In my circle of friends we celebrate birthdays for a whole week. So in honor of my friend Chrissy hitting the last year of what can be considered her mid-twenties, this blogs for you.
VEGAN CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES
Now don’t give me that gripe about eating vegan. I’ve shown up to far far too many an occasion and watched my precious, unsuspecting, sweet vegan cupcakes get goobled by a bunch a man-handlers who wouldn’t have touched them had they known that they were in fact dairy and egg free. Just because its vegan doesn’t mean its made with bio diesel and Nag Champa instead. Give ’em a shot!
OR should you have a kitchen full of manly men who don’t care to eat “hippy cupcakes” and would prefer a cake with a manly man name like…Duncan Hines, make these vegan treats instead and pull one of those 1980’s Foldger’s commercials on your household. You know–the old switcheroo, where they secretly replace the gourmet coffee with the Foldger’s, only to reveal it was the good ole Foldger’s all along. (Pleasant sigh.)
Pssst! Don’t have time to make from-scratch vegan cupcakes? Replace the eggs in Duncan Hines’ recipe with 1/2 c apple sauce or a whole banana. Duncan Hines Frosting is also totally vegan already.
Where was I? Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes
This recipe comes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. A full review of this culinary wonderment will be posted tomorrow also in honor of my friend Chrissy, as she, with her not-so-hidden-agenda, was the person who gave me this book…as a birthday gift.
1 c soy milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
3/4 c sugar
1/3 c vegetable oil (I like canola)
1 tsp *pure vanilla extract
1 tsp of chocolate extract, or more vanilla if you can’t find chocolate.
1 c flour
1/3 dutch processed cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
Combine soy and vinegar and whisk in a large bowl. Set aside for a few minutes. The soy milk will thicken and act a bit like a buttermilk. Sift dry ingredients (flour, cocoa, soda, powder, and salt) together and set aside. If you don’t sift the sky won’t fall, but it will make your cupcakes fluffier.
Add sugar, oil, and extracts to soy mixture. *Don’t skimp on the vanilla. Only use the pure stuff. Did you know that it comes from Madagascar? The fake stuff is just tree sap, and its Chrissy’s birthday after all. Also chocolate extract can be a pain to track down. Try specialty culinary stores or buy online.
Use a wire whisk to combine wet ingredients. Slowly pour in dry ingredients, about a third at a time. A few swift strokes of the whisk will combine batter to a silky smooth consistency.
Distribute into a cupcake pan–make sure the cups are lined with your favorite cupcake papers. This will make exactly 12 cupcakes. I like to use a 1/4 c measuring cup as a gage for filling the cups. 1-2 tsp less than 1/4 c is usually perfect, and everyone will note how perfectly uniform your desserts are.
Bake at 350 for 12-18 minutes. Let cool in the pans for about 10 -15 minutes before removing to fully cool.
A good old buttercream can be done in a couple of different ways and since this recipe is for Chrissy, an avid runner, and strict vegetarian, I’ll try my best to make it healthier.
1 c non hydrogenated shortening (found at higher end grocery stores like Whole Foods, and boy is it pricier!)
1/2 c non-hydrogenated shortening
1/2 c vegetable spread (Soy Garden or Smart Balance are great)
2 tablespoons soy milk or water
1 tsp clear or pure vanilla extract (Clear Vanilla is 100% not from Madagascar. Its made from different alcohols like a variety of extracts. If you are looking to make bright white frosting, use clear vanilla, and only shortening as this won’t muddy the color of the frosting)
3-4 cups confectioner’s sugar
Combine wet ingredients (everything but the sugar) until nice and smooth and creamy. Add sugar 1 cup at a time if you are using a hand mixer, or dump it all in your KitchenAid countertop mixer. 3 cups of sugar will get a medium to thin icing consistency. 4 cups will be very stiff.
*Substitute 1/3 dutch processed unsweetened cocoa powder for 1/3 of sugar for Chocolate Buttercream.
For a real finishing touch, get a large piping tip any culinary or craft store. Wilton makes a tip called 2D. Drop this nose first in the bottom of a pastry bag or into the corner of a large plastic storage bag (make sure to cut a hole at the end). Fill with icing and pipe onto your cupcakes as if it were a soft serve ice cream. Your birthday-celebrating friends or man-handling-cupcake-eaters will be impressed.
Entry Filed under: Frosting