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Layered Strawberry Shortcake

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Prep Time: 30 mins    Cook Time: 20 mins

5 from 3 votes

If you love strawberries and you’re looking for a light, refreshing dessert, look no further than this mouthwatering layered strawberry shortcake recipe. Juicy fresh strawberries pair up with whipped cream and light, moist cake layers for a gorgeous-looking dessert that tastes fresh and amazing.

A slice of layered strawberry shortcake.
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Although you can buy strawberry shortcakes, they just aren’t the same as the wonderfully fresh-tasting homemade layered strawberry shortcake version. The combination of flavors and textures – soft, crisp, tart, sweet, dry, and moist – is what sets this wonderful dessert apart.

You can prepare the strawberries and whip the cream while the cake is baking. When it’s cool you can cut it in half and assemble it using the strawberries and cream. This is a straightforward layered strawberry shortcake recipe to make and it’s perfect if you have a lot of fresh strawberries to use up.

This lemon strawberry cake is another gorgeous layered cake that you can try, or this coconut strawberry cake that always delights!

Main Ingredients

Along with the fresh strawberries, you will need ingredients for the cake layers and also for making the whipped cream. These are some of the key ingredients in this shortcake recipe:

  • Strawberries: The main ingredient. Use fresh strawberries because they are the main flavor of the dish. Thawed ones have a mushy texture and are fine for smoothies or granita but not for layered strawberry shortcake. You could also swap the strawberries for raspberries or blackberries for a much less traditional, but still delicious, result.
  • Whipped heavy cream: Contrasts with the cake and berries. Freshly whipped heavy cream is always delicious. I often make extra and top my coffee with it too! You can add some sugar or sweetener, or omit it if preferred. If you want, you can use aerosol cream such as Reddi-Wip, but use fresh, if possible, for a superior flavor.
  • Shortening: For a tender, soft cake. Shortening is 100% fat which means no steam is created while the cake bakes. This inhibits gluten production which means the finished cake will be soft and tender. It has a higher melting point than butter too, which results in a fluffy, risen cake.
  • Milk: Adds moisture to the shortcake. Although traditional shortcake used to be more biscuit-like, modern recipes include milk, cream, and/or buttermilk for a softer result. You can use any type of milk here, even soy or almond for example. The flavor will be slightly different, but it will still work. Other alternatives include buttermilk or Half & Half.

Instructions Overview

Toss the strawberries with white sugar. Mix the flour, baking powder, salt, and some more white sugar in a bowl then mix in the shortening until you get coarse crumbs. Make a well in the middle and add the milk and egg. Stir well.

Pour the cake batter into a greased, floured cake pan and bake until done. When it’s cool, slice the cake in half.

Arrange half of the strawberries on top of one half then add the other cake layer and add the remaining strawberries on top as well as whipped cream. Serve the layered strawberry shortcake right away if possible or keep it refrigerated for an hour or so.

Strawberry shortcake topped with whipped cream.

Common Questions

What is the difference between angel food cake and shortcake?

Shortcake uses baking powder or baking soda for leavening and contains shortening. Angel food cake doesn’t contain much flour and doesn’t have any fat at all. Rather than using baking powder or baking soda, an angel food cake will rise because of the beaten egg whites included in the recipe. If you’re looking for something rich rather than a light cake though, I love this tiramisu recipe.

Should you wash fresh strawberries?

Only wash them if you’re going to use or eat them right away. Washing them in advance means the added moisture will encourage them to go bad faster. To wash them you can put them in a colander and run cold water over them.

Why is it called strawberry shortcake?

Believe it or not, the name has nothing to do with how tall the cake happens to be. As it is a British cake, the “shortcake” refers to something that is crispened up with shortening or fat.

What’s the difference between strawberry cake and strawberry shortcake?

When you compare strawberry cake to strawberry shortcake, the differences are quite noticeable. For one, a strawberry cake tends to be much larger. It also involves cooking the strawberries with the cake which renders it a pretty pink color. Strawberry shortcake has the strawberries added to it, along with the whipped cream, after the cake has cooled.

How long can you store strawberry shortcake in the fridge?

Strawberry shortcake is a dessert best enjoyed immediately. You can keep it in the fridge for a day or two after putting it together. It will also be fine if you put it out on a dessert or tea table during a party.

Can strawberry shortcake be made in advance?

If you want to cut down on your work, you can make the different parts of your strawberry shortcake in advance. You can prep the berries and the cake too, but don’t assemble it until you’re planning to serve it or no more than 4 hours ahead of serving time. The whipped cream and strawberries will make the cake soggy and ruin the texture.

A spoonful of strawberry shortcake.

Chopnotch Tips

  • I recommend making your own whipped cream instead of using the aerosol kind. Sometimes I’ll add some vanilla extract as well as sugar. The hint of vanilla in whipped cream is so good!
  • Butter works in place of shortening but you might need a little extra to get the correct crumb-like result.
  • This cake is best served as soon as you’ve assembled and decorated it. Make the components an hour or so ahead if you need to, but it’s best if you can assemble it right before serving.
Layered strawberry shortcake topped with fresh strawberries and whipped cream.

Layered strawberry shortcake is a heavenly marriage between light, fluffy cake, plump, juicy strawberries, and softly whipped cream.

Let us know what you think! Give this recipe a rating in the comments section below.

Recipe

How to Make

Layered Strawberry Shortcake

This is the best recipe for strawberry shortcake, a light yet satisfying dessert with cake, fresh strawberries, and whipped cream.
SCALE THIS RECIPE
Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 50 mins
Servings: 8 slices

Ingredients

  • cup milk
  • 2 cups whipped heavy cream
  • cup shortening
  • 1 egg
  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 48 ounces fresh strawberries
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Instructions

  • Cut strawberries. Combine them with ½ cup of white sugar and set aside.
  • Preheat the oven to 425 F. Grease an 8 inch round cake pan and flour it.
  • To a medium bowl add, baking powder, flour, 2 tablespoons white sugar, salt and combine.
  • Add shortening and blend until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Make a well in the center, then add beaten egg and milk. Stir until combined.
  • Add batter to the prepared pan and spread it. Bake at 425 F for 15 to 20 minutes. After baking, let it cool.
  • To make two layers, slice the cake in half. Top one cake layer with one-half of strawberries, then put another layer on top and top it with the remaining strawberries.
  • Cover with whipped cream and serve.
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Notes

  • I recommend making your own whipped cream instead of using the aerosol kind. Sometimes I’ll add some vanilla extract as well as sugar. The hint of vanilla in whipped cream is so good!
  • Butter works in place of shortening but you might need a little extra to get the correct crumb-like result.
  • This cake is best served as soon as you’ve assembled and decorated it. Make the components an hour or so ahead if you need to, but it’s best if you can assemble it right before serving.

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 333kcal (17%), Carbohydrates: 47g (16%), Protein: 7g (14%), Fat: 14g (22%), Saturated Fat: 5g (31%), Cholesterol: 34mg (11%), Sodium: 95mg (4%), Potassium: 568mg (16%), Fiber: 5g (21%), Sugar: 14g (16%), Vitamin A: 187IU (4%), Vitamin C: 104mg (126%), Calcium: 162mg (16%), Iron: 3mg (17%)
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course:
Dessert
cuisine:
British

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