This vegan strawberry shortcake recipe will show you how to make this amazing summer dessert. The shortcake biscuits are easy to make, and taste wonderful filled with juicy strawberries and whipped vegan cream.
Strawberry shortcake is a highlight of the strawberry season. There’s even a whole day dedicated to it in the United States - June 14th! Because the berries are not cooked, but simply soaked in sugar, this recipe is one of the loveliest ways to celebrate the fresh taste of strawberries.
When a blistering hot summer day requires a quick refreshing cooldown, we go for strawberry milkshakes. But when we are looking more for a substantial and slightly decadent summer dessert, these strawberry shortcakes are perfect!
Strawberry shortcake is sometimes made with sponge or Angel food cake, but here we use biscuits that's more like what's known as a scone in Britain. We only had to adapt our easy vegan scones recipe to make them a bit richer to match the indulgence of the strawberries and cream!
Shortcake dates back to the 16th century in Britain, when a recipe appeared in an Elizabethan cook book. Shakespeare even named one of his characters in The Merry Wives of Windsor, "Alice Shortcake".
But it wasn't until later in 19th century America that shortcake became famously served with strawberries and cream and it evolved into the iconic dessert we enjoy today! Now we are continuing the evolution of the recipe with this vegan version of strawberry shortcake - ready for a plant-based future!
For the shortcakes you'll need:
- Flour - plain or all purpose
- Baking powder and a pinch of salt
- Vegan butter, or non dairy margarine
- Soy milk, but other non-dairy milks would work
- and a teaspoon of lemon juice
And for the toppings:
- Vegan whipping cream, with some added sugar and vanilla extract for extra flavour.
- And strawberries, heavenly juicy once macerated with sugar.
Step by step
Here's a visual guide to help you make your own delicious strawberry shortcakes. You can find the detailed instructions below in the recipe card!
Step 1 - To macerate the quartered strawberries, mix them with sugar and let them steep for at least 30 minutes.
Step 2 - Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl.
Step 3 - Rub in the vegan butter using a fork or your hands, until no big lumps remain.
Step 4 - Add soy milk and lemon juice, and mix to form a loose, slightly sticky dough.
Step 5 - Roll out the dough on a floured surface and cut out round shapes.
Step 6 - Brush the top of the shortcakes with a mix of soy milk and maple syrup.
Step 7 - Bake for 12 minutes at 220℃.
Step 8 - Whip up the vegan cream, then add sugar and vanilla extract and whip again.
Step 9 - The best part... Assemble the strawberry shortcakes and enjoy!
Variations and substitutions
For the vegan whipping cream, we used Elmlea Plant Double. If you can’t buy a vegan cream suitable for whipping you can try making your own from chilled coconut cream or soaked cashews.
Shortcake isn’t just great with strawberries! Swap them out for other seasonal fruits such as blueberries, peach or raspberries and adjust the sugar to taste.
It’s totally up to you how you assemble your vegan strawberry shortcake! You can go for cream first and strawberries on top, or the other way round. Dig in with a fork and enjoy!
We often top and eat each half separately, in which case you can gleefully pick it up with your hands and take a big bite!
If you don’t plan on eating all the strawberry shortcakes right away it’s best to leave them unfilled.
They are best enjoyed fresh, but you can store the shortcakes in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
To reheat the shortcakes before filling and eating, you can put them in the microwave for 10 - 20 seconds. You can also refresh a batch of them in the oven at 150°C (300°F) for 5 - 10 minutes.
Macerate means to soften. In cooking, it is a technique typically used to soften fruit with no heat involved. A soaking liquid, or a sprinkle of sugar, is used to draw out the juice from the fruit.
Yes, frozen strawberries work well in this recipe. They won't be quite as firm as fresh strawberries, but they still taste delicious! Simply defrost your strawberries by leaving them in a bowl in the fridge overnight or gently in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time at low power.
Because the defrosted strawberries will already be quite juicy, you don't need to let them macerate for so long, just until the sugar is dissolved.
The baked shortcakes can be frozen when they have completely cooled down. Wrap well and place in an airtight container to freeze.
To thaw the shortcakes, place them on a wire rack and defrost at room temperature for about 1 hour. You can refresh them in the microwave or oven, as mentioned above, before serving them with the strawberries and cream.
Vegan Strawberry Shortcakes
- 3 cups (450 g) strawberries quartered
- ¼ cup (50 g) sugar
- 1 cup (240 ml) vegan whipping cream
- 2 tbsp (25 g) sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Wash and quarter the strawberries. Stir together with the sugar and let steep for 30 minutes. In the meantime, make the shortcakes.
- Preheat the oven on fan to 220°C (430°F).
- Combine flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a mixing bowl.
- Rub the cold vegan butter into the flour mix, using a pastry cutter, a fork or your fingertips.
- Add the soy milk and lemon juice and mix to form a loose, sticky dough.
- Place the dough on a flour-dusted surface, and roll it out or just pat it down about ¾ - 1 inch (2 - 2.5 cm) thick.
- Using a 3 inch (8cm) cutter dipped in a bit of flour, cut out circles and set them down on a lined baking sheet. Gather the leftover dough and cut more circles. You can shape the final shortcake from remaining bits of dough using your hands.
- Combine the soy milk with maple syrup and brush the tops of the shortcakes.
- Bake at 220°C / 430°F on fan, for about 12 minutes until the tops are golden brown. Let the shortcakes cool down on a wire rack.
- With an electric whisk, whip up the vegan whipping cream to soft peaks. Then add the sugar and vanilla extract and continue to whip until stiff. It's best to whip up only as much cream as you need at a time as it can lose its stiffness over time.
- Cut open a shortcake, place some whipped cream and macerated strawberries on the base. Cover with the shortcake top and decorate with a little bit more whipped cream and a fresh quarter strawberry. Alternatively, top each shortcake half separately.