Let’s play a game of Guess Who? She has freckles across her nose, beautiful red hair, and smells sweet like berries. If you guessed Strawberry Shortcake, you win this round! Before you start jamming to the theme song and start singing, “straw-ba-ba-ba-ba-berry shortcake,” we’ve got a simple recipe that’ll bring you back to 1979—aka when this iconic doll made her first debut.
If you’re one that loves to eat with the seasons and think that shopping at the Farmers’ Market is basically the ideal first date, you’ve likely taken full advantage of the strawberry season this year, which lasts between March and August. Not ready to say goodbye to delicious, juicy fresh strawberries until next spring? Consider this strawberry dessert recipe your last hurrah.
On the latest episode of Alt-Baking Bootcamp, nutrition coach and baker Sashah Handal shares her super easy vegan strawberry shortcake recipe. “Most cakes can be really fussy and kind of tedious—this cake is not that,” Handal says. TBH, we’re always down to take on a no-fuss, drama-free recipe that tastes great any day of the week. Read on for the full recipe, and follow along in the video above to see how it’s done.
What makes this no-fuss, vegan strawberry shortcake the perfect sweet treat
We’ll start by saying you don’t need to be a seasoned baker to nail this recipe. Unlike a tiered cake that is as intimidating to make as it is to transport from point A to point B, this no-fuss and drama-free recipe is as casual as it comes. With a few dairy-free ingredients, Handal transforms a traditional strawberry shortcake dessert into a two-tiered delight that requires no special tools or appliances that you don’t already have hanging out in your kitchen.
Handal’s light and refreshing strawberry shortcake features two nine-inch vegan cake loaves layered with vegan whipped cream and topped with fresh macerated strawberries. Unlike other shortcake recipes that use shortening, cream, eggs, or loads of butter for the wet ingredients, this simple cake is made using only dairy-free products like almond milk and dairy-free yogurt to achieve the perfect flavor, volume, and texture, as Handal describes it.
To achieve the perfect fluffy, airy, and super flavorful cake layers, Handal uses two secret ingredients to really make the recipe shine—aka gut-healthy ACV and a splash of almond extract. “Apple cider vinegar will react with both of my leaveners—we used both baking soda and baking powder. That will create the ultimate volume in this cake,” she says. The almond extract imparts that classic nutty, buttery, and luscious vanilla shortcake flavor.
The real star of the show is, of course, the super tasty and nutrient-dense strawberries. This all-time favorite fruit is filled with tons of antioxidants, fiber, and vitamin C that help fight free radicals and support gut and immune health. Not to mention, they’re loaded with tons of nutrients and minerals like potassium, magnesium, and calcium that help keep bones strong and healthy. Drooling yet?
Dairy-free strawberry shortcake recipe
Yields 8-10 servings
3 cups Bob’s Red Mill pastry flour, sifted
1 1/2 cup superfine cane sugar
2 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 pounds strawberries, stemmed and quartered
3 Tbsp sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
3/4 almond milk
2/3 cup dairy-free yogurt, room temperature
1 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp almond extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups cold, dairy-free whipped cream
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk until combined.
2. In a separate bowl, add the strawberries and sugar. Cover and let rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
3. Create a small well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the oil.
4. In a separate bowl, combine the milk, yogurt, vinegar, almond extract, and vanilla extract. Whisk until combined, and add the wet ingredients into the flour mixture.
5. Separate the batter into two nine-inch cake pans lined with parchment paper and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
6. Assemble the layer cake by placing one layer of cake on a cake stand. Then, spread half of the whipped cream using a spatula on the surface, and add strawberries to cover the cream. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.