Strawberry Basil Shortcakes

I love strawberries, I love basil and I love this sweet classic dessert in the spring and summertime. Flaky biscuits with a juicy strawberry filling.

Strawberry Basil Shortcakes

I love strawberry shortcake so much. As I’ve gotten older, a funny thing has happened where I’ve become less obsessed with chocolate desserts and more in love with fruity desserts – especially if those fruits happen to be strawberries. I can enjoy chocolate cake in moderation, but when it comes to strawberries, I want them all.

This recipe comes from my friend Gaby’s gorgeous new cookbook What’s Gaby Cooking: Everyday California Food. You likely already follow her blog – if not, you should! While I was deciding which recipe to share from her book, I was torn between two of them – both made with strawberries. The first was/is a delectable-looking breakfast flatbread with ricotta and strawberry basil jam, and the second – this classic strawberry shortcake. There are few flavor combos that I love more than strawberries and basil, so I did a bit of a mashup where I chose the strawberry shortcake but added basil. Simple, classic, and a celebration of (soon to be) summer.

Strawberry Basil Shortcakes

Gaby makes fun, casual, sunny California-inspired food, which is everything that I love even though I live far from the west coast. The book is not entirely vegetarian, but whether you need a solid recipe for brunch, weeknight dinners, or delectable food for a group, Gaby is your go-to girl. Some other recipes in her book that I have my eye on are Black Rice with Roasted Mushroom Bowl (w/ avocado and salsa verde), Chocolate Coconut Granola (because I sometimes do still crave chocolate!), Poblano Scallion Queso, and of course that Breakfast Flatbread with Ricotta and Strawberry Basil Jam that I’ll be making for brunches all summer long.

Strawberry Basil Shortcakes

5.0 from 4 reviews
Strawberry Basil Shortcakes
Serves: serves 9
for the strawberries
  • 1 pound fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • optional addition: ¼ cup sliced basil
for the biscuits
  • 3 cups (375 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1½ tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup (1½ sticks) cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1½ cups heavy cream
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
for the cream:
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • ⅔ cup powdered sugar
  • seeds of 1 vanilla bean
  1. To make the strawberries: Combine the strawberries and sugar in a large bowl and toss to coat. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight if time allows, until juicy. Just before serving, stir in the basil.
  2. To make the biscuits: In a food processor, combine the flour, lemon zest, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Pulse for 30 seconds, or until the ingredients are evenly combined. Add the butter and pulse for 20 to 30 seconds, until the butter is cut into pea-sized chunks. Add the cream and vanilla to the food processor and process for 30 seconds, or until you have a dough. Remove the dough from the food processor and divide it into 9 equal portions about 3 ounces each. Form each portion of dough into a biscuit about ¾ inch thick. Transfer the biscuits to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and chill for 20 minutes in the fridge.
  3. While the biscuits chill, preheat the oven to 400°F.
  4. Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake until the biscuits are medium golden brown, about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack to cool.
  5. To make the cream: Combine the cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla bean seeds in a large stand mixer and whip until medium stiff peaks form.
  6. To assemble: Slice the biscuits in half. Top the bottoms of each biscuit with a large spoonful of the strawberries. Place the top half of the biscuit on top of each and finish with a large dollop of the cream. Serve immediately.




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Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  1. Natalie

    Looks so delicious! I love the combination of strawberries and basil!

  2. Minerva

    Where is the basil?

    • Daniele Kay

      yeah, where is the basil???

      • Jeanine Donofrio

        sorry! I just stirred it into the strawberries just before serving – the recipe is fixed now 🙂

  3. Terri

    Whete is the basil?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      sorry! I just stirred it into the strawberries just before serving – the recipe is fixed now 🙂

  4. Michelle G.

    These look delicious, but I can’t find the basil in the recipe.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      sorry! I just stirred it into the strawberries just before serving – the recipe is fixed now 🙂

      • Michelle G.

        Thank you! 🙂

  5. Joycelyn

    Sounds lovely although biscuits/shortcakes needing a gentle hand, I’d not mix the dough in a food processor.
    I also have the same wonderment as others, where’s the basil?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      The recipe worked out great for me!
      sorry! I just stirred it into the strawberries just before serving – the recipe is fixed now 🙂

  6. Suzanne Slade

    Basil?? Is the baking soda amount correct? Just baked a batch and the baking soda flavor is overwhelming.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I didn’t taste the baking soda when I made these.

  7. melinda

    Can this recipe be made with gluten free flour?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I can’t say for sure without trying, sorry!

  8. Vaoov. It looks very nice. I want to do it. Thank you.

  9. Gaby Dalkin

    YESSS! Thanks SO much for sharing <3

  10. I am in love with personal biscuits for Strawberry Shortcake instead of the pound cake (though that’s awesome too). I’ve never thought of Basil as an accent though! Thanks for sharing I can’t wait to try it. 🙂

  11. Torre Nova

    “It is a great post, I lost 5 kilos my first week on your diet. (I’m from across the pond… that’s about 11 pounds in America .By the end of the 2 weeks, I’d dropped 12 kilos. I cannot thank you enough. I don’t know why all the other diet systems fail to deliver these results, but I’m never going to waste my time on them again .The 2 Week Diet has been everything I needed to get the body I’ve been wishing for all these years
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    These strawberry shortcakes look so delicious. I’d love to try these as I can only imagine the absolutely great combination of fresh strawberries and basil.


  13. Joan

    The same thing happened to me with chocolate and what a surprise that was.
    I have become obsessed with everything lemon!!!

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.