Start by preparing the strawberries. Add chopped (or sliced) strawberries to a bowl and sprinkle them with sugar. Stir to combine. Let them hang out on your counter for about 2 hours and they will create a delicious juice. I recommend stirring them every half hour or so. (I don't add vanilla extract to my strawberries, but you're welcome to add a splash if you'd like.)
Next, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
Spray the shortcake molds generously with baking spray. Then, add some all-purpose flour to the molds, shake it around, and discard the excess.
The next step is to whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Then add the vanilla, softened butter, milk, and egg. With an electric mixer, beat on medium speed for about two minutes.
Divide the batter evenly among the prepared shortcake molds. Each mold should be about three-quarters full. In case there are any drips, set the pan on a baking sheet while spooning the batter into the molds. Then place the shortcake pan in the preheated oven.
Bake the little cakes for 18-20 minutes. Allow the cakes to cool completely in the pan before attempting to remove them. Gently loosen each cake with your fingers: then invert the pan to release the cakes.
While the shortcakes cool, prepare the whipped cream. I've included a link to my recipe for Homemade Whipped Cream below.
Spoon a generous amount of the macerated strawberries and juice on each shortcake. Top with a dollop of Homemade Whipped Cream. Garnish with a sliced strawberry and sprig of fresh mint, if desired.