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This easy Vegan Strawberry Shortcake has layers of vanilla sponge cake, strawberry sauce, and coconut whip in every bite. It’s the best vegan dessert for spring and summer!
As soon as the sun peeks out from behind the clouds, that’s your sign to make Vegan Strawberry Shortcake! This easy dessert features 3 layers of goodness you’ll want to enjoy all summer long:
- Vanilla sponge cake
- Strawberry sauce
- Coconut whipped cream
The best part is that this simple dessert is made without dairy and eggs, but is just as creamy and decadent as the classic. And just like in strawberry crisp and no bake vegan cheesecake, there is no shortage of sweet strawberry flavors in every bite.
- It’s the ultimate vegan dessert for spring and summer!
- Made with 3 layers that are all deceptively easy to put together: vanilla sponge cake, ruby red strawberries, and homemade coconut whip.
- One of the best vegan strawberry desserts (along with my vegan strawberry cake) to slice into as soon as the sun comes out and strawberries come into season.
Almond milk - To make the vegan “buttermilk”. Almond milk is best here but soy milk and oat milk also work well.
Apple cider vinegar - The acidic element in the buttermilk. Lemon juice works, too!
Cake flour - For the lightest, fluffiest crumb, make the sponge cake with cake flour. If you don’t have cake flour at home, make it yourself using a mix of all purpose flour and cornstarch. You can also make the sponge with all purpose flour if that’s all you have at home. In that case, only use 2 ½ cups of all purpose flour.
Strawberries - Use fresh, seasonal strawberries! They not only look eye-catching but will also have the best flavor compared to frozen berries.
Coconut cream - You can use a can of coconut cream to make the vegan whipped cream or scoop the solid white cream from the top of a can of full-fat coconut milk.
Step 1: Make the vegan “buttermilk”. Whisk the milk and vinegar together in a bowl. Set the mixture aside to curdle while you start the cake batter.
Step 2: Make the cake batter. Stir the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl. Next, cream the butter and sugar together in a separate bowl before whisking in the oil and vanilla. Add half of the dry mix to the bowl with the wet, then half of the buttermilk. Repeat until the flour and milk are fully incorporated into the cake batter.
Step 3: Bake. Transfer the cake batter to the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Set it aside to cool while you make the strawberries and the whipped cream.
Step 4: Make the strawberries. Add the strawberries and sugar to a small saucepan. Heat over medium-low heat until the strawberries have broken down and are soft.
Step 5: Make the whipped cream. Add the coconut cream, vanilla, and powdered sugar to a large bowl. Beat it with an electric mixer until it’s creamy and smooth. Place the bowl in the fridge until it’s time to serve.
Step 6: Serve. Slice the cake into squares. Add a dollop of whipped cream, then strawberries on top. Enjoy!
Tips and FAQs
- Feel free to make this recipe with store-bought coconut whip or your favorite vegan whipped cream if you don’t want to make it yourself.
- If you have a coconut aversion, use a coconut-free whipped cream or my vegan buttercream frosting instead.
- To serve the shortcake slices sandwich-style, layer the whipped cream and strawberries in between the halved cake slices.
- Turn this into a layer cake by baking the cake batter in two round 8-inch cake pans and layering the whipped cream and strawberries in the middle and on top.
- Enjoy this festive summer cake with even more seasonal desserts, like my mango mousse and mini s’mores cheesecakes.
Is strawberry shortcake made with cake or biscuits?
Strawberry shortcake recipes can be made with a base of either sweet and flaky biscuits or soft sponge cake. I much prefer a light and fluffy sponge cake because it soaks in the whipped topping and strawberries. However, if you like the sound of strawberry shortcake with biscuits, try this recipe with my vegan scones (minus the chocolate chips) instead of cake.
Can I bake the cake in a different sized pan?
I had the best results in a 9x13 cake pan but this recipe makes enough batter for two round 8-inch cake pans, a bundt pan, or a jelly roll pan.
Can I use this recipe for cupcakes?
Yes! Make the cake batter as normal but pour it into a lined muffin tin instead. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, then top the strawberry shortcake cupcakes with a dollop of whipped cream and strawberry sauce once they’re cool.
Can this dessert be made ahead of time?
Yes! All three layers can be prepared 2 to 3 days in advance and kept in separate containers in the fridge. Only assemble the cake with the strawberries and cream right before serving, though.
It’s best to eat the assembled cake (topped with strawberries and whipped cream) right away because the sponge will quickly absorb the liquid and become soggy.
Refrigerator: The leftover sponge cake can be wrapped in plastic and stored in the fridge for up to 5 days. Keep the strawberry sauce and whipped cream in separate airtight containers in the fridge for 2 to 3 days.
Freezer: Once the cake is baked and cooled, wrap it in a layer of plastic, then a layer of foil. Freeze for up to 3 months.
More vegan cake recipes
If you made this recipe, be sure to leave a comment and star rating below. Thanks!
Vegan Strawberry Shortcake
- Preheat oven to 350° and spray a 9x13 baking pan with nonstick spray.
- Whisk the milk and vinegar together in a bowl or glass measuring cup and set aside.
- Stir the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl.
- In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together, then add the oil and vanilla and whisk to combine until light and fluffy.
- Add half of the dry ingredients to the bowl with the butter and sugar and whisk, then add half of the milk/vinegar mixture and stir to combine. Repeat this process until the flour and milk are gone and the final mixture resembles cake batter.
- Scoop the batter into the prepared baking pan, then bake the cake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool completely in the pan before slicing it.
- While the cake cools, make the strawberries and the whipped cream.
- For the strawberries: add strawberries and sugar to a small saucepan and heat them over medium-low heat. Use a wooden spoon to break down the strawberries, stirring occasionally until the strawberries have softened; remove from the heat.
- For the whipped cream: open a can of coconut cream, then use a spoon to scoop the cream part out of the can (there should be some water at the bottom of the can – just discard it). Then, add the vanilla and powdered sugar to the bowl with the cream and use an electric mixer to whisk them together until you have a cream-like mixture. Place the bowl in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve the cake.
- To serve, slice the cake, then top each slice with a dollop of whipped cream and a spoonful of strawberries. Enjoy!