My niece, Melanie, recently turned 11 years old, and a few weeks before her birthday she asked me to create a healthy strawberry cake recipe. Little did I know what a task that would be! Typical strawberry cakes have a box of jello in them, loads of white sugar and are slathered in decadent cream cheese frosting. Would a “healthy” version even compare?
After a few complete failures, I present to you a delicious strawberry cake that has no refined sugar, no eggs, oil, or white flour. It is naturally gluten-free. Best of all, it tastes like real strawberries–no strawberry flavoring here! Cover it in this whipped coconut cream, and you have strawberries and cream in cake form. Swoon!
You can use your favorite frosting, or this coconut whipped cream. For more details on the whipped cream, click here for this recipe from Minimalist Baker. Take note to put a can of coconut milk in your fridge the night before you make it.
You can adjust the sweetness of the cake by adjusting the sweetness of the frosting. I added 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar to the coconut cream and it was perfectly sweet! If your family is not used to “healthier” desserts you could add more powdered sugar, or put some jam between the cake layers to add more sweetness. If you want to avoid sugar completely, you could leave the coconut cream unsweetened or use a date-sweetened cashew frosting.
This makes a perfect spring cake for a birthday, Mother’s Day, Easter, Memorial Day, or a special treat for a Sunday evening or outdoor dinner with friends.
Don’t let the almond flour intimidate you–it adds richness and texture without oil. You can buy it in almost any store in the baking aisle or bulk bins–I’ve seen it at Walmart, Trader Joe’s, Winco, Costco, Sprouts, Fred Meyer, Kroger.
Spring has sprung! Let’s make strawberry cake!
This delicious cake has a whole pound of strawberries in it! Almond flour adds richness and texture without any oil.
- 1 lb fresh strawberries, washed and stems cut out
- 1/4 cup milk of choice (I used almond milk)
- 1 tbsp apple cider or white vinegar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 drops red food coloring
- 3/4 cup maple syrup
- 2 3/4 cups oat flour (preferably store bought, or oats ground in your blender as fine as possible) use gluten free oats if needed
- 1 cup almond flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1 can full-fat coconut milk
- 2 tbsp powdered sugar (optional)
In a food processor, blend up the strawberries into a puree. Put them in a pot on the stove and set to medium heat. Let them cook and reduce for 20-30 minutes until it's about half the amount it originally was (look at the side of the pot to see how far the liquid has gone down). We are basically steaming out the water of the strawberries and preserving the flavorful part. This will create about 3/4 cup strawberry reduction. If you have extra, save it for chia jam or something.
Preheat oven to 350 and prepare cake pans by cutting out parchment paper to line two 8 inch round cake pans. Grease the sides.
Meanwhile, in a liquid measuring cup, whisk together milk, vinegar, vanilla, maple syrup and food coloring. Let sit.
In a large bowl, stir dry ingrdients together. Stir in wet ingrededients and the 3/4 cup strawberry reduction. Don't overstir. Once the vinegar and baking soda start to mix, you want to put it in the oven as soon as possible, so pour into prepared pans quickly. Definitely taste the batter because it's amazing (and one of the perks of plant-based baking!).
Bake about 30 minutes, or until the middle bounces back when you press on it. Underbaking it will lead to a gooey inside.
Let cool completely and frost with whipped coconut cream and decorate with strawberries
Put can of coconut milk in the fridge overnight. Put a large bowl in the freezer for at least 10 minutes to chill.
Pour off the liquid part of the coconut milk so you only have the solid cream. Beat the cream with an electric mixer until fluffy, about 3 or 4 minutes. Add powdered sugar to taste and mix again. Keep in the fridge, where it will firm up even more.
Can also be made into cupcakes. Will make 24 cupcakes. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until center bounces back. They will not be the prettiest cupcakes since the tops will not be rounded, but flat. Still trying to get rounded tops without using eggs.