It’s been a perfect storm in the Secrets of a Home Cook kitchen. First, baker extraordinaire, Dorie Greenspan’s been talking up her strawberry shortcake recipes and with strawberry season in full swing, it’s all I want to eat right now. Second, my mom (mom extraordinaire) brought me gorgeous vanilla beans from her recent trip to India. The result is my own version of strawberry vanilla shortcake. It really is a very easy recipe with vanilla beans throughout. They’re a bit pricy but worth the few extra dollars and you can find them right next to the extract in the baking aisle.

About Vanilla Beans: Vanilla extract is a staple in most kitchens, but using the actual bean makes any recipe calling for vanilla special. It’s a long, thin pod and by slicing lengthwise you can scrape out the beans and add them to your recipe. The flavor is significantly more pronounced and the tiny vanilla beans make everything more visually dramatic.

Strawberry Season: Here in New Jersey the strawberry season is just beginning. While local is always freshest, in warmer weather states like California, strawberries are fresh and available all year long. Discoll’s has been growing strawberries for over 100 years and it’s a family run business. Not a bad option if you’re still waiting for your strawberry patch to sprout.

Goes With… Warm elote corn dip, scallops with lemon and chive oil, gorgeous green goddess salad

Strawberry Vanilla Shortcake

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 8 shortcakes


  • 2 cups flour
  • 1-tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • ½ vanilla bean, split and scraped (about 3-inches)
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • 2 lbs. strawberries
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • Whipped cream
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • ½ vanilla bean, split and scraped (about 3-inches)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Shortcakes: In a food processor combine flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Cut butter into 8 pieces and pulse in one piece at a time. In a bowl whisk together heavy cream and vanilla beans and add to the dough pulsing until just combined. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead several times until it holds together. Roll the dough to a ½ -1 inch thickness. Using a 3 ½ - inch round cookie cutter (you can also use a drinking glass), cut 8 biscuits. Place on a prepared baking sheet and bake 20 minutes until golden brown.
  3. Strawberries: While shortcakes are in the oven, prepare the strawberries. Hull and quarter rinsed berries then place in a bowl. Toss with sugar and let rest at least 15 minutes and up to several hours (This will allow the strawberries to release their juices and soften).
  4. Whipped Cream: Place cream and scraped vanilla bean in a metal bowl and whip until soft peaks form. Slowly add sugar until it holds soft peaks. Cover and chill until ready to use.