Paleo Strawberry Shortcake (gluten-free, dairy-free)

This Paleo Strawberry Shortcake is the perfect spring or summer dessert!

Light, fluffy biscuits are topped with juicy strawberries and dollops of whipped coconut cream for a refreshing treat.

This healthy strawberry shortcake is not only easy to make, the 3 components can all be made ahead of time.

And it’s Paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free and refined sugar-free!

almond flour biscuits with whipped coconut cream and strawberries on a white plate with a fork

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Paleo Strawberry Shortcake

While some make strawberry shortcake using yellow cake, pound cake or other baked goods, I’ve always thought of this classic dessert using biscuits.

So to make this Paleo, gluten-free and dairy-free, I’m using my almond flour biscuits as the base. They’re quick to whip up and bake – from to start to finish in less than 30 minutes!

Then you simply chop the strawberries and mix them with a little honey and salt – this helps draw out their moisture to make a sauce. Since they’re naturally sweet you don’t need to add much sweetener.

Finally, the whipped coconut cream: similar to whipped cream but dairy-free! It does require some planning ahead – you have to chill cans of full-fat, unsweetened coconut milk in the fridge for at least 24 hours. The coconut milk consists of coconut cream and coconut water – once they chill, they separate, leaving a thick layer of cream in the can to scoop out and whip into pillowy clouds.

Making 3 different 3 things for one dessert might seem like a lot but they’re all simple and can all be made ahead of time and refrigerated until you’re ready to serve.

 

What you need for Paleo Strawberry Shortcake

Ingredients:

Equipment:

gluten-free strawberry shortcake with biscuits, coconut cream and strawberries on a white plate on a wooden table

How to make Paleo Strawberry Shortcake

For the biscuits:

Heat the oven to 425°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Melt the palm shortening in the microwave (should take about 1 minute) and let cool.

Whisk together your dry ingredients.

Whisk your wet ingredients.

Blend the wet ingredients into the dry.

Dust your work surface with more arrowroot flour.

Form the dough into a 3/4-1″ slab and use a biscuit cutter or cookie cutter to cut out the biscuits

Bake!

 

For the strawberries:

Hull (cut off the green stem) and chop the strawberries.

Add them to a bowl and stir in the honey and salt.

Let the strawberries sit for at least half an hour so they release some of their juice.

 

For the whipped coconut cream:

Chill the cans at least 24 hours in advance.

Open the cans and scoop out the thick cream. Reserve the coconut water – you might need it in a bit.

Add the cream to a bowl and add the honey and vanilla. Using a whisk, electric mixer or stand mixer with the paddle attachment, whisk until fluffy. If it seems too thick/stiff, add coconut water a teaspoon at a time to thin it out.

 

How to assemble and serve Paleo Strawberry Shortcake

Split the biscuits in half horizontally. Place one on a plate cut side up. Dollop on some whipped coconut cream, then spoon on some of the strawberries with their juice.

You can also switch the order and add the strawberries first, if you like.

Then top with the other biscuit half. If you now want to add another layer of strawberries and cream, go for it!

healthy strawberry shortcake on a white plate on a wooden table

Make ahead

For the biscuits:

Once baked, the biscuits can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for 48 hours, then kept in the fridge for 1-2 more days.

To freeze, let the biscuits cool to room temperature. Place them on a parchment-lined plate or baking sheet and freeze until solid (about 1-2 hours).

Transfer the frozen biscuits to a resealable bag or container. Thaw overnight in the fridge. Rewarm in the microwave or a low oven.

 

For the strawberries:

Cover tightly or transfer to an air-tight container and chill for up to 24 hours. Any longer and they might start to get soggy (but if you’re okay with that, they’ll still be fine to eat).

 

For the whipped coconut cream:

Cover tightly or transfer to an air-tight container and chill for up to 3 days. Re-whisk to loosen, if necessary.

 

Leftovers should be stored separately so the biscuits don’t get soggy.

 

What you can do with leftover strawberries

If you have any leftover strawberries sitting in their juice, there’s lots of ways to use them! Pour them on:

  • yogurt
  • pancakes
  • waffles
  • French toast
  • ice cream
  • pound cake
  • angel food cake
  • add to a blender with some ice and vodka, white rum, tequila or gin for a refreshing cocktail; top with soda water to make it bubbly and more spritz-like

 

Substitutions and variations

  • You can other fruit but it helps if it’s the kind of fruit you have to cut, like peaches, so they release their juice. Blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and cherries would all taste good but if left whole you might not get as much of the juicy sauce.
  • You can use maple syrup or regular sugar in the strawberries and whipped coconut cream (but obviously if you use regular sugar it won’t be refined sugar-free).

 

Other recipes you might like

2 images of Paleo strawberry shortcake on white plates with forks on wooden tables
healthy strawberry shortcake on a white plate on a wooden table
Print Recipe
5 from 7 votes

Paleo Strawberry Shortcake (gluten-free, dairy-free)

A classic dessert gets a healthy upgrade with this Paleo Strawberry Shortcake! Fluffy almond flour biscuits, juicy berries and whipped coconut cream are piled together for a light yet indulgent treat. Plus it's naturally gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free and refined sugar-free!
Prep Time45 mins
Cook Time12 mins
Total Time57 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: almond flour, gluten-free dessert, paleo baking, paleo dessert, strawberry shortcake
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Don Baiocchi

Ingredients

For the biscuits:

  • 1/2 cup palm shortening
  • 2 cups blanched superfine almond flour
  • 1/2 cup arrowroot starch/flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

For the strawberries:

  • 1 pint fresh strawberries
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • a pinch of fine sea salt (or kosher salt)

For the whipped coconut cream:

  • 2 (15 oz.) cans full-fat, unsweetened coconut milk, chilled for at least 24 hours
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • teaspoons vanilla extract

Instructions

For the biscuits:

  • Heat the oven to 425°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Melt the palm shortening in the microwave (takes around 1 minute) and allow to cool.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the almond flour, arrowroot, salt and baking soda.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and vinegar until well blended.
  • Add the melted, cooled shortening and egg mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until blended. The dough should come together like play dough. If it's crumbly, add a bit more melted, cooled palm shortening at a time until it comes together. If it's too wet, add a teaspoon each of almond flour and arrowroot until it dries.
  • Sprinkle a bit of arrowroot on a cutting board and wipe it around with your fingers. Turn the dough out onto the board and use your hands to flatten it to a 3/4-1" high slab. [Note: 3/4" inch high will yield approx. 10 flatter biscuits, while 1" high will yield approx. 6 taller biscuits like seen in the photos.] It can be any shape as you'll have to re-shape it after cutting out a few biscuits anyway.
  • Dip a biscuit cutter or round cookie cutter (I use one that's 2¾" wide; see notes) into the arrowroot. Cut out biscuits and transfer to the lined baking sheet. (If the biscuits just fall right out of the cutter before you can get them to the baking sheet, I slide a bench scraper under them and use that to lift them to the sheet.) When necessary, reshape the dough to form smaller and smaller slabs (they should always be 3/4-1" high) and continue to cut out biscuits. If necessary, smooth any cracks in the tops of the biscuits without pressing down too much. Any cracks will get bigger as they bake and make the biscuits more crumbly. If you find your biscuits sticking to the cutter, dip the cutter in more arrowroot.
  • Transfer the biscuits to the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes, until they're puffed and golden brown. Let cool.

For the strawberries:

  • While the biscuits are baking, hull (slice off the green stem) and chop the strawberries.
  • Add the berries to a medium bowl with the honey and a pinch of salt, stir and let sit for at least 30 minutes to let the berries release their juice. Toss occasionally.

For the whipped coconut cream:

  • Open the chilled cans of coconut milk and scoop out the cream into a large bowl. Reserve the coconut water as you might need it.
  • Add the honey and vanilla extract. Using a whisk, electric hand mixer or stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whip the coconut cream until light and fluffy. If it's too thick/stiff, add coconut water one teaspoon at a time to loosen it.

For serving:

  • Once the biscuits are cool, cut in half horizontally. Place one half cut-side up on a plate, top with the berries and their juice, then the cream (or reverse the order, if you like) and top with the other half of the biscuit. If you want to add another layer of berries and cream on top of that, go for it!

Notes

Make ahead
For the biscuits:
Once baked, the biscuits can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for 48 hours, then kept in the fridge for 1-2 more days.
To freeze, let the biscuits cool to room temperature. Place them on a parchment-lined plate or baking sheet and freeze until solid (about 1-2 hours).
Transfer the frozen biscuits to a resealable bag or container. Thaw overnight in the fridge. Rewarm in the microwave or a low oven.
For the strawberries:
Cover tightly or transfer to an air-tight container and chill for up to 24 hours. Any longer and they might start to get soggy (but if you're okay with that, they'll still be fine to eat).
For the whipped coconut cream:
Cover tightly or transfer to an air-tight container and chill for up to 3 days. Re-whisk to loosen, if necessary.
Leftovers should be stored separately so the biscuits don't get soggy.
 
Substitutions and variations
  • You can other fruit but it helps if it's the kind of fruit you have to cut, like peaches, so they release their juice. Blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and cherries would all taste good but if left whole you might not get as much of the juicy sauce.
  • You can use maple syrup or regular sugar in the strawberries and whipped coconut cream (but obviously if you use regular sugar it won't be refined sugar-free).

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