My daughter celebrated her birthday with a girls-only sleepover this weekend. We had cupcakes, giggles and lots of screaming.  So much screaming. I didn’t know little girls could be so loud together. On their own they are so quiet.


This is a vegan cupcake and it is really good.  If you can find them, and this time of year you probably can, use local strawberries. No offence to the strawberry growers in California who send us the gignormous berries, but they just don’t taste as good as those teeny, tiny, little ones I get from my backyard or at the stand down the street. The little ones will give you more strawberry flavor for the half cup that goes into this recipe. If you are using the big-ass ones you probably only need about 4 berries.

Strawberry Cupcakes, two ways

pretty vegan strawberry cupcakes with vanilla and made with fresh berries


  • 1-1/2 cup white flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 stick 1/2 cup non-hydrogenated margarine, or butter
  • 1 cup soymilk
  • 1 Tbsp vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • 4 medium or 1/2 cup chopped strawberries then mashed


  • Preheat oven to 350 and line your muffin tin with paper liners.  This recipe makes about 9 cupcakes.
  • In a medium bowl measure flour, baking soda and salt.
  • In the bowl of your stand mixer, or in a large bowl if using a hand-held mixer, cream together the margarine and sugar, you want a creamy, almost fluffy consistency.  Add about 1/3 cup of soy milk, vanilla and vinegar and beat some more until fully combined and creamy.
  • Using a spatula, fold the dry ingredients into the margarine and sugar mixture. When about half way blended, add remaining soymilk. Stir until just combined, add strawberries and mix one or two times to get the strawberries evenly distributed.  Do not over mix --- it will toughen your cupcake and it actually looks nice to have swirls of strawberries throughout. Just don’t leave any wet, juicy spots.
  • Evenly distribute the batter into 9 cupcake liners. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes or until they are slightly golden on top and spring back when you touch the tops. Or do the toothpick testing thing.
Trish Cowper


Nutella Frosting:

This is by far my favourite… (but not vegan — sorry!)

  • 1 cup Nutella
  • ½ cup non-hydrogenated margarine, or butter
  • 1 +1/2 cups icing sugar
  • Soymilk, for thinning the icing to piping consistency… added 1 teaspoon at a time.

With a handheld mixer, beat together nutella and margarine until creamy and smooth. Add icing sugar, ½ cup at a time until fully incorporated.  You can play around a bit with icing sugar and soymilk to get their right consistency.  I found I needed to several teaspoons of soy milk so that I could pipe this stuff.

Coconut Frosting:

this one is vegan and tastes divine

strawberry cupcakes

Okay… this stuff was a bit of an accident. I was trying to make Coconut Whipped Cream, like this, or this.  But it just did not work out for me.* So, left with a softer than I wanted not-so-whipped cream, and some warm cupcakes cooling on the counter, I decided to add enough icing sugar to make a frosting. Again, like the one before, you can control the consistency of the frosting by playing around a bit with the amount of icing sugar you add.  The amount of icing sugar you need will depend on how well the fatty coconut milk has separated from the water in the can and whether you get greedy and try to scoop out just a little bit more cream, or not. Because when you think you can get just a little bit more cream out of the can, you are going to get more water… so you will need more sugar.

  • 1 can coconut milk, chilled for several hours, top thick cream part only.
  • 1-1/2 to 2 cups icing sugar, plus more if needed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

With a handheld blender, beat together coconut milk and vanilla, add icing sugar, ½ cup at a time until fully incorporated. You may need less, or more, icing sugar to get a thick enough consistency.

*I would tell you to beat your coconut cream until it is light and fluffy but that didn’t work for me. No matter how hard I tried, it just did not turn into whipped cream. So sad.  I haven’t given up at this point, and if I can get it to work out, I will be sure to let you know.