This Vegan Strawberry Shortcake is straight out of my childhood. When I was little, my mother used to buy me a strawberries and cream birthday cake from a famous Chicago bakery, Lutz. To my mom, there was no greater proof that we had “made it” in America than picking up a perfectly crafted cake, topped with gilded strawberries and whipped cream for her daughter’s birthday. The thing is, It was ok, but, the cake was often dry and the strawberries were too big. And the creamy filling was, well, too sugary, while the strawberries weren’t sweet enough. You feel me?? So, for this birthday, I decided to come up with my own cake—with everything just the way I like it and the BEST part is—it’s a LOT cheaper than some fancy shmancy cake from a ritzy bakery. My cake was moist (not dense). My creamy filling was thick but not overly sweet. And my strawberries were cut up into bite sized pieces and stewed with a little balsamic and maple syrup for just the right amount of tarty deliciousness. And voila—the perfect strawberry and cream cake was born.
Lutz isn’t open anymore. Like many family owned bakeries, it gave way to the massive bakery chains that have swept the world over (for better or worse). But, I know my mom would love this cake if I could cut her a slice (we are both in quarantine, still). If your mom is within arm’s reach, make this for her. If the mother of your children is nearby, make this for her. If you are a mom, make this for yourself.
Or, if you just like cake, make this Vegan Strawberry Shortcake Cake just for the hell of it. You won’t regret it!
Vegan Strawberry Shortcake Cake
- 1 cup plant milk
- 1 Tablespoon vegan sour cream
- 1 teaspoon white wine
- 66.6 grams sugar
- 3 Tablespoons vegan butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 187 grams flour
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 package instant vanilla pudding powder
- 1 cup plant milk
- 9 ounces vegan whipped cream
- 4 cups vegan wafers or shortbread cookies
- 3 cups strawberries cut into quarters
- 1 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon orange juice
- 1 Tablespoon sugar or maple syrup
- 1 Tablespoon potato starch
- 4 Tablespoons water
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray cake pan (I used a square 9x9 brownie pan) with cooking spray.
- Add vinegar to 1 cup plant milk and set aside.
- Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to a large bowl. Whisk together ingredients to remove clumps.
- Using stand mixer on medium low (with whisk attachment) or hand mixer, whisk butter, vegan sour cream, and sugar until fluffy. Next add plant milk + vinegar mixture and vanilla and almond extract.
- In two parts, add flour mixture and mix until fully incorporated.
- Pour patter into greased baking pan and place in the center rack of preheated oven for ~18-20 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.
- While cake is baking, make pudding following instructions on the box but with half the amount of plant milk (e.g., if the instructions require 2 cups of milk, use only 1 cup of milk).
- Once pudding is thick and creamy, fold in vegan shipping cream and mix until fully incorporated. Set aside in fridge.
- Next, make strawberry layer. Start by making slurry, but adding 1 tbsp of potato starch to 4 tbsp water. Stir together until starch dissolves.
- In a small pot, add strawberries, together with balsamic vinegar, orange juice, and sweetener over medium-low heat, stirring frequently until strawberries soften (3-4 minutes).
- Remove from heat altogether. Add slurry and begin stirring immediately to create sauce. Place in fridge to cool, while cake continues to bake.
- When cake is done, set aside and allow it to cool for ~15 minutes.
- When cake and strawberry filling are both cooled, add a layer of wafers/cookies over the top of the cake.
- Next, top the cookie layer with pudding/cream layer.
- Next, top the pudding/cream layer with the strawberries.
- Add another layer of cookies.
- Top the cake one final time with pudding/cream layer.
- Place in fridge for at least 4 hours before serving. Best served one day after.