Strawberry and Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

>> Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Back when Stephen and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary (September 1, 2008), I surprised him with a special dessert. At first, I thought I'd make some dark chocolate-covered strawberries. But, I woke that morning and thought, "Wow. How CREATIVE you are . . . chocolate-covered strawberries. He'll never in a million years expect that!"

So, I decided to whip up something a little less cliche.

Now, I usually don't bake with fruit -- but these cupcakes satisfy even the most chocolate-peanut butter-addicted person. They're great for romantic occasions or if you simply want to eat something sweet and feel like you got your fruit in for the day. Oh, the excuses I come up with to eat cupcakes! (And cookies. And cake. Etc.)

What you'll need . . .
("normal" baking ingredients in parentheses -- what you see pictured above is vegan)
  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance (or 1 stick unsalted butter)
  • 1 cup Sugar in the Raw
  • 1/2 cup applesauce (or 2 large eggs)
  • 1-1/2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup Silk (or regular milk)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 fresh or frozen strawberries (I used fresh) -- sliced
  • Dark chocolate chips

Method . . .
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Insert liners into a medium cupcake pan.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the Earth Balance (butter) and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy (3-5 minutes).
  3. Add the applesauce 1/4 cup at a time (or eggs one at a time). Beat well after each addition.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture, alternating with the soy milk (milk). Mix for 3 minutes. With a rubber spatula, fold in the vanilla, strawberries, and chocolate chips.
  6. Fill the cupcake liners one-half to three-quarters full.
  7. Eat lots of the batter. It's REALLY good.
  8. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcakes comes out clean.
  9. Cool cupcakes in the pan.

For the chocolate frosting . . .
  • 6 tablespoons Earth Balance (or butter)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup soy milk (or milk)

Method . . .

  1. Cream the Earth Balance and vanilla together with a fork or electric mixer.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the confectioners' sugar and cocoa powder.
  3. Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture until fully integrated. Slowly add the milk to the frosting until you have reached desired consistency. You may not use all of the milk (I only used about half). Beat mixture for 1 minute or until creamy.
Recipes adapted from Crazy About Cupcakes, which is a fantastic cookbook! 

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