{sms} strawberry shortcake, four-ways

This week I’m playing host for Sweet Melissa Sundays, the online group that is baking our way through The Sweet Melissa Baking Book.  I wanted to pick something that was seasonal and strawberries have been wonderfully sweet and delicious from the farmers’ market.  The minute I saw the Strawberry Shortcake, I knew it was THE ONE.

Los Angeles Times was also thinking the same way because they also profiled shortcakes in their food section this week: A Short Path to Shortcake Nirvana.

This is my very first time selecting a recipe for a group. And because of that I may have, possibly, gone a wee-bit overboard with my variations.

#1 Strawberry Shortcake, Original

Strawberry Shortcake

#2 Chocolate Chip-Espresso Variation

Chocolate Chip Espresso Shortcake

#3 Ginger-Lime Variation

Ginger-Lime Strawberry Shortcake

#4  Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream

Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream

I sprinkled both, #1 and #2 with Essential Cane flavored sugars, raspberry and espresso flavors. I found them at sur la table. They are cool and come in a bunch of flavors, all with only two ingredients: sugar + natural flavor.

So which variation did I like the best? This is like asking a mother (I imagine) to pick her favorite child. I loved each of them for different reasons. The original version was great because it was the classic strawberry shortcake with a twist from the lemon zest. The chocolate chip-espresso variation was wonderful, because, come on, chocolate and espresso. YUM. The ginger-lime variation was outstanding because I love the spiciness ginger lends to sweets and the ginger/lime flavor combo is classic.  And last,  but definitely not least,  the ice cream. I’m an ice cream lover at heart. I can eat ice cream everyday. It’s my dessert. So yes, I loved the ice cream.

Go HERE to see all the other Sweet Melissa Sunday bakers and their shortcakes.

Strawberry Shortcakes

From  The Sweet Melissa Baking Book: Recipes from the Beloved Bakery for Everyone’s Favorite Treats


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar plus 1 tablespoon for glazing
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1 cup cold heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk or heavy cream, for glazing


  • 1 dry quart fresh strawberries, rinsed, hulled, and sliced
  • 3 tablespoons sugar (or more to your taste)


  • 1 cup cold heavy cream
  • 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar


Position a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.


  1. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, 2 tablespoons of the sugar, and the zest. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until it resembles a course meal. Little by little, stir in heavy cream until the dough starts to hold together (you may use a bit more cream if need be).
  2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Pat together to form a rectangle 5 inches wide by 7 1/2 inches long that is about 1 inch thick. Cut the long side of the dough into thirds, and the width in half to form six 2 1/2-inch squares. Place the shortcakes 3 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheet.
  3. Brush the tops of the shortcakes with the milk or heavy cream and sprinkle with the remaining tablespoon of sugar. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until light golden brown. Remove to a wire rack to cool to room temperature.

While the shortcakes are cooling, prepare the strawberries. In a medium bowl, combine the sliced strawberries with the sugar. Set aside for 20 to 30 minutes to macerate.


In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whip attachment, beat the heavy cream and vanilla on medium speed. In a slow steady stream, add the sugar and beat until the mixture forms medium-stiff peaks.

The whipped cream is best used when just made, but can be refrigerated in an airtight container overnight and beaten again before serving.


Fork split each shortcake in half horizontally. Place one half on each of six plates. Spoon 2 tablespoons of berries  on each with a large dollop of whipped cream. Spoon more berries on top. Place each of the remaining halves on top of the berries. Garnish with more cream and berries, if desired. Add a sprig of mint for garnish, if you’d like.

PRO TIP: When whipping cream, the colder the cream the better. If the bowl, the whisk or beaters, and the heavy cream are all well-chilled, you will achieve the most volume.

Prepare the strawberries and whipped cream no more than 30 minutes before serving. The shortcakes are best eaten the day they are made, but they can be tightly wrapped in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil and frozen for up to 3 weeks. Do not unwrap before defrosting.

Chocolate Chip Espresso Variation

Omit lemon zest and use 2 teaspoons espresso powder and add 1/2 cup of mini chocolate chips into dry ingredients. Optional: Top shortcakes with espresso sugar.

Ginger Lime Variation

Omit lemon zest and use lime zest instead and add 1/2 of chopped crystallized ginger into dry ingredients. Optional: Top shortcakes with chopped crystallized ginger

Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream

My go-to base vanilla ice cream recipe is David Lebovitz’s Philadelphia-style vanilla ice cream.  This recipe uses his base and strawberry shortcake mix-ins.

Adapted from The Perfect Scoop
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
  • ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 shortcake
  • 1/2 cup of chopped strawberries
  • 1/2 cup of whipped cream

Pour 1 cup of the cream into a medium saucepan and add the sugar and salt. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the saucepan and add the pod to the pot. Warm over medium heat, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved.

Remove from the heat and add the remaining 2 cups cream and the vanilla extract.

Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator.

While mixture is chilling, chop up shortcake into 1/2-inch pieces. Place shortcake pieces and strawberries on a dinner plate, separating pieces and forming a single layer. Scoop rounded teaspoons of whipped cream on to plate. Place plate in freezer to chill mix-ins.

When ready to churn, remove the vanilla bean, rinsing and reserving it for another use, and then freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. As you scoop churned ice cream into container, layer with mix-ins.

46 thoughts on “{sms} strawberry shortcake, four-ways

  1. Holy moly, those things look so scrumptious!!! The top two are my faves, I love the decorative sugars you used.

  2. Perfect selection this week. I love all of your variations. I would say the one with the ice cream is calling me name! This recipe was so good, my family and I loved it! Thank you so much for the great choice!

  3. I think my favourite would be chocolate espresso! All the flavours sound really good though and the ginger-lime one sounds interesting. I would love to taste the strawberry shortcake icecream!

  4. Oh, I think if you had to pick something to go overboard on, this would be the perfect choice! They all look good. I think I might be old-fashioned and go with the original…but you’re inspiring me again to try making ice cream. (I just saw that KitchenAid makes an ice cream maker attachment for their mixers!) I was just in SLT, but now I want to go back and look for those sugars. They sound wonderful!

  5. I think the chocolate espresso is my favorite. Did you just add chocolate chips and espresso powder to the original recipe?

    And my second favorite would be the shortcake ice cream. Fun fun fun!!

    Great choice for this week!

  6. They all look and sound so good. I love the original strawberry shortcake with the red sprinkles and the ginger lime versions sounds so incredible good to me. The ice cream looks fantastic, too!

  7. I felt so bad skipping this week, but I see that you’ve made a variation for me! Thanks for the ginger-lime. Love that combination in just about everything! Beautiful work, pinkstripes, and a great pick of a classic dessert.

  8. 4 versions?? Wow – I’m drooling now. I love strawberry shortcake and they all look fabulous. I especially want to try your chocolate chip-espresso variation – yum!

  9. Ooh, Wendy, those all look divine! I love the classic, but the ginger lime variation is quite intriguing. I can’t wait until my oven is fixed so I can make some shortcakes of my own (I have the strawberries). =)

  10. Thanks for the great pick this week, these were so delicious! I love all of the variations you made – I definitely plan on trying the ginger-lime, mmmmm…

  11. OK, I bow to you and all your variations, they look wonderful!!! Thanks for picking such a great recipe, especially since it had no chocolate, LOL, just kiddding; it seems alot of my recent baking has involved chocolate.

  12. Wow, you really outdid yourself this week Wendy! Nice job!! I really want to make that ice cream asap. I wish I had more room in my freezer to store my ice cream maker bowl.

    Thanks for such a great pick! I loved the strawberry shortcake!

  13. WOAH THERE. The ice cream variation sounds incredible. I just made D.L.’s Philly style Vanilla ice cream on Friday for the first time & oh boy… it knocked the socks off the other vanilla ice creams i’ve made at home. I think I might enjoy it with the whipped cream, strawberry, and shortcake mix-ins a little toooo much… it’d be devoured in minutes.

  14. OMG look at all those beautiful colours!

    A photo-novel of the killers strawberries! WOW! Amazing recipes, Pink… amazing pictures!

  15. Thank you so much for choosing this recipe! I had fun making the shortcakes and eating them. I love your versions of the strawberry shortcake, especially the ice cream version. I’m not a big ice cream fan (sorry) but I’d go for a big scoop of that :o) How creative!

  16. I’ve heard about your variations and I have to say that they all look good but I’m all about the ice cream!

    Marvelous job hosting!

  17. These are great! Charlie Trotter is in his sublime book Desserts does a modern twist on strawberry shortcake. He makes almond shortbread which he cuts into squares, then squishes them together with cream, basil and stawberries – it is quite simply out of this world.
    And the presentation is beautiful. I only just found your blog and I really, really like it. Thanks.

  18. You really out did yourself with this post. They all look incredible but I think I would have to pick the ice cream as my favorite. I simply love ice cream – it melts my heart (no pun intended).

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