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Classic Strawberry Shortcake for Memorial Day

Three years after the Civil War ended, on March 5, 1868, John A. Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers.  

He declared that Decoration Day should be observed on May 30.  It is believed that date was chosen because flowers would be in bloom all over the country.  

This poster from 1917 shows the name change and honors the memory of the dead from the American Revolution, the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War, the Civil War, and the Spanish-American War.

Known commonly now as Memorial Day, it’s the day for us to reflect, honor and acknowledge those who gave their selfless service and the ultimate sacrifice for their country.  

It’s also a time to remember our present veterans and those in service now.  To them all, we owe an unplayable debt. Here’s Bill, my favorite veteran, my husband:

Home from Basic Training, 1965,  Private

Bamberg, Germany, early 1967, Sergeant

Machine Gun Instructor
1st Engineer Training Brigade
Ft. Leonard Wood, Mo 
Fall 1967
Sergeant E5  

Here’s a little Memorial Day Trivia for you:

*  Red poppies are known as a symbol of remembrance, and it’s a tradition to wear them to honor those who died in war.

*  President Bill Clinton signed the National Moment of Remembrance Act on Dec. 28, 2000, designating 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day as a National Moment of Remembrance.  Television and radio stations play the “Taps” to give Americans pause during their busy Memorial Day.

*  The crowd that attended the first Memorial Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery was about the same size as those that attend today’s observance:  about 5,000 people.

*  It has been often reported that “Taps,” the most famous bugle song came from a Civil War captain who discovered his long lost son in a field of Confederate bodies, but this is nothing more than an urban legend.  In fact, the bugle song comes from Union Brig. Get Daniel Butterfield during the Civil War.  He didn’t care for the “customary firing of three rifle volleys at the conclusion of burials during battle” and wanted a softer and more somber bugle song to honor his fallen soldiers. 

*  More than 150 years later, the Civil War remains the United States’ deadliest conflict.  More than 620,000 people died during the war.  Many of the casualties occurred as a result of disease, rather than as a direct result of injuries.  The second deadliest conflict was World War II, in which more than 400,000 American soldiers lost their lives.

*  Memorial Day is now the second-most popular holiday (after the Fourth of July) for a sun-baked barbecue:    53% of people grill on the holiday, according to Hearth, Patio and & Barbecue Association.

*  And, to wrap it upThe National Hot Dog and Sausage Council notes that on Memorial Day, Americans will consume a stomach-busting 818 dawgs per secondThat’s just a few wieners short of 71 million in a day. They’re not sure how many packages that equals, but they’re betting the equivalent number of bun packs would fall short by, oh, 1.3 million or so.

Memorial weekend also ushers in summer.  
Woo hoo!
My favorite time of year!

It’s also the beginning of strawberry season.  And what better way to give a nod to it than classic strawberry shortcake!  

Here you won’t find any of those little sponge discs that look like sofa casters that you see displayed by the strawberries at the grocery store.  I always pass on them as they taste like I suppose foam rubber would. 

This is all about serving the juicy strawberries over rich, flaky buttery homemade biscuits made with cream and a touch of sugar, topping it all off with whipped cream, of course!

Classic Strawberry Shortcake
Printable recipe


1½ pounds strawberries, hulled and sliced, tossed with 2-4 tablespoons sugar; set aside.

For the shortcake:

2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoons baking soda
2 tablespoons sugar
¾ teaspoon salt
1½ cups heavy cream 
Whipped Cream, recipe follows


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a medium bowl, sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and sugar and salt.
Add cream, mix until just combined.
Place mixture in an ungreased 8-inch pan.
Bake until golden, about 18 to 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, while shortcake is baking, place a metal bowl and beaters in the freezer.
When shortcake is baked, remove from pan and place to a rack to cool slightly.
Cut into 6 pieces and split shortcake in half horizontally.
Beat all whipped cream ingredients in the metal bowl with chilled beaters about 1½ to 2 minutes, until peaks form.
Spoon some strawberries with their juice onto each shortcake bottom.
Top with a spoonful of whipped cream and the shortcake top.
Place a couple of strawberries over all and an additional dollop of whipped cream for garnish.

For the Whipped Cream 

1½ cups heavy cream, chilled
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
Makes 6 servings


Here’s to Memorial Day
strawberry shortcake!


  1. That looks so fresh and screams for SUMMER! I need to bake a batch too.

  2. I've never known this information about Memorial Day, Pam. But what I do know is that it was always tradition for my family to get packed into the car to visit the cemetery and pray for the souls of our deceased relatives, to watch the troops play taps while there and fire off shots in a ceremony remembering veterans. We'd then head on over to my cousins for a huge grill out and just pig out and have fun. Strawberry shortcake was also a tradition for every summer holiday! I have to try your recipe! I hope that you enjoy the holiday!

    1. Thanks so much, Roz! We always did that on Memorial Day also when I was a kid. Now, I'm nowhere near the family graves, but remember all the traditions well. Have a great weekend!

  3. Love strawberry shortcake!!! What an informative post Pam, please thank your husband for his service from me, have a great week-end.

  4. What a wonderful post.. and I love the recipe! Happy Memorial Day!

    1. Thanks, Janet! Happy Memorial Day to you!

  5. There are strawberry recipes everywhere! Love this time of year. Memorial Day is a special one and I remember "decorating" graves with my grandmother. Lovely post, Pam.

    1. Thanks, Debra! I know, I've seen strawberries everywhere too! :-) Yes, I did the "decorating" also with my parents, grandmother, and aunts. And there were flags all over our little town. Take care

  6. What a GREAT post, Pam...Unfortunately so many of us remember the grilling holiday but often forget the reason for it. Thank you for this tribute Pam and thank you to Bill too.

    As for that Strawberry Shortcake, well, OMGoodness!!!

    1. Thanks, Louise! You're right, we must remember why we have the holiday and pay tribute to all who have served. I hope you have a great Memorial weekend! Take care.

  7. Pam, Interesting facts about Memorial Day... Thanks to your other half for his service! Since my dad died in combat during WWII I appreciate those who really celebrate the sacrifices made and not just the traditional family holiday that its become. FYI...That strawberry shortcake looks great! It's the only way to really appreciate this late spring/early summer treat... Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

    1. Thanks, Dave! We definitely owe a lot to all who served and esp. those who gave the ultimate sacrifice, like your dad. Here's wishing you and your wife a great Memorial wekend!

  8. Dear Pam,
    This post is a great one. I love it. You have hit on everything, I love the trivia and your Bill is so handsome...Thank you for his service from me. Also love the the graphics so pretty and I like the moving ones. Now that Strawberry Shortcake is so good, my mouth is watering looking at it on the page. Simple and yet so yummy! A very traditional recipe for this Memorial Day! Thanks for sharing..Have a wonderful long weekend dear friend...
    Hugs Dottie :) x

    1. Thanks, Dottie! I'm glad you liked the trivia and all, and I think Bill is handsome also. :-) That's definitely a traditional recipe for the strawberries and is good for the holiday. Here's wishing you a great holiday weekend. Hugs :-)

  9. I love strawberry shortcake and this is just the way I do it! Great post, Pam. Love the info and please thank your husband for his service. So important to remember those that have served.

    1. Thanks, Abbe! You're right, it is important. Take care and have a great holiday!

  10. Fabulous Memorial Day Post!!! This is exactly how I LOVE my strawberry shortcake. Oh goodness....this kind of recipe sure makes me happy! Have a good Memorial Day Weekend....Be safe!

    1. Thanks, Shug! You have a great Memorial Day Weekend!

  11. Just the perfect dessert for Memorial Day! Great photos, Pam!

    1. Thanks, Barbara! Strawberries are great this time of year.

  12. Very sweet tribute to your hubby, Pam. I am making strawberry shortcake today myself. There is nothing better to kick off the summer season!

    1. Thanks, Susan! Yes, strawberries are great start to summer!

  13. Thanks for this post Pam. I have always wondered what Memorial Day was, and now, I know. Hope you have a lovely memorial Day holiday. These strawberry shortcakes look so good.

    1. Thanks, Cakelaw! It's an important holiday for us. And the strawberry shortcake makes it even better!

  14. Lovely post Pam! It is nice to know more about Memorial Day.
    Your strawberry shortcake looks very classic indeed! And divine! Hope you and your family have a wonderful summer!

    1. Thanks, Joyce! There are lots of festivities on this day. Hope you're having a great weekend!

  15. What an interesting post Pam, I enjoyed it from the beginning about its history to the strawberry shortcake.

    1. Thanks, Karen! Glad you enjoyed it! Take care

  16. What a great post Pam. First, a big thank you to your hubby for his service! Second..that picture of the strawberry short cake is awesome..the crumb looks so rich and buttery!Have a great weekend!

    1. Thanks, laurie! He appreciates that. Rich and buttery is right. Take care

  17. Strawberry desserts. So yum.

    Please thank your husband for me.

  18. Golly that shortcake look yummy!!!

    Enjoy your holiday!

    Pass on my thanks to your husband...Ft Leonard, MO is
    in my home state.

    M : )

    1. Thanks, Melinda! I told him. I was in Ft. Leonard Wood with him, we liked it there! Take care

  19. fantastic post, complete with a mouthwatering recipe! i always get goosebumps when i think about the sacrifices made by service men and women!

    1. Thanks, Grace! I feel the same and appreciate all they do to keep us safe.

  20. Great post Pam, being in another country I did not know the whole history. And wow on the strawberry shortcake, it looks so delicious. Happy Memorial day to you.

    1. Thanks, Evelyne! Glad you liked it all. Take care

  21. what beautiful strawberry shortcake Pam and a really beautiful post !!

  22. What a great way to celebrate Memorial Day! It looks delicious Pam!


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