Strawberry Shortcake Iowa-Style

For Iowans, the first shortcake of the season is always with hot biscuits, always with mashed berries, always with cream and most importantly, not dessert but "dinner".

Strawberry Shortcake Iowa-Style

When the first ripe-as-jewel local strawberries become available, the family script for shortcake is fixed.

Shortcake is supper, nothing else. We are allowed – no, expected – to gorge. Diet protestations are futile. Failure to indulge has serious consequence: no return invitation.

The first of two acts is Iowa Shortcake, hot biscuits doused with mashed berries and cream, lots of berries, lots of cream.

The second act is – hhmmmm. Feast on this, then we’ll talk. If you’re worthy.

IOWA SHORTCAKE Gently mash a half-cup sugar into a quart of bite-size berries: perfect, home-grown strawberries are traditional but blueberries, blackberries and others are extraordinary. Let rest at room temperature for 2 – 3 hours, pressing occasionally. Stir in a second quart of berries just before serving. To serve, place the bottom half of a hot biscuit in a bowl and spread with butter. Cover with a generous portion of berries, then the top half of the biscuit. Pour half-and-half (or even cream) over the biscuit. Keep half-and-half available for adding more as it soaks into the berries and biscuit.

ALANNA's TIPS For air-light results with any baked good, stir flour before measuring. For something as delicate as biscuits, better yet, weigh the flour. For this recipe, use nine ounces. One year, I forgot the baking soda, no problem, so long as the baking powder is fresh. On-hand substitutions: Substitute sweet milk or buttermilk for the yogurt; if sweet milk but add an extra teaspoon of baking powder. Substitute whole yogurt for non-fat yogurt but use 5 tablespoons butter. The sharp edges of a biscuit cutter will encourage taller, lighter biscuits but a glass or used tuna can works in a pinch.
Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Follow Kitchen Parade on Facebook!


Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Time to table: 25 minutes
Serves 8
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour fluffed to aerate before measuring or 250g
  • 1 scant teaspoon table salt
  • 1 tablespoon (yes, tablespoon) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 6 tablespoons cold butter (leave in fridge until needed)
  • 1 scant cup non-fat yogurt

Preheat oven to 450F. Lightly butter a baking sheet.

Stir the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda in a large bowl. (Hints: While the flour's out, keep it handy for later. Have the yogurt ready before proceeding too because from here on, work quickly, for the colder the butter when the biscuits reach the oven, the better the ‘crumb’, that's the biscuit-perfect texture.)

Dice butter. (To dice, cut stick into fourths lengthwise. Turn, repeat. Then cut crosswise.) With both hands, work the butter into the flour mixture with your fingertips until coarsely, not finely, mixed.

Gently stir in the yogurt. Form into a sticky ball, turn onto lightly floured surface. Gently knead about 10 times. (Add flour if you must but the more flour, the heavier the biscuits.)

Press dough about one inch thick. Cut into rounds with a biscuit cutter, transfer to the baking sheet. Reshape leftover dough and cut additional biscuits. (Cut as many as possible the first time for those biscuits will be more tender.)

Bake immediately for 7 – 9 minutes or until tall and golden. Alternatively, freeze biscuits for 30 – 60 minutes before baking but the biscuits won’t be quite so light.

NUTRITION ESTIMATE Per biscuit: 201 Calories; 9g Tot Fat; 26g Carb; 1g Fiber; 615 mg Sodium; 23 mg Cholesterol; 4g Protein. Weight Watchers Old Points 4.5, PointsPlus 5

A Family Tradition

The son of Iowans, my nephew Alex is a big fan of Strawberry Shortcake Iowa-Style, sweet biscuits with strawberries and cream. I believe that Alex is the fifth generation of Kelloggs to adore this early-summer tradition!

Tis Strawberry Season!

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Chocolate Cream Puffs Stuffed with Strawberries & Cream Strawberry Ice Cream Strawberry Banana Chocolate Crumble

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Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. Anonymous7/21/2007

    Blackberry shortcake...why have I never, ever thought of that?

    Alanna, you're making my mouth water...


  2. Anonymous7/21/2007

    Yes, I would definitely go off my diet for this. Any time.


  3. I moved from my mom's kitchen in Iowa to Oregon 12 years ago and this recipe made me cry at how much I miss eating there.

  4. I'm sorry to put you in tears, Page, even if in a good way. Isn't it something how food can be so evocative for us?

    I do thank you for taking a moment to write, truly.


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna