Chocolate strawberry shortcake

Refreshing strawberries are sandwiched between the two halves of rich chocolate.

  • Preparation Time20 mins
  • Cooking Time25 mins
  • Serves16
  • DifficultyEasy
340 g plain flour

For the frosting

225 g sugar
900 g icing sugar, preferably organic
70 g unsweetened cocoa powder
115 g margarine (recommended: Earth Balance Organic Soy-Free Non-Hydrogenated Buttery Spread) OR 115 ml refined coconut oil, room temperature
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tbsp vanilla extract
60 ml water
1/2 tsp salt
225 ml coconut milk
115 ml vegetable oil
2 tbsps apple cider vinegar
2 tsps vanilla extract
1 tsp instant espresso powder
Frosting, recipe follows
340 g hulled and sliced fresh strawberries
Icing sugar, for garnish, optional

1) Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.

2) Line 2 (24 case) mini cupcake pans or 2 regular-size (12 case) muffin pans with paper cupcake liners.

3) Mix the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the coconut milk, oil, vinegar, vanilla, and espresso powder together, until smooth.

4) Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and mix with a fork or small whisk. Divide the batter evenly amongst the prepared cupcake liners. The cups should be filled about 2/3-full. Bake until a cocktail stick inserted in the centre 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.

5) To make the frosting, combine the icing sugar, margarine, and vanilla extract in the bowl of a mixer and beat on a medium-high speed until combined. With the mixer running, add 1 tablespoon of water at a time, until the desired buttercream consistency is reached.

6) Slice off the top 1/3 of each cupcake and spread generously with frosting and sliced strawberries. Place the top of the cupcake back on top and add a little more frosting and sliced strawberries. Dust with icing sugar, if using.

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