This easy gluten free strawberry shortcake recipe is the classic summer dessert that everyone loves. Make the biscuits ahead of time and be ready to serve in minutes!
A twist on the classic strawberry shortcake
Most recipes for strawberry shortcakes are made with classic buttermilk biscuits, layered with strawberries and whipped cream. And of course, they’re lovely. But when you make gluten free strawberry shortcake in the style of a drop biscuit, a couple of exciting things happen:
First, since drop biscuit dough is typically wetter than layered biscuit dough, adding chopped strawberries to the biscuit dough suddenly sounds like an inspired idea. Strawberries contain a tremendous amount of moisture. If you were to add them to a layered biscuit dough, you would never be able to prepare the dough as intended.
Second (and perhaps quite obviously), your strawberry shortcakes are practically worthy of the name … even before they are layered with berries and cream!
If you’d prefer a berry-less biscuit, I’ve included instructions in the recipe for how to leave them out of the dough.
This strawberry shortcake dough is made with a touch more sugar than a typical biscuit. We’re serving the cakes as a dessert after all. But they’re still only lightly sweet, as is the whipped cream. In the summertime, the berries are fragrant and their natural sweetness shines right through.
Just be sure to handle the dough with a light touch, or your biscuits will be tough. Measuring especially your flour and starch by weight is also particularly important when making any sort of pastry.
Make the biscuits ahead of time
In the spirit of a fun and easy-going summertime dessert, the shortcake biscuits can be made ahead of time. Just freeze them raw, and then bake soon before serving.
For a clean slice when splitting the biscuits in half, slice them cool and use a serrated knife. Then pile on the berries and cream!
Ingredients and substitutions
To make this recipe without dairy, you’ll need to replace the butter, buttermilk, and heavy whipping cream. I actually think we can do it, though! Here are my best guesses.
For the butter, I recommend using vegan butter from either Melt or Miyoko’s Kitchen brand. They behave the most like butter in baking. Do not use Earth Balance buttery sticks, which have way too much moisture and your biscuits will dissolve into puddles.
You can also try using Spectrum nonhydrogenated vegetable shortening, which has almost no moisture. You’ll probably have to use more liquid. Speaking of liquid…
In place of buttermilk, use half nondairy plain yogurt and half nondairy unsweetened milk (my favorite is almond milk). In place of heavy whipping cream for the whipped cream, use chilled coconut cream and whip it according to the recipe instructions.
The cornstarch in the biscuit recipe adds lightness and tenderness to the biscuits. In its place, you can use potato starch or arrowroot. If you are corn-free, be sure you’re using a cornstarch-free confectioners’ sugar, which often has a cornstarch to help prevent clumping.
Gluten Free Strawberry Shortcake
For the biscuits
2 5/8 cup (368 g) all purpose gluten free flour (I used Better Batter)
1 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)
6 tablespoons (54 g) cornstarch (or try potato starch or arrowroot)
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup (50 g) granulated sugar
12 tablespoons (168 g) cold unsalted butter, grated on a standard, large-hole grater
4 ounces chopped fresh strawberries, chilled
1 1/4 cups (10 fluid ounces) buttermilk, chilled
1 1/2 cups (12 fluid ounces) heavy whipping cream, chilled
2 tablespoons (14 g) confectioners’ sugar
8 ounces fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
Preheat your oven to 425°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper and set it aside.
In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar, and whisk to combine well. Add the chilled and grated butter and chopped strawberries,* and toss to combine, breaking up any clumps in the grated butter. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients, add 1 cup plus two tablespoons of the buttermilk and mix until just combined. Add more buttermilk by the teaspoon as necessary to moisten all of the dough. Working quickly so the dough doesn’t get warm, divide the dough into 10 equal portions, each about the size of a baseball. Gently shape each portion into a disk without packing the dough, or the biscuits will be dense. Place the biscuits 2 inches apart from one another on the prepared baking sheet.
*You can leave out the chopped strawberries in the biscuits. You will need the full amount of buttermilk to make the biscuit dough, plus perhaps another 1 to 2 tablespoons.
Place the baking sheet in the freezer for 10 minutes or until firm. The raw biscuits can also be frozen in a single layer at this point, then placed in a tightly sealed bag, stored in the freezer for up to a month, and baked from frozen.
Place the baking sheet in the center of the preheated oven and bake until the biscuits are puffed, very lightly golden brown and firm to the touch (about 20 minutes). Remove from the oven and allow to cool before slicing each biscuit in half horizontally.
To make the whipped cream, place the chilled cream in a large bowl and beat on medium-low speed with a hand mixer or in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until soft peaks form. Add the confectioners’ sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks form. Keep the mixer speed on medium-low and you will create a much more stable whipped cream. Place the sliced berries and whipped cream both in the center of each cut biscuit and on top. Serve immediately.
Originally published on the blog in 2016. Video, some photos, some text new. Recipe unchanged.