Summer Berry Cupcakes with Pretty-in-Pink Frosting

The perfectly pink little summer indulgence
cupcakes with pink frosting and a berry on top
© Can Stock Photo / fahrwassar

Cupcakes are the perfect little summer indulgence - so transportable and fun. I love this recipe because it makes delicious moist little cakes while using super nutritious ingredients. Eating more healthfully doesn’t mean scrimping on pretty desserts! This recipe makes 9 cupcakes and can be easily doubled.

Summer Berry Cupcakes

Dry ingredients

  • 1¼ cup brown rice flour
  • 2 tbsp tapioca flour (in a pinch you could substitute cornstarch or extra rice flour instead)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp xantham gum
  • ½ tsp salt

Wet ingredients

  • ½ cup applesauce
  • 1/3 cup rice/almond/soy/hemp or coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil ¾ cup coconut sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup sliced strawberries or raspberries (fresh or frozen)


  1. Measure out dry and wet separately. Add dry ingredients to wet and mix.
  2. Fold in berries.
  3. Let sit for 15 minutes before filling greased or paper-lined muffin tins.
  4. Bake at 325° F, 15-25 minutes.


  • In place of the rice and tapioca, you can use 1¼ cup plus 2 tbsp of any kind of flour, and if it's wheat or spelt, you can leave out the xantham gum - this is just a binder to make up for the lack of gluten if going the gluten-free route.
  • If gluten-free and vegan is not a concern for you, you can use regular milk, replace the coconut oil with canola, and regular sugar for the coconut sugar.
  • Gluten-free flour burns more easily than regular flour, and doesn’t really brown, so catch them before they get too well done. You will know they are baked if you can insert a toothpick and it comes out dry.
  • Coconut sugar is a lower glycemic index natural sweetener - a good alternative to regular cane sugar. Note that it will give your baked goods a caramel brown colour, much like adding molasses, but the flavour is much more mild than you might expect, lending a caramel-like taste. I use this interchangeably in recipes that call for regular sugar.

Pretty-in-Pink Frosting


  • 1 cup organic icing sugar
  • ½ tsp beet root powder
  • 1 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp water (plus 1-2 tsp if needed)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1-2 tsp lemon or orange zest


  1. Sift the icing sugar and beet root powder together.
  2. Add coconut oil and water (or juice) and vanilla, adding more liquid if needed to make into a smooth icing.
  3. Add zest.


  • Beet root powder is a great natural colouring - a more healthful replacement for commercial red dye. You can find it in your local health-food store.
  • If you don’t happen to have any beet root powder on hand, you can replace the water with berry juice (cranberry, cherry or raspberry work well). Coconut oil can be replaced with softened butter.