Nothing says summer, like a quick vegan shortcake topped with coconut whipped cream and loaded with fresh berries!  

This family favorite is great for any occasion, but especially on a warm summer day, such as the 4th of July, a special birthday, or maybe just “I-need-a-piece-of-cake” day.

Get creative with the decorations!  Send me pictures; I would love to see them.

Shortcake with coconut whipped cream and berries

Looking for more vegan cake recipes? Try my favorite Vegan Lemon Raspberry Cake or my Vegan Pavlova recipes.

Why you’ll love this easy vegan shortcake recipe 

  • Quick and so simple: This recipe is incredibly easy and quick to prepare, making it perfect for last-minute dessert cravings or unexpected guests.
  • Summery delight: This treat embodies summer with its fresh berries and light, fluffy texture.
  • Versatile: While it’s fantastic with fresh berries, this shortcake recipe is also versatile. You can adapt it to suit your preferences by using different fruits or adding other ingredients.
  • Cardamom twist: The subtle addition of cardamom adds a unique and aromatic flavor to the shortcake.
  • Natural sweetness: Using maple syrup as a sweetener adds a natural, rich sweetness that pairs beautifully with the berries.
  • Kid-friendly: Children and adults will enjoy assembling their cake with their choice of berries and toppings, making it a fun and interactive dessert for the whole family.
  • Perfect for gatherings: Whether it’s a backyard barbecue, picnic, or potluck, this easy shortcake is a crowd-pleaser that will impress your guests with minimal effort. 

Vegan Shortcake Ingredients and substitution notes

  • Flour: Use all-purpose flour for the vegan shortcake base. It provides the right structure and texture for a tender and crumbly shortcake.
  • Sugar: Granulated sugar adds sweetness to the shortcake. It also helps with browning and texture.
  • Baking Powder: Baking powder is essential for leavening the shortcake, making it rise and become light and fluffy.
  • Baking Soda: Baking soda works alongside the baking powder to help the shortcake rise. It also contributes to the overall lightness.
  • Salt: A pinch of salt enhances the flavor of the shortcake, balancing the sweetness and enhancing the other ingredients.
  • Cardamom: Ground cardamom adds a unique and aromatic flavor to the shortcake. You can also leave this out if you’d prefer. I recommend including it as it gives the whole cake something a little (secretly) special. 
  • Almond milk: This is used as the liquid in this recipe. It provides a subtle nutty flavor and moisture to the shortcake while keeping it dairy-free.
  • Oil: A neutral-flavored oil, such as vegetable or canola, keeps the shortcake moist and tender.
  • Maple syrup: Maple syrup adds natural sweetness and a hint of caramel-like flavor to the vegan shortcake.
  • Vanilla extract: You can use either vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste.
  • Fresh berries for garnishing: Summer shortcake is traditionally served with fresh, ripe berries. Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries all work wonderfully. Be sure to wash and prepare the berries before assembling your shortcake to keep them fresh and vibrant.

Vegan Shortcake Recipe variations and add-ins

  • Citrus zest: Add the zest of lemon, orange, or lime to the shortcake batter.
  • Lavender: Infuse the almond milk with dried culinary lavender before using it in the recipe. This subtle floral note to the shortcake is perfect for a summer garden party.
  • Berry-Infused whipped coconut cream: Make berry-infused whipped cream by folding in crushed fresh berries like raspberries or blueberries into the whipped cream.
  • Lemon curd filling: Spread lemon curd between the layers for a tangy and decadent treat. Make the curd with vegan butter to keep the recipe vegan.
  • Macerated berries: Toss the fresh berries with a bit of sugar and a splash of lemon juice to create macerated berries with a syrupy sauce. Spoon these over the shortcake for extra berry goodness.
  • Gluten-free option: Substitute gluten-free flour for the all-purpose flour to make a gluten-free version.

Top tips

  • Handle the batter gently: Overmixing the batter can lead to a tough shortcake. Mix until just combined, and keep it manageable.
  • Check doneness: Use a sharp knife or cake skewer to check the cakes are completely cooked through before pulling them out of the oven. 

Make ahead of instructions and storage

Make-ahead instructions:

If you want to prepare this recipe in advance, there are several steps you can take to streamline the process. You can bake the cakes ahead of time, wrap them in plastic wrap, place them in an airtight container, and freeze them.

Lastly, you can prepare the whipped cream up to a few hours before serving and keep it refrigerated. Remember to re-whip it briefly before serving to restore its fluffy texture.


The cake can be stored at room temperature (as long as it’s not too warm) or in the fridge. The coconut cream will not hold for as long as whipped cream from a can would. For this reason, I recommend eating it as soon as possible.

If you have leftover whipped cream, place it in an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator. It may need to be re-whipped slightly to regain its fluffiness before using it again.

Serving suggestions 

Serve this cake as is for an event like a birthday or for Valentine’s Day. It honestly is just perfect as is, but I will happily join a brunch or tea table. Your beautiful vegan shortcake can also be served as a dessert!

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Shortcake with coconut whipped cream and berries

Summer Shortcake with Coconut Whipped Cream

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  • Author: Chef Ani


  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1 3/4 cups almond milk
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Fresh berries for garnishing


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease two cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cardamom.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the almond milk, oil, maple syrup, and vanilla extract.
  4. When ready to bake, pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and mix until there is almost no lumps (1-2 minutes).
  5. Divide the batter into the two cake pans and bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out almost clean with a few crumbs clinging to it. Remove the cakes from the oven and let them cool completely before removing them from the pans.

Assembling the Cake:

Have fun with this process and be creative. Start with a layer of cake, spread part of the coconut whipped cream for the middle layer, making sure to save enough cream for the top of your cake.  Layer with berries and more cake, finish the cake with coconut whipped cream and berries!

Coconut Whipped Cream:

  • 2 cans of full fat coconut milk, chilled in the fridge overnight (Do not use reduced fat coconut milk, as this will not work.  I use the Thai Kitchen brand)
  • 1/3 cup powder sugar
  1. Chill a bowl in the freezer for at least 10 minutes before you make this coconut whipped cream.
  2. Take your cans of coconut milk out of the fridge and flip them upside down. Open the cans and drain the coconut water (you can save the coconut water and put it in a smoothie)
  3. Scoop out the coconut fat into your chilled bowl. Add the powder sugar and whip together with an electric mixer until well combined and creamy in texture.
  4. Place the coconut whipped cream in the fridge until you are ready to assemble the cake.

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