Healthier Strawberry Shortcake Recipe

Classic strawberry shortcake made healthier with honey, whole grains and coconut whipped cream. Easily vegan, too.

I was hoping to tell you that I’d bought a house today. A cute 1930s Victorian farmhouse with tall ceilings and lots of big windows. It was a blank slate on the inside, so I could have made it exactly how I wanted it to be. It was going to be the Cookie and Kate studio! I was going to have a beautiful, functional kitchen for the first time in my life! I was going to grow a garden in the side yard!


Of course, I got carried away and decorated it all before it was officially mine. Then, the owner took it off the market, for reasons that I won’t bore you with, so it is not mine. I’ll just keep living in this rent house, with its low ceilings, dingy kitchen and beige bedroom walls… which now seem even lower, darker, and more like stained cargo khaki shorts. First world problems.

On the upside, I have strawberry shortcake to share today! The idea came to me after I nailed one of the baked goods for the cookbook, which I am so excited to share with you next spring. I had to figure out how to make strawberry shortcake before summer ended. Here it is. This one tastes like classic strawberry shortcake, but it is made with whole grains and it’s naturally sweetened, too.

shortcake dough

I used coconut milk instead of heavy cream, and there’s no butter required in the shortcake, so it’s easily made vegan. The only trick with coconut milk is that you really must use regular (as in, not light) coconut milk for the recipe to work well, and you’ll need to chill one can (not both) in the fridge overnight. Or hey, use regular whipped cream instead. Either way, while this recipe is more wholesome and nutritionally redeeming than standard strawberry shortcake, it is not a low fat recipe.

At the risk of sounding paranoid, a couple health-related notes about ingredients—please buy organic strawberries, as conventionally grown strawberries are the fruit with the highest pesticide content. Also, please buy coconut milk that comes in BPA-free cans (like the Native Forest brand and Trader Joe’s). The high fat content of coconut milk draws the BPA out of the liners, even more so than acidic tomatoes do. I was shocked when I learned that recently.

how to make strawberry shortcakebaked shortcake with strawberriesDelicious honey-sweetened strawberry shortcake with coconut whipped cream - cookieandkate.comThis healthier strawberry shortcake recipe is naturally sweetened, 100% whole grain and made with coconut milk instead of heavy cream! It's delicious and easy to make, too. cookieandkate.comThis strawberry shortcake recipe is the best! Naturally sweetened, whole grain, and delicious. cookieandkate.comClassic strawberry shortcake made healthier—this recipe is made with honey or maple syrup, whole grains and coconut milk. So delicious! It’s vegan if you use maple syrup instead of honey. Recipe yields 9 servings (so quite a bit—if you’re serving just 4 people, I’d probably prepare just 1 pound of strawberries, and enjoy leftover shortcakes as though they are sweet biscuits).



  • 2½ cups white whole wheat flour or regular whole wheat flour
  • 2½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1¼ cups regular (full fat) coconut milk (from a well-shaken can at room temperature*), plus more for brushing on top
  • ¼ cup honey or maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar (optional), for sprinkling on top

Coconut whipped cream – can be replaced with 2 cups regular whipped cream, if you prefer

  • 1 can (14 ounces) regular (full fat) coconut milk or coconut cream, chilled for at least 12 hours
  • 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • 2 pounds fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced lengthwise, divided (reserve a few small, whole strawberries for garnishing, if you’d like)
  • 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside. Place a medium-sized glass or metal mixing bowl in the freezer to chill for the whipped cream.
  2. To prepare the shortcake: In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Stir to combine.
  3. In a 2-cup liquid measuring cup or smaller mixing bowl, combine the coconut milk, honey and vanilla. Whisk to blend, then pour the wet mixture in to the dry.
  4. Mix with a big spoon until you have a cohesive dough. If the dough is sticky and unmanageable, let it rest for a few minutes—if it’s still being difficult, add another tablespoon of flour and stir just until incorporated.
  5. Lightly flour your work surface, and turn the dough over onto it. Knead the dough a few times, just enough to bring the dough together. Then, press the dough into a square shape about 1″ deep.
  6. Use a sharp chef’s knife to slice the dough into 3 even columns and 3 even rows, to make 9 squares. Place the squares onto your prepared baking sheet, leaving a couple inches around each one. Brush the tops of the dough liberally with coconut milk, and sprinkle them with turbinado sugar, if using. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, until they are firm to the touch.
  7. Meanwhile, prepare the coconut whipped cream: Open the can of chilled coconut milk or coconut cream, and scoop the solid white portion into your chilled bowl, leaving the watery part behind. With an electric hand mixer, beat until smooth and relatively fluffy. Add the honey and vanilla extract and blend to combine. Refrigerate until you’re ready to serve.
  8. To prepare the strawberries: Place half of the sliced strawberries in a medium mixing bowl and mash them with a potato masher (or pastry cutter or big fork) until juicy. Add the remaining sliced strawberries and honey and stir to combine. Set aside until ready to serve.
  9. When you’re ready to serve, carefully slice the shortcakes in half lengthwise with a paring knife. Top the lower halve of each shortcake liberally with sliced strawberries, followed by whipped cream. Top with the upper halve of the shortcake. If you want to make them extra decadent, add one more dollop of whipped cream and maybe a small strawberry on top. Serve immediately.