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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!

overhead photo of The Best Strawberry Shortcakes

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.

fresh strawberries in bowl with lilacs

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.

photo of The sprinkles baking book

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.

overhead photo of macerated strawberries in bowl

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.

overhead close up photo of The Best Strawberry Shortcakes

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…

side angled photo of The Best Strawberry Shortcakes with strawberry juice being drizzled on berries

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!

side angled close up photo of The Best Strawberry Shortcake

Weekend plans…

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.

overhead close up photo of The Best Strawberry Shortcakes

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

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories Per Serving: 374 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Ingredients

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

for the whipped cream

Instructions

  • 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!

Notes

*Recipe reprinted with permission from The Sprinkles Baking Book by Candace Nelson. 

horizontal photo of The Best Strawberry Shortcakes

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Comments

  1. First time making these shortcakes — is one recipe enough for 6 people? Or can you use 1 shortcake with strawberries and whipped cream for each person?

    1. Hey Vicki,
      This recipe will make 6 servings. I hope you love the dessert, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

  2. Hi! I don’t have a food processor currently. Is there another method for making the shortcakes without one?

    Thank you!

    1. Hey Carly,
      A pastry cutter will also work well here! I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  3. Hello,

    Can I substitute sour cream for the créme fraîche in the whipped cream? Or just omit it ? I don’t have créme fraîche.

    With love from Canada

    1. Hey Amaal,
      I think sour cream or mascarpone would work well for you. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

    1. Hey Madison,
      Yes that will be fine, just keep them in the fridge. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  4. Is it salted or unsalted butter? On the ingredient list, you mention salted, but in the video candace specifies to use unsalted butter?

    1. Hey Natalie,
      I prefer to use salted butter. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

    1. Hi Carri! Yes sour cream would be a good substitute, although I have not tried it to be certain! Let me know how this turns out for you! xTieghan

  5. These look amazing! I just moved and have yet to get a mixer and such, would it turn out the same if I whisked the the whipped cream instead of using a stand mixer? Looks beautiful can’t wait to try!

    1. Hi! You can certainly hand whip the cream, but it will take some arm strength and about 5-10 minutes of time! Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

  6. 5 stars
    This was such an easy to follow recipe! Turned out absolutely delicious, I think I surprised my family with my baking skills today haha! Thanks so much for sharing!

  7. Could you help me know of done little flowers you would recommend for decorating the top like in the pic?

    1. Hey Valerie! The flowers in these photos are lilacs. You could also use chamomile. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

  8. Strawberry Shortcake is a favorite around the South where I live. Candace’s recipe sounds wonderful. Would it compromise the flaky and beautiful shortcakes to make the day before? If it will be okay how should they be stored and since it says serve slightly warm should I pop them in the over to warm before serving? Love all your fabulous recipes and website ❣️Thanks a million.

    1. Hey Betsy! You can certainly make the biscuits the day before, they will still be delicious! You can store them covered, at room temp for up to 3 days. You can warm them or just serve at room temp. Either is truly delish! Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

  9. 5 stars
    Made these last night and they were PHENOMENAL. The biscuits are so soft on the inside and a little crunchy on the outside. Don’t skip the raw sugar on top…so good!!. I couldn’t find creme fraische, so I made the whipped cream without. Can’t really go wrong. Highly recommend making these!!

  10. 5 stars
    I made these last weekend! I’ve been on the hunt for a recipe for shortcake like this that doesn’t end up dry and these were really great, going to be my go to from now on! I used 1 TBSP powdered sugar instead of honey because I was out, i just added it after I whipped the cream and before the creme fraiche. They were fab! Thank you!

  11. I am so excited to make these! Is it possible to bake the shortcakes and whipped cream ahead of time and assemble for serving? Thank you for sharing this beautiful recipe!!

    1. Hi Micaela!! Yes, you can makes the shortcakes ahead as well as the cream. Both will keep for 1-2 days. That works great! Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

  12. 5 stars
    Dear Tieghan,
    Your beautiful pictures drew my attention to your website and your amazing recipes keep me coming back!!!!
    Keep up the good work!!!

  13. Can these shortcakes be made a day ahead of time, then add the strawberries when ready? Can’t wait to make them.

    1. Hey Karen! Yes, you can makes the shortcakes ahead. That works great! Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

  14. 5 stars
    Absolutely amazing looking and sounding. May have to wait awhile before trying it so I’m definitely saving it. Carb counting right now and it’s not stated as to what the carbs but guessing pretty high !!……..sigh

    Ms. K

    1. Hi! I do not count the carbs, fats or proteins of my recipes. Sorry about this! I hope you try this when you can! xTieghan

  15. 5 stars
    This is the shortcake recipe I have been waiting for! It turned our perfectly for me. I also used Harry’s Berries! I live in MA… Wegmans sells them for a couple weeks a year. Totally worth the $$.

  16. Hi Tieghan,
    These are beautiful. Do you do anything differently for baking these at high altitude?
    Cheers,
    Meredith

    1. Hi Meredith! I do not do anything differently for high altitude. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

  17. “knead twice, then form into a 6 x 1-inch square, ” – this has me confused (easily done!) Is this the correct size or ……

    Thx.

    1. Hi
      Could I make two recipes and make this isn’t a “cake” with two layers? Would you adjust cooking time?
      D