2020 update! I consider this gluten free easy shortcake recipe one of my go-to, can’t-live-without staples (and yes, shortcakes should be a staple in your home too ?). The homemade, gluten free shortcakes are easy to make (no rolling pins or biscuit cutters required!) and can be eaten as a stunning dessert, OR they can be enjoyed as scones!

Close up of an easy strawberry shortcake on a plate with a fork.

Easy shortcake recipe (better than store-bought!)

Strawberry shortcake is one of my very favorite desserts (right along with pie and ice cream pie). For me, it’s synonymous with spring. When I was growing up my dad (who is not a cook, unless the grill is involved) would make individual strawberry shortcakes for my mom on Mother’s Day using store-bought spongy cakes, sliced strawberries and Reddi-Wip. If the Illinois weather allowed, we’d eat out on the back deck, enjoying our first outdoor meal of the season. I love those memories, but I can’t say I still love those packaged spongy cakes, which are filled with who-knows-what (the interminable shelf life scares me!).

Close up of gluten free shortcakes on a baking sheet.

Flaky strawberry shortcakes

Luckily, these days I have homemade, flaky strawberry shortcakes in my wheelhouse. They have an incredible flavor that reminds me of almond croissants, and a super moist texture. Best of all, the simple strawberry shortcake recipe comes together easily using real ingredients (all of which you probably already have on hand!) and no special equipment.

Almond shortcakes

This is an easy shortcake recipe that anybody can master. Using a bit of almond flour in the dough ensures that the shortcakes stay moist, while almond extract lends a rich flavor.

Easy shortcakes on plates topped with sliced strawberries and whipped cream.

How do you make shortcakes from scratch?

  1. Whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, almond flour, baking powder & salt).
  2. Grate in cold butter. Freeze the bowl for 10 minutes while you whisk together the wet ingredients (egg, sugar, milk & almond extract).
  3. Toss the grated butter into the flour to incorporate.
  4. Make a well in the flour mixture and add the wet ingredients.
  5. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients to make the shortcake dough.
  6. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface.
  7. Pat the dough into a 1-inch-thick square.
  8. Cut the square into shortcakes.
Process shot divided into four quadrants showing the first four steps for making the easy shortcake recipe.
Process shot divided into four quadrants showing the last four steps for making the easy shortcake recipe.

Brush the shortcakes with egg wash, then sprinkle with turbinado sugar and sliced almonds. Bake until golden brown!

How do you make flaky shortcakes?

The trick is to grate cold butter into the flour mix. The cold butter creates little pockets of steam in the shortcakes as they bake, and those pockets of steam result in a flaky, tender texture.

Gluten free shortcake recipe

This strawberry shortcake recipe can easily be made gluten-free by using a GF all-purpose flour blend, such as Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour or Cup 4 Cup. If you use another brand, be sure that it contains xanthan gum, which is important for texture (otherwise the shortcakes will be too crumbly).

Gluten free shortcakes on a baking sheet.

Homemade strawberry shortcakes OR scones!

These shortcakes are amazing with berries and whipped cream for dessert. OR you can serve them as scones for breakfast! They’re fabulous on their own, or you can slather them with butter and jam. For another variation, be sure to check out these Blueberry Almond Scones!

Easy shortcake on a plate filled with butter and jam.

How do you store shortcake biscuits?

The shortcakes can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days, or they can be frozen for up to 2 months. If you’d like, reheat the shortcakes gently in a warm oven or toaster oven before serving.

Can strawberry shortcakes be made in advance?

You can make all of the components ahead of time and store them separately. Store the shortcakes at room temperature and refrigerate the strawberries and whipped cream. You also have the option of freezing the shortcakes before baking (they go straight from the freezer into the oven). Meaning, you can have freshly-baked shortcakes or scones at a moment’s notice!!

Strawberry shortcakes on plates with a bowl of whipped cream alongside.

These shortcakes are featured in my Brunch Baking with Bob’s Red Mill class on Bluprint. The class features four of my favorite make-ahead brunch recipes (all of which would be PERFECT for Mother’s Day), including these shortcakes/scones, buttermilk biscuits, lemon pudding cakes and a caramelized shallot, mushroom and spinach tart. (Check out my other Bluprint classes here!)

Perfect shortcakes

These strawberry shortcakes would be the perfect finale to a special occasion meal (hello, Mother’s Day!). However, with a batch in the freezer you can enjoy them on any occasion, morning or night. Now that’s something to celebrate. ?

Close up of a half-eaten gluten free strawberry shortcake on a plate.

Other easy desserts to try:

Get the recipe!

Easy Strawberry Shortcake Recipe (Gluten-Free!)

These ultra-tender and flaky shortcakes are easy to make and have an incredible almond flavor. You can serve them on their own as scones, or you can turn them into strawberry shortcakes with berries and whipped cream. Be sure to use cold butter, straight out of the fridge for the dough and to freeze the flour and butter while you whisk together the wet ingredients (the cold butter is key for a flaky texture). You can use either regular all-purpose white flour OR a gluten-free flour in these shortcakes (see the Notes below).The shortcakes can be frozen before or after baking, meaning you can have homemade strawberry shortcakes at your fingertips at a moment’s notice!
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: easy shortcake recipe, gluten free strawberry shortcake recipe, how to make homemade shortcakes
Servings: 9 shortcakes

Ingredients

Shortcakes

  • 2 cups (272 g) all-purpose flour OR 2 cups (296 g) gluten-free flour (such as Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour or Cup 4 Cup Gluten Free Flour)
  • ¼ cup (28 g) almond flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
  • 2 large eggs, divided
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup whole milk
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sliced almonds

For serving

  • Sliced strawberries
  • Lightly sweetened whipped cream

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, almond flour, baking powder and salt. Using the large holes of a cheese grater, grate the butter over the top of the dry mixture (alternatively, use a box grater to grate the butter onto a piece of wax or parchment paper, then sprinkle the butter over the flour). Place the bowl in the freezer for 10 minutes to chill.
  • In a small bowl, wish one of the eggs with 1 teaspoon of water. Set aside (this will be the egg wash for later).
  • In a separate bowl, whisk the remaining egg with the sugar, milk and almond extract until smooth.
  • Take the bowl out of the freezer, and toss the butter with the flour mixture until evenly incorporated. Make a well in the center of the bowl and pour in the wet ingredients. Slowly work the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until incorporated, being careful not to overwork the dough (it should look shaggy and a bit floury).
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured piece of parchment paper. Using your hands, gently press the dough into a 1-inch thick square (about 6 ½ inches wide). Cut the dough into 9 squares, and transfer them to the baking sheet. Do Ahead: The uncooked shortcakes can be wrapped in wax paper and frozen (in a single layer) in an airtight container or ziptop bag. When ready to bake, proceed as directed—don’t defrost.
  • Brush the shortcakes lightly with the egg wash (you won’t need it all), and sprinkle them with the turbinado sugar and sliced almonds. Bake until golden brown, about 15-17 minutes. Let cool.
  • Carefully cut the shortcakes in half horizontally (a small serrated knife works well), and fill them with sliced strawberries and whipped cream. Alternatively, serve the shortcakes on their own as scones!

Notes

Do Ahead:
  • The uncooked shortcakes can be wrapped in wax paper and frozen (in a single layer) in an airtight container or ziptop bag. When ready to bake, proceed as directed—don’t defrost.
  • The baked shortcakes can be cooled completely then stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days, or they can be frozen for up to 2 months. 
Tips:
  • This recipe can easily be made gluten-free by using a GF all-purpose flour blend! I’ve tested the recipe with both Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour and Cup 4 Cup. If you use a different gluten free flour blend just be sure that it contains xanthan gum, otherwise the shortcakes will be too crumbly.
  • Adding almond flour to the dough helps give the shortcakes an ultra moist texture. 
  • You can use buttermilk in place of the whole milk in this recipe.

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