Strawberry Shortcake vs Strawberry Shortbread

One of my fondest and longest-lasting childhood memories involves strawberry shortbread.

Once every summer, my mother would declare that we were having strawberry shortbread for dinner. Usually this coincided with us going strawberry picking as a family. It was such a treat because we were essentially eating dessert for dinner in a home where we rarely had dessert at all.

I recently learned that Megan had a surprisingly similar tradition in her house, also with strawberry shortbread. Note that both of us ate shortbread, not shortcake. That’s important.

So I decided to celebrate our fond memories and make strawberry shortbread for dinner last night. I picked up some pancake mix and Googled, “use pancake mix to make short–” and it autofilled “shortcake.” It didn’t occur to me that shortcake was different than shortbread, so it didn’t seem odd that the recipe asked me to add sugar to the pancake mix.

The result, as you can guess, was a mild cake. Delicious? Yes. Perfectly suitable for strawberries and whipped cream? Absolutely.

But it definitely wasn’t the crunchy-on-the-outside, soft-on-the-inside, slightly salty, biscuit-like shortbread that we ate as kids.

Fortunately, while I learned a key lesson here, there’s no bad news: The shortcake was great, and now I have an excuse to make actual strawberry shortbread in the near future.

If you ate either of these growing up, which are you most familiar with? Shortcake or shortbread?

3 Responses to “Strawberry Shortcake vs Strawberry Shortbread”

  1. Brent Keath says:

    Shortcake for sure. In fact, I don’t think I have ever actually had strawberry shortbread.

  2. Adam Buckingham says:

    Growing up, we always had pound cake with strawberries instead of shortcake.

    That said, the thing you describe as shortbread is what my wife and I call shortcake. We don’t use pancake mix, we just make it from scratch. But it’s a slightly salty, slightly sweet biscuit with a crunchy outside, fluffy inside. I wonder if the recipe you found was just weird?

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