These incredible Vegan Strawberry Tiramisu Cupcakes are perfection in every bite! The moist vanilla cake is filled with homemade strawberry jam (recipe included below!) and topped with the creamiest, dreamiest amaretto-espresso frosting. Extra points if you garnish with chocolate shavings and fresh strawberries!
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure here.
What are Strawberry Tiramisu Cupcakes?
What is tiramisu and how has it been combined with strawberries to make the best vegan cupcakes of all time? Let me tell you.
According to google, Tiramisu is an Italian dessert that consists of layers of sponge cake (lady fingers) that have been soaked in coffee and some kind of brandy or liqueur. Mascarpone is used between the layers and as a topping. Cocoa powder is dusted in top for garnish.
This idea has been reworked to transform this classic dessert into Vegan Strawberry Tiramisu Cupcakes. Vanilla sponge cake? Check. Liqueur and espresso flavor? Check. However, the espresso/liqueur soak has been omitted in favor or frosting to ensure the cupcakes do not grow soggy in their wrapper. A strawberry jam filling is added to brighten the whole experience!
Ingredients for Vegan Strawberry Tiramisu Cupcakes
We will first cover the vegan vanilla cake ingredients. While it would be super easy to work from a box mix I promise that the 5-10 extra minutes of effort are so worth it! Most of these ingredients are staples so this recipe shouldn’t impact your grocery list too badly.
Dry Cupcake Ingredients
- All Purpose Flour: No need for fancy flour here. All purpose flour has a moderate amount of protein making it ideal for cupcakes. You will gain sturdiness without compromising lightness.
- Sugar: Normal, granulated sugar is perfect. I wouldn’t recommend substituting another sweetener. To do this the whole recipe would need to be reworked.
- Baking Powder + Baking Soda: Baking soda needs an acidic and liquid ingredient to activate. If a sour flavor is desired in a recipe, baking soda is omitted in favor of a different leavener. Here, we are using baking powder and soda together as we need more leavening than we have acid available in the recipe.
- Sea Salt: Salt works as a flavor and texture enhancer in baking goods. You don’t want to leave it out as the sweetness can be overwhelming.
Wet Cupcake Ingredients
- Unsweetened, Nondairy Yogurt: In vegan baking, non-dairy yogurt acts as an egg replacement as it aids in binding and leavening. Be sure to purchase unsweetened non-dairy yogurts for baking so that you are able to control the sugar levels in your desserts.
- Nondairy Milk: Any nondairy milk will do here! Unsweetened and unflavored are ideal but use what you have.
- Canola Oil: Canola oil is a neutral or “flavorless” vegetable oil that won’t conflict with the flavor of your cupcakes. It also delivers a nice moistness.
- Vanilla Extract: Vanilla adds a beautiful dimension and flavor profile to the cupcakes. It complements the strawberry and espresso nicely.
Strawberry Jam Filling + Amaretto-Espresso Frosting Ingredients
These two cupcake elements are absolutely amazing! While they do make this recipe a bit more time consuming, they also make the end result infinitely more enjoyable. Don’t skimp! We’ve come this far!
Strawberry Jam Filling Ingredients
- Frozen Strawberries: While fresh strawberries work here too, I prefer to use frozen. They break down a little better in the jam and are much cheaper to purchase.
- Sugar: Just a little bit of granulated sugar is needed to thicken and “jellify” the jam. Do not omit!
- Lemon Juice: A little bit of lemon juice takes this jam a long way. It brightens the flavor by adding a little bit of tang and freshness.
- Salt: A little bit of salt is needed to cut through the sweetness of the jam and brighten the strawberry flavor.
Amaretto-Espresso Frosting Ingredients
- Amaretto: Amaretto is another name for Almond Liqueur. It provides big flavor in small amounts and goes great with coffee. DiSaronno is the most common brand.
- Instant Espresso Powder: Instant espresso powder is brewed espresso that has been dehydrated into granules. It is easily rehydrated with any liquid (amaretto here) and enhances the appearance of the frosting as well as the taste.
- Non-hydrogenated Vegetable Shortening: This shortening is a wonderful, dairy free alternative to butter when making frosting. Generally flavorless, non-hydrogenated shortening is a great substitute for butter and traditional shortening in all baking.
- Vegan Butter: When making frosting I like a combination of shortening and vegan butter. The shortening provides a good structure while the vegan butter provides creaminess and flavor.
- Powdered Sugar: Powdered sugar is absolutely necessary in any buttercream frosting. It provides a wonderful lightness and sweetness that doesn’t go over the top. Powdered sugar will also give your frosting stiffness. This will keep it from sliding off of your cakes and cupcakes. Sifting it prior to adding it to the shortening is a good idea if you want to avoid small sugar lumps in your frosting.
How to Make the Best Vegan Cupcakes
While cupcake baking isn’t rocket science, vegan cupcake baking requires a certain amount of additional finesse. The following tips should keep you on the right track.
- Mix your dry ingredients and wet ingredients separately before mixing them together. While this is recommended in all cake baking it is especially important in vegan baking. As eggs are not available, a more delicate mix of ingredients is required to encourage binding and guarantee rise. Mixing separately ensures all ingredients are well-dispersed.
- Do not over-mix your batter! Once your batter comes together there is no need to continue to stir. Once your wet ingredients meet your dry the leaveners are immediately activated and air bubbles start to form in the batter. You don’t want to eliminate these bubbles by over-stirring.
- Do not let your batter sit around. Get it in the oven as soon as it is ready. You want the chemical reactions to take place in the oven – not while your batter is in a bowl on the countertop. This will also help with rise.
- Keep your enthusiasm contained and do not open the oven door for the first 20 minutes of baking. So much is happening with your cupcakes chemically during this time and continually letting heat out of the oven will negatively impact your results.
Tips for Making Vegan Strawberry Tiramisu Cupcakes
- If you would like to get ahead when making this recipe, preparing the strawberry jam in advance is a great way to do so. It will keep for 1 week in a sealed container in the refrigerator.
- As this recipe has several elements, making them in an efficient order is important. If you are making everything in one day, start by getting your cupcakes in the oven. Make the strawberry jam while they are baking. While the cupcakes and jam cool, whip up the frosting. Assemble.
- The presentation of the frosting can make or break a cupcake. Because of this, I highly recommend piping it on with a piping bag and tip. If you do not have access to this equipment you can still spread an artful mound of frosting with an offset spatula.
- Don’t forget the garnishes! I know they are optional but they really do beautify the end result. Shaving chocolate on a microplane/zester is very easily done and fresh berries only need to be sliced!
- Prepared cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days. If you don’t have a big enough Tupperware container, place your cupcakes close together on the countertop and cover with a cake stand topper.
Vegan Strawberry Tiramisu Cupcakes
Moist vegan vanilla cupcakes filled with homemade strawberry jam and topped with amaretto-espresso frosting. Garnish with chocolate shavings and fresh strawberries and you are sure to impress anyone!
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Bake Time: 23 minutes
- Total Time: 53 minutes
- Yield: 10 Cupcakes 1x
- Category: Cakes and Cupcakes
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegan
For the Cupcakes
1 1/2 c all purpose flour
1 c sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 c nondairy yogurt
1/2 c nondairy milk
1/2 c canola oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
For the Strawberry Jam Filling
2 c frozen strawberries
2 tbsp water
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
pinch of salt
For the Frosting
2 tbsp amaretto*
2 tbsp instant espresso powder*
1/4 c vegan butter
3 c powdered sugar
pinch of salt
chocolate for shaving, optional
1/2 c fresh strawberry slices for garnish
- Prepare the Batter: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 C) and line a 12-cup cupcake pan with 10 paper liners. Set aside. Add all purpose flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and sea salt to a large bowl. Whisk together. To a smaller bowl, add nondairy yogurt, nondairy milk, canola oil and vanilla extract. Whisk vigorously. Pour wet ingredients into dry and whisk until just combined.
- Bake: Fill prepared cupcake liners 3/4 of the way full with batter. Bake in preheated oven for 22-24 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean with only a few crumbs clinging to it. Let cupcakes cool for 5 minutes in pan before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Make the Filling: While cupcakes are baking begin preparing the jam. Add all ingredients to a small saucepan and heat on stove over medium. Bring to a boil and lower heat slightly. Allow jam to simmer stirring occasionally for 15 minutes. As you stir, squish down the strawberries. A few big chunks is no big deal. Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes before transferring to another container or jar. Seal and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Jam will be thin but this is correct.
- Make the Frosting: To make the frosting, begin by stirring together the amaretto and instant espresso powder in a small bowl until powder is completely dissolved. Set aside. In a large bowl beat together shortening and vegan butter with an electric hand mixer until smooth and creamy. Add in powdered sugar, amaretto mixture and salt and continue beating until well-combined.
- Fill, Frost and Garnish: Once cupcakes have cooled completely, remove 1 tbsp of the center of each cupcake using a spoon. Fill this hollow area with 1 tbsp of the prepared jam. Top each cupcake with a generous amount of frosting using a piping bag, butter knife or offset spatula. Garnish with fresh strawberries and chocolate shavings if desired.
*Prepared cupcakes will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days. Unfrosted cupcakes can be frozen for up to 1 month.
*Amaretto is another name for almond liqueur. You should be able to find it in the booze section of any grocery store.
*Instant Espresso Powder is brewed espresso that has been dehydrated into granules. If you can’t find it in the coffee section you can easily order online.
*If you would like to get ahead, making the jam in advance is a good way to do so. It will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
*If you would like to top your cupcakes with shaved chocolate, rub a piece of a nondairy chocolate bar on a microplane/zester over the top of each cupcake.
Keywords: vegan cupcakes, vegan dessert, tiramisu cupcakes, strawberry cupcakes, strawberry dessert, best vegan cupcakes
If you make this recipe, please tag @censoredbaker on Instagram!
More vegan cupcake recipes:
- Vegan Chocolate Fudge Cupcakes
- Vegan Funfetti Cupcakes
- Vegan Coconut Cream Cupcakes
- Vegan Cookies and Cream Cupcakes
- Vegan Peanut Butter Banana Cupcakes
Vegan Strawberry Tiramisu Cupcakes adapted from Raspberry Tiramisu Cupcakes by Chef Chloe Coscarelli.