Strawberry Shortcake grew on me only very recently:
One day my three year old grandson enjoyed some at a school party, and asked me excitedly if I could make him ShobbyShoCake. I racked my brains, very briefly, to understand him, but I got it when he pointed to some “shobbies” in the refrigerator.
True to my custom of going to any length to make a good dessert dairy-free, I set out to get all the ingredients I needed for a vegan Strawberry Shortcake. My dairy-free cream filling takes no time, making strawberry shortcake a perennial crowd pleaser, not only with three year olds, and not only for us Kosher diners after a meat meal, but for the dairy-free community as well.
In case you are planning on a dairy treat, please scroll down for my dairy strawberry shortcake.
Traditionally, strawberry shortcake is made of a biscuit, baked at high temperature for just a few minutes, sliced while still hot for easy and even handling, then filled with whipped cream and sliced strawberries macerated in a little sugar. Although the biscuits get whipped up in no time, in a pinch you could use sliced store-bought sponge cake instead of making the biscuits, and use the slices as is or toast them briefly before filling, as I did here. So as you can see, there is lots of room to play when making strawberry shortcake.
- 1 8-ounce container vegan cream cheese
- 1 cup natural vegan "buttery spread" such as Earth Balance
- 1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 3 1/2 cups flour (all purpose, whole wheat pastry or spelt)
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil or coconut oil
- Good pinch salt
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 cup dairy-free milk (any DF milk of your choice: Coconut, soy, rice, etc)
- 4 cups strawberries, stemmed, thoroughly drained and sliced
- 1/4 cup sugar
- Optional: 1/4 cup creme de cassis
Vegan Filling: Mix all filling ingredients in a food processor or with a hand mixer, until light and fluffy. The filling can be made a couple days in advance, and will firm up to the ideal smooth-firm texture as it chills, so I recommend trying to make it in advance, even an hour or two in advance is good enough.
Biscuits: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Cut the flour with the oil, salt, sugar and baking powder, with your fingers or with a pastry cutter, until the mixture is the texture of coarse meal. Add the milk and mix with your hands, briefly but thoroughly. Roll out the dough evenly, about 1/2 inch thick (not thinner). Cut out 3 inch circles with a large rim glass or a cookie cutter. You will get about a dozen biscuits total. Bake about 10 minutes, until the biscuits puff up and look dry on top. While still hot, cut the biscuits horizontally right through their centers. Reserve. (the biscuits freeze very well. Just make sure to split them before freezing)
Strawberries: While the biscuits bake, stir the strawberry ingredients gently with a spoon so as not to bruise the berries, and let the mixture macerate a few minutes, until assembly time.
Assembly: Place half of the biscuits halves, cut side up, on dessert plates. Spread with a little filling, using it all up. Generously top with strawberries, using the accumulated juices and all. Top with the second biscuit halves, cut side down. Serve soon after assembly time.
Dairy Strawberry Shortcake: Proceed for the strawberry mixture just as above. Biscuits: use butter and whole milk instead of oil and dairy-free milk. Filling: forgo all filling ingredients. Whip 2 cups whipping cream with 1 cup confectioners' sugar until firm but not too stiff. Assemble the strawberry shortcakes just as above.