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 a perfect dessert for birthday parties, Valentine's Day, Mother's Day or any special occasion!
Why you'll love this recipe
FLAVOR: These cupcakes are packed with 3 cups of fresh strawberries for the most authentic flavor! You don't need any artificial strawberry essence.
DIFFICULTY: These vegan strawberry cupcakes are easy to make with only common ingredients.
APPEARANCE: They're so pretty and pink and can be colored with either beetroot powder or red food coloring.
ALLERGY-FRIENDLY: These cupcakes are naturally eggless, dairy-free, nut-free and soy-free. I've provided a gluten-free option below as well.
If you love easy vegan cupcakes, check out my vegan red velvet cupcakes, carrot cake cupcakes or coconut lime cupcakes.
Ingredients to make vegan strawberry cupcakes
Notes about the ingredients
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. Pink or red food coloring provides the most consistent results for these cupcakes. If using beetroot powder, I recommend using a reliable brand as some will make your cupcakes a bright pink color whereas others will fade when baked and turn into an orange/brown color.
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 lemon juice (not pictured). When an acid is combined with dairy-free milk, it creates vegan buttermilk which gives the cupcakes a more tender crumb.
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, puree your strawberries in a food processor or blender. If you have a stick blender, add them to a mixing bowl and blend. Just make sure there are no chunks of strawberries.
TIP: If you have a very large blender, you may blend the strawberries with all the wet ingredients. This will make it easier to puree the strawberries!
The cupcake batter comes together in one bowl. Simply, mix all the dry ingredients in your bowl. Add the wet ingredients and fold until just combined. Some lumps are fine but make sure there are no lumps of flour.
If you're using food coloring, I recommend adding it with your wet ingredients.
If you're using beetroot powder, here are some tips:
- Start with around 2-3 teaspoons of beetroot powder and add it to your dry ingredients. Towards the end of mixing, feel free to add more if you'd like a stronger color. Just be careful that you don't overmix your batter.
- The amount of beetroot powder that you'll need will depend on its brand and age.
- Beetroot powder fades during baking, so feel free to add a little more if you'd like!
Dividing your cupcake batter
I recommend using an ice cream scoop to divide the batter in your cupcake pan/mold. It's easier and much neater!
TOP tips for making FLUFFY cupcakes
Here are a few simple tips to ensure your cupcakes are fluffy and not dense:
- Measure the ingredients using grams.
- Don't over mix the batter. I recommend making the cupcake batter in a bowl rather than using electric hand beaters or a stand mixer. Lumps in your batter are actually a sign of good cupcakes, as long as they aren't lumps of flour. Cooks Illustrated shows the huge 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 and 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.
How can I decorate these cupcakes?
These cupcakes are wonderful with strawberry buttercream frosting or strawberry cream cheese frosting. However, you can also top these cupcakes with:
- Whipped dairy-free cream
- Chocolate ganache
- Vanilla buttercream
- Dusting of powdered sugar
Can I make gluten-free strawberry cupcakes?
For the easiest vegan gluten-free strawberry cupcakes, I recommend baking my vegan gluten-free strawberry cake in a cupcake pan! When baked as cupcakes, they're fluffy and dome well.
The below recipe is a little trickier to make gluten-free. Some 1:1 gluten-free flours (including Bob Red Mills) 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
The gluten-free cupcake batter is runnier than the regular batter, even though there is significantly more gluten-free flour. 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.
Common questions and answers
I'd recommend following my vegan strawberry cake recipe instead!
Yes, but your cupcakes will be a brown-pink color and will be more moist and dense.
No, it is unnecessary for these vegan strawberry cupcakes.
Some strawberry cake recipes require you to make a strawberry reduction which removes the water from the strawberries. However, I tested this and it didn't make enough of a difference for the amount of effort. You're removing water from the strawberries but adding it back to the cupcakes through dairy-free milk.
However, a strawberry reduction is useful for recipes that need less moisture, such as my vegan strawberry cheesecake.
See my other vegan strawberry desserts
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Vegan Strawberry Cupcakes
- 2 ½ cups (310g) all-purpose plain flour, (note 1 for gluten free option)
- 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 3 teaspoons beetroot powder, or a few drops of vegan-friendly red food dye
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- Pinch of salt, optional
- 3 cups (360g) ripe strawberries, fresh or frozen then defrosted (weighed after stems have been removed)
- ⅓ cup (85g) dairy-free milk
- ⅓ cup (85g) neutral flavored oil
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, or lemon juice optional
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional
- 1 quantity Vegan Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting, OR
- 1 quantity Vegan Strawberry Frosting
- Fresh strawberries
- Freeze-dried strawberries or raspberries
- Note: For the best results, I 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.
- 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 food dye, include it with the wet ingredients.
- Add the strawberry puree and the rest of the wet ingredients to the mixing bowl. Fold the mixture until just combined. The batter should be thick and slightly 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.
Baking the cupcakes:
- Bake the cupcakes for 18-20 minutes or until you can insert a toothpick into a middle 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:
- Prepare your frosting of choice.
- 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.
- Store the frosted cupcakes in the fridge for up to 3 days. The unfrosted cupcakes can be stored at room temperature for 1 day or in the freezer for up to 1 month.
- 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.
This post was originally published in January 2017 and updated a few times since then with step-by-step pictures and more useful information.
This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I may earn a small commission from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you.
I made this yesterday and they were a hit! I used fresh strawberries and didn't use food coloring.
Wow! I was surprised by how flavorful they are! I didn't expect this much strawberry flavor to come through! This amount of fruttiness in cupcakes is certainly a new experience for me 🙂 And they're really moist and fluffy, I think the vinegar is a great addition for the texture. Thank you for this recipe, it helped me save overripe strawberries from being wasted! 🙂
Had anyone tried this at a higher altitude? Any adjustments suggestions? High altitude baking is sometimes a little funny and things don't rise. 🙂
Hi Sara, I'm not sure if anyone's baked these cupcakes at a higher altitude but the recipe is similar to my vegan strawberry cake and one reader said it worked at a higher altitude without changes :).
The recipe is spot on!
Aw, I'm glad you enjoyed these cupcakes Joy!
Soft and fluffy as you promised!!! I had hibiscus powder in my pantry so I swapped beetroot powder with it. But I added a little bit too much and my cupcakes went purple. But still really delicious and beautiful! Thank you for recipe!
Theresa Klokkeblomst says
I´ve made a version with Xylitol instead of sugar, spelt flour and the cream cheese frosting and they were an absolute delight! Fluffy, fruity, creamy, everything you can hope for in a cupcake! Thank you, Anthea, for this wonderful recipe! These will surely baked on a regular basis <3
I'm so glad these worked with xylitol and spelt flour for you! I'm drooling just reading your comment haha. Thanks so much for your feedback Theresa x
Lisa Lynn says
This recipe was easy, quick and delish! I used a regular size muffin tin with papers, cooked them a little longer for crumbiness, cut them horizontally and made mini strawberry shortcakes! AMAZING, Next time I'm going to try the strawberry buttercream frosting on mini cupcake bites! Thanks so much!
That sounds amazing Lisa! I'm still obsessed with the idea of strawberry shortcakes and love that you just had to bake them for longer. Thanks so much for your comment! x
Would whole wheat all purpose flour work?
I haven't tried it myself so can't vouch for results but I'd imagine it would work!
SO GOOD! They turned out perfectly, and everyone I shared them with loved them. I had never tried strawberry cupcakes before, and I was far from disappointed. What a fun Valentine's Day dessert!
Aw I'm so glad you loved these! Thanks for mentioning the cupcakes in your blog post too - they look wonderful 🙂
Hey! I wanna make a cake with this recipe. What do you recommend for temp and time? 9” round
Hey Ruby, I recommend making my vegan strawberry cake instead! Hope that helps :).
Hi. It was almost great. The flavor is so great. The sweetness is just enough - a little bit sour probably due to type of strawberry we used. However, I am so sad that it was so dense more like bread to me than cupcake. It's like a bread with liner. 🙁 I followed all the ingredients using g as unit as I don't trust measuring cups. I am new to vegan baking so I don't know how to troubleshoot this. How do cupcake become dense anyway? I googled and some says if there is buttermilk there should be baking soda? But some says it is fine. Or did I overmix it? Did too much gluten form? My batter is thick but I can't seem to compare it to your picture, I think mine was too thick - could this be the reason why it was so dense? I used frozen strawberry but I defrost it and weigh it, then use handblender since we do not have any other blender. Please help ㅠㅠ thank you in advance
Thanks for your feedback Gel! It's great that you followed the grams but they aren't meant to be bready. From experience, it can be from overmixing. It's okay if there are a few lumps in your batter! Alternatively, if your batter was thicker than the images above, it could be an ingredient issue for example if the ingredients weren't at room temperature. Let me know if there's anything I can do to help! Or if you have any pictures, you're welcome to email me :).
How many boxes of strawberries should I use e.g. if I’m buying regular Driscoll’s strawberries ?
I'm not sure where you're based as Driscoll's strawberry punnets are a different weight internationally. Here, the punnets are 125g each so this recipe will need 3 punnets minus 1-2 strawberries.
I really love the flavor of these cupcakes! Mine ended up very gummy and dense though. Any thoughts on what maybe could have happened? Also, did you measure the strawberries whole, or cut? I don't have a means to weigh the igredients out. I really want to try making them again and get it right!
Glad you enjoyed the flavour of these cupcakes! I'm sorry they ended up gummy - that usually that happens from too much fruit :(. I weighed my strawberries whole (with the green part cut off). If you're measuring the strawberries by cups, there should be a lot of space in each cup. If you absolutely can't weigh the ingredients, try adding a little less strawberry puree (just enough to create a very thick batter) or adding more flour to create a thick batter. I hope that helps!
Wow!!! I am a new plant based foodie, I was skeptic but these did not disappoint! Definitely keeping this recipe, it satisfied my craving. Thank you!
Aw that's so lovely to hear! I'm so glad you enjoyed these cupcakes and thanks for the feedback :). Let me know if there's anything I can help with for your plant based journey!
I tried the recipe with raspberry and pitaya powder, it worked wonderfully. Very moist and fluffy. It's a 1000 stars recipe
That sounds so so amazing and I absolutely love the picture you sent me on Instagram! Thanks so so much for taking the time to leave a comment x
I made this recipe and used gluten free flour and vegan cream cheese. It turned out to be one of my best creation thanks to Anthea. My friends went crazy over it when they tried it. It's hands down one of the best recipes ever. It's healthy, gluten-free, vegan and hella delicious. What more would anyone need? 😛
Aw that's so sweet! I'm so glad these worked with your GF flour and your friends loved them too! Thanks so much for the lovely comment Graciela!
These cupcakes are so moist! The ratio of wet ingredients to dry ingredients has perfectly taken into account the strawberries. So packed with real strawberry flavour which beats artificial strawberry flavours!
Aw I'm so glad you enjoyed these cupcakes! Totally agree - real strawberries are so much better! Thanks for the feedback 🙂
This is so easy & the flavour is amazing!
I turned this into a cake instead of muffins & just adjusted the baking time to be 30 mins. It was perfect, light, fluffy.
I made it for a birthday and everyone loved it. Couldn’t tell it was vegan! Great recipe as always RN ❤️
Forgot to say that I made this GF. Just used all the same measurements. Was absolutely perfect 👍🏽
Oh that's amazing that it worked GF *and* in a cake for you! I'm sooo happy that you and everyone enjoyed this cake! Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a kind comment, I really appreciate it! x