Easy vegan strawberry cupcakes packed with real strawberries and flavour. They are perfect for Valentine's Day or any time of the year!
These vegan strawberry cupcakes are:
- Pretty and pink
- Easy to make and use no weird/uncommon ingredients
- Fluffy but moist kind of like banana bread!
There are 3 cups of strawberries in this recipe!
I wanted to make vegan strawberry cupcakes bursting with real strawberries. None of that vanilla muffin madness with bits of strawberries. And no strawberry essence!
Never fear, the ingredients needed to make these vegan strawberry cupcakes are common and include:
- Flour + sugar
- Baking powder
- Beetroot powder (or vegan-friendly pink/red food colouring)
- Strawberries (fresh or frozen will work)
- Plant milk + oil
- Apple Cider Vinegar (or white vinegar or lemon juice)
Just like banana bread, the more fruit you add, the better your cake tastes... however, it also means your cake will be heavier! To counteract this, I added 4 whole teaspoons of baking powder and a little apple cider vinegar to minimise any gumminess.
How to make these vegan strawberry cupcakes
It's super easy! Mix dry ingredients. Blend wet ingredients. Mix together then bake.
I experimented with reducing the strawberry puree on the stovetop, a method which has been used by other bloggers. Creating a strawberry reduction helps minimise the water content in strawberries therefore intensifying its flavour. That becomes handy for recipes which need as little moisture as possible (such as my vegan strawberry cheesecake).
However, I realised that if you remove the water from the strawberries, you'll need to add it back to the batter through plant-based milk. So the strawberry reduction would become redundant and be unnecessary extra work.
Since the strawberries have a high water content, I made sure there wasn't too much liquid in the cupcake batter (the batter is quite thick) This ensured the final cupcakes were not overly moist!
Making these cupcakes PINK
To make these vegan strawberry cupcakes pretty, I used 3 whole teaspoons of beetroot powder. If you don't use it, your cupcakes will be an off-pink colour after baking.
When you add beetroot powder to the cupcake batter, it will turn veryyyy pink. The colour fades (and browns a little) in the oven so 3 teaspoons was just right!
All the pictures in this post feature cupcakes that are coloured with beetroot powder rather than food dye. I wanted to show you their true colour and there's minimal photo editing!
See my other vegan strawberry recipes:
- Vegan Strawberry Cheesecake
- Vegan Strawberry and Cream Tart
- Strawberry, pink pitaya and chocolate tart
- Vegan Jam Tartlets
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Vegan strawberry cupcakes
To decorate (optional)
- ¾ cup (180g) vegan cream cheese, room temperature
- ¾ cup (170g) vegan butter
- 3 cups (300g) icing sugar, or to taste***
- Beetroot powder and/or freeze-dried strawberry powder, to colour and taste (optional)
- Fresh strawberries
- Freeze-dried strawberries or raspberries
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Line a cupcake tray with liners.
To make the cupcakes:
- Add all the dry ingredients to a large bowl and mix until combined or until there are no more big lumps. If you're using the food dye, use it with the wet ingredients.
- Blend all the wet ingredients (including the strawberries) in a blender until smooth. Add the strawberry mixture to the dry ingredients and fold until combined. The batter should be thick and bubbly (refer to pictures above).
- Divide the batter between your cupcake liners.
- Bake the cupcakes in the oven for 18-20 minutes or until a skewer can be inserted into a cupcake and it comes out clean. The baking time will depend on your cupcake tray and size of your individual cupcakes.
- Cool the cupcakes in the tray for 5 minutes then cool them on a wire rack. These cupcakes may brown underneath which is normal. If you eat the cupcakes immediately, they may stick a little to the liners and will be very moist (this is due to the high amount of fruit in the recipe). However, when they cool, they'll peel away more easily and the the texture will change.
To make the frosting:
- Add the cream cheese and butter to a bowl or stand mixer. Cream until just combined. Add the sugar and mix until just combined. If you overmix the frosting, it will become loose and may not hold up. Add more icing sugar for a firmer frosting.
- If desired, add beetroot powder or freeze-dried strawberry powder to the frosting. Adjust to taste or colour.
- When the cupcakes are completely cool, use a piping bag with a star shaped nozzle to frost the cupcakes. Alternatively, use a knife to spread the frosting on the cupcakes. Decorate with fresh strawberries and freeze-dried strawberries/raspberries if desired
- Serve immediately. Alternatively, store the frosted cupcakes in an airtight container in the fridge up to 3 days. Allow them to slightly warm up at room temperature before serving. If the cupcakes are unfrosted, they can keep at room temperature/
This post was originally published in January 2017 and updated in April 2021.
Please leave a comment below if you made this recipe, have any questions or thoughts! Your comment will help other readers and Rainbow Nourishments.