Vegan Strawberry Shortcake with Vanilla Cashew Whipped Cream
June 14, 2016

Vegan Strawberry Shortcake | The Full Helping

One of the loveliest parts of settling into summertime is the abundance of berries and fresh fruit. Right now I’m relishing strawberries in and with everything: with oats or overnight oats, with chia pudding, with baked oatmeal, in salads, in smoothies. Or I come home from class and eat them by the bowl, just as they are. Of course, strawberries also make for delightful summery desserts, and this vegan strawberry shortcake with cashew whipped cream is my latest favorite.

When I set about making vegan strawberry shortcake over the weekend, I realized that shortcake can be a matter of heated debate. First, there’s the question of biscuit vs. pound cake. Me, I’m a biscuit person: the contrast of crumbly biscuit with juicy strawberries feels just right to me, while pound cake + fresh fruit seems a little mushy.

But even if you commit to biscuits, there are plenty of nuances to ponder. How much baking soda? Sugar or no sugar? Oven temperature? Baking dish or baking sheet? Traditionally, there’s a debate about shortening vs. butter, and if you’re vegan, there’s the question of buttery spread (like Earth Balance) vs. oil (I offer both options in this recipe).

Vegan Strawberry Shortcake | The Full Helping

I’m sharing the recipe that’s my personal favorite. The biscuits are a little sweet, but not overtly so, and I personally like to bake them in a dish, so that they rise upwards and get fluffy, rather than expanding out on a baking sheet. The recipe will work both ways.

Vegan Strawberry Shortcake | The Full Helping

And in fact, it’s a flexible recipe in other ways, too. I tested both with gluten free, all-purpose flour and with spelt flour. Steven and I enjoyed both versions, though the wholesome and slightly nutty spelt flavor was particularly nice. You can also use whole wheat pastry flour or all purpose flour, if you prefer. And while Earth Balance is definitely my preference for biscuits, I did test the recipe with coconut oil, too, and it turned out great (just a little less “buttery” tasting!).

Vegan Strawberry Shortcake | The Full Helping

The strawberries in this recipe are courtesy of the folks at Driscoll’s, who have supplying berries to home bakers everywhere for over 100 years. The company is passionate about growing and sharing ripe, delicious berries, to supporting organics and sustainability, and to encouraging more folks to experiment with berries in their kitchens.

Vegan Strawberry Shortcake | The Full Helping
Vegan Strawberry Shortcake | The Full Helping

Today, in honor of National Strawberry Shortcake Day, I’m excited to be sharing this vegan strawberry shortcake recipe with them—and with you!

Vegan Strawberry Shortcake | The Full Helping

Vegan Strawberry Shortcake with Vanilla Cashew Whipped Cream

Author - Gena Hamshaw
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Yields: 8 servings

Ingredients

For the strawberries:

  • 1 pound 1 package Driscoll’s strawberries, hulled and sliced or quartered
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup agave, or organic sugar
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice

For the whipped cream:

  • 1 cup cashews
  • 2 tablespoons agave
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For the biscuits:

  • 3/4 cup soy milk
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups light spelt all purpose, or gluten-free all purpose flour
  • 6 tablespoons organic cane sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt use 1/2 teaspoon salt if you're using coconut oil, rather than buttery spread
  • 6 tablespoons vegan buttery spread like Earth Balance or coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions

  • Mix the strawberries with your sweetener of choice and lemon juice. Transfer them to the fridge to chill while you prepare the whipped cream and biscuits.
  • To make the cashew whipped cream, combine all ingredients together in a powerful blender and blend till smooth. Store in the fridge till you're ready to use.
  • Preheat the oven to 425. Whisk together the apple cider vinegar and soy or almond milk.
  • Place the spelt flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Add the buttery spread or coconut oil. Use a pastry cutter to cut the buttery spread or coconut oil into the dry ingredients, until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Alternately, you can use a food processor to make the dough: add the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to a food processor fitted with the S blade. Add the buttery spread or salt and process until the mixture resembles a course meal. Return the mixture to your large mixing bowl. (I find that this makes the process easier.)
  • Add the vanilla extract to the milk mixture, whisk it together, and then add it to the dough. Use a spatula or spoon to combine everything evenly. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and use a biscuit cutter (or an empty can of beans!) to cut into 8 biscuits.
  • Place the biscuits in an oiled, 9 x9 baking dish or onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, or until they're gently browning at the edges and fluffy. Remove the biscuits from the oven and transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool.
  • Once the biscuits are cool, split them. Top each with about 1/3 cup each of strawberries and cashew whipped cream. Serve.

Notes

Leftover cashew whipped cream can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Vegan Strawberry Shortcake | The Full Helping

If you have another vegan whipped cream recipe that you love—coconut whipped cream, Soyatoo, whatever—go for it. In spite of how specific shortcake recipes can be, the whole point of this one is to offer you flexibility.

Steven and I loved this shortcake; it was hard not to gobble it up in a couple days. If you make it, you may want to double the berry quantities, simply so that you can have even more fruit to savor, along with the biscuits and cream.

Hope you enjoy it, folks. On Thursday, an easy pesto pasta recipe that you can savor all summer long!

xo

This post is sponsored by Driscoll’s. All opinions are my own. Thank you for your support!

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    19 Comments
  1. The measurement for baking soda is missing the unit. Please advise if it is teaspoon or tablespoon.Thanks.

  2. Oh such pretty shortcakes! I’m really enjoying all of the fresh strawberries right now. I would love to try this out with all of the strawberries in my fridge right now. And I super appreciate that you tried making this with gf flour and it worked out. Sometimes I’m intimidated to try just swapping it in, but it doesn’t always work out.

  3. Appreciate the comments regarding boycotting Driscolls…I had no idea. They are all one can find at grocery stores. Another great reason to shop farmers markets.

    • 5 stars
      Gena,

      Back to report…It’s a winner! While on a S.A.D. this dessert was one of my favorites and I’m so glad to have an easy, healthier, cruelty-free and delicious recipe. All components were so yum but I admit to missing the light fluffy whip… I may try to do a combo of the cashew and coconut whip. Thanks!

  4. This is so stunning Gena (!!!) I cannot stop staring at these photos and am planning to make this the second it cools down here this week and I can turn my oven on. These biscuits, that cream, those berries. Just drooling over here ;).

  5. G, I know agricultural workers are probably underpaid and overworked and subject to all kinds of abuses across the board and you really can’t eat without contributing to that injustice. Nevertheless, the case of the berry workers employed by Driscoll’s is pretty well documented and I for one am boycotting all Driscoll products. http://www.democracynow.org/2016/5/9/driscolls_workers_call_for_cross_border

    On another note – strawberry shortcake is my favorite dessert this time of year. I often make a meal of it.

  6. I’ve been getting very discouraged about biscuits since I’ve been trying to make them both vegan and gluten-free. But these biscuits turned out great! Well, if I had taken a photo it would have qualified as a Pinterest Fail; they were not pretty. The dough was so wet (even after I added more flour) I couldn’t use the biscuit cutter, so I just did drop biscuits. But they tasted yummy and the texture was awesome. Wonderful breakfast with VeganEggs and Sophie’s Kitchen vegan smoked salmon.

  7. Making biscuits sounds like such a fuss-free way to enjoy shortcake! Berries are SO fresh right now – I want to enjoy them in everything. I’ve never tried cashew whipped cream, but it sounds amazing!

  8. Dear Gena, i usually appreciate your concern for social issues, but today I’m disappointed about your support of Driscoll’s. I want to assume you don’t know about the boycott Driscoll’s campaign: https://boycottsakumaberries.com/familias-unidas-boycott-driscolls-tour/
    I hope you agree that the life of our fellow humans, those who pick the fruit and veggies we eat, deserves the same dignity and care that we wish for animals and everybody on this planet.