Fresh berries topped with whipped cream is one of my favorite summertime treats. It's a quick and easy dessert that's relatively healthy and always a crowd pleaser. And while whipped cream with just a touch of vanilla and sugar never disappoints, it's remarkably easy to turn this everyday delight into a special treat.

Infusing whipped cream with herbs like basil or mint is wonderful year-round, but especially in warm weather months when herbs are plentiful and picked fresh from the garden. And not only will herb-infused whipped cream smell delectable, it adds a subtle complexity to whatever it's served with, from a simple bowl of berries to a dollop atop pound cake or, obviously, pie.

Dried lavender also adds a familiar floral note to the cream that balances especially well with the forward flavor of blueberries. Lavender whipped cream turns a classic blueberry pie into a modern delight.


How to make whipped cream with herbs

Adding a fresh herb or dried flower to whipped cream requires a simple infusion, which may sound complicated, but it's just like making tea.

  1. For large, leafy herbs like basil, chop or tear leaves into small pieces. The amount you use will determine the intensity of flavor.
  2. Place heavy cream in a small saucepan and heat until it just starts to simmer.
  3. Remove cream from heat and add herbs. Cover and let steep for about 25 to 30 minutes.

To one cup of cream (see this basic whipped cream recipe), I add the following:

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried lavender buds
  • About 1/3 cup fresh herbs (basil, mint)

Pour the infused cream through a mesh strainer to remove botanicals. Cover and refrigerate 6 to 8 hours or overnight.


Berry + herb whipped cream pairings I love (mix and match!)

  • Lavender whipped cream + blueberries
  • Basil whipped cream + strawberries
  • Mint whipped cream + blackberries

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