This small-batch Vegan Strawberry Lemon Cupcake recpe makes 5-6 perfectly fluffy cupcakes and is topped with those most luscious and fluffy vegan strawberry buttercream frosting. I truly can't wait for you to make these easy, moist, flavorful, and downright delicious vegan cupcakes!
Last year, I made Earl Grey Cupcakes with Vegan Blueberry Frosting and you all went a bit crazy over them! I figured this year I'd bring another cupcake to the mix with a new fruit-flavored frosting filled with fresh strawberries. Plus, the base of this cupcake recipe is based off my favorite Vegan Lemon Cupcakes for a delicious strawberry filled lemon cupcake recipe.
While all of the ingredients are in the recipe card, here are a few notes about some important vegan strawberry cupcake ingredients:
- Strawberry purée
- This is essentially strawberries blended up until they resemble a smooth paste. It allows you to evenly infuse the cupcakes with strawberry flavor without any large chunks.
- While I like chunks of fruit in muffin recipes, for these vegan strawberry cupcakes you want a smooth batter.
- Olive Oil
- I truly LOVE the moist texture olive oil gives cupcakes. However, any liquid vegetable oil will work such as avocado oil or grapeseed oil.
- I don't love coconut oil in cupcakes (it can clump up), but if you do use it make sure to melt it before adding it so it blends in.
- Lemon zest & lemon juice
- Make sure it's fresh for the best flavor!
- This is also a great time to mention that lemon is crucial to this recipe to balance out the ⅛ teaspoon of baking soda (it needs an acid to react with). If for any reason you don't have lemon, sub for lime juice 1:1 or replace with ½ tablespoon apple cider vinegar.
- Oat milk
- I used oat milk to keep these cupcakes completely nut-free. However, any plant-based milk works. Almond, rice, soy, cashew all work great!
- The only milk that *may* be a bit too thick for cupcakes is canned coconut milk because of the extra fat. If all you have on hand is canned coconut milk I recommend using 1 tablespoon coconut milk and filling the remainder of the ⅓ cup with water for a better consistency.
- Pastry Flour
- You may have noticed that 90% of cupcake & cake recipes on SGTO call for pastry flour. That is because it makes a MUCH more tender and light cupcake.
- If you don't have pastry flour you can use the equivalent gram measurement in all-purpose flour and add in 1 tablespoon of cornstarch for a similar texture.
How to make vegan strawberry cupcakes
Make the strawberry cupcake batter
The first step to making these strawberry lemon cupcakes is to make the batter. Luckily, it's easy enough to make in one bowl.
My best advice? Just make sure to NOT over-mix the cupcake batter and only mix it until the large streaks of flour are gone.
Over-mixing batter can lead to cupcakes that deflate from too much air in the batter or even gummy dense cupcakes from too much gluten being formed when mixing.
Bake the cupcakes
After you've mixed & assembled all the ingredients, just add to a muffin tin with cupcake liners. Cupcake liners are super important to use when baking cupcakes as the batter is pretty delicate and needs this added structure. I use If you Care muffin liners and love them because they are unbleached and compostable!
After you've filled the cupcake liners about ¾ cup full with batter, let the batter rest and preheat the oven. This extra resting time helps the cupcakes get fluffier!
While I made 6 cupcakes, if you want even higher cupcakes, split the batter between 5-6 cupcakes. It is worth noting that the cupcakes will be a bit higher and fluffier if you spread them between 5 cupcakes vs. 6.
Then bake at 350F for 22-24 minutes, remove, and let cool completely before frosting.
How to make vegan strawberry buttercream frosting
This strawberry frosting could not be easier to make and it only contains 4 simple ingredients including vegan butter, vegan shortening, strawberry purée (which we made earlier), and organic powdered sugar.
When making vegan frosting, the first step is to cream the cold butter and shortening together. This helps to remove any clumps in the frosting and whip them to the right texture.
Next up, add in that strawberry purée and whip together. Last up, gradually add in the sifted powdered sugar.
It is SUPER important to sift your powdered sugar if you don't want any clumps in the frosting. I can't stress this enough so PLEASE don't skip sifting if you want a pretty & smooth frosting.
Also, I always give a range for powdered sugar because I don't like very sweet frosting. However, I know some people do, so please use the higher measurement recommended for a sweeter and thicker frosting.
To pipe the frosting, add it to a piping bag with your preferred piping tip. If the frosting has gotten too soft, add the piping bag full of frosting to the fridge for around 5 minutes and you will have perfect frosting ready to be piped!
As you can see this recipe makes a pretty large amount of frosting (bite shot below for reference). If you don't like that much frosting, simply cut the frosting recipe in half!
FAQ & Tips:
Please, do not store homemade cupcakes or cake in the fridge as it really dries them out. Instead, unfrosted cupcakes can be wrapped in plastic wrap or stored between sheets of parchment paper in a closed container at room temperature for 2-3 days.
If the cupcakes are frosted, they will store beautifully in the freezer. I seriously freeze frosted cupcakes all the time and it's so easy to enjoy them later! Just add them to a closed container and be careful not to squish the frosting. Then, store for up to 3 months. When you're ready to eat, just let them defrost at room temperature and then dig in.
Yes! Just make sure to use a 1:1 GF Baking flour made for baking. Almond flour, coconut flour, or other flour substitutes would not work when subbed 1:1 in this recipe.
If you don't have pastry flour you can use the equivalent gram measurement in all-purpose flour and add in 1 tablespoon of cornstarch for a similar texture.
I'm SO excited to be sharing another fruit-filled cupcake recipe with you all and hope it brings you some bright & cheery spring joy. I truly love these Vegan Strawberry Lemon Cupcakes made from scratch and hope you find them just as delicious as I do!
More vegan cupcake recipes you will love:
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Vegan Strawberry Lemon Cupcakes
Strawberry Lemon Cupcakes:
- 2 Tablespoons fresh strawberry purée blended fresh strawberries
- 1 ½ Tablespoons olive oil vegetable or avocado oil also works 1:1
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon lemon zest
- ⅓ cup oat milk
- ⅓ cup organic sugar
- ¾ cup pastry flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ⅛ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup cold vegan butter
- ⅓ cup vegan shortening
- 2 Tablespoons strawberry purée
- 1 ½-2 cups powdered sugar measure and then sift
- Begin by adding all the wet ingredients to a large mixing bowl including the strawberry purée, olive oil, vanilla, lemon juice, lemon zest, oat milk, and sugar. Whisk gently to combine.
- Then, add in the sifted dry ingredients to the bowl including the pastry flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk together until a smooth batter forms.
- Fill a muffin tin with 5-6 cupcake liners and fill each liner ¾ of the way full with batter. Let rest and preheat the oven to 350F.
- Once the oven reaches 350F add in the cupcakes and bake for 22-24 minutes until baked throughout and very light brown on top.
- Remove and let cool on a wire rack.
- While the muffins are cooling, make the vegan strawberry frosting. First add the cold vegan butter and shortening to a mixing bowl and cream together until smooth and fluffy. Then, add in the strawberry purée and whip together. As a final step, gradually add in the powdered sugar to your desired sweetness level. Once all the powdered sugar is in beat the frosting for 3-5 minutes until fluffy.
- Add the frosting to a piping bag. If the frosting is too soft, place the piping bag in the fridge for 5 minutes to firm up slightly. Then, pipe the cupcakes. This recipe makes a large amount of frosting for 6 cupcakes, so please cut the frosting recipe in half if you like less frosting.
- Serve the frosted cupcakes and enjoy!
- Unfrosted cupcakes can be wrapped in plastic wrap or stored between sheets of parchment paper in a closed container at room temperature for 2-3 days.
- Frosted cupcakes are best stored in the freezer. Add them to a closed container and be careful not to squish the frosting. Then, store for up to 3 months. When you're ready to eat, just let them defrost at room temperature and then dig in.
- Strawberry purée can be subbed 1:1 for any berry purée in this recipe
- Lemon is crucial to using baking soda in this recipe. If you do not have lemon, please replace with ½ tablespoon apple cider vinegar.