This past weekend my second favorite little girl in the whole wide world (and on days when Pearyn is on the butthole side, my favorite) turned the big ONE. Our best friends’ baby has been brightening lives for the last 365 days. And when I say brightening, I mean she is like one big ball of sunshine, smiles and sweetness.
Kinley Renae is one happy little girl, folks. Last year we spent an entire week in Hilton Head with our kids, our bffs and their little girl and even at only two months old I think she cried maybe three times the entire trip. (Unlike our toddler who cried at least three times every minute). I tell my friend all the time if it’s a good thing I didn’t have a baby like that because I probably would have spawned seven more children already.
So for this little girl’s first birthday party we had to go big (or go home). And since our friends are vegan as well, they enlisted my help when it came to all things smashcake and cupcakes.
The theme of Kinley’s party was lemonade stand and it was seriously the cutest set-up ever folks. So to stick with the theme and all it’s adorable decor, we decided to whip up a batch of vegan strawberry lemonade cupcakes. While I cruised the internet for ideas, I didn’t come across anything that sounded right to me (a lot of them just called for some lemon extract and a box of strawberry gelatin). So instead I decided to tempt the fates with my own concoction (because who really follows recipes anymore) and these cupcakes were seriously the rage.
No one could tell they were cruelty free and a few people even took some home (because they were that good, not just because we made an obscene amount).
These will be the perfect compliment to any summer picnic or family outing. And they just look so darn cute.
The strawberry lemonade cupcake is pictured front and center below, with the adorable pink straw in it. Stay tuned tomorrow for the Orange Creamsicle cupcake recipe also making an appearance in this photo!
Vegan strawberry lemonade cupcakes
(makes 24 regular-size cupcakes)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cake flour
1 cup strawberries (pureed)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups sugar (it’s a cupcake, I didn’t say it was healthy)
1 stick vegan butter (I used Earth Balance)
1 cup lemonade
1/2 cup vanilla coconut milk
2 tsps baking powder
Dash of salt
Optional 2-3 drops red food coloring (I buy a vegan, locally-made brand at a nearby natural parenting store)
1 8-oz container vegan cream cheese (I used Trader Joes)
1 stick vegan butter (again, I used Earth Balance)
3 cups powdered sugar
4 TBS frozen lemonade concentrate (we used Cascadian Farms)
Soften vegan cream cheese and butter in the microwave (soften, not melt). In a medium bowl, mix them together with the frozen lemonade concentrate. Mix in powdered sugar (one cup at a time) and mix with a hand mixer. Place in the fridge until we’re done making the cupcakes to set and thicken a bit.
Now, for the cake mix. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl mix together all your dry ingredients (all purpose and cake flour, sugar, baking powder and salt). Take your one cup of strawberries and puree them in your high-power blender or food processor. Soften your vegan butter in the microwave (again, soften, not melt) and pour into a large bowl with the rest of the liquid ingredients (strawberry puree, lemonade, coconut milk, oil and optional food coloring). Stir the dry ingredients into the liquid ingredients (about a cup at a time) and then blend with a hand mixer. The batter should be a little bit fluffy (from the acidity of the lemonade).
Line your muffin pan with cupcake wrappers and fill each a little over half full. Bake on 325 for 20-25 minutes, the edges will pull away from the pan some and you’ll be able to stick a toothpick into the middle and pull out out cleanly.
Once they’ve cooled, slap on (or if you get fancy, pipe on) your frosting and to create the effect in the photos add an adorable straw (cut in half or thirds) to each cupcake.
Share with others (or keep them all for yourself)!