These oat shortcakes with summer fruit are vegan friendly and can also be adapted to be gluten-free. Makes a great dessert or sweet addition to brunch!
I grew up thinking shortcakes were those little round spongy things next to the strawberries at the grocery store. My parents would buy them from time to time, along with strawberries and a can of whipped cream, for dessert. They were so tasteless and gross that often times I just ate the strawberries and whipped cream, leaving that hockey puck of a cake behind on the plate. After getting married and realizing that food tasted so much better when made from scratch, I spent a lot of my time off of work watching my favorite chefs, Ina, Paula, Alton, & Giada, on Food Network. Someone made strawberry shortcakes one day with these things that looked like a biscuit and I was like, “that’s not a shortcake.” I mean, I knew because my mom used to buy shortcakes at the grocery store and they obviously had to be similar to those dry spongy things, right? Well, imagine my surprise when I googled shortcakes and found out that traditional shortcakes were in fact these scone/biscuit like cakes.
Apparently, the short in shortcake comes from the high amount of fat used in these cakes, which back in the day was commonly referred to as shortening. The dense, scone or biscuit like texture was the perfect base for syrupy fruit and cream.
Today, almost anything with cake, cream, and fruit can get away with the term shortcake. My mom’s version of strawberry shortcake is layers of butter cake with strawberries and whipped cream, which I put a healthier twist on in this recipe.
Sticking close to the classic, this version of shortcake has a blend of flours, including oat and almond flour, which add both flavor and moisture. They’re very tender, moist, and only subtly sweetened with maple syrup which makes it hearty and wholesome enough to enjoy for breakfast/brunch, yet pretty and sweet enough to serve for dessert. We topped ours with a yogurt cream plus lots of fresh summer fruit and made it our sweet addition for brunch!
Whichever version of shortcake you prefer, this is the perfect way to use up the abundance of fresh summer fruit out in the markets right now. I hope you give it a try and enjoy it as much as we did!
- 1 cup gluten-free all-purpose or unbleached all-purpose flour (I used Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour in the blue bag)
- ⅔ cup oat flour (can make your own by grinding rolled oats*. Use certified gluten-free oats/flour if necessary.)
- ⅓ cup almond flour or meal (can make your own by grinding slivered or whole almonds. Measure after grinding.)
- 2.5 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons solid coconut oil or cold butter (can use refined coconut oil for less coconut flavor)
- ⅓ cup almond milk or other milk of choice
- 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup, honey, or coconut nectar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- turbinado sugar for sprinkling, optional
- yogurt cream or whipped cream
- 3–4 cups fresh fruit of choice, sliced if necessary (berries, peaches, plums, cherries, etc. Can mix with a few tablespoons of honey, maple syrup, or sugar ahead of time to make syrup)
- ½ cup plain yogurt, any liquid drained (dairy-free or Greek)
- 8 oz. cream cheese (dairy-free or regular) or mascarpone cheese, optional
- 1–3 tablespoons pure maple syrup, honey, or other sweetener of choice (to taste)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat oven to 375ºF. Line a pan with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, blend together flours, baking powder, and salt. Cut/blend in coconut oil/butter, until mixture is crumbly and no large chunks of fat remain. Mix in milk, sweetener, and vanilla, stirring just until combined. If dough is too dry, jut add a little more milk.
- Drop large spoonfuls of dough onto the baking sheet, leaving a few inches in between. I like the rustic look of drop shortcakes, but you can pat it into a smooth round if you prefer. Either way, it should make about 6 large shortcakes or 8 smaller ones. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar and place pan into the preheated oven. Bake 15–20 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove and let cool completely before topping with fruit and cream.
- Top cooled shortcakes with fresh fruit and yogurt cream. If you like syrupy fruit, you can macerate the fruit ahead of time in a few tablespoons of honey or maple syrup (sugar can also be used.) Makes 6 servings.