Make your own super easy crunchy drop biscuits for a strawberry shortcake that beats any store-bought version!
Growing up, I only knew strawberry shortcake as something made with a sponge-cake (usually the store-bought little cakes they sell next to the berries) that without fail became a soggy mess, usually before the first bite. Yeah, strawberry shortcake was not high on my list of favorite desserts. So if it was being served, I always asked for just the berries and whipped cream, please.
Then Brian and I were invited to some friends house shortly after we were married. My heart sank (OK, maybe I’m exaggerating…) when my friend said she was serving strawberry shortcake and since I didn’t know her well enough to ask for no cake, I resigned myself to soggy cake.
Except, she started making biscuits for the shortcake! And not regular biscuits, but drop biscuits (a very important distinction I found out). This was a revelation to me, although when I mentioned it she looked at me like I was very weird, and said something like, “it’s just a biscuit.”
Anyway, I ate every last bit of that shortcake. It was warm and every bite was crunchy with the strawberry and slightly sweetened whipped cream. Yum. I was now in love with strawberry shortcake!
How to Make Strawberry Shortcake with Crunchy Drop Biscuits
In order to have the most nooks and crannies that cook up all crisp and crunchy, you need to make drop biscuits. Yes, the biscuit you don't have to roll or fuss with is the best for this recipe (although this classic biscuit recipe is pretty easy, too, with just a few folds-and-rolls to get flaky biscuits).
Isn't it nice that the super-easy recipe is the one you’re supposed to make? It’s literally a 5-10 minute job to get them ready for the oven. In fact, I usually do it while dinner's simmering or baking, so that they will be nice and warm for dessert, although they are fine made a few hours before dinner, too.
The one thing to know is that drop biscuits have a much wetter dough than shaped biscuits. Using a muffin-sized scoop is the easiest way I've found to quickly drop them onto the lined baking sheet (I prefer black teflon liners over lighter liners because they produce better browning).
Just in case you're wondering...I never use Bisquick, etc. I just don’t understand this product, I mean- biscuits are one of the easiest things to make needing just flour, butter, baking powder, salt, and milk. I need a product to premix the flour, salt and baking powder? Or worse yet, to have shortening added (give me butter any day!) and all the other things that come with a packaged food. If you really find it convenient, I urge you to make up your own mix, since it's a 10-minute task.
After about 15 minutes in a hot oven, they are wonderfully browned. See all those light and darker brown spots? Crunchy goodness, right there.
I actually like to prepare the strawberries about an hour or so before serving them - if you let them sit in just the tiniest bit of sugar at room temperature all those wonderful juices will release and they will be SO flavorful.
And by tiny, I mean 1/2 teaspoon of sugar sprinkled over 2-3 cups sliced strawberries (which is about what a 1-lb container yields). You can of course skip this step, but it's such a small amount and makes such a big difference (especially with store-bought strawberries) that I never skip, though sometimes I have drizzled with honey (which does affect the flavor).
After slicing and sprinkling, let the berries sit on the counter until you serve the shortcake.
When it’s time to serve, split the biscuit and pile the berries on the bottom half. Replace the top of the biscuit and add a dollop of lightly sweetened whipped cream (I use honey-sweetened cream - it works great!). Mmm…heaven.
And no one will ever guess that this dessert has less than 1/4 tsp. of added sugar per serving!