Make-Ahead Strawberry Shortcake is super simple to make and amazingly delicious to eat. I used Bisquick sweetened with sugar to produce the shortcakes that are layered with a strawberry spread, whipped cream and juicy strawberries to produce an unforgettable dessert.
Estimated reading time: 8 minutes
Table of Contents
- What Is A Shortcake?
- Making Strawberry Shortcake Ahead of Time
- Ingredients for Strawberry Shortcake
- Steps in Making the Strawberry Shortcake
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Other Strawberry Desserts
- Watch How I Make This Amazing Dessert
What Is A Shortcake?
In the US, a shortcake typically refers to a sweet biscuit that has somewhat of a crisp, crumbly texture. Generally, the biscuit is leavened with either baking powder or baking soda.
Shortcake gets its name from an old English cooking definition of “short”. The term “short” dates back to the 16th Century and refers to something that was crisp because of the addition of butter.
Making Strawberry Shortcake Ahead of Time
Strawberry Shortcake generally contains three separate components: (1) the shortcake; (2) strawberries; and (3) whipped cream.
In order to preserve the freshness of Strawberry Shortcake, it’s best to put it together right before serving. However, the shortcake can be baked ahead of time and stored in an air-tight container. Also, the strawberries can be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated. Finally, the whipped cream can be made several hours before serving and refrigerated.
Ingredients for Strawberry Shortcake
As previously mentioned, Strawberry Shortcake has three different components.
The Shortcake: Bisquick or other biscuit mix, granulated sugar, butter and milk come together to make the shortcakes.
The Strawberries: The combination of fresh strawberries and granulated sugar produces a subtle sweetness in the strawberries. For an added boost to the strawberry flavor, I like to spread Strawberry Just Fruit or strawberry preserves on the bottom of the shortcakes.
The Whipped Cream: The whipped cream contains not only heavy cream, but also some confectioners’ sugar for an added sweetness and stability. In a pinch, you could also use Cool Whip!
Steps in Making the Strawberry Shortcake
There are three basic components that go into making this delicious dessert. These components are (1) preparing the strawberries; (2) making the shortcake; (3) making the whipped cream.
Preparing the Strawberries
I rinsed, dried and hulled the strawberries. Then I sliced the strawberries into ¼-inch slices.
Next, I sprinkled the sugar on the strawberries. I stirred to combine everything and refrigerated the strawberries until I was ready to assemble the Strawberry Shortcake
Sugar attracts water. Adding sugar to the strawberries causes the liquid to leach out of the fruit. By doing this, you are not only sweetening the strawberries, but also removing excess moisture from the fruit.
Making the Shortcake
Step 1: Making Shortcake Dough in Food Processor
First, I added the Bisquick and sugar to the bowl of my food processor fitted with a steel blade. Then, I pulsed the processor several times to ensure that the two ingredients were mixed.
Next, I added the milk and melted butter to the food processor and pulsed the processor 5 or 6 times until a shaggy dough formed.
Step 2: Kneading Dough
I dumped the shaggy dough onto a floured surface and kneaded it several times to form a cohesive ball.
Step 3: Rolling and Cutting the Dough
I rolled the dough to ½-inch thickness. Then I cut 3 ½-inch circles. Basically, this is the same way that you cut biscuits.
I gathered up the uncut dough and repeated the process. I was able to cut six circles from the dough, but ended up only using four for the Strawberry Shortcakes. The other two were used for a different purpose.
I placed the cut circles on a parchment lined baking sheet.
Step 4: Sprinkling Sugar on Cut Dough
I brushed the tops of each shortcake with some heavy cream. Then, I sprinkled sugar on the top.
Step 5: Baking the Shortcake
I baked the shortcake in a preheated 425°F oven for 10 to 12 minutes until they were golden brown. I removed them from the oven and allow then to cool.
Since I was making the Strawberry Shortcake ahead of time, I placed the cooled shortcakes into a Ziploc bag for later use.
Making the Whipped Cream
Before making the whipped cream, I put the bowl that I was going to use and the beaters in the freezer for about 5 minutes. This causes the fat globules in the cream to emulsify faster and stay emulsified longer.
I beat the cream on high speed until it was foamy. Then, I gradually added the confectioners’ sugar. I continued beating the cream until soft peaks formed.
Putting the Strawberry Shortcake Together
Right before serving, I cut the shortcakes in half. Then, I spread the Strawberry Simply Fruit on the bottom (Photo 1). Next, I piped some whipped cream on top of the Simply Fruit (Photo 2).
After that, I placed some strawberries on top of the whipped cream (Photo 3). Finally, I placed the top of the shortcake on the strawberries and piped additional whipped cream on the top (Photo 4). For a garnish, I placed a strawberry and some mint leaves on the top.
The Make-Ahead Strawberry Shortcake was absolutely delicious. With its buttery, slightly sweet and crunchy shortbread topped with delicately sweetened strawberries and whipped cream, the Strawberry Shortcake was a feast for the eyes as well as the taste buds. Yum!
Frequently Asked Questions
You can make the whipped cream several hours in advance. The cornstarch in the confectioners’ sugar helps to stabilize the whipped cream. However, you should refrigerate the whipped cream once made.
Strawberry shortcake can be served warm, at room temperature or cold. It’s really a matter of preference.
As described here, you can make the different components of the Strawberry Shortcake ahead of time. However, it should not be assembled more than several hours ahead of time. If the Strawberry Shortcake is assembled too early, the cake will become soggy from the strawberry juices.
Absolutely! I used Strawberry Simply Fruit because that was what I had on hand. I’ve also used strawberry preserves with great success.
Frozen strawberries can be used in place of fresh strawberries. If the frozen strawberries are unsweetened, let them thaw and add sugar as you would for the fresh strawberries If the frozen strawberries are sweetened, there is no need to add additional sugar.
Other Strawberry Desserts
If you’re a fan of strawberry desserts, you should check out these delicious recipes:
Watch How I Make This Amazing Dessert
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Make-Ahead Strawberry Shortcake
- 2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
- 7 Tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar, divided
- 3 cups (15 ounces) Bisquick or other biscuit mix
- ½ cup plus 2 Tablespoons (5 ounces) milk
- 3 Tablespoons (1 ½ ounces) unsalted butter, melted
- ¼ cup Strawberry Simply Fruit or strawberry preserves
- ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon (4 ½ ounces) heavy cream, divided
- ¼ cup (1 ounce) confectioners' sugar
- 4 whole strawberries for garnish
- Place sliced strawberries and 3 tablespoons of sugar in a bowl. Toss gently to combine. Set aside. (See Tip 1)
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Set aside.
- Place Bisquick and 3 tablespoons of sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse several times to combine. Add milk and melted butter. Pulse 5 or 6 times, or until a shaggy dough forms.
- Turn out the shaggy dough onto a floured surface. Knead several times to form a cohesive dough. Roll to ½-inch thickness. Cut 3 ½-inch circles from dough. Gather scraps and repeat. Place on a parchment or silicone lined baking sheet. (See Tip 2)
- Brush top of shortcakes with 1 tablespoon total of heavy cream. Sprinkle each shortcake with 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar. Bake in a preheated 425°F oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool. (See Tip 3)
- Before making the whipped cream, place bowl and beaters in the freezer for 5 minutes. Add cream; beat on high until foamy. Gradually add confectioners' sugar, beating until soft peaks form. (See Tip 4)
- To assemble, slice shortcake in half. Spread 1 tablespoon of the Simply Fruit on the bottom. Pipe some whipped cream over the Simply Fruit. Top with sliced strawberries. Place top of shortcake on strawberries. Pipe additional whipped cream on top. Garnish with whole strawberry if desired.
- Yield: 4 servings.
Chula’s Expert Tips
- May be made in advance and refrigerated until ready to use.
- Even though the shortcake recipe will make 6 shortcakes, I only use 4 for the Strawberry Shortcake. I use the other 2 for another purpose.
- May be made in advance and stored in an air-tight container. I use a Ziploc bag.
- May be made several hours in advance and refrigerated.