Grownup Strawberry Shortcake

by Michele Pesula Kuegler | May 31st, 2023 | Desserts, Recipes

The addition of almond liqueur-macerated strawberries and mascarpone whipped cream makes this grownup strawberry shortcake a dessert of great elegance.

Homemade shortcake topped with macerated strawberries and mascarpone whipped cream

Yes, there is a very strong connection between my birthday and strawberries. Last week for my fifty-third birthday I created Strawberry Whoopie Pies. Three years ago, amid a Covid-quieted birthday I made this recipe. I think it’s time for me to make this recipe again but share it with friends.

Now, back to the original post. . .

It’s probably the right time for me to create a recipe for grownups because this Friday I turn. . . 50. Yep, FIFTY. The big Five Oh. So, with a milestone birthday here, a recipe of a grownup nature seems fitting.

While I prepare to celebrate this occasion, I also have been reflective. As much as I am looking forward, I also am thinking about things of the past. Considering birthday foods of the past, one stands out in my mind- my sixth birthday.

At that birthday my requested dinner was chicken, mashed potatoes, corn on the cob, and strawberries. I could see myself asking for a similar dinner now, minus the mashed potatoes. Out of all those food items, strawberries have always been a favorite food of mine. I have eaten more than my fair share of strawberries.

Homemade shortcake topped with macerated strawberries and mascarpone whipped cream

Adoring strawberries as I do, strawberry shortcake has been a go-to recipe for me, partially because of its simplicity: baked good base, strawberry filling, creamy topping. I’ve had it with store-bought cakes, frozen strawberries, and a can of whipped cream. I’ve also made it with a homemade scone base, recently picked strawberries, and freshly made whipped cream. This year I decided to take that homemade version and give it a new spin.

I stuck with my tried and true base of plain scones, albeit with a hint of almond extract to replace the vanilla. Then for the strawberry filling, I let the berries macerate in almond liqueur. It’s not enough to call it 21+, but it’s enough to give some extra flavor. Finally, the topping is a mascarpone whipped cream, which adds nice buttery notes and a silky texture. When combined, this Grownup Strawberry Shortcake is truly an elegant dessert.

Fresh strawberries macerated with almond liqueur

This dessert is so many things all in one. It’s a tribute to my never ending love of strawberries, a reflection on birthdays past, and a creation for birthdays to come.

If you’re seeking a more typical strawberry shortcake recipe, give this one a try.

Homemade shortcake topped with macerated strawberries and mascarpone whipped cream

Grownup Strawberry Shortcake

Michele Pesula Kuegler

Resting time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 15 minutes

Course Dessert

Servings 8



  • Macerated strawberries:
  • 1 pound strawberries
  • 1-2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup amaretto
  • Mascarpone Whipped Cream:
  • 1/2 cup mascarpone
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • Shortcakes:
  • 8 shortcakes homemade*
  • Powdered sugar optional



  • To prepare the strawberries:
  • Remove stems from strawberries.
  • Cut berries into bite-sized pieces; small berries can be left whole.
  • Place berries in a small bowl.
  • Sprinkle sugar over strawberries, then pour amaretto over the sugar.
  • Gently stir strawberry mixture.
  • Cover and refrigerate for an hour.
  • Stir strawberry mixture, then refrigerate for at least two more hours.
  • To prepare the mascarpone whipped cream:
  • Fifteen minutes before making the cream, place mixing bowl and beaters or whisk in refrigerator.
  • Remove items from refrigerator, and combine mascarpone and whipping cream in chilled mixing bowl.
  • Using beaters or whisk, mix on low to combine.
  • Increase speed and whip until soft peaks are formed.
  • Slowly add sugar, whisking until combined.
  • To assemble:
  • Cut shortcakes in half.
  • Place bottom half of shortcake on serving plate.
  • Top with approximately a 1/4 cup of strawberries. (Be sure to add a bit of the macerating liquid as well.)
  • Top with a dollop of mascarpone whipped cream.
  • Gently place top of shortcake on whipped cream and sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired.



If you’re making your own shortcakes, I highly recommend substituting almond for vanilla extract.

Keyword mascarpone whipped cream, shortcakes, strawberries
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