This easy vegan strawberry shortcake recipe has ripe, juicy strawberries, a buttery biscuit-like shortcake, and creamy coconut whipped cream. This recipe is your quintessential spring or summer dessert but made vegan and dairy free.
Originally Published: May 7, 2021 | Updated: April 4, 2023
Why You’ll Love This Vegan Strawberry Shortcake Recipe
Here are a few reasons we love this recipe and you will too:
- Fresh and Flavorful: The combination of ripe, sweet strawberries and tangy lemon zest creates a burst of flavor that complements the rich, buttery shortcake perfectly.
- Vegan and Dairy-Free: This classic dessert recipe uses plant-based ingredients. It’s a great option to share with friends and family who have dietary restrictions.
- Use Frozen or Fresh Strawberries: No ripe strawberries on hand? No worries you can use frozen berries instead if it isn’t strawberry season! Just let them thaw, then use them according to the recipe below.
- Instructions for Individual Cakes or a 9” Round Cake: You can make a whole cake or individual servings, depending on your preference. This recipe includes baking times and instructions below.
To make this easy dairy-free strawberry shortcake, you only need 10 main ingredients! This shortcake uses plant butter (I use either Earth Balance or Country Crock Plant Butter) and is topped with coarse sugar (or an optional sweet crunchy streusel topping).
Here’s what you’ll need to make it:
- All-purpose Flour
- Brown Sugar or Cane Sugar
- Baking Powder
- Baking Soda
- Vegan Butter
- Almond Milk or Other Vegan Milk
- Apple Cider Vinegar or White Vinegar
- Vanilla Extract
- Sugar: You can use other sweeteners like maple syrup or agave syrup instead of granulated sugar in the strawberry mixture. I don’t recommend swapping out the granulated sugar for a liquid sweetener in the shortcake dough.
- Almond milk: If you prefer a different type of non-dairy milk, such as soy milk, coconut milk or oat milk, feel free to use that instead of almond milk.
- Vegan Butter: For the vegan butter, you can use any brand or variety that is solid and cold from the fridge. You can also use coconut oil, but the texture of the shortcake may be slightly different. If using coconut oil, increase the amount of salt to 3/4 of a teaspoon.
- Other ingredients: Feel free to add in chopped nuts, chocolate chips, or dried fruit for added texture and flavor.
- Pastry cutter or fork: for cutting in the vegan butter
- Large mixing bowl: for the strawberry mixture and shortcake dough
- Parchment paper and baking sheets: for individual servings
- Round cake pan: for the cake option
prep the strawberries
Before you make the shortcake, the first step is to prep the strawberries. Prepping the strawberries a few hours prior to when you plan on enjoying your shortcake allows the strawberries and sugar to marinate together. The sugar will help create a flavorful syrup that you can pour over the shortcake.
STEP 1: You’ll want to mix them together with cane sugar, lemon zest, and vanilla extract (optional) in a large bowl.
📌 TIP: I recommend covering the bowl and placing it in the fridge for at least an hour, preferably overnight.
how to make the vegan shortcake
Making this vegan strawberry shortcake is actually really easy. Similar to shortbread, shortcake is made with cold vegan butter, so make sure you pop your butter into the freezer or fridge prior to using it.
STEP 2: Mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.
STEP 3: Then, using a pastry cutter, cut in all the cold vegan butter. You may need to use your hands to incorporate the butter, so the dough is a coarse crumbly texture.
STEP 4: You’ll want to make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add in the almond milk, apple cider vinegar, and vanilla.
STEP 5: Using a spoon or spatula, stir the wet into the dry ingredients until it forms a very thick batter. The texture should be a combination between a thick muffin batter and biscuit dough.
Baking the vegan strawberry shortcake
This recipe makes a 9” or 8″ round cake or 10-12 individual shortcakes.
STEP 6: If using a cake pan, you’ll want to make sure that you grease the bottom and sides so it releases easily. Then, spread the shortcake dough into the bottom of the pan.
If making individual shortcakes, scoop the dough into 10-12 equally sized dollops of dough. Flatten the dough into a 2-3” round disc, about 2” tall.
📌 TIP: You can also roll the dough into a ball, and then roll it out into a rectangle about 1.5-2″ thick with a rolling pin. Then, you can use a biscuit cutter to cut the shortcakes into perfect circles.
STEP 7: Top it off with a sprinkle of the streusel mixture (find the ingredients in the notes section of the recipe card below!). You can also sprinkle on some coarse granulated sugar onto the top.
STEP 8: Next up is baking! Bake the shortcake for 30 minutes for the round cake or 15-18 minutes for the individual cakes. The cakes should be golden on top and a toothpick should comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the cake.
Once the shortcakes are baked and cooled, it’s time to assemble your vegan strawberry shortcakes! Slice the cake or split the individual shortcakes in half horizontally. Place the bottom half on a serving plate and spoon a generous amount of the prepared strawberries on top.
Add a dollop of vegan coconut whipped cream, and then place the top half of the shortcake on top. Garnish with a fresh strawberry or a sprig of mint for an extra pop of color. Serve immediately and enjoy!
📌 TIP: If you’d like to make it a bit healthier or even eat it for breakfast, you can serve the vegan strawberry shortcakes with plain, unsweetened soy yogurt!
If you don’t have whipped cream on hand you could dust on some powdered sugar or serve the shortcake biscuits with a scoop of vegan vanilla ice cream.
If you have any leftover vegan shortcakes, you can store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. However, it’s best to assemble the shortcakes just before serving to prevent the cake from becoming too soggy.
The strawberry mixture can be kept covered in the fridge for 5-6 days.
- For a more pronounced lemon flavor: you can add a teaspoon of lemon juice along with the lemon zest to the strawberry mixture.
- For a sweeter shortcake: you can increase the amount of sugar in the dough or sprinkle some additional sugar on top before baking.
- Use cold vegan butter: this helps achieve a flaky and tender shortcake dough. You can even freeze the butter for a few minutes before cutting it into the dry ingredients.
- No pastry cutter? If you don’t have a pastry cutter, you can use two knives or your fingers to cut the vegan butter into the dough until it resembles coarse crumbs.
- Switch it up! Feel free to customize your vegan strawberry shortcakes by adding in other fresh fruit like blueberries or raspberries, or by drizzling some dairy-free chocolate sauce over the top for an extra indulgent treat!
Strawberry shortcake is a summer dessert that consists of a sweet cake or biscuit that is usually topped with whipped cream and fresh strawberries. This recipe recommends topping the shortcake with coconut whipped cream!
Traditional shortcakes are not vegan because they use dairy based butter. However, plant butter bakes up almost identically to dairy butter! I promise you won’t even know this strawberry shortcake recipe is completely vegan.
Cold butter helps create the flakey texture of shortcake! If the butter is room temperature or melted, the cake will be less biscuit like.
Looking for more vegan desserts? Check out these recipes!
- Lemon Poppyseed Muffins
- Almond Blueberry Biscotti
- Vegan Monkey Bread
- Classic Vegan Apple Pie
- Strawberry Crunch Cake
- Dehydrated Strawberries
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