Almond Coconut Strawberry Shortcakes (Gluten- & Grain-Free)

By Ann Fulton

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Gluten- & Grain-Free Almond Coconut Strawberry Shortcakes are healthy enough to eat for dinner but delicious enough to be dessert!


Delving into my mom’s strawberry shortcake was a much-anticipated welcome to the local strawberry season when I was a child. 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.

Almond Coconut Strawberry Shortcakes -- healthy & gluten-free

For my mom’s classic biscuit shortcake recipe, click here.  That recipe may be converted to gluten-free by following this easy, prep-ahead recipe for my copycat version of Bisquick.

Homemade Bisquick -- a healthier version of a store-bought favorite...great gluten-free option

 And, below, a photo from 2012…the year the tradition returned.  : )

Almond Coconut Strawberry Shortcake -- healthy & gluten-free

Almond Coconut Strawberry Shortcakes (Gluten- & Grain-Free)
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.

Yield: 8 shortcakes (4 servings)
  • 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
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
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  1. Jen Post author

    I just bought our first two cartons of local strawberries yesterday and made these last night for dinner (following in the fabulous tradition of your family!). As you can imagine, my family thought this was amazing and everyone liked the recipe very much. Will be making again soon!

    1. Ann Post author

      I’m thrilled that your family enjoyed this, Jen, and LOVE that you served it for dinner. Strawberry shortcake for dinner is most definitely one of my favorite childhood food memories!

  2. Cippi

    This has become my go to, never fail, done in a hurry, all-time fav shortcake recipe!! I try to cook it at the minimum time so it’s very moist and tender. Thank you for sharing this staple recipe for our family!!

    1. Ann Post author

      That’s great news, Cippi. I’m delighted it makes frequent appearances and appreciate the feedback!

    1. Ann Post author

      It shouldn’t be runny, Connie. You may want to check your measurements and make sure you included the coconut flour. If you have additional questions, let me know!

  3. Kim

    What should the texture be like inside? I got 5 from this recipe cooked for 14 min. The outside was brown but the inside seems uncooked? I don’t want a burnt cake so I don’t want to over cook them.

      1. Ann Post author

        Hi Kim, Yours would be a little bigger than I usually make mine, so that could make a difference. Also, if you’re baking on a dark coated baking sheet, that can cause things to brown more quickly, and nuts are especially susceptible. You could either make smaller shortcakes, reduce the oven temperature slightly, or lightly drape a piece of foil on top when you notice they are sufficiently brown. I hope that helps…and I’m glad you like the taste!

    1. Ann Post author

      Thank you, Kathy. I haven’t tried this with liquid stevia, but since the amount of honey is fairly small, it would likely be ok. If you try, I’d love to know how you make out!

      1. Kathy

        I just put them in. In leu of honey, I used 3/4 teasp. Liquid stevia. On one, I sprinkled a little powdered stevia, just for a second taste for sweetness. I also added a tiny bit of powdered vanilla (Amazing stuff!) and substituted the liquid in the honey with almond milk. Ok, I got them out and would recommend 1tsp. Liquid Stevia for the average person, or for even more sweetness, dust the tops with powdered. I like things a little less sweet.

        I am following a loCarb life so the honey wasn’t going to work though the original is very good!
        I add blueberries and fresh whipped cream, and these really are amazing little low carb cakes!

        1. Ann Post author

          I’m so glad you were able to adjust these to your needs and am thrilled you liked, Kathy. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment and share your adjustments for others who may be interested!

    2. Donna

      I am going to try substituting coconut sugar for honey. It seems like it would work well for this recipe and is much lower on the glycemic index than cane sugar or honey. They look great. I am thrilled to have found this recipe for summer berries. Thank you Ann!

  4. Mary Lou Keller

    That looks yummy Ann. I am curious to what your mom’s shortbread recipe is? My mom always made the simplest short bread and it was so good with strawberries and it soaked up the juice. I think it was Bisquick, butter and hot water and that was it! It mixed up with just a fork, and then spread out on a small cookie sheet and cut in squares when finished baking. It was not sweet at all and was perfect to compliment the berries that had macerated to release the juices. Such wonderful memories it brings back.

    I will have to try your recipe and I also want to get some local fresh strawberries!

  5. Linda Tyree

    These look fabulous . Love strawberry or blueberry or peach shortcake. I do use almond meal frequently. I believe these will be desert for this weekend if I can wait that long. Thanks!

    1. Ann

      I was literally JUST talking about this recipe with a friend, Vicky! Love them and want to make them with blueberries soon!

  6. Amee

    Ann, those shortcakes are gorgeous! I love using almond flour! I am excited to try out this recipe. Thank you for sharing at Fit and Fabulous Fridays!! 🙂

  7. Katie

    Yum! I am new to the Paleo lifestyle, so it is great to see yummy recipes I can try! I have started a paleo recipe section on my blog for those looking for more grain-free selections.

  8. Brianne @ Cupcakes & Kale Chips

    I am definitely going to try these, Ann. They sound yummy! I don’t have coconut flour, though, so may try something else, or just grind up some coconut flakes I have. But I do have coconut oil, so will get the coconut flavor from that.