Tipsy Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes

With these cupcakes, I was trying to capture the essence of summertime.  The burst of lemon flavor comes through in the batter and icing; it is complimented by the sweetness of the strawberry and wine.

I took these to my taste testers and received rave reviews.  Hopefully your fans will like them too!

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For the cupcakes:
1 1/2 c. organic whole wheat pastry flour, like Bob’s Red Mill
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. sea salt
½ c. lemon-infused vodka (learn more about infusing your own liquor!)
½ c. lemonade
1/3 c. almond milk, or other non-dairy milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 c. coconut oil, melted
½ c. + 3 T. coconut sugar
1/4 c. organic non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening, like Spectrum
3 T. flaxseed, ground
9 T. water
Zest of one lemon

For the filling:
1 c. strawberries, halved
1/4 c. organic cane sugar
1/4 c. sweet wine
1 T. lemon juice
1/2 T. cornstarch
1 T. water

For the icing:
½ c. organic non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening, like Spectrum
1 c. powdered sugar (vegan), and more as needed
Zest of one lemon
¼ c. strawberry puree
Almond milk, as needed

For the cupcakes:

Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a muffin pan with parchment cups.  

Mix the flaxseed and tablespoons of water in a small cup. Let it rest for 10 minutes so it becomes thicker.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking soda.  Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the sugar, coconut oil, shortening, and vanilla. Add the milk, lemonade, flax mixture, zest, and lemon-infused vodka until ingredients are incorporated. (It will be pretty soupy.) Slowly add the dry ingredients to the mixing bowl.

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Using a cookie scooper, scoop the batter into the cupcake liners. 

Bake the cupcakes for about 20-25 minutes. Insert a toothpick and make sure it comes out clean. Place on a cooling rack and let them cool completely.

For the strawberry filling:
In a small saucepan, heat the strawberries, sugar, wine, and lemon juice over medium heat.  Bring to a boil and simmer for 5-10 minutes, until the strawberries are soft and squishy.  In the mean time, combine the cornstarch and water in a small cup; whisk to combine.  Once the strawberries are soft, add the cornstarch/water mixture and stir until the strawberry reduction thickens.  Remove from the heat and let it cool.  

Once the cupcakes and filling are cooled, core the cupcakes and add the strawberry filling.

For the icing:
Cream the shortening, zest, and puree. While mixing, slowly add the powdered sugar until you reach a stiffer consistency. If it gets too stiff, add some almond milk to the mixture.  If it's runny, add more powdered sugar.

Once you are done mixing and everything is incorporated, scoop the icing into a piping bag (or a sandwich bag if that’s all you have.) Ice the cupcakes and top with sprinkles and/or strawberries.

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These are probably my most raved about baked goods.  I promise that you will not be disappointed!

Cheers!
-Aileen