These Strawberry Eton Mess Cupcakes are topped with creamy vanilla buttercream, fresh strawberries and vegan meringue, and house a secret strawberry jam centre. Keep reading for our tips on baking a vegan cupcake that is light, fluffy and well-risen (and how to avoid a dense sponge).
Inspired by the classic British dessert ‘Eton Mess’, these Strawberry Eton Mess Cupcakes start with a base of our classic vanilla cupcakes, which are quick and easy to make and are soft, light and fluffy when baked. We’re sharing our baking tips on how to avoid your vegan cupcakes being dense or sinking in the oven.
The center of each cupcake is cored out and filled with strawberry jam giving that delightful pop of flavour when you bite into them (and if you’ve got homemade strawberry jam all the better!).
The top of each cupcake is decorated with a generous helping of silky smooth piped vanilla buttercream, diced fresh strawberries and crumbled vegan meringue. You can use leftover homemade vegan meringue (usually made with aquafaba) or use store-bought (London Apron vegan meringues are glorious).
These are the perfect dessert cupcakes to give as a gift to a loved one or take to a summer party.
- The written recipe
- The video recipe
- Success tips
- Step by step instructions
- Other delicious vegan cupcake recipes like this one
What is Eton Mess
Eton Mess is a classic British dessert that is believed to have originated from Eton College in the 1800s.
Eton Mess is traditionally made with whipped cream, crumbled meringue and fresh summer berries stirred together to form a mound of deliciousness.
What better dessert to create in cupcake form?!
Here are our top tips when making this Eton Mess Cupcakes recipe:
- Use room temperature ingredients. Bring the melted coconut oil and dairy free milk to room temperature before they are mixed. Adding cold milk to melted coconut oil will cause it to solidify, which you want to avoid. You can either set both aside on the worktop to come to room temperature, or alternatively, add the solid coconut oil and cold milk to a small saucepan and warm gently until the oil has melted, then take the saucepan off the heat and set it aside to cool.
- Use digital scales. With baking, always use digital scales rather than cup measurements. Cup measurements are not accurate enough to guarantee consistent results.
- Mix briefly and gently. To keep your cupcakes light and create a fluffy vanilla sponge, it’s important not to over mix the cupcake batter. Once you’ve added the ingredients to the bowl, use a large whisk to stir the mixture for a few seconds until just combined (i.e. no pockets of dry flour remaining).
- Preheat your oven fully. Putting cakes into an oven that is not fully preheated can cause them to collapse, so fully preheating your oven is an essential step.
- Testing that your cupcakes are cooked. Taking any cupcakes out of the oven too early can cause them to sink, but you also don’t want to over-bake them as they could turn out dry! To avoid these two problems, check that your cupcakes are cooked perfectly by inserting a skewer (or toothpick) into the centre of a few of the cakes – if the skewer comes out clean (without wet batter on it) then the cake is cooked. This should be at around 18-20 minutes but timings can vary with different ovens.
- Buttercream 101:
- Use a block-style dairy free butter when making vegan buttercream rather than a spreadable margarine as this will give a nice firm texture that holds its shape (like regular buttercream). Stork Original Baking Block, Flora Plant Butter Unsalted and Naturli Vegan Butter Block all work well.
- When making the buttercream give it a good 2-3 minutes of mixing on a medium-high speed in the mixer to get the best silky smooth, creamy texture. You can beat by hand… but it’ll be a quite an arm workout!
- Pipe the buttercream onto the cupcakes straight away as this will be easiest (rather than trying to pipe refrigerated buttercream which will likely be too firm). Once the buttercream has been piped onto the cupcakes, you can pop the cupcakes into the fridge to firm up the buttercream if need be.
- Storing. Once decorated these cupcakes are best enjoyed the same day whilst the toppings are fresh although they will last a day or two if your strawberries are very fresh. Store them in the refrigerator in an airtight container but bring them to room temperature before serving.
How to make these Eton Mess Cupcakes
Here are the ingredients you will need to make this Eton Mess Cupcakes recipe:
- Refrigerated items: Dairy free milk (we used almond milk) and dairy free butter (we used Stork) are the only two refrigerated ingredients needed for this recipe.
- Pantry items: Melted and cooled coconut oil is used in place of eggs in the sponge to make it beautifully soft. You’ll also need vanilla extract, self raising flour, baking powder, icing sugar, caster sugar and a good quality strawberry jam (or you can use raspberry jam if you prefer).
- Fresh/other ingredients: Fresh strawberries are needed for the topping (alternatively you can use fresh raspberries if you prefer). Vegan meringues are the only specialist ingredient required for this recipe – you can either make your own using aquafaba or buy ready made mini meringues from a shop. In the UK shops such as Holland and Barrett and The VeganKind Supermarket both stock vegan meringue as of writing this.
To bake these vegan Eton Mess Cupcakes you’ll need a cupcake or muffin tin lined with 9 large cupcake cases (or muffin cases). For silky smooth buttercream we recommend using a mixer (such as a Kenwood) with the balloon whisk attached.
Make sure to head to the recipe card below for the full recipe and instructions!
- Gather together your ingredients. Melt the coconut oil and bring it to room temperature along with the dairy free milk.
- Add the dairy free milk and tsp vanilla extract to a large mixing bowl. Add the caster sugar, flour and baking powder. Then add the melted coconut oil to the large bowl (all in that order).
- Mix the ingredients briefly with a large whisk until just combined into a smooth batter.
- Line a 9 hole cupcake tin with 9 large cupcake (or muffin) paper cases. Divide the cake batter between the cases.
- Bake in a preheated oven for 18-20 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Place on a wire rack to cool fully before decorating.
- Make the buttercream by beating the unsalted butter, icing sugar, vanilla and milk until smooth. Use an electric mixer with a paddle attachment or a handheld electric whisk.
- Once cooled, use a sharp knife to carefully cut out the centre of each cupcake (see the video for a demonstration) and fill with jam. Use a piping bag to pipe swirls of buttercream on top of the cupcakes and then decorate with sliced strawberries and small pieces of meringue. You may even like to add a zig zag of strawberry sauce.
How do I prevent my cupcakes from doming so that they are easier to decorate?
Over-mixing your cake batter can cause your cupcakes to dome in the oven, as can baking at too high a temperature. To combat these two issues and create fluffy vanilla cupcakes, mix the cake batter gently until just combined (i.e. no pockets of dry flour left) and invest in an oven thermometer if it’s a recurring problem as your oven could be running hot.
How do I stop my vegan cupcakes being dense?
To prevent your cupcakes from being dense, make sure you don’t beat or over-mix the cake batter. Use a gentle touch and stir it until just combined. If you beat the mixture it can result in the baked sponge being dense or domed.
How do I stop my vegan cupcakes sinking?
Cupcakes that sink in the middle are generally caused by incorrect ingredient measurements or underbaked cakes.
To prevent your vegan cupcakes from sinking make sure that you measure the ingredients properly using a digital scale (rather than using measuring cups) and test that your cupcakes are ready before taking them out of the oven. Ovens can vary in terms of temperature and how they cook, so it’s important not to rely just on the the timings that the recipe suggests. Timings are approximate so you’ll also want to conduct visual checks to make sure your cake is cooked. To do this, insert a skewer or toothpick into the centre of a couple of the cupcakes – if the skewer comes out clean without any wet batter on it, the cakes should be cooked.
Loved this Eton Mess Cupcakes recipe? Here are some more delicious vegan cupcake recipes to try
- Banoffee Pie Cupcakes with a caramel centre
- Raspberry Trifle Cupcakes with a custard centre
- Rhubarb Crumble and Custard Cupcakes
I hope you LOVE this recipe for Eton Mess Cupcakes! Please share this recipe with someone you think will enjoy it because it’s our goal to encourage as many people as possible to try plant based eating.
Also, don’t forget to tag @aveganvisit on social media when you make this recipe. I absolutely love seeing your re-creations! Enjoy 🙂 x
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The Video Recipe:
The Written Recipe:
Eton Mess Cupcakes
For the cupcakes:
- 75 g coconut oil (melted and then cooled to room temperature)
- 200 g dairy free milk (at room temperature)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 200 g self raising flour
- 110 g caster sugar
- ½ tsp baking powder
For the buttercream:
- 140 g dairy free butter (the block kind, not spreadable (ideally unsalted)*)
- 400 g icing sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 tsp dairy free milk
- 9 fresh strawberries (approx 90g, finely diced)
- 9 tsp strawberry jam (approx 55g)
- 10 g vegan meringue (crumbled)
To make the cupcakes:
- Preheat the oven to 180°C fan (200°C conventional / 400°F / gas mark 6) and line a cupcake tin with 9 large cupcake cases.
- Melt the coconut oil and set it aside to cool to room temperature.75 g coconut oil
- In a large mixing bowl add the dairy free milk and vanilla.200 g dairy free milk, 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Add the caster sugar, flour and baking powder.200 g self raising flour, 110 g caster sugar, 1/2 tsp baking powder
- Add the melted, room temperature coconut oil.
- Mix briefly with a whisk to combine. Don’t over-mix as this can affect the texture of the cake, just whisk enough to bring the mixture together.
- Divide the mixture between the cupcake cases, so that the cases are around 3/4 full.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes until a knife/skewer inserted into the centre of the cupcake comes out clean.
Make the buttercream:
- Add the block butter, icing sugar, vanilla and dairy free milk to a mixing bowl fitted with the balloon whisk attachment.140 g dairy free butter, 400 g icing sugar, 1 tsp vanilla, 2 tsp dairy free milk
- Mix on a medium-high speed for a couple of minutes until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl as necessary to ensure everything is combined.
Decorate the cupcakes:
- Cut out the centre of each cupcake to leave a fillable core. See the recipe video for an example. Keep the ‘lid’ section of the core you have removed, you’ll need this later.
- Fill each core with strawberry jam and place the ‘lid’ back on to seal it in.9 tsp strawberry jam
- Pipe the buttercream on top.
- Decorate with diced fresh strawberry and crumbled vegan meringue.9 fresh strawberries, 10 g vegan meringue