I know I promised these a good while ago. I've been really distracted by the weather lately. First it was so beautiful it was a crime not to be outside at all times and then as fickle as the weather can be, it changed to yucky. It's been raining for a solid week. Not the normal little spits of rain we usually get in Vancouver, but yucky, hard rain. All day, every day, with not even a tiny break of just sorta cloudy. Well, until yesterday evening. The sun came out, but it was still cold. Dang it. And it's grey and cold again this morning. Sounds like a good weekend to make a pot of soup and hibernate. That's what I plan to do at least.
If it's sunny where you are, or even if you're trying to pretend it is like I am, take advantage of some fresh strawberries and make these cupcakes. You won't be sorry. The actual cupcake isn't as light and fluffy as some. And that's not a bad thing! It's more like something you want to put strawberries and whipped cream on. :) I have a few ideas for ways to jazz these up a bit more, but didn't think of them until after I made them. You could spread a thin layer of strawberry jam on the cupcakes before you frost them. You could even pipe some jam or pureed strawberries into the center of the cupcakes like a filling. Yum. You could also add a bit of lemon or orange zest to the batter. That would really accentuate the sweetness of the strawberries.
I used the Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World cooked frosting recipe for these. It's not only my favorite frosting, but it's not really sweet and a bit reminiscent of whipped cream. A perfect topping for these summery yummies.
I pretty much just grabbed a handful of strawberries and cut them up to put into the batter. I can't remember exactly how much I used, so just use as many or as little as you want. I had quite a bit. Don't forget that this will also increase your cupcake yield, so you'll get more than 12.
Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes
1 cup soymilk (minus 1 Tbsp to counteract the juiciness of your berries)
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp cornstarch
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup non-hydrogenated margarine, softened (like Earth Balance)
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp lemon or orange extract
about 1 cup strawberries chopped into smallish pieces
Preheat your oven to 350F. Do your muffin liner thing or grease your muffin pan. Whisk the soy milk and apple cider vinegar in a small bowl and set aside 5-10 minutes to curdle.
Sift the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a large bowl. Stir it up to combine. In a separate large bowl, cream the margarine and sugar for about 2 minutes until light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla and lemon extract. Now beat in the soymilk mixture and dry mixture in alternate separate batches just until combined. Don't over-beat or your cupcakes will get tough. You just want it to be combined.
Fold in the chopped strawberries. Fill your cupcake pan cups about 2/3 full. Bake 20 to 22 minutes. Set aside to cool on a wire rack. Make sure they're cool before you frost them!
Old-Fashioned Velvet Icing (from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World)
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 cup soy milk
1/4 cup non-hydrogenated shortening
1/4 cup margarine
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup superfine, castor or powdered sugar
In a small saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the flour and soy milk. Stir constantly until the mixture starts to thicken and has a pudding-like consistency, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool 2 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and press plastic wrap onto the top of custard to prevent a skin from forming. Allow mixture to cool completely before the next step. (This is very important, as warm pudding will melt the shortening and margarine.) If you're impatient like me, stick the bowl into the freezer for 10-15 minutes to cool it off.
Cream together the shortening, margarine, vanilla and sugar then beat in cold custard. Beat with an electric mixer for 4 to 6 minutes; frosting should become lighter in color and have a very creamy texture, similar to very thick whipped cream.
Frost on cooled cupcakes and place sliced strawberries on top.