Berry-Rose Cup cakes. A sweet for your sweet? It’s indulgence time!
I made these for St. Valentine’s Day, for a bake sale at my son’s school. You need to be careful these days with allergies so these are gluten-free, peanut-free, egg-free and dairy-free (making them vegan). I’ve heard the slights and thought them myself years ago “if it’s free from everything is there any flavour left?” My response is: try them. Taste is subjective. To elaborate though, taste doesn’t only come from gluten, eggs, dairy and nuts. With such an abundant source of plants on our planet surely there are other ways to create a flavourful combination than with the norm. I think this recipe delivers.
Berries with rose-water or rose syrup is a lovely combination. I did make a pink version as well and made it vegan but not gluten-free. I used only mixed red berries (cherries, raspberries, cranberries, strawberries) instead of the mixed red and blue berries which make a purple cupcake. (blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, cherries)
I must mention at this point, if I haven’t already in other posts that just because something is labelled “vegan” does not necessarily make it healthy or better for you. It is certainly better for you if you cannot tolerate or are allergic or choose not to eat eggs or dairy but not necessarily healthy. If you would like to make this recipe a little healthier try substituting whole wheat flour for the white and/or omit the icing.
I use real fruit in the mix, both in the cake mix and the icing mix. I use frozen fruit for this as it’s more economical in the winter time as it’s out of season. I blend it up in the blender with the rose-water and strawberry bakery emulsion (flavour enhancer instead of vanilla extract). The fruit helps to naturally colour the icing and the batter so as to avoid food colourings.
Next, I use an ice cream scoop with a trigger to scoop the batter in to the cupcake pan. This is much less messy and helps to keep the measurements even amoung the tray.
I use a 24 capacity cupcake pan. I found it was easier than 2- 12 capacity pans as the lips would overlap in my oven. I also didn’t like to have one pan on the top and one on the bottom as it wouldn’t bake evenly.
Berry-Rose Cupcakes- Gluten-free and Vegan
For the batter:
- 3 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- 3/4 tsp. xanthan gum
- 3/4 cup vegetable shortening
- 2 cups plant based yogurt (coconut/soy/almond)
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 flax egg (see note)
- 1 tbsp. strawberry bakery emulsion
- 2 tbsp rose water or rose syrup
- 1 cup frozen berries
For the Berry-Rose Frosting:
- 1 cup mixed berries
- 1/2 cup vegan butter
- 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tsp strawberry bakery emulsion
- 2 tbsp rose water (or more if icing is too thick)
- Coloured/decorative sugar (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C. Line 2-12 cup or 1-24 cup cupcake pan with paper liners.
- Put the frozen berries, rose-water and strawberry bakery emulsion into a high powered blender, blend until almost smooth but a few small pieces remain, set aside to thaw.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, xanthan gum and salt, set aside.
- In a stand mixer or separate bowl, cream the shortening then add the yogurt, sugar, flax egg. Beat until combined (about 2 minutes)
- Add the flour mixture slowly to the wet ingredients in the stand mixer and beat until combined (about 2 minutes)
- Add the berry mixture and mix slowly till Incorporated.
- Using a ice cream scoop with trigger, scoop batter evenly into cupcake liners.
- Bake on center rack for about 18-22 minutes or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean.
- Allow the cupcakes to cool completely and in the mean time prepare the frosting.
For the frosting:
- In a high powered blender, puree the berries until smooth, transfer to a small pot and simmer until reduced by half (about 15 minutes) allow to cool.
- Add the strawberry emulsion/extract and rose-water to the cooled berries.
- In a stand mixer or separate bowl whip together the vegan butter and shortening until smooth. Add the icing sugar 1/2 cup at a time beating in between additions.
- Add the cooled berry mixture and whip until smooth and consistent. If frosting is too thick add a little more rose-water (1 tsp at a time) to desired consistency.
- For the flax egg: Mix 1 tbsp ground flax seed with 1/2 cup water and let sit for 5 minutes then give it a stir. Add to batter.
- For a non gluten-free version: use all-purpose flour and omit the xanthan gum.
Enjoy life in the pink!