What’s not to love about a vegan strawberry dessert? This recipe takes a little extra time because you’re making it from scratch but the vegan shortcake is worth it and uses aquafaba. Before you know it my vegan strawberry shortcake recipe will be your go-to all summer long. Dairy free strawberry shortcake for all!
I love to tinker with recipes and it drives Cheryl crazy. She would love to have a plain dinner or at least the same pasta sauce I made the week before. It’s just my nature to change things up each time. That’s why I made a Lavender Gin Strawberry Shortcake instead of the plain one I grew up on.
My Mom prepared her strawberries for shortcake like most people in the 70s. She would cut up the strawberries and sprinkle them with sugar, mix and let marinate in the refrigerator.
Those strawberries then went into store-bought cake cups and topped with a large spoonful of Cool Whip. I have a much healthier version for you that’s tastier too!
Since I wanted to make a strawberry shortcake that reminded me of my childhood – the little cake cups that were displayed in front of the fresh strawberries at the grocery store. The best part of those was that they were spongy and soaked up all the sweet strawberry juice.
I made one version with oil and another one with no oil, but I will admit to spraying the pans with olive oil for both to make sure they didn’t stick. But you can cook the batter in a muffin pan and use liners to keep them oil free.
I had some Wilton Mini Tasty Fill 4 Piece Pans in the cupboard and they made the shape I was looking for. The trick is to just barely cover up the middle part so they don’t get too thick. I used a 1/4 cup scoop and 1 1/2 scoops – these made them the perfect size in these little pans.
It takes no time to mash up the strawberry filling. It’s just chopped strawberries mashed with a little gin, balsamic vinegar and some NuNaturals Simple Syrup made with stevia. Depending on how sweet your strawberries are you may not need the simple syrup and you can use your choice of sweetener to taste if you don’t care for stevia.
My favorite gin is Uncle Val’s Botanical Gin. It has an unusual combination of herbs that are amazing together: juniper, cucumber, lemon, sage, and lavender. The flavors are subtle, but the slight lavender flavor is what makes it my favorite. You can use plain gin if you can’t find Val’s. You can also leave it out if you don’t imbibe or make some strong lavender tea to use in its place.
I happened to have some lavender balsamic vinegar on hand, but you can use regular balsamic and add some lavender extract into the strawberry mixture. If you don’t like lavender just leave it out.This dessert is meant to make you happy, so feel free to change out ingredients.
Lavender Gin Strawberry Shortcake
Everything is good with just a hint of lavender! Now you can make the cake cups of your childhood that are no oil added, no refinded sugar and vegan. I use something called aquafaba, or bean water. I used the liquid drained from a can of chickpeas, but you can also use the liquid from homemade beans. See more info on aquafaba on the official website.
- 1/2 cup vegan yogurt (unsweetened or plain)
- 1/2 cup unsweetened nondairy milk
- 1/4 cup applesauce
- 1/4 cup avocado or olive oil (make oil free by using an additional 1/4 cup applesauce instead)
- 3 tablespoons aquafaba* (see note in summary)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 15 drops NuNaturals liquid stevia or 25 drops NuNaturals Lo Han Guo extract (monkfruit) or sweetener of your choice, to taste
- 1-quart strawberries, hulled and chopped
- 2 teaspoons gin (Uncle Val's uses lavender and is my favorite)
- 2 teaspoons lavender balsamic vinegar (or plain balsamic plus 1/4 teaspoon lavender extract)
- whipped coconut cream
- chopped mint
- culinary lavender
Make the cake
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease 6 mini cake pans or line a muffin pan with cupcake papers.
- Mix the wet ingredients in a medium bowl and the dry in another. Add the dry to the wet and mix until thoroughly combined.
- Use a ¼ cup scoop and add one scoop per muffin cup. If you are using the Wilton Mini Tasty Fill 4 Piece Pans use 1½ scoops per pan.
- Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown.
Make the filling
- Put all the strawberry filling ingredients in a bowl and mash some with a potato masher. You just want to extract some of the juices, but most of the berries pieces will be whole.
Put it all together
- Generously ladle the strawberry mixture over the cake. If you are using muffins you can split them first. Top with vegan whipped cream, culinary lavender or even more strawberry mixture.