Vegan + Paleo Strawberry Shortcake Cake

VeganGluten-FreePaleoSoy-FreeRefined Sugar-FreeKid-FriendlyVegetarianEgg-FreeDairy Free

Who doesn’t love Strawberry Shortcake Cake? Fresh and juicy strawberries, fluffy vanilla shortcake, and vegan whipped cream all piled together make the perfect summertime dessert!

Vegan Paleo Strawberry Shortcake Cake

I think Strawberry Shortcake just might be one of the prettiest desserts around…and it doesn’t hurt that it’s absolutely delicious, too! This fluffy cake is totally gluten-free and vegan, and it’s even free of refined sugar! I really love creating desserts that everyone can enjoy, and this recipe is just that. Use the juiciest, brightest strawberries you can find and enjoy this sweet treat all summer long!

Paleo Strawberry Shortcake

What’s the Difference Between Shortcake and Cake?

They’re similar in that they’re both DELICIOUS with strawberries and whipped cream, but this vanilla cake is actually quite different from traditional shortcake! A shortcake is dense and almost biscuit-like in texture. It’s also not quite as sweet as the cake in this recipe. Since this is a fluffy, sweet dessert, I opted to call it a Strawberry Shortcake Cake to avoid confusion!

Vegan Paleo Strawberry Shortcake Cake

Strawberry Shortcake Components

  1. Vegan Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake: This light and fluffy cake is full of vanilla flavor which pairs perfectly with the strawberries and cream.  It uses pantry ingredients and I like to start with the cake first so it has time to bake and fully cool before topping with the coconut whipped cream and strawberries.
  2. Homemade Dairy-Free Coconut Whipped Cream:  My easy homemade coconut whipped cream is much healthier and creamier than store-bought. I beat everything with a hand mixer in a mixing bowl until peaks form.
  3. Juicy Strawberries: Simply slice up strawberries and mix with a little maple syrup.  As they soak in the maple syrup they will start to release their natural juices.  Once added to the cake the sweet strawberry juices will seep down into the coconut whipped cream and vanilla cake beneath.  So good and so simple!
Vegan and Paleo Strawberry Shortcake Ingredients
Vanilla Cake in Pans
Vegan Gluten-Free Strawberry Shortcake
Best Vegan and Paleo Strawberry Shortcake

All About Strawberries

So much of the natural sweetness in this dish comes from fresh, in-season strawberries. Strawberries are high in vitamin C and a great source of folate. To find the best strawberries, smell your package before buying! If they smell sweet they will taste sweet. Sweet strawberries make a huge difference in this recipe.  You also want to look for shiny strawberries that are firm with a bright red color and fresh, green caps. Avoid shriveled or leaky berries. Once you have found your perfect package, store them unwashed in the refrigerator for 1-3 days. I like to place an unbleached paper towel in the container to absorb any excess moisture and keep them fresh longer. I also always store them in my crisper drawer of the refrigerator.  Once you are ready to eat or use you can wash them.

Strawberries in Bowl for Shortcake

Gluten-Free Vanilla Strawberry Shortcake Cake

This cake recipe is super similar to the one I used in my Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes. It has a rich flavor thanks to almond flour, while potato starch and arrowroot starch work together to create a fluffy cake that holds shape really well. It’s an absolute dream, you guys!

Slice of Vegan Paleo Strawberry Shortcake

Dairy-Free Whipped Cream

This perfect dessert is topped with a dollop of Vegan Coconut Whipped Cream. This is made from canned coconut milk and is a really creamy, thick whipped topping that everyone loves. I think whipped cream brings out everyone’s inner child! Make sure you grab a can of full-fat coconut milk and let it chill for at least 8 hours in the refrigerator.

Best Paleo Strawberry Shortcake

If you make this recipe, please help other readers out by leaving a rating and review here on the site! It means so much to me when you do. You can also post and tag me on Instagram!

Best Vegan Strawberry Shortcake

More Desserts

Vegan Paleo Vanilla Cupcakes
Grilled Peach Cobbler
No-Cook Blackberry Vanilla Pudding
Gluten-Free & Vegan Blueberry Cobbler
Vegan Chocolate Sweet Potato Cupcakes
Carrot Cake Cupcakes with White Sweet Potato Frosting
Easy No-Flour “Sugar” Cookies
Vegan Toaster Pastries

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Paleo Strawberry Shortcake

Vegan + Paleo Strawberry Shortcake Cake

  • Author: Elaine Gordon
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


Who doesn’t love Strawberry Shortcake Cake? Fresh and juicy strawberries, fluffy vanilla shortcake, and vegan whipped cream all piled together make the perfect summertime dessert!



For the cake

  • 1 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup avocado oil 
  • 1/4 cup pure vanilla extract
  • 4 cups super fine blanched almond flour
  • 1 1/2 cup potato starch (not potato flour)
  • 2/3 cup arrowroot starch
  • 2/3 cup maple sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt

For the strawberry filling

  • 4 cups thinly sliced strawberries
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

For the whipped cream


  1. Prep: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease two 8-inch cake pans with avocado oil or coconut oil,  Add parchment paper to the bottom of each pan and grease again overtop the parchment paper.  Set aside.
  2. For the cake: Add maple syrup, applesauce, oil, and vanilla extract to a large mixing bowl and whisk until well combined. To the wet ingredients, add almond flour, potato starch, arrowroot starch, maple sugar, baking powder and salt and whisk until no clumps remain.  Divide the cake batter evenly between the two greased cake pans and bake for 35 minutes until golden brown.  Insert a toothpick of thin knife in the center of one cake to check for doneness.  Remove from oven and allow to cool in the baking pans for 30 minutes.  Gently transfer the cakes onto wire cooling racks to fully cool to room temperature before assembling.
  3. For the strawberry filling: While the cake bakes/cools, stir together the strawberries and maple syrup in a bowl, cover and set aside in the refrigerator.  
  4. For the whipped cream: Make a double batch of the homemade coconut whipped cream while the cake bakes.  Cover and chill in the fridge until ready to assemble the cake.
  5. Assemble cake: Once the cake is fully cooled to room temperature, add the coconut whipped cream to it.  Do not add the whipped cream while the cake is still hot or it will melt. I like to stick the two cake pans in the freezer to speed up the process.  Once fully cooled, gently spread half the coconut whipped cream on the first layer.  Use a slotted spoon to top the coconut whipped cream with a layer of half the strawberry slices.  Gently and carefully top with the second layer of cake and then repeat layering the coconut whipped cream and strawberry slices again.  Top with additional whole or halved strawberries and/or edible white flowers for garnish if desired.
  6. Serve: Slice into 8 slices and enjoy.  


This is a cake that’s best when made fresh.  If you do want to make it ahead I would recommend making the three elements and storing separately.  Then, layer everything together the day you’ll be serving it.

  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 35
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven

Keywords: strawberry shortcake cake

Did You Try This Recipe?

Follow Eating by Elaine for all the latest content and behind the scenes!

Want to receive simple, nutritious recipes in your inbox every week?

Need a complete listing of all my favorite kitchen and cooking products?


  1. Cynthia Lawson

    Made this for Memorial Day. Absolutely delicious. Our non Vegan friends couldn’t stop saying how delicious the cake was.

    • Elaine Gordon

      Thank you so much, Cynthia! I’m so happy to hear you picked this one for the holiday weekend with your friends :). I’m so glad you enjoyed it! And, so fun that your non-vegan friends loved it too! :). Thank you for taking the time to rate/review this one! It is one of my faves! Best, Elaine

  2. Jodi

    Can’t wait to try this!! Was 1/4 cup of vanilla extract a typo?

    • Elaine Gordon

      Yay! Can’t wait for you to try it too! That is NOT a typo – because it is a two tier large cake each part of it gets 2 tablespoons of vanilla extract. Which I know is a lot but trust me! It works! I buy my vanilla extract at Costco to save money on it since it can be expensive. Eager to hear what you think of this one!

  3. Reagan

    When I picked up a bunch of freshly picked strawberries I knew just what I wanted to do with them! I made this beautiful for shortcake for a crew that doesn’t need to eat gf or df and they all loved i, and said they never would have guessed it was gf & df! It’s very moist, and has the right amount of sweetness. It’s going to be something I make again and again! Thanks Elaine!!!

    • Elaine Gordon

      Thank you so much, Reagan! So glad this worked and surprised everyone! I love when that happens! And I’m so happy you enjoyed it too! Thank you so much again! 🙂 Best, Elaine

  4. Christy

    I first made this recipe as written and it was raves about by everyone. Since then I have adapted to a variety of spice/carrot/pineapple upside down cake with equal success. It is a wonderful recipe that everyone will enjoy, thank you!

    • Elaine Gordon

      Thank you so much, Christy! So cool you have been able to adapt to other cake recipes… I will have to give that a try myself as well! Best, Elaine


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating

Get More Recipes by Category

Hi, I’m Elaine!

Thank you for checking out my vegan and gluten-free recipes.

Get Delicious Recipes in Your Inbox Weekly!

Latest Recipes

Nourish in the New Year
Vegan Valentine's Day Recipes
Immunity Boosting Recipes

Follow Eating by Elaine for all the latest content and behind the scenes!

Want to receive simple, nutritious recipes in your inbox every week?

Need a complete listing of all my favorite kitchen and cooking products?

Pin It on Pinterest