I served these cupcakes at a birthday party to a crowd of carnivores in the Midwest (love my family) alongside traditional, non-vegan lemon cupcakes with a vanilla bean frosting. I observed as guests selected their cupcake from the dessert table and nonchalantly listened for comments people made while eating them. People were RAVING about the chocolate strawberry cupcakes! Of course, they had no clue they were vegan. At the end of the party there were quite a few lemon cupcakes left and almost no chocolate strawberry cupcakes left. Go ahead, conduct your own experiment!
Warning: When whipping up the cupcakes, you may feel the urge to eat the entire bowl of batter with a spoon. This is normal.
Chocolate Strawberry Cupcakes
1 Cherrybrook Kitchen Chocolate Cake mix
1 c strawberry puree
½ c cold water
½ c canola oil
8 T vegan butter
8 T coconut butter
1 ½ t vanilla
½ t almond extract
¼ c strawberry puree
2 T cornstarch
5 c powdered sugar
To make the strawberry puree, simply put cleaned (washed; stems removed) ripe strawberries into a blender and puree until smooth. (Note: the frosting calls for strawberry puree too so you will need 1 ¼ c total).
Ignore the ingredients on the cake mix box and instead use the ingredients listed above. Mix until combined and follow the baking instructions on the box.
The amounts listed will make quite a bit of frosting. I like to generously frost the cupcakes and would rather have too much than not enough, so feel free to half the recipe if you don’t like a lot of frosting.
If you don’t have coconut butter, you can use all vegan butter. Earth Balance makes a coconut butter that comes in a blue tub. It’s near the butter in the grocery store.
Beat butters. Add strawberry puree, vanilla, and almond extract. Beat well. Add half the powdered sugar, mix well. Add the other half and cornstarch and mix well. It should be fairly stiff.
Allow cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.
Now off you go to whip it up vegan!