Sweet, buttery, and oh so flaky, these are the best Strawberry Shortcakes! Overflowing with in-season strawberries, and the lightest whipped cream, these classic homemade strawberry shortcakes are bursting with juicy berries. Every bite is roll your eyes back delicious. Bonus, these shortcakes are simple to make, using only pantry staples and the sweetest strawberries you can find. The perfect summertime treat!
Very special and exciting post today! I’m sharing what I truly believe is the best strawberry shortcake recipe. I know that’s a bold statement to make, but this recipe is extra special, as it comes from the dessert queen herself, Candace Nelson. If you’re a cupcake kind of person (or just love desserts), you’re likely familiar with Candace. She is the founder of Sprinkles Cupcakes and one of the best bakers I’ve come across. She’s also one of the kindest people I’ve been lucky enough to meet…and have the honor to bake with! I’ve followed Candace for years, but I finally met her when I was in LA a few weeks back. She graciously welcomed me (plus our entire film crew) into her home. Together we baked up these shortcakes, which truly are the BEST EVER.
More on the shortcakes below, but first I want to share a little background about Candace. In the short time we had together, I learned so much about her, she is incredible and so inspiring. Not only did she found Sprinkle’s Cupcakes, which opened its first bakery in Beverly Hills in 2005, but she recently opened Pizzana, a Neapolitan style pizza restaurant in LA. Both are incredibly successful ventures. And while I’ve personally tried Candace’s baked goods (so delicious!), I’m dying to get back to LA to try Pizzana.
And as if that was not enough, just yesterday, Candace launched her brand new podcast, Live to Eat, featuring the stories of culinary personalities, chefs, and food entrepreneurs. She might only be one episode deep, but I’m already hooked, and so excited to hear more!
And actually, there is more! Candace is also a judge on both Cupcake Wars and Sugar Rush…season two premieres July 26th.
I mean? Inspiring, right? I really can’t begin to express how much fun I had with Candace. Just another reason I am so excited to share her recipe with you all today…and the video on Instagram.
So, let’s talk about these shortcakes and the Instagram video that’s coming on Monday!
First, the berries. Since this is a strawberry shortcake it’s really important that you use the freshest, sweetest strawberries you can find. When I made these with Candace in LA, we were lucky enough to have access to Harry’s Berries. Which, unfortunately for the rest of the world, are only available in southern California. These strawberries are so sweet we didn’t even need to add sugar.
Just make sure you purchase the best strawberries you can. Then, if needed, add sugar to sweeten. There’s also a touch of lemon added here, which I find particularly nice with the sweet berries.
The strawberries need to macerate, which really just means they need to be tossed with a touch of sugar. Honey or maple syrup could also be used. The berries are then left to sit until their juices are released. This doesn’t take more than 15 minutes, but I like to start with the strawberries and then get to work on the shortcakes.
For the shortcakes, Candace uses an all-butter shortcake with a touch of half-and-half. This keeps the cakes flaky, moist, and rich. The key to getting an incredibly flaky shortcake is really simple, ice-cold butter. Using cold butter will create flaky layers and pockets of butter throughout the shortcake. I recommend sticking the cubes of butter in the freezer for 10 minutes or so before using. This ensures the butter stays super cold while you work with it. I know it’s an extra step, but trust me, you want those pockets of butter and flaky layers. They make each bite beyond perfect.
And now, the cream. Oh, how I love this whipped cream. I tend to find whipped cream on the boring side. But Candace has a secret that makes her whipped cream better than everyone else’s. Two words, crème fraîche.
Using crème fraîche in addition to heavy cream creates a light, airy, and extra creamy whipped creamy. Lightly sweeten using honey, flavored with vanilla. It’s the perfect rich cream to spoon overtop those delicious juicy strawberries…
Is your mouth watering yet?
Ok, all that’s left is to put everything together to make the perfect shortcake.
Your shortcakes should be slightly warm, your berries looking pretty and juicy, your whipped cream should be lick the bowl delicious, and your house should smell amazing.
The only words that I can think of are YUM, so DELICIOUS and just PERFECT!
Strawberry shortcakes for everyone (or just you, I completely understand if you don’t want to share).
Hoping I’ve now convinced you to make these. Be sure to check Instagram on Monday for the video of Candace and I making these shortcakes together in her gorgeous kitchen!
And with that, enjoy your weekend!
PS. If you love food, you need to be following Candace. She’s such an inspiration to me, and her cookbook is one of the only baking books I swear by. It’s such a favorite.
If you make the best strawberry shortcakes, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!
Watch the How To Video:
The Best Strawberry Shortcakes
Calories Per Serving: 1084 kcal
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
for the strawberries
- 1 pound strawberries, sliced horizontally (3 cups sliced)
- ¼ cup granulated sugar, or more to taste
- zest of 1 lemon
for the shortcakes
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) cold salted butter, cut into small cubes and refrigerated until ready to use
- 2/3 cup half-and-half, plus more as needed
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon sanding sugar or turbinado sugar, such as Sugar In The Raw
- 1. To make the strawberries. Toss together the strawberries, sugar, and lemon zest in a bowl, adding 1 additional tablespoon of sugar, if you prefer a sweeter shortcake. Let the fruit sit for 10-15 to release some of its juices; chill until ready to use.2. To make the shortcakes. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.3. In a food processor, pulse the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt until incorporated, about 5 pulses. Add the butter and pulse until incorporated but with lots of pea-size pieces, 10 to 15 pulses (make sure not to overprocess). Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and stir in the half-and-half until just incorporated and fully moist (do not overwork!), adding more half-and-half a tiny bit at a time if necessary; the dough will be slightly sticky. 4. Transfer to a floured work surface and, using floured hands, gently knead twice, then form into a 6 x 1-inch square, adding more flour if necessary. Using a very sharp knife or a pastry cutter, cut the dough in half, then cut across each half two times to create six rectangular shortcakes. Brush the tops with the cream and sprinkle with the sanding sugar. Bake until the tops are lightly golden and bottoms are slightly deeper golden, 12 to 13 minutes. 5. Meanwhile, make the whipped cream. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the cream and vanilla on medium-high speed until soft peaks form, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the crème fraîche and honey and beat until incorporated, 30 seconds. Chill until ready to use. 6. To assemble, slice the shortcake horizontally and spoon ¾ cup of the strawberries and some of the juices onto the open shortcake. Top with ¾ cup of the whipped cream, then close with the other shortcake half. Enjoy!
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*Recipe reprinted with permission from The Sprinkles Baking Book by Candace Nelson.