So excited to share these gluten free strawberry shortcakes! I don’t eat gluten free, but I understand and appreciate that it’s a real concern for many people, maybe even for someone you love and eat with. I taught a healthy desserts last month, and was asked to include a gluten free option, which I thought would be no big deal….but huge props to people who have figured out the gluten free baking thing because for me, it was a lot of trial and error! Yikes.
There are many gluten free all-purpose flour blends available, as well as various flours that naturally contain no gluten (i.e. buckwheat, coconut, brown rice, etc.) My first few attempts fell flat….literally. And others tasted like a coconut soufflé. Good, kinda. But definitely not a strawberry shortcake. Others tasted like flavorless, gummy play-doh mounds.
I was starting to give up…let them eat gluten! But then gave one last attempt using coconut flour (which I like in small amounts but not as the only starring flour) and gluten free oat flour (something I have used many times in pancakes, etc). Duh. Maybe the easiest solution was staring me in the face the whole time. Because I LOVE these. I love these shortcakes plain, I love them with the whipped cream, and I love them with the strawberries. They are amazing just warm out of the oven, and maybe even for breakfast with butter and jam. Dare I say I like them better than a regular wheat flour version?! The texture and flavor with just a hint of coconut makes them more interesting.
I took so many pictures making this recipe that by the end of this post, you’ll pretty much feel like you were here with me, but without all the mess and attempts to find good lighting. So buckle your seat belts and let’s get started, shall we?! These shortcakes use simple ingredients, and you should have no problem finding oat and coconut flours at most grocery stores. I used “Lets Do….Organic” brand coconut flour, pictured below, because I like it better than others I have used due to it’s extra fine texture.
For the first step, I use a stand mixer to whip the eggs until frothy. You could also use a hand mixer, but some sort of beater/mixer is needed to get the eggs really frothy/keep the shortcakes from being too dense, so I definitely recommend this step. I beat on medium high for about 5 minutes. Here are before and after pics of the 3 eggs. Magic!
I transfer the whipped egg fluff to another bowl, clean out the mixer bowl, and use the mixer to gently stir together the flours, baking powder and butter, until the butter is broken up into small pieces. Then all that’s left to do is fold in the eggs and add the milk and honey! NOTE: when you measure out the milk, it may seem like a lot of liquid, but both flours (especially coconut) will suck up the liquid, so just keep pouring and stirring!
Then you just divide the batter into 10 equal portions, and lump them onto the baking sheet. I kind of shape them into shortcake looking blobs at this point, but ultimately you’ll be slicing them in half and adding all the extra goodness, so perfection here is not the goal. Here’s what mine look like pre-bake:
While they cook, I use the mixer again to make real whipped cream. Be careful not to over-whip it, or you end up with cream on it’s way to butter. This actually happened to me when I was making this recipe for pictures, a casualty of being distracted by helpful young sous chefs attempting to crack more eggs. The texture of the whipping cream was a little off, but that didn’t stop us from eating it of course. Moral of the story, STOP just before yours gets to this point:
For the strawberries, I like to heat them in a saucepan with a little squirt of honey, so that they start to release their juices but aren’t mushy (see below for final product). That’s why I recommend stirring the whole time and only heating for a few minutes while you keep an eye on them. But feel free to skip this step and just use plain sliced!
These gluten freee strawberry shortcakes are better than the original! The shortcakes are moist yet have a perfect texture for standing up to the homemade whipped cream and juicy strawberries.
- 1.5 cups coconut flour (I use Let's Go....Organic)
- 1.5 cups gluten free oat flour (I use Bob's Red Mill)
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 6 Tbsp cold butter, cut into cubes (I use Kerrygold)
- 3 eggs, beaten until frothy
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 1/2 cups milk (I use organic whole milk)
- 1 pint heavy whipping cream
- 1 - 2 Tbsp honey (for the strawberries)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 pints strawberries, sliced
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray or cover with parchment paper.
Beat the eggs until whipped and frothy, about 5 minutes on medium high speed with a mixer. Set aside.
In a mixer, combine the flours and the baking powder. Add in the butter and mix on medium until it has broken down into small pieces (pea size or smaller). NOTE: if you don’t have a mixer, this can be done by hand in a bowl. When you add the butter, use two forks to mix/break down the butter cubes into smaller pieces.
Fold in the eggs, then stir in the honey and milk until just combined. The batter will be a bit sticky. Drop by 10 large spoonfuls onto the baking sheet.
Bake at 400 for 10 – 15 minutes, checking for doneness after 10 minutes. Once done, remove from oven and let cool before slicing. (My oven takes about 15 minutes. You want to make sure they are not still undercooked on the inside.)
While the shortcakes are cooking, add the whipping cream and vanilla to a bowl and beat with mixer until it has thickened to the consistency of whipped cream. Optional to add 1 - 2 tsp of honey or agave as a sweetener.
For the strawberry topping: Heat 1-2 Tbsp honey in a saucepan over medium. Add the sliced strawberries and cook, stirring constantly, for 2-3 minutes, or until the strawberries have just barely softened and released some of their juices. Remove from heat and let cool.
To assemble: Allow the shortcakes and strawberries to cool, and then gently slice each cake in half horizontally. Add a dollop of whipping cream and strawberries to the bottom half and replace the top half. Top with another dollop of whipping cream and more strawberries. Enjoy!