Though it's most commonly a rich biscuit, shortcake can also refer simply to cake. The classic American shortcake is a large, sweet biscuit that is split in half, then filled and topped with sliced or chopped fruit (traditionally strawberries) and softly whipped cream. Shortcake is most often thought of as a dessert but savory versions can be made by filling and topping the biscuit with creamed chicken or other food.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.