My father-in-law shared his strawberry shortcake recipe with me years ago and it's hands down the easiest shortcake you'll ever make! No rolling of dough, no whipping of cream. But undeniably delicious!

Carrying on a long-standing tradition that my husband's family started when he was a little boy, often in the summer when it's just too hot to stand over the stove cooking dinner, I'll make strawberry shortcake for dinner. 

When I tell you this is the easiest strawberry shortcake recipe ever, I really mean it! There's no rolling out of dough, no long baking time, not even any whipping of cream. No messing with your mixer. Nothing.

Since the cream isn't whipped, but instead just poured around the edge of the bowl, the biscuits soak up a bit of it and it mixes with the macerated berries so nicely. I love that this recipe looks so rustic, is so quick and easy to make but also has a bit of elegance to it.

You can have this dessert (or eat it as your meal like we do!) on the table in no more than 20 minutes - which is really nice in the summer when you're spending more time outside and won't want to head inside to prepare dinner until the last second possible! 

And it's absolutely delicious! 

It's important to use really fresh strawberries, because they really are the star of the dish. And the riper and sweeter the berries, the less sugar you'll need to use. 

I put an estimate in the recipe for the amount of sugar you'll need, because I usually add a little bit, then taste the berries to see if I need to add more. I don't really measure it out.

I like the strawberries maybe halved if they're large, and then just rough chopped with a pastry dough blender, instead of sliced. I think it gives you a better "mouthful".  And don't forget to save the tops for your chickens! They'll love them! 

This recipe calls for Bakewell cream which is a local Maine baking product made right near where I live! It's not a liquid at all, but instead Bakewell cream is a leavening agent similar to cream of tartar. In fact, it can be used in place of cream of tartar in recipes in a one for one substitution.

Bakewell Cream is available on grocery store shelves here in New England, or you can find it online here. 

But if you can't find any Bakewell cream, you can substitute in 3 teaspoons of baking powder and skip the baking soda called for in the recipe as well. (But it's worth picking up a canister of the Bakewell cream for light fluffy biscuits.)

For future reference, the ratio is:

1 teaspoon baking powder = 
2/3 teaspoon Bakewell cream + 1/3 teaspoon baking soda

The Easiest Strawberry Shortcake Recipe Ever!

Makes 4 dessert servings or 2 generous dinner servings


2 quarts fresh strawberries
1/4 - 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons Bakewell cream
1 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup shortening or butter
3/4 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
4 pats of salted butter
Heavy whipping cream
Fresh basil leaves for garnish, optional

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees. Be sure your oven rack is in the center of the oven.

Remove the strawberry tops and halve the larger berries, then add them to a large mixing bowl. Rough chop or smush them with a potato, pastry dough blender or a fork, then mix in the sugar (1/4 to 1/2 cup) to taste.

Depending on how ripe your berries are, you will be able to use less sugar. Stir well to combine and set aside.

Add flour, Bakewell cream, baking soda, the 1 teaspoon sugar and salt in a large bowl. Using the pastry dough blender, cut in the 1/4 cup shortening or butter, then add the milk and vanilla bean paste and mix until just combined with a fork (or your hands). 

The dough will be fairly sticky. Scoop out the dough with a large ice cream scoop into 4 evenly-sized biscuits and space out on an ungreased cookie sheet. 

Bake the biscuits for 5 minutes, then turn off oven and leave the biscuits in the oven for 5 minutes more until golden brown.  

Remove the biscuits from the oven and split each biscuit in half. Spread each side with a pat of butter while the biscuits are warm, then arrange in the dishes split sides up, two halves to each dish, spoon strawberries over the top and pour heavy cream around the edges of the dish to encircle the biscuit and berries. 

Garnish with fresh basil leaves, if desired. Basil is in season at the same time as strawberries, and I absolutely love the flavor combination of strawberries and basil, so give it a try! I think you'll like it too.
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