Easy vegan strawberry cupcakes that are packed with fresh strawberries and flavor! They are soft and fluffy and come together in just 1 bowl.
These pretty pink cupcakes are perfect as a gift or dessert for birthday parties, Valentine's Day, Mother's Day or any special occasion!
Why these are the best vegan strawberry cupcakes ever!
These cupcakes are:
- Bursting with 3 cups of real and fresh strawberries for the best strawberry flavor! These aren't sad vanilla cupcakes with bits of baked strawberries. And we don't need any strawberry essence.
- DELICIOUS, fluffy and moist!
- Pretty and pink
- Easy to make and use no weird/uncommon ingredients
- Naturally eggless and dairy free
Ingredients to make vegan strawberry cupcakes
You'll need only common supermarket ingredients including:
Notes about the ingredients
All-purpose plain flour is best for this recipe. I've included a gluten-free option in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Strawberries, either fresh or frozen will work for this recipe. If possible, choose a variety of strawberries that are already sweet as it's the main flavor of the cupcakes. Interestingly, the high amount of strawberries acts as a wonderful binder or egg replacer!
Beetroot powder or vegan pink/red food coloring. Strawberry cupcakes made without powder or coloring are a pale pink color. Different brands of beetroot powder will make your cupcakes a lovely pink color whereas some brands will make your cupcakes a slight orange/brown color. Alternatively, pink/red food coloring provides consistent results.
Baking powder and soda. We're using double-raising agents to make sure these cupcakes are FLUFFY and to counteract the high amount of fruit. Make sure your baking powder and soda are fresh, otherwise it may lead to dense cupcakes.
Apple cider vinegar or white vinegar (not pictured) helps minimize any gumminess caused by the high amount of strawberries in these cupcakes.
A complete list of ingredients, quantities and instructions are in the gray recipe card at the bottom of this post.
How to make vegan strawberry cupcakes
First, you'll need to puree your strawberries in a food processor or blender! Just make sure there are no chunks of strawberries.
To make the cupcake batter, mix all the dry ingredients until combined. Add the wet ingredients then fold until just combined. Some lumps are fine but make sure there are no lumps of flour.
I've baked these cupcakes over 10 times and only ever needed 2-3 teaspoons of beetroot powder for a lovely pink color. However, the amount of beetroot powder you'll need will depend on your brand powder and how old it is!
Beetroot powder will turn your batter turn very pink and the color fades during baking. 2-3 teaspoons was enough for my cupcakes but you may need less or more. If you add in more powder, just avoid over mixing the batter!
Divide the batter evenly between the cupcakes in your mold. One tip is to use an ice cream scoop as it evenly divides the batter and is much easier. Then your cupcakes are ready to bake!
Expert tips for making FLUFFY cupcakes
Here are a few simple tips to ensure your cupcakes are fluffy and not gummy and dense:
- Measure the ingredients using grams.
- Don't over mix the batter. I'd recommend making the cupcake batter in a bowl rather than a stand mixer. Lumps are actually a sign of good cupcakes, as long as they aren't lumps of flour. Cooks Illustrated shows the dramatic difference between pancakes made with lumpy batter vs smooth batter in this Instagram post!
- The cake batter will be bubbly from the high amount of raising agents. Don't whisk out the bubbles but quickly divide the batter in your cupcake mold!
- Don't leave the cake batter sitting around. It needs to go from the bowl to the oven as quickly as possible.
- Make sure your oven is at the right temperature using an oven thermometer. Baking these cupcakes at a lower temperature will make them more dense.
Can I make gluten free strawberry cupcakes?
For the easiest vegan gluten-free strawberry cupcakes, I'd recommend baking my vegan gluten-free strawberry cake in cupcake molds! When baked as cupcakes, they're fluffy and dome well.
However, the below recipe can be made gluten-free with a few substitutions. Unfortunately, 1:1 gluten-free flours (including Bob Red Mills) don't work well and can result in dense and doughy cupcakes.
To make these strawberry cupcakes gluten-free, I used a combination of:
- Almond flour for moisture and texture
- Potato starch to make the cupcakes light and fluffy
- Corn starch to help bind the flours together
Gluten-free flours are less absorbent than regular flour so I had to add significantly more gluten-free flour to make these cupcakes work. Despite that, the gluten-free cupcake batter is runnier than the regular batter.
The gluten-free cupcakes are also flatter than the original cupcakes. Cupcakes that domed had a thicker batter but were very dry on the second day.
Other recipe questions and answers
I'd recommend following my vegan strawberry cake recipe instead!
I haven't tried it but it should work. Your cupcakes will be a brown-pink color and probably more moist and dense!
When making strawberry cake/cupcakes, some recipe bloggers create a strawberry reduction to remove the water from the strawberries. However, I've tried this and it didn't make a big difference. You'd be removing water from the strawberries but adding it back to the cupcakes through dairy-free milk. So, reducing the strawberries is redundant and unnecessary work.
However, reducing strawberries is useful for recipes which need less moisture, such as my vegan strawberry cheesecake.
See my other vegan strawberry desserts
Vegan Strawberry Cupcakes
- Note: I'd recommend using grams for this recipe. Like all my recipes, this was tested using grams so I can't vouch for results using the cups measurement. Too much liquid will create overly moist cupcakes and too much flour will create dry cupcakes. This can be avoided using the grams measurement.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Line 1-2 cupcake trays with liners.
Making the vegan strawberry cupcakes:
- Add all your strawberries to a blender or food processor. Puree until there are no more chunks. Set aside.
- Add all the dry ingredients to a large mixing 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.
- Add the strawberry puree and rest of the wet ingredients to the mixing bowl. Fold the mixture until just combined. The batter should be thick and bubbly. Lumps in the batter are fine as long as they aren't lumps of flour. Over mixing the batter will result in dense cupcakes.
- Divide the batter between your cupcake liners.
- Bake the cupcakes in the oven for 18-20 minutes or until you can insert a skewer or toothpick 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 transfer them to a cooling 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 texture will change.
Decorating and serving the vegan strawberry cupcakes:
- Make your frosting of choice according to instructions.
- 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.
- For gluten free cupcakes, it's much easier to bake my gluten free strawberry cake as cupcakes. However, if you'd like to make the above recipe gluten free, substitute the all-purpose plain flour with 175g (1 ¾ cups) almond flour, 165g (1 ½ cups) potato starch and 35g (⅓ cup) corn starch. All the other ingredients/steps are the same. This will give you ~14-16 cupcakes which are more flat than pictured. Gluten free flours are less absorbent than all-purpose flour so we have to add significantly more flour. I've tried this recipe with 1:1 gluten free flours but the final cupcakes weren't as pleasant.
- If you use food dye, add it with the rest of the wet ingredients (rather than with the dry ingredients).
This post was originally published in January 2017 and updated a few times since then with step-by-step pictures and more useful information.
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