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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Strawberry shortcake
TypeCake or biscuit
Place of originUnited Kingdom
Main ingredientsFlour, sugar, butter, milk or cream

Shortcake generally refers to a dessert with a crumbly scone-like texture.[1] There are multiple variations of shortcake, most of which are served with fruit and cream. One of the most popular is strawberry shortcake, which is typically served with whipped cream. Other variations common in the UK are blackberry and clotted cream shortcake[2] and lemon berry shortcake, which is served with lemon curd in place of cream.[3][4]


Shortcake is typically made with flour, sugar, baking powder or soda, salt, butter, milk or cream, and sometimes eggs. The dry ingredients are blended, and then the butter is cut in until the mixture resembles cornmeal. The liquid ingredients are then mixed in just until moistened, resulting in a shortened dough. The dough is then dropped in spoonfuls onto a baking sheet, rolled and cut like baking powder biscuits, or poured into a cake pan, depending on how wet the dough is and the baker's preferences. Then it is baked at a relatively high temperature until set.[5][6]

Strawberry shortcake is a widely known dessert made with shortcake. Sliced strawberries are mixed with sugar and allowed to sit an hour or so, until the strawberries have surrendered a great deal of their juices (macerated). The shortcakes are split, and the bottoms are covered with a layer of strawberries, juice, and whipped cream, typically flavored with sugar and vanilla. The top is replaced, and more strawberries and whipped cream are added onto the top. Some convenience versions of shortcake are not made with a shortcake (i.e. biscuit) at all, but instead use a base of sponge cake or sometimes a corn muffin.[5][6]

Though strawberry is the most widely known shortcake dessert, peach shortcake, blueberry shortcake, chocolate shortcake and other similar desserts are made along similar lines.[6] In some recipes the shortcake itself is flavored; coconut is one addition.[7]


The short part of the name shortcake indicates something crumbly or crispy, generally through the addition of a fat such as butter or lard.[5] The earliest printed mention of the descriptive term short – as in short cake – occurred in 1588, in the second English cookbook to be printed, The Good Huswifes Handmaid for Cookerie in her Kitchen (London, 1588).[8] However, that recipe describes an unleavened cookie or biscuit (in the English sense), made of flour, cream, sugar, egg yolk and spices.[9][10]

Strawberries were first included in a recipe for "Strawberry cake" which appeared in the June 1, 1845, issue (page 86) of The Ohio Cultivator (Columbus). The recipe was popularized by Eliza Leslie of Philadelphia in The Lady's Receipt-book (1847). These "Strawberry cakes" were made of a thick unleavened cookie of flour, butter, eggs and sugar, split, layered with fresh strawberries, and covered with a hard sugar-and-egg white icing.[9][11]

The North American introduction of baking soda and baking powder as leaven in the 1800s revolutionized baking and made possible the biscuit-style shortcake.[12] By the 1850s, leavened shortcakes were the popular pastry for American strawberry cakes, and the term strawberry shortcake became established.[9]

By the 1860s, cream was being poured onto the shortcake and strawberries. A June 1862 issue of the Genesse Farmer (Rochester) described a “Strawberry Shortcake” made up of layers of soda biscuit, fresh berries, sugar, and cream. A similar recipe appeared in Jennie June's American Cookery Book (1866) by Jane Cunningham Croly.[9] The first known cookbook by a black woman in the United States, A Domestic Cook Book (1866) by Malinda Russell,[13] also contains a recipe.[14]


In the United States, strawberry shortcake parties were held as celebrations of the summer fruit harvest. This tradition is upheld in some parts of the United States on June 14, which is Strawberry Shortcake Day.[15]

The city of Lebanon, Oregon, holds the Strawberry Festival each year on the first full weekend of June. Since 1931, the festival has featured the "Worlds Largest Strawberry Shortcake," which is transported by float during the Grand Parade and then served by the Strawberry Queen and her Court to festival visitors. The title of "Worlds Largest" is an honorary title. At approximately 5,700 pounds, the cake does not definitively hold the world record. [16]


The largest strawberry shortcake ever made was in the town of La Trinidad, Benguet, in the Philippines on March 20, 2004. It weighed 21,213.40 lb (9622.23 kg.)[17]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "What is Shortcake?". Bakingbites. 3 September 2009. Retrieved 21 October 2022.
  2. ^ "Blackberry & clotted cream shortcake". BBC Good Food. September 2005.
  3. ^ "Lemon Berry Shortcake with Pressed Edible Flowers". nurturedinnorfolk. 1 June 2021.
  4. ^ "Lemon Blueberry Shortcakes". Delish. 1 June 2022.
  5. ^ a b c Purvis, Kathleen (July 18, 2007). "The long and short of the classic shortcake". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 13 February 2022.
  6. ^ a b c Hamel, PJ (July 8, 2021). "Imaginative ways to up your shortcake game | King Arthur Baking". www.kingarthurbaking.com. Retrieved 13 February 2022.
  7. ^ Longbotham, Lori (16 November 2012). Luscious Coconut Desserts. Chronicle Books. ISBN 978-1-4521-0021-0. Retrieved 21 February 2022.
  8. ^ Roufs, Timothy G.; Roufs, Kathleen Smyth (2014-07-29). Sweet Treats around the World: An Encyclopedia of Food and Culture: An Encyclopedia of Food and Culture. ABC-CLIO. p. 365. ISBN 978-1-61069-221-2. The "short" in shortcake comes from the 15th-century British usage meaning crumbly like, the first mention of which, as "short cake", appeared in London in 1588.
  9. ^ a b c d Marks, Gil (30 May 2013). "Strawberry Shortcake - History and Recipe". Tori Avey. Retrieved 13 February 2022.
  10. ^ "A Good Huswifes Handmaide, 1594". Foods of England. Retrieved 13 February 2022.
  11. ^ Leslie, Eliza (1847). The lady's receipt-book: a useful companion for large or small families. Philadelphia: Carey and Hart. pp. 198–199. Retrieved 13 February 2022.
  12. ^ Civitello, Linda (2017). Baking powder wars : the cutthroat food fight that revolutionized cooking. Urbana: University of Illinois Press. pp. 45, 70–74. ISBN 978-0252041082.
  13. ^ Levins, Sandy (31 March 2021). "Author of First Cookbook Written by an African American: Malinda Russell". WednesdaysWomen. Retrieved 1 February 2022.
  14. ^ Russell, Malinda (2007). A domestic cook book: containing a careful selection of useful receipts for the kitchen by Malinda Russell, an experienced cook, Paw Paw, Michigan, 1866: a facsimile of the first known cookbook by an African American. William L. Clements Library. p. 12. ISBN 978-1-4255-8881-6. Retrieved 13 February 2022.
  15. ^ Chesman, Andrea; Raboff, Fran (1 January 2009). 250 Treasured Country Desserts: Mouthwatering, Time-honored, Tried & True, Soul-satisfying, Handed-down Sweet Comforts. Storey Publishing. ISBN 978-1-60342-152-2. Retrieved 13 February 2022.
  16. ^ https://www.lebanonstrawberryfest.com/worlds-largest-strawberry-shortcake.html
  17. ^ "Largest fruit shortcake". Guinness World Records. 20 March 2004. Retrieved 2021-02-12.