Decadent, delicious, and piled high with coconut whipped cream! This vegan strawberry shortcake is the perfect dessert for summer celebrations. It's delicious, easy to make, and always a hit!
Strawberry shortcake is always a hit. But what about vegan strawberry shortcake? Is it possible to replicate the classic summer dessert made with sweet, buttery biscuits and fluffy whipped cream?
Strawberry shortcake isn't all that hard to veganize. I've made this recipe for numerous celebrations, served it to vegans as well as non-vegans, and it always gets rave reviews. In fact, I've had folks tell me they prefer the coconut whipped cream to traditional whip. (It's some truly decadent stuff!)
So fire up your oven and get ready. You're going to want to enjoy this one all summer long.
Ingredients You'll Need
- Non-dairy milk. Soy milk, almond milk, cashew milk, and oat milk are all good options. Basically, feel free to use just about anything other than canned coconut milk, as long as it's unsweetened.
- Apple cider vinegar.
- Flour. We're using plain old all-purpose flour. As far as substitutions, you could probably get away with spelt of whole wheat pastry flour. An all-purpose gluten-free flour blend should work if you need to keep the recipe gluten-free, but I haven't tested this, so no promises.
- Sugar. Make sure to use organic sugar to keep the recipe vegan. Conventional sugar may be bleached using animal bone char.
- Baking powder.
- Baking soda.
- Vegan butter. This is available in most supermarkets near the regular butter. Miyoko's and Earth Balance are a couple of popular brands to look for.
- Fresh strawberries.
- Coconut cream. Coconut cream can be purchased in cans at most supermarkets, usually in the international foods aisle.
- Maple syrup. We're using this to sweeten our whipped coconut cream. You can substitute with another liquid sweetener such as agave if you'd like.
- Vanilla extract.
Tip: If you can't find coconut cream, it can be extracted from full fat coconut milk. Chill the cans overnight then drain off the liquid. The solid part that remains is coconut cream.
How It's Made
The following is a detailed photo tutorial on how to make this dish. Scroll all the way down if you'd like to skip right to the recipe!
Start by making the biscuits. They'll take some time to bake, and you can prepare the fillings in the meantime.
Stir the milk and apple cider vinegar together in a small container. This is your vegan buttermilk. Make sure the milk is cold. Stick your vegan buttermilk into the fridge to keep it cold while you mix the dry ingredients.
Whisk your dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl: flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Tip: Your non-dairy milk might curdle a bit when you add the vinegar, particularly if you're using a high-protein variety like soy milk. This is normal and nothing to worry about.
Add sliced up vegan butter to the dry ingredients. Make sure the butter is cold, right from the fridge. Use a pastry cutter or fork to cut the butter into the dry ingredients, until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs.
Pour the vegan buttermilk into the dry ingredients, and gently stir everything up to create a shaggy dough. Stop stirring once it's mixed. Overworking the dough will give you tough biscuits.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gently press it out into a large rectangle of about 9 by 12 inches. Dip a round biscuit cutter into flour then use it to cut circles in the dough. Don't twist the cutter.
Arrange the dough rounds in a cast iron skillet or on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, making sure they're just touching each other (but not jammed together). Brush the tops with non dairy milk and pop them into the oven to bake.
Prepare the fillings while the biscuits bake.
First, clean and slice the strawberries. Add some sugar, stir them up and let them sit for a while to release their juices. You can optionally mash some of the berries with a fork if you'd like.
To make the coconut whipped topping, simply place chilled coconut cream in a large mixing bowl (discard any watery liquid in the can). Beat the mixture until it's fluffy, then beat in a few tablespoons of maple syrup to sweeten the mixture.
Assemble the shortcakes once your biscuits are cool. Slice each biscuit in half, then stuff it with some strawberries and whipped coconut cream. Pile some more strawberries and whipped coconut cream on top.
- Roasted strawberry shortcake. Use roasted strawberries instead of fresh ones. They're extra sweet and gooey!
- Switch up the berries. Make vegan blueberry shortcake or raspberry shortcake instead!
- Use store-bought whipped cream. If you're in a hurry or can't find whipped coconut cream, try a commercial vegan whipped cream instead. Reddi-wip has a couple of vegan varieties and all Whipt products are all vegan.
- Flavored berries. Add some extra flavor to your strawberries by using maple syrup instead of sugar, or adding some vanilla extract, black pepper (yes, this totally works), or powdered ginger for some zip.
Leftovers & Storage
Store the components of this vegan strawberry shortcake recipe separately.
The biscuits will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for about 3 days or in the freezer for about 3 months. The strawberries will last about 3 days in an airtight container in the fridge, and the coconut whip will keep for about 5 days.
More Vegan Strawberry Recipes
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The Best Vegan Strawberry Shortcake
Decadent, delicious, and piled high with coconut whipped cream! This vegan strawberry shortcake is the perfect dessert for summer celebrations. It's easy to make, and always a hit!
For the Shortcakes
- 1 cup unflavored soy or almond milk, chilled, plus a bit more for brushing
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup organic granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup vegan butter, chilled
For the Strawberries
- 2 pounds fresh strawberries, hulled, cleaned and sliced
- ¼ cup organic granulated sugar, plus more to taste
For the Whipped Coconut Cream
- 2 (14 ounce) cans coconut cream (Note 1) refrigerated at least 12 hours (ideally 24-48 hours - Note 2)
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Make the Biscuits
Preheat the oven to 400º. Either line a large baking sheet with parchment paper, or gather a large cast iron skillet (or a couple of smaller ones).
Stir the milk and vinegar together in a small container, such as a liquid measuring cup. Place the container in the fridge to keep the mixture cool while you prepare the dry ingredients.
Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a large mixing bowl.
Cut the butter into eight to ten slices and add them to the bowl. Use a pastry cutter, fork, or a couple of butter knives to cut the butter into the dry ingredients. Continue until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Remove the milk mixture from the fridge and pour it into the bowl with the dry ingredients. Stir everything together just until the dough is combined. Don't overwork the dough. It will appear uneven and shaggy, which is fine.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Use an approximately 3-inch round biscuit cutter (Note 3) to cut circles in the dough. Dip the cutting edge in flour before making each cut, and avoid twisting it when cutting the dough circles.
Gently re-roll any leftover dough and continue making circles until all the dough is used.
Place each dough round into the skillet(s) or on the baking sheet, arranging them so that the edges are just touching.
Lightly brush the tops of the biscuits with non-dairy milk.
Bake the biscuits for 15 to 18 minutes, until they're fluffy and golden brown.
Place the skillet or baking sheet on a cooling rack and let the biscuits cool for about 10 minutes. Remove them from the skillet or baking sheet and place them directly on the racks to finish cooling.
Prepare the Strawberries
While the biscuits bake or cool, place the strawberries and sugar into a large mixing bowl. Stir them well and optionally use a fork to mash a few of the berries.
Allow the berries to sit for about 20 minutes.
Make the Whipped Coconut Cream
Open the cans of coconut cream. The cream should appear semisolid and opaque.
Transfer the coconut cream to a large mixing bowl, discarding any watery liquid in the cans.
Beat the cream on high speed with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of bowl as needed, about 1 minute.
Beat in the maple syrup and vanilla.
Slice each biscuit in half. Spoon some coconut whipped cream and berries over the bottom portion. Place the top portion of the biscuit over the fillings, the spoon additional berries and whipped coconut cream on top.
- If you can't find canned coconut cream, buy three cans of full-fat coconut milk instead. Chill them for at least 24 hours, then discard the liquid that separates out. The remining solids are coconut cream.
- Some brands of coconut cream and coconut milk work better than others. I've had luck with Thai Kitchen and Wegman's brands. I've been warned by others to steer clear of Trader Joe's brand. A good way to test a can at the store is by shaking it. If you feel a lot of liquid sloshing around inside, it's probably best to try another one.
- You can use a cutter as small as 2 ½ inches, which will give you more shortcakes. If you don't have a biscuit cutter you can use a sharp knife to cut squares or trace around a round template such as a drinking glass.