These sweet little no-bake gluten-free vegan strawberry shortcakes are made with rounds of prepared polenta in place of baked biscuits. A fun spring or early summer dessert, it’s easy enough to make as an everyday treat or for special occasions.
This is made extra luscious with vegan whipped cream. Some brands to look for include So Delicious Coco Whip, Soyatoo Soy Whip, and Rice Whip.
Use the best strawberries — organic, please
It’s not going to cut it to use flavorless strawberries, so making this in season is an especially good idea.
If you’re lucky enough to find local, unsprayed strawberries at a farm market or farm stand, that would be ideal. But if that’s not possible, at least use organic strawberries you find in your grocery store.
The Environmental Working Group’s annual list of Dirty Dozen™ produce (the fruits and veggies that have the most pesticide residue) changes from one year to the next, but strawberries almost always sit at the top of the list.
To learn more about what produce is on each year’s lists of Dirty Dozen™ and Clean Fifteen™, go to EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce and read the full report to see what produce follows closely after #12. Please note that both lists change each year.
Recipe adapted from 5-Ingredient Vegan by Nava Atlas. Photos by Hannah Kaminsky.
- Explore more vegan gluten-free dairy-free desserts and sweets.
- 1 pint strawberries
- 1/4 cup all-fruit strawberry preserves
- 18-ounce tube polenta
- Vegan butter, as needed
- Vegan whipped cream (see note)
- Mint leaves for garnish, optional
- Remove hulls from the strawberries and slice very thinly. Cut up any large slices in half to make smaller pieces. Reserve 6 small unsliced halves for topping, if desired.
- Combine the strawberries and 1/4 cup preserves, more or less to coat, in a small bowl and set aside.
- Cut away a little from the puckered ends off from the polenta, then cut the rest into 12 equal slices. They’ll be about 1/2 inch thick.
- Heat enough vegan butter to coat a wide skillet or griddle. Cook the polenta slices in a single layer until golden and slightly crusty, about 7 minutes on each side. If you’d like, replenish with more vegan butter before flipping to the second side.
- Remove from the skillet to a platter and allow to cool to room temperature, or until ready to serve. If you’re impatient and apply the whipped cream to warm polenta, you’ll get a runny mess!
- When ready to serve, layer as follows: A slice of polenta, a small dollop of whipped cream, a few slices of strawberry, another slice of polenta, more whipped cream, a half strawberry (or a few more slices if you didn’t reserve halves).
- Pass around any unused strawberries and more whipped cream to spoon onto individual shortcakes.
Some brands of vegan whipped cream to look for include So Delicious Coco Whip, Soyatoo Soy Whip, and Rice Whip.
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