Chocolate Strawberry Shortcake
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
- Frosting, recipe follows
- 1 1/2 cups hulled and sliced fresh strawberries
- Confectioners sugar, for garnish, optional
- 4 cups confectioners' sugar, preferably organic
- 1/2 cup margarine (recommended: Earth Balance Organic Soy-Free Non-Hydrogenated Buttery Spread) OR 1/2 cup refined coconut oil, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup water
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 40 cups from 2 (24-cup) mini cupcake pans or 16 cups from 2 regular-size (12-cup) muffin pans with paper cupcake liners.
Sift or whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt into a bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the coconut milk, oil, vinegar, vanilla, and espresso powder until smooth. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and mix with a fork or small whisk. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared cupcake liners. The cups should be filled about 2/3-full, and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20 to 22 minutes for the mini cupcakes and about 25 minutes for the regular-size cupcakes. Cool the cupcakes in the pans for 5 minutes and then transfer to a rack to cool completely.
Slice off the top 1/3 of each cupcake and slather with frosting and sliced strawberries. Place the top of the cupcake back on top and add an additional bit of frosting and sliced strawberries. Dust with confectioners sugar, if using.
Combine the confectioners' sugar, margarine, and vanilla extract in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on medium-high speed until combined. With the mixer running, add 1 tablespoon of water at a time, until the desired buttercream consistency.