Saturday, May 16, 2015

Recipe: Chocolate Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes

Here in eastern North Carolina, strawberry season is in full swing. There is nothing quite like tasting the very first fresh-picked strawberry of the season after a winter of consuming last years frozen ones. One of the more popular things to use strawberries for here in the South is strawberry shortcake (sweetened strawberries, angel food cake, and whipped cream, for those who may be unfamiliar).

My children enjoy their strawberries plain. We've had them for breakfast, snacks, and even for dessert with nothing added on top. Occasionally, I do like to change things up a bit and give them an extra special treat. Our favorite strawberry treat are these chocolate strawberry shortcake cupcakes. All of the credit goes to the amazing Chloe Coscarelli for the recipe. It is a light and airy chocolate cupcake with a fluffy icing and fresh strawberries, which leaves you feeling refreshed, yet satisfied.

Chocolate Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes
Recipe Source: by Chloe Coscarelli

Makes 14 cupcakes

Chocolate Cupcakes
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. sugar
1/3 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. soy milk (or water or almond milk)
1/2 c. canola oil
2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with 14 cupcake liners.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa, basking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together water, oil, vinegar, and vanilla.  Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and whisk until just combined. Do not overmix.

Fill the cupcake liners about two-thirds full with batter. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean with a few crumbs clinging to it. Cook the cupcakes completely before frosting.

1 c. vegetable shortening
3 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 to 5 Tbsp. soy milk (or almond milk)

Using a handheld or stand mixer, beat the shortening until smooth. With the mixer running on low, add powdered sugar, vanilla, and 1 Tbsp. nondairy milk at a time, as needed, until frosting reaches a spreadable consistency. Beat on high for 2 more minutes until light and fluffy

1/2 c. hulled and sliced strawberries

To assemble the cupcakes: Once the cupcakes are completely cooled, slather with frosting and top with sliced strawberries.

If you click on this link to the recipe on Chef Chloe's website, you can see how she assembles her cupcakes. I've done it this way a number of times and they're very pretty. But with 3 young children, I don't have the time to spend on making the cupcakes extra fancy. With these, they're going to taste amazing no matter how they're assembled.

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