Friday, June 13, 2014

Fresh strawberry oatmeal cookie cups with lemon buttercream

strawberry almond lemon cookie cups buttercream

If there is one universally loveable food trend out there, that would be miniature food. We’ve seen all kinds of hand-held, bite-sized edibles come into fashion in the past decade or so, from cupcakes to burger sliders to cake pops to hand pies. And I know these foods have been in existence for more than a decade, but, you know, with foodie culture and all it’s only recently that these things have become widespread and, in some cases, “elevated”.

cupcake shop sells many flavors of cupcakes but is expensive
We get it. Your overpriced cupcakes are better than ours. source

In a way, the proliferation of little food isn’t surprising. After all, a bite-sized cupcake is easier to fit into an Instagram shot alongside one’s Starbucks cup than an entire cake.

two Starbucks frappuccinos with two pink cake pops
The more you know... source

Not only is miniature food easier to eat and photograph, it is cute. Because small things are cute. Science says so—we are programmed to find things that are small and child-like to be cute, an adaptation that makes us more likely to take care of our young. Or something like that. I mean, if babies were ugly, would we feel like cuddling and coddling and generally doting upon them as much? Fuck no. They’re annoying enough as it is. I know that, and I haven’t even had a kid yet.

So it would make sense that mini food is more attractive to consumers, being all cute and tote-able and Instragram-able.  In fact, just the other day I was suckered into buying a little bottle of milk due to how adorably miniature it was. Look at it. Look at this fucking thing of milk.

Califia farms chocolate protein almond milk is not vegan but why
Hand for scale.

As someone who generally drinks soy milk, I have always been very impressed by Califia Farms’ almond milk (even though I have only been able to find it at Whole Foods), so imagine my delight when, while out to lunch at this awesomely hipster gluten-free vegan cafĂ©, I saw this totes adorbs protein drink in the drink case. Was very delicious (so rich such thick very chocolate), but I must mention that after closer examination of the ingredients list, it is not vegan. Because there is lactose-free whey protein. No idea why they couldn’t use something without animal products, but whatever. 

Excuse my tendency to get off topic. What was I talking about? Mini food. Yes. So what does this have to do with the recipe at hand?

Well, these cookie cups are pretty cute, if I do say so myself. 

adorable delicious cookie cups with lemon buttercream

Sometimes, I wonder if I have a fetish for my miniature muffin tin. My heart soars whenever I contemplate the infinite uses for this pan of adorableness—don’t feel like waiting an hour for a quick bread to cook? Make it miniature. Too lazy to chill cookie dough before baking? Stick it in mini muffin tins. Don’t have hemisphere silicone molds for pate a choux? Put it in mini muffin tins like some sort of peasant, goddamit. There is no limit of the power of this pan.

*Insert obligatory thatsmyfetish.gif*

And once again, its virtues have been proven with this beautiful strawberry cookie cup. Observe.

lots of lemon buttercream on strawberry oatmeal cookie cups
Can't see shit underneath all that buttercream, but whatever.


Strawberry oatmeal cookie cups with lemon buttercream

Makes about 30 cookie cups


Cookie dough (adapted from Averie Cooks)

62 grams • silken tofu, blended until smooth • ¼ cup

108 grams • olive oil or canola oil • ½ cup

107 grams • brown sugar • ½ cup, packed

50 grams • granulated sugar • ¼ cup

13 grams • vanilla extract • 1 tablespoon

2 grams • lemon zest • 1 tablespoon

37 grams • almond flour / meal • 1/3 cup

81 grams • old-fashioned rolled oats • 1 cup

133 grams • all-purpose flour • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon

4 grams • baking soda • 1 teaspoon

124 grams • strawberries, finely chopped • ¾ cup

Lemon buttercream

113 grams • Earth Balance, softened • ½ cup

240 grams • powdered sugar • 2 cups

6 grams • lemon zest • 1 tablespoon, packed

30 grams • full fat coconut milk • 2 tablespoons

2 grams • lemon extract • ¼ teaspoon


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease about 30 mini muffin tins and set aside.

In a small bowl, toss chopped strawberries and 8 grams / 1 tablespoon flour until the strawberries are completely coated. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk tofu, oil, brown sugar, granulated sugar, vanilla, and lemon zest until smooth. Fold in almond flour, oats, all-purpose flour, and baking soda just until combined. Fold in strawberry mixture until evenly distributed.

Fill each muffin tin to the top with cookie dough, yielding about 30 cookie cups. Bake for about fifteen minutes or until the sides begin to brown and the cookies appear cooked through. Allow to cool in their tins for about ten minutes, then let cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.

To make frosting, place Earth Balance in the bowl of an electric stand mixer and beat until soft and fluffy and wonderful. With mixer on low, add powdered sugar one spoonful at a time until combined. Add lemon zest and coconut milk and lemon extract. Beat until as fluffalicious as possible. If it is too stiff, add a bit more coconut milk; if not stiff enough, add more powdered sugar. Pipe on top of cookies. Try not to eat the entire batch. Fail. Nosh.

So there are a few interesting flavors in these cups of happiness. There’s fresh strawberry of course. Then there is a bit of lemon zest, a bit of almond flour (leftover from making macarons—these vegan cookies are much, much easier). Then there is olive oil. It’s my favorite oil in the whole wide world, I might add, so reaching for that bottle of liquid gold (as an interesting alternative to boring-ass canola) was a no-brainer when developing this recipe. 

June developed fancy strawberry cookie cup recipe with lemon frosting
Oh yes, Baby June is a profesh recipe developer. 

And according to my preshus beloved Flavor Bible, all of these flavors—strawberry, almond, lemon, oatmeal, and olive oil—do actually go well together. I didn’t just yank them out of my ass. Or whatever.

strawberry almond lemon cookie cups are delicious
What happened to that shitnugget of an almond?

Sorry. Was trying to make these sound appetizing. Anyway—guess who needs to take Food Writing 101?


  1. i have to agree that anything miniature is precious, and far more appetizing. i think it's more approachable, not only to consume but to create. that's just me though.

    1. That's true! These cookies were certainly easy to make. :)


    But seriously, these look delicious! When I started reading this post, it got me thinking of Italy, and how they've always had those amazing small "cake" confectionary even before it became a trendy food. They'd sussed it out decades ago, pesky Italians (I'm just jealous really, got family over there..married in and thus I got none of those epic genes myself *sigh*).

    I think the problem is...that If you made a big Strawberry, Almond, Lemon Cake, not only would it take forever to bake, but it would probably be overly tempting, to the point you'd just facepalm it. Come to think of it, that sounds pretty good too, but for now, I suppose eating the mini ones would be a more civilised way to do it. Also - you could potentially have "30" cakes :O

    Apologies, I'm a little hyper from all the coffee... Have an awesome weekend June! x

    1. It's okay, thanks for commenting! :D Italian desserts are amazing, I agree, I should maybe try making some for the blog sometime! Great idea! Plus I'm 1/4 Italian not to brag ;) Anyway you have a great weekend too!

  3. Love these little cupcakes June, the frosting looks fantastic! your right people do love little things. You had me chuckling once again with your wit and humor. Great post.

    1. whoops I meant cookie cups, sorry!

    2. Thanks so much! The frosting is great, I had great difficulty saving enough of it for the cupcakes :D

  4. LOVE these cookie cups!! Such a wonderful idea. I also love mini desserts! It helps with portion control... if I can control myself... ;-)

    1. That's true, another benefit of mini desserts! :) Thanks for reading!

  5. Mini desserts mean I can eat more than one..and I like eating more than one. I now feel the need for a cupcake. A NEED!

    1. I like eating more than one too! Thanks for reading! :)

  6. Those sound fantastic! Weird that a vegan cafe would stock drinks that aren't vegan - I guess they may have seen the almond milk and not read the label?

    1. Actually that was a kind of misleading statement--the cafe serves things that are not vegan, but a lot of their products are. For example they have a nice bakery section with homemade cookies and cakes and such, and most of those treats are gluten-free and vegan. So it's not too surprising they have non-vegan drinks. Sorry to have confused you!

  7. These cookie cups and that lemon frosting look TRULY decadent!!!!!! I need to make these ASAP!!!!!!! <3

  8. Such adorable cookie cups and the lemon frosting sounds fantastic! Love mini sized foods, they are so much more fun to eat :)

  9. These sound so yummy June! My tummy is growling! I am digging your little illustrations lately. : )

  10. Strawberry oatmeal cookies cups, PLUS frosting?! I'm sold! P.S. I should probably start reading your posts when I'm home alone, because my boyfriend in the next room is probably wondering why I keep chuckling to your narratives and captions!

    1. Thanks! Happy to hear you like my sense of humor. :)