strawberry balsamic shortcake with basil recipe from cooking with cocktail rings

Strawberry Balsamic Shortcake with Basil

Strawberry shortcake makes me think of summer nights, eating dessert out on the back patio while the sun is still partly out even though it’s 8pm. In this recipe flakey and buttery biscuits are served with macerated strawberries and topped with homemade whipped cream. I add a hint of balsamic to the strawberries and chopped basil for a twist on this classic dessert. These additions make the dish more savory while keeping it slightly sweet. Even people who don’t count sweets as a weakness won’t be able to keep their hands off these unique strawberry shortcakes.

I love really good strawberries, the kind that are deep red and when you bite into them they are incredibly juicy and sweet. In California my favorite strawberries come from Oxnard. You can get them on the side of the road along the coast or at farmers’ markets and they never disappoint. Strawberries don’t ripen once they are picked off the vine so when buying strawberries, look for ones that are already completely bright red with no white around the top.  



For the shortcake biscuits:

3 cups all-purpose flour

¼ cup granulated sugar

½ teaspoon kosher salt

5 teaspoons baking powder

1¼ cups unsalted butter, chilled and cut into chunks

1 cup whole milk

1 egg

2 teaspoons turbino sugar


For the macerated balsamic strawberries:

2 pounds strawberries, hulled and quartered

¼ cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar


For serving:

2 cups heavy whipping cream

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

2 tablespoons chiffonade basil



For the shortcake biscuits:

Preheat oven to 450º.

Add the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder to the bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times. Add the butter and continue to pulse until the mixture is crumbly. Add the milk and continue to pulse until moistened. Turn out onto a clean, lightly floured work surface and shape into a circle. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.

Roll the dough out into a circle 1-inch thick. Use a 3-inch biscuit cutter to cut biscuits. Place on a greased baking sheet. Beat the egg with 1 tablespoon water. Brush the tops of the biscuits with the egg wash then sprinkle with the turbino sugar.

Bake until golden brown, about 18 to 20 minutes. Let cool on a cooling rack.


For the macerated balsamic strawberries:

In a medium mixing bowl stir together the strawberries, sugar and balsamic vinegar. Let stand at room temperature until the juices from the strawberries are released and a syrup forms, about 30 minutes.


For serving:

Add the chilled heavy cream and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on high until stiff peaks form, about 1 minute.

Split the biscuits in half and spoon some of the strawberry mixture in between. Top with a scoop of whipped cream and the other half of the biscuit. Garnish with basil.


Makes 8 biscuits. 



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