Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes


 

As I’m lying in bed at night, staring up at the ceiling with heavy eyelids, watching the ceiling fan do its repetitive loop around, my mind goes, “Oh hey, now that you’re alone, in a dark room, trying to get some rest after a long day, lets recap everything going on in your life currently, what happened yesterday, even the day before or how about we contemplate all of the possible things that may happen tomorrow.” Yeah, it’s in this moment that my mind suddenly becomes the most obnoxious person you can think of. 

What is it about that moment when you teeter on the verge of alert and asleep that makes your mind go into overdrive? What is it about that moment that we feel the need to try to make sense of life? I’d like to think it’s because we hope that one of those times all of the answers we seek will come crashing like a tidal wave into us. I know, it’s wishful thinking. Or maybe it’s just solely because we all require a reason. Anytime anything occurs in life or we are about to act upon something we automatically want to try and (over) analyze it. We weigh out the pros and the cons, recap the course of events if it already occurred, or even try and predict the possible consequences of something that hasn’t yet occurred. No matter what it is, we are assessing it with the same intention, to make sense of it. There’s nothing more chaotic than not being able to know WHY something happens or MAY happen in our life. To be able to sit there and say that this happened because of this, or that will occur because of that helps us to make sense of things and ultimately create order. When we are unable to find reason in life we can’t quite seem to wrap our heads around the idea that maybe now isn’t the right time for that, or it just isn’t meant to be, or it’s okay you’re just holding out for there possibility of something better. That requires us to use our faith and trust in not only ourselves but something larger entirely. It requires us to believe that the unseen is actually more concrete than we sometimes are able to comprehend. Being able to believe in something as questionable as the unknown is not as easy as we’d like it to be. When we physically can’t grasp it how do we REALLY know it’s there? How do we find it if we don’t have it? It’s in that very moment when you’re lying in bed at night, mind racing, that you say to yourself, “Tomorrow is another day”. That very tomorrow, and holding out for it, is in itself having faith in the unknown. When you close your eyes that night and open them the next day that is placing your trust in something intangible.  See, you didn’t even know it could be as simple as that, did you?

The trick to getting your mind to quit being that obnoxious chattering friend is to put faith in it’s place. Trust that as you try and analyze a situation, make an important decision or ponder about the future it doesn’t ALWAYS have to be so overwhelming. It doesn’t ALWAYS have to have a clear purpose immediately for it to be the right thing for you at that moment. It doesn’t ALWAYS have to mean that there’s only one outcome if you make one choice over another. Most importantly it doesn’t ALWAYS have to make perfect sense! Believe in the path your walking, trust it’s uneven terrain and unknown turns and have faith in something larger that even if you can’t quite grasp it it doesn’t mean you aren’t already holding onto it.

 

 


Cupcake toppers by; Honey Marie Love

 

 

These Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes are my kind of cupcakes! I generally don’t often choose cake or cupcakes as my top dessert choices as they can be very dense and heavy but this little treat is a lightened up combination of your traditional cupcake and strawberry shortcake. It’s the perfect portion to curb that sweet tooth and makes for a simple and delicious summer dessert!

 

 

Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes

Dairy-free/Nut-free

Serves: 24 cupcakes/ Prep time: 20 minutes/ Bake time: 18-23 minutes

  • 1 box Immaculate Baking Company Yellow Scratch Baking Cake Mix (you can find this in most grocery stores as well as Target)*
  • 3/4 c unsweetened almond milk
  • 3/4 c vegan butter, melted (I used Earth Balance)
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 c strawberry jam
  • 1 13.5oz can full fat coconut milk (chill in the refrigerator upside down overnight to separate)
  • 1/2 c powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Cupcakes:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line muffin tins with paper liners and set aside.
  2. Using either a stand or hand mixer with a paddle attachment, combine the almond milk, melted butter and eggs and beat on medium until combined.
  3. Add the cake mix to the bowl and beat for 30 seconds on low and then for 2 minutes on high, scraping the sides of bowl as needed.
  4. Once the ingredients are combined, scoop out the batter with either an ice-cream scooper or small measuring cup and fill each muffin cavity 3/4 of the way to the top.
  5. Bake for 18-23 minutes or until lightly golden and a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
  6. Place the cupcakes on a cooling rack and allow to cool completely before filling. (You can make them ahead and refrigerate or freeze until ready to fill and decorate. If freezing, allow to thaw completely before filling.)

To fill:

  1. Using either an apple corer or the wide end of a frosting tip core out the center of each cupcake by pressing it down into the middle about 3/4 of the way, not all the way through, twist and pull out the center.
  2. Add the strawberry jam to a pastry bag with a wide tip and squeeze about 1 tbsp into the hollowed out center of each cupcake.

To frost:

  1. Chill your mixing bowl in the fridge for at least 10 minutes prior to whipping.
  2. Without flipping/shaking the can of coconut milk, remove from the fridge and open. Scoop out the thick, top portion which will be the coconut cream. You don’t need the liquid portion for this recipe but you can save it to add in smoothies!
  3. Using either a stand or hand mixer with a whisk attachment, whip the coconut cream and vanilla on medium speed for about 1 minute.
  4. Add the powdered sugar and continue to whip for an additional minute until smooth.
  5. Using a pastry bag with a decorative tip (or just a spoon!) frost each cupcake with the whipped cream.
  6. Top with fresh strawberries or blueberries if desired.
  7. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to enjoy!

 

*Note: This particular cake mix does contain wheat. If sensitive to gluten you can sub with a gluten-free mix, I like King Arthur GF Yellow Cake Mix which can also be purchased at most grocery stores, just be sure to follow the directions specific to the mix you use as it may vary for each brand.

 

 

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