This is my favorite vegan strawberry shortcake recipe. It features tender vanilla cake, lightly sweetened fresh strawberries, and your favorite vegan whipped cream—store-bought or homemade. It’s easy to assemble and a guaranteed crowd pleaser!
As soon as strawberry season rolls around each year, I rush to make these simple vegan strawberry shortcakes. They’re pretty and fun to assemble.
While the cake is made from scratch, the shortcakes use store-bought vegan whipped cream (unless you’re really eager to make your own). This helps to keep the recipe accessible and low-stress.
Strawberry shortcake is basically a mix of strawberries and whipped cream that have been layered between a shortcake—that is, a chemically leavened, sweet baked good.
There are two ways to make shortcake. One is with biscuits, which can be split to make a top and a bottom. The other is with an actual sponge cake.
I like both approaches. But I’m a cake lover first and foremost, so it’s no surprise that my favorite vegan strawberry shortcake recipe features vanilla cake.
The cake that I use in this recipe is a simple vanilla sheet cake. It’s baked on a sheet pan instead of in a square or round cake pan, so that it’s thin and good for stacking.
You can bake the cake in two quarter sheet pans or a single half sheet pan. After you bake the sheets, you can use a biscuit cutter to make rounds of cake: about twenty-four in total. If you don’t have a biscuit cutter, you can slice the sheet cake into squares and stack those instead.
As you cut out the strawberry shortcake rounds, it’s nice to save your cake scraps! I do the same when I level cakes for a layer cake. The scraps make a nice little treat when you crumble them on top of plant-based yogurt, maybe with some fresh fruit.
What makes this strawberry shortcake recipe relatively easy is the use of store-bought vegan whipped cream. There are a few options available in grocers. I like the So Delicious CocoWhip, and 365 by Whole Foods has a plant-based whipped topping, too.
Some strawberry shortcake recipes call for mixing the strawberries with a good amount of sugar. I’ve found that tossing quartered strawberries with a tablespoon or two of maple syrup is perfect for achieving mild sweetness.
If you use fresh, in-season strawberries, you really don’t need to do much to make them cake-ready!
Absolutely! It’s easy to make this strawberry shortcake recipe gluten-free, if you need to avoid gluten in your diet.
I recommend using the same amount of a gluten-free, all-purpose flour blend. My favorite is King Arthur’s Measure for Measure blend, which is especially good for cakes and quick breads.
You can store the fully assembled strawberry shortcakes in the fridge for about one day. After that, they start to get a little mushy, thanks to the whipped cream center.
If you’d like to make the shortcakes ahead of time, you can bake the cakes up to two days in advance of assembly. Wrap each sheet cake in saran wrap and leave it at room temperature.
Meanwhile, the strawberries can be prepared one day before assembly and refrigerated until you’re ready to use them.
If it’s the height of strawberry season where you are, and you’re looking for a few more strawberry themed vegan desserts or treats, here are few of my favorites:
Hope this easygoing vegan dessert finds its way to your table sometime in the summer, while berries are fresh!