Looking for a lower-carb way to have dessert using those beautiful, seasonal strawberries? My strawberry shortcake recipe has no added sugar and no refined grains! Mini angel food cakes have been topped with juicy strawberries and a swirl of real whipped cream. Using Swerve instead of table sugar cuts carbs but not flavor. Enjoy this lower-calorie version of this popular summertime treat!
I’ve said this before, but I’m not really a fan of “better for you” versions of baked goods. I’d rather just have the occasional treat (using sugar, white flour, etc.) and thoroughly enjoy versus trying to satisfy the craving with a lackluster substitution.
There are a lot of talented bakers online sharing their tips and tricks. If you want a beautiful holiday dessert, I’d follow their advice versus that of a dietitian. I’m more about the nutrient-rich everyday meal ideas (with the occasional slow food recipe thrown in for fun).
All of that said, I get that some people want desserts that “fit” better into their daily meal plan. Since I had Swerve leftover from my adventure in making Dalgona coffee, I thought I’d try making strawberry shortcake. I knew I wanted to have strawberry shortcake on Mother’s Day, so why not?
I decided to substitute whole grain spelt flour for white flour and the sugar substitute Swerve for white sugar in the cake. If the experiment was a flop, I had sugar and white flour on hand to make classic strawberry shortcakes.
To be honest, the angel food cakes were a bit denser using spelt versus white flour. However, the family consensus was that the difference did not negatively impact the deliciousness overall. Since these passed the family taste test, I’m sharing them here.
What you need to make strawberry shortcake with no added sugar
Strawberry shortcake typically has three components:
- Angel food cake (or biscuits or another type of cake)
- Whipped cream
Angel food cake is a lower-calorie cake option since it is heavy on the egg whites and light on the flour. I used to use slabs of angel food cake for shortcake. Using mini bundt pans (“bundtlettes”) is a better way to control portion size, and you can fill the well with the strawberries.
I think that using the mini bundt pans makes for a nicer presentation too. Since angel food cake is so low in fat and relatively high in sugar, it sticks to pans very easily. You need to either butter/oil your pans well or get yourself some silicone mini bundt pans.
As mentioned in the cloud bread recipe, unpasteurized egg whites are the way to go when you want your egg whites to form peaks. Pasteurized egg whites (from a carton) do not whip up as well in my experience. Save your yolks for omelets or another recipe; please don’t throw them out!
I prefer the juicy, soft texture of frozen strawberries for this dessert. Fresh strawberries can be substituted if you would prefer.
Finally, everything gets topped with real whipped cream. I piped it on to be fancy, but feel free to spoon it on. It tastes great either way.
And now for the disclaimer…
All recipes on this website may or may not be appropriate for you, depending on your medical needs and personal preferences. Consult with a registered dietitian or your physician if you need help determining the dietary pattern that may be best for you.
The calorie information is an estimate provided as a courtesy. It will differ depending on the specific brands and ingredients that you use. Calorie information on food labels may be wildly inaccurate, so please don’t sweat the numbers too much.
For more information on how the three recipe levels may help with a weight management goal, refer to this post. Let’s get cooking!
Strawberry Shortcake with No Added Sugar
For the whipped cream:
- ½ c heavy whipping cream
- 2 T Swerve (Confectioners is best here but use granular Swerve if that is what you have)
For the strawberries:
- 2½ c frozen strawberries, partially thawed and sliced
- 1 T Swerve (I used granular Swerve)
To make the whipped cream:
- With an electric hand mixer, whip the heavy whipping cream and Swerve until thick and thoroughly combined, 2-3 minutes. Refrigerate until serving time.
To make the strwberries:
- Heat the strawberries and Swerve in a small pan on the stovetop until the strawberries warm and release some juice and the Swerve is fully incorporated. Chill until serving time.
To make the angel food cakes:
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. Mist four mini bundt pans very well with the cooking spray. (Using silicone mini bundt pans is a great move to help prevent sticking.)
- Put the egg whites in a medium-sized bowl. Beat them with an electric hand mixer until they become foamy. It will only take a few minutes.
- Add the salt, cream of tartar, and vanilla to the bowl and continue beating the egg whites until they form soft peaks.
- Gradually add the Swerve and spelt flour to the egg white mixture. Ensure they are thoroughly incorporated into the egg whites.
- Distribute the batter evenly between your four mini bundt pans.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes in your heated oven. When they are finished, a toothpick inserted into one of the cakes should come out clean.
- Allow your angel food cakes to come to room temperature before attempting to remove from the pans.
To assemble your strawberry shortcakes:
- Plate the angel food cakes. Fill each evenly with the strawberries and their juice (some will dribble over the sides; this is ok).
- Pipe or spoon the whipped cream on top. So yummy!
This is a level 3 recipe (weight maintenance and active lifestyles). Strawberry shortcake made with angel food cake is a pretty light option compared to other desserts involving cake. If the spelt flour here isn’t cutting it for you, using white flour won’t make a big difference calorie-wise. (You will lose out on a little bit of fiber though.) I used more of a low-fat approach during my weight loss journey. Substituting fat-free whipped topping for the whipped cream here will save you almost 100 calories per serving (and a lot of saturated fat). Though they helped me as a steppingstone, low-calorie whipped toppings definitely count as ultra-processed food. Whether products like that (or the Swerve in this recipe) are helpful to your health journey is ultimately up to you.
What type of cake (or biscuit) do you typically use in strawberry shortcake? By the way, if you’ve had enough of strawberries this week, don’t miss my next post! I’ve got a savory dish to share that you are not going to want to miss.