Dairy-Free Strawberry & Cream Parfaits


These dairy-free strawberry & cream parfaits are the perfect easy dessert or sweet afternoon treat to celebrate springtime.

Prep time:

45 mins

Cook time:

5 mins

Total time

60 mins

Dairy-Free Strawberry & Cream Parfaits

I originally came up with the idea for these strawberry and cream parfaits while dreaming up a Mother’s Day menu.

When I think about my mother and dessert, whipped cream ALWAYS comes to mind. No matter what the dessert, my mom adores anything with a generous dollop of homemade lightly sweetened whipped cream on the side. In fact, she’s been known to eat my homemade whipped cream with a spoon straight out of the Tupperware from the fridge. 

For this dessert, I wanted to evolve my mom’s love of whipped cream into something more elegant. These individual strawberry & cream parfaits are the result. They might sound simple, but these parfaits will blow your mind (and your tastebuds!). 

From the unexpected floral hit of coriander seeds in the strawberries to the ultra-rich, barely sweetened whipped creme fraiche to the crunchiness of the dukkah, these parfaits deliver on all fronts. 

Plus, they’re the perfect dessert for a dinner party: easy & quick to make, light and refreshing after all the savory courses, and able to be mostly made ahead of time. If a dinner party sounds right up your alley, consider making my full 3-course Seasonal Spring Menu. These parfaits are the third course!

This image shows a side-view of two glasses of strawberry & cream parfait. The glasses sit on a wooden tray on top of a bright pink cloth against a white background.

Ingredient Highlights in these Dairy-Free Strawberry & Cream Parfaits

This dessert is essentially an amped-up, fancified version of strawberries and cream, so the strawberries really matter here. Use in-season, sweet, ripe strawberries for this recipe.

For the cream part, it’s important to use canned full-fat coconut milk and refrigerate it overnight. Better yet, stick two cans in the fridge so you have a backup, as the quantity of cream differs between cans, even of the same brand. When you open the can to scoop out the cream, the cream should be fairly hard and solid and the coconut water should have separated on the bottom.

Any plain cream cheese will work for this recipe as long as it’s tangy. There are a few dairy-free cream cheese brands that taste on the sweeter side, skip these as they won’t give you the creme fraiche flavor we’re after. My personal favorite is the plain cream cheese from Miyoko’s. It’s cashew based, traditionally cultured, with minimal ingredients.

I realize that using vanilla beans in a recipe might seem unnecessary. While you can make the creme fraiche with vanilla extract instead, vanilla beans provide an extra layer of vanilla flavor that cannot be achieved with extract. It’s like the difference between a really amazing vanilla ice cream where you can see the vanilla bean seeds vs a standard vanilla ice cream made with extract that’s bland and boring.

If you aren’t familiar with dukkah, it’s a Middle Eastern seed, nut, and spice mix that usually features cumin, coriander, and sesame seeds, hazelnuts, and, often, rose petals. It’s one of my favorite ways to level up a simple hummus bowl and tastes delicious on just about any savory dish from that region of the world. In this recipe, we’re making a sweet dukkah that leaves out the cumin and coriander seeds in favor of cardamom and dark chocolate. Dukkah is very adaptable, so feel free to substitute specific ingredients with what you have in your kitchen.

This is an overhead image of two glasses of of strawberry & cream parfaits with a hand scooping up some of the cream. The parfaits sit on a wood tray with a bright pink cloth underneath on a white background.

Time-Saving Tips for the Busy Cook:

Because the strawberries are more or less raw in this recipe, they don’t do well when exposed to cold refrigerator air. So these parfaits are best assembled right before serving.

To save time, however, you can make all the components ahead of time and store them separately. Whip the creme fraiche, macerate the strawberries, and make the sweet dukkah the day before. Make sure to store the strawberries in an airtight container so they stay fresh. Then just assemble the parfaits the day of.

This is an overhead image of two glasses of of strawberry & cream parfaits. The parfaits sit on a wood tray with a bright pink cloth underneath on a white background.

These dairy-free strawberry and cream parfaits are the perfect light dessert or sweet afternoon snack. Make them when strawberries are at their best for a true celebration of the season!

If you try this recipe, I’d love to know! Tag me on Instagram or Facebook @plantssogood with your photos and feel free to send me a DM with any questions about the recipe!

Dairy-Free Strawberry & Cream Parfaits

These dairy-free strawberry & cream parfaits are the perfect easy dessert or sweet afternoon treat to celebrate springtime.

Dairy-Free Strawberry & Cream Parfaits

Prep time:

45 mins

Cook time:

5 mins

Total time:

60 mins




For the strawberries

  • 1 pound strawberries, cored

  • 3/4 teaspoon whole coriander seeds

  • 1 ½ tablespoons natural cane sugar

  • Zest from ½ organic lemon + a squeeze of the juice

  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme

For the créme fraiche

  • 1 cup (225 g) cold coconut cream, refrigerated overnight

  • 3 tablespoons cold cashewmilk cream cheese

  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup

  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped

For the dukkah

  • 1 oz high-quality dark chocolate, chopped

  • ½ cup raw hazelnuts

  • 1/4 cup hulled sesame seeds or chopped pistachios

  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds

  • 2 tablespoons dried rose petals

  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom

  • 1 teaspoon flaky sea salt


  1. First, put the bowl and blade of your food processor in the freezer, you need it nice and cold to make the crème fraiche.

  2. Core & quarter the strawberries and add them to a medium-sized bowl.

  3. Add the cane sugar & coriander seeds to a mortar and use the pestle to grind the seeds into the sugar until you have a rough powder. Alternatively, you could pulse the sugar mixture in a spice grinder a few times. Add the lemon zest and grind/pulse another few times to release the oils.

  4. Add the coriander sugar and fresh thyme leaves to the bowl with the strawberries and mix to coat the berries. Set this aside while you make the crème fraiche.

  5. Remove the food processor from the freezer and add the cold coconut milk (just use the solid part from the can) and cream cheese. Process the cream for several minutes, pausing to scrape down the sides, until soft peaks form. Be careful not to over process or the coconut milk will separate.

  6. Add in the maple syrup and vanilla bean seeds and pulse a few more times until combined. Transfer this crème fraiche to an airtight container and store it in the fridge until you’re ready to assemble the parfaits.

  7. Last, make the sweet dukkah. Toast the nuts in a 325°F/160°C oven or toaster oven for 10 minutes. Check every few minutes after 6 minutes to ensure they don’t burn. If using sesame seeds, toast them in a hot skillet over medium heat, stirring often, until golden.

  8. Allow the nuts and seeds to cool completely, otherwise, you’ll melt the chocolate. Then add everything to a small bowl and toss to combine.

  9. To assemble the parfaits, add a generous spoonful of strawberries to the bottom of four small glasses. Follow with a dollop of crème fraiche and a good sprinkle of sweet dukkah. Repeat the layers another two times. Top the parfaits with a mint leaf or a sprig of thyme and serve.


Save the empty vanilla bean and reuse it in another recipe. Add it to fruit compote, rice pudding, or custard as it cooks for a delicious vanilla flavor. Or, put it in a jar and cover with sugar. Leave the sugar for a few months to take on the vanilla flavor.

Meet Fiona

Meet Fiona

Hi, I'm Fiona

Founder of Plants So Good.

I love to help people eat more plants in a delicious and satisfying way, feel amazing, and live a life in which they can truly thrive!

Plants So Good is where I combine my passion for helping people with my education in plant-based cooking and holistic nutrition to bring you personalized cooking classes, special event catering, and one-on-one nutrition coaching.

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