Gluten Free Strawberry Shortcake Cake

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Growing up I remember spending time at my Godparents’ wonderful red quaint little cabin overlooking a huge lake in northern Minnesota. There was a tiny plot of sand in the back and two docks that extended to look out to where people went boating and jet-skiing. Many of my favorite memories as a child were there, including most of the summertime holidays like Memorial Day and the 4th of July.

During the summer months, we’d put our suits on and pretty much stay in them until the weekend ended. We’d run at full speed with our feet pattering on the wooden boards then jump into the cold lake with jubilant smiles. Being a child keeps you fearless like that for a while.

What I remember most is after swimming for a while, we’d come wrapped in giant towels to sit on the picnic bench and enjoy the perfect summer lunch. Grilled corn on the cob, fried walleye, my Godfather’s famous lip-smacking good buffalo wings, fresh watermelon slices, and of course, a good dessert.

Strawberry shortcakes always frequented the cabin. Juicy sugar-soaked strawberries piled on top of the store-bought sweet cakes and dolloped with whipped cream. It was classic but a dessert that always left you satisfied with strawberry-stained lips and a smile on your face.

In an effort to recreate something unique with a touch of nostalgia for the upcoming summer months, I’m re-sharing this delightful grain free and gluten free strawberry shortcake cake with a mix of almond flour and coconut flour! It bakes up beautifully sweet, perfectly moist, and just so happens to be both gluten free and dairy free (if you’d like).

Ingredients in gluten free strawberry shortcake cake

This gorgeous almond flour strawberry shortcake cake is easier to make than it looks with just a few specialty ingredients to keep it grain and gluten free. You’ll need:

  • Coconut oil: instead of butter, use coconut oil. If you prefer, you can use melted vegan butter or regular butter if not dairy free, but I would reduce the amount to 3/4 cup.
  • Organic sugar: I like using an organic sugar in this recipe, but you can also use regular or coconut sugar. If you use coconut sugar, the cake will come out darker.
  • Eggs: you’ll need six eggs in this recipe to ensure that this strawberry shortcake cake bakes up nicely. Don’t worry, it’s not eggy!
  • Almond milk: the cake becomes easily dairy free with almond milk, but you can use any milk you’d like.
  • Vanilla & almond extract: both vanilla and almond extract together really bring out an amazing flavor in the cake.
  • Flour: we’re using my favorite mix of gluten free flours in this recipe. Coconut flour, which absorbs the liquid in this recipe and also creates a nice cake texture, and almond flour, which helps to keep the cake moist and create a light crumb texture.
  • Baking powder: you’ll use baking powder, not baking soda, in this recipe to give this cake the right consistency.
  • Fresh strawberries: for adding in between the layers and on top of your shortcake cake.
  • For the frosting: you’ll need cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and vanilla bean for extra delicious vanilla flavor.

Technically it’s not a true strawberry shortcake, but the flavors are my favorite together, especially with a little vanilla bean cream cheese frosting on top. And you get to use both almond flour & coconut flour — whoo hoo! And to keep it dairy free, simply use a vegan cream cheese.

almond flour strawberry shortcake cake on a cake stand

Recommended ingredient swaps

I know many of you may be dairy-free or follow a paleo-friendly diet, so don’t worry, I’ve got options for you!

  • To make this cake dairy-free: simply use dairy-free cream cheese in the frosting.
  • To make paleo: use dcoconut sugar instead of the organic sugar. Note that your cakes will turn out darker! Then you can make my paleo powdered sugar recipe) and use dairy-free cream cheese for the frosting.

Can I make it vegan?

I haven’t tested this strawberry shortcake cake with flax eggs, so I can’t be 100% sure how the texture will turn out. Let me know in the comments if you do!

grain free strawberry shortcake cake on a cake stand

Can I use other flours?

Unfortunately, no, I cannot recommend substitutes for the almond flour and coconut flour in this recipe. Sorry!

Tips for making this almond flour strawberry shortcake cake

  1. Get the right tools. You need a few essential kitchen tools for this recipe including: 9 inch cake pans, parchment paper (or these awesome pre-cut parchment paper rounds), an offset spatula for the frosting, a good set of mixing bowls, and a nice cake stand.
  2. Use room temp ingredients. Make sure to melt and cool your coconut oil, and bring your eggs to room temperature so that they don’t coagulate in the batter.
  3. Cool before frosting. Make sure you follow the directions as written, and wait until the cakes are completely cool before frosting them. After they are frosted, I recommend storing the cake in the fridge for optimal freshness.

gluten free strawberry shortcake cake on a plate

Storing & freezing tips

One of the best parts about this grain free strawberry shortcake cake recipe is that you can make it 1-2 days ahead of time. I like to make the cakes ahead of time and keep them in the fridge for easy assemble, but you can also store it after you’ve frosted the cake, too!

  • To store: I recommend storing the cake covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • To freeze: feel free to freeze this cake either frosted or unfrosted for up to 2 months. I recommend freezing it unfrosted and in individual layers for best results. First, wrap each individual layer in plastic wrap, then aluminum foil, and then place the cakes in a zip-top freezer bag. When you’re ready to serve it, simply thaw it in the refrigerator overnight and then let the cake come to room temperature before serving.

More cake recipes you’ll love

Get all of my cake recipes here!

I know you’re going to love this gluten free strawberry shortcake cake, please let me know if you make it by leaving a comment and rating the recipe below. I’d love to hear from you and it helps encourage others to make the recipe too! xo.

cover of the ambitious kitchen cookbook

Ambitious Kitchen

125 Ridiculously Good For You, Sometimes Indulgent, and Absolutely Never Boring Recipes for Every Meal of the Day

Almond Flour Strawberry Shortcake Cake with Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting

strawberry shortcake cake

Prep Time 10 minutes

Cook Time 35 minutes

Total Time 45 minutes

Serves16 slices

Beautiful almond flour strawberry shortcake cake made with a mix of almond & coconut flour. This grain and gluten free strawberry shortcake cake is topped with an easily dairy free vanilla bean cream cheese frosting and fresh strawberries for a wonderful dessert that’s perfect for summer!


  • 1 cup (224g) melted and cooled coconut oil
  • 2 cups (400g) organic sugar (or coconut sugar)
  • 6 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 ¼ cup (300g) unsweeetened almond milk (or milk of choice)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3 cups (336g) fine blanched almond flour
  • 1 cup (112g) coconut flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • For the filling & topping:
  • ½-¾ pound fresh strawberries, sliced ¼ inch thick (reserve some whole strawberries for the topping)
  • For the frosting:
  • 8 oz (224g) reduced fat cream cheese or dairy free cream cheese
  • ½ cup (57g) powdered sugar (preferably organic)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ tablespoon milk, to make frosting super creamy (optional)
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and seeded (optional, but delicious)


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 9 inch round pans and line the bottom with parchment paper.

  • In a large bowl, mix the coconut oil, sugar, eggs, vanilla and almond extract together until well combined. Add the almond milk and beat again until well incorporated.

  • In a large separate bowl, whisk the almond flour, coconut flour, baking powder and salt together. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well. Mixture should be on the thicker side.

  • Divide batter evenly between pans and spread out with a spatula to smooth the tops. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until cake is golden brown, no longer jiggly in the middle and a tester comes out clean.

  • Let cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes then transfer to the fridge to finish cooling. Allow cake to cool in the fridge for at least an hour before removing from the pan and frosting.

  • To make the frosting: In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla, milk and vanilla bean together until creamy and smooth. Divide frosting in half and spread over each cake. Add sliced strawberries on top of one cake, then place the other cake on top and garnish with fresh whole strawberries.

  • Cake should be kept covered in the fridge for optimal freshness and will stay good for 4-5 days

Recipe Notes

To make dairy-free: simply use a dairy-free cream cheese in the frosting.
To make paleo: use coconut sugar, a dairy-free cream cheese, and a paleo-friendly powdered sugar option. You can also use Simple Mills frosting.
See the full post for tips, tricks, and storing & freezing instructions!

Recipe by Monique Volz of Ambitious Kitchen // Photography: Sarah Fennel

This post was originally published on May 22nd, 2017, republished on May 20th, 2020, and republished on May 8th, 2024.


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