I hate to admit it, but lately, I’ve been feeling a little uncomfortable with baking. In this crazy busy season of life, a packed calendar and thoughts of a kitchen full of filthy flour have kept me from making some of my favorite baked goods. Baking feels like an overwhelming mess for what you get out of it. Of course, that was before I made this gluten-free strawberry shortcake recipe for a spin.
These shortcakes are nothing short of magic. They instilled in me a love of slowing down and enjoying the process of creating something from scratch. After re-reading this recipe, I was amazed to see the dough rise in the oven and form beautiful little cookies. Warm and golden, I cut it in half and watched the steam rise before taking the first bite, (buttered of course).
Gluten free for years, it’s been forever since I’ve enjoyed a real shortbread. As I immersed myself in these soft delights, the flavors and textures left me blown away. While I wasn’t sure how this gluten-free strawberry shortbread recipe would turn out, the end result was better than I imagined.
By combining gluten-free flour with just a few key ingredients, this gluten-free shortbread recipe creates cookies that are crispy and golden on the outside while remaining light on the inside. They contain just a hint of sweetness and make a great accompaniment to your favorite toppings like whipped cream, ice cream, and any sweet fruit. Believe it or not, this gluten-free strawberry shortcake recipe is also dairy-free, nut-free (other than coconut) and egg-free. Scored! Now let’s bake.
What is the difference between a pastry and a shortcake?
It’s time to dig into a heated debate! Shortcakes have a very different appearance and texture from regular cakes. Cookies closely resemble cookies and are crisper to the touch. While regular sponge cake is lighter, spongy and moist, short sponge cake should be a little drier and firmer, with only a hint of sweetness. My secret to making these shortcakes is to use a 4-inch round cake pan in place of a baking sheet. I’ve noticed that by using round cake pans, they stick together better and keep their shape perfectly. I usually like to make four or five larger cookies using this method.
Tips for making this gluten-free strawberry shortbread recipe
Gluten-free flour is a great alternative to traditional flour in this shortbread recipe. I like to use Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour because it sticks together better than others I’ve tried and has a neutral taste. The galangal starch in this recipe holds the shortcakes together, and the baking powder allows them to rise beautifully. Just be careful when you cut shortcakes in half as gluten-free shortcakes tend to be more delicate.
How to make vegan buttermilk mix
Traditional shortbread recipes use buttermilk and butter, but these ingredients can be easily changed to accommodate vegan and dairy-free diets. By combining coconut milk, lime juice, and vanilla extract, you get a dairy-free buttercream concoction that works wonders in these cupcakes. I also like to use vegan butter in this recipe instead of coconut oil, as I find the previous butter to better mimic the classic flavor of shortbread. By cutting vegan butter into small squares and mixing in the dry ingredients, you’ll facilitate the little pockets of butter that flow into the cupcakes as they’re baking.
How to make homemade fresh milk ice cream
Because cupcakes have a drier texture, they’re best enjoyed with a moist and sweet topping. Instead of regular whipped cream, this recipe uses dairy-free whipped cream, which can be easily made with three ingredients: canned coconut milk or coconut cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. By letting the coconut milk cool overnight, you should be able to scoop the thick coconut mixture at the top of the can.
You will need an electric mixer to whip the coconut cream with the sugar and vanilla extract until it resembles the light and silky texture of regular whipped cream. If you’re short on time, vanilla ice cream is also a great substitute in this recipe. My favorite vegan brand is Nadamoo.
What’s the best way to cut strawberries for a gluten-free strawberry shortcake?
Last but not least, the star of this recipe: strawberries! You can use any fruit for these cupcakes (peach, you’re next), but I couldn’t resist the ripe strawberries. For this recipe, you’ll cut strawberries in half and mix them in a bowl with powdered sugar to enhance their natural sweetness. For the larger strawberries, I would cut them lengthwise into three or four flat slices. You will then chill the bowl of strawberries in the refrigerator for at least an hour to help them achieve their best flavor.
More gluten-free dessert recipes to try
This gluten-free strawberry shortcake recipe is a must-have, but if you’re looking for better gluten-free desserts, try these recipes.