This fresh, sweet, and delicious Vegan Strawberry Shortcake is a crowd pleaser! With options to make from scratch or save some time with simple shortcuts, anyone can enjoy this homemade delicious dessert featuring juicy strawberries, sweet whipped cream (vegan of course), and fluffy biscuits.
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Hey Internet, I’ve been wanting to make a vegan strawberry shortcake for this blog basically since I started it. However, it was never the right season for strawberries to be their sweetest or if it was, I was just too intimidated to try making biscuits.
Sure, I’ve made drop biscuits before, like these vegan cheesy drop biscuits, but those aren’t the kind you’re “supposed” to make for this dessert.
No, I had a memory, a distinct memory, of my mom’s strawberry shortcake. She claims she got the recipe from a family we were friends with growing up, but I’m sure she put her magical twist on it because my mom is just the best baker.
Anyway, this is probably not that recipe, but you know what, it’s vegan and it’s INSANELY GOOD.
I’ll show you how to make my from-scratch vegan biscuits, but of course you could use canned store-bought biscuits too.
If you ask my husband, he ate strawberry shortcake growing up too, but his mom used a cake from the store that had this divot in the center. I explained this wasn’t shortcake (technically), but this is what he remembers. His mom also served it with vanilla ice cream instead of whipped cream--um, yes please sign me up for that.
But we’re going to go back to (vegan) basics today.
Let’s Talk Shortcuts
So, let’s start with the shortcuts so you don’t really need to read further if you’re in a crunch for time.
For the biscuits, you could just buy canned biscuit dough, pop the can, separate the biscuits, and bake according to package instructions.
Last I checked, there were a few brands at my supermarket that were vegan or accidentally vegan (meaning they weren’t marked as vegan, but I read/researched the ingredients on the back and they just happened to be vegan).
For the whipped cream, you can use any brand you like of vegan whipped cream.
I prefer the stuff in a container (as opposed to pressurized in a can, I feel like you get less for the money), so the So Delicious CocoWhip is REALLY good. However if you have a Whole Foods near you, they carry a 365 generic plant-based whipped topping that’s just as good and half the price.
Hint: it’s what I used here because I was in a time crunch, lol.
And finally, for the strawberries, well, there isn’t really a shortcut because it only takes a few minutes to chop the strawberries up and mix them with a little bit of sugar.
They get a little bit juicier if you allow them to sit in the fridge for 1-24 hours after chopping and mixing, but they’re good if you only wait 5 minutes, too.
What You’ll Need - To Make From Scratch
While I’m often short on time and energy, I am also a bit of a snob and love from-scratch cooking and baking. You control what goes in, and you know what you like so you can customize it too.
I LOVE these homemade biscuits that are perfectly imperfect, but fluffy and delicious with a slight sweetness that’s a delightful contrast with the sweet and juicy strawberries and airy whipped cream.
To make these biscuits, you’ll need:
- Flour: I’ve only tested these with unbleached all purpose flour. If I were to make them gluten-free, I’d use a good quality cup for cup gluten-free blend. I’ve personally used and loved King Arthur Measure for Measure Gluten-Free Flour and Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Gluten-Free Flour. I’ve also heard good things about Cup4Cup.
- Baking Powder: We use a fair amount of baking powder in this recipe, so I recommend purchasing double acting aluminum-free baking powder. The aluminum isn’t a huge issue normally, but when you use a fair amount like this recipe does, you want to make sure you’re not going to have any weird aftertaste.
- Salt: A pinch of salt is great for baked goods for a variety of reasons, so I don’t recommend skipping it. I use Himalayan pink salt because I like the flavor and to me it’s not as salty as regular salt. But you could use sea salt or iodized table salt if you prefer--if using the table salt I’d halve the amount because it is pretty dang salty.
- Organic Cane Sugar: I say organic because some cane sugars are filtered through animal bone char, making them not vegan, and brands aren’t required to disclose this information. So while some brands have stepped forward and said that they don’t do this, I just buy organic to be sure. That being said, coconut sugar will also work. You could also omit the sugar completely if you prefer.
- Coconut Cream: You need a super cold solid fat to make a fluffy biscuit dough. I use refrigerated (for at least 12 hours) canned coconut cream (coconut milk’s thicker sister), but vegan butter also works great. If going for vegan butter, I’d go for a solid one like the kind that comes in a stick (I’ve heard great things about Miyoko’s vegan butter, and chop into small cubes. The coconut cream doesn’t really need to be chopped but when you get it out of the can just use small spoonfuls and distribute it through your flour mixture (more on that later in the recipe below).
- Vegan Buttermilk: Sounds hard to find? Nope. Vegan buttermilk is easily made with non-dairy milk (the kind that comes in a carton) and an acid like apple cider vinegar (what I use in this recipe) or fresh lemon juice.
Now for the whipped cream. Like I mentioned above, I cheated and used store-bought vegan whipped cream even though I literally have a recipe for Aquafaba Whipped Cream on my website.
See, even food bloggers are lazy sometimes. ;)
But if you’d like to make your own whipped cream, more power to ya!
Finally, the strawberries. Chop ‘em up, mix ‘em with a little more of that organic cane sugar (or skip), and let them sit and release some juices.
How to Make Vegan Strawberry Shortcake
Let’s start with the berries.
- If you want strawberries with a bite to them, serve immediately after chopping and stirring.
- But I personally like them to get a little tender and juicy. Put your chopped strawberries in a bowl, stir with the sugar, cover, and let refrigerate 1-24 hours.
- They’ll release some water but also kind of sit and muddle in their own delicious strawberry juices, and get a little soft but not mushy (just don’t do it too far in advance!
Moving onto the biscuits.
- Place one of your oven racks in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (205 degrees Celsius) and line a baking tray with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- In a measuring cup for liquids, add your non-dairy milk and vinegar or lemon juice. Stir well and set aside.
- You can use a food processor or a bowl and a spoon for the next part. If you don’t have a food processor, I recommend using a pastry cutter to cut in the coconut cream / vegan butter but a fork will also work with a bit more elbow grease.
- To your food processor or a large bowl, add the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Pulse or stir for just a second to combine.
- Add the cold coconut cream or vegan butter (chopped) and pulse or use a pastry cutter/fork to evenly distribute the fat throughout the mixture, until no large chunks remain and a coarser texture appears.
- Add the vegan buttermilk mixture (it’s normal for it to separate; give it a quick stir and pour it in) and mix until just combined. A moist but not sticky pastry dough should form. Do not overmix.
- Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and bring together with your hands.
- Flatten with your hands or a rolling pin (briefly) until it is a uniform ½ inch thick … blob. It doesn’t need to be any specific shape.
- I very highly recommend using a biscuit cutter for this next part because it’s thin enough to not disrupt the height of the biscuit. When you use a glass, you can “mush” down the sides and it won’t rise properly. I know this from experience but it’s also a well documented problem. A cookie cutter or a clean can can work in a pinch, but really a cheap set of biscuit cutters are incredibly useful and easy to store.
- Cut as many biscuits as you can and carefully transfer over to the lined baking sheet, ensuring that the uncooked biscuits are touching each other. They will help each other rise… so sweet. :’)
- Take the leftover scrap dough, bring it back together, cut as many biscuits as you can, and repeat until you run out of dough. This recipe makes about 8-10 biscuits. Don’t throw out the last little bit of scrap! Ball it up and place it at the end of your rows of biscuits. You’ll be really tempted to eat one when they’re fresh out of the oven, and then you’ll have one to snack on while you patiently wait for the rest to cool. Harder than it sounds--which is why the little scrap biscuit dude is worth it.
- Optional: brush the tops of the biscuits with vegan egg wash made from 3 tablespoons of non-dairy milk mixed with 1 tablespoon of maple syrup. OR try coconut oil--I don’t eat that so I have not personally tested it, but it seems as though many people on the internet swear by it.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes or until the tops have very lightly browned. Don’t over bake because the bottoms are darker than you realize.
- Let them cool. I’m serious. Let them cool until they’re just warm to the touch. I tried to pull mine off too early one time. Know what happened? They split. No fun.
- When they’re cooled, use a serrated knife to slice them in half (like English muffins).
- Store in a container with a lid on the counter to keep them soft. You can always warm them up in the toaster oven / regular oven when you’re about to serve if you’d prefer.
My favorite time! So, now we can really make vegan strawberry shortcake -- in about one minute.
- Optionally, place a dollop of whipped cream on the plate. Extra sweetness, plus it kind helps it sit in one place. And it looks nice.
- Then, place the bottom half of the shortcake down. Add a layer of strawberries (I recommend trying not to get too much of the strawberry water on there), and a thick layer of whipped cream.
- Place the top layer of shortcake on top, add another thick layer of whipped cream, and a few strawberries on top.
- If you’d like, drizzle a little of that strawberry water on top now.
- Serve immediately and enjoy!
This dessert is best stored with the components separated. Keep the biscuits in a container on the counter, refrigerate the strawberries in a bowl, and refrigerate your whipped cream whether it’s store bought or homemade.
More Easy Desserts
In my world, the words “easy” and “dessert” should always be in the same sentence. Try one of my favorites next!
- Vegan Smores
- Chocolate Bliss Balls
- Vegan Mug Brownie
- Smores Cookie Bake
- Vegan Pineapple Upside Down Cake
- Blue Smoothie Bowl
- Lemon Loaf
- Matcha Cookies
As always, I hope you love this recipe–I know I do, and Mr. Zardyplants does too. This recipe was inspired by Sally’s Baking Addiction - Strawberry Shortcake recipe since I really wasn’t sure what I was doing. However, I’ve made quite a few changes, but I owe a credit to her since I learned from her recipe.
This vegan strawberry shortcake is:
- Pretty (!)
- Quick and easy to make
- And a total crowd pleaser. Even good for picky kids, speaking as a former picky eater!
Let me know in the comments below if you make this recipe or tag me @Zardyplants on Instagram so I can see your beautiful recreations! If you tag me on IG, I will share your post in my stories :)
Also, one quick request: if you love how this recipe looks or tastes, please leave me a 5-star rating and a nice comment–ratings help more people find my recipes which helps me keep providing them! Thank you!