Back on July first, Canada Day, I had made 2 different shortcakes to compare the 2 major shortcake styles. The cake sort of strawberry shortcake is what I’m familiar with, having grown up eating that kind, but I’d also heard of the biscuit type. Since my Dad loves strawberry shortcake, and it’s a classic red and white dessert that is a perfect way to celebrate Canada Day, I decided to make both kinds.
I had made the biscuit type once before, but never got around to blogging about it. That time I served it still warm, and buttered, as that recipe suggested, and it was really good. This time, due to the logistics of cooking and transporting food, I made both cakes at home, and then assembled them at Mom and Dad’s house for the barbecue, so both were cold, as I’ve always eaten shortcake in the past. For the biscuit kind, I have to say that having it warm with cool berries and cream, it’s amazing. Transcendental, even. Cold, of course, is great too, but the biscuit isn’t as crisp and light since the juice quickly starts to soak in. I suggest that if you’re having the biscuit sort to bake it at the last-minute and serve the whole thing while it’s still warm.
Dad stayed true to his first love and greatly preferred the cake style. I found the cake for this one to be a bit on the heavy side, though I did use the day-before method as outlined in Caroline King’s Cook Book, which she clearly states will make a heavier cake. I would try to find a lighter cake if I was going to make strawberry shortcake again, but this one does have a nice flavour, and isn’t a bad cake at all. As you can see, I baked it in two different sized tins to make a more dramatic looking cake, but it made it much harder to serve! I’m not sure I’d bother again.
My honey thought the biscuit style was more interesting, and my older sister Victoria preferred it too, since it’s lighter and less sweet. Victoria’s friend, Linda, who has been coming for the Canada Day barbecue for a number of years now (she also took the pictures!) sided with Dad, though she diplomatically said that both were very good.
Mom, due to food allergies, didn’t try any of the shortcakes. Talk about an unsupportive mother!
I think my preference would be based on when the cake would be made. If I was making it again to serve cold, I’d do the cake style for sure, but if I could manage to whip it up at the last-minute and serve it warm and crisp and light, with the juice from the berries just starting to soak in, I’d do the biscuit style.
Recipes for both cakes can be found in my Happy Canada Day post. Try both kinds and let me know what your preference is!