Strawberries are in season which usually inspires me to make strawberry rhubarb crisp or strawberry shortcake, but I had a request for cupcakes for a special occasion so I decided to try something different- vanilla cupcakes with strawberry frosting. After doing a little research, I discovered that using freeze dried strawberries would produce a really intensely flavored strawberry frosting and while I could have made a buttercream, I decided to make strawberry cream cheese frosting. The results were amazing! And the strawberry flavor really came through!
Simply Vanilla Cupcakes
I had some coconut milk leftover and wanted to try it in vanilla cupcakes so I found this recipe and adapted it to be gluten free. It called for cake flour which was a bit of a challenge, plus sour cream and milk…but I sifted my gluten free flour mix, added a tad more tapioca flour and substituted coconut milk for the sour cream and milk…the results? Simply yummy! The first time I just glazed them with a little honey lemon mix; the second time I made an easy chocolate frosting- both were delicious! And now, they’re paired with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting!
Adapted from: Sally’s Baking Addiction Simply Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes
Please use organic ingredients; most of these came from Debra’s in West Concord!
- 1 ¾ c gluten free flour with 2 T. cornstarch, or tapioca flour, sifted
- ¾ tsp. baking powder
- ¼ tsp. baking soda
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ½ c butter, room temp
- ¾ c. sugar (I used organic white sugar)
- 3 large egg whites, room temp
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- Seeds scraped from ½ of a vanilla bean
- 1 c. coconut milk (Aroya)
Preheat oven to 350.
- Line a 12 cup muffin tin with cupcake liners, and another 4 in a second pan. (I have a 6 cup tin so this worked well).
- Sift the flour, and add the baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
- Using a mixer, beat the butter for 1 minute, then add the sugar and beat on high speed for 2 minutes, until smooth and creamy.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the egg whites, vanilla, and vanilla bean.
- Beat on medium speed until combined; then add the coconut milk and beat til smooth.
- Scrape the sides and add dry ingredients just until incorporated with the mixer on low.
- Do not overmix. Batter will be slightly thick.
- Scoop batter into muffin cups- fill 2/3 of the way.
- Bake 20-22 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean or it bounces back when you press lightly with your finger.
- Cool before frosting.
Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting
You can get all these organic ingredients at Whole Foods!
- 1 cup freeze dried strawberries
- 8 ou. cream cheese, full fat
- ¼ c butter
- 2 ½ c confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 1 tsp vanilla
Process the freeze dried strawberries in a food processor until powdery. You’ll have about ½ cup or slightly less. Set aside.
- Using a stand mixer, beat the butter in the large bowl until creamy on medium speed for 1-2 minutes.
- Add the cream cheese and beat 1-2 minutes until smooth.
- Add vanilla and mix in.
- Add confectioners’ sugar and strawberry powder.
- Beat on low speed 30 seconds until mixed in, and then beat on high speed for 2 minutes.
- Refrigerate to firm up before frosting cooled cupcakes.
- If you want, put frosting in a pastry bag with piping tip and pipe on top.
- Serve, or refrigerate frosted cupcakes.
Makes more than enough for 14 cupcakes; store leftover frosting up to 5 days in refrigerator or freeze and use later.
You could also use freeze dried raspberries, or even blueberries or mango for this frosting- experiment with them all!