Strawberry Shortcake

Growing up, we always had an abundance of strawberries during the summer months. My mom made strawberry shortcake at least once a week.

Now, I know everyone has their own take on what “shortcake” should mean. Some people like to use biscuits. Others a sponge cake. Some might go for angel food cake. For me, it means the baked-from-scratch white cake Mom made only when she served it with strawberries.

At the end of a long, hot, hard day of working on the farm, a serving of that shortcake soaking up sweet strawberry juice and topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream was a little bite of summer heaven.

Even the few years my brother decided to grow strawberries and sell them in town (and roped me into picking them way too early in the mornings), those berries still tasted so good.

My dad liked to say the variety of berry, Ogallala, might not make the biggest berries, but they were the sweetest. I had to agree.

The Ogallala is known as one of the hardiest strawberries because they can handle both cold temperatures and drought. After the first year, they are a heavy producer, spreading out runners and falling in the category of everbearing (meaning they’ll bear fruit all summer).

According to the information I found, 25 years of research and testing by the North Platte Experiment Station and the Cheyenne Horticultural Field Station went into developing this strawberry which debuted in the 1950s. Created by Dr. LeRoy Powers, the Ogallala combines Rocky Mountain wild strawberry with cultivated varieties of Fairfax, Midland, and Rockhill.  The result: big husky plants with abundant dark green foliage and deep red berries that are red all the way to the center. The leaves make finding the berries a bit of a challenge, but helps protect against bird damage, hot winds, and unseasonable frost.

All I knew as a kid was how good those berries tasted. Mom would make jam so we could enjoy that delicious summer flavor all winter long. And sometimes, if she was in a rush, instead of making shortcake, she’d simply roll out a pie crust, sprinkle it with sugar, and bake it on a cookie sheet. Then we’d break off pieces of the crust, layer berries and ice cream on top, and savor the wonderful treat.

A few years ago, I was craving those sweet berries of my childhood, not the big, flavorless things we so often find at the grocery store. Of course, when my parents sold the farm, they didn’t bring along any of the berry plants to their new place. So I started searching for them online.

When I finally found a nursery that sold them, I decided to order 20 plants. I figured if even half of them survived, that would be plenty for Captain Cavedweller and me to enjoy. When they arrived, they were the most pathetic looking starts you’ve ever seen. They looked more like shriveled little sticks than hearty root stock. But I planted them – in between the roses that line the fence along our driveway. I was sure none of the plants would grow. The first year, they didn’t do much, but the following spring, gorgeous leaves unfurled and soon we were picking sweet, juicy berries that took my back to my childhood days on the farm.

And this summer, it looks like we’re going to get a bumper crop of berries with berry plants coming up everywhere. Yum! I can hardly wait to make shortcake just like Mom used to serve! (Right after I trim back all those runners!)

Strawberry Shortcake

¾ cup sugar

½ cup butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 egg

1 cup milk

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 cups flour

4-5 cups of strawberries

½ cup sugar

Vanilla ice cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine flour and baking powder, set aside. In a large mixing bowl, cream together ¾ cup sugar and butter, then add egg and vanilla extract. Alternate adding flour mixture and milk to the bowl until batter is well blended.

Pour into a greased 9 x 13 baking pan and bake until the top is a light, golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Cool completely.

Remove stems from strawberries, wash and hull them, then place in a large serving bowl.  Mom always used a potato masher to break them down a little. You don’t want to pulverize them like you would if you were making jam, just mash them enough they get good and juicy and break into nice little pieces. Stir in ½ cup of sugar until sugar dissolves, then let rest for at least 10 minutes.

When ready to serve, cut slices of cake, top with strawberries and a scoop of ice cream.

~*~

Do you have a favorite childhood dessert

you enjoyed in the summer?

Or a favorite dessert you look forward to

making during the summer months? 

Post your answer for a chance to win a copy of Farm Girl, a collection of humorous stories from my childhood years.

 

 

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After spending her formative years on a farm in Eastern Oregon, hopeless romantic Shanna Hatfield turns her rural experiences into sweet historical and contemporary romances filled with sarcasm, humor, and hunky western heroes.
When this USA Today bestselling author isn’t writing or covertly hiding decadent chocolate from the other occupants of her home, Shanna hangs out with her beloved husband, Captain Cavedweller.

64 thoughts on “Strawberry Shortcake”

  1. Reading this post gave me such a seretonin rush! It is disgustingly hot over here and I was feeling so demotivated, but now I feel like I just want to go in the kitchen bake your recipe! Thank you for this post. Also, I simply cannot pick one favorite dessert! How can one make a choice when I’ve had like the most delicious desserts every summer of my life! My grandmother is such a genius in the kitchen, and she rarely gives out her recipes because she takes such pride in them. I’ve seen neighbors just always trying to smuggle a recipe out of her! But she promised to teach me her recipe for her apple strudels as my 20th birthday present next month and I’m so excited!

    • That is wonderful you have a grandmother who makes such delicious treats. And I love that she’s going teach you her strudel recipe for your birthday. How wonderful! Thank you for stopping in today. Hope the heat lessens and you can enjoy some baking time!

  2. Strawberries are such a huge part of my summer as well! I feel like people prefer having them in spring, but they have always felt like such a summer thing to me. Every dessert made in our house has strawberries during the summer. My uncle owns a berry farm and every year it is just the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen. All the strawberries he cultivates are so lush and the biggest. I just visited yesterday, I can’t wait for when they are ripe for plucking so we can enjoy them in dessert.

    • Yum! That’s so neat your uncle has a berry farm. I’m with you … strawberries mean summer has arrived! I hope you get to enjoy tasty berries all summer long!

  3. Strawberries and blueberries were the thing where I grew up in Michigan. We would make a special trip to the blueberry farm over near Lake Michigan to pick berries, and then go to the lake to enjoy the rest of the day!

    Blueberry pie is the best.

    • Oh, blueberry pie is delish! I sure miss the way my grandma made it and no one seems to be able to replicate it, either! So neat you got to go to a blueberry farm then spend the day at the lake. What great memories those days must have made.

  4. Good morning Shanna- Oh my goodness you’ve made me so hungry. The history of the Ogallala strawberries was amazing.
    Your recipe I’m going to have to make.
    My Granny’s chocolate pudding was a summer treat. I would set on her kitchen counter and help her make it, then stand on a chair and carefully stir it while it cooked.
    I miss her and her pudding so much. Thanks fir such a wonderful memory. I’m going to go find her recipe and make it.
    Happy Wednesday Pretty Lady. Love you.

    • Good morning, my friend! That old fashioned chocolate pudding is so, so good! My granny used to make it, too! Like you I miss my granny and her treats.
      Thank you so much for stopping in. Have a beautiful day, my beautiful friend! <3

  5. I love strawberry shortcake. My grandparents used to grow strawberries and I always liked helping my grandmother sell them along the road in front of their house.

  6. well not many strawberries at our house as a child as my Mom, me and youngest sister are all allergic to them! More for the black and red raspberries and don’t forget gooseberries which are probably my favorite!

    • Sorry about the allergies, Teresa! My brother (the one who had me help pick strawberries) now grows gooseberries and supplies them to the local restaurants for pies. I love red raspberries as much as I do strawberries. Yum! Thank you for stopping in today!

  7. I love strawberry shortcake. I guess one of my favorite deserts is a strawberry pretzel salad, its so good with the strawberries, cream cheese and jello with the pretzel’s as the crust.

  8. This sounds delicious! I love peaches and always make peach pie during the summer. My cherry tree is going to give us a bumper crop, so I’m looking forward to some cherry jam and cherry pie this summer!

  9. Strawberries are one of my fav fruits. Our growing season in my part of the country is June and July.. I get as many baskets of berries as I can. I love to eat them just like they are. But I do like them with ice cream and a shortcake of some kind. I did not know there were different types of strawberries. Can’t wait to get my first Ontario grown strawberries.

  10. Hi, Shanna. What an interesting story, and thank you for sharing your favorite childhood dessert, Strawberry Shortcake! My favorite too. And yours sounds delicious. By the looks of the strawberries in the markets and grocery stores near me, it should be a great strawberry season. I’ve already bought containers of them and put them in the freezer — ready to go in my smoothies. And I love fresh strawberries over angel food cake or lady fingers topped with whipped cream.

    • Hi Sharon,
      That’s so fun you loved strawberry shortcake, too! The ladyfingers with berries and whipped cream sound divine! Enjoy those smoothies! Thanks for stopping in today!

  11. Strawberry shortcake was always my favorite treat during the year. And always will be. It was to often we got to have treats growing up in a family with 6 children. Another favorite was fried dough. Raised doughnuts with raisins. Thank you for sharing your day with us all. Hugs ?

  12. My mother in law had a huge strawberry patch…and they had milk cows. Fresh whipped cream!
    She’s make strawberry shortcake almost evey meal during the early summer strawberry season. She’s use Biquick baking mix for the biscuits but she’d add eggs and sugar and cream to the mix, then sprinkle sugar over the top of the drop biscuits.
    Then those luscious strawberries, and that fresh raw whipped cream. Oh my gosh I’ve never tasted anything as good. Love this post Shanna, it woke up some lovely memories

    • Hi Mary!
      Oh, I loved the memories you shared about your mother-in-law. Thank you! Those biscuits covered in berries and fresh whipped cream straight from the source makes my mouth water! Yum, yum!

  13. Every summer we used to go strawberry picking at a farm closeby. We enjoyed this as we looked forward to eating these delights and then we would make a strawberry pie and small strawberry shortcakes for the kids. I miss those summers.

    • That’s so neat you’d go strawberry picking and make pie and shortcakes. Those sweet summer memories are so special. I miss those childhood days of mine, too. Hugs to you!

  14. During the summer I loved cooking a peach cobbler. The peaches were right off the tree and so juicy and sweet.

  15. We never had strawberries, but my mom made this stuff that was really good! We called it “chocolate stuff”
    It was sort of like cake, but it made it’s own chocolate sauce when you baked it. Add ice cream and you have an awesome treat!

  16. Strawberry Shortcake is always a wonderful summer dessert. I always loved Mandarin Orange Cake.

  17. I dearly love strawberries, but of all the summer treats I look forward to it is hands down blackberry cobbler. Taking our coffee can buckets my granddaddy made out of the old metal cans and baing wire my sister and I would head off down this dirty road to a big patch of wild blackberry Vines and bring back enough to make a cobbler. Mygranny always made a double crust out of biscuit dough and would layer in those blackberries and some sugar and bake it up in her wood cook stove. We would pour milk or cream over it and that was supper. My mom and dad had a friend with a huge wild blackberry patch and we’d go with a 5 gallon bucket and several smaller buckets and spend 1/2 a day picking berries. Mom would wash,pick and can them for use in the winter. She usually put up about 20 quarts. I can still rememberer waking on cold snowy mornings to the smell of hot blackberry jam and biscuits knowing that usually meant it was snowing. I still love eating biscuits with Blackberry jam when I go to the Cracker Barrel. Can you tell I’m a Southern girl much? ??

    • Hi Debbie,
      Oh, I loved the memories you shared. My mom loved blackberries and talked about her mom making cobbler just like your granny made with biscuit dough. That is wonderful your Mom always canned berries and made cold snowy mornings special with biscuits and jam. I’m a big fan of biscuits and jam, too. In fact, one restaurant we like makes their own berry jam so I always order breakfast when we go there, just so I can get a biscuit and their yummy jam!

  18. I love strawberries! Mom used to make a white cake from scratch, then white icing from scratch, put sliced strawberries between the layers with a layer of icing, and then ice the whole cake, and that would be my birthday cake. I have the recipes, but baking it for myself for my birthday is NOT going to happen! I’ll still have strawberries, though! We used to be able to go and pick our own, but I don’t know of any places close to us to do that now.

    • Hi Trudy,
      It sounds like your mom had a special cake for a special girl. It must have been beautiful and delicious! The homegrown berries taste so much better than what we can get in the store. I hope you can find some to enjoy this summer!

  19. Nothibg better than sweet, juicy strawberries! Whether alone, dipped in chocolate, or in a strawberry cream pie. I can’t wait to try the recipe you shared!

    • Hi Julie,
      Thank you for stopping in today. I agree – sweet, fresh strawberries are hard to beat, especially when they are dipped in chocolate and baked into a wonderful treat! If you make the recipe, I hope you enjoy it!

  20. My favorite dessert during the fall and winter is Marble Cake. It changes dramatically for the Spring and Summer since lemons make an appearance in all of my favorite desserts. Lemon bars, lemon bundt cake and lemon pie.

  21. Oh Shanna … there you go inviting us to your family farm life and the pure joy of eating strawberries. I love strawberries! Growing up we ate them as fresh strawberry pie, over ice cream, shakes, freezer jam, Bisquick shortcake, angel food cake, pancakes, and white cake. And, by themselves so yum! We are fortunate to have a strawberry farm two miles from us. You can’t beat homegrown strawberries. I hope your dad gets his fair share too. Just think of all the memories you’ve grown together. The simple taste of strawberries is surely a summer favorite of mine. Thank you for the recipe too.

    • Hi Kathy,
      Thank you for your kind words and for what you shared. There are just so many delicious ways to enjoy strawberries! That is wonderful you have a strawberry farm near you and can enjoy fresh berries. I plan to take some berries to Dad next time we go to visit him. 🙂
      Thanks so much for stopping in today!

  22. I remember my grandma having a field of strawberries and she would go out to pick when she was watching us. We were to help her pick strawberries, but didn’t care if we ate them or not. We always looked forward to “picking” strawberries. She would send a “mess” of berries home with us when we went home (a large dishpan full).

    • What wonderful memories you have of a special time in your childhood. So neat she didn’t care if you ate them or not. Berries taste the best when they still hold a bit of summer sunshine in them! My granny also sent home a “mess” of this or that. Love that yours did, too!

  23. Shanna, I LOVE good strawberries, but like you said, these in the stores have very little taste. How wonderful that the plants you ordered have taken root and not disappointed in taste. Enjoy your summer!

  24. Fresh strawberry shortcake was always a wonderful treat.

    I also love fresh blackberries. We’d pick those at my grandma’s, then after she rinsed them, we poured some cream on them and ate them.

    denise

  25. Love strawberries, and wish I could grow them. From my childhood, my favorite desert was Rhubarb. Love the tartness. I also knew that my mom would give me a small stalk and some sugar for me to dip and eat outside. Mom made Rhubarb Crisp. And we ate it hot out of the oven with ice cream.
    Growing up for several years in Southern Idaho, we had all kinds of fresh fruit from June until fall. Picking cherries, and mom making each of us kids our own little pie. Then the peaches, pears, apples, apricot that we would go pick, she canned so we could enjoy all year. She also made bread every week, and made apple fritters one time, they were so good. I was 7 before I knew that bread, cookies, pies, and cakes could be bought in the store. She baked bread every Saturday, and a slice of bread out of the oven with butter and a little sugar was out bedtime treat served in bed, in clean sheets that had dried outside. Good memories.

    • Hi Veda,
      I loved the memories that you shared. Your mother sounds like she was a wonderful cook and baker and a sweet mother, too. How fun to get bread with butter and sugar as a treat, served in bed on your dried-in-the-sun sheets! Such sweet memories. Thanks for sharing them with us!

  26. Everbearing strawberries are the best…..then you have berries all summer to mix with other fruit. One of our favorite shortcakes is strawberry, blueberry and apricots or peaches depending on which stone fruit is ready for picking. I also like to make strawberry peach jam, usually in September with late season peaches like Elberta or O’Henry. Strawberry-rhubarb pie or sauce, yum.

    Thanks to everyone for sharing such great memories. Now I am strawberry hungry.

  27. I always look forward to strawberry season in the Spring. I haven’t made strawberry shortcake yet, but strawberry rhubarb pie is a favorite. I have made about 5 this year. The pies work fine for dessert, snack, or breakfast. Our rhubarb came in early this year. We have some large strawberry farms here and the neighboring town had its Strawberry Festival this past weekend. We have a few plants left here at the house. Our lab used to beat us to the berries. The dog would carefully bit the berries off not disturbing the plants at all. It took us a while to figure out what was getting them. The few berries we have gotten this year have been so sweet. I haven’t made shortcake yet this year. I like to make it for a group, and we haven’t had any company or family over. I make a sweet biscuit dough and bake it in a round cake pan. I usually slice the berries, but mashing them a little would be easier. I will have to try your cake recipe.

    • A strawberry festival would be so fun! That’s neat you have rhubarb (my oldest brother’s favorite pie is rhubarb!). How fun about your dog eating the berries. If you try the recipe, I hope you enjoy it! Happy summer to you!

  28. I would remember going to the strawberry fields and picking berries with my Mom. We would come home and make jam and jellies. I would love to have a bowl of fresh strawberries. My Mom would make strawberry pie every year. I would love to dig in and enjoy every bite. It had a graham cracker crust. Thank you allowing me to share some wonderful memories with you. God bless you.

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