The perfect summer treat! I used to eat strawberry shortcake every summer, but that tradition kind of stopped when I became vegan. I struggle to find vegan whipped cream and that has been preventing me from veganizing this dessert. Then one day I was like, “why don’t I just make this myself”. I’m glad I did because this turned out to be a refreshing summer treat.
I want to start out with a little history lesson. The first strawberry shortcake appeared in a British cookbook in 1588. This dessert became well known by the 1800s. In the 1900s, French pastry chefs started making the dessert with heavy whipped cream. In the United States, strawberry shortcake is either made with a sweetened biscuit or a sponge cake. I always grew up eating the sponge cake variety. I have noticed that if you live in the south, you are more familiar with the scone like shortcake. People from the North or the Midwest go for the sponge cake and it’s usually in slices or pre-made spongy cups.
Sponge cake, at least the American variety, is extremely hard to veganize. It relies almost entirely on egg whites and I understand my limitations. For this reason, I decided to make the other popular option. I was unsure at first, but I am now converted to the southern style strawberry shortcake. It’s just as tasty and it is slightly healthier, which is a bonus.
For this recipe you will need:
- Full fat coconut milk (canned).
- Unbleached flour or desired flour.
- Baking powder.
- Nondairy milk.
- Earth balance or other vegan friendly margarine.
- Cane sugar or coconut sugar.
- Juice of one lemon.
- Powdered sugar.
- Ground flaxseed.
- Vanilla extract.
- Baking sheet and parchment paper.
- Mixing bowl and silicone spatulas.
I started out by slicing strawberries. I placed them in a bowl with a pinch of sugar and lemon juice. I refrigerated them while working on the shortcake. For the shortcake, I made a plain and sweetened scone. Full instructions for everything is on the recipe card, scroll down. While the scones were cooling, I made the whipped topping. I used coconut milk (chilled), powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and lemon juice. I was inspired by this recipe from minimalist baker. Once that came together, I assembled everything. I cut a scone in two and layered the whipped cream and strawberries.
Pin this for later!
A couple of notes before the recipe card…The coconut milk needs to be put in the refrigerator the night before and it must be full-fat or it will NOT work! Store bought dairy-free whipped cream can be used instead. Whatever is easiest for you is best. Gluten-free baking mix can be used instead of plain flour. This recipe can be customized to your specific taste. If you are not into strawberries, you can make a blueberry shortcake or a rhubarb shortcake.
Vegan Strawberry Shortcake
For the strawberries
- 2 pints strawberries rinsed
- 1 tbsp lemon juice (juice from 1/2 lemon)
- 1/2 tsp cane sugar
For the scone/biscuit
- 2 cups all-purpose flour unbleached
- 1/3 cup cane sugar or coconut sugar
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 6 tbsp vegan butter
- 1 tbsp ground flaxseed + 3 tbsp water to make a flax egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 – 3/4 cup almond or soy milk
For the whipped cream
- 1 15 oz can of coconut milk full fat and chilled
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp lemon juice juice from 1/2 lemon
- 1 tbsp strawberry juice (from strawberry mixture & optional)
- Rinse and slice the strawberries. Place them in a bowl with lemon juice and a small amount of sugar. Refrigerate the strawberries while working on the other steps.
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare the flax egg by combining water and ground flaxseeds, set aside. Combine the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Spoon the vegan butter into the flour mixture. Cut in the butter with a fork until the mixture resembles small pebbles. Mix in the nondairy milk, flax egg, and vanilla extract.
- On a floured surface, shape scone dough into a flat disk (about 1/2 inch thick). Using a circular cutter, cut out 6 round scones. Place scones on a lined baking sheet and bake for 15-18 minutes or until tops are slightly golden brown.
- While scones are cooling, start preparing the whipped cream. Take the canned coconut milk out of the fridge. Separate the hardened part from the liquid and transfer the hardened milk to a mixing bowl. Use a spatula or mixer to turn the solid coconut milk into a creamy texture. Add in the powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and lemon/strawberry juice. Mix until the texture resembles whipped cream. Add additional powdered sugar if whipped cream is too thin.
- Slice scones in half and layer the whipped cream and strawberries. Serve and enjoy!
- The coconut milk must be full fat and preferably canned. Click the link in the post to see an example. The coconut milk needs to be refrigerated for around 24 hours prior to making the recipe. Store bought dairy-free whipped cream is also an option!
- Gluten free flours can be substituted in place of all-purpose flour.
- Wait for the scones to completely cool before layering the toppings. The whipped cream melts easily.
- Blueberry or rhubarb shortcake can be made if strawberries are not desirable to you!
Thank you for reading! This dessert can get a little messy, but it’s super yummy! Let me know your favorite summer treat in the comments! Subscribe for email updates of new recipes and posts. Have a nice Monday/Memorial Day!
Affiliate links are used in this post, see disclaimer and content policy for details.