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Vegan Chocolate Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes

These cupcakes won first prize on Food Network’s Cupcake Wars, so you can trust that they’ll be a winner at your next vegan soirée.  

Serves: 14
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Queen of vegan cupcakes Chloe Coscarelli shares her delicious, award-winning recipe for this chocolate twist on strawberry shortcakes. 

What you need:

For the cupcakes: 
1½ cups all-purpose flour 
1 cup sugar 
⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder 
1 teaspoon baking soda 
½ teaspoon salt 
1 cup canned coconut milk, stirred well 
½ cup vegetable oil 
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar 
2 teaspoons vanilla extract 

For the frosting:  
2 cups vegetable shortening 
4 cups powdered sugar 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
Almond milk, as needed 

For the garnish: 
1½ cups hulled, sliced fresh strawberries
Powdered sugar

What you do:

  1. For the cupcakes, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two 12-cup muffin pans with 14 cupcake liners. 
  2. In a large bowl, whisk flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk coconut milk, oil, vinegar, and vanilla. Add wet ingredients to dry, and whisk until just combined. Do not overmix. 
  3. Fill cupcake liners about two-thirds full with batter. Bake for 20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center of cupcake comes out clean. 
  4. For the frosting, in a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat shortening until smooth. With mixer running on low, add powdered sugar and vanilla, and beat to incorporate. Beat on high for 2 minutes more, until light and fluffy. If needed, add a little almond milk to thin frosting. 
  5. When cupcakes have cooled completely, slice off top of each cupcake and reserve. Spread a layer of frosting on top of cut side of cupcake, decorate with sliced strawberries, and replace top of cupcake. Dust with powdered sugar, then top with a dollop of frosting and a few more slices of strawberry. Repeat with remaining cupcakes. 

Photo by Christina Holmes

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