This pretty dessert tastes like the best part of strawberry shortcake – the filling! Just fill fresh sweet strawberries with vanilla mascarpone cream, lightly sweetened with powdered sugar. You can literally whip up this no-bake dessert in just a few minutes!
5g total carbs, 4g net carbs per 3 strawberries
My mother served strawberry shortcake on my birthday. The pure flavor and aroma of fresh strawberries and sweet whipped cream layered between buttery vanilla sponge cake will always remind me of my childhood. Now that I'm all grown up and counting carbs, I love that these cream-filled strawberries taste like strawberry shortcake filling. I can't have my cake anymore, but for me it’s always been about the filling anyway. The butteriness of the mascarpone cheese makes up for the lack of buttery sponge cake.
About the ingredients:
Use fresh, nice looking strawberries in their prime with no bruises. Carefully examine the package before buying strawberries. Try to buy berries that aren't overcrowded in a package, that's how they get bruised.
Strawberries are naturally low-carb and are an excellent fruit choice for keto and low-carb diets. Each medium-sized berry has only 1 gram of total carbs. Strawberries are packed with fiber, making the net carb count even lower. A cup of sliced strawberries has only 10 grams net carbs and over 150% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C.
Mascarpone cheese isn't really cheese in the traditional sense. It's heavy cream mixed with lemon juice and then left to thicken. If you can't find mascarpone cheese, feel free to use full-fat whole cream cheese instead.
heavy whipping cream
You'll need to add heavy whipping cream to the mascarpone cheese in order to get stiff peaks and airy whipped filling.
powdered sugar or confectioner's sugar
This recipe calls for a tiny amount of regular powdered sugar instead of sugar substitute because gram per gram they each have the same amount of total carbs. If you are on a strict keto diet, then go ahead and use a sugar substitute, if that is your preference. This amount of sugar is enough to lightly sweeten the filling. Remember that the strawberries are also sweet so there is no need to add extra sweetener. If you are new to low-carb, low-sugar foods it may take a while for your tastebuds to adjust.
Vanilla extract adds a sweet, comforting aroma to desserts without the extra carbs.
Equipment you'll need
A piping bag
I recommend using a piping bag with a star tip. However, you can use any tip that you have available. If you don't have a piping bag handy, you can improvise by using a freezer bag with a corner snipped off to use as the piping tip.
For scraping the sides of the bowl.
For whipping the filling.
sharp paring knife
For cutting the tops off the strawberries and cutting crosses in the tips.
How to make-ahead
These delicious cream-filled strawberries are also great to make-ahead. Just cover and chill. They will keep for up to 3 days.
Frequently asked questions
Of course, you can save time by using prepared whipped cream from a can. The flavor won't be as rich though. A single serving of 2 tablespoons of whipped cream from a can has 1 gram of carbs. A medium-sized strawberry has 1 gram of carbs. So a medium-sized strawberry filled with store-bought whipped cream is about 2 grams of carbs each.
This pretty dessert tastes like the best part of strawberry shortcake - the filling. Just fill fresh sweet strawberries with whipped vanilla mascarpone cream, lightly sweetened with powdered sugar. You can literally whip up dessert in just a few minutes!
⅓ cup mascarpone cheese
⅓ cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
12 medium-sized strawberries
- Slice the green leafy tops off the strawberries so that they sit flat.
- Make two cross cuts, like an X, through the tip of each berry. Cut almost down to the bottom of the strawberry, but not all the way through. Place a chopstick or dinner knife next to the berry as a guide to stop the blade of the knife from cutting all the way through. Gently pry open the strawberry "petals".
In a large mixing bowl, add mascarpone cheese, heavy cream, vanilla and sugar. Beat with electric mixer until it holds stiff peaks and is thick enough to pipe. About 1 minute. You can also whip this by hand with a whisk.
Insert a star tip into the piping bag. Fill piping bag with cream. Squeeze down cream to push it down to the tip and remove pockets of air. Twist the top of the bag and pinch it between your thumb and forefinger to hold it in one hand. Use your other hand to hold open the strawberry petals while piping cream.
Insert nozzle into strawberry and slowly pipe cream to the top of each strawberry.
Tip: Place a chopstick or dinner knife next to the strawberry as a guide to stop the blade of the knife from slicing too far down.
Tip: If you over whip the filling, just add a little more cream and whip again until you get the right consistency.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Category: dessert
- Method: prep
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: keto strawberry shortcake bites dessert low-carb