strawberry shortcake

I will happily eat strawberries plain, but my second favorite way to enjoy these seasonal beauties is in a strawberry shortcake. But what if you are following the paleo autoimmune protocol (AIP)? This year I was determined to create a gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free, dairy-free, and egg-free version of this summer treat that still had a tender flaky shortcake and luscious cream. Sounds impossible, right? No way… it took a bit of tinkering but I am happy to report that my efforts were a success!

I knew I could easily replace the usual whipped cream topping with whipped coconut creme, but I struggled to create a biscuit-like base that would hold up to the fresh strawberries and provide a combination of tenderness and density so that your fork meets just the right amount of resistance and yet melts in your mouth. Flavor was important too as I wanted it to be mostly savory, with just a hint of sweetness.

I tried different combinations of flours (coconut, tapioca, arrowroot) and egg substitutes (gelatin, banana) and rejected all of them. I was just about to give up when inspiration struck!

cassava flour

Cassava flour!! No, it is not the same thing as tapioca flour, regardless of what Google seems to want you to believe. Cassava flour is made from the whole cassava root: peeled, dried, and ground. It makes a fantastic substitute for wheat flour in baked goods and is quickly becoming my favorite gluten-free flour alternative. So far, I’ve used it to make both sweet treats like gingersnaps and savory dishes like my AIP-friendly fried fish. Unfortunately, you probably won’t be able to find cassava flour at your local grocery store. You can order online directly from the Otto’s Natural (that’s the brand I used to create and test this recipe – I have heard that the quality of other flours can vary widely so I only recommend this brand).

One of the things I like best about cassava flour when it comes to creating paleo autoimmune protocol recipes is that it seems to have qualities that help hold the baked good together without eggs or even an egg substitute. I ended up not using anything in this biscuit-like shortcake and was very happy with how well the cakes held together but still had a nice tender crumbliness to them.

Notes on healing diets:

Paleo Strawberry Shortcake Recipe (AIP):

AIP Strawberry Shortcake
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 3-6 servings
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free, dairy-free, and egg-free... This strawberry shortcake is appropriate for the paleo autoimmune protocol and could even be made vegan.
  • 1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and cut into quarters
  • 1 teaspoon honey (for vegan use maple syrup)
  • 1 13.5 ounce can coconut milk - placed in refrigerator overnight.
  • 1 cup cassava flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ⅓ cup cold lard (for vegan use palm shortening)
  • 2 tablespoons honey (for vegan use maple syrup)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper of silicone baking mat.
  2. Place strawberries in a small bowl and toss with teaspoon honey. Set aside and allow the fruit to macerate and release some of its juices.
  3. Take coconut milk out of refrigerator and open. Separate the cream that will have risen to the top from the liquid below. Set the watery liquid aside and whip the cold cream using an electric mixer until thick. This should take about 5 minutes and will only work if the coconut cream is very cold.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together cassava flour, baking soda, and salt.
  5. Using a pastry blender or two forks, cut in the cold lard so that it is distributed evenly.
  6. Add the two tablespoons honey to the flour and lard mixture. Measure out ⅓ cup of the remaining liquid from the coconut milk and add to the mixture. Mix until the dough comes together.
  7. Divide the dough into six equal portions and shape into rough biscuits.
  8. Place on baking sheet and bake 12-15 minutes, or until lightly browned on top.
  9. Allow shortcakes to cool, then assemble strawberry shortcakes using one or two biscuits as base, then layer strawberries and whipped coconut creme.


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strawberry shortcake 2


Shared on Paleo AIP Recipe Roundtable.

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