Happy Saturday to the world! I’m having a rather lovely time not really getting out of bed this morning! And by bed, I of course mean mattress on the floor. I might even be so bold as to take another lazy cat nap after this new post. Ahhhh, I love when you have a day or some time without work or any obligations to do whatever it is that you want. Like be a lazy ass, as in me right meow. 🙂
I don’t remember where I got the idea for these cupcakes, but at some point I was thinking that strawberry, lemon and basil would make good friends together in some kind of treat. I also love to use herbs in sweets, so I was excited to make these cupcakes. I have made them a few times and fed them to all types of people, including omnivores who could not tell that they were vegan….as omnis often can’t with my cupcakes. I vow to never feed omnivore or herbivore a dry, tasteless cupcake and call it vegan. Afterall, I am vegan and I have eaten dry, tasteless vegan cupcakes….I felt like a crime had been committed against me or something….
Anyhow, please enjoy these very moist, very yummy cupcakes with lots of flavor 🙂
The Never-Dry-Always-Flavorful-Strawberry-Basil-Cupcake-with-Lemon- Buttercream
1 3/4 c unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 c unbleached granulated cane sugar
1/2 c canola oil
1 tbsp white vinegar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp strawberry extract– I like this one, homemade w/ organic strawberries!
1 tbsp fresh basil, minced
8 oz fresh strawberries, pureed in food processor or crushed–I suppose you could probably use frozen as well
6-12 strawberries for garnish
A little bit of extra basil, chiffonade for garnish
1 recipe lemon buttercream–recipe follows
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Fill your cupcake tin with liners.
Mix the flour, sugar and baking soda together in medium mixing bowl. In separate bowl or large measuring cup, combine oil, vinegar and the extracts. Add the strawberry puree and stir to combine. Create a well in the dry ingredients and then add the wet. Stir to combine, but be careful not to overmix. This batter will be very thick, like a paste almost–so don’t worry, it is supposed to be thick. Add the fresh basil. Scoop batter into prepared cupcake tin, filling them about halfway.
Bake for about 30 min or until a toothpick inserted into the center cupcake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let completely before you even think about frosting these bad boys!
1/4 c non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening–I like Earth Balance brand
1/4 c Earth Balance buttery spread
1 1/4 c confectioner’s sugar–sifted it if it’s very clumpy
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp lemon extract
2 tbsp coconut milk creamer–I like So Delicious brand
Zest of one small lemon–Meyer lemon would be very nice as well!
Beat shortening and buttery spread in your Kitchenaid or until fluffy. You can also use a hand mixer or a strong arm 🙂 Add the sugar and continue to beat for a few more minutes. Add extracts, lemon zest and coconut creamer, beat an additional 5 minutes or so until fluffy. If you like a ton of frosting, feel free to double the recipe.
Garnish w/ strawberries and basil.