In fact, sometimes, they can be outright easy.

By Darcy Lenz
July 02, 2020
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Darcy Lenz

Typically, I try to use the recipes I develop for this column to highlight some kind of useful baking tip or informative takeaway. But I’ve thought about it, and if I’m being honest, I think the only serviceable wisdom I can offer via Strawberry Shortcake Casserole is that sometimes, dessert can be both stupid-easy and exceptionally tasty. 

That lesson might be better stated: Don’t be a snob about canned biscuits. They’re useful! 

Or maybe the bottom line is simply that Strawberry Shortcake Casserole is stinking good, and you should make it because the commitment required is shockingly low. 

Now, at first glance you may be wondering, “How is this any different than a cobbler?” Good question. The answer all comes down to that bottom biscuit. Remember, traditional strawberry shortcake consists of a buttery biscuit, split and filled with sweetened, macerated fresh strawberries—all topped with a pile of whipped cream. This recipe takes that berry sandwich construct and bakes it in a casserole dish to yield a cohesive, berry-soaked situation no one in their right mind could resist.

 See, your top biscuits, brushed with cream and brown sugar, get nice and golden-crisp as they bake on top of the berry filling. Meanwhile, the bottom layer of biscuits—which you will need to par-bake (but don’t worry, it doesn’t take long and you can do this while you quarter strawberries)—simmer in the sweet berry juices, creating a delightfully tender, fluffy bite I’d liken to a strawberry dumpling. So you’ll notice as you scoop out the first serving that this is a fairly juicy baked fruit dessert; and you’ll realize upon taking your first bite, that’s not a bad thing at all. In fact, a bite containing tender biscuit + strawberry + crispy biscuit + fresh whipped cream is a reminder that things can still go right in this world.

One other small detail I want to address is the pan size called for in the recipe, it’s a 6-x 9-inch. You may very well have this size dish in your kitchen, but if you don’t, that’s so understandable (it’s random!) and I’m sorry. I kind of can’t stand it when recipes call for pan sizes no normal person owns, but in this case, it was just such a perfect fit for the recipe, I couldn’t resist. I am only human. But the good news is, you can totally use a different pan. A (8-x- 8-inch or 9-x 9-inch) square baking dish will work, or you could even use a deep-dish pie plate. If you wanted to, you could also multiply the recipe (I’m guessing by 1 ½) and use a 9-x 13-inch baking dish.

So there you have it, Strawberry Shortcake Casserole—it’s shockingly easy, it’s scrumptious, and it’s willing to work with you. Even if you have mixed feelings about canned biscuits on the breakfast table, I understand, but I have a feeling your outlook on the canned biscuit’s potential may expand after trying this exceptional shortcake shortcut.