Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Wine Frosting

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I know I’m technically a day late for Valentine’s Day treats, but these cupcakes should not be limited to just one day a year. And guess what? They’re totally healthy, so you don’t have to limit them at all (if they last more than one day, that is.) I was inspired by this recipe from Forks Over Knives and changed ingredients simply because that’s what I had on hand. Either version will be absolutely delicious and guilt free.

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Alternative baking has always been challenging for me. Without the use of eggs, butter, or refined sugar, it can be hard to get the desired textures and flavors of classic baked goods. It has taken a lot of successes and failures, but I’ve grown to love using replacements like flax eggs and apple sauce. I don’t really use prepared egg replacer or “vegan butter” because that defeats the purpose of eating whole foods. When I treat myself, I still want to know that I’m putting good ingredients into my body, which is totally possible!

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I used peanut butter for fat in this recipe, making the end result taste a little bit like a peanut butter and jelly cupcake. If you don’t like that combination (but who doesn’t love PBJ, let’s be honest,) you can swap for almond butter or cashew butter. I used a combination of oat flour and whole wheat flour, making these cakes on the denser side. If you want a fluffier cake, I would suggest using a lower protein flour, or swapping for your favorite gluten free blend. The amazing pink color is just the result of fresh strawberries. The frosting was perfectly sweet, and tasted like freshly made strawberry jam that was whipped to perfection.

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I added a splash of red wine while my frosting was reducing which brought out the natural sweet fruit flavors. If you prefer not to use wine, balsamic vinegar would also do the trick. I combined maple syrup and honey (because I needed the extra maple syrup for morning pancakes,) but you can certainly use whichever you prefer.

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Recipe

makes 12 cupcakes

Dry Mix
1 1/4 cups oat flour*
3/4 cup whole wheat flour (or flour of choice)
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

Wet Mix
1 1/2 cups strawberries, pureed
3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 tablespoon ground flax seed
1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup peanut butter

Frosting
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup strawberries, pureed
1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
juice from 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup red wine

Strawberries for garnish

Method
1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Prepare cupcake tins by inserting paper liners or brushing the sides with coconut oil. Set aside.
2. In a small bowl, combine almond milk, flax seed, and apple cider vinegar. Mix well and set aside.
3. In a large bowl, whisk dry mix ingredients together very well.
4. Combine remaining wet mix ingredients in a food processor or blender, and add almond milk/flax mixture. blend until smooth.
5. Add wet mix to dry mix and mix until the flour is just absorbed. Do not over mix! Fill each tin about 3/4 full, and bake for 25 minutes.
6. When they are fully baked, remove from the tins and allow to cool completely.
7. While cupcakes are baking and cooling, prepare frosting. In a saucepan, combine all frosting ingredients except flour. Simmer until the liquid has thickened and reduced to about half.
7. Pour the liquid into a glass bowl, and refrigerate until completely cooled. Once cool, whip the flour into the mixture for about 5 minutes until it has become lighter and fluffier in color. Continue to cool in the fridge until it has thickened.
8. When the cupcakes have cooled completely, frost and garnish with strawberries. Enjoy!

*For oat flour, I took classic whole oats and pulsed them in my food processor until a flour consistency was reached.

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