Vegan Strawberry Shortcakes

It is National Strawberry Month, and what better way to celebrate it than by enjoying some sweet little fruity morsels?  These mini shortcakes are perfect for single servings – they will curb that little sweet tooth that everyone gets from time to time.  They are incredibly beautiful to present for parties, barbecues and even baby or wedding showers.  The best part about these cakes is that they are also vegan-friendly!

Ingredients:

For the cake:
1/3 cup aquafaba (chickpea brine from a can)
2 tbsp. of chia seeds, ground up (coffee grinder works great to do that!)
½ cup vegan butter, softened
1 ½ cup vegan cane sugar
2 tsp vanilla essence
3 cups all-purpose flour
4 tsp baking powder
½ tsp sea salt
1 cup full fat coconut milk from a can

For the coconut whipped cream:
2 cans of coconut milk, refrigerated for at least 6 hours (do not shake them)
1/3 cup vegan powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence

For the strawberries:
2 lbs. strawberries, chopped
2 tbsp. vegan cane sugar

Preparation:

In a bowl, mix together the aquafaba (chickpea brine) and the chia seeds. Let sit a few minutes. Get 2 large bowls ready; mix the flour, the baking powder, and the salt with a whisk in the first one. In the other bowl, using a hand mixer, cream the vegan butter with sugar, and the vanilla. Add the aquafaba/chia seed mix to the vegan butter mixture. With the mixer on low speed, slowly alternate between adding dry ingredients and coconut milk to the vegan butter mixture. Pour the mixture into a greased 9 X 13 pan and bake for about 25 minutes (until a toothpick comes out clean and the cake is a light golden color). Let cool. Open the can of coconut milk. The water and the cream from the can should have separated. The firm layer will be on top. Scoop out this firm layer coconut cream that has solidified at the top of the cans. Stop as soon as you reach the water at the bottom of the cans; don’t include anything but the solid cream. Place the cream, the vegan powdered sugar, and the vanilla in the bowl, mix with a hand mixer for about 2-3 minutes. In another bowl, mix the chopped strawberries with the vegan sugar.

To assemble:

Using 2-inch round cookie cutters, cut 12 mini cakes. Cut the mini cake in half horizontally. Place the bottom half in a plate, top the cake with strawberries, add whipped cream over the strawberries. Add the top half of the mini cake and repeat. Do the same for all 12 mini cakes and enjoy!

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