Can diabetics eat strawberry shortcake? This easy sugar free strawberry shortcake recipe is a better fit for low carb diet plans. Using Swerve instead of regular sugar makes this a low sugar strawberry shortcake recipe, without compromising on taste. You’ll love the beautiful presentation of this mini strawberry shortcake recipe that works in some portion control. Get tips on making low fat strawberry shortcake, as well as low calorie, dairy free, gluten free, and vegan options!
If strawberries aren’t in season yet, you’ll really enjoy this strawberry shortcake with frozen strawberries. Now we can enjoy this popular summertime treat on Mother’s Day, or anytime we can’t get seasonal strawberries.
Believe it or not, this is a healthier strawberry shortcake recipe. This diabetic friendly strawberry shortcake uses Swerve instead of table sugar to cut carbs but not flavor. Yes, there’s no added sugar at all here!
Of course, it’s not quite correct to call strawberry shortcake sugar free, since strawberries contain natural sugars. A true sugar free shortcake would also have to be strawberry free! So, it’s more accurate to call this strawberry shortcake low sugar.
You may notice that I’m using angel food cake in this recipe. So, is shortcake the same as angel food cake? The answer is no, classic strawberry shortcake is made with biscuits or pound cake, not angel food cake.
The reason I’m using angel food cake is that it is low fat and low calorie compared to traditional shortcake. Don’t worry though, these mini angel food cakes topped with juicy strawberries and a swirl of real whipped cream are still full of flavor!
- 📋 How much sugar in strawberry shortcake?
- 🥣 What is strawberry shortcake made of?
- 💪 Sugar Free Strawberry Shortcake Equipment
- 🔪 How to Make Sugar Free Strawberry Shortcake
- 🍓 Sugar Free Strawberry Shortcake Filling
- 🍰 Sugar Free Strawberry Shortcake Topping
- 🌡️ Leftovers
- 💭 Expert Tips from a Dietitian
- 👩🏻🍳 Other Sugar Free Recipes
- The Disclaimer…
- 📖 Recipe
- 💬 Comments
📋 How much sugar in strawberry shortcake?
According to Cronometer, one slice of strawberry shortcake contains 49 grams of sugar and 640 calories. However, this nutrition information can vary greatly depending on your portion size and how the recipe was made.
One medium strawberry only contains 4 calories and 0.6 grams of sugar. Most of the sugar in strawberry shortcake is coming from added sugar. (Refined flour and added fat also add a lot to the calorie count.)
This sugar free strawberry shortcake recipe is under 200 calories per serving with 4.8 grams of sugar. The minimal amount of sugar in this recipe is from the natural sugars in the strawberries, not white sugar.
🥣 What is strawberry shortcake made of?
Strawberry shortcake typically has three ingredients:
- Whipped cream
Angel food cake is a lower-calorie cake option to classic shortcake since it is heavy on the egg whites and light on the flour. I use mini pie tins to make portion-controlled individual strawberry shortcakes in this recipe.
Here are the ingredients you need for sugar free strawberry shortcake:
- Heavy whipping cream
- Confectioners Swerve
- Unsweetened frozen strawberries
- Granular Swerve
- Egg whites
- Pinch of salt
- Cream of tartar
- White flour
- Spelt flour
- Cooking oil spray
Specific quantities of ingredients are in the recipe card at the bottom of the post!
As mentioned in the cloud bread recipe, use unpasteurized egg whites to help 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!
A combination of whole grain spelt flour and white flour gives you a little extra fiber without an overly “healthy” taste. Using all whole grain flour makes the angel food cakes too dense, IMVHO. Going half and half helps us limit refined grains without sacrificing flavor.
I’m using the sugar substitute Swerve in this recipe. You can try substituting with another 1:1 sugar substitute, but make sure it is as sweet as white sugar (allulose sweeteners are generally not). Swerve is an erythritol (sugar alcohol) blend.
The juicy, soft texture of frozen strawberries is perfect for this dessert. You can use fresh strawberries for topping, if you wish. Try to find berries that are red throughout the berry; this indicates peak ripeness.
💪 Sugar Free Strawberry Shortcake Equipment
Here is the kitchen equipment you need for low sugar strawberry shortcakes:
- Egg separator
- Food scale
- Electric mixer
- Mini pie tins
If you want to get fancy, you could also use piping tips and a piping bag to swirl on the whipped cream. I chose to keep things simple by using a spoon.
An egg separator is a helpful tool to separate the egg whites from the egg yolks. Remember, you must use fresh eggs that are unpasteurized for this recipe.
Whenever you make baked goods, you should use a food scale to weigh dry ingredients. Using volume measures (cups, etc.) for items like flour can lead to inconsistent results. A food scale will help you make perfect strawberry shortcakes every time.
I used to make strawberry shortcake in mini bundt pans, but I no longer recommend it. The cakes are more likely to stick to the bumps in the pan.
🔪 How to Make Sugar Free Strawberry Shortcake
Preheat the oven to 325F (163C). Spray 5-6 mini pie tins with cooking spray. (The number filled will depend on how much your egg whites whip up.)
Separate the egg whites and put them in a large 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. They’ll increase a lot in volume, just like when you make meringues. (Watch the video in the recipe card to see what they should look like!)
Gradually add the granulated Swerve and flours to the egg white mixture using a hand mixer. Ensure they are thoroughly incorporated into the egg whites.
Distribute the batter evenly between your prepared mini pie tins. Put them on an oven rack about ⅓ down from the top of the oven. Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven.
When they are finished, a toothpick inserted into one of the cakes should come out clean. Allow the angel food cakes to come to room temperature before filling, topping, and serving.
🍓 Sugar Free Strawberry Shortcake Filling
To make sugar free strawberry shortcake filling, begin by chopping your frozen strawberries small. Place them in a small saucepan and stir in some Swerve granular.
Heat on the stovetop until the strawberries warm and release some juice and the Swerve is fully dissolved. Allow the mixture to chill until serving time.
🍰 Sugar Free Strawberry Shortcake Topping
To make homemade sugar free whipped cream for strawberry shortcakes, put heavy cream and Swerve confectioners in a clean bowl. With an electric hand mixer, beat until thick and thoroughly combined. It will take about 2-3 minutes.
Allow the whipped topping to chill in the fridge until serving time.
To serve, cut each shortcake in half widthwise. Top the bottom half of each cake with some of the sweetened strawberries. Place the top half of each cake on top, creating a “sandwich” of sorts.
Spoon some whipped topping on top of each strawberry shortcake. For additional color and flavor, I like to finish these desserts with chopped fresh strawberries. This is optional, but highly recommended if you can get fresh berries.
Strawberry shortcake is best made fresh and enjoyed the same day. Angel food cake tends to become stale quickly. If you have leftovers, wrap uncut cakes in plastic wrap and keep in the fridge for up to 1-2 days.
Don’t top your sugar free strawberry shortcakes until right before serving. Keep the cakes, strawberries, and whipped cream in separate containers in the fridge. The strawberries will make the angel food cake soggy if you top it too early.
I don’t recommend freezing this dessert. The texture of the homemade whipped cream does not hold up to freezing and thawing.
💭 Expert Tips from a Dietitian
This is a level 3 recipe (weight maintenance and active lifestyles). Full disclosure time- I’m not a huge fan of “better for you” versions of baked goods. I’d rather just have the occasional treat (using sugar, white flour, etc.) versus trying to satisfy the craving with substitutions. That said, I get that some people want desserts that “fit” better into their daily meal plan.
Strawberry shortcake made with angel food cake is a pretty light option compared to other desserts involving cake. Using all white flour instead of a mix of whole grain and refined flour won’t make a big difference calorie-wise. (You will lose out on a little bit of fiber though.)
Some things that these low sugar strawberry shortcakes have going for them is they’re portion-controlled with no added sugar. Using Swerve instead of regular sugar here saves you over 100 calories and 27 grams of sugar per serving. That’s a lot of sugar!
Each strawberry shortcake (if you yield six) is under 200 calories per serving. To make weight watcher strawberry shortcakes, I would substitute fat-free whipped topping for the real whipped cream. This low-fat swap saves 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 weight loss journey is ultimately up to you.
To make this a low-fat strawberry shortcake, simply substitute the homemade whipped cream for fat-free whipped topping. Angel food cake is a low fat alternative to biscuits or pound cake.
To make strawberry shortcake without eggs, use egg-free biscuits or pound cake in place of the angel food cake. Here is my favorite recipe for egg free sourdough biscuits that would be wonderful for strawberry shortcake.
To make strawberry shortcake dairy free, use almond milk whipped topping or coconut milk whipped cream in place of the homemade whipped cream. If you combine my tips for egg free and dairy free strawberry shortcake, you can have a vegan strawberry shortcake.
The sugar free shortcake topping and filling in this recipe are low carb, but the cake is not. For very low carb strawberry shortcake, use your favorite keto biscuit recipe in place of the angel food cake. There are some good keto shortcake recipes out there using almond flour or coconut flour.
To make strawberry shortcake gluten free, substitute the angel food cake in this recipe for your favorite gluten free biscuits or pound cake. Please note that these swaps may be much higher in fat and calories than using angel food cake.
Strawberries are a low carb fruit that should not have a big impact on blood sugar. If you are using a low carb diet for diabetes, strawberries are a fruit that aligns well with that plan.
👩🏻🍳 Other Sugar Free Recipes
Looking for more sugar free dessert recipes? I’ve got you! After you make healthy strawberry shortcake, check these out:
Please note that by “sugar free” I mean no added sugars. These recipes all contain natural sugars from dairy products and/or fruit.
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 nutrition 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 my overnight oats no sugar post. Let's get cooking!
Sugar Free Strawberry Shortcake (Diabetic Strawberry Shortcake)
For sugar-free shortcake:
For sugar-free strawberry shortcake filling:
- 2½ cups frozen strawberries, chopped small
- 12 grams Swerve, granular (about 1 tablespoon)
For sugar-free strawberry shortcake topping:
- ¾ cup heavy whipping cream
- 27 grams Swerve, confectioners (about 3 tablespoons)
- 3 cups fresh strawberries, chopped (optional, but recommended)
To make angel food cake shortcakes:
- Preheat the oven to 325°F (163°C). Spray 5-6 mini pie tins with cooking spray. (The number used will depend on how much your egg whites whip up.)
- 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. They’ll increase a lot in volume, just like when you make meringues. (Watch the video in the recipe card to see what they should look like!)
- Weigh the dry ingredients with a food scale. Gradually add the granulated Swerve and flours to the egg white mixture using a hand mixer. Ensure they are thoroughly incorporated into the egg whites.
- Distribute the batter evenly between your prepared mini pie tins. Put them on an oven rack about ⅓ down from the top of the oven. Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven.
- When they are finished, a toothpick inserted into one of the cakes should come out clean. Allow the angel food cakes to come to room temperature before filling, topping, and serving.
To make sugar free strawberry shortcake filling:
- Chop the frozen strawberries small. Place them in a small saucepan and stir in some Swerve granular.
- 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 dissolved. Chill until serving time.
To make sugar free strawberry shortcake topping:
- Put heavy cream and Swerve confectioners in a clean bowl. With an electric hand mixer, beat until thick and thoroughly combined. It will take about 2-3 minutes.
- Refrigerate until serving time.
To assemble strawberry shortcakes:
- Cut each shortcake in half widthwise. Top the bottom half of each cake with some of the sweetened strawberries. Place the top half of each cake on top, creating a “sandwich."
- Spoon some whipped topping on top of each strawberry shortcake. For additional color and flavor, I like to finish these desserts with chopped fresh strawberries. This is optional, but highly recommended if you can get fresh berries.