This Classic Old Fashion Strawberry Shortcake could be your summer ritual when fresh strawberries are at peak season. This delicious shortcake has fresh strawberries that make this a refreshing treat to have at least once a month.
One downside to Old Fashion Strawberry Shortcake is that it must be eaten immediately as several fresh fruit cakes. This recipe is from The Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook (early 2000 version), one of the first cookbooks I’ve ever bought. The cookbook is the first American cookbook I ever bought.
This shortcake recipe is somewhat simple. I have made it several times, and every time it tastes better and better with a few ingredient variations. One crucial step that may be critical when making this recipe is the amount of butter used on the surfaces of the cake.
The recipe states to “spread both cut surfaces evenly with softened butter or margarine.” The butter spread prevents the juice from the strawberries from softening the meat of the cake too quickly. It acts as a barrier.
If you choose to spread butter onto the two cake halves, I recommend using a good butter brand. Also, do apply the butter lightly. A salt-free butter might be ideal as well. Just a thought!
The ingredients to make Old Fashion Strawberry Shortcake
- Sugar: always a good idea to use organic sugar
- All-purpose flour: this ingredient is crucial in any baked goods requiring flour. It is recommended to use a good flour brand. We only use King Arthur Flour.
- Shortening: Crisco is the number one brand for shortening.
- Milk: regular milk or canned milk. If you use canned milk, it is best to add water to dilute it a bit.
- Egg: large or jumbo egg is recommended – and always at room temperature.
- Baking powder: any brand will do. No-fuss here!
- Lemon zest: best that the lemon is not too soft.
- Salt: kosher salt or Himalayan salt – we use at home.
- Nutmeg: a word of advice, always have the whole nutmeg as a backup when running out of the ground. Also, the whole nutmeg, when grated, is fresher and more aromatic.
- Vanilla extract: real vanilla extract is always better. You can also make your homemade vanilla extract.
- Fresh Strawberries: organic or regular strawberries. Choose strawberries that are about the same size.
- Butter or margarine softened: as per the recipe. We only use butter at home, and for this recipe to lessen the sodium amount, we used no salt butter.
- Heavy or whipping cream whipped: found in the dairy section of your local supermarket. You can purchase store-bought whipped cream or make your own. See recipe below.
Follow the instructions below to make the recipe.
Tips and Notes for the recipe
- The original recipe does not include nutmeg, grated lemon peel, or vanilla extract.
- The spices that make this recipe taste good are nutmeg (not in the original version), grated lemon peel, and vanilla extract (also not in the original recipe).
- To avoid a chemical aftertaste, make sure your baking powder is labeled aluminum-free.
- Be careful not to overwork the dough. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a tough, dry cake.
- Best to make homemade whipped cream – follow the recipe below.
Other fruits cake recipe ideas
- EASY AND DELICIOUS CRANBERRY UPSIDE-DOWN CAKE
- UPSIDE DOWN CARAMELIZED BANANA CAKE
- PINEAPPLE UPSIDE-DOWN CAKE
- 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup shortening
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1 egg slightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon double-acting baking powder
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 pints strawberries
- Butter or margarine softened
- 1 cup whipping cream store-bought or
FOR THE WHIPPED CREAM:
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream very cold
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp confectioner’s sugar
- Preheat the oven to 450 degree F. Prepare shortcake: Grease a 9-inch round cake pan. Into a medium bowl, measure ¼ cup sugar and next 9 ingredients. With the mixer at medium speed, beat mixture until well combined and a soft dough forms. Pat the dough evenly into the prepared cake pan. Bake 15 minutes or until golden on top.
- Wash and hull strawberries, reserving a few for garnish. Sprinkle the remainder with 1/3 cup sugar; mash slightly.
- Invert the shortcake onto a platter and with a long sharp knife carefully split the hot shortcake horizontally. Spread both cut surfaces evenly with softened butter or margarine.
- Onto bottom half, spoon half of the strawberries; top with other half cake; spoon remaining strawberries over top.
- Spread the whipped cream over the masked strawberries and then garnish with the reserved whole strawberries.
To make the whipped cream
- Using a mixer with the whisk attachment and bowl, whip the cream with the vanilla and the confectioners’ sugar until it holds soft peaks (about 3 minutes).
Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on the products used.
Nutrition info is automatically generated and provided as a courtesy and as an estimate only.
Originally published May 12, 2015. Revised and updated to include additional content.