My best strawberry shortcake

Food / Wednesday, May 27th, 2020

Confession: I’m crazy about shortcake. But for the past several years, I’ve dallied between numerous recipes without being able to settle on one.

stirring up the streusel

I grew up on a sweet sponge cake version, which is called “Never Fail Cake” and always sunk in the middle for me. Tasty though. Then there’s Shelia’s drier cake, more like a slightly sweet biscuit. And Vonnie’s crumb cake, which we liked for the sugar crumbs but I never baked quite right: the crumbs burned before the cake was done, kind of thing.

cake and streusel ready to bake

For our first shortcake this year, I started fresh. I began with Never Fail Cake (adjusted according to last year’s notes), which has become a truly delicious, moist cake. One that does not fall in the middle (since I tweaked the fat content and rising agent). One that does not, as Mr. Putter would say, break your toe if you drop it. A light and airy cake.

But I topped the cake batter, on a whim, with half a batch of crumbs for fruit pie: my sister’s mother-in-law’s recipe. (She has a great title, eh? She also goes by my brother-in-law’s mother and my nephews’ grandmother, and there’s more where that came from.)

just out of the oven

The crumbs are lovely, with brown sugar and butter, and a few oats and pecans. They turn into a fantastic streusel on top of the cake. (If amounts below are doubled, they’re also great on pie.) Definitely good enough to be eaten warm from the oven, without strawberries, as a coffee cake. But with berries, it’s Mmmmmmmmmmmm.

Try it? Let me know what you think.

Strawberry Streusel Shortcake



  • 4 Tbsp butter softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup milk


  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp butter melted
  • 2 Tbsp old-fashioned oats
  • 1/8 tsp salt


  1. Cream butter and sugar in an electric mixer.

  2. Add egg and beat until fluffy.

  3. Add remaining ingredients, and mix only until well combined.

  4. Place batter in a greased 9×9" pan.

  5. In a separate bowl, stir streusel ingredients together with a fork. Sprinkle over cake batter.

  6. Bake at 350* for 22-25 min till done (using toothpick test).

  7. Serve with fresh strawberries, and milk or whipped cream.

16 Replies to “My best strawberry shortcake”

  1. I too am a bit obsessive about shortcake. Hope Helmuth’s has been my favorite. But now I’m wondering if 9:30 is too late to mix up yours!?

  2. Interestingly enough , your ingredients for the cake part are similar to our favorite which I got from someone local but I think it came from Florida! Except this one doesn’t have an egg or vanilla..

    Strawberry Shortcake makes: 2 of the 9 by 13’s

    1 cup butter
    4 cups flour
    2 cups sugar

    Crumb together like pie dough …take out 3/4 cup crumbs and to the rest add:

    4 tsp. baking powder
    2 cups milk
    3/4 tsp salt

    Stir good and put in greased pans. Top with crumbs..

    350 degrees for 25-30 minutes

    Serve with fresh strawberries and milk…( a new one for me this year was someone had shortcake at a meal and did not sweeten berries but we put honey on top before the milk..Delicious!!)

      1. I tried yours yesterday morning! It was yummy!! I ate a bowl for brunch and a bowl for my husband , daughter and myself , we pretty much inhaled the dish! I liked the crumbs..except I couldn’t find pecans and wasn’t sure my family would like that part anyways..I gave my mother in law a teeny weeny but never shared much!

  3. Since this was a little different than our usual recipe I gave it a try tonight for supper and it received thumbs up by all of us! The cake was airy just how we like it and the crumbs on top give it a wonderful touch! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Just in time for Justin’s wedding. I am going to try this for his wedding rehearsal supper where I was already planning to serve strawberry shortcake as strawberries are ripe in the Willamette valley in Oregon. Thank you Shari, I was online this morning looking for a recipe.

  5. That shortcake is delightful! Just tried it tonight. The cake is super soft, melt-in-your-mouth….and then those chewy sweet bits of streusel… Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  6. The shortcake recipe is fabulous; thanks a lot for sharing it with us. This spring, I have been wondering if strawberry shortcake is a cultural exclusive- I grew up on it, and am [seasonally] passionate about it, but do not often encounter it outside of my own making. I’m glad to know I’m not the only strawberry shortcake fan left!

    Only one question: is the omission of salt intentional?

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