Strawberry Strawberry Short Cupcakes + Happy 2015!

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While shopping at Whole Foods, my son challenged me to make a strawberry cupcake and then layer it like a strawberry shortcake with vanilla icing and fresh strawberries.

It was like our very own Cupcake Wars. I ran back to the kitchen and grabbed a package of freeze dried organic strawberries that I happen to have in the pantry and turned them into a powder like my friend Anja taught me to do for these shortbread cookies. Then I mixed it into my recipe for Luke’s Angel Cake which I halved to make a dozen cupcakes using about 1/3 of a cup of the strawberry powder.

While the cupcakes were baking, I quartered the recipe for the frosting from Luke’s Darth Vader Cake and made it vanilla by leaving out the cacao powder and food coloring.

When the cupcakes were just cooled, I cut the top off, smeared the middle with frosting and topped that section with slices of strawberries. Then I did the same on the top.

My son, the judge, gave me a thumbs up for decoration! But I got a sideways thumb for the taste. Even though the frosting was amazing, he said the cake was too crumbly. That didn’t stop him from eating his fair share but just a note on my baking. Next time, I have to figure out a new method for making pink cupcakes. But, we had a great time and it just goes to show how creativity extends to the kitchen.

Happy 2015 to you and yours! Here is to many more days of
vegan baking, cooking, and projects in the kitchen! 

Pink Love Cupcakes

This year we decided to make heart shaped cupcakes, using my recipe for Luke’s Angel Cake. I bought heart shaped mini cupcake molds. Fill them up half way with batter in order to get the perfect heart (and 6 more cupcakes.)

To make the frosting, I use the water from cooking beets. Yes, beets! They are probably my most favorite vegetable in the world anyway so cooking them for their water meant beet salad for lunch!

Cupcakes (makes 18 heart shaped cupcakes)
1 1/2 cups flour (all purpose or whole wheat)
1 cup vegan cane sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla powder
1 cup cold water
1/2 cup sunflower oil
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice or 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Preheat oven to 375.

Sift the dry ingredients together in a big bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the water and oil.

Add the wet ingredients into the dry and mix thoroughly. When combined, add the lemon juice, stir in quickly and ladle into cupcake pan.

Bake for 25 minutes or until cupcakes test done. Let cool.

Pink Buttercream Frosting (makes enough for a dozen cupcakes)
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup Earth Balance, softened
2 tablespoons vegan milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla powder
1/2 teaspoon beet water *
Pinch salt

* Peel and chop up one big beet. Boil it until it is soft. Drain and reserve the liquid for the frosting. Use the beet in a salad or juice. Too much beet water will cause the frosting to separate, as I have learned through experimenting. This is just enough and the hint of pink makes these cupcakes special.

Sift the powdered sugar into a mixing bowl. Add the softened Earth Balance, milk, vanilla powder, food coloring and pinch of salt. Blend using a hand mixer until there are no more lumps and the frosting is creamy.

Use a frosting spatula to frost the cupcakes. Enjoy!

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