Stuffed Strawberry Boats

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Buon giorno!

Sail away with me – off the shore of Capri, the Bay of Naples, the Pontine Islands, or perhaps explore the sea caves of Sardinia! The Regatta Italiana has begun –the boats have arrived – a flotilla of sailing vessels coming in with the gentle ocean breezes from a day of adventure on the water. Imagine the tiny boats sailing in from a sunny day on the sparkling waters of the Mediterranean.  This is how I think of these little STUFFED STRAWBERRY BOATS –as tiny boats floating, if you will, on a sea of chocolate or even fresh mint. In any case, no matter how far your imagination takes you, these little “boats” are the toast of the strawberry season.

They are easy to make and so delicious. You’ll want to make extra, as they disappear quickly. They are the perfect dessert for warm spring or summer evenings on the patio. You’ll want to serve them often as a light ending to a heavy meal or even an addition to your cocktail appetizers with a bubbly beverage.

These STUFFED STRAWBERRY BOATS have 5 ingredients: strawberries, mascarpone cheese, powdered sugar, dark chocolate and Sambuca. The key ingredient is the Sambuca! (anise extract can be substituted – but use less of it as it is quite concentrated) The anise flavor is nothing short of perfection when paired with the strawberries.

About Sambuca: This is a lovely Italian liqueur, clear and with the flavor of anise. Sambuca dates back to the 1800’s, and its name comes from the Latin word “sambucus” which means elderberry. You’ll find Sambuca in other colors – black or blue for instance. The one you want here is the one most commonly found – clear – or referred to as “white”.  It is often served in Italy and among Italians, along with 3 coffee beans, as an accompaniment to espresso.  This is called “Caffe Coretto” – a recipe for this can be found by scrolling down to it on the New Stuff Page on the Linda’s Italian Table website.


If you want to make your stuffing, a day ahead and refrigerate – you can. So get your fresh strawberries, make your stuffing, relax and fuggedaboutit! Let’s set sail now!


Stuffed Strawberries A

Makes: about 20 (the amount depends on the size of your berries and how much you fill them

Prep: 15 minutes


About 20 Fresh Ripe Strawberries (number will depend on the size and how much you fill them)

Melted Dark Chocolate – I like a dark chocolate that is 60% cacao for this.—about 6 oz. –  or more, if you like.

Optional: Little cocktail drinks umbrellas – often found at dollar stores or liquor stores.


12 Oz. Mascarpone Cheese ( an Italian creamy cheese sold usually in 8 oz. containers)

3 Tbsp. Powdered Sugar

2 Tbsp. Sambuca (more if you want stronger) – if using anise extract use LESS)


It is best to stuff the berries the day you want to use them.

Mash the mascarpone cheese in a bowl.

Add powdered sugar and Sambuca. Mix well and refrigerate until ready to stuff the berries.

Berry 6

Wash your berries and pat dry – Leave the hulls on. Your guests can use them as little handles!

Slice a sliver off the bottom of each berry horizontally. This will make them sit more easily on a plate.

Berry 3

Horizontally slice off the top 1/4 or 1/3 of each berry to use as a top.

Berry 2

Using a melon baller or a small spoon – scoop out a little of the remaining berry. Discard that part or EAT IT!

Berry 4

Berry 5

Spoon stuffing on bottom half of each berry that you just scooped out.

Top with  the slice of berry you previously cut off.

Melt the dark chocolate – Use for drizzle for the berries and also to drizzle on the plate for a “water effect”.

Stick a tiny drinks umbrella in your berries – very festive –  and makes it easy to pick up the berries.

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OR TRY THIS: Take the top part of the berry and stand it on top like a little “sail”!!

1305_Strawberry Boat_002

These STUFFED STRAWBERRY BOATS are so pretty and so much fun to offer to your guests that you’ll want to launch your own flotilla today! To serve – try a crisp, bubbly Prosecco ! Buon Viaggio!


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Food Photos By Tommy Hanks Photography

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  1. What a great idea for a dessert. Pretty, too.

  2. Mary Jane Mazzoleni says:

    I love this idea. I’m having friend over for dinner this evening….I am serving a pasta dish. This will be a perfect dessert!

    • Mary Jane – So happy to hear you are trying the strawberry recipe. It is a unique and lovely end to any meal. The fact that it’s so easy makes it even better!