This is the dessert you’re allowed to eat for breakfast, then again after lunch, then for an evening snack and then after dinner. Maybe at midnight too. We can justify all of this with wholegrains, honey, no oil, no butter, no added sugars aaaaaaaaand coconut whipped cream.
You guys, I am over the moon about this healthier version of shortcakes. Because not only are they exactly how you bid farewell to strawberries, they are also so delicious, you’ll almost think of going without an all-butter pie crust. Almost.
Traditionally, shortcakes would be made with buttery biscuits on either side of sugared strawberries and a ton of heavy whipped cream. Delicious, no doubt. But I felt this version has a lot more flavour because of the wholewheat flour and coconut, which goes so ridiculously well with strawberries. This is an eggless, but not vegan version of the recipe by Cookie and Kate which I bookmarked last year only so that as soon as strawberries made their debut this year, I’d pounce. The shortcake dough can have either coconut milk or regular milk. But it also has honey, which I wanted to shine through, so I went with regular milk. If you use maple syrup or agave as a sweetener, this recipe is entirely vegan.
The shortcakes are nutty from the wholewheat flour, just barely sweetened so that the strawberries really make their presence felt. Juicy and tangy and sweet. But that whipped cream. That is what we need to talk about. If you live in a warm area, make sure your coconut milk is chilled at least overnight, even two days or more. Mine had been in the fridge for a while so it whipped up really easily. It needs to be full fat and completely chilled. Also chill the bowl and the beaters before beginning. Within seconds, it’s thick and fluffy and soooo scoopable. Mix it up with a little honey and you’ll be eating it straight off the beaters, I guarantee you.
I drizzled a little extra honey on top of the cream before serving and that’s a good way to control how sweet you want to make them. This is not one of those desserts that you eat and then just need to be rolled away. It’s not low-fat or anything, but it’s certainly lighter than the usual kinds. Just so good.
Go maaaaake! And eat the whole lot yourself 🙂
- For the shortcakes
- 2 and ¼ cups wholewheat flour
- 2 and ½ tsps baking powder
- ½ tsp cinnamon powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 and ¼ cups whole milk (or coconut milk, if vegan)
- ¼ cup honey (or maple syrup, if vegan)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- For the strawberries
- 400 gms strawberries
- 1 to 2 tbsps honey
- For the coconut whipped cream*
- 2 cups chilled coconut milk (full-fat, not light and chilled at least overnight if not longer)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 to 2 tbsps honey
- Preheat the oven to 170 C and lightly grease a baking tray or line it with a silicone mat. Place a mixing bowl and the beaters from your hand mixer, in the fridge to chill till you whip the coconut milk at the end.
- For the shortcakes, sift the flour, baking powder and cinnamon in a large bowl. Stir in the salt and set aside.
- In a smaller bowl, whisk the milk, honey and vanilla till combined. Pour into the flour mixture and fold till combined, but do not over-mix. If needed, add a wee bit of flour or milk if the dough is too wet or too dry.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface or a silicone mat. Knead gently for a few seconds to bring it together.
- Pat the dough out into a roughly 1-inch thick square and cut into 9 equal pieces with a sharp knife. You could also make 6 larger shortcakes.
- Use a large, flat metal spatula to lift the pieces onto the baking tray. The dough is not sticky or wet, so this part should be easy. Place the pieces an inch apart and brush with a little milk/coconut milk/cream/egg-wash, depending on what you like.
- Bake for 20 minutes until puffed and lightly browned. Turn the oven to the broil setting for a minute or two, if you want a browner top.
- While the shortcakes are baking, get the strawberries ready. Slice half thinly, place in a bowl and mash. Slice the other half into thicker pieces then mix with the mashed up ones (the word 'mash' is troubling me right now). Stir in the honey. This way you get a bit of jammy and chunky strawberry mixture in every bite, so it's worth the little extra effort.
- Finally, take the chilled coconut milk, bowl and beaters out of the fridge. Pour the milk into the bowl, add the honey and vanilla, and whip till thick and fluffy. It should take just a few minutes. Place the whipped cream back in the fridge.
- Slice each shortcake in half horizontally. Spread a generous dollop of the strawberry filling on the lower half, then top with the whipped cream and place the top half on it. Serve immediately. If you'd like to store them, let them sit out at room temperature for a few minutes. I also wrapped some in clingflim and took them for a friend, they stayed quite sturdy 🙂 Happy eating!