Gluten-Free Strawberry Shortcake with Cottage Cheese

Make my Gluten-Free Strawberry Shortcake with Cottage Cheese Recipe for a healthier and delicious twist made higher in protein with cottage cheese and lower in sugar with maple syrup and all-natural ingredients. The light and spongy almond vanilla shortcake mini-cakes are topped with cottage cheese whipped cream, fresh strawberry compote, and freshly sliced strawberries.

Strawberry shortcake mini-cake on a white plate.

Make my Gluten-Free Strawberry Shortcake with Cottage Cheese Recipe for a healthier and delicious twist on classic strawberry shortcake. I’ve made it higher in protein with cottage cheese and lower in sugar with maple syrup and all-natural ingredients. The light and spongy almond vanilla shortcake is baked in a sheet pan and can be cut into mini-cakes or served as a layer cake or in a trifle dish. Then it’s topped with cottage cheese whipped cream, fresh strawberry compote, and freshly sliced strawberries.

The best part is this healthy dessert can reduce your sugar intake when you’re craving a sweet treat with juicy strawberries. If this is your first time making strawberry shortcake, you’ll love this gluten-free recipe with simple ingredients found at your local grocery store. This is the perfect dessert for a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner, Easter holiday, July 4th celebration, happy birthday or any special occasion.

YouTube video

Why You’ll Love This Almond Flour Strawberry Shortcake Mini-Cake Recipe

  • You only need a few major ingredients.
  • It is super easy to make for an impressive result.
  • The flavor-rich ingredients make it taste amazing!
  • All the ingredients are easily digestible for a gentle tummy.
Strawberry shortcake mini-cake on a white plate.

Ingredients & Substitutions

Here is everything you need to make gluten-free strawberry shortcake:

Almond Flour: This recipe works best with almond flour for the texture and flavor. You can substitute up to half of the almond flour with oat flour for an earthier flavor.

Tapioca Flour: This is also known as tapioca starch and can be swapped with arrowroot flour, potato starch, or cornstarch.

Maple Syrup: Substitute with honey, agave nectar, or date syrup for natural sweetness.

Organic Cane Sugar: You can use a granulated sugar substitute like coconut sugar or monk fruit sweetener.

Light Olive Oil: Replace with melted coconut oil, melted butter, or another mild-flavored oil.

Cottage Cheese: I prefer full-fat cottage cheese but you can use low-fat cottage cheese if you like. Opt for a dairy-free alternative like coconut or almond milk yogurt for a dairy-free version. You can replace cottage cheese with greek yogurt or sour cream for a different flavor.

Organic Powdered Sugar: Use a sugar substitute like powdered erythritol or powdered monk fruit for a lower-calorie option.

Whipped Cream: If you’re avoiding dairy, use coconut whipped cream or another non-dairy whipped topping. You can use store bought or homemade whipped cream.

Pure Vanilla Extract: You can use artificial vanilla extract instead.

Almond Extract: You can omit.

Lemon Juice: Substitute with lime juice or orange juice for a citrusy twist.

Strawberry shortcake mini-cake on a white plate.

How to Make My Cottage Cheese Strawberry Shortcake Recipe

Step 1: Blend the Cottage Cheese

Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and grease a 9×13″ cake pan or 10×15″ jelly roll baking sheet pan and trim a piece of parchment paper to line the bottom.

Blend 1-1/2 cups of cottage cheese in a high-powered blender or the chopper cup with an immersion blender until it’s smooth and creamy. You’ll use 1/2 cup in the cake and 1 cup in the cream.

Cottage cheese in the chopper cup of an immersion blender.

Step 2: Make the Vanilla Almond Shortcake

In a large bowl with a stand mixer, handheld mixer, mix together eggs, cottage cheese, light olive oil, organic cane sugar, vanilla extract, lemon juice, almond extract, and maple syrup until well combined.

Then, add the dry ingredients, including almond flour, tapioca flour, baking powder, and salt. Gently mix until a smooth batter forms.

Pour the batter into the prepared sheet pan and spread it evenly.

Bake in the preheated oven for 28-32 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Allow the shortcake to cool completely before cutting it into mini-cakes or layers.

Vanilla almond shortcake batter in a bowl.
Spreading vanilla almond shortcake batter in a pan.

Step 3: Make the Cottage Cheese Whipped Cream

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the cottage cheese, organic powdered sugar, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt. Whisk until well combined.

Gently fold the whipped cream into the cottage cheese mixture until smooth and creamy. (See Recipe Notes for whipped heavy cream instructions if making from scratch) Place the bowl in the fridge to set.

Mixing cranberries into muffin batter.

Step 4: Make the Strawberry Compote

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine sliced strawberries, maple syrup, vanilla extract, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt.

Bring to a simmer and stir occasionally and cook until the strawberries break down, and the mixture thickens, about 5-10 minutes.

Remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature. You can leave it slightly chunky or blend it smooth in your blender or chopper cup.

Stirring strawberry sauce in a saucepan.
Mixing strawberry compote in a chopper cup.

Step 4: Assemble the Strawberry Shortcakes

Place almond vanilla mini shortcake on a small plate.
Spread a layer of strawberry compote over the shortcake layer.
Drop a dollop of cottage cheese whipped cream over the strawberry layer.
Add a few sliced strawberries on top of the cream.
Repeat all three four layers.
Serve immediately or store in the fridge until ready to serve.

Cutting out shortcake mini cakes.
Strawberry shortcake mini-cake on a white plate.

Almond Flour Strawberry Shortcake Recipe Notes

Sweetness Level: Adjust the sweetness of the shortcake, whipped cream, and strawberry sauce to your liking. Taste the batter and cream before baking or assembling, and add more sweetener if desired.

Texture of Cottage Cheese: Blending the cottage cheese first to remove the curdled texture is optional and based on your preference. But for best results, blending it first helps it mix in with the whipped cream.

Homemade Whipped Cream: Add 1 cup heavy whipping cream, 1 tablespoon maple syrup, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon tapioca flour, and a pinch of salt to a small bowl and whip until stiff peaks form.

Frozen Strawberries: If using frozen strawberries, you can thaw them first to reduce the cooking time. Adjust the amount of lemon juice and maple syrup (sweetener) to meet your taste preference.

Shortcake Layers: I like to pour the sauce on top of each cake layer so the sauce can soak into the cake and drip down the sides.

Assembly Options: This recipe can be made as a single-layer cake, double-layer cake, trifle, mini-cakes, or cupcakes based on the baking dish you use. Simply adjust the cooking time and bake the cake until a toothpick comes out clean and the top of the cake begins to turn a light golden brown.

Assembled Shortcake: Store any assembled shortcake in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Consume each individual portion within 2-3 days for the best taste and texture.

Components (Shortcake, Whipped Cream, Compote): Store each component separately in airtight containers in the fridge or freezer. Allow to thaw and assemble immediately before serving.

Layered Cake: If you’ve assembled a layered cake, cover it with plastic wrap or place it in a cake container in the fridge.

Can I replace cottage cheese with a dairy-free alternative?
Absolutely! Use plant-based alternatives like almond or coconut milk yogurt instead of cottage cheese for a dairy-free option.

How can I make this recipe vegan?
Replace eggs with flax eggs or a commercial egg replacer. Use dairy-free substitutes for cottage cheese and whipped cream.

Can I prepare the components in advance?
Yes, you can make the almond vanilla shortcake, cottage cheese whipped cream, and strawberry compote a day in advance. Assemble the dessert just before serving.

Can I freeze the gluten-free strawberry shortcake?
Yes, you can freeze individual slices or the entire assembled cake. Wrap each component separately before freezing and thaw in the refrigerator before serving.

What’s the best way to cut the shortcake into mini-cakes or layers?
Allow the shortcake to cool completely before using a sharp knife or cookie or biscuit cutters to cut it into desired shapes. For clean cuts, you can chill the shortcake in the refrigerator before slicing.

Can I use frozen strawberries for the compote?
Yes, frozen strawberries can be used. Thaw them first and adjust sweetness based on the natural sweetness of the berries.

Can I make this recipe ahead for a special occasion?
Absolutely! Prepare the components in advance and assemble the gluten-free strawberry shortcake just before serving with the fresh berries for a convenient and delicious dessert.

Strawberry shortcake mini-cake on a white plate.

Gluten-Free Strawberry Shortcake with Cottage Cheese Recipe

Gluten-Free diet-friendly recipe
Make my Gluten-Free Strawberry Shortcake with Cottage Cheese Recipe for a healthier and delicious twist made higher in protein with cottage cheese and lower in sugar with maple syrup and all-natural ingredients. The light and spongy almond vanilla shortcake mini-cakes are topped with cottage cheese whipped cream, fresh strawberry compote, and freshly sliced strawberries.
5 from 7 votes
Servings 16
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes

Ingredients
  

Almond Vanilla Shortcake:

  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese
  • 1/4 cup light olive oil
  • 1/2 cup organic cane sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1/4 cup tapioca flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 lb fresh strawberries

Cottage Cheese Whipped Cream:

  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup organic powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • pinch salt
  • 1 cup whipped cream

Strawberry Compote:

  • 2 cups sliced strawberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 dashes salt

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and grease a 9×13" cake pan or 10×15" jelly roll baking sheet pan and trim a piece of parchment paper to line the bottom.
    Blend 1-1/2 cups of cottage cheese in a high-powered blender or the chopper cup with an immersion blender until it's smooth and creamy. You'll use 1/2 cup in the cake and 1 cup in the cream.

Almond Vanilla Shortcake:

  • In a large bowl with a stand mixer or handheld mixer, mix together eggs, cottage cheese, light olive oil, organic cane sugar, vanilla extract, lemon juice, almond extract, and maple syrup until well combined.
    Then, add the dry ingredients, including almond flour, tapioca flour, baking powder, and salt. Gently mix until a smooth batter forms.
    Pour the batter into the prepared sheet pan and spread it evenly.
    Bake in the oven for 28-32 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
    Allow the shortcake to cool completely before cutting it into mini-cakes or layers.

Cottage Cheese Whipped Cream:

  • In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the cottage cheese, organic powdered sugar, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt. Whisk until well combined.
    Gently fold the whipped cream into the cottage cheese mixture until smooth and creamy. (See Recipe Notes for my homemade version) Place the bowl in the fridge to set.

Strawberry Compote:

  • In a saucepan over medium heat, combine sliced strawberries, maple syrup, vanilla extract, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt.
    Bring to a simmer and stir occasionally and cook until the strawberries break down, and the mixture thickens, about 5-10 minutes.
    Remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature. You can leave it slightly chunky or blend it smooth in your blender or chopper cup.
  • Assemble the Shortcakes:
    Place almond vanilla mini shortcake on a small plate.
    Spread a layer of strawberry compote over the shortcake layer.
    Drop a dollop of cottage cheese whipped cream over the strawberry layer.
    Add a few sliced strawberries on top of the cream.
    Repeat all three four layers.
    Serve immediately or store in the fridge until ready to serve.

Video

YouTube video

Notes

Sweetness Level: Adjust the sweetness of the shortcake, whipped cream, and strawberry sauce to your liking. Taste the batter and cream before baking or assembling, and add more sweetener if desired.
Texture of Cottage Cheese: Blending the cottage cheese first to remove the curdled texture is optional and based on your preference. But for best results, blending it first helps it mix in with the whipped cream.
Homemade Whipped Cream: Add 1 cup heavy whipping cream, 1 tablespoon maple syrup, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon tapioca flour, and a pinch of salt to a small bowl and whip until stiff peaks form.
Frozen Strawberries: If using frozen strawberries, you can thaw them first to reduce the cooking time. Adjust the amount of lemon juice and maple syrup (sweetener) to meet your taste preference.
Shortcake Layers: I like to pour the sauce on top of each cake layer so the sauce can soak into the cake and drip down the sides.
Assembly Options: This recipe can be made as a single-layer cake, double-layer cake, trifle, mini-cakes, or cupcakes based on the baking dish you use. Adjust the cooking time and bake the cake until a toothpick comes out clean and the top of the cake begins to turn a light golden brown.

Nutrition

Calories: 224kcalCarbohydrates: 21gProtein: 7gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.004gCholesterol: 47mgSodium: 253mgPotassium: 110mgFiber: 2gSugar: 15gVitamin A: 117IUVitamin C: 22mgCalcium: 95mgIron: 1mg
Keyword cottage cheese, strawberry compote, strawberry sauce, strawberry shortcake
Did you make this recipe?Please let me know in the comments below how it turned out 🙂

Responses

  1. Jennie Avatar
    Jennie

    5 stars
    I would never have guessed cottage cheese was in the whipping cream…and my family still doesn’t know 😉 Definitely going to use that whipping cream trick in a few other recipes, too!

    1. Nicole Bonilla Avatar
      Nicole Bonilla

      Thank you, Jennie!! Your secret is safe with me 🙂

  2. Samantha Avatar
    Samantha

    5 stars
    This was delicious!!! I’ve been looking for a light and fluffy gluten free shortcake and I’ve finally found it! Thank you for a wonderful recipe!!!

    1. Nicole Bonilla Avatar
      Nicole Bonilla

      You’re welcome Samantha! I’m so glad you like the recipe. Thank you for sharing this with me 🙂

  3. Dave Avatar
    Dave

    5 stars
    easy to make, guilt free dessert, wife loved it

    1. Nicole Bonilla Avatar
      Nicole Bonilla

      Thank you Dave! That was so nice of you to make it for her 🙂

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6 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I would never have guessed cottage cheese was in the whipping cream…and my family still doesn’t know 😉 Definitely going to use that whipping cream trick in a few other recipes, too!

  2. 5 stars
    This was delicious!!! I’ve been looking for a light and fluffy gluten free shortcake and I’ve finally found it! Thank you for a wonderful recipe!!!

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