Simple Vegan Cupcakes with Fresh Fruit

Oh summertime. There is nothing I love more in the summer than having friends and family over for a barbecue in the backyard. I always make way too much food (my family has a genetic disposition towards being terrified of running out of food) and try and come up with something new for dessert.
The boyfriend’s family came over and we grilled up some steaks, a beer can chicken and peppers, made a whack of fresh Ontario beans and potatoes, and I made my all time favourite avocado and tomato salad and homemade lemonade. Because you know we were apparently feeding twenty people not six. For dessert I wanted to make something light and sweet and summery. The butcher around the corner from me had fresh Ontario raspberries and cherries which gave me my inspiration.
Simple is best! I made a plain vanilla cupcake, topped it with a lemon buttercream and then placed fresh raspberries on top. The raspberries were so delicious on their own that I couldn’t bear the thought of turning them into a preserve to fill the cupcakes, or baking them into a pie.
The cherries I also left to their own devices. There isn’t a whole lot you can do to fresh fruit to make it more delicious. Best just to leave it be!
I did end up putting the left over cherries on top of a batch of double chocolate cupcakes I whipped up later in the week, so good!
Vanilla Cupcakes
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup soy milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tbl apple cider vinegar
1 tbl pure vanilla extract
Directions
Pre-heat the oven to 350
Mix together the dry ingredients in a large sized bowl
In a medium bowl mix together the wet ingredients
Add the wet ingredients to the dry
Whisk until just combined, do not over-mix!
Pour into prepared cupcake tin
Bake for 20min or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean
Lemon Buttercream
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
1/4 cup vegan margarine
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1-2 tbl freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 cups powdered sugar
Directions
Cream together the margarine and shortening
Add the vanilla, lemon zest and lemon juice, mix with a hand held mixer
Add sugar a half cup at a time
*note, frosting is something that should be to your taste, add more or less of the lemon and sugar until your desired taste and consistency is reached
Assemble
Once the cupcakes are cool, frost them and add the berry of your choice!
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