The first time I saw chocolate shortcakes, I immediately wondered, “Why didn’t I think of that?!”  It’s a brilliant idea of course.  Chocolate pairs so well with strawberries and I can’t think of many desserts that aren’t improved by a dollop of whipped cream.  It just makes sense.  And, as is so often the way, as soon as I saw my first chocolate shortcake, I started seeing them everywhere.  Except most of them weren’t really shortcakes at all.  Some were more like brownies or puffy cookies sliced in half and sandwiched with the usual fillings.  While that still sounds great, it was a true shortcake that interested me.  A barely sweetened biscuit with chocolate flavoring.  After excessive searching through the interwebs, cookbooks and magazines, I realized that I needed to look no further than one of my most trusted baking books, Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours.

Shortcakes are one of the first desserts that I turn to when I am working with minimal kitchen equipment, so I made these one evening for dessert while we were on vacation.  The members of Tuesdays with Dorie had made these cakes at some point, so I made sure to read through some of the members’ reviews.  I followed Bridget’s example and added some chopped chocolate into my biscuits to be sure the chocolate really came through.  Good call, Bridget.  The biscuits were still just what I was hoping for but I think the added chocolate provided a little extra oomph.  As much as I love a classic strawberry shortcake, I’m definitely digging the chocolate version too.


For the shortcakes:
1 1/3 cup whole milk
1½ tsp. vanilla extract
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tbsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
½ cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling
3 oz. bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1½ sticks (12 tbsp.) cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

For the strawberries:
1½ lbs. strawberries, hulled and sliced or quartered
3-4 tbsp. sugar
Squeeze of lemon juice

For the whipped cream:
1 cup heavy cream
2-3 tbsp. confectioners’ sugar
Dash vanilla extract


  • 01

    Preheat the oven to 425˚ F.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

  • 02

    In a liquid measuring cup, combine the milk, vanilla and egg.  Whisk to blend.  In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt and ½ cup of sugar.  Stir to combine.  Add in the butter and toss to coat the butter in the dry ingredients.  Working quickly with a pastry blender or your fingers, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the pieces of butter are no larger than small peas.  Mix in the chopped chocolate and toss to combine.

  • 03

    Pour the milk mixture over the dry ingredients and stir gently until a sticky dough forms.  Very gently knead the dough just until most of the dry ingredients are incorporated.  Be careful not to overwork the dough.

  • 04

    Scoop the dough in about 1/3 cup mounds onto the baking sheets, leaving a few inches in between.  Gently pat the mounds to about 1-inch thickness.  Sprinkle the tops with sugar.  Bake, rotating the sheets halfway through, until the shortcakes are puff and give just slightly when lightly pressed, about 15-18 minutes total.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

  • 05

    To make the strawberries, combine the berries, sugar and lemon juice in a medium bowl.  Toss well to coat the berries with the sugar and let macerate at least 30-60 minutes.  If desired, mash lightly with a fork.

  • 06

    Just before serving, make the whipped cream.  Place the chilled cream and confectioners’ sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer.  Whip on high speed until medium-stiff peaks form, being careful not to overbeat.  Blend in the vanilla.

  • 07

    To serve, split each shortcake horizontally.  Top the bottom half of each shortcake with a dollop of whipped cream, spoon some of the berry mixture over the top, and replace the top half of the shortcake.  Serve immediately.


  • Oda

    Two tablespoons of baking powder?

  • Annie


  • I smiled when I saw your photo because I bring my plates out and put them on my deck railing a lot…gotta go where the light is!

  • I have been seeing this pop up everywhere too. I love strawberry shortcake so the chocolate version has to be good!

  • This is sooo creative! I can’t believe I’ve never seen this done before. I have made regular strawberry shortcake a few times and love it, but chocolate would be awesome!

  • Dalia

    Looks so good! But as with several other desserts, I am hesitant to make them because it is just my husband and I eating them. I was wondering, you have three people eating so what do you do? Eat all 12 in a weeks time, or freeze some after you bake them?

  • I’m with you – why didn’t I think of that? It’s an obvious combination of flavours. Sometimes the simplest things are the least obvious. Silly me.

  • Annie

    I would cut down the recipe significantly. You could also make the whole batch and freeze before baking.

  • Annie

    Haha, yep, that was all the light available in our vacation rental so I went with it!

  • I’m usually not a fan of shortcakes, but maybe adding chocolate will convert me :D

  • Jess

    I often make this recipe (and her plain shortcake recipe) – they’re delicious. You can easily make the entire batch and freeze the additional shortcakes. Then bake them straight from the freezer. It usually takes an extra minute or two – just keep an eye on them.

  • Wow! This is one of those “why didn’t I ever think of that?!!!” moments. Chocolate, strawberries, and whipped cream? Yes!

  • This is a perfect dessert for summer! I’ve had some vague idea of this dessert I wanted to make, and after I saw this recipe this is exactly it!

  • Such a simple adaptation to one of my summertime favorites :) This looks delicious!

  • Mmm, tasty! I haven’t had shortcakes in years so I think I should fix that!

  • Annie… DROOLING! Love this. Perfect for a summer dinner party.

  • Lala

    When I saw your photo, I said to myself, I have to make this ASAP! I love chocolate and I would drizzle chocolate syrup/fudge on top, yum!

  • Chocolate shortcake, such a interesting and delicious twist on a classic. Looks delicious.

  • Courtney

    I just made the shortcakes for dessert for tonight. They are delicious. I am splitting one with my Daughter as I type. Yum! I cant wait to add strawberries and homemade whipped cream!!

  • A little extra chocolate never hurt anything, right? Your shortcake looks beautiful!

  • I just made Dorie’s original recipe the other night because we had an overabundance of strawberries. Chocolate shortcake is genius!

  • I LOVE your blog, and all your cooking ideas! I’m learning to try new recipes, so I’ll definitely have to try some of your recipes!

  • Sarah

    I made this just a couple days ago….sooooooooo good!! And I aboslutely agree-that chopped chocolate adds a little something good :) I had a lot of shortcakes leftover, so I just froze them for a quick dessert in a fix! Thanks for sharing

  • Red Tag Couture

    These look completely delicious. I might need to put a new spin on traditional during the holiday weekend! I love your site and always turn to you for meal/dessert insipiration.