Dana's Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes w/ Strawberry Coconut-Cashew Frosting (+ A Giveaway) / by Lindsey | Dolly and Oatmeal

if you follow me over on instagram or snapchat (dollyoatmeal), then you know i've been in LA for a long weekend with my family.  my mom and i went to visit my brother, his fiance, and her family.  it was an overwhelmingly fast, but beautiful mother's day weekend made all the more special because my brother's fiance is pregnant (due this summer) and frank and i are expecting a little one as well (ours in september!)!  cousins will be born within a couple months of each other, and we all couldn't be more swept up in all the feelings at the moment.  aside from my parent's heads exploding at the thought of 2 grandchildren within a couple months of each other, we're all just taking it as it comes, and counting our blessings.  i'm still wrapping my head around a lot at the moment as well, and savoring each time i feel this babe rolling around, tumbling, kicking, and whatever else these ones do in there.  and as soon as i get my stuff together i'll be sure to share more ;)

a couple of weeks ago i was lucky enough to get my hands on dana shultz's new book, minimalist baker's everyday cooking!  i can see this book being my ultimate go-to not only now, but i'm already bookmarking recipes for the months after the babe arrives.  if you're familiar with dana's blog then you're aware that her recipes are 10 ingredients or less, take 30 minutes or so to cook, and are 1 bowl/pot recipes.  this book is a continuation of these kinds of easy-to-prepare recipes without lacking any flavor or creativity - which is such a fete!  i've been trying to curb my cravings for sweets, but when i do partake in them i prefer refined sugar-free baked goods (i get crazy sugar highs that make me feel like crap, so i can't imagine how that would make my little one feels!).  so, when i saw dana's recipe for her vegan vanilla cupcakes (they're gluten-free, too!) i was literally drooling - plus, i was dreaming of all the (eggless) vegan batter i could lick!  her recipe calls on an abundance of wholesome ingredients without losing that velvet-y, cake-y sponge that's so essential for a really good cupcake.  the frosting recipe she provides called for a few ingredients i don't keep in my kitchen, so i whipped a vanilla frosting riff off of this old recipe and added my pregnancy go-to: strawbs!!  in any event, go make these cupcakes no matter which frosting you use.  i have a feeling this recipe will be a kitchen staple for a lot of cupcake-loving peeps out there.

*enter to win a copy of Minimalist Baker's Everyday Cooking by leaving a comment below with your go-to craving (pregnant or not!).  1 winner will be chosen at random (open to US residents only) and will run until next wednesday, may 18.  good luck!!! :) *UPDATE - giveaway now closed.


cupcake stands provided by aheirloom

Dana's Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes w/ Strawberry Coconut-Cashew Frosting | gf

a couple of notes: i substituted the cane sugar in dana's cupcake recipe for coconut sugar 1:1. also, there are 2 options for the frosting below.  the first one is from dana's book, and the second one is a coconut-cashew alternative with smooshed strawberries.

from Minimalist Baker's Everyday Cooking: 101 Entirely Plant-Based, Mostly Gluten-Free, Easy and Delicious Recipes

| serves 12 |


  • scant 1/2 cup (115ml) unsweetented plain almond milk
  • 3/4 teaspoon apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 flax eggs*
  • 1/2 cup (100g) organic cane sugar
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon (75ml) maple syrup or agave nectar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) melted coconut oil, grape seed oil, or melted vegan butter
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup (73g) almond meal, plus more as needed
  • 1/3 cup (30g) gluten-free oat flour
  • 1 cup (160g) gluten-free flour blend (i used Bob's Red Mill gluten-free flour blend 1-to-1 gluten free baking flour, plus more as needed


  • 1/2 cup (112g) vegan butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 - 2 cups (140-224g) organic powdered sugar
  • 1-3 tablespoons unsweetened plain almond milk, to thin

strawberry coconut-cashew frosting

  • 3/4 cup raw cashews, soaked for at least 4 hours or overnight, drained and rinsed
  • coconut cream from 1 15-ounce full-fat can coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, softened or melted and cooled
  • 2-4 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk 
  • 2-3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 6-8 medium strawberries, more for garnish

*flax egg

  • 1 tablespoon (7g) flaxseed meal (ground raw flaxseed)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons (37ml) water


  1. preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C).  line 12 muffin tins with paper liners, or lightly grease and flour (with gluten-free flour). shake out excess.
  2. in a liquid measuring cup, measure out the almond milk, add the vinegar and baking soda, and stir.  let sit for 5 minutes.
  3. in the meantime, prepare the flax eggs in a large bowl.  let sit for 5 minutes.
  4. add the sugar, maple syrup,  and almond milk mixture to the flax eggs and beat to combine.  then add the applesauce, coconut oil, vanilla, baking powder, and salt. mix.
  5.  add the almond meal, oat flour, and gluten-free flour blend. beat or whisk to combine,  if the batter appears too thick, add a little almond milk.  if too thin, add a little more gluten-free flour blend or almond meal.  the batter should be thin but pourable.
  6. divide the batter evenly among the muffin tins, filling them 3/4 full (there should be enough for 11 or 12 cupcakes).  bake for 24-31 minutes or until puffy, golden brown, and toothpick inserted into the center comes out completely clean. 
  7. remove from the oven and let rest in the muffin tin for 10-15 minutes, then remove and let cool completely on a cooling rack.  allow the cupcakes to fully cool before unwrapping to avoid sticking to the wrapper.
  8. for the frosting, wipe/rinse your mixing bowl clean and add the butter and vanilla.  beat until light and fluffy.  then add the powdered sugar 1/4 cup (56g) at a time.  continue mixing until thick and creamy.
  9. drizzle in a little almond milk to thin.  the frosting should be fairly thick do as to hold its shape once on the cupcakes, so only add as much milk as necessary to make it spreadable.  add more powdered sugar if it gets too thin.
  10. frost the cupcakes generously.  sprinkles or fresh raspberries makes the perfect garnish.
  11.  leftovers keep covered at room temperature for up to 3 days, though best within 24 hours. 

strawberry coconut-cashew frosting

  1. place cashews, coconut cream, coconut oil, 2 tablespoons milk, 2 tablespoons syrup, lemon juice, vanilla, and salt in a high-speed blender (preferably a vitamix) and blend, adding more milk 1/2 tablespoon at a time until smooth and creamy.  taste and adjust sweetness, adding the additional tablespoon of syrup if needed.
  2. refrigerate frosting for at least 5-6 hours or preferably overnight.  
  3. mash strawberries with a fork or pulse in a food processor until you have medium chunks.  press through a fine mesh sieve with your fingers and reserve the strawberry juice for another purpose.
  4. when the frosting is sufficiently chilled, fold in the strawberries and frost the cupcakes.  leftover cupcakes with this frosting need to be refrigerated. 

reprinted from Minimalist Baker's Everyday Cooking by arrangement with Avery Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © 2016, Dana Shult

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