Happy Valentine’s Day! Well, Happy (almost) Valentine’s Day! (Or Galentine’s Day, or Singles Awareness Day, or whatever other name you have for February 14th!)
With the day o’ love coming up I decided to do a Valentine’s-inspired recipe this week. When I think of Valentine’s day, the first thing that comes to mind is that I’m single but, once I stop crying, the next thing, or rather things, that comes to mind are strawberries. Who doesn’t love a good fresh strawberry? I know I could eat them, and have eaten them, by the pint. Oh who am I kidding, I’ve eaten them by the pound before. #StrawberrySkank
So with strawberries in mind I decided to come up with a recipe for fresh and from scratch strawberry cupcakes with a strawberry “buttercream” frosting to go on top. Why did I take the time to let you know that they are not only fresh but also from scratch? Because 9 out of 10 strawberry cupcake/cake recipes you find out there are not fresh or from scratch. Most ask you to plop in some strawberry gelatin dessert mix and some just doctor up a box of strawberry cake mix -either way, no thank you. My recipe calls for real strawberries and that makes all the difference.
Oh look, here come some fresh, real strawberries right now…
Beautiful, aren’t they?
The first step is to process the strawberries by hulling, halving, and then blending them up with some lemon juice until smooth and liquidy. My blender has an “extract” button which pulverizes whatever you put in there so I opted to use this feature with my strawberries to ensure that their tiny little seeds would not be floating around in my puree.
You will be using this puree in both the cupcakes and the frosting but you will have a little leftover to do something fun with or you know, you could just drink that leftover strawberry goodness right down, if you’re so inclined to do so. And I was.
To get started on the cupcakes you’re going to whisk together the dry ingredients and then set them aside for a moment until they’re needed. (Pretty easy so far, right?!)
Next you’re going to get the wet ingredients, including some of the strawberry puree, combined in a separate bowl.
One of the wet ingredients in this cupcake recipe is vegan strawberry yogurt. For this recipe I prefer a soy-based rather than nut-based yogurt and if your yogurt has bits of strawberries in it then you, like me, will have to scoop those out before you move on to the next step. We want out cupcakes to be light and lovely and not have little lumps in them so it’s important that you get those out. It’ll only take a minute, I promise.
Once your wet ingredients are combined and the strawberry lumps from the yogurt have been removed, you can then add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Should you desire a more pink-y cupcake you are more than welcome to add in a few drops of pink or red food coloring here but I personally wanted to keep my cupcakes au naturel.
Fill your cupcake papers (12 to be precise) a smidge over halfway full then bake ’em for 20-25 minutes. When done, as with most cupcakes, a toothpick stuck in the center will come out clean.
Transfer your little piggy pink beauties to a baking rack to cool completely before frosting.
As for the frosting, it couldn’t be any easier to make a vegan “buttercream.” Simply combine the room temperature vegan butter, a little strawberry puree, vanilla, and salt in a stand mixer with a whisk attachment attached, or in a bowl and use a hand mixer. With the mixer on low you’re going to slowly add in the powdered sugar in parts. Once all of the powdered sugar has been added, crank up the speed of the mixer and whip a little air into your frosting for just a few seconds until it is light and fluffy. Again, if you’d prefer a more pink-y color you can add in some food coloring but as with the cupcakes, I went for the natural color which is a very pale shade of peachy pink.
After you’ve allowed your cupcakes to cool fully you can then frost them with your strawberry “buttercream” frosting and add any little special touch you want to them -I added some itty bitty heart sprinkles because after all, these are Valentine’s cupcakes.
Vegan Strawberry Cupcakes & Strawberry 'Buttercream' Frosting
Credit: Compassion is the Secret Ingredient, http://www.citsiblog.com
- For the puree:
- About 1 pound fresh strawberries, hulled and halved
- 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice For the cupcakes:
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup strawberry puree
- 1 stick of vegan butter, melted
- 1/4 cup almond milk
- 3 tablespoons vegan strawberry yogurt (preferably soy-based)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Red or pink food coloring (optional) For the frosting:
- 1 stick of vegan butter, room temperature
- About 1/3 cup strawberry puree
- 1/4 tsp vanilla
- A pinch of salt
- Red or pink food coloring (optional)
- About 3 1/3 cups of powdered sugar
- For the puree:
- Combine both ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and liquidy. For the cupcakes:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a muffin/cupcake pan by lining 12 cups with cupcake papers.
- In a medium or large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl or large measuring cup mix the sugar, 1/2 cup of strawberry puree, melted vegan butter, almond milk, vegan strawberry yogurt, and vanilla together and stir to combine. If your strawberry yogurt has little bits of real strawberries in it then you’ll want to fish those out before you move on to the next step -we don’t want those in our cupcakes because they’ll make our cupcakes lumpy. If you desire a more pink-y cupcake you can add a couple drops of red or pink food coloring to the wet ingredients but this is completely optional.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir just until combined. Divide the batter evenly among the 12 cupcake papers and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick stuck into the center of one of the cupcakes comes out clean. When cupcakes are done, transfer them to a cooling rack and allow them to cool completely before frosting. Cupcakes will keep in an airtight container for 2-3 days and because of the fresh fruit in both them and the frosting they should be kept in the fridge when not being served. For the frosting:
- Combine the vegan butter, about 1/3 cup strawberry puree, vanilla, and salt in a stand mixer with a whisk attachment attached, or in a bowl and use a hand mixer. If you desire a more pink-y frosting you can also add in a couple drops of red or pink food coloring but this is completely optional.
- With the mixer on low slowly add in the powdered sugar in parts. Once all of the powdered sugar has been added, crank up the speed of the mixer to whip a little air into the frosting. Be sure to not overwork the frosting -it should only take a few seconds of mixing on a higher speed to get the frosting light and fluffy.