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Easy Chocolate Shortcake

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Chocolate shortcake is a fun twist on traditional strawberry shortcake cake recipe. Chewy, chocolatey, fudge like and studded with chocolate chips. A chocolate lovers dream for chocolate strawberry shortcake!

My people love chocolate, so anytime I make something that isn’t they ask if I can make a chocolate version; that is how this Chocolate shortcake recipe was born.

Do you have chocolate loving people in your life too? Try these family and reader favorites: Easy Chocolate Loaf Cake, Best Fudge Brownies Ever, Chewy, Triple Chocolate Chip Pudding Cookies.

top down shot of chocolate strawberry shortcake with ice cream, strawberries and whipped cream.

My favorite recipe for Chocolate Strawberry Shortcake

When a recipe comes together so beautifully you cannot wait to share it. This recipe would be ideal for Easter, Mother’s day or any summer dessert.

I made the chocolate strawberry shortcake version to appease my family when making regular strawberry shortcake for a friend’s birthday dinner.

Wedge of Chocolate Shortcake in glass footed bowl with chocolate ice cream in ice cream scoop on table.

I polled my Instagram followers which recipe they would love to see first, the Old-Fashioned Strawberry Shortcake or Chocolate Shortcake — Chocolate shortcake won, hands down!

Ingredients

I bet you have all of these ingredients to make this delicious chocolate strawberry dessert!

Ingredients for Chocolate Shortcake L-R All purpose flour, sugar, chocolate chips, cocoa powder, butter, egg, salt, baking powder and milk.
  • ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR | I use organic, unbleached all-purpose flour
  • CANE SUGAR | I use organic all natural cane sugar in all of my baking, regular granulated white sugar may be used.
  • COCOA POWDER | I used organic Rodelle Dutch Process Cocoa, regular or dark cocoa powder may also be used.
  • BAKING POWDER | provides the lift this shortcake needs
  • CHOCOLATE CHIPS | A good quality semi-sweet chocolate chip is called for here.
  • BUTTER | Real cream butter, no soft out of the fridge butter blends please.
  • EGG | I use organic large eggs
  • MILK | I use whole milk in my baking, other milks may be used.
  • VANILLA EXTRACT | Adds subtle vanilla nuances to the shortcake.
  • STRAWBERRIES | Sliced, diced and macerated (see below)
  • WHIPPED CREAM | or make this into a chocolate shortcake ice cream dessert and use ice cream of your choice on top.

How to Make Chocolate Shortcake

This shortcake recipe is not biscuit like, dry or crumbly, instead it is more like a chewy, rich cookie cake. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F and grease or line with parchment a 8 or 9 inch pan (I used round, but you could use square too)

  1. Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cocoa powder in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Using a pastry blender, knives or your hands, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Process shots Chocolate Shortcake 1) adding cocoa powder to sieve 2) cutting butter into dry ingredients.
  1. Beat egg into the milk in another bowl; then stir into dry ingredients until batter is just blended, stir in chocolate chips.
process shot for chocolate shortcake 3) adding egg and vanilla mixture to dry mixture 4) adding chocolate chips to batter.
  1. Press batter with hands into prepared pan — the batter is not pourable, more like a cookie dough, press to edges of pan.
  2. Bake in preheated oven until edges are just starting to get dry and pull away slightly from sides. Cool in pan for 10 minutes on wire rack, then remove to cool completely on wire rack.
Process shots for Chocolate Shortcake 5) baked chocolate shortcake 6) cooled and sliced into wedges.

KATHLEEN’S TIP | Baking at a higher temperature yields a crisp top and a gooey center. If you prefer a more typical shortcake texture, then reduce the temp to 350 degrees and bake longer, test around 20 minutes.

How do I store Shortcake?

Once cooled, place in air tight container on counter for up to 4 days. May also be frozen for up to 3 months.

Chocolate shortcake on plate with scoop of vanilla ice cream and dollop of whipped cream and fudge sauce.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make this Gluten Free?

Yes! Swap out the all purpose flour for a good Gluten Free cup for cup, I like Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 or King Arthur Measure for Measure.

Can I make this Dairy Free?

I have had good luck swapping out the butter for coconut oil (solid) and replacing the milk with a plant based milk, I have not tried with this recipe, but similar recipes have worked in the past.

What is Shortcake Made Of?

Typically shortcake is made with flour, sugar, baking powder or soda, salt, butter, milk and eggs. The dry ingredients are blended, and then the butter is cut in until the mixture resembles cornmeal.

What is the Difference between Shortcake and Shortbread?

While similar; they are different. The difference is that shortcake is made with milk, egg and a chemical leavening agent such as baking powder, which gives it a different texture. 

Shortbread is made with more butter, typically no leavening or liquid, or egg and is more of a cookie than a cake.

Tips

  • PAN OPTIONS | Our motto at TFC is “Make It Yours”! So try different pans, an 8×8 or 9×9 square, 7×11, press into a tart pan or maybe 1 ½ x the recipe and make it in a 9×13 inch pan. 
  • BERRIES | Try fresh cherries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, heck even mango, peaches, nectarines and pineapple would be amazing!
  • ADDING SPICE | Try a teaspoon of cinnamon or Espresso powder.
  • MAKE AHEAD | Make and cool the shortcake completely, then refrigerate (up to 7 days) or freeze (up to 3 months) in air tight container.
  • CONSISTENCY | These directions will yield crispy outside, but chewy, gooey inside chocolate shortcake, see below baking if you want a different result:
    • Cakier inside: Bake at 350-375 degrees F for 20-30 minutes.

Looking for an Old-Fashioned Strawberry Shortcake? <– this is what inspired the chocolate shortcake!

Chocolate shortcake cake on a plate with scoop of vanilla ice cream and chocolate fudge drizzled on top.

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Yield: 8-10 Servings

Easy Chocolate Shortcake

Wedge of Chocolate Shortcake in glass footed bowl with chocolate ice cream in ice cream scoop on table.

Chocolate shortcake is a fun twist on traditional strawberry shortcake cake recipe. Chewy, chocolatey, fudge like and studded with chocolate chips. A chocolate lovers dream for chocolate strawberry shortcake!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

Chocolate Shortcake

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour | I used organic unbleached AP Flour
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder | I used Dutch processed
  • ¾ cup cane sugar | may use white granulated sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder | no aluminum
  • ½ teaspoon salt | I used kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup butter, cold
  • 1 egg, large
  • ⅓ cup milk | I use whole milk in all of my recipes
  • ⅔ cup chocolate chips | I used semi sweet

Strawberries

  • 16-24 oz fresh ripe strawberries, quartered or diced
  • 1-3 tablespoons cane sugar, may use white sugar

Whipped Cream

  • 1 cup Heavy Cream, I use organic heavy whipping cream
  • 1-3 tablespoons powdered sugar (to taste)
  • ¼-½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Or top with a scoop of your favorite chocolate, coffee, strawberry or vanilla ice cream

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F (see notes for less gooey cake baking options in notes) Sift flour, sugar, baking powder, cocoa powder and salt in a large mixing bowl.
    Using a pastry blender, food processor (careful not to over mix) or two knives or even your hands, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  2. In a measuring cup, beat egg and milk and vanilla together.
    Using a fork, gently stir liquid into flour mixture, just until blended, fold in chocolate chips.
  3. Spread shortcake batter, pressing with your fingers evenly into prepared baking pan. This is not a pourable cake batter, more like a cookie or scone dough.
  4. Bake in preheated 450° oven about 15 minutes for 8" pan, 15-18 for 9" pan. Cool in pan for 10 minutes before removing to wire cooling rack to cool completely.
  5. Once cooled, store the shortcake in airtight container on counter up to 5 days. Or wrap well in plastic wrap and place in ziplock baggie and freeze up to 3 months.

ASSEMBLE CHOCOLATE STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE

  1. Cut fresh strawberries into quarters or smaller chunks, place in bowl, sprinkle with 1-3 tablespoons of sugar (to taste), tossing to coat. This process is called maceration. Cover and allow the strawberries to sit on the counter for 20 minutes.
  2. If desired, remove ¼ cup of strawberries and mash with fork or masher, returning to the mixture.
  3. Place slice of shortcake cake on plate or bowl, spoon desired amount of berries over the top of shortcake, top with whipped cream or ice cream, serve immediately!

Notes

Tips & Substitutions

    PAN OPTIONS | Our motto at TFC is “Make It Yours”! So try different pans, an 8×8 or 9×9 square, 7×11, press into a tart pan or maybe 1 ½ x the recipe and make it in a 9×13 inch pan.
    BERRIES | Try fresh cherries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, heck even mango, peaches, nectarines and pineapple would be amazing!
    ADDING SPICE | Try a teaspoon of cinnamon or Espresso powder.
    MAKE AHEAD | Make and cool the shortcake completely, then refrigerate (up to 7 days) or freeze (up to 3 months) in air tight container.
    CONSISTENCY | These directions will yield crispy outside, but chewy, gooey inside chocolate shortcake, see below baking if you want a different result:
    Cakier inside: Bake at 350-375 degrees F for 20-30 minutes.

GLUTEN OR DAIRY FREE SHORTCAKE

  • Substitute all purpose flour with a good cup-for-cup GF Flour.
  • Try using coconut oil in place of butter and plant based milk in place of whole milk.

*I have not tried either of the two, but think with the nature of the shortcake it should still turn out fine.

HIGH ALTITUDE | No high altitude adjustments needed for this recipe.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

10

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 402Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 71mgSodium: 452mgCarbohydrates: 48gFiber: 3gSugar: 27gProtein: 5g

The nutritional information is estimated and may not be entirely accurate, at times it pulls information for suggestions and options which may increase calories, etc. Nutritional information will change based on used ingredients, quantities used, etc.

Did you make this recipe?

Go ahead, MAKE MY DAY! PIN on Pinterest and Comment on the blog!

Pin for The Best Chocolate Shortcake, with wedge of chocolate shortcake in glass footed bowl with scoop of chocolate ice cream in scooper on table.

Old Fashioned Strawberry Shortcake in glass footed dish with strawberries and whipped cream, topped with mint.
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Tasia ~ two sugar bugs

Saturday 3rd of April 2021

This chocolate strawberry shortcake will be a hit with my chocolate loving family too! We love a crisp outside and gooey center and the strawberry chocolate combo is so classic!

Kathleen

Saturday 3rd of April 2021

Thank you friend, it is all those things isn't it!

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