These vegan strawberry cupcakes are so soft, fluffy, and moist and are filled with fresh strawberries and topped with a beautiful naturally pink strawberry buttercream. With no artificial flavours, these cupcakes are bursting with fresh strawberry flavour, making them perfect for any occasion.
At this time of year I am always looking for excuses to eat more beautiful, sweet Queensland winter strawberries and this year I have finally discovered a way to incorporate them into cakes with this perfectly tender strawberry cupcakes recipe.
Like all of my vegan cupcake recipes, these strawberry cupcakes are so easy to make and use mostly simple ingredients. The key ingredient for the perfect pink colour and bold strawberry flavour however is freeze dried strawberry powder which might not be something you keep on hand, but is easily enough found at the supermarket or online via Amazon.
Combined with the freeze dried strawberries we’re also adding fresh strawberries which give the cupcakes a jammy flavour and texture that is so addicting! I honestly can’t believe how soft and flavourful these cupcakes are.
We’re also using freeze dried strawberries in the creamy buttercream frosting giving even more real strawberry flavour without needing any artificial flavours added.
If you want more beautiful strawberry recipes, make sure to also try my strawberry crumble.
To make these vegan strawberry cupcakes, you’ll need a few ingredients, most of which are pretty simple.
- Dairy free milk – you can use any that you prefer however I usually bake with almond milk or oat milk. Soy milk would also work just fine, however coconut milk will add a distinct coconut flavour to the cupcakes.
- White vinegar – added to the dairy free milk to create a vegan buttermilk substitute that will help give the cupcakes a soft texture.
- Plain flour – also known as all purpose flour. I haven’t tried this recipe with a gluten free flour substitute.
- Baking powder and bicarbonate of soda – we’re using a combination of both in this recipe as they play a different role in ensuring the cupcakes rise correctly and we get a light and fluffy texture.
- Vanilla extract – adds flavour
- Canola oil – you can use any light tasting oil. Melted coconut oil would also work but again will add a little coconut flavour to the cupcakes.
- White sugar – keeps the cupcakes sweet but not too sweet
- Fresh strawberries – chopped and added to the batter
- Freeze dried strawberry powder – this is freeze dried strawberries that have been blended in a food processor until a fine powder is formed. You’ll need this for both the cupcakes and the frosting.
- Dairy-free butter – this is the key ingredient to make this the best frosting. Use a quality dairy-free butter substitute here for the best flavour and texture. I love and always use Nuttelex Buttery which is an Australian product. In the US, the closest alternative is Earth Balance which I understand to be very similar.
- Icing sugar – I use the icing sugar mixture from the supermarket, not the pure icing sugar. The only difference is the mixture has a little bit of cornflour added which means it’s less likely to clump together and turn rock solid.
To make the vegan strawberry cupcakes, you’ll need some mixing bowls, a whisk and a spatula and a 12 cup muffin pan. Start by preheating your oven to 180°C (356°F) and line the muffin pan with cupcake liners.
In a small bowl, combine the dairy-free milk with 1 tablespoon of white vinegar. Stir well and set aside to curdle, creating a vegan buttermilk substitute.
In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the plain flour, freeze-dried strawberry powder, baking powder, and bicarbonate of soda.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together vanilla extract, canola oil, and the white sugar until well combined.
Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, alternating with the milk mixture. Stir until just combined, being careful not to overmix. Gently fold through the chopped fresh strawberries.
The batter will be a beautifully soft pink colour thanks to the freeze dried strawberries however if you want to enhance the colour further, you can add in a drop or two of gel food colouring.
Spoon the batter into the prepared cupcake liners, filling each one about two-thirds full and bake for approximately 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of a cupcake comes out clean.
Once baked, remove the cupcakes from the oven and allow them to cool in the muffin tin for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
While the cupcakes are cooling, make the strawberry buttercream. I have a full post dedicated to this vegan strawberry buttercream recipe, so definitely check that out if you want more details on making it.
Once your buttercream is super smooth and creamy, transfer it to a piping bag fitted with a piping tip and pipe swirls of frosting onto the cooled cupcakes. For an extra touch, top the cupcakes with fresh strawberries before serving.
I have seen freeze dried strawberries at my local Woolworths supermarket, but often I find it easy to buy from Amazon as you can get a larger packet.
To store the cupcakes, place them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. If you want to keep them longer, store them in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days. Make sure to bring them to room temperature before serving.
Yes, these cupcakes can be frozen. Once cooled, wrap each cupcake individually in plastic wrap and place them in an airtight container or freezer bag. They can be stored in the freezer for up to 2-3 months. Thaw the cupcakes in the refrigerator overnight before serving.
More vegan cupcake recipes:
Vegan Strawberry Cupcakes
For the cupcakes:
- 1 cup dairy free milk
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 1 ¾ cups plain flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup canola oil
- 2/4 cup white sugar
- ½ cup fresh strawberries finely chopped
- ½ cup freeze dried strawberry powder see notes
For the strawberry buttercream:
- ½ cup (125 grams) dairy-free butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3-4 cups icing sugar
- ½ cup freeze dried strawberry powder see notes
- 1-2 tablespoons dairy free milk
- pinch of salt to taste
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (356°F) and line a 12 cup muffin pan with cupcake liners and set it aside.
- In a small bowl, combine the dairy-free milk and vinegar. Stir well and set aside for a few minutes to curdle. This will create a vegan buttermilk substitute.
- In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the plain flour, freeze dried strawberry powder, baking powder, and bicarbonate of soda.
- Into a large mixing bowl, add the vanilla extract, canola oil, and sugar to the bowl and whisk to combine. Gradually add the dry ingredients, alternating each addition with the milk mixture until just combined. Be careful not to overmix; a few lumps are okay. Gently fold in the chopped fresh strawberries.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared cupcake liners, filling each one about two-thirds full.
- Place the muffin tray in the preheated oven and bake for approximately 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of a cupcake comes out clean.
- Once baked, remove the cupcakes from the oven and allow them to cool in the muffin tin for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Make the strawberry buttercream. Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer with the paddle attachment fitted, beat dairy-free butter and vanilla for 1-2 minutes until creamy. Add in 2 cups of icing sugar and beat on medium until combined. Add in an additional cup of icing sugar and the freeze dried strawberry powder and continue to mix. As mixture thickens, add in dairy free milk a little at a time until you reach a thick, creamy consistency. If the frosting is too thin, add in an extra ½-1 cup of icing sugar, and if it’s too thick, add a little bit more dairy free milk. Finally add a pinch of salt to taste and continue to mix until super creamy.
- Add the buttercream to a piping bag with a piping tip attached and pipe swirls of frosting onto the cooled cupcakes. Top with extra fresh strawberries if desired.
Nutritional information is provided as a guide only and is calculated using automated online tools, therefore we cannot guarantee the accuracy. We encourage you to make your own calculations based on the actual ingredients used in your recipe.