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Jun 7, 2010 09:08 AM

Strawberry shortcake- sponge cake or biscuit?

When you make strawberry shortcake, do you prefer making a sponge cake or a biscuit for the cake part? Do you have a fool-proof recipe for either one and if so could you share it?

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  1. The choice for shortcake base is really personal, even angel food cake is an option, but the biscuit, either buttermilk or cream, is the standard.

    I think the Cook's Illustrated recipe is great, but I don't have it. Hopefully other posters will and provide it for you, or post their favorite biscuit recipes.

    6 Replies
    1. re: bushwickgirl

      SHORTCAKE ALL THE WAY! I recently made the Cook's Illustrated recipe for the first time and LOVED it. I grew up on mom still used it, too, till she tried these and now we are both CI converts. It's funny you should ask--I just did this last week. CI recipe and photos here. They're drop biscuits, so it doesn't get more foolproof than that in my book!

      P.S. When my mom made these, she thought the dough needed another tablespoon or so of flour...I was very happy with the way mine came out (you can see just how moist and delicate they are), but I'll throw this out there in case you want to modify when you make. Happy baking!

      1. re: kattyeyes

        Ha, I should have wrote, "poster kattyeyes has the CI recipe and will provide it for you" (and me.) I forgot I could get the recipe at your blog. Thanks, knew you'd come through!

        1. re: kattyeyes

          Cook's Country's berry shortcake recipe, also a drop biscuit, uses brown sugar and sour cream because the CI drop biscuit recipe is not specifically for dessert purposes. The addition of brown sugar to the macerating berries and in the whipped heavy/sour cream blend for the topping really takes it over the top.

          1. re: greygarious

            Hey, grey, do you have the specifics on that recipe or can you direct me? I googled and didn't find...I'm curious to learn more about heavy/sour cream blend as topping. Yum!

            1. re: kattyeyes

              BROWN-SUGAR BERRY SHORTCAKES (June/July 2006 Cook's Country)
              FRUIT: Mash 2 cups of berries. Mix with 4 cups whole or sliced berries and 4-6 T packed light brown sugar to taste. Reserve.
              2c AP flour
              3T packed ligth brown sugar
              1T baking powder
              1/2 t salt
              1 stick chilled unsalted butter, in half-inch pieces plus 2T more, melted, reserved for brushing on shortcakes.
              1 large egg
              1/2 c sour cream
              2 T granulated sugar
              Preheat oven to 375, line baking sheet with parchment. Pulse first 4 ingredients in processor till no lumps remain. Scatter butter pieces, pulse until mixture looks like coarse sand. Move to bowl.
              Whisk egg and sour cream, stir into flour until large clumps form. Knead lightly until no dry flour remains and dough comes together. Using large ice cream scoop or cup, scoop 6 rounds onto parchment. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with white sugar. Bake 25-30 min, let cool on baking sheet 10 min. When serving, split in half with serrated knife.
              Beat together 1 cup heavy cream, 1/4 c sour cream, and 1/4 c packed light brown sugar until stiff peaks form.

              Spoon fruit over bottom halves of shortcakes, dollop on the topping, and top with the upper halves of the shortcakes.

              1. re: greygarious

                Sounds lovely--thank you very kindly, greygarious! :)

      2. Cream biscuits. I've used this recipe - it's really quick and delicious.

        4 Replies
        1. re: delong99

          Biscuits and sometimes I just use Bisquick and follow the recipe on the box. My husband grew up with biscuits.

          1. re: dfrostnh

            This is the one thing I keep Bisquick on hand for (and I cringe every time I use it...hydrogenated oil!). Although I will grow my own strawberries, and seek out raw cream at the Farmer's market, I just can't get away from Bisquick being my favorite base for strawberry shortcake. There...I said it.

            1. re: Rizza

              Do a side-by-side with from-scratch buttermilk biscuits and you'll never go back!

              1. re: Rizza

                If you grow your own strawbs and seek out raw cream at the farmers' market, you really owe it to yourself to try the CI recipe I posted above. I'd be stunned if you were disappointed.

          2. Personal preference is either sponge cake or angel food cake. I've never found a biscuit with a texture that I enjoyed as part of a strawberry shortcake experience. I know of some who drizzle their biscuits with sweetened cream to soften the dry mouth shock that can sometimes be associated with introducing the biscuit variety of this dish to the taste buds but that just makes a soggy dessert - ugh

            1. So many delish ways to do this, you hate to say one way is right and the rest wrong. Sponge cake, pound cake, angel food, biscuit, shortbread, puff pastry. They're all good -- choose the texture that suits you.

              1. Macerated strawberries are delicious over just about everything. I love pound cake with strawberries, angel food cake with strawberries, heck, if the strawberries are good enough just spoon 'em over Wonder Bread. But by definition, strawberry shortcake has to be made with - drumroll, please - shortcake. Which is a biscuit.

                7 Replies
                1. re: alanbarnes

                  Yeah, because you can put strawberries over almost any baked sweet but that doesn't make it a strawberry shortcake. My favorite is rum macerated strawberries over tres leches cake but I've never called it strawberry shortcake.

                  1. re: chowser

                    So true, so true.

                    Biscuits, pound cake, sponge cake, angel food cake ... heck, I even like them using plain donuts.

                      1. re: alanbarnes

                        Homer will never do you wrong.

                        And, rarely will a donut, either.

                        The plain donut never gets the respect it deserves. The Rodney Dangerfield of food items.

                      2. re: ipsedixit

                        Hmm, donuts. I'll bet that would be good w/ blueberries, too--the tart and much as I hate the idea of adding anything healthy to my donut.;-)

                        1. re: chowser

                          Well, I eat ice cream with my donuts all time. So, if you want to avoid the "health" thing, there you go!

                          Sometimes, I'll even use a churro instead of bananas to make a faux banana (churro) split.

                    1. re: alanbarnes

                      Agreed- strawberries over pound cake, angle food cake, sponge cake, even frozen waffles are all lovely deseerts but when I want shortcake I want shortcake! And if I ever need a change in my shortcake - adding crytalized ginger to the biscuits is a nice change. And I have been going back to mother's 19050's Betty Crocker cookbook for the shortcake recipe. I'll have to look at the CI recipe from kattyeyes