Gluten-Free Almond-Coconut Strawberry Shortcakes
Delving into my mom’s strawberry shortcake was a much-anticipated welcome to the local strawberry season when I was a kid. Mom always made her biscuit-like shortcake in a 9×13 pan and served big, warm squares in cereal bowls. We poured milk over top and piled on the berries. It was heaven in a bowl—and it was dinner.
In fact, until I got married, I never would have categorized shortcake as dessert. I remember my excitement the first time I served this dish to my then-new husband. And then…he thought I was joking! I vividly recall him opening the oven door, certain that I had hidden the real dinner there.
After realizing that not everyone is satisfied with what is essentially dessert for dinner, combined with my father developing an allergy to wheat, this tradition went by the wayside in my family. But thanks to a protein-filled option that happens to be gluten-free, shortcake was rebranded and the tradition returned. There’s still some good-natured eyeball rolling from those who didn’t grow up with this tradition, but they secretly love it!
As an option to pouring milk over the shortcake, I like to spoon Greek yogurt on top. Greek yogurt bumps up the protein content while providing a welcome option for those who don’t care for “soggy” shortcake. Though slightly less decadent, it’s also a good swap for those who lean towards a customary dollop of whipped cream.
Depending on personal preference, plain or sweetened yogurt may be used. Cabot’s 2% vanilla is my favorite for this. It has a custard-like quality that’s a bit of a treat. Plain Greek yogurt with maple syrup stirred in is delicious, too. Given the wholesome list of ingredients, these individual shortcakes also make for a convenient though slightly unexpected breakfast option. They can even be picked up and eaten like a cookie.
I have used both blanched almond flour and coarser almond meal in this recipe, and they are both delicious. The latter is pictured here, although the former will provide a slightly lighter, more tender shortcake.
- 1 cup almond flour or almond meal
- 2 tablespoons coconut flour (see notes)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 1/4 cup melted coconut oil or butter
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract (may substitute vanilla extract)
- Toppings as desired: sliced strawberries; milk, whipped cream, or yogurt; slivered almonds; shredded coconut
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
- Combine the almond and coconut flours, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk together the remaining ingredients in a small bowl, and add to the flour mixture. Combine well.
- Using an ice cream scoop, scoop the batter onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, leaving some room for the shortcakes to expand while cooking. You will get about 8.
- Bake for 11-14 minutes or until golden brown. (To avoid over-browning, check a few minutes early until you know how long they take in your oven.) Serve warm or at room temperature with desired toppings. Any leftovers may be wrapped and refrigerated for up to a week. The shortcakes freeze well, too.
For those who may not have used coconut flour before, this high-fiber, gluten-free flour can be found in the natural foods section of the grocery store. (I use Bob’s Red Mill brand.) While adding exceptional moisture and texture to baked goods, coconut flour is, however, unlike any other flour. In recipes, it tends to be used in very small amounts, as it is highly absorbent. Therefore, it should not be swapped with another flour. Its flavor is quite subtle—not highly “coconutty.” If you purchase coconut flour for this recipe and are wondering what else you can do with it, I have a novel muffin recipe I’d be happy to share.
And, below, a photo from 2012…the year the tradition returned. : )