the berries and whipped cream.


Strawberry Shortcake - Cake Alone

Cake-Like Strawberry Shortcake

Simple, sturdy cake is one of our favorite ways to enjoy strawberry shortcake. This recipe is easy enough for any non-baker and baker alike. We love this recipe!

Cake-Like Strawberry Shortcake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Cake-like strawberry shortcake recipe
Makes: Serves 9
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1-2 pounds fresh strawberries, hulled, sliced, and sweetened to your liking
  • 2-4 cups freshly whipped cream (sweetened if you like)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9-inch square baking dish (or line it with parchment).
  2. In a medium bowl, add the sugar and melted butter and stir to combine well. Add the egg and vanilla and stir to combine. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt, and beat with an electric mixture or stand mixer to combine. Add the milk and beat again until the mixture is smooth with no lumps. Place the batter in the prepared pan.
  3. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the cake is lightly golden and springs back when lightly touched. Remove from the oven and allow to cool at least 30 minutes before serving.
  4. To serve, slice the cake into 9 pieces. Remove one piece from the pan and split it down the middle. Top half of the cake with strawberries and whipped cream, add the second half of cake, and top with more whipped cream and strawberries. Serve right away. Store any leftover cake covered at room temperature, separate from any leftover strawberries or whipped cream.
It's best to use an electric hand mixer or a stand mixer for this cake. I've made it a few times where I stirred it all by hand and I was left with little flour chunks in my batter and cake. Incorporating the milk with an electric mixture helped to ensure there were no flour chunks in my cake.


Strawberry Shortcake

A few more thoughts for you about these recipes:

  • I like to make the biscuits the day of serving.
  • The cake can be made a day in advance and kept covered.
  • I had great luck doubling the cake recipe and placing it in a sheet pan. I baked it for about 15 minutes and then added a layer of strawberries, a layer of whipped cream, and then more strawberries. I took it like this to a big family party and sliced it there. It was a great and easy way to make strawberry shortcake for a crowd.
  • I like to add a tablespoon or two of sugar to my cut strawberries and let them sit while I make the shortcake. This gives the strawberries some time to release their juices and makes a nice syrup to drizzle on top of the shortcakes. So good.
  • To make whipped cream, I simply add 1-2 cups of heavy whipping cream, 1/4 cup powdered sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla to the bowl of my stand mixer and beat until soft peaks form. SO much better than anything pre-made from the store. Very worth the 5 minutes of prep, if you ask me.

Strawberry Shortcake - Dough


I think that you should make both of these recipes. Maybe not on the same day, but I’m pretty sure that you’ll be able to push through and have shortcake at least twice this strawberry season! You can do it.

And I’m dying to know, what is your go-to strawberry shortcake? Biscuit or Cake?! Do tell!

Strawberry Shortcake Two Ways

4 comments on “The Best Strawberry Shortcake, Two Ways

  1. Angel food cake… So soft and spongy and delish. (From scratch… Not that store stuff… Yes… I’m hoity about angel food cake…!)

  2. They both look good! I think I’m into the cake kind though… no the biscuit… maybe I should try both just to be sure…

  3. I love all kinds of strawberry shortcake! But my favorite is with chiffon cake, very much like angel food cake, but with 8 whole eggs instead of just the whites. It is amazing, especially with orange juice as the liquid. The recipe in the Better Homes and Garden cookbook is awesome.