this post is sponsored by simple mills. thank you for supporting the partnerships that allow brewing happiness to grow and exist. xoxo.
A few weeks ago I asked you on Instagram what your favorite summer desserts are, and overwhelmingly the answer was strawberry shortcake! I’m honestly not surprised. It’s like a cross between cake and a biscuit topped with fresh fruit and cream, and I’M HERE FOR IT. Has there ever been a better combo? Definitively I can say no.
So when Simple Mills and I decided to partner together, it was easy to figure out what I would try to make. They have this incredible gluten-free/grain-free/naturally sweetened Vanilla Cake and Cupcake Mix that I am in love with. So I thought with a little ingenuity I could turn that mix into strawberry shortcakes. I was right.
These little treats are fully dairy-free, refined sugar free, and made with nothing artificial. The Simple Mills Vanilla Cake Mix is made with a combination of almond flour, coconut flour, coconut sugar, arrowroot starch, baking soda and sea salt and THAT’S IT. All I’ve added is vegan butter (you could also use regular butter if you want), non-dairy milk, and one egg. So the ingredients you have to source are minimal.
The strawberries are tossed in agave nectar (you could also use honey or coconut sugar), and lemon juice. The whipped cream is made from coconut milk and is totally dairy free! You do have to refrigerate the (full fat) coconut milk at least 12 hours before using it, so if you don’t want to go through that effort using store bought is fine. However, I do prefer the taste of this unsweetened coconut whip with everything else. But you do you.
As for the shape of the shortcakes, I found that using a jumbo muffin tin makes the perfect size and shape for six shortcakes. If you don’t have one of those, you could use a regular muffin tin, they’ll just be taller shortcakes.
Other than that – go wild. It’s summertime and you officially deserve eleven thousand strawberry shortcakes in your life. xo.
Grain-Free Strawberry Shortcake
This Grain-Free Strawberry Shortcake recipe is totally gluten-free, dairy-free, naturally sweetened and EXTREMELY EASY. It's a summer necessity.
- 1 box Simple Mills Vanilla Cupcake and Cake Mix
- 2 tbsp cold vegan butter, cut into cubes
- 1 tbsp non dairy milk
- 1 large egg
- 4 cups strawberries, quartered
- 1 tbsp agave nectar
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 cans full fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight
Preheat oven to 375.
Add quartered strawberries to a large bowl and toss with agave nectar and lemon juice. Set aside to macerate.
Add Simple Mills Vanilla Cupcake and Cake Mix to a large bowl. Add in cold cubed vegan butter. Use your fingers to pinch the butter into the flour mixture, you don't want the butter to melt but you want it to create pea-sized clumps. (You could also do this with a fork.)
Create a well in the middle of your butter-flour mixture. Add your egg and non dairy milk. Use a fork or spatula to beat the egg and milk together, and slowly start to incorporate the rest of the flour. Once it won't mix anymore, use your hands to knead the dough into a ball, this should just take 2-3 folds. Don't over knead.
Spray a jumbo muffin tin with nonstick spray. Divide batter into 6 even balls, and form each ball into a disc shape the size of your muffin tin.
Bake for 14-15 minutes.
While the shortcakes are baking, remove coconut milk from the refrigerator. Scoop out the solid white part into a bowl and discard the clear liquid. Use a whisk to vigorously beat the coconut until smooth and creamy. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Let cool in the muffin tin for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. Let cool completely before carefully cutting each shortcake in half.
Top with macerated strawberries and coconut yogurt.
When I left Los Angeles 4 1/2 years ago, I always expected I would return. I knew I had a long journey to take before I could make the move, but I think I always knew that journey would bring me back. The thing I didn’t realize is that during that 4 1/2 year span while away, I subconsciously built up expectations for what LA would be for me.
I expected a home.
I expected happiness.
I expected this to be *my* place.
I haven’t moved back *officially* yet, so I can’t tell you if those things are true or not, but what is true is that a large amount of fear has risen in me. Fear that this place will fail me. Fear that I will be let down. Fear that this isn’t my place.
A similar thing happened when I got the idea for this recipe. I thought, it’ll be so easy to turn this cupcake and cake mix into shortcakes. I set an expectation without realizing it. And guess what? I FAILED.
I failed more than I wanted to.
I created gooey pans of mush.
I tried and failed to get the right proportions.
I scratched my head in frustration as this feat proved to be more trying than I intended. Turns out creating a grain-free strawberry shortcake isn’t the easiest thing to do.
The parallel of expectations didn’t escape me as they happened. I watched before my eyes as I realized that the only way to deal with expectations failing is to make another shortcake. Or in life I suppose it’s all about pushing on, and working at breaking expectations and reframing what is in front of us.
Maybe LA will let me down. Maybe I will be sad here at times. Maybe it won’t always feel like home.
But I don’t know that anywhere will be those things for me at all times. I don’t think places or people or shortcakes are the solution to our expectation problem. I shouldn’t expect to be happy all of the time. Instead, I can expect for life to bring me both happiness and sadness, success and failure. Life is never one or the other. You don’t get one without the other.
Expect both. Expect it all to happen, because chances are it’s already happening. All at once. And isn’t that sorta beautiful? Make another shortcake. xo.