Revisiting The Strawberry Shortcake Controversy, Asking For Your Preferences

I READ AN ARTICLE that said one of the best approaches to writing a blog post is to write about something controversial. Readers will respond. Discussions will ensue.

Give attitude, get attention.

I believe there’s a truth to this approach.  I say that because years ago [like maybe 10-12?] I wrote a post about making Strawberry Shortcake for dessert.

Welp, my small readership at the time went bonkers telling me how I was doing it wrong. That my preferred Strawberry Shortcake combination was not the amazeballs that I thought it was.

I got comments disagreeing with me on that post for over a year. No exaggeration.

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NOW THAT IT’S MAY, I’m thinking about making Strawberry Shortcake.  In fact I’m going to stop by a local farmers’ market today where I might find some delicious local strawberries to use in said dessert.

Thus, in an attempt to make the perfect Strawberry Shortcake ever, I have created the following three polls in which we will determine what you, my gentle readers, consider to be the perfect Strawberry Shortcake.

Yes, I’m crowdsourcing this recipe.

To wit, considering your own preferences please complete the sentences that begin each poll.  Then if you, my gentle readers, care to chat about Strawberry Shortcake, or anything else, leave a comment below.

As usual, thanks in advance for your prompt attention regarding this matter.

~ ~ 🍓 ~ ~

POLL # 1

POLL # 2

POLL # 3

Published by

Ally Bean

Observant. Humorous. Adaptable. Happy enough. Midwestern by chance. Kindhearted by choice. Usually.

98 thoughts on “Revisiting The Strawberry Shortcake Controversy, Asking For Your Preferences”

  1. Angel food cake, quartered berries which have been allowed to sit in a little bit of sugar so that they make their own syrup, and homemade whipped cream.

    I get that it’s not *technically* shortcake then, but I dislike the whole biscuit situation. Not a fan of biscuits in general.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. nance, I hadn’t thought of angel food cake as a possible base. I can’t stand the stuff, but I can understand how if you liked it, it’d make a good Strawberry Shortcake.

      I think that Strawberry Shortcake is more of a concept now, rather than a strict interpretation of an old time classic. Make and enjoy it as you will!

      Like

  2. A biscuit, cut in half actually. This was a real controversy in our house. Mom and I prefer biscuits and Dad wanted cake. Growing up, we had Cool Whip but I believe everyone deserves a little homemade whipped cream now and then. The strawberries, macerated with a little sugar, are sweet enough so the whipped cream is barely sweetened.

    But really, how do you make bad strawberry shortcake? It’s all good.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Zazzy, I like your summation. It’s all good, but people do seem to have strong opinions, tightly held about Strawberry Shortcake. I like biscuits, prepared in any way, as my base, too. And macerated strawberries with sugar are yum by me.

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  3. My memories of shortcake are those store bought spongey formed cups with sliced/sugared strawberries overflowing the cup and Cool Whip topping.
    My adult palate now voted for 1 lovely whole piece of pound cake topped with sliced and sugared (plus some sugary juice) strawberries and homemade whipped cream.
    The spongey things disintegrated and you ended up with a pink goop in the bowl so I think the idea of a firmer base is good and pound cake=butter… so yes!
    Isn’t the biscuit a more traditional base though? I would take that as well, but whole, not crumbled for me 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Deb, I’m not fond of those sponge cakes either– for the reason you mention, but I like pound cake so I could use it as my Strawberry Shortcake base… if no biscuits were around. I adore homemade whipped cream, so I could go with you on that, too. 🍓

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi, Ally – I’m still trying to figure out how there can be a controversy over Strawberry Shortcake. I’m with Zen-Den on this one — ANY strawberry shortcake is my favourite! In fact, I would love to try several of the varieties included in your poll.
    And about the poll! On a previous poll post, I had written to you saying that I couldn’t see where to vote. I think you assumed that I had been drinking (although you were kind enough not to mention this.) I discovered the problem. It’s Firefox. It hates polls and refuses to recognize them. So, I switched from my computer to my phone to register my likes about strawberry shortcake, and voila, instant success!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Donna, no kidding? Firefox won’t let you take my poll? Well what a ridiculous thing it is! Thank you for using your phone to answer these poll questions, but it shouldn’t be that difficult.

      [Stupid Firefox, she mutters.]

      I only do these polls as a goof, because sometimes people who won’t comment on the blog will respond to polls. I feel like it’s a good way to include everyone who takes the time to read The Spectacled Bean.

      [Oh well… I try…]

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Polls are an awesome way to engage readers, and fun too!
        And I totally agree with your mutterings about Firefox. They seriously need to get with the program!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Eilene, you’re a good guest to invite to dinner! Easy to please.

      [Your comment went to trash. I know not why. I just found it there and restored it here. Sorry for the delay replying to your comment.]

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Susan, Strawberry Shortcake is an old-fashioned dessert that I guess is of American origin? I hadn’t thought about whether it’s served in other countries. I don’t know.

      All I know is that people around here have their strongly held opinions about it! However, your dessert sounds good to me… especially that masses of thick whipped cream part. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m sure we know about it here – it’s just me that doesn’t know .. but whether a mixture a cake, biscuit, lady fingers, so long as there’s plenty whipped or soild cream, I’d be happy (not forgetting the strawberries of course) 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Tara, you have this down to the basics! My mother didn’t like anything on top of her Strawberry Shortcake either. I’d forgotten that. Well, whatever tastes good to you, is what your Strawberry Shortcake should be. Enjoy!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I can see why you cause so much controversy. Biscuits? Like those you buy in pop open cans at the grocery store? My mom made her own sponge (better than the cups) cake which was great, thicker so it didn’t disintegrate. Also it wasn’t there long enough. Mostly there just isn’t bad strawberry shortcake unless it’s store bought and full of too sweet glaze. Pound cake works too. Now I’m hungry! For some reason the blueberries available now have been sweeter than the strawberries. Blueberry shortcake has a ring to it, doesn’t it?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kate, I’m not talking about those pop open can biscuits [that I cannot stand]. No, there are old-time recipes for shortcake biscuits that you make from scratch. They have a bit of sugar in them and are either baked as drop biscuits or in a round cake pan. The recipe I use comes from a 1950s Betty Crocker cookbook.

      I imagine that I’d like homemade sponge cakes, but those store-bought ones don’t appeal to me. Now blueberries… there’s an idea whose time has come!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Carrie, the post I wrote way back when was so innocent, yet I was inundated with comments about how I wasn’t making Strawberry Shortcake the right way. It was hilarious.

      Then when I read the current article about writing something edgy to stir up interest in your blog, the first thing I thought of was Strawberry Shortcake. My mind, she works in odd ways! ☺️

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I will not turn down strawberry shortcake with biscuits or pound cake, but I do prefer the angel food cake. I’m not fussy, so I’ll take whipped cream in any form, although I find the kind from a can lighter than Cool Whip – homemade? Haven’t had that in years. Now I’m wanting strawberry shortcake in any form.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Carol, I don’t like angel food cake at all, so I’d pass on Strawberry Shortcake made with it. I make homemade whipped cream every so often and it’s good, but on my perfect Strawberry Shortcake I prefer milk. Z-D is more of a whipped cream aficionado.

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  7. I prefer pound cake to sponge cake in this instance. I don’t like my strawberries too sweet so I would just like them cut and some low fat whipped cream would be great, thanks, what time should I be there?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Janet, not on the Team Biscuit, eh? Well, that’s ok. I like pound cake, too. Your preferred Strawberry Shortcake, less sweet, less fat, sounds good to me. What’s not to love?!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. nancy, now that’s a fancy schmancy Strawberry Shortcake if I ever heard of one! Should you make this over-the-top dessert, but all means photograph it. I’d love to see it.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Angel food cake is the base of my own version of the strawberry shortcake. It’s on the diabetic ‘safe’ food list (in moderation). And I like glaze on the strawberries, but usually just sprinkle sugar, a little lemon juice and water and make my own ‘glaze’..some of those glazes are too sweet for me, and hey! (forgot this while I was voting) … Danish Dessert. That makes a great ‘glaze’…kind of tart, so blends well with the strawberries. And I don’t do it personally, but to me? Homemade whipped cream is the best cream for strawberry desserts…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Embeecee, I’m surprised by how many people talk about angel food cake as the base for their Strawberry Shortcake. That never came up years ago when I last introduced this topic. I don’t like glazes at all because they’re too sweet for me too. I don’t know what Danish Dessert is. A regional thing?

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      1. Danish Dessert could be regional I guess? It’s not as sweet as traditional glazes, it has a tart element and the texture is different. It’s almost good ‘plain’. You might sometimes taste something like it on store prepared shortcake … it’s a deep red, wonderful flavor and my O my is it tasty!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. It sounds like something I’d like. I’m not so much about sweetness, preferring tart flavors. The next time I’m in a fancy huge supermarket I’ll look for it. It might be here and I’ve never noticed it before. Thanks for filling me in.

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    1. Jan, you’re right about you never know what will get people talking when it comes to blogging. The original Strawberry Shortcake post was the first time I realized how fickle gentle readers could be. Now I’m a jaded blogger who goes with the flow, but back then I was shocked.

      Liked by 2 people

  9. What a hoot! I just published a blog post about strawberries but my readers didn’t go bonkers. Instead, they politely added to the gentle conversation, one by one. I think they find comfort talking about sweet morsels instead of the bitter sound bytes in our turbulent world.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marian, I’m finding that this time round the Strawberry Shortcake discussion is less controversial than when I first wrote about it years ago. I’m older and so are my gentle readers, so perhaps we know when to stand our ground and when to let differences be differences. I look forward to reading what you have to say about strawberries. There can never be too many well-crafted blog posts about them, imho. 🍓

      Like

  10. I put down the preferences for how we do it here, in the Great White North. But damn, I’ll take strawberry shortcake any way someone cares to serve it to me. (It’s been a long winter, what can I say?) 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Deb, there’s a truth to what you’re saying. Any lovely dessert based on seasonal fresh fruit sounds good to me right about now. I associate Strawberry Shortcake with spring– and I’m more than ready for that season to begin.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Akilah, I like your attention to detail. What you describe is how my mother always made Strawberry Shortcake. I also like that you used the word macerated. I was going to put that on the poll, but wasn’t sure how many people knew what it meant.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Akilah, I define Strawberry Shortcake in a very broad way. No need to get hung up on a literal interpretation i.e. one that insists on “shortcakes.” After all we are talking about dessert!

          Liked by 1 person

  11. I really don’t eat Strawberry shortcake. It is strawberry season – farms are saying come and pick em’. I do like them with BlueBell Homemade vanilla ice-cream…whipped cream of any sort would be wonderful…I’ll just take my calories that way!
    (It is funny what post take off, isn’t it?)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. philmouse, you’re not the first person to suggest that they wanted just the berries with something dairy on top. I get that, no need to eat something that you don’t like.

      It is funny what readers respond to. I no longer make any assumptions about what’ll fly and what won’t. I just write it and put it out there. Que sera, sera. 🎶

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Well for pity’s sake. This is just like chili or jambalaya or Texas Sheet Cake — haven’t met one I didn’t like, all variations of yummy. I will vote, but reluctantly. To be clear, as long as there’s no red #40, I’ll eat any version.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. joey, your one point of contention is duly noted, and you may go about your life now– eating any and all suitable Strawberry Shortcakes. You’re easy… in a good way.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Hi Ally to be honest I voted but I don’t even know if I’ve eaten Strawberry Shortcake. I gave you what I thought it represented to me. Perhaps I have had a deprived childhood LOL:)
    Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sue, thanks for playing along here even if you’ve never eaten Strawberry Shortcake. It’s a basic dessert from my childhood that if I were introduced to it now, I don’t know if I’d like it or not! However, when I saw the blogging advice about writing on controversial topics, Strawberry Shortcake is the first idea that popped into my brain. My brain is a bit addled…

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Deborah, what a wonderful idea! And your selfless decision to be part of the tasting panel is… well, exactly the sort of thing I’d expect from you. I’ll let you know where and when the taste panel meets. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Now I’m hungry! I’ve always done angel food cake, sliced strawberries with a glaze, and whipped cream from a can. But I definitely wouldn’t complain if someone put any of those combinations in front of me 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Erika, another angel food cake fan. I’ve been amazed by how many people have mentioned it. I didn’t even think of it to put it on the poll, but it’s gaining as a write-in contender. Good point about eating whatever Strawberry Shortcake is put in front of you. Yum is yum.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Radhika, I like plain strawberries, too. It’s just that once a year I do like to make Strawberry Shortcake as something special. But once is enough and then I’m back to enjoying strawberries au naturel.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I’m just shocked all of my votes were the top vote-getters! For me it’s a function of age. I’m sure had I taken your polls 20 years ago I would have wanted the most decadent offerings. Now? It’s a matter of not being too full. – Marty

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Elen, I’m almost sorry that I made these polls. I have become so hungry for Strawberry Shortcake now– and because of our long winter the local berries aren’t available yet. Can. not. wait. to. have. this. dessert.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. I really don’t know how to answer this one.

    Any base would be a good one in my opinion. It’s cake. Cake is good. I’m not going to be picky.

    … but strawberries? Meh. I don’t often eat them – just not my thing. Blueberries however would make me very happy.

    … and always, always with fresh whipped cream. Please, please, please don’t try to give me any of those artificial substitutes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Joanne, I like your blueberry idea IF strawberries aren’t available or don’t float your boat. I adore freshly made whipped cream and dislike any of those frozen whipped toppings. While I usually put milk on my Strawberry Shortcake, I could be persuaded to have some whipped cream instead. In fact, that sounds good to me right now…

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  17. You know if you handed me fresh strawberry shortcake you’d made yourself, I don’t think I’d quibble about the ingredients.

    Really? This is the thing that’s controversial??

    I didn’t know enough about making strawberry shortcake to complete the poll. I thought the post was going to be about the character!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Isa-Lee, you’re the second person to mention those Strawberry Shortcake characters/dolls. When I wrote this I wondered if anyone would.

      When I originally wrote about Strawberry Shortcake years ago I was fascinated by the reactions. Now we are a much older and jaded blogosphere, so no one has strong opinions about this topic. Which is good by me.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Judy, I grew up with homemade biscuits as the base for Strawberry Shortcake, too. It’s been interesting to learn what other people consider to be the perfect Strawberry Shortcake– and why.

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  18. Biscuit, sliced local strawberries(we are a berry growing region), and homemade whipped cream here. I really wouldn’t turn down any of it though! I’m not judgmental on my strawberry shortcake!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Margaret, many people have said the same thing about accepting any and all Strawberry Shortcakes offered to them! I can’t stand angel food cake, so I wouldn’t eat that one… but the rest I could choke down.

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      1. I don’t mind angel food cake, but it doesn’t belong in strawberry shortcake in my opinion. Besides biscuit, I would prefer pound cake. (which those round things one buys at the store are supposed to be)

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Lots of people wrote in angel food cake as their preferred base for Strawberry Shortcake. I’d never heard of this before, but my poll results show it. I like pound cake, but prefer biscuits, thank you very much.

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