Sometimes, you just want a specific cake.
Ever since I’ve had delicious Japanese-style strawberry shortcake, I’ve been on a mission to recreate it in my own kitchen.
Although it’s been a while since I’ve had a traditional cake made with eggs, I can still remember the springy and light texture that I enjoyed so much. I loved how the cake was not too heavy. This type of cake is a variety called castella cake, which is of a Portuguese origin. Sponge cakes are difficult to recreate into a vegan and gluten-free variety because they usually call for a lot of eggs or egg whites for volume. But, somehow, some way, I’ve formulated a recipe that yields a light and springy (but more delicate) sponge cake that is free of egg, dairy and gluten! This recipe was a bit of a work in progress so I made it a few times. I’ll share the cupcake version as well as the full-on cake version!
I decided to share this recipe as a matcha (green tea) flavor since I wanted to drive home the Japanese theme. The cake can be made into a vanilla flavor by omitting the matcha powder and adding in some vanilla extract. Easy, right? =)
The strawberry shortcake that I loved so much was made with heavy whipped cream. I used to love and hate whipped cream before I became vegan. I loved the way it tasted and I loved how it was less sweet than buttercream, but I hated how I felt after I ate it. I felt borderline sick after consuming whipped cream. I also felt this way after eating eggs sometimes…you can see why I’ve chosen to eat the way I do!
If coconuts didn’t exist, I don’t know what I would do. Coconuts have allowed me to enjoy whipped cream again without the sick feeling (or the guilty feeling for that matter!). I’m sure it is now almost common knowledge that coconut cream can be a wonderful substitute for whipped cream in any situation (unless it’s super hot out). If you aren’t familiar with how to make coconut whipped cream, please head on over to this page and read all about it! It’s the easiest thing in the world…and it tastes way better than traditional heavy cream, at least I think so. 😉
I recommend using ripe organic strawberries for this recipe. It’s the end of the summer season, so the strawberries are still beautiful by me! If you want to make this cake in the winter and eat seasonally, maybe use some fruit preserves or serve with a custard filling instead. This is a great cake base for all types of flavors and ingredients, so play around!
(I just realized that these cakes look really Christmas-y because of the green, red, and white…whoops!) ^_^’
Green Tea Strawberry Shortcake
- 12 regular cupcakes, or:
- 6 jumbo muffins
- 1-6″ round cake (plus a little extra; make a smash cake!)
- 2/3 cup Gluten-free All-Purpose flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill)
- 1/3 cup + 2 Tb millet flour
- 1/3 cup tapioca flour/starch
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 3 tsp Ener-G egg replacer powder
- 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
- 2 Tb matcha powder
- 1/2 cup vegan sugar/coconut sugar*
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup non-dairy milk (something with fat is best)
- 1/3 cup oil (I recommend melted coconut oil or sunflower/safflower oil)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla/almond extract, optional
- fresh strawberries, for garnish/filling (opt.)
- coconut whipped cream, about 1 1/2 cups
* coconut sugar will change the flavor of the cake a little to something more reminiscent of caramel; I wanted a neutral sweetness so I used Florida Crystals
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- Mix all wet ingredients together in a large batter bowl. Let the mixture sit for a couple of minutes so the milk curdles.
- Sift** the dry ingredients into the bowl with the wet ingredients. Stir to combine with a heavy whisk or rubber spatula.
- Pour smooth batter into oiled cake pan/lined muffin tin and place in oven.
- Bake for about 22-25 minutes or until a tester comes out clean when inserted into the center of the cake(s). These cakes rise quite a bit so fill the tin or pan only until the halfway point!
- Let cool thoroughly before topping with whipped cream.