Gluten free strawberry shortcake cupcakes

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Are you looking for an easy cupcake recipe that is gluten free and vegan friendly? Check out this recipe for strawberry shortcake cupcakes! These tasty vanilla cupcakes are loaded with slices of fresh strawberry and a coconut-based whipped cream. 

These easy cupcakes are made with vegetable oil, coconut milk, and coconut cream rather than butter, milk, and cream so they are completely dairy free. In addition to being dairy free, this recipe for strawberry shortcake cupcakes is gluten free, egg free, nut free and vegan friendly. 

Five gluten free and vegan strawberry shortcake cupcakes. Vanilla cupcakes are cut in half and stuffed with strawberries and whipped cream.

How to make strawberry shortcake cupcakes

How do you make strawberry shortcake cupcakes? Here are all the steps you need to follow to make these gluten free and vegan strawberry shortcake cupcakes!

  • Make the cupcake batter. This first step in making these strawberry shortcake cupcakes is mixing together the batter to make the cupcakes. In this recipe, we use our standard vanilla cupcake batter. The vanilla cupcake batter is gluten free, dairy free, egg free, and vegan friendly.
  • Bake the cupcakes. After you mix the cupcake batter, it is time to bake the cupcakes. You should pour the cupcake batter into a muffin tin that is lined with cupcake liners then bake the cupcakes at 350 degrees. Be sure to fill the wells of the muffin tin no more than 2/3 of the way. The cupcakes will rise a lot in the oven.
  • Let the cupcakes cool. It is important that you let the cupcakes cool all the way before adding the strawberries and whipped cream to the cupcakes. If you do not let the cupcakes cool all the way then the whipped cream will melt when you put it on the cupcakes. We recommend taking the cupcakes out of the muffin tin once they have started to cool and putting them on a plate in the refrigerator.
  • Make the vegan whipped cream. The next step in this process is to make the vegan whipped cream. You will need a stand mixer or a hand mixer to make the whipped cream. If you do not have a mixer, you can try using a whisk but the whipped cream will not be as fluffy as it would if you used a mixer. If you need to pick up a mixer then this KitchenAid hand mixer is our recommendation. KitchenAid is the  go-to brand when it comes to mixers, but their stand mixers can be a bit pricey. Their hand mixers are a great compromise between quality and price!
  • Slice the strawberries. After you have made the whipped cream, put it in the refrigerator and start to slice the strawberries. Slice the strawberries into thin slices and consider cutting some of the slices in half. If you are looking for a knife that can slice through a strawberry like butter, we recommend using this chef’s knife. There is a reason that this knife is the go-to in many industrial and restaurant kitchens.
  • Assemble the cupcakes. Finally, it is time to assemble the cupcakes. You should cut the cupcakes in half such that the top half and a bottom half of the cupcake get separated. We recommend using a bread knife with a serrated edge to cut the cupcakes using a sawing motion. Take the time to cut the cupcakes evenly so that the cut is perfectly parallel to the bottom of the cupcake, this will pay off later. After you cut the cupcakes, add a layer of whipped cream and strawberries on the bottom half of the cupcake. Put the top half of the cupcake on top of the strawberries and cream then add another layer of strawberries and cream on top of the cupcake.

What is in the vegan whipped cream?

What is in this vegan whipped cream? This easy vegan whipped cream is made with only 3 simple ingredients.

  • Coconut cream. Coconut cream is the main ingredient in this vegan whipped cream. We generally order Thai Kitchen coconut cream online. It is our favorite coconut cream to use for vegan whipped cream.
  • Confectioners sugar. A little bit of confectioners sugar is used to add some sweetness to the vegan whipped cream.
  • Vanilla extract. A little bit of vanilla extract is added to this vegan whipped cream. If you follow the instructions in the recipe card then the vegan whipped cream will have a mixture of coconut and vanilla flavor. If you want your vegan whipped cream to have a stronger vanilla flavor, you can add some extra vanilla to the whipped cream. We recommend buying larger containers of vanilla extract online rather than purchasing the smaller containers that are sold in stores. The larger containers are generally much more economical once you consider the cost per ounce.

Vegan coconut whipped cream for gluten free and vegan strawberry shortcake cupcakes.

How to make vegan whipped cream?

How do you make vegan whipped cream? Here is how to make vegan whipped cream.

  • Refrigerate the coconut cream. The coconut cream should be refrigerated for at least 2 – 3 hours before it is used to make vegan whipped cream. We recommend refrigerating the bowl you will use to make the coconut cream as well. It is much easier to make light, fluffy whipped cream from cold coconut milk.
  • Extract the solids and discard the water. Next, extract all of the solid coconut fats from the can of coconut cream. There will likely be some excess liquid in the bottom of the can of cream. This liquid should be discarded or set aside to be used for another purpose. It should not be added to the whipped cream.
  • Whip the cream until it peaks. Use a hand mixer or a stand mixer to whip the coconut cream. Whip the coconut cream until it starts to form peaks. If you do not have a mixer then you can whip the coconut cream using a whisk, but it is going to take a lot of time and muscle.
  • Add the confectioners sugar and vanilla. After the whipped cream starts to form peaks, it is time to add the confectioners sugar and vanilla. Pour the sugar and vanilla into the whipped cream while mixing it. Continue to mix the whipped cream for 20 – 30 seconds until the vanilla and sugar are thoroughly incorporated. 

How to make gluten free & vegan cupcake batter

How do you make gluten free and vegan cupcake batter? Here is everything you need in order to make delicious gluten free and vegan cupcakes.

  • Gluten free all purpose flour. It is generally best to make gluten free cupcakes with gluten free all purpose flour rather than an individual type of gluten free flour such as rice flour, almond flour, or coconut flour. We usually use Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Baking Flour or King Arthur gluten free all purpose flour to make gluten free cupcake batter.
  • Brown & white sugar. A mixture of white sugar and brown sugar is used in these cupcakes. The addition of the brown sugar helps to make cupcakes that are nice and moist inside.
  • Baking powder & baking soda. A mixture of baking powder and baking soda is used in these cupcakes. The baking soda reacts with the acid in the brown sugar and the apple cider vinegar to push some extra air into the cupcake batter.
  • Salt. A little salt is added to this gluten free and vegan cupcake batter to enhance all of the other flavors in the batter.
  • Coconut milk. Coconut milk is a great plant-based milk to keep in mind any time you are making vegan or dairy free baked goods. The creamy taste of the coconut and the extra fat in the coconut milk help to make baked goods that are moist and flavorful. We recommend buying smaller cans of coconut milk in bulk if you regularly make dairy free or vegan baked goods.
  • Vegetable oil. Vegetable oil is the main fat that is used in this gluten free and vegan cupcake batter. The vegetable oil helps to create cupcakes that are nice and moist.
  • Vanilla extract. Vanilla is used to give this gluten free and vegan cupcake batter a nice, warm flavor. We recommend buying larger bottles of vanilla extract online if you frequently make baked goods. It is generally much cheaper than buying the small containers in stores once you consider the cost per ounce.
  • Apple cider vinegar. Some apple cider vinegar is added to finish off these gluten free cupcakes. The vinegar reacts with the baking soda in that batter to push even more air into the batter.

Five gluten free and vegan strawberry shortcake cupcakes. Vanilla cupcakes are cut in half and stuffed with strawberries and whipped cream.

How to store strawberry shortcake cupcakes

Are you wondering how to store these strawberry shortcake cupcakes? Here is how we recommend storing these strawberry shortcake cupcakes.

  • In the refrigerator. Unlike our other gluten free and vegan cupcake recipes that keep well in the freezer, we recommend storing these cupcakes in the refrigerator and eating them within a few days after making them. These cupcakes do not last well in the freezer because of the fresh strawberries and whipped cream. The texture of the whipped cream and strawberries is affected by freezing and unfreezing. 
  • In separate pieces. If you plan to wait more than 2 – 3 days before eating the cupcakes, we recommend storing the components of the strawberry cupcakes separately rather than assembling the cupcakes ahead of time. If the cupcakes are assembled ahead of time, the whipped cream will soak into the cake. The cake tastes wonderful after it has soaked up the coconut cream and strawberry juices for 1 day, but after 2 – 3 days the cakes start to get a little too moist. 

Strawberry shortcake cupcakes

These tasty strawberry shortcake cupcakes are gluten free, vegan, and dairy free.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Resting time30 mins
Total Time1 hr 5 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword: dairy free, egg free, gluten free, nut free, vegan, vegetarian
Servings: 12 cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 8 strawberries

Vanilla cupcakes

  • 2 cups gluten free all purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup granulated white sugar
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar

Vegan whipped cream

  • 1 can coconut cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar

Instructions

Vanilla cupcakes

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Mix all of the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Whisk all of the wet ingredients together in another large mixing bowl. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients little by little, mixing as you do so. Stir the batter until there are no large clumps left in the batter.
  • Line the wells of a muffin tin with cupcake liners and pour the batter into the tin. Fill the wells of the muffin tin 1/2 to 2/3 of the way full.
    Do not fill the wells any more than 2/3 of the way full or the cupcakes may overflow.
  • Cook the cupcakes for 20 - 22 minutes at 350 degrees.
    We recommend turning the oven off, propping the door open, and letting the cupcakes cool in the oven for about 10 minutes. If the cupcakes cool too quickly, they will be more likely to sink in the middle.
  • Let the cupcakes cool thoroughly before moving on to the next step. We recommend taking the cupcakes out of the muffin tin so they will cool faster. If they are taking a long time to cool, you can even put them in the refrigerator.
    While the cupcakes cool, you can make the vegan whipped cream and slice the strawberries for the strawberry shortcake cupcakes.

Vegan whipped cream

  • Refrigerate the can of coconut cream for a few hours before making the whipped cream. Refrigerate the bowl you will use to make the whipped cream as well.
  • Take only the solids out of the can of coconut cream. Discard any excess liquid in the bottom of the can.
  • Whip the coconut cream using a hand mixer or stand mixer for 2 - 3 minutes until the cream starts to form peaks.
  • Continue to mix the cream as you add the confectioners sugar and the vanilla to the coconut cream. Refrigerate the whipped cream until you are ready to use it.

Assemble cupcakes

  • Slice the strawberries into thin slices.
  • After the cupcakes have cooled all the way, cut them in half with a serrated bread knife. The cut should be made parallel to the top of the cupcake so that the top half of the cupcake can easily rest on the bottom half of the cupcake without falling off.
  • Add some strawberries and cream on top of the bottom half of the cupcake. Put the top half of the cupcake on top of the strawberries and cream then add more strawberries and cream on top of the cupcake.

Notes

Xanthan gum. If your gluten free all purpose flour blend does not contain xanthan gum or a similar replacement for gluten then you should add around 1/4 tsp of xanthan gum per cup of flour.
Tips for measuring flour. We recommend measuring flour by spooning the flour into a measuring cup then leveling off the flour with a butter knife. This is the most consistent way to measure flour. If you dip your measuring cup into the bag of flour, it will compress the flour and you will end up with extra flour. 

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