Strawberry shortcake is an iconic dessert that evokes feelings of nostalgia for many of us. But what if you’re vegan? No worries! In this article, we’ll go through all the steps to create a delicious vegan version of this classic. From the best ingredients to use to variations on the recipe and everything in between, we’ve got you covered.
The ingredients you’ll need for vegan strawberry shortcake
Before we begin, let’s take a look at what you’ll need to make the base of your vegan strawberry shortcake. For the shortcake itself, you’ll need:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup vegan butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
- 3/4 cup non-dairy milk (such as almond or soy milk)
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
For the strawberry filling and whipped cream, you’ll need:
- 1 quart fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 can coconut cream, chilled overnight in the fridge
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
When selecting strawberries for your vegan strawberry shortcake, it’s important to choose ripe, sweet berries. Look for strawberries that are bright red, plump, and fragrant. If you can, try to buy organic strawberries to avoid any potential exposure to pesticides.
If you don’t have access to coconut cream, you can use non-dairy whipped cream as a substitute. Simply whip 1 cup of non-dairy heavy cream with 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract until stiff peaks form. This will give you a delicious, creamy topping for your vegan strawberry shortcake.
Tips for choosing the best strawberries for your shortcake
When selecting strawberries for your shortcake, it’s important to choose those that are ripe, firm, and have a deep red color. If the strawberries are not yet ripe, they will not have the right sweetness and texture. Additionally, be sure to inspect the strawberries carefully to ensure they are free of blemishes, mold, or soft spots – these will affect the quality of your dessert.
Another important factor to consider when choosing strawberries for your shortcake is the size of the berries. Larger strawberries may look impressive, but they can be less flavorful than smaller ones. This is because larger strawberries tend to have a higher water content, which dilutes their flavor. So, when selecting strawberries, look for those that are medium-sized and have a good balance of sweetness and tartness.
Finally, consider the season when choosing strawberries for your shortcake. Strawberries are at their peak during the summer months, so if possible, try to buy them during this time. Not only will they be more flavorful, but they will also be more affordable. If you must buy strawberries out of season, be prepared to pay a premium price for them, and be aware that they may not be as flavorful as those that are in season.
How to make a vegan shortcake base from scratch
Now that you have your ingredients, let’s get started on the shortcake base.
- Preheat your oven to 425°F (218°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Add the chilled vegan butter to the mixing bowl and use your hands to rub the butter into the flour mixture until it looks like coarse sand.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the non-dairy milk and apple cider vinegar until it’s foamy and bubbly.
- Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and use a wooden spoon or your hands to mix until it forms a dough.
- Flour your countertop and turn your dough out onto it. Knead it gently for a minute or two until it’s smooth and well-formed.
- Using a biscuit cutter or glass, cut out rounds of dough and place them on the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake the shortcakes for 15-20 minutes, or until they’re lightly golden brown. Remove them from the oven and allow them to cool completely on a wire rack.
Once your shortcakes have cooled, you can start assembling your dessert. You can add a variety of toppings to your shortcakes, such as fresh berries, whipped coconut cream, or vegan ice cream. To make whipped coconut cream, simply refrigerate a can of full-fat coconut milk overnight, then scoop out the solid cream and whip it with a hand mixer until it’s light and fluffy. Spoon your desired toppings onto the shortcakes and enjoy!
The secret ingredient that makes your vegan shortcake fluffy and moist
If you want your vegan shortcake to be extra fluffy and moist, there’s a secret ingredient you can add to the dough – vegan sour cream! Add 1/4 cup of vegan sour cream to your dough mixture before kneading, and you’ll notice a big difference in the texture and taste of your shortcake.
But that’s not the only way to make your vegan shortcake stand out. Another trick is to use almond milk instead of regular milk. Almond milk adds a subtle nutty flavor to the shortcake and makes it even more moist. You can also try adding a teaspoon of vanilla extract to the dough for a touch of sweetness.
Vegan whipped cream: the perfect topping for your strawberry shortcake
The perfect topping for your vegan strawberry shortcake is, without a doubt, vegan whipped cream. It’s easy to make and tastes just like the real thing.
- Open your can of chilled coconut cream and scoop out the solid white cream that has risen to the top. Leave the liquid in the can.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together the coconut cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract until it forms soft peaks.
- Place the whipped cream in the fridge until you’re ready to assemble your shortcakes.
Not only is vegan whipped cream a delicious topping for strawberry shortcake, it’s also a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of desserts. Try using it as a topping for pies, cakes, or even hot cocoa.
For an extra special touch, you can also add different flavors to your whipped cream. Try adding cocoa powder for a chocolatey twist, or peppermint extract for a festive flavor.
How to decorate your vegan strawberry shortcake like a pro
Now that you have your shortcake base and whipped cream, it’s time to assemble your dessert. Here’s how to do it like a pro:
- Start by slicing your cooled shortcakes in half horizontally.
- Spoon a generous portion of sliced strawberries and a sprinkle of sugar on top of the bottom half of each shortcake.
- Add a dollop of whipped cream on top of the strawberries, and then place the top half of the shortcake back on top.
- Add another spoonful of strawberries and whipped cream to the top of the shortcake.
- For an extra pop of color and flavor, you can add a sprig of mint or a sprinkle of powdered sugar on top of each shortcake.
Variations on the classic strawberry shortcake recipe
If you’re feeling adventurous, there are many ways you can switch up the classic strawberry shortcake recipe to make it your own. Here are a few ideas:
- Instead of strawberries, try using another type of berry or fruit as the filling. Blueberries, raspberries, peaches, or even mango would all work well.
- Add a drizzle of chocolate sauce to the top of your shortcake for an extra decadent touch.
- Instead of whipped cream, try adding a scoop of vegan vanilla ice cream to each shortcake.
- Try making mini shortcakes instead of large ones for a cute and whimsical dessert.
Serving suggestions for your delicious vegan dessert
Now that your vegan strawberry shortcakes are complete, it’s time to serve them up! Here are a few suggestions for presenting and enjoying your dessert:
- Plate each shortcake individually and garnish with fresh mint leaves or edible flowers for a beautiful presentation.
- Pair your shortcake with a cup of hot tea or coffee for a cozy and comforting dessert experience.
- Serve your shortcake at a summer cookout or picnic for a sweet and refreshing end to your meal.
Vegan-friendly alternatives to traditional shortcake ingredients
If you’re looking to make more vegan desserts in the future, it’s helpful to know some alternatives to traditional baking ingredients. Here are a few vegan-friendly options:
- Instead of butter, try using vegan margarine or coconut oil.
- For eggs, you can use applesauce, mashed banana, chia seeds, or flax seeds as a binding agent.
- There are many non-dairy milk alternatives, such as almond, soy, oat, or coconut milk.
- Coconut cream or non-dairy cream cheese can be substituted for heavy cream or cream cheese.
How to make a gluten-free version of vegan strawberry shortcake
If you or someone you’re cooking for has a gluten allergy or sensitivity, don’t worry – you can still enjoy this recipe. Simply substitute the all-purpose flour for a gluten-free flour blend, such as rice flour or almond flour. You may need to adjust the amount of liquid to achieve the right dough consistency, so be sure to add it gradually and mix well.
Making vegan strawberry shortcake in advance: tips and tricks
If you want to make your vegan strawberry shortcake ahead of time, it’s important to do so correctly to ensure it stays fresh and delicious. Here are a few tips and tricks:
- Prepare your shortcakes and strawberries in advance, but assemble the dessert right before serving. This will prevent the shortcakes from becoming soggy.
- Store your prepared shortcakes in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two days.
- If you must assemble the shortcakes ahead of time, keep them chilled in the fridge, but wait to add the whipped cream until right before serving. This will keep it fresh and fluffy.
Frequently Asked Questions about making vegan desserts
Q: What is the best egg substitute for baking?
A: There are many options for egg substitutes in baking, including applesauce, mashed banana, chia seeds, and flax seeds.
Q: Can I use regular butter and milk in vegan recipes?
A: No, regular butter and milk are not vegan as they come from animal sources. Instead, use vegan margarine or coconut oil and non-dairy milk alternatives.
Q: Can I make vegan desserts without sugar?
A: Yes, there are many natural sweeteners that can be used in vegan desserts, such as maple syrup, agave nectar, or coconut sugar.
The history and origin of strawberry shortcake
Strawberry shortcake has been a beloved dessert in the United States since the 1850s. The first recipe for this sweet treat appeared in a cookbook called The Lady’s Receipt-Book in 1847, and it quickly became a popular summer dessert. The classic version of the dessert consists of a tender biscuit-like cake, fresh strawberries, and whipped cream. The combination of sweet, tart, and creamy flavors has made it a favorite for generations.
Now, with this vegan version of strawberry shortcake, you can enjoy this classic dessert without sacrificing your animal-free lifestyle. Whether you’re serving it at a dinner party or enjoying it on a lazy Sunday afternoon, this vegan strawberry shortcake is sure to impress.