Mini Vegan Strawberry Shortcake Trifle

Mini Vegan Strawberry Shortcake Trifle | #vegan #strawberry #shortcake #trifle #dessert #recipe

I still remember the first time I discovered dessert trifles. I was in middle school and at least ten of my girlfriends and I were having a sleepover at our friend Erika’s house (because she had a giant trampoline in her yard). Erika’s mom went all out on the food—pizza, nachos, cookies, soda, ice cream, and the star of the table: a massive homemade trifle with layers of chocolate cake, whipped cream, vanilla pudding, and fresh berries. Up until that moment, I had no idea such a thing even existed. It was the best and we burned it all off seeing how high we could launch ourselves on that trampoline, until inevitably one of us took a tumble or rolled an ankle and we were forced inside to console ourselves with more sweets.

For as much as I love trifle, I had never attempted to make my own. But a few weeks ago when Aaron and I stopped to get something cold to drink at Starbucks, I noticed they added a couple of trifle options to their menu, with one of them being a strawberry shortcake flavor. Of course, their version is re-purposed vanilla scones (clever), strawberry syrup, and whipped cream, and it isn’t anywhere close to vegan. I love strawberry desserts though, which is why I set out to create my own mini (!!!) vegan strawberry shortcake trifles.

Mini Vegan Strawberry Shortcake Trifle | #vegan #strawberry #shortcake #trifle #dessert #recipe

This recipe is everything I love about trifle, with layers of lightly sweetened shortcake, freshly sliced strawberries, and fluffy coconut whipped cream. I mostly used coconut sugar as the sweetener, but it’s minimal because strawberries are so naturally sweet this time of year. I also did something a little hippie-dippie with the berries: I macerated them in homemade water kefir. That might sound sort of strange, but a while back Lindsey of Dolly and Oatmeal made a flourless almond cake with kombucha macerated strawberries and I thought it was pure genius. I used raspberry water kefir since I had it on hand (it’s my current obsession and it’s SO good!), but any complimentary flavored water kefir or kombucha will work.

This vegan strawberry shortcake trifle is simple, easy, and quintessentially summer. The cake part is actually so speedy, you may even wonder if you missed a step (don’t worry, you didn’t). You can serve it pre-portioned in mini trifle dishes or small jars, or go all out and do one big trifle like my friend Erika’s mom always used to make.

Mini Vegan Strawberry Shortcake Trifle | #vegan #strawberry #shortcake #trifle #dessert #recipe


Mini Vegan Strawberry Shortcake Trifle

Mini Vegan Strawberry Shortcake Trifle


Serves: about 10 mini trifles

Prep Time: 30 mins

Cook Time: 20 mins

Total Time: 50 mins

Simple 10-ingredient vegan strawberry shortcake trifle that's naturally sweetened and made with wholesome pantry staples. This dessert is easy, pre-portioned, and perfect for a light summer treat!

Mini Vegan Strawberry Shortcake Trifle



For the shortcake:

  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cups full-fat coconut milk
  • coconut oil, for greasing the baking dish

For the strawberries:

  • 1 1/2 pounds strawberries, stems removed and quartered
  • 1/3 cup water kefir (or kombucha)
  • 2 tablespoons finely ground coconut sugar

For the whipped cream:

  • 2 (14 ounce) cans full-fat coconut milk, refrigerated for 24 hours
  • 1/4 cup organic powdered sugar, sifted (or powdered stevia to taste)
  • pinch fine sea salt

Cuisine: Vegan Servings: about 10 mini trifles

Prep Time: 30 mins Cook Time: 20 mins Total Time: 50 mins

Simple 10-ingredient vegan strawberry shortcake trifle that's naturally sweetened and made with wholesome pantry staples. This dessert is easy, pre-portioned, and perfect for a light summer treat!


  • Make the shortcake: Preheat the oven to 400° F. Lightly grease an 8-inch square baking dish.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the flour, coconut sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Pour in the coconut milk and mix it until just combined. (Be careful not to overwork it.) Transfer the batter to the prepared baking dish, smooth the top into an even layer, and bake until golden, about 20-22 minutes. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then gently remove the cake and place it on a cooling rack to cool completely.
  • While the cake cools, make the strawberries: Place the berries in a mixing bowl and stir in the water kefir (or kombucha), and coconut sugar. Stir occasionally for 30 minutes.
  • Make the whipped cream: Open the cans of coconut milk and scoop out the top layers of solid coconut cream into the bowl of a stand mixer. (Discard the coconut liquid or save it for a smoothie!) Mix the coconut cream, powdered sugar, and salt on low speed until combined, then beat on high speed for 1-2 minutes until light and fluffy.
  • Assemble the trifles: Cut the shortcake into bite-sized cubes. Add a layer of shortcake pieces to your mini trifle dishes or small jars. Spoon some of the strawberries with their juice on top of the shortcake. Top with a generous dollop of coconut whipped cream—and if room allows—a second layer of shortcake and more strawberries. Serve immediately.

Notes [2]

Make sure you use a full-fat, canned coconut milk. Be sure to stay away from coconut milks with stabilizers and gums because the cream won’t separate from the liquid even when refrigerated. The Aroy-D brand tends to produce reliably good results.

To make this recipe even easier, feel free to replace the homemade whipped cream with store-bought. So Delicious makes a good one that you can find in the freezer section.

Copyright © 2020 Amanda Maguire for Pickles & Honey

Leave a Comment

  1. Rach says

    These look incredible!!! I love strawberry shortcake and I bet it’s amazing in a trifle.

  2. Oh these are so cute and sound delicious! And I love to hear stories about moms who made things special – those memories are priceless!

  3. Danielle says

    These are ADORABLE. I just came home with ten pounds of strawberries from the farm this weekend, and I think these trifles might be in my future!

  4. Joanna says

    Omg that looks amazing I will deffo try this recipe on weekend. hugs

  5. Oooh, love the kefir/kombucha idea for the strawberries! Sooo quintessential for summer. That cake sounds so easy…perfect for a non-baker like me. That really sucks about your photos and content. I’ve been finding a number of websites publishing my content in full, basically copying and pasting whole blog posts with photos. I don’t know what to do about it…but it’s the worst. Ugh…anyways, these LOOK SO GOOD! Love your photos, as always.

    1. This cake will be perfect for you! It really is incredibly easy. Whenever I make it, I feel like “That’s it? That’s all I needed to do?” 😉

      Those content scraper sites are terrible. It happens to me too. If you can find contact info, send ’em a bill for your work! I hate having a pop-up on my site, but it has cut waaaay down on the copyright infringement. I have it set to show once a month and only on desktop to be less invasive, but it still sucks that it had to come to that.

  6. Lucy says

    I’m planning to make this for my boyfriend’s birthday on Friday! He loves strawberry shortcake. 🙂

    1. Apologies for the delayed reply, Lucy. I Hope your boyfriend had a very happy birthday and loved the strawberry shortcake trifle. 🙂


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