Strawberry Rhubarb Shortcakes

Strawberry Rhubarb Shortcake is a twist on the classic dessert featuring the popular pairing of two early summer fruits. For the purists, there’s an all-rhubarb option too.

When I say that Strawberry Shortcake is a classic dessert, I’m not kidding. Shortcake recipes were found in English cook books as early as 1588. I can imagine that shortly after folks starting making shortcakes, they starting topping them with strawberries and cream. I mean, why wouldn’t they?

Being rhubarb obsessed, I think that adding a little rhubarb to the classic dessert, or even going full-on, pure rhubarb, can only make a good thing better.


  • Fresh rhubarb
  • Granulated sugar 
  • Salt
  • Fresh strawberries 
  • Heavy cream
  • Vanilla extract
  • Shortcake Biscuits

How to make Strawberry Rhubarb Shortcakes

See the recipe card for exact measurements and details.

a pot of sliced rhubarb
  • Toss the sliced rhubarb with sugar and let it macerate for 1 hour before cooking.
  • Macerating the rhubarb allows it to retain it’s shape while cooking. You will enjoy chunks of rhubarb on your shortcakes rather than a mushy puree.
a spoon dipping into a bowl of cooked rhubarb
  • Cook until the rhubarb pieces are tender and the syrup is slightly reduced.
  • Poke one of the larger pieces of rhubarb to check if it is tender.
a bowl of cooked rhubarb
  • Cool the rhubarb then mix with the strawberries, or use the rhubarb by itself for pure Rhubarb Shortcakes.

Pastry Chef Tips for making great Strawberry Rhubarb Shortcake

  • For the Strawberry part of the filling, use seasonal berries for the best strawberry flavor.
  • Macerate the berries. “Macerate” just means to toss the berries in sugar and allow them to sit for a while. The sugar draws out the juice to create a delicious syrup and the berries draw in some of the sugar. This not only makes the berries taste better, it keeps them from completely breaking down and turning into strawberry mush. You can read more about how this works in my Peach Pie post.
  • Choose rhubarb that is firm and crisp. Bright red rhubarb also makes a beautifully colored filling.
  • Macerate the rhubarb for the same reason we macerate the berries. By giving the rhubarb a little time to absorb some sugar we prevent it from breaking down completely as it cooks. This filling has distinct chunks of rhubarb throughout.
  • Don’t use just any old biscuit recipe, use my shortcake biscuits which are made especially to soak up the strawberry juice. These biscuits are a little sweeter and more cakey than regular biscuits.

Shortcakes are the perfect make-ahead dessert

  • Though the shortcakes come together quickly and can be made the day you’re serving them, you can make them a few days (or weeks) before and freeze them. Defrost and reheat in the oven to revive the texture.
  • The fruit fillings can be made the night before and refrigerated. The day of the party all you need to do is re-warm the shortcakes and whip some cream. 
  • Set out the biscuits, filling and cream and allow guests to build their own Shortcake.
  • If you’re not hosting a party, make the shortcakes and freeze any leftovers for later.
a strawberry rhubarb shortcake on a plate
Strawberry Rhubarb Shortcake
a rhubarb shortcake on a plate
Pure Rhubarb Shortcake

You can also use Chocolate Shortcakes with Chocolate Chips as the base for this dessert. If you are a true chocoholic, top it off with Chocolate Whipped Cream

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a rhubarb shortcake
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4.67 from 12 reviews

Strawberry Rhubarb Shortcakes Recipe

A true shortcake is not a layer cake, it’s more of a biscuit topped with luscious fruit and lots of whipped cream. This twist on the standard strawberry shortcake includes the popular pairing of strawberry & rhubarb. You can also go pure rhubarb.
Prep Time30 minutes
Bake Time10 minutes
Cooling Time20 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
12 servings
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  • 1 pound rhubarb
  • 12 oz granulated sugar (1 ½ cups, divided)
  • teaspoon table salt
  • 1 pound strawberries (stems removed)
  • 16 oz heavy cream (2 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 12 Shortcake Biscuits (baked and cooled to room temperature.)


  • Slice 1 pound rhubarb into ½" thick slices and toss with 1 cup of the sugar and ⅛ teaspoon table salt in a large saucepan. Cover the pan and set the rhubarb aside for 1 hour to macerate.
  • Slice 1 pound strawberries and place them in a large bowl, toss in 1/4 cup of the granulated sugar. Set aside.
  • Cook the rhubarb over medium heat until boiling. Reduce heat and simmer 5-10 minutes until most of the rhubarb is tender and it’s beginning to thicken. Set the rhubarb aside to cool to room temperature.
  • Transfer to rhubarb to the bowl with the strawberries.
  • Whip 16 oz heavy cream with the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar and 1 tablespoon vanilla extract until soft peaks form.
  • To serve, split open the shortcake biscuits. Top each biscuit with some of the fruit and a dollop of cream.

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Note: To make pure rhubarb shortcakes, eliminate the strawberries and use 2 pounds of rhubarb.


Serving: 1each | Calories: 359kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 43mg | Sodium: 291mg | Potassium: 265mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 33g | Vitamin A: 599IU | Vitamin C: 25mg | Calcium: 77mg | Iron: 1mg
Have you tried this recipe?Mention @eileen.bakingsense or tag #bakingsense!

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Recipe Rating


  1. LOL, true story – I just made these biscuits. Halved the recipe, but it would not come together to save my sanity. Why? I halved everything except the buttermilk! I am a genius in the kitchen. Mad skills. LOL. I do not have much hope for them turning out, and have run out of flour.

    But I feel sure had I not had a moment of lunacy they would be delicious with the strawberry rhubarb sauce.

    1. Yes, I think that would work. The cooking time will probably be shorter since the defrosted rhubarb will already be softened from the freezer.

  2. How much vanilla do you add to the rhubarb? The recipe makes it seem as though some of the two tablespoons is added to the rhubarb and the remainder is added to the whipped cream.

    1. Ooops, thanks for catching that. It was a typo. There is no vanilla in the rhubarb. Just in the cream. It’s been fixed.

  3. So the rhubarb needs no water if it’s macerated? That is fabulous! I wish I’d thought of that. Thanks!