Grilled Strawberry-Basil Shortcake

Strawberry Basil Shortcake

Enjoy this guest post by dietitian Holley Grainger of Cleverful Living:

Whether we’re cooking farmers’ market veggies, meats, fruit, or even dessert, if it means I don’t have to turn on my oven to heat up the kitchen in Alabama heat, then we’re grilling out. This Grilled Strawberry-Basil Shortcake is the perfect thing.

Lately I’ve been experimenting with various fruits on the grill to enhance their sweet flavor. I love California Strawberries lightly grilled in a grill basket or on skewers then tossed with a good quality aged balsamic vinegar and served over vanilla bean ice cream – yum!

Another dessert recipe we’ve been enjoying from the grill are these shortcut Grilled Strawberry-Basil Shortcakes. My food philosophy is all about creating recipes that are simple, practical, and doable and this one fits the bill.

Last 4th of July during a family lake trip, my mother-in-law, Sallye, brought her homemade poundcake to contribute to our holiday feast. Since my Mom already had strawberries and ice cream, I cut some basil from the garden and experimented with how I could add a fresh flavor twist to her cake. I sliced the poundcake, gave it a thin coat of butter so it wouldn’t stick to the grill and cooked it on the grill until it was warm and golden brown. I then sliced the strawberries, mixed them with basil and once the cake was finished, topped it with the strawberry mixture and a scoop of ice cream. It was a hit!

A few modifications have been made over the last year to this grilled strawberry shortcake concept since we continue to make it over and over again. I substitute Sallye’s delicious pound cake for a store bought one when I don’t have hers, I add fresh mint, Grand Marnier or balsamic vinegar to sweet California strawberries for a nutritious and vibrant topping and I play around with creamy topping options with ingredients like sweetened whipped cream, sweetened mascarpone cheese or vanilla Greek yogurt.

See how easy it is to make Grilled Strawberry-Basil Shortcakes!

The great news is that however you choose to make this recipe your own, at the end of the day you’re still enhancing the nutrition in your dessert by adding fresh fruit like these juicy California strawberries.

Did you know that strawberries are naturally sweet but are also low in sugar at only 7 grams per cup?

So there is no need to add sugar to the sliced strawberry topping – they can hold their own! I also love that one serving of eight medium strawberries is only 45 calories so if you’re going to eat a rich, less nutrition food (like a slice of pound cake or a brownie), topping it with strawberries boosts the flavor and nutrition but for very few calories.


4.6 from 53 reviews
Grilled Strawberry-Basil Shortcake
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
  • 2 cups fresh California strawberries
  • 8½-inch slices poundcake (store-bought or homemade)
  • 1 tsp melted butter
  • 1, 8-oz container mascarpone, softened
  • 2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp fresh basil, thinly sliced
  1. Rinse and hull the strawberries. Thinly slice lengthwise and transfer to a medium bowl.
  2. Brush pound cake lightly on each side with melted butter. Grill over medium-low heat for 3-5 minutes on each side or until golden brown.
  3. While pound cake grills, combine mascarpone and sugar. Set aside.
  4. When ready to serve, stir 11/2 Tbsp basil into strawberries. Top each pound cake slice evenly with the strawberry mixture and sweetened mascarpone. Sprinkle with remaining basil.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 slice Calories: 300 kcal Fat: 22 g Saturated fat: 7 g Trans fat: 0 g Carbohydrates: 22 g Sugar: 13 g Sodium: 155 mg Fiber: 1 g Protein: 5 g Cholesterol: 37 mg



164 thoughts on “Grilled Strawberry-Basil Shortcake

  1. Kirsten

    My favorite fruit is a strawberry. I make jam, sandwiches, pies, tarts, trifles and they are with strawberries.

  2. Dallie Davis

    Love all the yummy #StrawberryShortcakeRecipes…so many great ideas to make this classic summer dessert your own.

  3. Randy Clendenin

    Hello, The best, and only way to experience the “ultimate strawberry shortcake” is as with ANY taste test is by the original recipe – fewest ingredients – to enjoy the main points! Strawberries, cake and cream!!! Otherwise, you’ll risk changing too many things. Complicated can obscure just the things you wanted to experience/enjoy in the first place!! Thanks, be safe, take care, “GOD Bless”, sincerely Randy.

  4. lissa crane

    Strawberries are a family favorite for everyone in my home! We love eating them in so many ways, it never gets boring since they’re so yummy & healthy! As a Mom, I also love that they are the most affordable berry in the market!

  5. Chris Baker Cox

    I love strawberry everything!! My favorite dessert is strawberry shortcake made with pound cake, strawberries and real whipped cream…none of that Cool Whip stuff for me!

  6. Patricia Hoffmeister

    This sounds so good. Too bad we live in an apartment now for the first time since 1969 due to a fire and can’t grill. Maybe I can figure out how to cook it indoors.

  7. Linda Szymoniak

    Oh, I could really use a camera like this. I’m involved in animal rescue, and taking good photos of animals needing homes can really help get them noticed and find them homes.

  8. Darla Peduzzi

    We love strawberries in our house. I think it’s time to make some of that yummy strawberry shortcake. The recipe looks so good!

  9. Lauryn R

    Yum!! ? This recipe sounds absolutely delicious! I love strawberries and I live basil, but I have never tried them together before! This definitely sounds like a fantastic summer dish!

  10. Connie Merritt

    It looks really good. But I would have to try it with basil to see if I like basil in it! Different! I like different! Worth a try! Never know what we will like till we try it! Thank you!

  11. Emily Morelli

    I love the idea of the marscapone! We always have strawberry shortcake with biscuits or scones instead of cake. I like the crumbly texture and keeps it from getting too sweet.

  12. Jorge Granda

    Sounds, I like strawberry shortcake, however I don’t think that basil on strawberry short is actually a good idea. By the way, great giveaway, the camera also looks great.

  13. Barbara Kirshner

    We are strawberry nuts at out house! We love shortcakes, fruit salads with strawberries and maybe just a smoothie. Thank you.

  14. Janice Pittenger

    My Mother made the best strawberry shortcake and I cannot duplicate it. She used Biscuit and did some other things, which I don’t remember. Just love strawberry shortcake.

  15. Megan L

    I love strawberry shortcake! Strawberry season is the best. I just had a fresh strawberry smoothie earlier tonight.

  16. Your recipe looks delicious, the only thing I have made with strawberries is buy strawberries then get those little tiny short cake muffins and put strawberry, milk and whip cream on them. Yum!

  17. Anna-Leigh McClelland

    We love to go strawberry picking here in Charleston! It’s an annual family activity. We love to freeze the berries (after gorging on what we can!),and making strayberry shortcake, strawberry toppings, jam and smoothies through out the year.

  18. Laurie Nykaza

    Strawberry shortcake is one dessert my family loves to eat s often here in Ca we have amazing strawberries to cook with!

  19. sue14625

    shortcake looks so good next time i make some i am going to try this recipe -who knew basil in shortcake -i do like basil

  20. Barbara Brooks

    Love the use of basil in Strawberry shortcake.but love making my short cake from scratch cutting in butter with pastry blender and using baking powder and buttermilk and just a bit of sugar.

  21. Jeane Campbell

    4th of July with Strawberry shortcake and home made ice cream is a must in our family. California Strawberries, of course!

  22. Shari

    Glad to see that I could use a store bought pound cake, because my baking skills are non existent. This seems like a recipe that even I could make.

  23. We always make at least one iteration of shortcakes with fresh berries each season. This year they were pecan flour shortcakes with strawberries and a drizzle of maple syrup. Did we have Greek yogurt on there, too? I can’t remember, but do remember it was a winning dessert! Love the idea of using mascarpone! Thanks, and cheers.

  24. Saundra McKenzie

    My grandma made the best strawberry shortcake. She used a homemade pound cake. Not sure about the basil but I will try it.

  25. Deborah Cochran

    I have such fond memories of going strawberry picking with my mom when I was little. Coming home with a basket filled with plump ripe strawberries, rinsing and prepping for strawberry shortcake or jam (of course I always got caught eating a few lol).

  26. Heather Bridson

    This looks so yummy! My favorite food is strawberry shortcake…made with biscuits not shortcake..but so yummy!!!!!

  27. Susan Faatz


  28. debra dubois

    This shortcake looks delicious! Strawberries are my favorite I eat a lot of them daily so this is the perfect desert for me.. 🙂

  29. Thomas F

    I love strawberries in any form (whole fruit, jam or jelly, etc.) and this from a fruit with seeds on the outside.

  30. MaryJo Tsitouris

    Grilled strawberry shortcake sounds very interesting. I’m going to have to give it a try because I do love strawberries!

  31. Michelle S

    I love grilled desserts – this one looks so yummy! Ironically, the strawberry patches near us are ripe for picking this week.

  32. Linda Davidson

    Love strawberry shortcake all year round. This is a different recipe which looks delicious and worth a try.

  33. I love strawberry anything during spring and summer. Strawberry pie, cake, strawberries and chocolate, strawberry wine, strawberries straight from the vine. My fave…. Angel food cake with strawberry topping and cool whip.

  34. Deborah Caudill

    My family loves strawberries and we love them plain or just about anyway that you can eat them. My mom has a wonderful strawberry pie recipe that she hasn’t shared with anyone yet. I would love to have it.

  35. jeani b

    so fun to see all of these #bestberryshortcake recipes! it really makes it fun to try new recipes and be creative in the kitchen.

  36. Jamie Johnson

    I love strawberry shortcake! In fact, when I was little, I collected the Strawberry Shortcake dolls. Lemon Meringue was my favorite one! On our home videos, I couldn’t have been more than 4 yrs old, my moms asks me what my favorite Strawberry Shortcake doll was, and it sounds like I’m saying Women In Rage instead of Lemon Meringue! It’s hysterical! I had a bad lisp, and in that video, it shows! But now instead of loving the dolls, I love the actual dessert Strawberry Shortcake. It’s one of my favorite summer time treats because you can serve it chilled and with ice cream. But Basil, on the grill, that just does NOT sound appealing to me AT ALL! But hey, that’s the great thing about this country; we can choose to eat what we want, no matter how bizarre or strange.

  37. Wendy Rusch

    Strawberries are the ultimate! Breakfast lunch dinner and dessert!!! It doesn’t get any better than that!!! Just ask my grandsons…they all can eat them all day long!!!

  38. Mary O.

    I love strawberries with balsamic vinegar and ice cream. The grilled pound cake berry shortcake is a dessert I plan on trying, it looks delicious.

  39. Crystal N

    I love to always use fresh strawberries and almonds when it comes to my tres leeches cake recipe! It brings it all together and it tastes so light and delicious!

  40. Gina G

    This looks really good. I don’t like to eat too much processed sugar – my favorite way to eat strawberries is with a balsamic reduction. Yum!

  41. Shannon Weel

    California Strawberries are the best! I take my kids strawberry picking in the spring and CA strawnberries are so sweet and delicious.

  42. Laurie Emerson

    There is nothing more refreshing in the summer than strawberry shortcake with whipping cream and a little bit of mint on top.

  43. Stephanie Larison

    We love strawberries in this house. The kids ask for them at least twice a week with lunch or as a dessert.

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