Simply Divine Vanilla Cupcakes with Strawberry Frosting

 

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. Sweet Justice evaporated cane juice
  • 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!    cupcake2

  • 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!