Gluten-Free Strawberry Shortcake with Basil Whipped Cream

Gluten-Free Strawberry Shortcake
Gluten-Free Strawberry Shortcake

My hunky nerd and I recently tackled converting this gluten-free strawberry shortcake recipe together..  I’d just purchased the lovely baking cookbook Layered: Baking, Building, and Styling Spectacular Cakes by Tessa Huff.  The pictures in that cookbook are so lovely and inspiring.  I honestly didn’t know where to start, but with patriotic holidays and summer entertaining around the corner, we went for the shortcake.  I LOVE the basil whipped cream. It wasn’t a mistake.

Baking gluten-free can be challenging.  My boyfriend has baked a lot, but gluten-free baking is fairly new to him.  I was tickled when he offered to bake the cake part of this.  I happily tackled the basil whipped cream and assembly. We make a good team if I do say so myself.

This basil whipped cream is TO DIE FOR!  You don’t have to make the whole cake to enjoy this lovely topping from time to time.  Top some fresh berries (strawberries or blackberries are both perfect!) and you have a simple and elegant dessert.

Let me know if you try it!  I’d love to hear about your success.

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Gluten-Free Strawberry Shortcake with Basil Whipped Cream

Adapted from the lovely cookbook, Layered: Baking, Building, and Styling Spectacular Cakes by Tessa Huff

gluten-free strawberry shortcake with basil whipped cream

Want more gluten free recipes?  Click here to subscribe. 

Chiffon Cake

Butter for pans

2 cups gluten free all purpose flour (we used Cup 4 Cup)

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup walnut oil

1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

6 large eff yolks

1 cup whole milk 

8 large egg whites

3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar 

Preheat oven t 350 degrees F.   Grease and line the bottom of two 8-inch cake pans with parchment paper and set aside. 

Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt and set to the side 

In the bowl of a stand mixed fitted with the paddle attachment, blend together the oil and 1 1/4 cups of the sugar on medium speed for 1 minute.  

Add the vanilla and egg yolks to the mixer bowl, one at a time, and mix for about 3 more minutes. The mixture will increase in volume and will be pale in color. Turn off the stand mixer and scrape down the bowl.

Turn the mixer to low and add the flour mixture (previously set aside) in three batches, alternating with the milk.  Continue alternating until all the milk and the flour mixtures are incorporated. Mix on medium for no more than 30 seconds after the last streaks of the dry ingredients are combined. Because gluten free flour can get gummy and soak up LOTS of liquid, you can add more milk here to make it the consistency of a custard, but don’t do so until just before combining with the egg white mixture.)

Pour the batter into a large bowl and set it aside.

Clean the mixer bowl thoroughly and dry it well. In the bowl of the stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites on medium-low speed until foamy.   Add the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and the cream of tartar and whisk on high until stiff peaks form. Turn off mixer.

In your initial bowl of cake batter set aside, if your mixture has set up considerably, quickly whisk in up to 1/2 cup more whole milk to loosen it to custard like consistency before adding in the egg whites.

Carefully but deliberately fold the egg whites into the cake batter. Evenly divide the batter between the prepared pans. Spread with a spatula to even the tops of each cake.

Bake for 35-42 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean. Let them rest on a wire rack until cool before running a paring knife or metal spatula around the edges of the cakes and removing them from their pans.

Basil Whipped Cream

2 1/2 cups heavy cream, plus more if needed

1 to 1  1/2 cups lightly packed fresh basil leaves, chopped

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Slowly heat 2 cups of the cream in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat until it begins to simmer. 

Meanwhile, gently muddle the basil leaves with a mortar and pestle.

Once the cream begins to steam and simmer, remove the pan from the heat.  Add the basil leaves, cover, and let them steep for 30 minutes.  TransferTransfer the mixture to a container and refrigerate until cold.  (If making the night before, stop here!)

Strain out the basil leaves. Remeasure the cream and top it off with more cream if necessary, so you have a total of 2 cups. 

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the cream on medium speed until it begins to thicken.  Add the sugar and vanilla and whisk on high until it forms medium peaks.  For best results, store the whipped cream in the refrigerator and assemble the cake just before serving.

The whipped cream may be made up to 8 hours ahead of time and stored separately and tightly covered in the refrigerator.  

For the assembly

1 quart fresh strawberries

Hull and slice the fresh strawberries 1/4 inch thick until you have about 4 cups of sliced berries.  Reserve a few whole strawberries for decoration, if you like. 

Once the cakes have completely cooled, carefully halve them horizontally to create four even layers, Level the cakes and choose which layer will be at the bottom. Plate it on a cake plate or serving dish and spread on a cake.

Once assembled, eat the cake immediately or keep refrigerated, for up to 2 days, until 30 minutes before serving. 

gluten free strawberry shortcake with basil whipped cream sliced for summer entertaining

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