Strawberry Shortcake Day: A Classic Dessert, Deconstructed
Image Credit: Strawberry shortcake. Image via Wikimedia Commons

As a food enthusiast, there's nothing quite like the joy of celebrating a day dedicated to a delectable dessert. National Strawberry Shortcake Day, observed annually on June 14, is a splendid opportunity to indulge in the delightful combination of fluffy shortcake, succulent strawberries, and velvety whipped cream. 

This year's theme, "Savouring Tradition, Embracing Innovation," encourages us to honour the classic dessert while exploring new and exciting variations. So, let's dive into the scrumptious world of strawberry shortcakes and discover how to make the most of this mouth-watering day.

History of the Strawberry Shortcake

The history of strawberry shortcake dates back to the 16th century, with the earliest known recipe found in an English cookbook from 1588. However, culinary historians believe that this dessert was already being made for many years before it made its way into the book. Fast forward to the 19th century, and strawberry shortcake had become a popular biscuit and fruit dessert in the United States, often served with sweetened cream and butter. People would organise strawberry shortcake parties during the peak strawberry season, which typically falls between April and June.

Celebrating National Strawberry Shortcake Day

Today, National Strawberry Shortcake Day is celebrated with great enthusiasm by dessert lovers worldwide. The best way to observe this day is by taking advantage of the seasonal availability of strawberries and preparing a serving of this dessert for yourself and your loved ones. There are few things finer than enjoying a plate of strawberry shortcake on a warm summer day.

To make your strawberry shortcake experience truly memorable, consider visiting a pick-your-own strawberry patch for an adventurous day out. Not only will you have the freshest, most flavourful strawberries for your dessert, but you'll also create lasting memories with your family and friends. Once you have your strawberries in hand, it's time to get creative in the kitchen.

Here's a simple recipe for making a traditional strawberry shortcake:


- 2 cups all-purpose flour

- 1/4 cup granulated sugar

- 1 tablespoon baking powder

- 1/2 teaspoon salt

- 1/2 unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces

- 2/3 cup milk

- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

- 2 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced

- 1/4 cup granulated sugar

- Whipped cream, for serving


1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.

2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.

3. Add the cold butter to the bowl and use a pastry cutter or your fingers to cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs.

4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk and vanilla extract.

5. Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just combined.

6. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead gently until it comes together.

7. Pat the dough into a circle about 1 inch thick and cut into 8 wedges.

8. Place the wedges on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown.

9. While the shortcakes are baking, prepare the strawberries by tossing them with sugar in a bowl.

10. Once the shortcakes are done, let them cool for a few minutes before slicing them in half.

11. Top each shortcake with a spoonful of strawberries and a dollop of whipped cream.

12. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Note: You can also add a touch of lemon zest to the shortcake dough for a citrusy twist.

While the traditional strawberry shortcake recipe calls for a biscuit-like cake, fresh strawberries, and whipped cream, there's plenty of room for innovation. For instance, you could experiment with different types of shortcake, such as a sponge cake or a buttery scone. Alternatively, you could add a twist to the classic whipped cream by infusing it with flavours like vanilla, rose, or even a hint of cardamom.

Another way to embrace innovation on National Strawberry Shortcake Day is by incorporating other seasonal fruits into your dessert. Mixed berries, such as raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries, can add a burst of colour and flavour to your shortcake. For a more tropical touch, consider adding slices of mango or pineapple.

If you're looking to impress your guests with a show-stopping dessert, why not create a strawberry shortcake trifle? Layer pieces of shortcake, whipped cream, and macerated strawberries in a glass trifle dish for a visually stunning and delicious treat. For those who prefer a frozen dessert, strawberry shortcake ice cream is a fantastic option that combines the best of both worlds.

As you celebrate National Strawberry Shortcake Day, don't forget to share your culinary creations on social media using the hashtag #StrawberryShortcakeDay. 

Appreciating the Cultural Significance

In addition to indulging in strawberry shortcake, take a moment to appreciate the cultural significance of this dessert and its role in shaping our culinary traditions. Food has always been an integral part of our history and identity, and National Strawberry Shortcake Day serves as a reminder of the importance of preserving and celebrating our culinary heritage.

Having said that one must also consider the environmental impact of one's strawberry shortcake celebration. Choose locally grown, organic strawberries whenever possible, and be mindful of food waste as you prepare your dessert.

National Strawberry Shortcake Day is a delightful opportunity to savour tradition and embrace innovation in the world of desserts. Whether you choose to bake your own shortcake, experiment with new flavours, or simply enjoy a slice from your favourite bakery, make this day a scrumptious and memorable experience. Happy National Strawberry Shortcake Day!