Strawberry Shortcake in a Jar is a yummy, crowd-pleasing dessert for spring and summer. It features a sweet vanilla cake that's layered with fresh strawberries and fluffy whipped cream. We also like to add a spoonful of strawberry jam in there too, so this dessert is truly bursting with strawberry flavor!
This recipe is vegan and gluten-free, so everyone can enjoy it. Assembling the vegan strawberry shortcake into jars makes for cute and portable mini-desserts. You don't need to go out and buy fancy jars to make this — you can simply reuse empty jam jars! This recipe is great as a make-ahead dessert for Mother's Day or spring gatherings. It's also delicious for summer picnics outside.
Why you'll love this recipe
- Portable: This dessert is assembled in small jars, which makes for easy and fuss-free transportation. If you're bringing dessert over to someone else's place, you don't have to worry about messing up a cake's icing or figuring out how to put a bubbling hot pie in the car (...speaking from personal experience here😂).
- Make ahead friendly: Feel free to make this vegan strawberry shortcake in a jar the day before! It keeps well in the fridge.
- No specialty vegan / gluten-free ingredients needed: You won't any expensive gluten-free flour blends, xanthan gum, or vegan egg substitutes. The cake batter is made in a blender, primarily with oats and rice flour. It's really easy to make!
These ingredients are everything you need to make Vegan Strawberry Shortcake in a Jar — including the homemade gluten-free cake and strawberry chia jam.
- Fresh Strawberries: Choose the freshest, juiciest strawberries you can find! If your strawberries aren't super sweet, you may wish to add a bit more sugar to the chia jam. You could substitute frozen berries for the jam component, but use fresh ones for layering in the jar (frozen ones could make it soggy).
- Coconut Whipped Cream: You can use store-bought or homemade. If you prefer less coconut flavor, opt for store-bought Coconut Whipped Topping. Homemade coconut whipped cream (made from a can of coconut milk) is delicious and typically more luscious in texture, but it does taste more coconut-forward. Alternatively you could use another vegan or dairy-based whipped cream.
How to make (step-by-step photos)
For a garnish, you could sprinkle coconut flakes on top of the strawberry shortcake — but this step is entirely optional!
When to serve strawberry shortcake:
Fresh strawberries are at their peak in the spring and summer, despite being sold in grocery stores year round. Here are some occasions to serve this delicious vegan strawberry shortcake in a jar:
- Easter: Celebrate early spring with these cute festive desserts.
- Mother's Day: Assemble the day before and surprise mom with a thoughtful homemade treat!
- Summer picnics: Pack jars and spoons into a picnic basket for a tasty, portable dessert.
- Outdoor barbecues and dinners al fresco: This casual, fuss-free dessert is perfect to bring over to friends' barbecues and dinners outdoors.
If you have extra fresh strawberries, use them to make Vegan Cheesecake with Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce!
Other easy spring and summer recipes to try:
- Vegetarian Lentil Nicoise Salad
- Grilled Potato Salad
- Mediterranean Tortellini with Pesto
- Lemon and Dill Chickpea Sandwich
- Greek Yogurt Onion Dip with Crispy Shallots
Frequently asked questions
Yes, you could use another type of vegan whipped cream if you prefer. Or, you can substitute it with regular (dairy-based) whipped cream. For a lighter twist, you could try using a vanilla Greek yogurt instead!
Yes, once assembled, you should refrigerate it to keep the whipped cream fresh. We usually serve it straight from the fridge. But if you don't want the vegan strawberry shortcake in a jar to be cold when eating, take it out 30 mins to an hour before serving.
We recommend enjoying this dessert within 2 to 3 days after making it.
Vegan Strawberry Shortcake in a Jar
- 1 cup rolled oats
- ½ cup + 2 tablespoons cane sugar
- ½ cup + 2 tablespoons full-fat coconut milk (from can, at room temperature, see note 1)
- ½ cup brown rice flour
- ⅓ cup coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
Fresh Strawberries and Jam
- 1 lb fresh strawberries, divided (hulled)
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- 1 teaspoon cane sugar (more as needed)
- 4 teaspoons chia seeds
- Coconut whipped cream (about 1½ cups, see note 2)
- Coconut flakes (for garnish, optional)
- Preheat: Preheat oven to 300°F (150°C). Line 1 (8 x 8-inch) baking pan with parchment. Set aside 6 small jars or cups (about ¾ cup capacity each).
- Blend cake batter: Add oats to a blender, then blend into a fine powder. Add sugar, coconut cream, rice flour, coconut oil, cornstarch, baking powder, vanilla, and salt. Blend until mixture is smooth, about 1 minute, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed. (This mixture will be thick but pourable).
- Bake cake: Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake until edges are light golden and a cake tester comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool completely. (If the cake cracks slightly on top, this is fine).
- Chop strawberries: Meanwhile, chop 1 cup of the strawberries. Set aside.
- Make jam: Add the remaining (unchopped) strawberries, orange juice, and sugar to a clean blender. Blend until completely smooth. Pour into a small bowl. Taste and add more sugar if needed. Whisk in chia seeds. Cover and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes, to thicken.
- Cut cake: Use the mouth of one of the jars to cut out 6 circles of cake (if you can't get 6 whole circles, supplement by cutting out semi-circles from the edges to make a full circle). Crumble the remaining cake with your fingers.
- Assemble: Divide crumbled cake into the bottom of the jars. Spoon some whipped cream on top (2 to 3 tablespoons each), then sprinkle with chopped strawberries. Top each with one circle of cake (or two semi-circles). If the cake breaks when putting it into the jar, don't worry, just press it down and continue. Add jam (2 to 3 tablespoons each), and a bit more whipped cream (1 to 2 tablespoons). Garnish with remaining strawberries and coconut flakes (if using). Enjoy immediately or cover and refrigerate.
- Full-fat coconut milk: Stir well to combine before measuring. You could use canned coconut cream, but do not substitute light coconut milk.
- Coconut whipped: Use store-bought coconut whipped topping for less coconut-forward taste. Or make homemade coconut whipped cream or use another vegan alternative. You could use dairy-based whipped cream instead. If you'd like to make your own coconut whipped cream, refrigerate 1 (14 fl oz/398 ml) can of full-fat coconut milk or cream for 24 hours or longer. Then, scoop out the white coconut solids (at the top of the can), into a large bowl, add 1 tablespoon sugar and ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract. Use electric beaters to whip until smooth and fluffy.
- Measuring by weight: For the most reliable results, we recommend measuring by weight when baking. Ingredient weights are provided in metric. If you must go by volume (measuring cups), make sure to fluff, spoon, and level the flour to avoid adding too much.
- Nutrition estimate based on store-bought coconut whipped topping.
Recipe originally published May 9, 2018, and updated April 19, 2022.
What size cake pan are using?
Hi Sarah! The baking pan size is listed in step 1: if you're making a single (1x) batch, you'll need one 8-inch square pan. If you're scaling up the recipe (2x), then step 1 will automatically update to remind you to use two 8-inch square pans. Hope this helps!
Just wondering would I be able to sub brown rice flour with spelt flour? Or any other types of flour?
Hi there! Great question! Baking (especially gluten free baking) is a bit finicky when it comes to wet-dry ratio. I haven't tested it with any other flours besides what's in the recipe. You could definitely give it a go by trying to sub the gf rice flour with spelt but I can't promise it'll turn out! If brown rice flour isn't your thing, regular rice flour would be a simple 1-1 sub.