Strawberries and Vanilla Cream

Sometimes the simplest recipes are the best. Today, Emma of My Darling Lemon Thyme shares her recipe for marinated strawberries with vanilla whipped cream. Wouldn’t it be a lovely way to end a summer dinner party? Here’s the (easy) way to whip it up…

Strawberries and Cream
By Emma Galloway of My Darling Lemon Thyme

As a kid I loved nothing more than a bowlful of berries and freshly whipped cream. The sight of my mother’s electric hand beater (which is well over 30 years old!) would always bring a burst of excitement as I stood next to her in the kitchen waiting to lick the beater.

We didn’t eat cream all that often growing up and still don’t (as we are mildly lactose intolerant!), but on the odd occasion when we do eat it, it’s savored just as much as when I was little, all those years ago. (Don’t tell my kids, but I always lick the beaters when they are not looking!)

Nowadays I sweeten the berries slightly, sometimes with unrefined cane sugar, other times with a lick of maple syrup, adding in a touch of orange to bring a gentle tang. Leaving them to sit for a good half hour brings out the beautiful natural juices of the fruit and allows the orange zest time to mingle and do its thing. I then leave the cream un-sweetened, adding just a touch of vanilla to bring that beautiful memory-inducing perfume to the mix.

Recipe: Strawberries and Cream
Serves 4

What you’ll need:

(For the marinated strawberries)
1 lb strawberries, hulled and cut in half
2 tbsp. unrefined cane sugar or pure maple syrup
2 tbsp. freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tsp. finely grated orange zest

(For the fresh vanilla cream)
5 fl oz (1/4 pint) heavy cream, chilled
1/2 tsp. vanilla bean paste or the scraped seeds from 1/2 a vanilla bean pod
Place the halved strawberries into a medium-sized bowl. Add sugar or maple syrup, orange zest and juice and stir well to combine. Set aside in the fridge for 30 minutes to marinate, stirring a couple of times during that 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, place cream and vanilla into a large bowl and whip using a balloon whisk or electric beaters until soft peaks form.

Serve berries and their juices in bowls with a generous dollop of vanilla cream on top.

Note: To make this dairy-free/vegan, you can use whipped coconut cream in place of the whipped vanilla cream. A little lime zest and juice in place of the orange makes for a lovely change, or you can leave out the orange zest and juice altogether and add a splash of rosewater for an exotic twist.

Thank you, Emma!

(Photos and recipe by Emma Galloway of My Darling Lemon Thyme. Thanks to Caroline Donofrio for her help with this series.)

P.S. More best recipes, including salted caramel brownies and homemade tiramisu.

  1. I love this! Strawberries are so lovely on their own that they don’t need much to truly shine.

  2. Um heck yea!!

  3. My dad always made this for us in the summer. Simple, but wonderful.

  4. This is a staple dessert where I work (I’m a pastry cook), and you can switch up your macerating mixture with so many flavors (I’ve done chopped fresh mint and grand marnier for a boozy kick!) and as a step up, you can use angel food cake or a biscuit and it turns into a shortcake dessert :)

  5. This reminds me of my time in Denmark six Mays ago. I don’t usually like strawberries (I know, I know) but my Danish relatives loved serving the in-season fruit in a bowl with a small pool of half and half in the bottom. The easiest desserts I’ve ever been served, but definitely one of the most memorable. AND I was just relating that story to my mom earlier this evening before catching this post! How do you keep reading my mind?

  6. Sounds deliciousand very european to make cream w no sugar

  7. I just ate a giant bowl of strawberries. And there was a brownie at the bottom :) This vanilla cream really intrigues me! Pavlova anyone?

  8. A splash of Grand Marnier in with the strawberries is also divine.

  9. One of my favorite ways to macerate berries is with a little rosewater and whatever sweetener you like. It’s divine :).

  10. We’re having this tonight! But with the addition of homemade shortcake! I can’t wait!

  11. I am a huge fan of berries and whipped cream! But, I recently started mixing 1/2 greek yogurt with 1/2 whipping cream plus vanilla (or whatever extract you prefer) and a bit of sugar. It is a bit tangy, lower in calories and higher in protein (kind of healthy?!).

  12. I used to make something similar to this, instead of whipped cream I use mascarpone cheese and also different fruits like berries, peaches and oranges!

    Looks yummy.

  13. Looks so easy and delicious. have to try!

  14. My family and I usually marinate the strawberries in a similar way, but without the orange juice and zest. I’ll have to try this next time!

  15. Did you know that it’s National Strawberries and Cream day?!?! If not, you must have great intuition:)

  16. I like mine the french way, sprinkled with a bit of sugar, left to sit and served with unwhipped cream. It is so decadent!

  17. Oh I love My Darling Lemon Thyme. This looks delicious!

  18. Even better: heavy whipping cream, whipped + strawberries.
    That is – actually – simple.

  19. Nice and refreshing! I’ve also done a similar strawberry dish with a bit of sugar and balsamic vinegar. Delicious and no sour/bitter flavor from the vinegar.

  20. Definitely going to make this! Thanks!

  21. When I was 10, My mom and I spent three weeks in New Orleans to help my ailing uncle in the hospital. As a treat, my aunt took us to Brennan’s for brunch. It was the most posh experience of my first decade. There was a dress code!! As a starter (for brunch!!), I had strawberries in cream… much like this recipe. It was heaven! Thanks for the flashback.

  22. This is a classic recipe, and so delicious!

    But I think you mean “macerated”, rather than “marinated”.

  23. Strawberries and cream are a classic for the summer. I’ve not tried it with vanilla cream before, but may have to rustle this up!

    Beccy // Bluebell & Bumpkin

  24. I will HAVE to make this for a dinner party this weekend!

  25. Those strawberries look amazing! Nothing better than fresh, in season strawberries:)