Homemade Strawberry Shortcake

These sweet and juicy shortcakes are the perfect strawberry dessert to serve at your next springtime event. Sanding sugar on top of the homemade buttermilk biscuits add a festive touch, and pure vanilla makes the whipped cream extra rich. Scrape the seeds from a vanilla bean pod, or use 1 teaspoon pure (not imitation) vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste.

Homemade Strawberry Shortcake
Photo: Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Lydia Pursell; Food Styling: Chelsea Zimmer
Active Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 45 mins
12 serves


  • 4 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered

  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest plus 2 Tbsp. fresh juice (from 1 lemon)

  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar, divided

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface and kneading

  • 1 tablespoon baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 1/4 cups cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

  • 1 1/2 cups whole buttermilk

  • 2 cups plus 2 Tbsp. cold heavy cream, divided

  • 1 tablespoon sanding sugar (or coarse sugar)

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar

  • 1 vanilla bean pod, split


  1. Stir together strawberries, lemon zest, lemon juice, and 1⁄2 cup of the granulated sugar in a medium bowl. Cover; refrigerate at least 30 minutes or up to 1 hour.

  2. Preheat oven to 425°F. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and remaining 2 tablespoons granulated sugar in a large bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender (or use fingertips) until mixture resembles peas. Add buttermilk, and stir gently with a spatula or wooden spoon until well combined and shaggy. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface, and knead gently until dough just comes together, 2 to 3 times. Pat dough with lightly floured palms to 1 1⁄2-inch thickness (do not use a rolling pin). Cut out biscuits using a 2 1⁄2-inch round cutter, gathering and patting scraps once more to make 12 biscuits.

  3. Place biscuits about 2 inches apart on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Refrigerate 30 minutes. Brush tops of biscuits with 2 tablespoons of the heavy cream; sprinkle with sanding sugar. Bake in preheated oven until golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes. Cool on baking sheet 10 minutes.

  4. Place powdered sugar in bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment. Scrape vanilla bean seeds into powdered sugar; add remaining 2 cups heavy cream. Beat on medium speed until soft peaks form, 4 to 5 minutes. Split biscuits; place on plates or a large platter. Spoon strawberry mixture onto bottom halves of biscuits. Dollop with whipped cream; cover with biscuit tops.

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