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What Makes a Shortcake, a Shortcake?

By: Lodge Cast Iron / April 27, 2023

For the May Recipe of the Month, we’re perfecting our shortcake, just in time for the fresh fruit summer brings. Even though cake is in the name, shortcake is really more of a sweet and magical biscuit. There are two key ingredients that give shortcakes the unique sweetness and tight crumb that make them perfect alongside a big pile of summer berries. Read on to learn more! 

Strawberry Shortcake

What makes a shortcake? Eggs and sugar! 

When you think of strawberry shortcake, you might imagine the small, spongy cakes sold at the grocery store, but the traditional recipe is closer to a scone or biscuit than a cake. You’ll notice this from the start. Unlike cake batter, shortcake batter is significantly thicker and reminiscent of biscuit dough.

But shortcakes don’t share the same buttery flakiness of biscuits or the dry crumbliness of a scone. That's because shortcake recipes call for eggs and use more sugar. That’s what makes them unique! This gives the shortcake a sweet taste and tight crumb—perfect for soaking up the juices from the fruit topping.  

Eggs for Frittatas
Sweet Biscuit Strawberry Shortcake

What can you top your shortcake with? 

Strawberries, obviously! Then bring on the blackberries, blueberries, peaches, or nectarines. But really, the opportunities are endless—we just recommend using what’s in season! No matter what you choose, macerate your fruit with sugar and a little bit of lemon juice. This will draw out the liquid in your fruit and create a delicious syrup.

What type of baking pan should you use? 

You can make your shortcake in all kinds of pans! To make a single cake, we love to use the Fluted Cake Pan or Baker’s Skillet. But if you’re going for individual servings, reach for the Mini Cake Pan, Wedge Pan, or Baking Pan. Just remember, bake times will vary based on the size of your cake. 

Strawberry shortcake

So many ways to shortcake.

Shop our favorite baking pans. 

Contributed By: Lodge Cast Iron

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